Looking for the best commercial espresso grinder to use for your business? This guide is here to help.
Most customers can agree that one of the reasons they keep returning to a particular café or coffee shop is because of the taste of the coffee or espresso beverages they get there.
How do you ensure that your drinks consistently meet their potential? Well, it all starts in one place:
Your espresso grinder.
It’s important you choose an espresso grinder that meets your shop’s needs, since that’s where your coffee and espresso drinks will begin. The right espresso grinder will have an effect on the taste of your drinks that will keep even the most dedicated coffee connoisseurs impressed.
With all the choices out there, picking the perfect grinder can be difficult. In this guide, we’ll break down what you’ll need to think about on your search for commercial coffee grinders. We'll also provide you a hand-picked list of the best commercial coffee grinders out there.
You’ll have to consider different factors when you look for your espresso grinder:
- Types of commercial espresso/coffee grinders
- Common espresso grinder features and options
- Your business and its UNIQUE needs
Let’s start with the basics: the options you’ll commonly run into when looking at commercial espresso grinders.
Understanding Commercial Espresso Grinder Features and Options
Burrs and Burr Types
Have you ever had a coffee or espresso drink that left a burnt taste on your tongue or tasted muddy?
It’s most likely because of the burrs in the shop’s espresso grinder.
If you’re new to the world of coffee, you might be wondering: what are burrs?
A burr is a set of rotating rings inside the grinder that the coffee beans pass through in order to be ground. The burr is a chief component in any grinder that needs to be considered by any serious business purchasing a grinder.
You’ll run into two main types of burrs: flat and conical.
Flat Burr Grinders
Flat burrs are exactly the way they sound: flat. The beans drop down to the grinding mechanism vertically, where they are crushed between two horizontal discs. These discs tend to rotate more quickly.
Because flat burr grinders generate a higher RPM, they also generate more heat, which can be a bad thing because it risks burning your beans. The good news is, commercial coffee grinders that use flat burrs use design elements that also cool the beans instantly.
Flat burrs are great at producing consistent and uniform ground beans. The uniformity leads to a balanced extraction. They’re also excellent at bringing out sweeter, chocolatey flavors in drinks, so they’re perfect for your customers with a sweet tooth.
They have added the benefit of allowing adventurous baristas to experiment with the espresso, which you may find preferable if you’re a shop that enjoys mixing art in with your drinks.
In a nutshell, here are the positive aspects of flat burr grinders:
- Uniformity in ground particles
- Rich, chocolatey flavor depth
- Balanced extraction
- Ability to customize espresso
Here are the downsides:
Conical Burr Grinders
- Higher heat generation due to a higher RPM
- Finer adjustments necessary
- Louder volume
Like flat burr grinders, conical burrs are also named after their shape. If you’ve ever seen a manual juicer, such as what you’d use to juice a lemon, then you can imagine a conical burr: a ring with a cone shape that goes into the center.
The conical burr grinder is often considered ideal for high-end coffee shops, with a dedicated fan base all its own. Here’s how it works:
The beans are brought down to the burr using gravity, which makes energy use minimal and efficient. The conical burr then rotates at a slower speed than flat burrs, keeping the beans cooler during the grinding process.
Unlike with flat burr grinders, conical burrs grind coffee particles into sizes that vary. This can be a good thing, as smaller particles will keep water from filtering through instantly.
The downside to this lowered uniformity is that smaller particles can become over-extracted in the process.
Do conical burrs affect flavor?
The answer is yes.
If flat burrs bring out the indulgent chocolatey tones from the beans, conical burrs are known for bringing out brighter notes and are great for fruitier flavors.
Here’s your overview on positive aspects for conical burrs:
- Highlights brighter tones in flavor
- Quieter than flat burr grinders
- Lower heat generation
- Fewer adjustments to settings required
Here are the downsides:
- Espresso is not as customizable as flat burr grinders
- Extraction is not as balanced, with different particle sizes
Doser and Doserless Grinders
Another common feature you’ll see is whether an espresso grinder is a doser or doserless model.
What’s the difference?
A doser grinder usually has a container that holds ground coffee, which is then divided into different compartments. This helps release even amounts of coffee into the portafilter when the barista pulls the lever.
Doserless grinders, on the other hand, deposit the ground coffee right into the portafilter without first stopping at compartments.
Either doser or doserless grinders can be built with either flat or conical burrs.
Don’t worry – it’s not as confusing as it sounds. We’ll explain.
Here’s your crash course on the features and benefits of both kinds.
As you know, doser grinders have storage compartments that hold ground coffee before it is distributed to the portafilter. Many of these grinders are electronic, which allows them to be programmed to provide precise doses of coffee.
While many dosers don’t have reservoirs for their grounds, some do, allowing large quantities to coffee to be ground in advance before the lines even begin. This makes them an excellent choice for shops with a high volume of customers.
Here are the reasons you’d want a doser grinder:
- Great for serving large amounts of customers in busy shops
- Consistent and accurate dosing that leads to stable brew quality
Here are the downsides you’ll run into with a doser grinder:
- Maintenance of the doser containers
- Doser containers risk affecting freshness of coffee ground and held in advance
- Models without containers can overfill
Keep in mind that if you have a high level of volume, you’ll probably be making coffee so quickly, you won’t need to be worried about the coffee you’ve ground becoming stale before you use it.
If this is still a concern for you, you can opt for a model without a container, which guarantees your coffee will always be fresh. However, models without containers may also lead to overage.
It’s up to you to decide if the speed and convenience of a doser grinder is worth the potential for overfilling and the maintenance involved in models with containers.
A doserless grinder, since it places coffee directly in the portafilter, is great for lower volume shops or skilled baristas.
Generally, they have an on/off switch that allows baristas to gauge how much espresso is ground by eye. Some models even have electronically timed dosing as an option.
Why would you pick a doserless grinder?
- Coffee is fresher, as it’s ground to order
- Lower waste, as baristas grind what they need
- Control of how much coffee is dispensed
So, what are the cons of a doserless grinder?
- Can lead to more messes without the doser container as coffee grounds escape the portafilter
- Baristas may need more training on its use
Here’s the bottom line for doser and doserless models: both kinds can have a number of features and functions unique to each grinder. You’ll need to weigh positive aspects against negative ones and decide which grinder is worth it.
Stepped and Stepless Grinders
Whether a grinder is stepped or stepless is another trait to consider as you search for the perfect espresso grinder. All these different factors might seem overwhelming at first, but don’t worry: this part is also easy.
So what makes an espresso grinder step or stepless?
Being stepped or stepless affects how the barista chooses how finely or coarsely ground the coffee is. A stepped grinder, just like its name, has different pre-set “steps” built in that the barista can choose from. A stepless grinder is more like a sliding scale, allowing baristas to choose from a wider array of options manually.
Why should you choose either one?
Here’s your detailed review of either option:
Stepped grinders are fantastic for beginning baristas or shops that need their grinder to have fast and user-friendly adjustability. They include notches for different settings from fine to course that you can easily choose by clicking into the right place from the increments.
Of course, this is perfect for when you need to quickly choose a setting without spending time fussing with a dial.
Do you frequently have a line of customers or need to train new baristas? Then the notches will make getting through those customers quickly and training a breeze.
The pros for a stepped grinder are:
- Easier to learn for beginners
- Quickly select grind settings with fewer adjustments
- Can be multipurpose for different options of brews
The cons for a stepped grinder, on the other hand, are:
- Fewer grind options (for your more experienced baristas or customizations)
The preset steps can leave some gaps between levels, so you won’t have as much ability to find specific grind levels. If your espresso is especially fussy or delicate, this could be an issue for you.
However, some stepped grinder models that allow adjusting in smaller increments, giving you more options.
Stepless grinders are ideal for professionals, skilled baristas, and those with a refined taste in their coffee. Their sliding scale of choices is much less limited and allows for a maximum level of control.
With these grinders, you’re able to choose the perfect setting for each kind of coffee you grind. This can bring out its flavors and protect from spoiling it with sourness or muddiness.
Here’s why you might choose a stepless grinder:
- More grind settings to choose from for any type of coffee
- Allows for more espresso experimentation
- Helps perfect extraction
Here are some cons to consider with a stepless grinder:
- Higher learning curve
- If you find the perfect setting, it may be difficult to imitate later
The infinite potential for customization and grind settings can make a stepless grinder desirable for coffee aficionados. However, the lack of easy pre-set settings can mean you may need to spend more time training new baristas.
Generally, stepless grinders are best for single and specific uses, such as using it only for espresso as opposed to using it for both espresso and filter coffee.
Your Business Needs
Even the best features and benefits of an espresso machine won’t help you if you don’t examine them through the lens of your business needs.
You need to begin by asking yourself:
What exactly do you need your espresso grinder to do?
That can be a little difficult to consider right away, because your answer will likely be something along the lines of, “It just needs to grind beans, right?”
Well, yes, but you’ll need to be a bit more specific than that.
It will be easier if you break down your business into different factors, such as:
Personal preference – What do you feel you would rather use?
Amount and type of customers – What kind of volume and clientele does your business experience generally?
Business type – What kind of business is your business?
Grinder use – What do you foresee using the grinder for – espresso, coffee, or all of the above?
Remember when we discussed flat and conical burrs before?
That’s where your own personal preference can come in.
Flat and conical burrs can highlight different flavors in your coffee. Flat burrs bring out the decadent chocolatey and nutty flavors, while conical burrs draw forth the brighter and zestier notes.
If you’re a fan of citrus or fruity coffees, then conical burrs are your best bet. On the other hand, if you have a sweet tooth, then you may prefer flat burrs.
Many of the best commercial coffee grinders on the market use conical or flat burrs, so you can find a quality grinder with one or the other regardless of what your preference is.
Amount and Type of Customers
The general volume of customers that order from you is another factor to think about, as well as what drinks you sell most often.
Do you often have long lines? If you frequently have rushes, then you’ll need an espresso grinder that can grind fast. You may also want a grinder that doesn’t require fiddling with settings, like a stepped grinder.
The grinder’s size may also factor in if you have a large number of customers. The bigger the grinder, the more it can hold, generally speaking. A big grinder also typically has more settings for speed than a smaller one.
The size of the burrs in the grinder is also important. They can grind more coffee quickly and their larger surface area means they don’t need to spin as fast to grind greater amounts. Spinning more slowly is a good thing – it reduces heat and the risk of burning your beans.
You might also want to think about the kinds of customers you’re seeing most.
For example: Do you sell a large number of espresso drinks or filter coffee? If you get frequent visits coffee connoisseurs or those with specific tastes, you might look to the customization allowed for in stepless grinders dedicated to a specific use, such as espresso or filter coffee.
Don’t forget about the burrs and the different kinds of flavors they can accentuate. Do you see yourself making sweet and comforting drinks, like mochas, more often for your customers? Then consider flat burrs, which will enhance the sweetness of a mocha.
Your Business Type
A basic thing to think about is what kind of business you’re running.
For example, if you’re operating a coffee shop that sells coffee and espresso drinks the most, a doser grinder can save your baristas a lot of time, as well as get you through lines of customers without breaking a sweat.
If your volume of customers is small or coffee and espresso aren’t the main focus of your business, then a grinder with a dosing chamber that holds a large amount of ground espresso or coffee isn’t going to make much of a difference to you.
It’s also not uncommon for high-end coffee shops to choose doserless grinders to guarantee their coffee is fresh every time and to allow for control over how much is dispensed. Doserless grinders can also be beneficial in situations where espresso shots aren’t required as often.
If your business sees a high-level of turnover or you’re looking for an espresso grinder for an office of people who aren’t baristas, then a stepped grinder is something you should give serious consideration to. The pre-made step options make stepped grinders easier to learn and quicker to use.
If your baristas are very experienced, on the other hand, then you may prefer a stepless grinder, which allows for much less limited grinder settings.
Because there are so many different characteristics for each business and situation, you’ll want to look at every angle. You can narrow down your choices that way.
This aspect is a smaller, more specific version of the question we began with: what exactly do you need your grinder to do?
It goes beyond just grinding coffee beans. You need to consider if you need your grinder to be able to handle more than one function, or if you will have multiple grinders that are dedicated to specific functions.
If you have a smaller shop with a lower volume of customers, then having multiple espresso grinders might be a little much. You may want one espresso grinder than can be used for more than one task, such as doing both espresso and drip coffee.
A grinder that handles both coffee and espresso drinks can also be useful in places like restaurants where coffee and espresso aren’t the main focus. Using one grinder can take up less counter space in places like this, allowing for more room for other utilities.
Typically, coffee shops with a large demand for espresso drinks have a grinder used specifically for espresso and then another for filter coffee. A grinder used for espresso only should be made for espresso, with plenty of grind options available.
Having a grinder dedicated to espresso can also save time in these kinds of businesses. If you’re making both coffee and espresso drinks, then you don’t need to wait for your grinder to finish before switching back and forth between the two.
If you sell large amounts of ground coffee or coffee beans for your customers to use at home, you’ll want to ensure you can grind large amounts of coffee quickly. You’ll want to be able to offer your customers the convenience of grinding their coffee at the store and in little time.
Does that sound like you? Then consider an espresso grinder with a wide variety of grinding options to suit your customer’s preference. You can also look for one that has bag clamps so it can hold the coffee bag for you, freeing you to multi-task.
Think about your needs carefully. You might assume at the beginning that you need to buy an espresso grinder with every feature you can think of, but the answer is usually simpler than you expect.
In the end, the perfect espresso grinder for you will have features that reflect your unique needs.
With all these things in mind, we’ve conveniently compiled a list of some of the best commercial espresso grinders available in 2019 for you. We’ve also outlined some of their key features for you, to make your decision easier.
Best Commercial Espresso Grinders
The Mahlkonig Peak Espresso Grinder is ideal for a variety of settings, including larger coffee shops.
It has large burrs, allowing it to grind a greater amount of coffee with lower RPM. This reduces the risk of burning the beans, while simultaneously granting it the ability to deal with high volumes of customers with ease.
Why should you consider the Mahlkonig Peak Espresso Grinder?
Flat burrs – 80 mm steel cast flat burrs, which grind large amounts of coffee uniformly.
Low RPM – An RPM between 900-1,100 allows for low-temperature grinding that protects the beans.
Stepless grind adjustment – Choose from a wide array of grind settings with no gaps in between, allowing you to choose precisely what you need
Programmable dosing – Achieve a greater level of accuracy with dosing adjustments that can be made in .01-second increments
Large hopper – 3.3 pounds of available storage in the hopper makes it so you don’t need to drop everything to fill the grinder frequently
OLED Display – An easy-to-read display makes the menu accessible to all users, allowing them to monitor temperature and lighting for greater visibility
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The Mahlkonig K30 is especially versatile, with configurations available for home, coffee shop, and office settings. It also comes in two color options, black and white, that give you the ability to ensure it fits with your aesthetic.
You can choose from the K30 Vario Single, the K30 Vario Air Single with cooling fans perfect for high-volume use, and the K30 twin with two hoppers to store two different kinds of beans simultaneously.
The Vario single is an excellent option for users at home, while the K30 Vario Air Single is great for shops with a high level of use and the K30 twin is perfect for offices where workers won’t need a lot of choice between their drinks – such as choosing between just light or dark roast, or decaf or caffeinated.
What makes the Mahlkonig K30 potentially right for you?
Flat burrs – 65 mm flat burrs that can grind fast and in consistent sizes at 4.8 grams of espresso per second
Programmable dosing – Allow for easy recreation of drinks and training new users with programmable dosing options
Hands-free operation – Spend more time talking to customers or keeping your business moving with a grinder that starts automatically as soon as the portafilter is placed in it
Large hopper – 3.3 pounds of storage in the hopper makes it so the flow of work isn’t disrupted by frequent changes (The K30 twin allows for twice as much with its dual hoppers!)
Stepless grind adjustment – The sky’s the limit for customization, with a stepless grind adjustment so baristas can adjust the grind to specific profiles
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The Nuova Simonelli Mythos is as high-tech as its mythological name implies. It’s a good choice for busier coffee shops and restaurants or anywhere else with a high demand for coffee.
Its gorgeous black and metallic exterior with square, even edges gives off an air of professionalism and high class that would elegantly grace the counters of high-end establishments.
Appearance aside, the Mythos is also a versatile machine with options for all levels of users. It has three options for configurations: the Basic, Plus, and Clima Pro. Each option becomes progressively more advanced, allowing more experienced users and novices alike to choose what fits best.
So what makes the Nuova Simonello Mythos an excellent choice?
Flat burrs – 75 mm burrs, which are large enough to grind a high amount of consistently uniform coffee
Stepless grind adjustment – Find the best grind setting for any kind of coffee imaginable with a stepless grind adjustment that offers tons of options
Portafilter holder – Users are free to attend to other matters because of the portafilter holder – just place the portafilter and let the Mythos do the rest
Clump crusher – Keep your coffee soft, smooth, and light while eliminating the need to remove clumps from the portafilter
Multi-Function LCD Display – A brilliant, clear LCD display makes using the Mythos easy to use for new baristas and experienced baristas a like, cutting down on training time
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At $895, the Nuova Simonelli G60 is one of the most budget-friendly espresso grinders on this list, but don’t let the price fool you – it’s a sturdy little machine.
With a body made from die-cast aluminum, this is an espresso grinder made to withstand the rigors of daily use, so go ahead and rely on the Nuova Simonelli G60 – this grinder can handle it. Its compact size also means it will fit on a counter at home or in a small coffee shop without taking up too much space.
What makes the Nuova Simonelli G60 a great choice for your counter?
Flat burrs – 60mm flat burrs made of strong stainless steel, allowing you to grind up to 1,000 pounds of coffee before needing to replace them.
On Demand Grinding – Never worry about your coffee growing stale, as this grinder grinds right into your portafilter to order
Stepless grind adjustment – Let your creativity go wild with a stepless grind adjustment that lets you experiment with grind settings endlessly
Commercial grade electric motor – The commercial-quality electric motor lowers the heat and protects the coffee, all while making sure coffee is ground as quickly as you need it.
Portafilter – Feel free to sit back and relax or work on other tasks while the grinder holds the portafilter for you
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The Mazzer Super Jolly Doser is another excellent option for those on a budget, costing a total of $795.
Its particularly good for smaller coffee shops or personal use. Its low blade speed of 1600 RPM results in a lower amount of heat generated during grinding, preventing your beans from being burnt – which means you can make professional quality drinks from the comfort of your own kitchen.
If you need more space on your counters, this grinder has you covered, with the option to use the mini short hopper, bringing its height down to 19”.
Here are some features that make the Mazzer Super Jolly Doser a strong contender:
Flat burrs – 64 mm flat burrs provide you with a stable quality and consistently in your grinding
Doser – No worrying about measuring here - the doser allows you to dispense coffee in specific amounts, doing all the measuring for you
Stepless grind adjustment – Enjoy the option to experiment with different coffee profiles using a variety of grind settings
Low blade speed – Keep your coffee from burning with a low blade speed of 1,600 RPM
Large hopper – Store enough beans to get through a line of customers or keep you from having to refill frequently at home with a 2.7-pound hopper
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