Anyone who decides they want to start brewing coffee at home needs to decide whether to invest in a manual or electric coffee bean grinding machine.
There are lots of variables to think about. However, to help you decide, in this article, we will provide a good overview of some of the best features of the two different types.
It will without a doubt be easier to select the right coffee grinder for your home by first outlining your values and goals.
Are you looking for the most convenient grinder? Do you mind owning a machine that makes a lot of noise? What is your budget? Do you want to produce extra-fine espresso grounds?
There are many questions you need to ask yourself.
So, let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of the different types of grinding machines.
MANUAL COFFEE GRINDERS
Manual coffee grinders offer mid to high grinding performance and can output grounds of uniform sizes.
Size consistency of grounds is what's required for the best-tasting coffee. Manual grinders can produce a variety of different grind sizes, including fine espresso grounds, but often lack the ability to make micro-adjustments to grind size.
One of the great things about manual coffee grinders is that they are generally very compact. This makes them ideal for those who like to travel with their brewing equipment.
What's more, thanks to their simple mechanisms, manual grinders also tend to be considerably more durable than electric models.
They consist of a small bean hopper, twin grinding burrs and a grounds collector. All the parts are connected by a metal rod.
Even high-end super sophisticated manual grinders are more rudimentarily constructed than electric grinders, which have multiple gears and electronic circuitry. As a consequence, cleaning hand grinders is very easy.
Manual grinders are powered entirely by elbow grease. But, the task is not hard and grinding small volumes of coffee beans is quick.
That said, for some folks, such as those with arthritis, grinding by hand can be a little more difficult and perhaps even painful. Furthermore, grinding large quantities of beans manually can be tiring.
So, if you plan to regularly entertain large groups of coffee lovers, an electric grinder is likely to be a better option.
The benefits of manual grinders generally largely outweigh any of the drawbacks.
The grinders are inexpensive -- around $20 to $50 -- reliable, easy-to-operate and provide you with the ability to enjoy freshly ground coffee at home for years.
If you were to buy find an electric grinder in the same price range, it would likely be a blade grinder type, which is best avoided.
Manual Coffee Grinder Benefits
- Low cost
- Easy to use
- Super Durable
- Mid-high consistent grinding performance
Manual Coffee Grinder Drawbacks
- Elbow-grease required
- Grinding for large groups is tiring
- No micro-adjustments to grind size
ELECTRIC COFFEE GRINDING MACHINES
The difference in quality between entry-level electric coffee grinders and mid to high-end models is massive.
I'll be honest with you and say it's best to avoid any electric models under $100, as you can expect better performance from a $20 manual grinder.
Cheap electric models are known for having false burrs, which are unable to grind coffee beans into uniform grounds. What's more, cheap plastic components and poor wiring are commonplace with low-end electric grinders.
The first electric grinder I bought cost me $60. Not three months passed before I replaced it with a $30 manual grinder.
The improved grinding consistency and extended grind size range were very evident from day one in the taste of my brews.
High-quality electric coffee grinders, meanwhile, are real powerhouses. At the touch of a bottom, durable gears turn the super-sharp burrs which grind the beans into uniform particles.
In addition, some models have automatic dosing options, so you don't have to manually weigh your coffee beans.
However, convenience and quality power grinding come at a price. And, if you're just starting your venture into the magical land of speciality coffee, investing $200 in an electric grinder is not something you're likely to be ready for. (The good news is that you can pick up a high-quality manual grinder for less than $30.)
Top-rated electric grinders often have more than 40 different grind size options, ranging from French press to espresso.
With so many settings available, it's possible to make micro-adjustments to achieve your desired coffee ground size.
It's by using micro-adjustments that speciality coffee shops create the best espresso.
Unfortunately, one key drawback of electric grinders is that they tend to be very noisy. That said, if you need to grind beans for a large coffee gathering, they sure are more convenient than manual grinders.
Electric Grinder Benefits
- Large range of grind size options
- Excellent grinding performance
Electric Grinder Drawbacks
- Entry-level models have very poor performance
- Electricity source required for operation
- Cheap models have limited grind size options