The Breville Smart Grinder Pro
How to Choose the Best Grinder for Pour Over
|Breville BCG820BKSXL Smart Grinder Pro||
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|Hario Skerton Pro Coffee Mill||
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|OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder||
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|Krups Precision Flat Grinder||
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|Baratza Virtuoso Plus||
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|Eureka Mignon Filtro||
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|Timemore Go Portable Electric Coffee Grinder||
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- 12.5 x 8.5 x 16.3 inches
- 510g Capacity
- 4.7 x 6.3 x 13.8 inches
- 225g capacity
- 4.1 x 3.9 x 8.1 inches
- 100g capacity
- 1.8 x 2.3 x 6 inches
- 20g capacity
- 6.8 x 11.8 x 14.8 inches
- 340g capacity
- 4.3 x 7.2 x 10.4 inches
- 225g capacity
- 6.7 x 6.7 x 12.6 inches
- 225g capacity
- 4.7 x 7.5 x 13.8 inches
- 300g capacity
- 3.1 x 3.1 x 7.9 inches
- 80g capacity
Coffee lovers know that selecting the best coffee grinder for pour-over brewing is essential. You need a machine that will be flexible enough to adapt to different beans and recipes and provide the more consistent grind that good coffee requires. Here are some of the variables to take into consideration when shopping.
How coarse for pour over?
While most brewing methods have a clearcut answer for this question, the variations in pour-over brewer shapes and sizes make it a little more complicated. The short answer is that you might need anything from medium-coarse to medium-fine grind.
…it is extremely hard, and in fact fallacious, to assign a single correct grind size for pour-over.The Coffee Folk
The long answer, however, is that it will depend on your particular pour over, as well as some of the normal variables that go into brewing coffee (1). Cone-shaped brewers like the Hario V60 work best with a medium-fine grind, while at the other end of the scale, a medium-coarse grind is best for the Chemex. Once you have the starting grind point, you’ll then need to make adjustments for your recipe and your particular beans.
For more information, read our guide on how to make pour over coffee.
Manual or automatic?
Assuming that your grinder will produce the correct grind size, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is between a manual and electric coffee grinder. In part, this will probably come down to your budget, but each grinder does have pros and cons worth considering.
Manual coffee grinders are great if you’re on a budget and are also your only real choice if you want to travel. The best manual coffee grinders, of course, are those that can give you consistent, quality grinds. But some people opt for handheld models simply for the quieter grinding and space-saving. However, if you don’t want to put in the work required, this is not the best burr coffee grinder for you.
Electric coffee grinders are undeniably more convenient. Whether it’s by way of a timer or an on/off switch, the machine will do all of the work for you. Grind sizes are usually much easier to adjust on electric burr grinders than on manual grinders, and there are often more settings available. An electric coffee won’t be any good for travel, and you have to consider the motor’s noise.
Does burr type matter?
When looking for grinders, you’ll see that the burr material and burr shape is usually listed. These details will be more important for commercial grinders, but you won’t see much difference when grinding coffee in small quantities for home use.
The materials you’ll see most are ceramic and stainless steel. Ceramic burrs last longer without wearing down and are less likely to generate heat. You also don’t need to worry about the burrs rusting. Stainless steel burrs start sharper than ceramic and won’t break if you happen to drop your grinder onto a hard surface.
Burr shape can be either flat or conical. Flat burr grinders require more force to operate, so you’ll only find them in electric grinders. A flat burr grinder can be calibrated more accurately and offers a more uniform grind. Conical burr grinders are less noisy and tend to have less grind retention.
The most important is that you’re not wasting your time (and quality coffee beans) with a blade grinder. Even with the highest quality stainless steel blades, Blade grinders will chop your beans into an uneven mess.
How much coffee a grinder holds isn’t going to affect the machine’s quality or consistency; it’s more about user-friendliness and convenience. While some pour-over brewers are single-serve, many can produce multiple cups at a time. So if you’re regularly brewing with a 6-cup Chemex, you’ll need a grinder that will hold enough beans.
This is particularly important to consider with a manual grinder. Those made for travel, in particular, will often only hold enough for a single-serve.
The Best Coffee Grinders for Pour Over in 2023
We’ve evaluated the best grinders on the market and narrowed it down to suitable models for pour-over. Here are the best pour-over grinders you can buy right now.
Breville knew exactly what it was doing when it named this grinder. Everything about the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is designed to make your life easier, and your coffee better.
The Smart Pro provides a great user experience, offering just about every bell and whistle you could want, yet keeping general operation streamlined and simple.Tech Gear Lab
The hub of the machine is the user-friendly LCD panel, where you can get an instant overview of all your grind settings. Grinding is done by time, with incredible accuracy thanks to the 0.2-second increments. Alternatively, you can set it by cups/shots, though this is a feature more aimed at espresso drinkers.
The stand-out feature is the 60 grind sizes, which are adjusted via a dial on the grinder’s side. This puts it on par with some commercial machines and makes it suitable for all of the best pour over coffee makers.
Inside the Breville Smart Pro is a sturdy stainless steel conical grinder. It’s been engineered to be heat-efficient and keep the essential oils and flavor profile of the beans intact. The bean hopper is removable and you can easily access the burrs for a quick brush.
This model has an 18oz bean hopper with an airtight lid, so you can store the beans without worrying about their integrity. The grinds container also has an airtight seal. However, one of this Breville’s highlights is that you get two portafilter cradles – not necessary for pour over, but very exciting if you also plan to use this with an espresso coffee machine.
Many baristas consider the Baratza Encore conical burr coffee grinder the top entry-level model, and it’s easy to see why. From European engineering to user-friendly features, Baratza is a force to be reckoned with.
The Baratza brand is known for its built-to-last grinders, and the quality can be seen even in the lower-end consumer models like the Encore. Yes, the body is plastic, but it’s a high-grade plastic resin that makes it sturdy, lightweight, and resistant to scratches or fingerprints.
The hardened steel 40mm conical burrs offer an incredibly consistent grind, especially for a grinder at this price. They’re driven by a powerful but low RPM motor that guarantees a low-heat, low-noise operation.
Operating the grinder is simple enough, with just an easy on/off switch at the side. However, the lack of time or scale means you’ll need to manually time your grind, or do what many people do and opt for single dose grinding (2).
Grind size is adjusted by turning the hopper, with 40 stepped settings that run from 250 to 1200 microns. The 225g bean hopper should be enough for most day-to-day operations, but with an optional extender, you can add an extra 255g.
Think this could be the grinder for you? Get more details in our full Baratza Encore review.
Since it was first released, the Hario Skerton has been a popular manual grinder and has gone through three iterations to arrive at the Pro model. Hario incorporated feedback from the original and Plus models to create all-around improvements, with only a slight price increase.
At the core is an improved grind shaft to give you a smoother and sturdier grinding experience. The durable ceramic burrs are now adjusted underneath the grinder mechanism rather than at the top. It does mean taking the grounds chamber off, but it makes the process less fiddly. If you do decide to travel with it, the handle now pops off easily, rather than requiring you to unscrew a nut.
The Skerton Pro is certainly not as portable as other coffee grinders like the Porlex, so why does it get our pick for the best manual coffee grinder for pour-over? The larger size actually makes this a practical solution for everyday home use. With a 100g capacity bean hopper, you can grind more than enough beans for your morning cup without waking up the whole house.
Like earlier models, the Skerton Pro does lose a little consistency when grinding for French press and cold brew, but you’ll have no trouble at all getting the right grind for the perfect pour-over coffee.
Pour-over coffee makers are a popular choice for brewing on the road, but for the best coffee, you’ll also need a burr grinder in your travel kit. In terms of size and weight, it’s hard to beat the Porlex Mini grinder. At less than eight ounces measuring and only six inches long, you can add it to your luggage without a second thought.
It might be light, but there’s nothing flimsy about this grinder. The body is made from stainless steel, which provides durability and helps to avoid static cling (3). The burrs are made from touch ceramic to last year after year, with no danger of rust–essential if you want to take this grinder camping.
If your pour-over or drip coffee preferences are for batch brewing, the Porlex Mini won’t be your best choice, with a hopper capacity of just 20g. But for something like a single-serve coffee maker. The 13 grind settings will allow you to tweak your fineness for a cone or flat bottom pour-overs for the best possible brew.
OXO has a reputation for making durable and attractive kitchenware and appliances, and the OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder is no exception. This sleek, compact grinder doesn’t just look good; it’s also designed for user-friendliness.
The grind settings are adjusted by rotating the bean hopper. There are 15 numbered settings, but the increments bring the total number of grind sizes to more than a good 38 options. Dosing is done by way of a timer, and simply set the dial to the number of seconds (from zero to 30) and press start. Your settings are remembered, so if you make the same amount of coffee each day, it’s a one-touch operation.
The hopper on the OXO Conical Burr Grinder is also worth a mention. The 340g capacity is generous given the size, and the UV tinted plastic and airtight design help to keep your beans fresh (4). Thanks to the shut-off valve, you can remove the hopper with beans still inside, allowing you to clean the grinder.
OXO does make a similar grinder with an integrated scale for more precise dosing. However, at more than double the price it doesn’t represent the same value for money as this simpler model.
A decent burr grinder will always be more expensive than the blade grinder that many people start off with, but this grinder proves it’s still possible to step up your coffee game on a budget.
In terms of features, the Krups Precision Flat Grinder has everything you’d hope to find on a good home grinder. Grind settings are adjusted by a dial on the side of the machine, with 12 stepped settings available. These will cover your pour-over but aren’t suitable for coarser French press grinds or Turkish coffee fine grinds. On the front of the grinder, you can select the number of cups you’ll be brewing (from 2-12), then it’s simply a matter of pressing the center button to start.
There are, of course, some drawbacks to such a low-cost machine. Some users have complained about the amount of static that the grinder produces, making it difficult to empty all of the ground coffee from the grounds bin. The second is the burrs themselves. While they are metal, they are not stainless steel, so you can’t necessarily expect the same longevity.
All of the grinders on our list will create a grind that’s suitable for pour-over coffee, but there’s always room to upgrade if your budget allows it. The Virtuoso Plus offers many of the same features as the Baratza Encore, but few improvements.
The Virtuoso Plus features the same tough but lightweight plastic resin body, with a metal base and top for added durability. Like all of Baratza’s prosumer grinders, the Virtuoso Plus features hardened stainless steel 40mm conical burrs, though the design varies from model to model. This is the M2 grinder, which is similar to Encore’s M3 but is said to be more consistent, with fewer fines that might muddy the taste of your coffee. It’s also fast, with an output of up to 2.4g per second for coarser coffee grinds.
Thanks to the digital timer, you’ll get highly accurate dosing, which you can adjust in 0.1-second increments up to 40 seconds. During grinding, the cool backlit grounds bin allows you to keep an eye on the progress of your freshly ground coffee.
If you’ve been scoping out the best coffee grinders for home use, you might have come across Eureka’s Mignon line. These compact, boxy grinders are an excellent entry point into Eureka’s high-quality lineup. Each of the Mignon series of grinders is made to specialize in one particular area, and in the case of the Mignon Filtro, it’s grinding for pour over (filter) coffee.
While most of Eureka’s grinders are calibrated for espresso, the Filtro represents the brand’s first foray into manual brewing methods. The large 50mm flat steel burrs combined with a lower RPM motor provide excellent grind consistency and speed with an output of up to 2.1g per second. Instead of the portafilter forks that you’ll see on other Mignon models, the Filtro has a grounds bin that’s ideal to grind coffee beans for batch brews.
Grinding with the Filtro is slightly more hands-on than other models. There’s no timer or on/off switch–you need to press and hold the grind button on the side of the machine.
Otherwise, the Mignon Filtro shares many of the same features as the rest of the Mignon models. First is a patented Stepless Micrometric Adjustment System, which allows for infinite adjustments of the grind settings. The next is the brand’s ACE system, which prevents clumping of the grounds, and reduces grind retention (5).
Generally speaking, your choice will be between an electric grinder that sits permanently on your counter or a hand grinder that you can travel with. Timemore Grinder Go aims to bridge convenience and portability with this rechargeable battery-operated grinder.
In terms of size, it’s about on par with the Hario Skerton Pro, so it’s not something you can slip into your pocket. This would be a great coffee grinder for the office or an RV where you don’t necessarily have easy access to power or the need for a larger electric model.
The bean hopper can hold a generous 80g of beans, but the glass grounds container will limit you to grinding 60g at a time. The included lid that turns the grounds bin into an airtight storage container is one nice feature.
Grind size is easily adjusted via a dial on the grinder’s base, with 10 stepped settings available. Strangely, the dial displays fine grind settings for espresso, but even the brand suggests that the grinder is best suited to pour over grind sizes.
Getting the right grind size is just as crucial for pour-over as it is for any other coffee brewing method, and for that, you need the right grinder. While any machines on our list will do the trick, our pick for the best coffee grinder for pour-over is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. We love the extensive range of grind settings, the high-tech interface, and the uniform grind consistency.
The best grinder for espresso and pour-over has a wide range of grind settings that encompass both the medium and finer end of the scale (6). Some grinders tend to do best with one particular brewing method, but there are plenty of multi-purpose grinders to choose from. Check out our guide to the best burr coffee grinders to get started.
The best beans for pour-over brewing should focus on taste, and most importantly, the flavors you enjoy. This brewing method is ideal for bringing out the subtle flavors in the beans, producing a clean yet complex cup. You can use any bean for pour-over brewing, but single-origin, light roasts are especially popular.
Grind retention is when coffee particles remain inside the burr chamber after grinding. This is not an issue for cafes where the grinder is constantly in use, but in a home setting, these leftover coffee grounds can go stale and affect the taste of subsequent cups (7). If you’re concerned about retention, consider a quick purge of your grinder at the start of the day.
- Five Variables of Brewing Coffee. (2020, July 28). Retrieved from https://www.onevillagecoffee.com/blogs/ask-steve/five-variables-of-brewing-coffee
- Geurrero, X. (2021, April 22). Single Dosing Coffee. Retrieved from https://baratza.com/single-dosing-coffee/
- Minimizing Static in Burr Grinders. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cooksillustrated.com/how_tos/8357-minimizing-static-in-burr-grinders
- Does light affect the freshness of roasted coffee beans?: Coffee Nomad. (2020, March 30). Retrieved from https://www.bayawe.com/does-light-affect-the-freshness-of-roasted/
- ACE System. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.eureka.co.it/en/plus/id/97.aspx
- The Complete Guide to Coffee Grind Size. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.drinktrade.com/blog/education/coffee-grind-size-chart
Coffee expert and industry insider, I’ve dedicated years to mastering the art and science of coffee making. From scrutinizing particle fineness to evaluating burr shapes, I delve into the minutiae that elevate coffee from good to exceptional. Whether it’s a complex pour-over or a robust espresso, my insights cater to those who don’t just drink coffee, but experience it.