Espresso Grinder vs Coffee Grinder

Choosing between an espresso grinder and a coffee grinder can leave you at a loss. Don’t they all technically achieve the same result?

The right grinder for you should be paired with the coffee you tend to drink. Let’s take a look.

What’s the Difference Between an Espresso Grinder and a Coffee Grinder?

Don’t have time for the entire article? Here’s a quick answer to your question:

Coffee grinder is a broad term for any machine designed to grind coffee. However, not all coffee grinders can create the fine grind needed for an espresso machine. Manual coffee grinders often struggle to achieve that fine grind and should instead be used for Moka pot espresso, French Presses, or pour over. 

An espresso grinder is almost always electric, having the power needed to crush coffee into a very fine and fluffy state. They also have the added benefit of being ‘stepless’ – this means the brewer is able to make very subtle adjustments to the grind to suit their tastes. If you’re a more experienced home brewer, this added level of intuition could be very appealing.

If you’re a beginner homebrewer, consider purchasing a stepped espresso grinder with predetermined settings.

Why are Espresso Grinders so Expensive?

You may find yourself turning to a manual grinder for its lower price point. If you plan on making coffee for an espresso machine, a hand grinder isn’t the best choice.

Espresso grinders are expensive because of the complex hardware needed to crush coffee into an even and fine state. They also are quite fast and can create coffee grounds in a matter of seconds. If you have a large household or want to buy a grinder for a busy office, this speed and finesse is well worth the high price point.

Expect to pay between $300 to $700 for a quality espresso grinder.

What Kind of Grinder is Best for Espresso?

A solid espresso grinder will completely transform the way you look at coffee. You’ll be drinking some of the most flavorful, aromatic, and textured drinks you’ve ever tasted.

Your espresso grinder should come with these features:

Conical or Flat Burrs

Burrs are coveted in the coffee world for their very balanced and consistent results. Make sure your espresso grinder is equipped with either conical or flat burrs so you can enjoy the best coffee.

Conical burrs are a little more popular for their quiet operation and lower heat retention. Flat burrs, on the other hand, are considered a little more consistent. Which one suits you best will just be a matter of taste.

The Baratza VARIO Grinder Coffee Espresso is a solid example of an espresso machine that uses long-lasting ceramic flat burrs.

Complex Adjustment Settings

Electric espresso grinders come in two flavors: stepped or stepless. 

Stepped adjustment has predetermined settings chosen by a twist of the knob or a press of the button. Stepless (also known as micrometric) offers nearly infinite settings based on your intuition. No matter where you are in your coffee journey, your espresso machine should have several settings for you to choose from.

The Eureka Mignon Silenzio Espresso Grinder provides stepless adjustment for experienced and experimental homebrewers.

Speedy Results

The best coffee is coffee made quickly. Your espresso machine shouldn’t take more than thirty seconds to grind enough coffee for a shot. 

An espresso machine that takes too long to make coffee might be damaged or faulty.

Is it Worth Buying a Coffee Grinder?

What do you love most about coffee? If you prefer to focus on the caffeine or a generic coffee taste, a coffee grinder won’t be a sound investment.

If you enjoy the process of making coffee – and want your coffee to taste better – then it’s a good idea to invest in a coffee grinder. The freshness of grinding up whole beans will open up new doors on your coffee journey. 

You’ll also have the ability to enjoy more brewing methods, as most grinders are built to address several. Go from cold brew to French Press to espresso with minimal effort.

Is the Grinder More Important Than the Espresso Machine?

A strong cup of coffee requires fresh beans and an appropriate grind. As such, your grinder is just as important as your espresso machine.

Is it more important? Not at all. All your equipment should work in tandem to produce cups of coffee. If you have a solid grinder, but a lackluster espresso machine, you’ll still be missing out on your coffee’s potential.

Wrap Up

The difference between an espresso grinder and a coffee grinder lies in your personal tastes. If you’re a big fan of traditional lattes and cappuccinos, an electric espresso grinder is in your future.

If you need help choosing your next grinder, reach out to our live chat or send us a message. We’re happy to answer all your coffee-related questions. 

Tony Barlow

Tony Barlow

Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team

Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.