Why are coffee grinders so expensive?

When you start to look at Google for coffee grinders you quickly realise there is a wide range of information and opinions on what would appear to be a seemingly straightforward product – a coffee grinder.  So why the big difference in price? And why are some coffee grinders so expensive?

Burrs

One of the key factors in making a really great cup of coffee is the uniform particle size of the coffee grinds. To achieve this the coffee grinder burrs that crush your coffee beans need to be the highest-quality and have great precision to achieve a consistent grind size. 

There are two main types of burrs – flat, as found in the Fellow Ode Brew Grinder, and conical, like those found in the Baratza Encore. And two different camps on which are best for grinding your coffee. The truth is both have benefits and even grinder maestro Baratza manufactures some coffee grinders with flat and some with conical burrs.

There is a common misconception is that flat burrs retain more coffee, but clever domed designs help avoid this. Flat burr sets have two compatible shapes that lay parallel with each other. Conical burr sets consist of a ring and cone shape that fit in each other. Both have gaps to allow coffee bean ground particles to pass through – these gaps are your grind setting.

Materials

Another factor in price is the quality of the materials used to build the coffee grinder. As you are probably aware there is cheap plastic and there is quality plastic. Higher-priced grinders, where they have plastic, will use more expensive plastics, reflecting in the price.  

You will also notice some use stainless steel. This gives a more solid base and therefore a more constant grind particle size and a longer life. The Baratza Forte is a great example of this, with its well-engineered stainless-steel casing, we voted it our top pick for the Hardest Wearing Grinder of 2022.

Features

A more expensive grinder could also have some really cool features. Features such as a timer, automatic weight, or a touch screen to name a few.

For example, the Baratza Forte features an intuitive touch screen interface to control weight and time, and the Baratza Vario W+ features an integrated real-time scale to give accurate doses to a tenth of a gram.

The coffee grinder is the best single product you can buy to elevate your coffee game. It can make all the difference, so it would be our number one suggestion to invest in. Our top picks for the best grinders of 2022 can be found here.

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