A grinder is probably the most important piece of coffee-making equipment you can buy. Much like a chef’s knives, a good model can have a noticeable impact on the quality of your coffee, and enable you to enjoy a delicious, well-brewed cuppa at home.
Yet with a large variety of coffee grinders on the market and an even bigger range of prices, it can be hard to know which one you should buy. Read on as we review the best coffee grinder Australia has to offer in 2020, as well as what to look for when shopping.
To give you extra peace of mind when purchasing, we have also looked at coffee grinder maintenance and warranties, as well as sharing tips on choosing the right grind settings.
The Best Coffee Grinders in Australia in 2021
Our top five coffee grinders available in Australia are:
Keep reading to find out more about these products and why we like them, along with our reviews of other popular models that didn’t make the cut.
The top-selling coffee grinders in Amazon.com.au at the moment are:
- Quieter than competitors: Whether it’s early morning or late at night, you can make fresh grounds without making too much noise
- Removable grinding chamber: The grinding chamber removes for easy filling of whole beans or spices once finished, remove the chamber for easy cleaning
- Make up to 12 cups of coffee: You can grind up to 9 tablespoons of beans, enough for 12 cups of coffee. Wipe the base with a damp cloth
- Hidden cord storage: A hideaway cord storage at the bottom of the grinder stores the cord neatly and out of sight when it is not in use
- Stainless steel blades: Durable stainless steel blades grind coffee beans and spices with ease
- Clear Top Cover and One-Touch Control allows for operation at the touch of a button—simply push down on the cover to begin grinding and release to stop. The clear cover also allows you to easily see the consistency of grinds.
- Stainless Steel Blade offers durability and powerful performance, quickly grinding enough whole coffee beans to make up to 12 cups of coffee.
- Removable 4-Oz. Stainless Steel Bowl features measurement markings on the inside, so you know at a glace the quantity of coffee beans needed to make 4, 8, 10 or 12 cups of coffee. The bowl lifts out, making it easy to transfer grinds to the coffee maker.
- Model BCG111 includes heavy duty motor housing, stainless steel 4-ounce capacity bowl with stainless steel coffee grinder blade, clear top cover.
- 1 year hassle-free replacement warranty.
- Burr grinding provides uniform grind and optimum flavor
- 18-position grind selector - from ultra-fine to extra-coarse
- 4 to 18-cup slide dial
- Removable 8 oz. bean hopper. Heavy-duty motor, Convenient cord storage
How We Picked
I have worked in the coffee industry for five years, during which time I have trialled numerous home coffee grinders. My experiences, good and bad, have informed my reviews.
However, when creating this list of recommendations, I have also turned to third-party data to spot potential issues in home use, including ProductReview.com.au, Amazon reviews and a wide range of blogs and official guidelines (which we’ve linked to, where relevant).
I haven’t recommended any coffee grinders that received significant numbers of negative reviews, were challenging to use well or otherwise seemed unsuitable for home use – no matter how impressive the brand name or spec sheet.
What You Should Look For
Price and Grind Consistency
Grinders can sell for a diverse range of prices. The cheaper models can be tempting, especially if you are already shelling out for other coffee-making equipment (see also, our guide to Australia’s best coffee machine).
However, most coffee professionals recommend that if you have money spare for better coffee equipment, you invest it in the grinder rather than the coffee machine. No matter how good an espresso or drip machine you have, it is hard to brew great coffee with inconsistent grounds.
This is because all coffees are, in reality, coffee infusions – or, to use the more technical term, extractions. You don’t drink the coffee beans themselves, but rather, you put them in water, wait for the flavours and aromas to extract, filter out the ground coffee, and then drink the remaining solution.
Using a poor-quality, inconsistent grinder will result in a mixture of larger and smaller grounds. This will mean that the coffee’s flavours and aromas extract to different levels. Your coffee will be a mixture of bitter (over-extracted) and sour (under-extracted) flavours – even if you have an excellent coffee machine.
Inconsistent grinding may be caused by poor build quality, the choice of burrs or blades (more on that to come), or too many grind settings on a relatively poorly built machine.
More expensive does not always mean better. We have prioritised grinders that offer high levels of grind consistency for reasonable prices. We also haven’t recommended any grinders that we felt produced excessively inconsistent grounds.
Blades and Burrs
The blades or burrs are the part of the coffee grinder that cut, crush or otherwise break the coffee bean into smaller fragments.
In these grinders, rotating blades chop at the coffee beans instead of grinding them. Because of the high impact, they produce a lot of fine fragments that then over-extract. For this reason, we do not recommend blade grinders.
Burr grinders have two plates that crush the coffee beans between them, resulting in more evenly fractured grounds than blade grinders. There are two types of burrs: flat and conical ones.
Coffee shops use grinders with flat burrs because they are incredibly consistent, but they also tend to be noisier, hotter and far more expensive. For most consumers, conical burrs are the ideal option: they are consistent, quiet and offer a good balance between quality and price.
Most of our recommendations are conical burr grinders. When reviewing flat burr grinders, we have paid close attention to the noise levels.
Grind Settings, aka Espresso vs Drip Grinders
The fineness or coarseness of the ground coffee should correspond with the drink you’re making. Espresso requires an extremely fine grind, while most drip coffee and pour overs will work better with medium grinds. As for French press and cold brew coffee, these are typically brewed with a coarse grind.
The greater the variety of settings your grinder has, the more flexibility you then have over the types of coffees you can brew well and how strong you would like your drink to be. Grind precision is also important. Sometimes, in lower-quality grinders, these settings are neither distinct nor accurate.
Not all grinders are suitable for brewing espresso. Grinding this fine requires an excellent build quality, high precision, lots of power and often larger burrs. For this reason, sometimes you will see some grinders advertised as an espresso grinder or a drip grinder. Typically, espresso grinders are more expensive.
Perhaps you prefer drip but your partner loves espresso, or you love your lattes but also like an AeroPress from time to time. Don’t worry: you don’t need to buy two different grinders (although some passionate coffee lovers like to do so).
Depending on the model, an espresso grinder may still do an adequate job with grinding for drip coffee – it will just have been designed specifically for espresso. And since espresso is trickier, we suggest giving this more weight when making your purchasing decisions.
When creating our list of top coffee grinders, we have considered the variety of settings they have as well as their consistency and precision at different levels of fineness and coarseness. We have also indicated which types of coffee they are suitable for in the review.
Manual vs Auto-Grind
With an older or more basic coffee grinder, you will need to press and hold a button to operate it. The moment that you stop holding the button, it stops grinding.
More modern models, however, will keep grinding even when you stop holding the button. Some will still require you to flick the grinder switch off. Others have auto-grind options, meaning you can set them to automatically grind a certain amount.
Where a model does not have an auto-grind function, we have drawn attention to it in our review.
Grind by Weight, Time or Volume
Traditionally, auto-ground coffee is ground by volume, with the machine automatically stopping once a certain amount of coffee has been ground.
More modern and high-tech models, however, may grind by time or weight instead. You might see the latter referred to as a gravimetric grinder. These methods offer greater consistency and can help you cut down on waste, with grinding by weight considered the golden standard.
We haven’t ruled out models that grind by volume, but we have given greater weight – if you’ll pardon the pun – to gravimetric and grind-by-time models.
Portafilter vs Bucket
Certain models will grind your coffee into a bucket, and from there you can transfer the grinds to your coffee machine or hand brewer.
Others have a stand for a portafilter, which is the spoon-shaped detachable handle on your espresso machine that holds your ground coffee. And then there are models with removable stands, which allows you to switch between a bucket and a portafilter.
If you are an espresso or latte fan, being able to grind straight into a portafilter will help you avoid spillages and make the coffee-making process that little bit easier. If you prefer drip beverages, you will want to avoid any models with a non-removable portafilter stand.
Meanwhile, interchangeable options are a great idea if you want to prepare both espresso and drip.
Electric vs Manual
Very few people opt for a manual or hand grinder, but they do have some advantages: their light weight and small size makes them great for camping or travelling; they do an adequate job with filter coffee; they are environmentally friendly and they are typically more affordable.
On the other hand, they are generally not appropriate for espresso, only grind small amounts and require a lot of effort. For this reason, all our recommendations are for electric home grinders.
Power and RPM
For drip and filter grinders, power is not normally an issue. However, grinding for espresso requires greater power. Severely underpowered grinders will typically struggle with moderate to heavy use and may break down sooner.
Meanwhile, the rotations per minute (RPM) of a coffee machine will determine how powerfully and quickly it grinds. Yet the higher the RPM, the noisier and hotter the grinder becomes.
For conical burrs, around 500 RPM is normal. Flat burrs, however, can go up to 2,000 RPM as more power is needed to feed the coffee beans out of the machine.
The ideal RPM will depend not just on the machine’s build but also on your priorities. Where it is particularly high or low, we have mentioned this and explained what impact it has on its use, so that you can decide whether it is suited to your household.
Stepped vs Stepless
Most basic models will be stepped coffee grinders. This means that the grinders have notches (or steps) so that it is easy to change the size. It is particularly useful if you want to change it frequently, e.g. you want to prepare both espresso and drip coffee single day. You can simply remember that you have to go three steps finer, for example.
You might also like stepped coffee grinders if changing the grind size feels intimidating, and you would prefer something simple.
With stepless grinders, you have an infinite number of grind levels available to you. This means it is easier to get the right grind size for your brewing method and personal coffee preferences (scroll down to our section on adjusting your grind settings for more details).
However, switching between grind settings tends to be fiddlier than with a stepped grinder. Returning to previous grind levels can require significant attention to detail. If you regularly change brewing methods, you will find that although stepless grinders give you more precision over the grind size, stepped grinders give you more consistency.
Which option is best will depend on what you want to do with your grinder. If you always brew for the same method, e.g. espresso or drip, then a stepless grinder can help you get an even more delicious cup of coffee. But if you like to switch between methods, you should probably opt for a stepped grinder.
Most of the time, when shopping for kitchen equipment, you can head to a department store or kitchenware shop and find a wide selection of goods. However, you will typically only find a limited range of coffee-making equipment there. Most of the coffee grinders on offer will be basic, low-budget options.
For passionate coffee lovers, a specialist store might be a better option. Across Australia, there are numerous coffee equipment retailers that stock the latest and highest-quality grinders, some of which will have been imported from Italy and the US.
When comparing similar models, only one of which is widely available on the high street, we have prioritised availability. However, some of the higher-end models on our list will be hard to come across in a department store. You may even find it easier to order them online.
Warranty & Technical Support
With some coffee grinders costing more than $1,000, you will want to know that you are covered if your coffee grinder breaks down, isn’t grinding as it should or simply starts to make an odd whining noise. Scroll down to our section on coffee grinder warranties to find out what you are entitled to – and what to watch out for.
The Best Coffee Grinder You Can Buy in Australia in 2020
Top Pick: Eureka Atom
The Italian-made Eureka Atom, available in Australia from $925–$1564 (depending on the retailer), is probably the most home-friendly high-end grinder we have ever seen.
With its flat burrs, you might expect this model to be on the noisier end of the prosumer coffee grinder scale. Yet Eureka’s Silent Technology, alongside the low 1,350RPM, has created a surprisingly quiet machine that won’t wake up your family if you use it first thing on a Sunday morning.
In fact, Eureka claims that their technology “reduces the grinding noise by approximately 20 dB compared to the conventional grinders”, while users consistently say that the low noise levels are one of their favourite things about this model.
Despite this, the quality motor and flat, hardened-steel 60mm burrs make it a powerful machine, easily capable of producing the fine grind needed for espresso. The anti-clumps and electrostaticity (ACE) system further reduces the likelihood of poorly extracted coffee.
Eureka says that it is appropriate for both espresso and brew/filter coffee thanks to their burr design. While there is no denying that this was designed first and foremost for espresso, it does a satisfactory job with filter coffees.
Its coarse grind settings, on the other hand, were not as consistent as you might like. Yet we still think they are better than what you might expect from the average low-budget grinder. Unless you plan to use it for a lot of French press or home-made cold brew, as opposed to lattes, flat whites and long blacks, we would not let that put you off this model.
The Atom has a high-speed grind dispersion system, and the dispersal is also impressively tidy. You are unlikely to have to clean up sprayed coffee grounds with this machine. What’s more, you can adjust the height of the portafilter handle or remove it completely if you are preparing a drip coffee.
The Eureka-patented Stepless Micrometric Regulation System means you have an infinite number of settings. However, rather than the grind settings clicking into place, you will be responsible for stopping the adjustment knob at the right point.
This can be a little tricky to get used to at first. While it results in a greater range of grind settings, changing them will need to be done carefully. And, if you frequently change between espresso and drip brewing methods, you might want to buy a different grinder on this list.
However, we liked how ergonomic and easy to control the adjustment knob is. And in fact, users praise this model for its ease of use.
It grinds by time, with the digital screen allowing you to choose between two different user-created times. This is ideal for switching between single and double shots. However, for technophobes, it is also possible to ignore the screen altogether and grind manually. Just flick the switch on and off to start and finish the grind.
Eureka boasts that it is easy to clean the burrs (scroll down to our section on coffee grinder cleaning and maintenance for more general information on this). The Eureka Blow Up System also reduces coffee retention, or the amount of ground coffee left behind in the grinder.
In short, the Eureka Atom is high-tech, easy to use and astonishingly quiet espresso grinder that also does an acceptable job with medium/drip grinds. We have no hesitation in recommending it.
Runner Up: Baratza Encore
The affordable Baratza Encore retails at around $200–$230 but is no lightweight option. With 40 settings, it performs well grinding from coarse to medium-fine levels. This makes it suitable for the French press, cold brew, pour overs and drip brewers, although it will struggle with espresso.
We love the quality of the build materials. Not only are the powerful motor and 40mm conical steel burrs durable and high-performing, but Baratza built in several additional features to help protect the Encore from potential wear and tear.
The thermal overload cut-out feature, for example, cuts in if there is any risk of the motor overheating. Say, for example, that a pebble was accidentally dropped into the grinder: as the burrs struggled to grind it down and began to overhead, the machine would realise something was wrong and cut out.
Users love the durability and consistent grind, in addition to Baratza’s customer service. Email responses tend to be quick and helpful.
The Encore is ideal for home use: the squat hopper, which is where the beans sit, along with the relatively short height (35cm) means it can sit underneath most kitchen counters – in fact, Baratza designed it with that placement in mind.
As a stepped grinder, it is also easy for new and experienced home brewers alike to adjust the grind size. Meanwhile, the easy-access burrs make deep cleaning less time-consuming, and it is also quieter than you might expect, thanks to the glass-filled thermoplastic in the drive gear.
The only thing we don’t like about this model is that you can’t grind by time, weight or volume. Instead, you have to measure the amount of coffee you want beforehand. Still, while slightly inconvenient, we felt that the Encore’s performance and affordability easily outweighed this issue.
In fact, if you are looking for a drip, filter or press grinder, we have no hesitation in recommending the Baratza Encore as the best entry-level option on the market.
The stylish Baratza Sette 270Wi mixes the Encore’s build quality and precision with a wide range of high-tech features, some of which you just won’t find on other grinders.
Retailing at $715, it is designed with espresso in mind but still does a decent job with grinding for drip coffee. Be careful to not accidentally purchase the cheaper but discontinued Baratza Sette 270W, which has less “intelligent” or self-adjusting features.
It has excellent consistency and precision at fine grind levels, thanks to the 44mm conical steel burrs. Compared to competitors’ models, the burrs stand out for their sharpness and high performance.
We would, however, avoid the Sette 270Wi if you want to grind for French press, cold brew or even Chemex coffee. While it does well with drip and certain pour overs (V60, Kalita Wave), the consistency will fall slightly as you go coarser.
The burrs are positioned upside down, which creates clump-free, fluffy grinds. As such, it is easier to distribute and tamp them in the portafilter. This adds up to better, more consistent extraction and greater control over how bitter, sweet or fruity your coffee is.
The reversed burr structure also cuts down on grind retention, or the amount of coffee left behind inside the machine. This means there is a reduced risk of old, stale grounds ending up in your portafilter, while less internal cleaning will be needed.
It has 270 different grind settings, which many home users might consider overkill, but the intelligent design of the dials means it doesn’t feel overwhelming – or take too long to switch between settings.
First, you select the macro grind (which ranges from 1 to 30). Then, you further refine that using a second dial that goes from one to nine. In this way, it is relatively easy to make minor adjustments if you feel your grind level is a little too coarse or fine (scroll down to our section on adjusting your grind settings to find out how to know when to change the grind level).
We love the in-built scales on the portafilter handles, which means it can grind by weight even when you are not using a basket. The technology behind them was developed by Acaia, a company specialising in high-tech scales for coffee shops.
You can programme the Sette 270Wi with three different weights, which is ideal if you like to switch between coffee-making methods (say, single espresso, double espresso and filter). The portafilter handles can also be adjusted so they can support a basket for drip brewing.
Speaking of the handles, they have a rubber coating to improve the grip and keep the portafilter or basket steady.
The pulse feature allows you to grind a tiny little bit more coffee into your portafilter or basket. It is designed for when you’ve realised that you have ever so slightly under-ground. The intelligent grinding feature also means that its accuracy will improve over time.
This is also an extremely quick grinder – perhaps quicker than is needed for a home user, at just 3.5g/second for espresso and 5.5g/second for drip.
The only problem is that the higher speed is created by a faster RPM than you would expect from a conical burr grinder, and this makes it noisier than average. In fact, it is this noise level that leads us to prefer the Eureka Atom.
However, if noise won’t be an issue for you, the Baratza Sette 270Wi is worth considering.
The Mazzer Mini is a small but impressive espresso grinder sold at around $900–$1300, depending on the retailer. It comes with 64mm flat burrs and operates at a respectable 250W (although this is significantly lower than the Eureka Atom).
The stepless grinding adjustment gives you lots of control over your grind settings, although – like the Eureka Atom – you might find switching between them a little fiddly. If you want to regularly change between grinding for espresso and other brew methods, you might prefer the Baratza Sette 270Wi.
However, the Mazzer Mini’s small size makes it ideal for tiny kitchens and shared flats, while users adore its reliability and quality.
There is little to actively dislike about this coffee grinder. It performs well, but ultimately, we believe that the Eureka Atom outperforms it. If you are short on space, the Mazzer Mini might be the best option for you. If not, look to one of our other top picks.
The Breville Smart Coffee Grinder Pro is a relatively affordable espresso grinder with a lot to offer.
It comes in black or black and silver, and inside the box, you will find two differently sized portafilter cradles, a grinder basket and a cleaning brush for its conical burrs. On the topic of cleaning, the magnetic catch tray also makes it easier to keep your kitchen grounds-free.
We like the fact that it has 60 different grind settings, giving you precision over the exact grind setting you use. As a stepped grinder, it is also easy to switch between settings.
However, like with many espresso grinders, the consistency starts to fall as the grind gets coarser. While it handles medium and fine grinds relatively well, it isn’t well-suited to French press, cold brew or even Chemex coffee.
At 165W, the motor isn’t as powerful as you might expect for an espresso grinder. In comparison, the Eureka Atom – our top-pick espresso grinder – runs at 450W.
If you are preparing a lot of espressos, say for a dinner party, or grinding lighter roasted coffee (which is generally denser), take care not to over-work the machine. Pay attention to the sound the motor makes and stop if you think it needs a break.
You can grind by time, with Breville’s Dosing IQ allowing you to programme the grinds in 0.2 second increments. Alternatively, its pre-programmed settings mean it can automatically grind to a pre-set time once the coarseness and grind quantity (number of shots or cups) has been input.
The LCD display is easy to understand and shows the grind setting, time and number of shots or cups at a glance. Reviewers love how user-friendly it is.
On the other hand, some users found it broke down quicker than they expected. They reported issues with the motor and the plastic impeller that pushes the ground coffee out of the machine. Fortunately, the two-year replacement warranty is relatively long.
Overall, the Breville Smart Coffee Grinder Pro has a lot of good features but is underpowered. While its low price (for an espresso grinder) and the large number of settings are attractive, we recommend paying the extra for the Baratza Sette 270Wi or even the Eureka Atom.
With its brushed stainless steel casing, the De’Longhi Dedica KG 521.M looks more expensive than its $179 price tag. It is designed to go with the De’Longhi Dedica espresso machine but can also be used separately.
It can grind into both a basket and De’Longhi portafilter. While you can use it with portafilters for other brands, you will have to hold them in place yourself.
Yet despite being designed for espresso and drip, this grinder struggles with both coarse and fine grinding. French press and cold brew fans, we think you will be happier with the Baratza Encore.
Equally, if your favourite coffee is a latte, cappuccino or other espresso-based drink, this may not be the grinder for you. Although it can probably grind well enough for pressurised espresso machines, most espresso-machine owners will find it cannot go fine enough without becoming too inconsistent. Instead, have a look at one of the other espresso grinders on our list, such as the Eureka Atom or Baratza Sette 270Wi.
Despite this, if you are mainly looking for a drip grinder, the De’Longhi Dedica KG 521.M produces fairly consistent grinds. It also has 18 grind settings and an LCD interface.
We like how easy it is to set this model up, even for those who are new to making coffee at home. When selecting how much coffee to grind, you can simply choose the number of cups and whether you like your drip coffee light, normal or strong – a unique feature that takes out some of the guesswork.
Its conical hardened-steel burrs should, in theory, keep it quiet while still relatively well-performing. Unfortunately, it is surprisingly noisy.
The dispersion is also messy due to high static levels, meaning you will probably find yourself cleaning sprayed coffee off your worktop after every use.
If you are shopping for a budget grinder that is easy to use, this might be the option for you. If, however, you are confident with adjusting the grind settings yourself or looking to prepare either French press or espresso, we recommend looking at some of our other top picks instead.
On paper, the $199 Sunbeam Café Series Conical Burr Grinder looks like a fairly decent budget option. It can be used with a portafilter or bucket, has conical burr grinds and the 25 stepped grind settings are easy to change. It comes with a standard 12-month replacement warranty as well as a 5-year motor warranty.
Yet it has a design flaw: many users find that it consistently grinds too coarse. To fix it, you need to open the grinder and insert spacers underneath the lower burr.
Sunbeam Customer Service state that not all users have to do this and that they will provide spacers to all customers within 12 months if the customer gets in touch with them. Yet we believe that coffee grinders should work as advertised and that customers should not need to open up their brand-new grinder to do engineering work on it.
On top of this, the high level of static can lead to a messy dispersal, especially if you are dosing into a portafilter. It is also prone to clumping.
In short, this coffee grinder may be cheap, but it is certainly not cheerful. We recommend the similarly priced Baratza Encore instead.
Budget Coffee Grinders Under $100
While you can find many no-frills grinders in supermarkets and department stores, in our experience, too many of them result in inconsistently ground coffee. They are also often noisy and hard to clean.
We do not recommend models that grind inconsistently. The purpose of buying whole beans and grinding at home rather is to get more flavour out of your beans (scroll down to our section on adjusting your grind settings for more details). Yet pre-ground is often better than poorly ground coffee. Inconsistent grinding is more likely to result in bitter, sour or muddied coffee.
If you’re really on a budget, you should skip an expresso coffee machine and coffee grinder, and opt for a coffee pod machine instead – they deliver better results at a lower price point (albeit at the cost of tweaking your brew to your personal preference).
How to Clean and Maintain Your Coffee Grinder
Coffee grinders are relatively easy to look after. Even so, a lot of dust and oil from your coffee beans can build up inside them. The darker your coffee roast, the more oil will probably end up coating the burrs and chutes – although that does not mean that light-roast drinkers can skip this section.
After using the grinder, make sure to clean the hopper and basket, if relevant. Every so often, you can also use a mini handheld hoover at the exit to help dislodge clumps.
Some people like to take the grinder apart to clean the burrs, although not all home users will find this necessary. If you choose to do so, follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.
You may also come across recommendations that you grind rice to soak up any oil and dust. We strongly recommend against this. Not only is rice harder than coffee, meaning you could damage the burrs, but it will potentially void the warranty.
How to Adjust Your Grind Settings
The grind size will affect how quickly coffee flavours and aromas are extracted from your coffee beans. But when it comes to extraction, more is not always better.
Different flavours and aromas are extracted at different points. The first compounds to be extracted are those responsible for fruity, acidic notes. This is followed by those that create sweetness, then bitterness and then, finally, astringency.
Start by using the ideal grind size for your coffee machine or filter brewing method. If, despite doing this, your coffee tastes too sour, you should then try using a finer grind size. If it is too bitter, go coarser.
Bear in mind that the issue isn’t always the grind size. For example, if your water is too hot or cold, this can affect the extraction.
Sometimes it is also caused by your choice of coffee. Most espresso roasts are medium, medium-dark, or dark. This is because the more acidic notes, those that don’t tend to go well with milk, are often obscured by the strong flavours of a darker roast. What’s more, some coffee origins will always taste fruitier or more chocolaty than others.
On the other hand, if your coffee is old, it will be hard to taste the fruitiness or acidity. Coffee is an organic product, and much like bread or cake, it will go stale over time. While no mould will develop and your coffee will always be safe to consume, many of the aromas and flavours will become faded.
Moreover, when coffee is ground, it goes stale quicker due to the increased exposure to the air. Professional baristas recommend brewing coffee within 15 minutes after it’s been ground.
So, if your coffee does not taste how you had hoped it would, start by checking the roast date, water temperature and time between grinding and brewing. If all these are looking good, adjust the grind settings. And if that still doesn’t resolve the issue, try a different coffee.
When adjusting your grind size, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If they do not specify, adjust it when the grinder is empty or running (as opposed to just turned on). When adjusting finer, you are moving the burrs closer together and there could be coffee between them. If the burrs are not actively grinding, the coffee could jam them.
Go slowly when making adjustments: a small change in the grind level can add up to a significant change in how your coffee tastes. Make sure you note the original grind setting in case you decide that you have gone too far.
Coffee Grinder Warranties
The Australian Consumer Law (ACL) protects consumers’ rights and enforces automatic guarantees. However, it is widely misunderstood, with many consumers believing it offers greater protection than is actually true.
Contrary to widely held beliefs, the ACL does not provide an automatic guarantee for up to two years. This timeframe is only for mobile phones bought under a two-year contract. In reality, the time in which you can get a refund, exchange or repair will depend on the nature of the product you have bought.
There is no specific mention of coffee grinders in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s guide to electricals and white goods under the ACL. When purchasing a coffee grinder, we recommend confirming the warranty length and what exactly it covers. Some warranties only extend to parts and labour, while others cover replacements.
Bear in mind that while the manufacturer cannot charge for repairs (unless it is a user-created fault), there may be fees for transport and/or home collection costs under certain conditions, e.g. if the customer cannot return it to the point of purchase.
This can be further complicated by the fact that, unlike most kitchen appliances, high-quality coffee grinders are often sold by specialist companies rather than department stores. These companies tend to be smaller and to sometimes import the grinders under (sometimes exclusive) licences.
However, when buying a coffee grinder from a registered business in Australia, you are entitled to the same automatic protection under the ACL as any other consumer. This is regardless of where the product was manufactured.
On the other hand, should the manufacturer or retailer decide the fault was caused by the user, or exacerbated in some way by incorrect use or a lack of appropriate maintenance (e.g. using it to grind other food items such as grains, spices or chickpeas), the manufacturer and/or retailer can argue that they do not have to repair or replace the coffee grinder for free.
The Bottom Line: Which Coffee Grinder Should You Buy?
Either of our top picks (Eureka Atom and Baratza Encore) will consistently grind coffee with a high level of precision and reliability. We think they are the two best coffee grinders available in 2020 in Australia.
Best high-tech espresso coffee grinder: Eureka Atom
Best entry-level drip coffee grinder: Baratza Encore