If your daily grind doesn’t start with a daily grind, you’re doing it wrong. A properly-made, punchy cup of coffee is the one and only way to start your day. And we mean properly-made. None of these pre-ground beans. None of that freeze-dried stuff. And if you even think about reaching for a jar of that musty, dusty instant nonsense then you’re a lost cause.
Because you need to grind your coffee fresh. As any discerning barista will tell you, the taste of your exquisite, essential morning cup comes from the oils in your coffee beans. And, once ground, the process with which they go stale speeds up. The coffee is compromised by atmospheric moisture, it begins oxidising and many compounds — such as CO2 — escape before they even make it to your espresso.
That means, when you buy ground coffee, it’s already spent weeks stagnating on a supermarket shelf. And that’s no good at all. The solution? Simple, as it happens. A grinder. Like the coffee itself, these grand little gadgets come in many different types — and we’ve spilled the beans on the best below…
Get your morning going with a manual grinder
We know, you haven’t had your morning cup of coffee yet — but get your grinding arm going and it’ll be your last ounce of energy well spent. Manually grinding your beans is as close to your coffee as you’re likely to get (unless you’ve got a secret plantation out in Honduras you jet off to every summer). And, what’s more, it’ll give you a newfound appreciation for the percolating process.
Our first people-powered pick is this handsome gold and black grinder from Stelton. A Nordic brand, it partnered with Italian duo Daniel Debiasi and Fredrico Sandri to create this minimalist design — and then coated it in Teflon for toughness. Kilner’s dependably practical offering incorporates a jar, meaning you grind directly into a handy storage container. And this refined grinder from Peugeot has a high quality mechanism, five grind settings — and a hefty price tag.
Stelton Collar Coffee Grinder
Kilner Coffee Grinder
Peugeot L'Arbre à Café Coffee Mill
An electric grinder will make your smooth roast even smoother
Of course, we’ve not all got the time — or energy — for an early morning manual grind. And that means plugging in an electric option instead. Modestly priced and exceedingly helpful, these small appliances will make a welcome addition to your kitchen counter — and leave the whiff of freshly ground beans wafting about your house all day.
With 17 settings, depending on your personal taste and brewing method, this professional-quality grinder from Krups is airtight to ensure your beans don’t lose any of their potent aroma during the grinding process. Bodum’s Bistro blade grinder features a transparent lid, so you can keep an eye on the coarseness of your grind. And Smeg’s retro-style coffee grinder is as much an objet d’art as it is an appliance — with capacity for up to 350 grams of beans; enough for 50 deep, rich cups.
Krups Expert Burr Grinder
Bodum Bistro Electric Grinder
Smeg Coffee Grinder
Make the smart move with an intuitive coffee grinder
You may cry ‘overengineering!’ — but is there even such a thing when it comes to a great cup of coffee? If your pockets are deep enough, and your beans expensive enough, why not enter the world of high-end smart grinders? True, many will cost more than your coffee machine itself — but they’re an investment worth making.
From Sage, the Smart Grinder Pro uses dosing IQ technology to ensure precise and consistent grinding. There are presets for French press, filter and espresso, and the high precision burr calibration softly smashes beans to preserve flavour. Baratza’s Sette 270 is similarly intuitive. Its conical design is truly revolutionary, and the built-in convertible holder allows you to grind directly into your portafilter. Or, for a truly bespoke blend, De’Longhi’s professional-grade grinder has an LCD digital display — with which you can tailor everything from grind level to aroma control.
Sage The Smart Grinder Pro
Baratza Sette 270
De’Longhi Dedica Coffee Grinder