Best Manual Coffee Grinder 2021: A Detailed Guide

A lot of coffee aficionados will most likely tell you that using a manual coffee grinder is the best option when you want the most authentic, rich, and aromatic cup of java. Especially if you compare it to already pre-grounded coffee. That is because freshly grounded coffee beans are:

  • Free from contamination which in turn preserves all the delicate coffee-oils
  • Don’t have any moisture, thus have a richer and intense taste.
  • Replete in 1,000 different volatile aromas and undertones due to oxidation
  • Rich in CO2 content, which enhances the effect of the oil during roasting

However, not all types of coffee sold in the market can provide the same level of quality. So it’s always best to grind your coffee beans yourself. That’s where the manual coffee grinder will help!

On the downside, it’s often challenging to find a suitable model since there’s a lot you need to pay attention to. So in this article, we will help you learn all about what makes the best manual coffee grinder and what are the most noteworthy options – a great mix of high quality and low price.

Top 7 Best Manual Coffee Grinders: Comparison Table

Product Type Burr Material Grind Adjustment Capacity
JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder Burr Ceramic Yes ~5 tsp of beans
1Zpresso JX Manual Coffee Grinder Burr Stainless steel Yes 35 g
Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Burr Ceramic Yes ~100g
TRIPLE TREE Manual Coffee Grinder with Ceramic Burrs Burr Ceramic Yes 11 oz
Porlex Jp-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder Burr Ceramic Yes 30 g
TIMEMORE Chestnut C2 Manual Coffee Grinder Burr Stainless steel Yes 25 g
T-mark Manual Coffee Grinder Burr Ceramic Yes 38 g

What is a Manual Coffee Grinder?

The best manual coffee grinder is typically a handheld device that you must manually use by hand to grind your coffee beans. Compared to an electric grinder, it is more portable and fitting for grinding coffee beans at home. It does not heat up as quickly as its electric counterpart, thus preserving both the aroma and the taste of the coffee beans. A manual coffee grinder is also much quieter when used, which creates a rather pleasant atmosphere early in the morning when you try to grind the beans for a strong cup of coffee. In fact, according to a survey, about 18% of the population in the U.S grind their coffee beans at home.

Are Manual Coffee Grinders Better than Automatic ones?     

There are several features that make the handheld coffee grinder better than the automatic one. For instance:

  • It’s easy to clean
  • A hand grinder is lightweight and extremely portable
  • More affordable than an electric grinder
  • The manual coffee grinder is more cost-effective
  • It produces coffee with a more consistent taste and aroma

Burr vs Blade Coffee Grinders        

Burr Grinder

This hand grinder is far superior in quality as it has a steady grind size and flavor. Although it’s slightly more expensive than a blade grinder, it’s well known for its uniformity and consistent result. 

Principle of Operation: Also known as a burr mill, this gadget consists of two revolving burrs. The coffee beans for the french press are placed between these burrs and are steadily crushed due to the friction between the two surfaces.

Blade Grinder

This hand coffee grinder is rather popular among those that never used a manual grinder before. Plus, it’s more affordable compared to a burr grinder and extremely easy to use. However, unlike a burr grinder, a blade grinder does not give you a consistent grind size. 

Principle of Operation: A blade grinder works like a machine that cuts the coffee beans into smaller pieces and spices them up while mixing them. The blade in the center works like a propeller similar to a food processor. The blades are pretty powerful and help in grinding the beans quickly. However, the grounded beans are uneven in size, giving you a different-tasting coffee every time you grind fresh beans.

Burr vs Blade Coffee Grinder for Espresso: Which is Better? 

Feature Burr Grinder Blade Grinder
Taste Consistent Varies
Consistency All grounded coffee beans have the same size Grounded coffee beans vary in size
Convenience Not easily available in stores Easily available in most stores
Affordability Expensive Has affordable price range
Speed Takes time Works really fast
Durability Quite durable Not as durable
Control Gives more control Limited control

So as you can see, a burr model is the best hand coffee grinder for espresso compared to a blade grinder. Although it’s a little pricey, it gives you uniform quality and size, which is a must for making espresso.

Overall Reasons to Get a Manual Coffee Grinder       

There are several reasons why the manual coffee grinder is the best option:

  • Price: A manual espresso grinder is not as expensive as an automatic one. Since it’s pretty portable, you can carry it with you during a trip. This will save you money that’s spent on buying expensive coffee at expensive coffee shops.
  • Consistency: An espresso hand grinder gives you more control during the grinding process. Thus the crushed beans have a consistent size and produce coffee with a uniform flavor and aroma.
  • Portability: These are small in size, which makes them highly portable. You can fit a portable hand grinder easily in your suitcase during a vacation and use it as and when you need it. No need to worry about plug points or batteries!
  • Noise: While creating our manual coffee grinder reviews, we’ve also discovered that automatic grinders can be quite loud. And that is always a downside. After all, nobody wants to wake up the entire house in the morning or listen to loud noises after a hard day at work. Thus, opt for a manual grinder if you want a more quiet device.
  • Materials: Modern hand crank coffee grinder is made of steel or ceramic parts. So it’s more durable and easy to clean both at home and during travel.

What to Look for in a Manual Coffee Grinder?       

Size & Portability

Hand grinders are generally small in size and highly portable. However, make sure to opt for the one that’s not too small to hold and operate. You can also browse through manual coffee grinder reviews from users, to get a better idea of the size of various models. In general, manual coffee grinders can withhold 20-30 gms of coffee beans at a time. This quantity is good enough for most people. However, if you need to brew a large amount of coffee ground every day, choose a slightly larger grinder with a 40-45 gms capacity.

Burr Material

Manual coffee grinders can be made of:

  • Stainless steel: These are practically unbreakable, and an excellent choice for anyone who wants to grind their own coffee, even on a vacation
  • Ceramic: Highlighting elegance, these grinders look really classy and shiny. However, they can be quite fragile, and you must handle them very carefully. 
  • Plastic: These grinders are durable and cheap but lack any sort of shine or elegance.

Overall, for a manual burr grinder, stainless steel is the best option since it’s very durable, can withstand high temperature really well, plus it’s resistant to corrosion.

Handle Length   

This is an essential feature of a hand-operated coffee grinder. Shorter handles are slightly more difficult to operate and need greater elbow grease. So if you want to make the grinding experience easier, opt for a model with longer handles. Handles covered with non-slip silicone also improves the grip.

Grind Adjustment

Choose a coffee maker with grinder that offers different settings like French press, filter, or Aeropress. Plus, hand grinders without grind adjustment can often be challenging to handle.

How Long Does it Take to Grind Coffee in a Manual Coffee Grinder? 

Generally speaking, manual coffee grinders take about 1-2 minutes to grind coffee beans enough for a big cup. However, the speed of the process and the effort required varies from model to model. Some models need minimal effort and about 45 seconds to get the job done, while a few cheaper ceramic ones can be quite slow.

How to Clean a Manual Grinder?

When you want to clean your manual grinder, follow a couple of easy steps:

  • Disassemble the different parts of your hand-grinder,
  • Rinse the hopper lid and handle in soapy water,
  • Use a Q Tip dipped in soap-solution for cleaning the grinder burrs and other smaller parts,
  • Rinse off the soapy solution carefully and dry it properly,

Remember!  Do not use a dishwasher to clean your hand-grinder because you might end up losing 1-2 smaller pieces of your gadget.

Conclusion

And that’s all we wanted to share on the nest manual coffee grinder! All and all, the hand grinder is pretty easy to use, cost-effective and eco-friendly. It preserves the delicate aroma and flavor of your coffee without disturbing the consistency. 

Moreover, a hand coffee grinder is pretty simple to use and clean. In fact, you can even carry it with you on your vacation. If you want to enjoy a peaceful grinding ritual every morning, the best manual coffee grinder 2021 will get you covered!

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