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CHOICE - Test: Coffee grinders
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Test: Coffee grinders
They all grind coffee, but which ones do it best?
Online 05/07
Contents
Test: Coffee grinders
What to buy
Results table
What to look for + how we tested
Tester's tips - grinding and storing coffee
Profiles - the best
Profiles - the rest
Test: Coffee grinders
Test results for 13 domestic coffee grinders priced from $70 to $405
We tested for:
Suitability of grind
Operating the grinder
Timing control
Cleaning
Adjusting fineness control
How are CHOICE tests different? We buy all the products we test — no industry freebies, no government
funding. We're non-profit, we don't take ads and our work is funded solely by people like you.
Findings:
Some burr type coffee grinders don’t grind finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
A higher price doesn't guarantee a better grind or a machine that's easier to use.
Brands tested
BODUM Antigua Burr Coffee Grinder 10539
BREVILLE BarAroma Coffee & Spice Grinder BCG450
BREVILLE CG12 Café Roma Coffee Mill
DELONGHI KG100
DELONGHI KG59
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GAGGIA MM 0400
KITCHEN AID Artisan Burr Grinder 5KCG100
KRUPS GVX2A2
RANCILIO Rocky No Doser
SAECO MC2002/MAC001
STARBUCKS Burr Grinder EL60
SUNBEAM Burr Grinder EM0430
SUNBEAM Conical Burr EM0450
What else you'll get in this report
As well as the test results for 13 models you'll also get:
Recommended retail prices and features for all models.
Invaluable buying information: Practical advice and tips. Read this before you buy!
Tips for storing your coffee.
CHOICE Shopper: Buy a membership and get this exclusive members' service that can save you time
and money on your purchase.
What to buy
What to buy
Brand
DELONGHI KG100
STARBUCKS Burr Grinder EL60
SUNBEAM Conical Burr EM0450
KITCHEN AID Artisan Burr Grinder
5KCG100
BREVILLE Bar Aroma Coffee and
Spice grinder BCG450
Price
$169
$185
$159
$379
$170
What about the rest?
The KRUPS and SAECO grinders ground coffee well, but weren't quite as easy to use as the
recommended models.
The BODUM, DELONGHI KG59, SUNBEAM Burr Grinder and the BREVILLE CG12 Cafe Roma
Coffee Mill did not grind finely enough for domestic espresso machines. When we made coffee after
grinding with these models the finest grind was still too coarse. This made the coffee weak in flavour
without much of a quality crema on top.
The RANCILIO ground well, but scored second lowest for ease of use and cleaning because it doesn’t
come with a ground coffee container, we also found that the locking mechanism on the wheel was
fiddly to get onto the right setting.
The GAGGIA scored the lowest for ease of use as small coffee particles fly out and make a mess when
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the container is emptied. The GAGGIA hopper was also stiffer to rotate than the other models on test.
The BREVILLE CG12 Café Roma Coffee Mill scored low for ease of use because the hopper lid lifts
off when there are only a small amount of beans left in it and coffee particles fly out. We also found the
wheel a little hard to turn.
This article last reviewed May 2007
Results table
Results
Brand/Model
Overall Fineness Ease Time to Noise Number Automatic Price
of
switch-off ($)
score
of grind of use grind (dB)
(%) score (%) score
30
settings
(%) grams
of
coffee
(sec)
DELONGHI KG100
www.delonghi.com.au
92
90
93
44
74
16
•
169
STARBUCKS Burr Grinder
EL60
www.starbucks.com.au
92
90
93
46
74
16
•
185
SUNBEAM Conical Burr
EM0450
www.sunbeam.com.au
90
90
90
40
78
25
159
KITCHEN AID Artisan Burr
Grinder 5KCG100
www.petermcinnes.com.au
89
90
88
20
73
15
379
BREVILLE BarAroma Coffee
& Spice Grinder BCG450
www.breville.com.au
87
90
83
34
73
33
•
170
KRUPS GVX2A2
www.krups.com
83
90
75
38
77
17
•
149
SAECO MC2002 / MAC001
www.saeco.com.au
82
90
73
50
77
35
229
RANCILIO Rocky No Doser
www.mocopan.com.au
74
90
58
30
75
50
405
GAGGIA MM 0400
www.gaggia.net.au
73
90
55
40
81
9
149
BODUM Antigua Burr Coffee
Grinder 10539
www.bodum.com.au
68
50
85
32
76
12
•
189
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DELONGHI KG59
www.delonghi.com.au
64
40
88
58
82
8
•
99
SUNBEAM Burr Grinder
EM0430
www.sunbeam.com.au
54
40
68
22
79
17
•
79
BREVILLE CG12 Café Roma
Coffee Mill
www.breville.com.au
43
20
65
23
77
17
•
70
Table notes
The overall score is made up of:
Fineness of grind (i.e. suitability of grind for making espresso): 50%
Ease of use: 50%
Ease of use is made up of the following equally weighted scores:
Operating the grinder
Timing control
Cleaning
Adjusting fineness control
Price is recommended retail price as advised by manufacturers.
This page last updated May 2007
What to look for + how we tested
What to look for
A burr style grinder is the most suitable style of grinder for pump style home espresso machines. Burr
grinders produce a more uniform grind than blade grinders. Blade grinders chop up the beans to
various sizes and the fineness of the grind is only controlled by how long you grind. It can be easily
overdone and you will end up with a floury consistency which could block the filter and even damage
the pump.
Burr coffee grinders are a good investment to use with your home espresso machine. Coffee
deteriorates quickly after grinding, and you may find it won’t necessarily be the right grind for your
machine. A close inspection of some pre-ground coffee packets reveals claims that the grind may be
suitable for plungers, percolators and possibly a pump style espresso machine too, which to us just
doesn’t sound right.
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How we tested
The grinders were adjusted to produce a grind fine enough for our BREVILLE Café Roma which we
use as our reference machine. The same setting was used to grind coffee for the SUNBEAM Café Latte
EM5600 which rated equal best in our last espresso machine test. We made two cups of espresso using
Vittoria ORO beans and judged the crema quality and the strength of the coffee.
We looked at how easy the grinders are to clean, how easy the controls are to adjust and the fineness
of the grind.
This article last reviewed May 2007
Tester's tips - grinding and storing coffee
Grinding and storing
The jury is still out on the best way to store your beans; some industry experts recommend storing
them in the freezer, others say the fridge is better while others say that storing your coffee in an
airtight container in a cool dark place works well. See what works best for you; no matter which type
of storage you choose it’s a good idea to keep your beans in an airtight container and away from direct
light.
Grind only as much coffee as you need at a time. Ground coffee deteriorates quickly, so much so that
some perfectionist baristas recommend discarding coffee that has been ground more than half an hour
earlier.
You may need to play around with the grind settings to suit your particular machine. If it’s too coarse
you’ll get a poor flavour and crema, if the grind is too fine it can block the filter. Start with a grind size
that is the consistency of table salt when rubbed between finger and thumb.
Coarse grinds suit percolators, medium grinds are good for plungers, fine is for filter and espresso
while extra fine is good for Turkish coffee.
Clean the hopper and the ground coffee container regularly, coffee is an oily substance and can go
rancid after a while.
Beans ain’t beans – choosing the right coffee
Try out different brands and roasts to see which you like best. Our in-house tester/barista swears by
using local beans, which he believes to be fresher than those available from major brands in
supermarkets.
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If you’re feeling really adventurous you can buy green beans and roast them yourself — some people
use a popcorn popper.
This article last reviewed May 2007
Profiles - the best
DELONGHI KG100
Website: www.delonghi.com.au
Price: $169
Note: this DELONGHI model appears identical to the STARBUCKS Burr Grinder
mentioned below.
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Comparatively quiet.
Very easy to empty the ground coffee container.
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Nothing in particular.
STARBUCKS Burr Grinder EL60
Website: www.starbucks.com.au
Price: $185
Note: this STARBUCKS model appears identical to the DELONGHI KG100 model
mentioned above.
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Comparatively quiet.
Very easy to empty the ground coffee container.
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Easy to clean the removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
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Nothing in particular.
SUNBEAM Conical Burr EM0450
Website: www.sunbeam.com.au
Price: $159
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Very easy to empty the ground coffee container.
Can grind directly into the filter basket using the grind-on-demand switch.
Easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Bad points
Nothing in particular.
KITCHEN AID Artisan Burr Grinder 5KCG100
Website: www.petermcinnes.com.au
Price: $379
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Comparatively quiet.
Very easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Nothing in particular.
BREVILLE Bar Aroma Coffee and Spice Grinder BCG450
Website: www.breville.com.au
Price: $169.95
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Comparatively quiet.
Timer switches off the grinding action.
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Easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Nothing in particular.
This article last reviewed May 2007
Profiles - the rest
KRUPS GVX2A2
Price: $149
Website: www.krups.com
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Beans occasionally get stuck in the hopper so the grinder has to be banged gently on the bench to
dislodge them.
SAECO MC2002 / MAC001
Price: $229
Website: www.saeco.com.au
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Very easy to empty the ground coffee container.
Bad points
Nothing in particular.
RANCILIO Rocky No Doser
Website: www.mocopan.com.au
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Price: $405
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Bad points
Grind button has to be held continuously while grinding.
GAGGIA MM 0400
Website: www.shriro.com.au
Price: $149
Good points
Grinds finely enough for domestic espresso machine.
Easy to spoon out coffee from the container.
Bad points
Comparatively noisy.
Small particles come out at the right hand side of the container while grinding.
Grind button has to be held continuously while grinding.
DELONGHI KG59
Website: www.delonghi.com.au
Price: $99
Good points
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Doesn’t grind finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Comparatively noisy.
BODUM Antigua Burr Coffee Grinder 10539
Price: $189
Good points
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Very easy to empty the ground coffee container.
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Poor results for fineness of grind.
SUNBEAM Burr Grinder EM0430
Website: www.sunbeam.com.au
Price: $79
Good points
Very easy to adjust the fineness control.
Bad points
Doesn’t grind finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
Fingers can get access to the rotating grinding wheel.
BREVILLE CG12 Café Roma Coffee Mill
Website: www.breville.com.au
Price: $70
Good points
Timer switches off the grinding action.
Easy to clean removable hopper and ground coffee container.
Bad points
Doesn’t grind finely enough for domestic espresso machines.
The hopper lid lifts off when there is only a small quantity of beans left, and ground coffee flies out.
Fingers can access the rotating grinding wheel.
This article last reviewed May 2007
11/4/2007 10:27 PM
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