Coffee Grinder Buyers Guide
Sirius Coffee International is the authorised distributor of the Macap, Iberital, Mazzer and Compak coffee grinders within Australia and S/E Asia. Sirius Coffee International can supply a coffee grinder catering for the home market all the way through to larger deli grinders capable of grinding tonnage of coffee beans.
Selecting the most appropriate coffee grinder will depend on a number of factors such as clients preferences and primary usage and also by the amount the client is willing to spend.
Domestic coffee grinders and lower end commercial coffee grinders will be suitable for home and smaller offices who consume small amounts of coffee throughout a day. For cafe’s, restaurant’s, larger offices and mobile coffee carts who require larger volume particularly at peak periods, then a commercial coffee grinder is required.
Do I Need A Coffee Grinder?
Yes. If you are intending to purchase a coffee machine, you’ll need purchase a suitable coffee grinder. Ground coffee goes stale very quickly within a matter of minutes, so having the ability to freshly grind whole bean roasted coffee is the essential ingredient to obtaining the perfect espresso. Old and stale ground coffee will not achieve a good espresso. There would be a lack of crème and the flavour would be flat and dull. You can’t make great espresso at home or at a café without a quality burr coffee grinder.
Our small domestic coffee grinders start at around $300 and will go into the thousands for commercial coffee grinders. But typically around the $300 to $600 range will suit most of our domestic buyers. For commercial around the $750 to $1500 will be a guide.
This buying guide will help speed the shortlist of potential coffee grinders for consideration.
There are inexpensive small hand grinders out on the market. They are however terrific for many manual methods of producing coffee. Whilst not as good as a high end domestic coffee grinders nor a low end commercial coffee grinders they are a significant step up from the blade coffee grinder type. Whilst also a little manual intensive, they will grind the coffee beans at a low RPM.
Blade Verses Burr Coffee Grinders
There are two classes of grinders: blade and burr. Whilst cheap blade grinders are sold as coffee grinders by many department stores, they should be avoided at all costs for the grinding of coffee. These blade grinders should be only used for the grinding of spices and not roasted coffee beans. Of the burr grinders, there are cheap and expensive conical burr grinders and the flat burr grinders.
Flat Burrs Verses Conical Burrs
The burrs are the part of the grinder which crushes the coffee beans into a uniform and consistent size which is essential for extracting coffee. There are two types of burrs namely conical or flat.
Both burr grinders have one stationary burr whilst the motor turns the other. A conical burrs grinder have two cone shaped burrs with ridges that grind/crush the coffee. For flat burrs this is typically flat in shape.
Doser Coffee Grinders
Doser grinders were fairly popular in the early 2000’s and were found in most cafes and the homes of those who were serious about coffee. This is where the dosing chamber continues to fill up with ground coffee only switching off until the sensor detects that the dosing chamber is full (around 250 grams of ground coffee).
The limitation of this class of grinders is if the dosing chamber is allowed to fill, the coffee in the doser is likely to become stale within a few minutes. Switched on cafes began grinding through their doser by switching the grinder on only when coffee was required, clicking until they had a suitable dose and then switching the grinder off. Whilst grind on demand grinders have become more popular, there is still a place for doser grinders in the domestic and commercial scene.
Grind On Demand Coffee Grinders
Grind on demand grinders have been around for a few years, but represent the latest and best in coffee bean grinding technology. With grind on demand, you grind only when you need a shot of ground coffee. The coffee beans are ground on demand into your portafilter basket for immediate use. With no dosing chamber, this reduces the potential for ground coffee to go stale as you only use the ground coffee when required. Whilst this type of coffee grinder has spread in popularity, you do get a massive range of options varying from $300 upwards to $5,000 plus.
Price Range Coffee Grinder Options
< $100 – Hand grinders & Blade Coffee Grinders.
These are the most affordable of the coffee grinder options, but as been previously highlighted blade coffee grinders should not be used for grinding coffee beans. These should be used only for grinding spices. Hand grinders are an option, but if finances permit you should upgrade to the high end domestic coffee grinder range.
< $300 – High End Domestic Coffee Grinders.
The pick of the bunch is Iberital Challenge Auto or Iberital Challenge Manual. These are a high end domestic coffee grinder which in the past has had a life span of several years and upwards. These are capable of grinding up to 2 Kg per week. The grinding range is not a good as the commercial coffee grinders and noise (DB) is quite high. But for lower grind volumes, this is a good option.
$301 to $749 – Flat Burr Commercial Coffee Grinders.
This represents the best value for money for most coffee applications. At this price point, you are purchasing a small commercial grinder which will grind on demand into your portafilter.
These grinders will produce very consistent particle size and with care will last for around 10 plus years. Examples include the Compak K3 Push, Compak K3 TouchMacap M2M GOD and Macap M2D GOD which offers exceptional performance and superior grind retention.
Some grinders in this class have stepped grind settings, some offer continuously variable grind. We prefer continuously variable grind where possible. The smaller variants usually have a stepped adjustment and so long as the steps are small (i.e Macap), this compromise is fine. The Macap M2M GOD coffee grinder and the Macap M2D GOD coffee grinder are also quite compact for tight spaces.
$900 to $2000 – Coffee Connoisseur
These are exceptionally acclaimed coffee grinders for coffee connoisseur and cafe or restaurant or office. While grind quality is identical to the flat burr grinders above, you purchase the convenience of a digital timer and the ability to quickly grind coffee. This allows you to set the particle size and then adjust the grind time in 0.1 second increments or even 0.05 seconds in some variants for accurate and repeatable dose and shot consistency.
$2001 upwards – Top End Commercial Professional
These are the top-of-the-line coffee grinders for the very serious coffee connoisseur and large café or restaurant or deli. These coffee grinders are generally conical burrs but it’s not a case of the same grind quality as the cheaper variety. These big, very fast coffee grinders run large burr sets and need big motors and powerful gearboxes to operate them. The burrs rotate more slowly than those of flat burr grinders. The grind quality improves again with exceptional coffee grinding ranges. Many can go from French Press to Turkish coffee.
At the highest range Compak produces the Deli series such as the Compak Deli R8,Compak Deli R80, Compak Deli R100, Compak Deli R120 and the 3 Phase Compak Deli R140. You will be grinding volume coffee at exceptionally quick rates and these burrs are capable of grinding many tonnes of coffee before you need to re-sharpen the burrs!
The next step is to contact us and visit our Ashburton showroom to view all our coffee grinders and we will showcase each coffee grinder to help you to make the right decision. With over 70 machines and grinders to view, we’ll guarantee that you’ll find the perfect coffee machine and coffee grinder.