At A Glance:
Reviews of the 6 Best Grinders for Making Pour Over Coffee
|Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro||
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|Baratza Virtuoso Plus||
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|Hario Skerton Coffee Mill||
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- Body Material: Plastic/stainless steel
- Burr Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 8.5” x 12.5” x 16.3”
- Body Material: Plastic
- Burr Material: Stainless steel alloy
- Dimensions: 4.7” x 6.3” x 13.8”
- Body Material: ABS plastic
- Burr Material: Stainless steel
- Dimensions: 5” x 7.8” x 10.5”
- Body Material: Plastic
- Burr Material: Metal
- Dimensions: 4.29” x 7.24” x 10.4”
- Body Material: Plastic, stainless steel
- Burr Material: Hardened steel alloy
- Dimensions: 6.69” x 6.69” x 12.6”
- Body Material: Plastic, glass
- Burr Material: Ceramic
- Dimensions: 3.7” x 6.7” x 9.0”
Breville’s line of coffee grinders and brewers is designed to meet the needs of even the most discerning coffee drinkers. And there are more than a few features that make the Breville Smart Grinder Pro the most versatile.
This model has 60 grind settings, which puts it neck and neck with commercial models. The Smart Pro also features a grind timer and you can increase or decrease the timing in 0.2-second increments. This way you can get better consistency and dosing regardless of your preferred brew style.
As for the grinding element itself, the Breville Smart Pro has stainless steel conical burr grinders. These are 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’re an espresso lover too.
BEST SUITED FOR: Coffee lovers looking for perfect pour overs and espresso as well, at a reasonable price.
From award-winning engineering to user-friendly features, Baratza is a force to be reckoned with. This is why many baristas consider the Baratza Encore conical burr coffee grinder the top entry-level model. However, the Encore wouldn’t look out of place in a small coffee shop either.
The grinder features a high-quality plastic body and simple controls – one on/off switch on the side and one pulse button on the front. The hopper holds 8oz of beans and the grounds container features a fill line to show you the amount. However, the top-quality burr grinder makes all the difference.
The hardened steel burr is manufactured in Europe and guarantees longevity and consistent performance. Combine that with 40 grind settings and you get a powerful machine that’s suitable for various brew methods.
In addition, the Encore has a rather small footprint. It measures 4.7” x 6.3” x 13.8” and weighs 6.8 pounds which makes it suitable for small kitchens and barista nooks.
BEST SUITED FOR: A first-time grinder buyer, or someone looking to upgrade from a model with fewer grind settings.
Grinding is easy, but getting the right particle size can be tricky if you are just starting out. Therefore, you might want an electric coffee grinder that lets you do the job at the flip of a switch. The Capresso Infinity is one such model, plus it doesn’t compromise on the grind settings.
There are four particle size levels, extra-fine, fine, medium, and coarse. Each level has four steps to further fine-tune the grind, meaning you get 16 grind settings in total. The main switch features 10 timing settings and it returns back to zero once the timer runs out.
PRO TIP: With the Capresso, adjust your grind setting two settings to the new direction (finer if you want to increase extraction, coarser if you want to lower it). This way you have room to back off if you go too far. Then note the setting you like best and your next pour over will have the same extraction.
The Capresso has an ABS plastic body and special attention is paid to the design of the burrs. They are precision-engineered and assembled in Switzerland, and powered by a geared motor that runs at a slower speed. This makes the Infinity is less noisy, more consistent, and creates less heat.
This model measures 5” x 7.8” x 10.5” and weighs 3 pounds, which puts it among the smallest on this list. The Capresso also comes in three different colors, so you can easily match it with your other gear or kitchen style.
BEST SUITED FOR: Someone just starting to perfect their pour over brews, looking for the sweet spot between flexibility and simplicity.
Are you in need of a reliable coffee grinder that won’t break the bank? If so, this Krups might be your pick. Given the price, you might think this model compromises on build quality and settings. But a closer look at the specs reveals the GX5000 is on par with more expensive units.
There are nine main levels of the grind fineness and each level has five intermediary steps. This gives you a total of 45 different settings to handle pour over coffee, Aeropress, or drip.
Another major benefit is the size: the Krups measures 4.29” x 7.24” x 10.4” and weighs 3.2 pounds. At the same time, this grinder has an 8oz hopper and a dial which lets you select the grounds amount from two to twelve. For extra safety, the GX5000 has micro-switches which prevent you from using the machine if the hopper is not properly closed or positioned.
It’s worth mentioning that this Krups has flat burrs and a removable grinding element. Of course, the package includes a cleaning brush and instructions on how to take out the burr.
BEST SUITED FOR: Coffee lovers who are strapped for cash. But it is also a great present for your loved one who is into pour over coffee.
Whichever way you look at it, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus ticks all the right boxes. On the outside, the unit looks professional and well-built. The high-quality plastic body is topped by a metal cover which makes the Virtuoso Plus stand out in any kitchen.
However, its appealing aesthetics are only surpassed by its brewing capacity and performance. It has 40 grind settings that let you explore different coffee brewing methods. Needless to say, the unit provides a consistent medium grind for your pour over, but it also works great as an espresso grinder.
Such versatility and performance partly come from the precision-engineered steel burrs. Similar to other Baratza grinders, the Virtuoso Plus has European-made burrs that are powered by a DC motor.
In addition, there is a digital timer with 0.1-second increments. The addition of the timer simplifies getting a fairly consistent dose (the quantity of your grounds), though for the best accuracy, you should still weigh your grounds with a scale (4). The backlit grinds container and LED display are nice additions. Finally, this Baratza is also relatively compact, measuring 6.69” x 6.69” x 12.6” and weighing 7 pounds.
When used with a full hopper, this new digital time dosing system allows you to get consistent doses without always requiring a scale. The new material seems to build up a bit less static which makes things tidy when pouring out grounds.Charles Kelso, coffee expert at Clive Coffee (testimonial)
BEST SUITED FOR: If you want the best grinder for your AeroPress, pour over, and any brew method in between, the Virtuoso Plus won’t fail to amaze you.
There are manual coffee grinders, and then there’s the Hario Skerton. This Japanese coffee mill is the best ceramic burr and the most portable model on this list. But what makes this manual grinder unique?
To start, the ceramic burr is built for consistency and durability. The Skerton hand grinder also has a small notch to adjust the grind size. As you twist the notch clockwise the grind becomes finer and vice versa. In all frankness, it might take some trial and error before you find the right setting for pour over.
This Hario measures 3.7” x 6.7” x 9.0” and weighs 1.2 pounds. The top section is made of high-quality plastic with a rubber lid. The grounds container is glass and it has 3.5oz capacity.
Finally, the Skerton mechanical mill has a nice ergonomic handle and a rubber base to prevent slipping. It’s easy to unscrew the handle to take the Skerton on the road.
BEST SUITED FOR: If you need a pour over coffee grinder to take camping, the Hario Skerton is the best choice.
How to Select the Best Coffee Grinder for Pour Over
Although simple to use, coffee grinders are sophisticated machines. Choose the wrong one and your coffee won’t taste right. The first thing to look for is the number of grind settings and then there’s a choice between electric and manual models. Simply put, there are a lot of great coffee grinder models and brands to choose from. But for pour over coffee, it is ideal to choose one that gives you better grind consistency.
Can It Grind for Many Styles of Brewing?
If you have your eyes set on a particular machine, the first thing to check out is the number of grind settings. At the lower end, grinders have around 11 different grind settings which may range from extra fine to extra coarse. This usually applies to manual coffee bean grinders, but some budget electric models also have fewer than 20 settings.
In general, the longer the water is in contact with the coffee, the coarser the grind… Medium-fine grind is an excellent starting point for a pour over. We are pouring water directly across the coffee beans, it’s not sitting there for very long, so we really want a finer grind.Andrew, a coffee expert at Stay Roasted
For the most part, between 11 and 20 settings should be okay for pour over because you are aiming for a medium-coarse or medium-fine grind. However, top of the line machines have 40 or more, allowing you to experiment when trying out different beans.
More importantly, more settings mean more versatility. This means you can quickly get a fine grind for your espresso and then switch to a coarse grind for French press or pour over with a simple turn of the wheel. What’s more, there are models that let you save presets and activate them at the press of a button.
Manual or Electric
Some may believe that there is no contest here – electric grinders are faster, more consistent, and easier to use. This standpoint is true, to an extent. But, don’t write off manual grinders just yet. Here’s what you should know.
Most manual models are designed for different brewing methods. Medium-coarse for your pour over or extra-fine grounds for Turkish coffee, there is a setting that provides consistent results. But, they have a limited number of settings and it might be hard to find the right one.
On the upside, manual grinders are usually very small and easy to transport. Plus, the cranking action gives the brewing ritual a special appeal. Though they require more maintenance and you can only put a few spoons of coffee beans into the hopper. (1)
The first electric grinders are not much younger than their manual siblings. They appeared at the end of the 19th century. (2) These belt-driven machines were big, loud, and bulky, but ideal for commercial purposes.
Fast forward some hundred and twenty years, and you can now get a compact, yet powerful home model. The main features are grinding speed and capacity, though you shouldn’t forget about the ability to fine-tune the grind size.
Consistency is the key for pour over or any other brewing method. This means you should be able to get the same result without having to change the settings. That being said, you might need to make small adjustments when switching beans or going for a different roast.
However, a great coffee grinder allows you to make the switch without too much hassle. For pour over, the grounds should be the size of sea salt, maybe a bit finer. You should be able to get it by setting the machine to a medium number, around 20 if there are 40 settings. (3)
Coffee grinder capacity doesn’t affect the grounds’ quality or consistency. However, it allows you to grind enough beans for more than one serving. You are probably brewing one pour over at a time, but what if you need fresh grounds for your drip coffee as well?
This is where a greater capacity comes in handy. Some grinders have an air-tight lid on the hopper to store and protect your beans and have the option to choose the amount for one or more cups.
Even though most electric models have a large grind container, it’s advisable to grind just before brewing and avoid storing the grounds in the container.
Buying the right machine allows you to get a consistent grind and try out different brewing methods. And rest assured, each model in this write-up excels in this respect.
However, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is the best of the best. With 40 grind settings, it’s on par with commercial models. The built-in timer allows you to grind precise doses without a scale. Finally, the Virtuoso Plus is super easy to use.
Yes, burr grinders are really better. A blade grinder cannot achieve the same consistency and particle size. In fact, there is no way to change grind settings on a blade grinder. The only real advantage of a blade grinder is the price.
Yes, pour over is worth every bit of effort you invest. The pour over method is superior to automatic drips because it yields a richer and more balanced brew. What’s more, manual brewing gives you a unique pleasure and makes the ritual almost meditative.
Pour over is better than French press if you prefer a more mellow and refined brew. If you are into a stronger taste and don’t mind coffee particles in your brew, the French press might be the right fit. All in all, it boils down to your personal preference.
- Hutson, C. (2017, September 19). The History of Peugeot Coffee Mills: Atlas Coffee Club. Retrieved from https://club.atlascoffeeclub.com/history-peugeot-coffee-mills/
- Dave. (2019, June 7). Coffee Grinder History. Retrieved from https://knowyourgrinder.com/coffee-grinder-history/
- Fuller, M., & Rao, N. Z. (2017, December 21). The Effect of Time, Roasting Temperature, and Grind Size on Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid Concentrations in Cold Brew Coffee. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29269877
- How to Dose Coffee. Grind by Volume, Time, or Weight. by Alexander Choppin. (0AD). Retrieved from https://www.baratza.com/how-to-dose-coffee-grind-by-volume-time-or-weight/
Husband, father and former journalist, I’ve combined my love of writing with my love of coffee to create this site. I love high end products, but write all my content with budget conscious coffee enthusiasts in mind. I prefer light roasts, and my normal brew is some sort of pour over, although my guilty pleasure is the occasional flat white.