Did you know that freshly ground coffee starts to oxidize or lose its freshness almost immediately? Once ground, you should use it within 15 minutes. For espresso grounds, it should be used within a minute or so. Knowing this, it might make you question how fresh pre-ground coffee actually is. Yes, it’s true that it won’t go stale for months, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t lost its freshness.
When you’re using the pour-over coffee method, like with a Chemex, you want the freshest coffee available so you can truly appreciate the depth of flavor that develops as the coffee grounds bloom.
The solution, then, is to get a coffee grinder. There are so many options on the market, however, that researching the different kinds can become frustrating. We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of reviews of our favorite coffee grinders so you can easily find the best one for you. Read on for our list of the five best coffee grinders for Chemex:
Comparison of Our Favorites for 2021:
|Top Pick||Capresso Infinity||
|Premium Choice||Breville The Smart Grinder Pro||
|Cuisinart Supreme Grind||
The 5 Best Coffee Grinders for Chemex — Reviews:
1. Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder — Top Pick
Our top pick is the Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder because it has a unique feature: It allows you to grind the beans fine enough for Turkish coffee. It has 16 settings but is very easy to use. The clear hopper holds up to 8.8 ounces of beans, which is a fairly large capacity. We liked that it has a timer and automatically switches off when it has finished grinding. It’s made out of quality materials: stainless steel for the conical burr grinder and zinc die-cast housing.
The only potential problem we found with this one is that it can get clogged easily if you don’t regularly clean it. Luckily, it includes a cleaning brush. We recommend cleaning it after every use to prevent clogging.
2. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder — Best Budget Buy
For those on a budget, you can’t go wrong with the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder. It’s inexpensive yet made of quality materials like stainless steel and ceramic for the burr grinder. It has 18 adjustable grind settings and is much quieter than electric grinders. Best of all, it’s portable. The hand crank is detachable, which makes it even slimmer and easier to travel with.
However, this isn’t the best tool if you plan to grind many coffee beans at once. It has a small capacity — only about five tablespoons of beans. The grind crank can also detach during grinding, which can be frustrating.
3. Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro — A High-End Model
If you’re looking for a professional-level grinder with a high capacity, then the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a great choice. It has 60 grind settings and an 18-ounce coffee bean capacity in its hopper. The precision electronic timer allows you to dial up the exact grind setting you need. We especially liked that you can grind directly into a portafilter. Lastly, the LCD screen makes it easy to see the grind setting and grinding time.
It’s pricey, though, which you may have already expected from a professional-level grinder. Perhaps because of this large capacity, the motor wears out quickly, a problem that is compounded if it’s not cleaned properly, especially if you like oily beans.
4. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder is another great choice for use with Chemex brewers, as it has 12 adjustable grind settings and a conical burr grinder. This allows you to pick the best grind type for your tastes while using the pour-over method. It holds a fairly large number of beans: 7.75 ounces. The hopper and catcher are both made of glass, which makes for easy cleanup.
Unfortunately, despite the burr grinder being made of stainless steel, the gears are made of plastic. Because of this, the motor breaks down easily. Pieces of the coffee beans and grounds often get stuck in the burrs, so daily maintenance is required to keep it from clogging. It also seems like the motor isn’t powerful enough for the output, as it struggles to keep up with a large number of beans. And it’s slow at grinding. This might not be the best choice if you need it to make several cups of coffee at once.
5. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is unique in that it allows you to select how many cups of coffee you need, and it will grind the necessary amount of beans for that amount. When the grind cycle is complete, the mill turns itself off. It also has 18 adjustable grind settings, so you can choose how fine or coarse you’d like the grounds to be. The hopper holds eight ounces of beans, and the catcher can hold enough grounds for 32 ounces of coffee.
Unfortunately, despite these unique features, the mill produces inconsistent grind size. Because of this, it clogs easily. The mill also has an 18-month warranty, but it’s not a very good one. The customer must pay for shipping and handling, which can become costly. This particular grinder is also noisy and takes a long time to grind, which can be frustrating first thing in the morning. It also produces a great deal of static, which causes the ground coffee to stick to the catcher rather than easily pouring into your Chemex filter.
When you’re shopping for a coffee grinder for your Chemex, there are many factors to consider. For this reason, we’ve made a list of important features to look for. Read on for our buying guide on coffee grinders.
Type of Blade
There are a few different types of blades used in coffee grinders: blade grinders, burr grinders, and conical burr grinders.
• Blade grinders are generally the least expensive, but that’s because they do a poor job at cutting the beans into precise and uniform pieces. Blade grinders are like tiny blenders, with a propeller-like blade that can only slice one way.
• Burr grinders are more precise in cutting the beans because of their teeth-like blades, but they can be slow, especially in a manual grinder.
• Conical burr grinders have the most precision in cutting beans efficiently and uniformly. They are made up of two cones with teeth that the beans are chopped up in between. Generally, these are the most expensive kind of grinders.
Electric or Manual
Grinders come in electric or battery-powered options, which can make grinding faster but much louder. A manual grinder is portable, especially in situations where you don’t have access to electricity, but it does take a little hand strength.
Hoppers come in small sizes, like with manual grinders — only about five tablespoons or so of coffee beans at a time — and large sizes, like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, which has an 18-ounce bean capacity. The ideal one just depends on your needs. If you’re going to be grinding beans enough to make several cups of coffee in the morning, then you should look into grinders with a larger hopper capacity. But if you’re only going to be grinding enough for a cup or two, capacity doesn’t matter as much.
Adjustable Grind Settings
Because Chemex recommends a medium-coarse grind, you’ll want a grinder that has adjustable grind settings. The more grind settings it has, the more control you’ll have over your exact output. You may, for example, find that you like your grounds to be more on the coarse side for Chemex. A grinder that allows you to make small adjustments can help you find the perfect grind for your taste.
It’s important that the grinder is made of quality materials — like stainless steel or ceramic, without any plastic parts — because it’s a machine that will get a lot of use. Inferior parts can break down easily. So, even if the cost is more upfront, it’s worth it to be sure it’s made of materials that will last.
Some of the grinders on our list include ones that have features like an electronic timer, LCD screen, or an automatic shut-off. If you’re buying one of the more expensive grinders, then it’s expected that it will include extras. These aren’t essential to getting a great coffee grinder, though — they’re more like fun bonuses.
Our top pick is the Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder because it’s made of quality materials, has great durability, and features many adjustable grind settings. We were especially impressed that it has a fine enough setting for Turkish coffee.
For our budget buy, we recommend the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder because it’s made of quality materials despite being inexpensive. Its 18 adjustable grind settings give you a great deal of flexibility and control over your coffee grounds, and we appreciate that it’s portable and doesn’t require electricity.
We hope our reviews and buying guide have been helpful in your search for the best coffee grinder for Chemex. But most importantly, we hope you use a grinder to start enjoying the freshest-tasting coffee available. Your taste buds will thank you.
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Featured image credit: congerdesign, Pixabay
Table of Contents
- Comparison of Our Favorites for 2021:
- The 5 Best Coffee Grinders for Chemex — Reviews:
- Buyer’s Guide