What Is The Best Coffee Grinder For Pour Over Coffee

What Is The Best Coffee Grinder For Pour Over Coffee?

It is important that you find the best coffee grinder for pour over coffee as you must ensure that it helps you to get a better and more consistent grind size without spoiling your coffee beans.

This article takes the complexities out of grinders – Flat Burr or Conical Bur?, Blade grinder Or Burr grinder? Ceramic burr or Metal burr? Hand crank manual grinder or electric?

A grinder is not just a simple grinder, you need to get the best one that you can and invest in what will produce you the best possible and most delicious coffee.

Of course, you will be able to use it for a number of different coffee drinks, and it should last you a number of years.

This article takes out the complicated process and aims to help simplify it and help educate you in what to look for in quality coffee grinders.

Keep reading as dig down and talk about what to look for in the best coffee grinder for pour over coffee.

What Is The Best Grind Size For Pour Over?

Before we dig down and tell you what the ideal and bets grind size is for pour over coffee let’s discuss why grind size is important.

Why is Grind Size Important For Coffee Brewing?

The grind size is one of the important variables in coffee brewing. Using the wrong grind size or using the wrong grind settings, you will get a cup of coffee that is too strong and too overpowering or too weak, watery are more like a cup of tea than a cup of coffee.

If you are using great coffee beans you just won’t get the flavor notes that you are looking for extracted from them.

You can try to compensate for coffee grinds that are too large by increasing the extraction time and reducing your extraction time when your grinds are too small. You can also alter the temperature to compensate.

Hotter water extracts more, cold water extracts less.

These adjustments can only do so much and aid a bad grind and will not get you the perfect cup of coffee that you are seeking. They can only really compensate while you wait for a new grinder or your current one to get repaired.

What Is The Best Grind Size For Pour Over
Look closer and see how uneven the grinds are!

Read: Handheld coffee grinder

What Is The Ideal Grind Size For Pour Over Coffee?

The idea and perfect grind size for pour over coffee is a medium-coarse size for most pour over coffee makers. A Chemex pour over will require a slightly more coarse grind and use a coarse grind. This is due to the paper filter used with a Chemex being slightly thicker and having a longer extraction time.

What is just as important as the size of your grind is being able to get a good quality uniform grind size. This is because of the very reasons we have set out. Uneven non-uniform grinds will extract their flavors and compounds at different rates.

Consistency is very important. I’ll talk about which type of grinder will get greater consistency and a uniform grind size later.

Medium Coarse Grind Size
Medium coarse grind size.

How To Choose The Perfect Grinder For Pour Over Coffee

A hand-cranked grinder is a lot cheaper and is good to use when you are travelling or for those that love the art of making coffee. You get a grind that is dialed in, good size setting variability and good consistency in size to brew most coffee drinks and get a great cup and good quality flavor profile extracted from the coffee grinds.

It is labor intensive and much slower process that puts most people off. An electric burr grinder is much preferred for the grinding of coffee on a daily basis.

This is where the complexities start. There is much greater heat dissipation from electric grinders which has an adverse effect on your ground coffee as it starts to bloom them early and thus causes a slight loss in flavor.

There there is the aspect of ceramic burrs vs metal burrs – the benefit of which is heat insulation from the cermic burrs and thus less heat dissipated when grinding which makes ceramic a better material.

Coffee lovers and coffee enthusiasts that love metal stainless steel grinders will point out that metal burrs stay sharper for longer and thus a better quality of grind for longer.

This is not at all a concern as it is a part that is easily replaced and I, personally don’t think there is much of difference in terms of how long they will last. Maybe only a few months of a difference.

For me, the greatest factor is the quality of grind produced, consistency in size and a reduction in heat.

One easy trick to test a ceramic burr grinder for quality is to check its weight. If it is heavy it is a quality ceramic burr grinder made of stronger and more durable components.

A great brand that makes durable tough long lasting grinders is Baratza. Their designs look good and use very reponsible manufacturing processes. They also have a number of spare parts available so you can fix your current grinder, replace the worn out burrs rather than you buying a new one just because of the worn out burrs, which saves on waste and landfill usage.

They do this even for their obsolete model.

Blade Grinders vs. Burr Grinders

Blade grinders work well for spices but it is not something that I would recommend that you use for coffee.

If you own a blade grinder, go buy a burr grinder and gift your old blade grinder to someone who does not appreciate coffee!

The functionality of a blade grinder is that it functions like two machettes that are slicing your coffee beans with little to no regard for the size.

Everyone in coffee culture knows this is bad. Very bad!

The design of burr styled coffee grinders have the capacity to grind your coffee beans in a uniform manner and achieve a consistent size time and time again.

The reason for this is that they really do grind your beans using a crushing action. They crush your beans between the grooves until they are of the preselected size. This is a very different process from the cutting action of blade grinders.

Unfortunately, with a burr grinder, you have fewer choices. The two main options are an electric burr grinder or a manual burr grinder and when you choose which of the two you want, you will have to choose between a conical burr or a flat burr.

Let’s now dig in to those sub topics!

Blade Grinders vs. Burr Grinders
Note the difference in consistency.

Electric Burr Grinder Vs Manual Burr Grinder

A manual coffee grinder, also known as a hand-cranked grinder, is a cheaper option and, as mentioned, great when travelling. It is still a good quality burr grinder that will get you good results.

It is small enough choice for camping and provided you have the space for fresh coffee beans and the rest of your pour over coffee gear or moka pot and as long as you do not make coffee for too many people as grinding can be time-consuming.

The problem of grinding for multiple cups and a matter of convenience, is solved with an electric grinder coffee grinder.

Heat wise, there is actually very little between them as manufacturers like Baratza have low speed grinders that solve that problem and reduce both the speed of the burrs, the heat produced and the noise.

Electric Burr Grinder Vs Manual Burr Grinder
Electric Burr Grinder Vs Manual Burr Grinder

Ceramic Burrs Or Stainless Steel Burrs

A conical burr grinder gives you two choices, stainless steel metal or ceramic. While I am not a material scientist and this topics is debate amongst coffee aficionados regarding which is best and why.

As I have already stated – sharpness, which is not really something that should come in to the debate as a burr grinder uses a crushing force to grind coffee beans. The question is heat resistance, which to me makes ceramic burrs a much better choice.

While it is true that metal is more durable, but your ceramic burrs are not likely to break any time soon. Just don’t go about dropping them! Even at that, the burrs are replaceable.

Coffee enthusiasts prefer ceramic burr for the very reason of no losing any flavors due to the reduction in heat transfer and slight bloom of the grounds prior to brewing, meaning that no additional flavors are lost.

Conical burrs as the preferred shape as far as I am concerned, as in my opinion, they are far easier to clean than a flat burr.

Ceramic Burrs Or Stainless Steel Burrs
A ceramic burr.

Gauging The Quality Of Burr Grinders

I touched on this earlier. Gauging the quality of your burr grinder is easy. The easiest way is to check its weight online or physically pick it up. At least 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) should be the minimum weight.

The heavier the grinder, the better quality the materials used in its construction. Lighter weight grinders have more light-weight plastic materials which are weaker and less durable.

A long warranty period is also a sign that I look for as it shows that the company has confidence in their products and that they are well-made and durable. They expect them to last.

The Top 2 Best Coffee Grinder For Pour Over Coffee

I have narrowed down my choice of the best coffee grinder for pour over coffee to just two grinder – a simple choice for you.

A or B! Or should I say the Baratza Encore Grinder or The Baratza Virtuoso Grinder. These are specifically chosen by intention. You have a choice of a ceramic conical burr grinder and a stainless steel conical burr grinder.

The Baratza Encore

The Baratza encore is described as high quality entry level grinder, Personally, I rate it as much higher and good enough for expert home baristas. It is not one I’d use for commercial use as the grind size is limited to 250 microns at the smallest to 1,200 at the largest.

The smaller end you will need something smaller than 200 microns, more so if the coffee shop in question wishes to brew Turkish coffee.

With 40 settings, you can rest assured you have plenty of settings for the perfect grind size for all coffee drinks and brewing methods that you are going to make at home.

Baratza Encore Grinder Settings

Please use this table below as a guide for which settings to use with the Baratza Encore coffee grinder.

Type Of Coffee Drink  Baratza Encore Grind Setting
Turkish Coffee 1-3
Espresso 4-9
Aeropress 4-23
Moka Pot 4-16
V60 11-16
Pour Over 11-29
Siphon 11-29
Flat Drip 17-23
Drip Machine 17-23
Chemex 24-29
French Press 31-36
Cupping 31-36
Percolator 31-36
Cold Brew 31-40
Cowboy 37-40

Baratza Virtuoso

The Baratza Virtuoso is said by many to be a better grinder than the Baratza Encore and step up due to the ability to ability for it to produce greater consistency and the ability to make more micro adjustments to the grind size.

Baratza Virtuoso Grinder Settings

Here are some suggested setting that you can use with the Baratza Virtuoso coffee grinder.

Type Of Coffee Baratza Virtuoso Grind Setting Extraction Time
Espresso 8 ~ 20 Sec To 30 Seconds
Aeropress 12 ~ 1:30 To 2 Min
Hario V60 15 ~ 2:30 Min To 3 Min
Automatic brewer 18 ~ 3 MMin To 5 Min
Chemex 20 ~3 Min To 5 Min
French Press 28 ~4 mins

Final Thoughts, Frappé-Ing It All Up, Best Coffee Grinder For Pour Over

The best coffee grinder for pour over coffee is undoubtedly a straight fight between two great coffee grinders by the same manufacturer Baratza.

I have given you two choices as some people will prefer a metal burr while others a ceramic burr. A secondary reason is there is a big difference in price. Personally, when I am selecting a grinder of high quality and one that has spare parts and will make them (as Baratza will) when the machine or model becomes obsolete, it is not something I consider, as grinders, good quality grinders will last you at least 10 years.

Take good care of them and this will last even longer. The only things that will ever need replacing are your burrs and the electric motor, which should not need replacing at all unless you are making extreme amounts of coffee!

Coffee is love, it's more than love — it's a passion of mine. I've had the luck to have travelled and enjoyed the most exotic of coffee's and unique flavors, brewing methods and techniques of making the perfect coffee from Thai hill tribe coffee to Indonesian volcanic coffee, Malaysian coffee that comes in a tea bag and the array of flavors in Vietnam, from Vanilla to Orange to Coconut to Avocado to even salt coffee and the famous egg coffee. The best part of my coffee adventures is getting to mix with the locals over a nice brew and learning how they make it! I'm cited and referenced on Google Scholar for the topic of coffee.

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