So you want to take your coffee making skills to next level by investing in a durable and reliable conical burr grinder.  That makes sense – it’s probably the highest return on investment you can get in the world of specialty coffee.  They last for years, can grind for all sorts of different beans, roasts, and brew methods and most of them are pretty inexpensive.  And yet you aren’t sure which one to buy.  This is normal, here are a few criteria you can use when reading burr coffee grinder reviews so that you know if what you’re looking at is worth your time.

  • Check to see if the grinder has a warranty.  Some grinders do, others don’t – assuming you are buying the right one it shouldn’t matter however I still recommend buying one that does.  Why?  Because if the company puts a solid warranty on their product it is indicative of a higher quality, more reliable device.  Even if you never have to return it, if you’re spending money on a piece of equipment that is expected to be reliable, isn’t better to know you have recourse if isn’t?  So make sure there is some sort of warranty in case anything happens.
  • Find out about safety settings.  I highly recommend a grinder that will not grind beans if the hopper is not in place.  This is pretty common but there are still some grinders missing out on this functionality – just make sure that it has an ‘automatic shutoff’ so that if you try to grind coffee beans without the hopper currently installed it won’t send coffee beans flying everywhere.
  • Find out how many grind settings the grinder has.  Some of the higher end grinders have upwards of 50 different settings – which can be great, but if you are new they might not be necessary.  Figure out what you need the grinder for – if it is only basic brewing methods like drip, french press, and pour over then you might not need so much flexibility.  But if you plan on brewing for Turkish coffee or espresso then yes, you will want to find a grinder with as many varying grind settings as available.

If you follow these three criteria when shopping for a coffee grinder you will have a lot of success in finding one that meets your own home coffee making needs.  Half of learning how to make coffee is knowing what questions to ask – so as long as you ask these three questions before you start buying a grinder you will be on the right path to putting a good burr grinder in your kitchen.