The best mini coffee grinder
To enjoy the best-tasting coffee possible, you don’t just need to buy and preserve quality beans, you want the right tools as well. A mini coffee grinder allows you to grind up exactly how much coffee you need, providing peak freshness to your cup. What’s more, these smaller-size options are portable and easy to store.
Our favorite mini coffee grinder is a stainless steel option from Porlex. Read our guide to find out why as well as the important factors that create a useful mini coffee grinder.
What to know before you buy a mini coffee grinder
Coffee grinders use either burrs or blades. While the latter option is popular and inexpensive, blades don’t produce even grounds, which can lead to coffee lacking in flavor and consistency.
As such, burr grinders, though more expensive, are the preferred option by coffee lovers. Every bean contacts the burr, which means all the grounds are even. Even grounds allow for the best flavor extraction. Burr grinders can also be toggled to adjust the size of the grind.
Mini coffee grinders may be manually operated or electrically powered. Manual grinders are useful if you want to enjoy coffee away from a power source, such as when camping. They tend to be fairly affordable and prove useful when making one or two cups at a time. They also make little to no noise when in use.
Electric grinders are fast and easy to use, and just like manual grinders, may feature settings to change the coarseness. These are better if you’re planning on making a couple more cups of coffee, or if manually grinding is arduous on your hands.
Your mini coffee grinder should have at least a couple of coarseness settings so you can brew the cup you desire, but some higher-end options allow for 10 or even 20 different settings. While you may not need all of the options, if you change up your routine, drinking espresso or French press at times, you may embrace the grind size possibilities.
Most mini coffee grinders, as their name suggests, are only going to hold about a few cups of coffee. They aren't the best companion when regularly looking to fill up a 10- or 12-cup coffee maker, though there are some larger options available that still fall under the “mini” category.
Mini coffee grinder features
Some grinders offer versatility, allowing you to grind up wet ingredients using a wet bowl, like garlic and other spices. While these items aren't necessarily wet, they can produce moisture. An extra bowl is helpful to avoid cross-contamination when switching back to coffee.
While some burrs and most blades are made from stainless steel, ceramic is a popular material in burr grinders. Ceramic resists rust and lasts a long time, even compared to stainless steel. In particular, some coffee lovers want to avoid the potential heat emissions of steel burrs by opting for a ceramic model so that the coffee flavor isn’t at all altered. Ceramic burrs are also ideal for espresso lovers, as they can achieve a particularly fine grind.
Mini coffee grinder prices
You can find quality mini coffee grinders that boast a variety of coarseness settings for $20-$40. These may be manual or electric, with either blades or burrs.
Mini coffee grinder FAQ
Q. How do I clean the mini coffee grinder?
A. As these items are not dishwasher-safe, cleaning can take some time and care. Use a damp paper towel or cloth to wipe the insides, watching out for the blade. Dry it completely before storing, and handle ceramic grinders with care, as any drops or falls can damage them. Clean the grinder every time you change beans, or once every week or two.
Q. How should I store my beans and grinds?
A. Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container away from heat, light and humidity. They can last for months if stored correctly, though once they’re ground, they will lose their flavor rather quickly. The mini grinder allows you to grind no more than you need.
Which mini coffee grinder should I get?
Best of the best: Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
Our take: High-quality manual grinder that boasts a range of settings so you can have a delicious espresso, French press and everything in between.
What we like: Features ceramic conical burrs. Stainless steel body is durable and attractive. Provides fast, consistent grind.
What we dislike: Handle can come off easily; may take some getting used to.
Best bang for your buck: JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
Our take: Budget-friendly manual grinder offering portability, reliability and versatility for all coffee drinkers.
What we like: Features an impressive 18 different settings for coffee. Includes a ceramic burr. Light, slender and quiet. The crank is removable for easy storage or travel.
What we dislike: Grinding process can take some time.
Honorable mention: Krups Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder
Our take: Quick and efficient electric grinder that provides a consistent grind every time from a trusted name in engineering.
What we like: With 200 watts of power, grind coffee as well as spices fast and easily. Quiet operation. Light and compact.
What we dislike: Cleaning is tedious. Blade doesn’t always produce even grinds.
Anthony Marcusa is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.