Best Coffee Grinder in Australia

By Ivan Bezbradica | Updated 6 June 2021

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You might be surprised to learn that coffee grinders are more important than espresso machines when it comes to making good coffee. As without a good grind even the most expensive machines make bad coffee. But what is the best coffee grinder in Australia?

In this guide we uncover the top home grinders in Australia for your espresso machineOur selections are chosen after many hours of research, comparing expert reviews, user opinions, and drawing upon our own personal testing and experience with coffee grinders.

Best for most

Breville Smart Grinder 

The Breville Smart Grinder meets the needs of most Australians that want a good grinder with features usually only found in more expensive ones. It has a programmable time grinder, digital display, and 60 grind settings.

OUR
PICK

Entry level

Baratza Encore

If you're looking for a good grinder without extra features you may not use, then the Encore is the grinder for you. It has a cult following for being a non-nonsense grinder for a good price.

Enthusiast choice

Baratza Sette 270Wi

For those who want all the bells and whistles the Sette is the grinder for you. It's robust and has features every coffee geeks wants, such as grinding by weight, 270 grind settings, and self-adjusting software.

How We Decided

There's a big selection of coffee grinders to choose from. Everything from entry level coffee grinders to more expensive prosumer gear. What we found is that there is a big price jump between consumer and prosumer grinders. So we decided to organise our list below by recommending good grinders for the average home user as well as those who are looking for "higher end" gear. All our grinders but one are suitable for both espresso based coffee and brew based coffee. 

In order to narrow down our picks we drew upon many different sources. We firstly took note of what grinders baristas and coffee enthusiast liked on coffee forums and sub-reddits. Next we crossed referenced these grinders with recommendations found in niche blogs and user reviews. Finally we drew upon our own personal experience with grinders. The author of this article, Ivan, is a former barista with over 6 years experience in Melbourne's cafes. He also owns his own personal coffee blog. So he knows how to fine tune a grinder to pull a great shot. Read on for our for coffee grinder reviews. 


Best Coffee Grinder Australia: Top 5


Best for most

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

What we like 

Programmable time grinder

LCD Display 

Specifications

Grind Settings: 60
Burr type: Conical stainless steel
Size: 21.59 (w) 15.24 (d) x 39.37 (h) cm

OUR
PICK

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is the best coffee grinder for most Australian homes. This is because it meets the needs of the majority users while including features usually only found in more expensive grinders. The Breville is a good balance between price, features, and design. We've had hands on experience with this grinder and in our opinion it does a great job for its price range. 

What we like

Programmable timer based dosing

When it comes to making good coffee consistency is key. You want to replicate results. The Breville helps you do this thanks to its time based grinder. The grinder allows you to program the dose to grind the same amount of coffee. The majority of users that reviewed this machine said the grinder helped pull consistent shots. We also agree with this, as when we got our hands on this grinder ourselves we were happy with grinds it produced.

It's important to remember that your coffee beans change over time. So you'll still need to double check that the same amount of coffee is being ground even though the grind time remains the same. If you want the same amount of coffee to come out based on weight, you need a more expensive weight based coffee grinder like the Sette below. For most users you don't need a grinder that grinds by weight, as you can always buy a separate coffee scale to keep on budget. 

60 grind settings

If you've ground coffee before, you know that your grind changes over time. So it is important to be able to adjust your grind settings to make sure you keep pulling the perfect shot. The Breville comes with 60 different grind settings. This allows you to adjust your grind based on brewing conditions to make sure you produce good coffee. The settings also allow you to change your grind to suit the type of coffee you are making. Users on the coffee snob forum have commented that the Breville is a great grinder for espresso and is able to produce more coarse grind needed for french press or brewed coffee (1). 

What we don't like

Cheaper build materials

The one thing that we don't like about the Smart Grinder Pro is that it has a mix of hard plastics and metals. Although it does well to hide them so the grinder looks good in your kitchen.

Who's the Smart Grinder Pro for?

The Breville coffee grinder is suited for person that wants a grinder that looks good and has the ability to produce consistent grinds thanks to its time based doser.   


Entry level

Baratza Encore

What we like 

Popular entry level grinder among users Suitable for both brew and espresso

Specifications

Grind Settings: 40

Burr type: Conical stainless steel
Size: 12 (w) x 6 (d) x 35 (h) cm

We believe that the Baratza Encore is the best coffee grinder for beginners. This is because it produces consistent grinds for an affordable price. It is also very popular. It's often recommended as a good grinder in coffee forums and reddits (2). The Encore is a non-nonsenses grinder that you can rely on each morning. The only thing that we don't like about this grinder is that you can't grind directly into an espresso machine's portafilter - rather you will have to scope it in after the fact. If you enjoy drinking brew based coffee this wont worry you. If you are an espresso drinker, it will be an small annoyance, but not a deal breaker.

What we like

Best budget coffee grinder

The Encore is designed to do one thing and one thing well - grind good coffee at a good price. It's design makes it super easy to use, clean, and maintain. It's simplicity means that it won't break on you, but be a great investment for years to come. If you do have issues with it, Baratza makes its grinders with lots of replacement parts making it easy to repair. It's a great grinder for those looking to get into the coffee making game without spending too much money up front. 

Produces consistent grinds

The main reason why the Encore gets high praise from the coffee making community is that it produces consistent grinds. Many users say they get consistent results from it every day. This is no surprise, as Baratza also makes high end coffee grinders like the Sette. So it makes sense that the engineering from the more premium models trickle down to the entry level brand. 

What we don't like

No integrated timer based or weight based grinding

The Encore has no inbuilt timer or scale mechanism like the Breville or Sette. It only has an on and off button. This means if you want to make sure you grind the same amount of coffee each time, you will need to measure your coffee before you put it into the grinder. Although this is not a deal breaker, it is a little annoying from a work flow perspective. 

Can't grind directly into group head for espresso coffee

The Encore is designed to be a brew coffee grinder ideal for French Press, Pour-over, or AeroPress. This means that it doesn't have a funnel that allows you to grind directly into an espresso machine's portafilter. Rather you will need to scoop the coffee into directly into your portafilter. 

Who's the Encore For?

The Encore is a good entry level grinder for people who don't need all the bells and whistles more expensive grinders have. You might already have a kitchen scale to weigh your coffee, and you definitely will have a timer. So you can save some money by getting a grinder that is designed just to grind.


Enthusiast's choice

Baratza Sette 270wi

What we like 

Grind by weight with in built Acaia scale
Programmable
Self learning 

Specifications

Grind Settings: 270
Burr type: Conical stainless steel 
Size: 13 (w) x 24 (d) x 40 (h) cm

The Sette is the best coffee grinder for espresso enthusiasts. Any Aussie who is coffee obsessed has to put the Sette 270wi on their wish list. Coffee geeks will appreciate its ability to grind by weight, 270 grind settings, and great design. This is the grinder you should get if you have a serious coffee machine at home or are looking upgrade soon.

What we like

Grind by weight

The Sette is a grinder that allows you to grind by weight. This is the best type of automatic coffee grinder as it is the most consistent method of grinding coffee. Time based grinders, like the Breville above, do not take into account how much coffee comes out when grinding. As the grind changes over time, a 20 second grind can produce vastly different grams of coffee. Weight based grinders solve this issue as you will always get the exact weight needed to extract quality espresso. The Sette also always you to program in how much coffee you want with a press of a button.

270 grind settings

The Sette has an innovative grinding system that allows it to produce 270 different grind settings. The Sette has one fixed inner burr, and one rotating outer burr grinder. This rotating burr gives you the ability to fine tune your grind unlike any other grinder on this list. 

Innovative burr grinder system

The Sette 270wi is the most expensive variant in its range. But why? It is because it comes programmed with software that automatically adjusts your grind throughout the day. It knows when to cut off your grind a little short or go for a little longer, so you always get the right amount of coffee into your group head. This allows you to make more consistent shots for a longer period of time. There's a reason why coffee lovers call this the "holy grail" of home coffee grinders (3). 

What we don't like

On the expensive side

This is the most expensive coffee grinder on this list. So it will not suit everyone's budget. But you get what you pay for with this grinder.

Who's the Sette 270wi for?

The Sette is the coffee geek's grinder. It comes with everything a geek wants in a coffee grinder to get the most out of their coffee. If this is you and you don't mind the price, then we recommend buying the Sette. 


Also good

Rancilio Rocky

What we like 

Flat burr grinder
Robust and durable motor

Specifications

Grind Settings: 55
Burr type: Flat stainless steel
Size: 35 (h) x 12 x (w)  x 25 (d) cm

The Rancilio Rocky gets an honourable mention in this list. It's a burr grinder that is often recommended by baristas. This is because it is tool made to last. The reason why it didn't take out our top pick is because it lacks features that it should have for its price range. It does not have any automated grinder system (time or weight based) like the Breville or Sette on this list. Rather, the Rocky only has a on-off button. 

What we like

Flat burrs

This is the only grinder on this list that has flat burrs. Many baristas commented that flat burrs tend to produce more consistent grind particles compared to conical burrs. This is because conical burs use gravity for coffee beans to fall into the burrs at different angles, while flat burrs get more even coverage. In the end, flat vs conical burrs do not make that much of a difference unless you're a super coffee geek.

Great reputation for being well built and quite

The Rocky has a great reputation for being a well built and quite grinder. Many grinders can be very loud due to the way they grind coffee. The benefit of flat burrs is they tend to be more quite compared to conical burrs.

What we don't like

Lacking features for the price range

The Rocky is more expensive than the Breville and not too far off from the Sette. However it does not have the features that these two brands have. Mainly automatic grinding systems. For this price point you would expect this grind to have this. For some people this is not a deal breaker, especially if they prefer to have a separate weight or timer. But it's competitors outshine it in the feature category.

Who's the Rocky for?

The Rocky is a flat burr grinder that suits the person who wants a well made tool, but does not need the extra features such as automatic grinding. It will also suit a person that is looking for a quite grinder.


Best manual coffee grinder

Hario Skerton Plus Hand Grinder

What we like 

Cheap!
Good for brew based coffee

Specifications

Grind Settings: Hand adjustable

Burr type: Conical ceramic
Size: 17.20 (w) x 9.30 (d) x 21.40 (h)

Our final pick is our favourite hand held coffee grinder, the Hario Skerton Plus. A manual grinder is best suited for a person that drinks brew style coffee such as French Press, AeroPress, and Pour-Over. As it is a manual tool, it is also much cheaper compared to the other grinders on this list - as long as you're happy using a bit of elbow grease to grind your beans. 

What we like

Size of handheld grinder

The first thing we love about the Hario is it's size. It's actually quite a big manual grinder. This is a good thing as it allows you to have more leverage when turning the handle to grind your coffee. Our team members at Best Dingo have used smaller hand hand grinders in the past. The worst thing about small grinders is that they become a work out. By the time you finish grinding your coffee you work up a sweat. The bigger profile of the Hario allows you to grind more coffee with less effort. 

Suitable for brew coffee

The Hario is best suited for black and brew based coffees. This is because the Hario is great and grinding coarse and consistent grinds needed for black coffees. 

Cheap coffee ginder

The Hario is a cheap grinder when compared to other grinders on this list. Making it a great choice for people looking to get into brew based coffee.  

What we don't like

Manual grinding can get old

There is a good chance some people may get tired manually grinding their coffee. At this stage they might consider spending a bit more money so they can automate this process. The good thing about the Hario is that it is cheap. So if you decide to upgrade later on, it won't be a big deal.

Not suitable for espresso

This grinder is not suitable for espresso as it does not grind coffee beans to a small enough size to produce good espresso. Nor does it produce the grind consistency needed for espresso. It does a great job for brew based coffee that need a courser grind.

Who's the Hario Grinder for?

The Hario is a great coffee grinder for an Australian that enjoys drinking brewed coffee. It's the perfect grinder for a person looking to get into making brewed coffee at home at a low price point.


Coffee Grinder Buying Guide

Now that we've reached the end of our coffee grinder reviews hopefully you've found a grinder that meets your needs. If you need a little more help deciding what grinder is best for you, below you'll find our coffee grinder buying guide.

In this guide we will cover the following topics:

1. Budgeting for a good grinder
2. Different type of grinders
3. Burr vs blade coffee grinders
4. Conical vs flat grinders
5. Coffee grinder features


Budgeting for a coffee grinder

The first question you will likely ask yourself when looking for a coffee grinder is how much money you should spend on one. It can be costly creating a coffee set up at home. You have to buy a coffee machine, grinder, beans, and other accessories. So how much of your budget should you put towards the coffee grinder? Read on to find out.

How much money to spend on a coffee grinder?

In our experience your budget should be split between your coffee grinder and espresso machine. The lower your budget is, we recommend spending at least half of your budget towards your grinder in comparison to your espresso machine. This is because a good grinder will make a much bigger difference in the quality of coffee you make. As even the most expensive coffee machine will make bad coffee without a good grind.

In order to help you with your budgeting, Ivan, the author of this article has designed the below table based on his barista experience with coffee grinders. The table outlines how much of your budget you should put towards your coffee grinder.

Budget

Coffee Machine

Grinder

% of Budget

$500

$250

$250

50%

$1000

$500

$500

50%

$2000

$1200

$800

40%

$3000

$2200

$800

26%

$4000

$2800

$1200

30%

$5000

$3500

$1500

30%


Different types of coffee grinders

There are three type of coffee grinders to choose from: manual, automatic, and blade. From these three parent types, we can segment them further based on what features they have. We discuss these features later on in this guide. But in general, the main difference between that three types are...

Manual coffee grinders

Manual coffee grinders are hand held grinders that use a handle piston to rotate burrs to grind your beans. The Hario we recommend is the perfect example of a manual coffee grinder. You need to use your muscles to grind your coffee. When looking to get a manual grinder we recommend getting a bigger one to allow you to grind with less effort. This is because a bigger handle piston allows you to grind coffee with more ease.

Automatic coffee grinders

Automatic coffee grinders are grinders that use a motor to rotate the burrs in the grinder. All the grinders in our buyers guide are automatic expect for the Hario. Our recommendation is to invest a little bit more money and get an automatic coffee grinder. From our own person experience using both manual and automatic coffee grinders, manual grinders become a chore after a while due to the manual labour. Automatic coffee grinders also have a lot more features that help you produce better and more consistent coffee.

Blade grinders

Blade grinders are a third category of grinders that you can buy. They are very cheap sub $30 grinders that you will find in your local Coles or Woolworths. They use a blade to slice and dice your coffee beans. Our advice is to avoid them outright as they are not suitable for making great tasting coffee. Some people use these types of grinder to make brew based coffee. But they are doing themselves a disservice. We explain why below. 


Burr vs blade coffee grinders

The reason why we recommend people to buy burr grinders over blade grinders can be shown by the image we took below. A burr grinder has even teeth and spacing, while a blade grinder uses a spinning blade to slice and dice your coffee. The end result is self explanatory. 

Burr vs Blade grinder comparison. Can you see the difference in consistency?

You can see from the image that a burr coffee grinder produces consistent and uniform coffee grinds. While a blade grinder produces uneven and rough grind partials. When it comes to making great coffee consistency is key. An even grind allows you to pull an perfect extraction for espresso and extract balanced flavour from brewed coffee.

If you used the blade grinder's beans in your espresso machine, you would get a watery and bitter tasting espresso. The same thing would happen with a brewed based coffee, as the beans are not even, the coffee will not be extracted evenly - leading to a bitter and acidic tasting coffee. 

The burr grinder on the other hand will produce a great extraction and better tasting coffee. Cafe's only use burr grinders - never blade grinders. So it only makes sense that you should use a burr grinder as well to get the best results.

Simply put, if you are serious about making coffee at home, always go for a burr grinder. They are a little bit more expensive but you will thank yourself for it.  


Conical vs flat coffee grinders

There are two type of burr coffee grinders, conical and flat. The difference between the two is the shape of the burrs. Flat burrs are literally two flat burrs that rub against each other to grind your beans. While conical burrs have one cone shaped burr and one circular burr that the coned burr fits into. We've drawn a diagram below.

Flat burrs are typically found in commercial coffee grinders, so are usually the more expensive due to being designed for commercial use. Some baristas argue that flat burrs produce more consistent coffee grind particles that result in better extractions. In our opinion this argument only holds slightly true in large commercial grinders where you need to grind a lot of coffee at one time.

For home based grinders, conical and flat burrs both produce good coffee grinds, and both coffee grinder manufactures (4) and other commentators (5) agree with us. Grinder engineering has come a long way and domestic conical burrs and flat burrs produce good coffee. The Rancilio Rocky is the only grinder on this list that has flat burrs. 

What features are important in coffee grinders?

There is a lot of jargon in the coffee making world. So it can be difficult at times to understand what certain features mean. The more expensive your coffee grinder the more features it tends to have. But some features are more important than others. Below we have outlined common features found in coffee grinders and what they do.

Automatic dosing

Automatic dosing is a feature that allows you to pre-program how much coffee your grinder grinds at a time. This is typically done by either a time or weight based program built into your grinder. More expensive grinders tend to have automatic dosing. In our opinion, this is a feature well worth paying for as it streamlines the coffee making process and allows you to produce more consistent results. There are two types of dosing methods that we explain below.

Grinding coffee by time

The first type of automatic grinders are ones that grind by time. Our top recommend grinder, the Breville Smart Grinder, is a grinder the grinds by time. How this works is that the machine grinds for a pre-programmed amount of time before switching off. This is great as it allows you to replicate results throughout the day rather than "eye balling" it.

Grinding coffee by weight

The second type of automatic grinders are ones that grind by weight. This is a superior method of automatic grinding as it is more accurate. The grinder has an inbuilt scale that makes sure the same quality of beans are produced each time. Time based grinders to do not account for the size of the beans, so even though the machine grinds for the same amount of time, a different amount of coffee comes out. This is why more expensive grinders like the Sette 270wi tend to have inbuilt scales that allow you to grind by weight.

If you are on a small budget however, you can always buy a separate kitchen scale to weight your coffee beans after the fact. This is a little more tinkering, but it does save a good amount of coin.  

Programmable grind settings

Some grinders allow you pre-program it to grind the same amount of coffee with a press of the button. This is found in automatic coffee grinders that allow you to grind by time or weight. This is good feature to have as it promotes consistency. 

How many grind settings

An important feature of coffee grinders is how many grind settings it has. If you haven't ground coffee before, you might be surprised to learn that you have to adjust your grind settings throughout the day to make sure you produce great coffee.

But why do you have to keep changing the grind settings? Can't you just "set and forget". Unfortunately not, as the quality of your coffee beans changes over time due to age, temperature, and air humidity. Your grind settings in the morning may produce the perfect shot, but if you do not adjust it in the afternoon, the extraction may change resulting in over or under extracted coffee.

This is why you need a grinder that has a lot grind settings to allow you to adjust for these changes throughout the day. All of the coffee grinders we have recommended in our guide have a sufficient amount of grind settings. If you are looking for ultra accuracy, then you can consider the Sette with 270 grind settings.  

Coffee bean capacity

A good grinder should have a big enough container to be able to grind the amount of coffee you want. The grinder's container size is not a big consideration for a home coffee set up, as you will only be making a few coffees at a time. If you're in a commercial, semi-commercial, or office setting, then you may place more weight on the amount of beans can fit in your grinder. 

Dosing direct into portafilter

If you are an espresso drinker, being able to grind directly into your portafilter is a good feature to have. If you are a brewed coffee drinker then this is not a big deal. The only grinders on this list that you can't grind directly into the portafilter is the Encore and Hario.

Build quality 

Finally you should look at the build quality of the grinder. Important considerations are build quality, materials used, accessories, and longevity.


Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some common questions people ask when buying coffee grinders. If you have a question you need answered about grinders, please contact us and we'll add it to the list.  

What type of grinder is the best for espresso?

A burr coffee grinder is the best type of grinder to use for espresso. This is because a burr coffee grinder produces the small and uniform coffee particles needed to make great espresso coffee.

What is a good cheap coffee grinder?

A good cheap coffee grinder is the Baratza Encore if you are looking for an automatic grinder or the Hario Skerton Plus if you are looking for a manual grinder.

What grind size should I use for my coffee?

The type of grind size you use for your coffee depends on the type of coffee you are making. If you are making espresso, you need a very fine grind size. If you are making brewed coffee like filter or french press coffee, you need a coarse coffee grind.

Why is a burr grinder better than a blade grinder for coffee?

A burr grinder is better than a blade grinder for coffee as it produces more uniform coffee grinds. A uniform grind allows you to produce better tasting coffee as it is extracted more evenly.

How do I clean my coffee grinder?

You should take your grinder apart and clean each portion of it. The goal is to get rid of any old coffee beans stuck in small places, as if you don't they will affect the taste of your coffee.


Sources

1. https://coffeesnobs.com.au/forum/equipment/grinders/49054-recommended-budget-coffee-grinder/

2. https://www.reddit.com/r/Coffee/comments/837s9f/best_electric_coffee_grinder_should_i_spend_200/

3. https://www.fivesenses.com.au/blog/grinding-at-home/

4. https://baratza.com/choosing-the-best-baratza-grinder-for-you-revised/

5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iEU4YOvd3as