Buy an espresso grinder – why fresh grinding is simply better.

Would you like to immerse yourself in the world of espresso? Then you can't avoid freshly ground beans. But why is freshly ground so important? This is because your coffee reacts with oxygen. When coffee comes into contact with oxygen for the first time, many of the great aromas evaporate.

This applies to whole beans and especially to ground coffee . The finer the coffee is ground, the more surface area it offers and the faster it loses its aroma. That's exactly why a coffee grinder is essential to get the most out of your freshly roasted beans. In general, your grinder is more important than your espresso machine. Because even the best portafilter cannot compensate for poor grinds. But what is actually important in a good espresso grinder? And which espresso grinder should you buy? You can find out here what distinguishes the most common models and how they work.

What is the difference to the normal coffee grinder?

The time has come. You want to buy an espresso grinder and finally start making really delicious espresso at home. But before we get into the models, let's quickly clarify an important question. Why isn't a normal coffee grinder enough?

To make espresso, you need to grind your beans very finely. Even very small changes make a big difference here. With most cheap coffee grinders it is hardly possible to adjust the grinding level perfectly to your coffee. How finely you have to grind depends on various factors, such as the degree of roasting, but also your portafilter machine itself. With a good espresso grinder, you can adjust the grinding level precisely and thus end up with a much more balanced espresso in the cup. Buying an espresso grinder is an investment in good taste!

Now that we have clarified that, we now move on to the different models and we will clarify which mill suits you best.

Hand mill or electric?

One thing in advance: you will have to spend a little money for a good espresso grinder. It doesn't matter whether it is an electric model or a manual one. You will be rewarded with excellent espresso - fair trade, right? But now to the main differences between the two variants.

Of course there are deductions here for convenience. A double espresso is a little arm workout every time. In addition, only around 40 grams of coffee fit into the collecting container.

Hand grinders are particularly suitable for coffee fans who rarely prepare several drinks at a time and value a good price-performance ratio.

Who should buy a hand mill

Hand mills often offer high quality grinding materials with a good price-performance ratio. Grinders like the Comandante C40, for example, deliver significantly better results than electric models for the same price. Plus, their compact size makes them easy to store. This is a decisive advantage, especially for kitchens with little space. Another plus point: hand mills are significantly quieter. This is due to the low speed - which is limited by your crank power.

Of course there are deductions here for convenience. A double espresso is a little arm workout every time. In addition, only around 40 grams of coffee fit into the collecting container.

Hand grinders are particularly suitable for coffee fans who rarely prepare several drinks at a time and value a good price-performance ratio.

Who should buy an electric espresso grinder?

An electric espresso grinder is simply more convenient. Slightly more expensive models in particular offer many extras that make grinding child's play. Timer, setting of double and single shot – a lot is taken care of for you here. Some grinders even weigh the grounds for consistent brewing results. The high speed also means you can grind a lot of coffee in a short time.

This in turn is reflected in the price. An electric espresso grinder costs more than comparable hand grinders. Lack of space and noise can sometimes become a problem here.

Electric mills are particularly suitable for you if you value comfort. For this you are willing to spend a little more money and create space in your kitchen. A great model for espresso lovers is the Mahlkönig X54 . It offers the usual Mahlkönig quality for home use.

Which grinder is the best?

Conical grinder or disc grinder – which is best for espresso? Small disappointment: this cannot be said in general terms. Both grinders have their advantages and disadvantages. So let's briefly talk about the most important points.


Disc grinders consist of two rings that lie flat on top of each other. They are often horizontally oriented and have angled teeth. Your grind level is determined by the distance between the rings. The high speed now pushes the beans through the grinder using centrifugal force.

With conical grinders, however, everything happens vertically. Here one part sits inside the other. The outer part is a circular, hollow ring with angled teeth. Imagine a muffin tin without the bottom. The inner part is conical and becomes wider towards the bottom. Viewed from above, it can look star-shaped or flower-shaped. Due to the vertical structure, high speeds were not required. Gravity is completely sufficient here. This is exactly why hand mills always have conical grinders.

Advantages and disadvantages

Both grinders have a few advantages and disadvantages due to their design. Due to the high speed, mills with disc grinders can heat up more quickly. This affects your grind. So if you grind several hundred grams of coffee in one go, you have to adjust your grind. Conical grinders stay “cool” here. Due to the low speed, they heat up much more slowly.

One aspect that is often highlighted is particle distribution. This mystical term simply means how much the size of your coffee grounds differs from grain to grain. Disc grinders are usually ahead here. However, the quality of the mill is extremely important here. Rule of thumb: cheap grinder almost always means larger particle distribution.

Another point is the volume. Conical grinders are often quieter than disc grinders. This is also due to the lower speed. However, expensive mills with disc grinders try to compensate for the noise through their design. So if you invest a little more, you won't wake up the neighbors even with a disc grinder.

Last but not least – dead space. Dead space means how much coffee powder is left in your grinder. If a lot of ground material remains in the grinder, your next espresso may taste a little weak. Because of their design, conical grinders generally have less dead space. That's why single dosing mills like the Niche Zero have a conical grinder. So if you change your coffee often or only drink one espresso a day, a conical grinder may be worth it.

Conclusion: Which espresso grinder should you buy?

In the end it can be said: Differences in the grinder make little difference in home use. When buying your espresso grinder, you should pay more attention to quality and workmanship. The functions of your mill should also play a larger role than the grinder. So if you find a great grinder that suits you, don't let the grinder put you off.

Espresso lovers who only have a limited budget can use a hand grinder. Here you get excellent grinds for a good price.

If you value a high level of comfort and have a slightly larger budget, you should choose an electric espresso grinder. It's worth investing a little more, especially with electric mills.