Are you interested in getting a superior flavor from your coffee beans? Did you know that grind size can make a huge difference? Many manual or electric coffee grinders are available in the market for grinding coffee beans. And, many expert baristas prefer either manual coffee grinders or electric ones. So, are manual coffee grinders better than electric?
The answer is that it depends on your budget, patience, and other preferences. Manual grinders are portable and less costly but take much longer to grind up coffee beans. Electric grinders will grind coffee beans in seconds, but are more expensive and require a power outlet. Both are good options, however, so you just need to pick which one best fits your needs.
Which one should you go for? It’s a matter of personal choice. Let’s go over the pros and cons of each.
Why Should You Grind Your Own Coffee?
You may think pre-ground coffee is an easy solution; why spend extra time grinding? There are actually many problems with pre-ground coffees that you’ll avoid grinding your own.
- When ground coffee is stored for a long time, it loses its freshness and has a risk of contamination.
- Almost all pre-ground coffees lose their delicate aromas.
- If not properly packaged and stored, pre-ground coffee can take on the flavor of its surroundings.
Don’t want to face all these problems? Great, let’s go over how you can avoid them by grinding your own coffee beans.
Types of Coffee Grinds
Coffee flavor varies with the type of coffee grinder you use. Different types of coffee grinders will give your coffee different tastes and sensations.
Extra Coarse Grounds
Author Note: This grind size looks like sea salt and is mainly used brewing cold brew coffee. You can also use an extra coarse grind in a French press or Aeropress. Oftentimes coarse ground coffee requires more time to brew properly.
Medium Coarse Grounds
You can use Medium coarse grounds in Chemex coffee makers or clever drippers. Medium-coarse ground coffee looks like sand.
These grounds are mostly used for drip coffee. It is the classic size for producing a typical cup of coffee.
Medium Fine Grounds
This grind size is ideal for siphon or pour-over coffees.
They are similar in the size of granulated sugar and is best for espresso machines.
Extra fine grounds
Extra fine grounds are really only used for Turkish or Vietnamese coffee. These grounds look like powdered sugar.
Manual vs. Electric Coffee Grinders
Manual Coffee Grinder
Are you serious about slashing your budget on coffee? If you are a manual coffee grinder could be the move.
Manual coffee grinders depend heavily on a physical effort to grind the beans. The main advantage of manual coffee grinders is that they are easy to use. You don’t need to bother with electrical outlets or using batteries. But the drawback is that you can’t process a bulk amount of beans quickly, and they usually aren’t as customizable.
1) It doesn’t heat the beans which can change their flavor.
2) Hand grinders are quite affordable. You can get different varieties with consistent brewing capabilities.
3) It’s also cost-saving because you don’t require a battery or electricity to run the grinder.
5) Manual grinders are much quieter than electric grinders.
6) They are easy to clean. You don’t need to take them in for maintenance or deal with as much coffee grind build-up.
1) Manual grinders are not appropriate for bulk grinding.
2) Extra elbow-grease is needed to grind your coffee beans.
3) They offer limited grind size specifications.
Our personal favorite manual coffee grinder is the Javapresse manual coffee grinder. You can also check out the Prolex manual coffee grinder.
Electric Coffee Grinder
With an electric coffee grinder, you can grind coffee beans for fresh espresso or coffee within seconds. The downside is that they almost always cost more than manual grinders. And if you buy a low-end electrical grinder you might not get the same quality of coffee grinds as you would from an entry-level manual grinder. Let’s go over the pros and cons of electric coffee grinders.
1) They are simple and easy to use.
2) As not all the grinds have an equal solution, different coffee recipes require different coffee shapes and blends. But the electric coffee maker offers you a consistent size of coffee as per your requirements.
3) Electric grinders save you valuable time as they grind your beans within seconds.
4) They can’t be beaten if you plan on grinding coffee beans in bulk.
1) Low-end electric grinders may malfunction due to their notorious lack of durability.
2) Electric grinders need electricity which limits their flexibility.
3) They tend to be very loud which can wake people up in the morning or annoy your neighbors.
Author Note: There are a lot of great options on the market for electric coffee grinders. I found Baratza Encore coffee grinder & Oxo brew conical burr grinder to be the most efficient ones.
Now the question may arise, which one is best for you? We recommend reviewing the above pros and cons and choosing what makes the most sense for you. we have many friends that prefer manual grinders, even though they are time-consuming. Not only are they budget-friendly, but they are relatively easy to use, maintain, and of course, they are also very quiet.
But every individual is different. That’s why we have shared insights on both of the variations and their use cases.
If you wish for fresh espresso ground within a minimal budget and don’t care about putting the time in, then go for a manual grinder.
In the case of an electric coffee grinder, if you’re ok with spending more and don’t mind the noise, you’ll get a more consistent grind. They’re also much quicker.
However, it’s necessary to properly evaluate the factors associated with coffee beans’ specialties, speed, efficiency, convenience, and possible price range.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the Best Type of Coffee Grinder to Use?
Both manual and electric coffee grinders work well in processing coffee grinds. So which one you choose depends on your preferences. You should choose manual coffee grinders if you don’t want to spend much on coffee and are ok putting the work into grinding your beans. If you don’t have a budget issue and are looking for a hassle-free coffee grind, then go for an electric one.
Why Are Manual Coffee Grinders so Expensive?
Super high-quality manual coffee grinders are expensive because manufacturers use highly sophisticated mechanisms to make them. Some super high-end manual coffee grinders are more expensive than electric ones because they are artisanal machines that are not mass-produced.
Does A Burr Grinder Make A Difference?
Yes, you can get a far superior size and grind quality from burr grinders. Although they are more expensive than blade grinders, burr grinders are widely considered better for quality and consistency.
Why is a Burr Grinder Better than a Blade Grinder for Coffee?
The main reason for which you should choose burr grinders is it can make the particle size uniform. Burr grinder is made up of two revolving surfaces called burrs that are better at crushing coffee beans than blades. Burr grinders provide you more control over the grind size, and they are also quieter. Blade grinders have only one or two blades that spin fast and loudly chop the beans.
The type of coffee grinder you use can have a large effect on the flavor of your coffee as well as your overall experience with coffee. To summarize, manual coffee grinders take more time to grind your coffee but are more affordable and quieter. Electric coffee grinders can grind your coffee quickly, but require a power source and are often quite loud. We recommend considering these factors when choosing between electric coffee grinders and manual coffee grinders.
Author Note: Consider these tips while buying a coffee grinder to determine which one will be the best for you. Both of the variations have pros and cons which we’ve covered above.
Once you’ve decided which grinder you’re going to buy, let us know about it in the comments section.
And one final tip: if you’re on the fence on spending a bit more on your coffee grinder, we say go for it. You won’t regret it.
Stay caffeinated friends!