Buyer's Guide to Grinders (2024 Update)

Despite the temptation to go all-out on a top-of-the-line espresso machine, your grinder is actually the most important link in the chain, so if you're going to invest anywhere, make it here.

When it comes to selecting the perfect espresso grinder, there a few features to consider, such as grind quality, reliability, speed and noise. We'll break down the technology that underpins modern electric grinders, allowing you to make an educated choice before buying.

Burr Vs Blade: Grinders use either blades or burrs, with the latter being more expensive, and worth it:

  • Blade grinders chop the beans, resulting in uneven grind sizes. They are cheap, but pretty useless if you're making espresso. That said, if you make BOTH espresso and drip coffee, don't try to use your espresso grinder for both (even if it's a Perfetto!) - a cheaper burr or blade grinder will save you a lot of time on re-dialing in espresso after each use.
  • Burr grinders crush beans between stationary outer burrs and spinning inner burrs, producing a more uniform and precise grind. This consistency is essential for superior espresso flavor, making burr grinders the industry standard. Espressosale only sells burr grinders.

Burr Style: Espresso grinders typically feature one of two main burr shapes: flat or conical. While there is ongoing debate about which is better, both can produce excellent espresso.

  • Flat burr grinders use centrifugal force and create a unimodal particle size distribution, resulting in enhanced clarity, complexity, and brightness in the espresso flavor profile. We generally recommend flat burr grinders for home use.
  • The advantage of conical burr grinders is that they are faster and produce less heat, making them more appropriate for commercial environments.


Burr Diameter: Espresso grinder burrs come in various sizes, typically measured by the diameter of the outer burr. Larger burrs generally offer better performance, including faster and cooler grinding, increased bean capacity, and reduced adjustments needed for grind size. We carry the following sizes:

As a quick guide to speed, the 55MM Specialita grinds an 18g doublshot in about 15 seconds, the ORO XL, at 65MM, is about twice as fast, at roughly 7.5 seconds.

65MM burr cleaning on a Eureka Mignon ORO XL

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