We started out like most everyone who decides to grind our own coffee. We bought the cheapest grinder we could find. It was a blade grinder. But it ground coffee beans, right?
Well, yes. It did grind coffee beans.
But the taste never really matched up to the taste of the coffee we bought at our favorite local coffee shop. Not ever.
We tried different beans. We tried grinding them longer. We tried grinder them shorter. We brewed the beans for less time. Then we brewed them longer. We bought a different kind of coffee maker. And then another one. And another one. But despite a ton of effort–and expense–our coffee just never fully measured up to the coffee our barista could make.
The coffee house coffee tasted better. But the price was bitter.
And then, Voilá! After years of trial and error, we found the secret.
It’s all in the grinder.
A blade grinder just doesn’t do it. It takes a burr grinder. There are lots of technical reasons for it. And there are lots of articles on great coffee websites that explain the physics of why in great detail. But we weren’t interested in the physics. We were interest in the taste. And the price.
So we began wading through the sea of burr coffee grinders on the U.S. market. Most were way above our budget. We were looking for affordable, not for another house payment.
After months of wading, here are the islands of great taste we found. All are under $100.
Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
If you are scratching your head wondering how to pronounce this, don’t worry. We are too. But regardless, you can usually find this grinder for around $75. But thanks to July 4th sales, as of posting date, you can get it for under $60.
The Sboly company is based in the Guangdong Province of China and all of its manufacturing is in the province. But lest you think that means bad quality, it currently is the #1 Best Seller among burr grinders on Amazon. So somebody seems to think it is a good product.
We note, however, that the average Amazon review is quite a bit below other burr grinders available on Amazon. So Amazon’s algorithm continues to baffle us. But that aside, several professional reviewers like this unit as well. One of the things they point to is that it is exceptionally quiet for a burr grinder. And that’s always good.
It has both a grind setting and an amount setting. Both are simple manual controls that are well marked and intuitive. Like most of the burr grinders, and certainly all that made our best list, it accommodates pretty much any coffee maker you might have. It has 19 grind settings ranging from Ultra Fine to Coarse. And it has settings from 2 cups to 12 cups.
Aesthetically is it has clean, simple lines and comes in understated Stainless Steel with Black trim.
Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder (570.1)
The Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder is right at the tippy-top of our price cut-off. You can usually find it right around $99. But there is a whole, whole lot to be said for it.
First, it uses commercial-grade solid steel burrs that should last a lifetime. And next, it has a unique slow gear system that allows the slow revolution of the burrs, creating the least amount of heat and preserving the maximum aroma and taste of the beans.
The customer ratings on this machine are much higher than they are on the Sboly on Amazon. And at least 90 percent of the professional review sites name this machine in its top two picks. There are other Capresso models, but price for quality, this is the one that is the most outstanding.
Good Housekeeping’s review said this model was the quietest of all of the burr grinders they tested.
Capresso is owned by the Jura Company based in Switzerland. Like virtually every other major company in the world, most of Jura’s products are manufactured in China today. But the Swiss tend to have very high quality controls in their plants wherever they are located. Consumer satisfaction seems to confirm that with Capresso.
It comes in an unobtrusive Flat Black with a see-through coffee bean vessel.
This model ranges from a Very Fine grind to a Very Coarse grind. It is one of the only burr grinders in this price category that can grind fine enough even for a Turkish coffee maker. It has manual controls that can be pre-set both for grind and amount–ranging from 1 cup to 12 cups.
You can find the Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder (570.1) on Amazon here.
Müeller Utra-Grind Conical Burr Professional Series
Also at the upper end of our price cut-off is the Müeller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Professional Series grinder for around $98.
We know it has gone on sale in the past. But we’ve been scouring the internet for a couple of months and have yet to find a sale.
This handsome Stainless Steel and Black grinder has all of the typical features plus a couple of unique features that make it stand out from the crowd. It has a wide grind range that accommodates anywhere from the finest grind for a Turkish coffee maker to the coarsest grind for a percolator–and of course everything between. The adjustment are manual but they are hidden, which gives this unit a more high-tech look than most.
But where it really steps out is that it uses a unique hardened alloy steel burr system of the highest commercial quality. It also has the gear-reduction motor that the Capresso we reviewed has, making for both a better tasting grind and a quieter grinding process.
But the Müeller has one other little bell none of the others we reviewed has. It has a portafiller bracket that allows coffee to be ground directly into a portafiller. This of course may not be important to you unless you have an espresso machine or think you may purchase one in the future. But the portafiller is an integral part of a good espresso machine. And this little bracket is a serious upgrade in a machine in this price category.
MüellerAustria is an Austrian-based company with manufacturing plants in several locations, some of which are in China. But, like the Jura Company, all Müeller factories operate at Austrian production standards. And it shows in high levels of consumer satisfaction.
You can buy the Müeller Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Professional Series on Amazon here. And if you find a sale on it, please let us know because we are about to give up.
Bodum Bistro Premium Burr Grinder
This Bodum Bistro Premium Burr Grinder is the the top-of-the-line grinder that Bodum makes. You usually pay just a cent under our cut-off price for it, typically $99.99. But with a great big July 4th Hoorah, it is currently on sale if you branch to Bodum’s site from here for $74.99. That’s a 25% price reduction.
As most coffee geeks know, Bodum is a heavy-weight in the international coffee and tea world. Some reports say that the majority of the French Press coffee makers in the world are made by Bodum. So they definitely know a teensy bit about good coffee.
The Bodum Bistro is consistently named a top choice by professional reviewers. And earlier in 2020, Consumer Reports named this their #1 choice. So finding it on sale is HUGE.
This Bodum grinder is what Bodum calls “continuously adjustable.” It has 12 settings from the finest grind for Turkish coffee to the coarsest grind for French Press and percolator.
It uses commercial-grade stainless steel conical burrs to crush the beans like the Capresso. This Bodum also has a friction clutch in the motor that allows slow, low-heat grinding for maximum flavor retention and extended motor life.
But the unique feature of the Bodum Bistro Premium grinder is that instead of a grinds catcher made of plastic, it is made of Borosilicate glass. So you can put it directly in your dishwasher to clean. And more important, the glass catcher cuts down on the static problem most grinders have. It makes both for a cleaner process and an easier clean up afterwards.
You can buy the Bodum Bistro Premium Burr Grinder on Amazon here. But you won’t get the current 25% discount if you do. So Frenchly will make more money. But you’ll pay the regular price.
To get the discount and the Bodum Bistro Premium Burr Grinder for $74.99 you need to link directly to BODUM here. You will need to scroll down several lines of products (how many depends on your browser) where you will find this grinder. It doesn’t say “Premium” on their website, but that’s it.
We won’t make as big a commission if you link to the Bodum site, but you will get a great deal on a grinder that seldom goes on sale.
JavaPresse Manual Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
I honestly can tell you we don’t plan on buying this JavaPresse Manual Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings, but we would be remiss in not including it in our review because it seems to be a hot item. And it sells for under $50.
And some customers love this thing even though it takes 2-5 minutes to grind your beans by hand for one cup of coffee. But consumers and reviewers both seem to like it for the quality and consistency of the grind. And clearly you could easily take it camping or maybe even stuff it in a suitcase. It requires no electricity, just old-fashioned elbow grease.
The manual JavaPresse has an impressive 18 discrete settings for grinds, makes almost no noise, is highly compact to store in a small kitchen, and requires no batteries or cords. It comes in a sleek Stainless Steel with ceramic burrs that JavaPress claims last 5 times longer than steel burrs.
We would sort of need to see that to believe it. But still. It’s manual.
Anyway, it also comes with a coupon code for a free bag of JavaPresse’s premium whole bean coffee. So there’s that.
You can find the Java Press Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings on Amazon here.
I can’t sum up this coffee grinder review without adding this.
JavaPresse is a U.S.-based company that, like almost everybody, ships its manufacturing overseas. But it is is a socially-conscious American company started by a young entrepreneur with a lot of street cred.
In addition to this coffee grinder, they roast and distribute their own coffee beans. And as a thank you to First Responders and hospital staff on the front lines of the Covid-19 epidemic, JavaPresse is donating one bag of coffee beans to them for every bag a purchaser buys.
We aren’t going to buy this manual grinder. But we certainly are going to buy a bag of their coffee. And maybe more than just one bag. They have several roasts that sound really good. If you want to do the same, you can branch directly to JavaPresse’s Buy-1-Give-1 coffee deal HERE.
No, we have no affiliate relationship with JavaPresse. We just admire what they are doing.
In our opinion, the BEST OF THE BEST BURR GRINDERS in 2020 is a 3-way tie between the Capresso, the Müeller, and the Bodum.
But while this sale is going on, it doesn’t matter.
The BEST BARGAIN BURR GRINDER is the
So Frenchly is both an Amazon Affiliate and a Bodum Affiliate. Any purchases you make from either of them after branching from our website, may earn us a small commission. That commission is never passed on to you in the price you pay. And in some instances, branching to an affiliate from our site actually gives you a discount you would not otherwise get on the product. Any small commissions we may earn simply help us continue to bring you independently researched reviews.
We choose our affiliations because we know and like a vendor’s products, not because they offer us a commission to mention their name. We read multiple professional reviews as well as consumer reviews on multiple sites. Most products we test ourselves in our own kitchen. And in the end, all of our reviews come directly from our research, personal experience, and personal tastes. But regardless of the product, you can rest assured it has been seriously researched and vetted..