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Best Espresso Grinder On A Budget: Top Picks for 2024

espresso grinder and espresso machine, best espresso grinder

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For espresso lovers, there’s nothing quite like pulling a perfect shot. And to achieve that ideal shot, you need more than just an espresso machine; you’ll also want to invest in a high-quality espresso grinder.

An espresso grinder is a specialized coffee grinder designed to grind coffee beans to a very fine, consistent size. This is essential for creating the perfect espresso shot, which requires a precise balance of coffee, water, and pressure.

When shopping for the best espresso grinder, there are a few critical things to consider. One of the most important factors is the grinder’s burr type (flat burr vs. conical). Burr grinders are generally considered the best grinder for espresso, as they produce a consistent grind size and don’t generate as much heat as blade grinders. Other essential factors include the grinder’s hopper size, motor power, and ease of use and cleaning.

But, as you may have discovered, specialized espresso grinders are expensive. So, what’s the home barista on a budget to do?

That’s where we come in. We’ve researched and found several stand-out budget espresso grinder options. Our top picks offer a range of features and price points so you can find the perfect coffee grinder to suit your needs and budget. 

Whether you’re a seasoned barista on a budget or at the start of your espresso journey, one of our picks for the best budget espresso grinder will bring you one step closer to that perfect espresso shot.

barista grinding espresso into portafilter

Best Espresso Grinder

Brewing delicious espresso requires precision and attention to detail. One of the most important steps in brewing is grinding the beans to the perfect consistency. But with so many options on the market, choosing the best espresso grinder for your needs can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve researched and compiled a list of the best espresso grinders on a tight budget. Our list includes grinders at various price points and with different features, so you’ll find one that meets your needs and budget.

You might notice that only one of our picks is a flat burr grinder. Flat burr grinders are significantly more expensive than their conical counterparts. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that flat burr grinders are superior to conical burr grinders. They both offer pros and cons.

Let’s get to our picks for the best espresso grinder on a budget.

Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder

Eureka Mignon Notte Flat Burr Grinder Black

The Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder is worth considering if you’re looking for a reliable and high-quality espresso grinder and don’t mind spending a little extra cash. It is the most expensive on our list but also the best espresso grinder at this price point.

Pros

  • The high-sensitivity burr adjustments give the Mignon Notte excellent control for espresso grinds.
  • The step-less burrs provide near-infinite grind settings for excellent espresso.
  • The bottom-burr adjust is unique to Eureka grinders, letting you disassemble the burrs without losing your grind setting.

Cons

  • The manual dosing may take some time if you’re used to automatic dosing.
  • The price point may be a bit high for some home baristas.
  • The grinder can be a bit loud, especially at higher grind settings.

We recently had the opportunity to test out the Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder, and we were impressed with its performance overall. What sets the Notte apart from other entry-level grinders on this list is its flat stainless steel burrs; this is a proper espresso grinder, and it performs best at fine settings.

The high-sensitivity burr adjustments provide excellent control for espresso grinds, allowing us to dial in our shots precisely. The step-less flat burrs give you near-infinite grind settings for excellent espresso, and the bottom-burr adjust lets you disassemble the burrs without losing your grind setting.

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One thing to note is that manual dosing may take some getting used to if you’re used to automatic dosing. However, some practice made it easy to get the hang of it. Additionally, the price point may be a bit high for some home baristas, but the quality of the grinder is worth it if you’re serious about your espresso.

Finally, we did notice that the grinder can be a bit loud, especially at higher grind settings. However, this is a minor issue and is to be expected with most grinders.

Overall, we highly recommend the Eureka Mignon Notte Espresso Grinder to anyone looking for a high-quality and reliable espresso grinder who will exclusively grind for espresso and other finer grind brewing.

It’s built in Italy by hand, and the attention to detail and quality is evident in its build and performance. It is the best espresso grinder on this list and one of the highest-quality espresso grinders available at this price point.

1Zpresso J Ultra Manual Coffee Grinder

1zpresso J ultra espresso grinder

You may be tired of hearing us talk about 1Zpresso. Sorry, not sorry. We have loved our 1Zpresso JX-Pro Manual Coffee Grinder for years and highly recommended it until it was recently discontinued.

The J Ultra is the newest in 1Zpresso’s line of espresso-focused grinders, and it is nothing short of exceptional.

In fact, we recommend this hand grinder to just about everyone we know for any brewing method. It is just that good.

Pros

  • The foldable crank handle makes it portable and easy to store.
  • The fine adjustment dial design (8 microns per click) allows for precise control over the grind size.
  • The 48mm coated conical burrs ensure a consistent and efficient grind with minimal effort.

Cons

  • The price point is higher than some other manual grinders.
  • The capacity is only 35-40g, so it may not be ideal for brewing larger batches (but ideal for grinding for espresso).
  • The calibration process can be a bit tricky for first-time users.

We’ve been using one of the J-Ultra’s predecessors, the JX Pro, for a couple of years and have been blown away by the quality of the grind. The J-Ultra takes this precision to the next level, offering a super-fine adjustment (8 microns per click compared to the JX Pro’s 12). The fine adjustment dial design allows you to find the perfect grind size for espresso easily, and the 48mm conical burrs provide a consistent grind every time. 

One thing to note is that the calibration process can be tricky for first-time users. However, it’s a breeze once you get the hang of it, and 1Zpresso has plenty of reference guides available online.

Additionally, the price point is a bit higher than some other manual grinders on the market, but when compared to our other electric picks for the best espresso grinder, it’s actually a steal for the quality and consistency of the grind it produces.

Plus, the foldable crank handle makes it easy to store and transport (We’ve taken our JX Pro on multiple vacations, and ours even lacks the foldable handle!) While we view the manual nature of this grinder as a positive, we understand that for some, hand-grinding coffee might be out of the question.

But overall, we highly recommend the 1Zpresso J-Ultra Manual Coffee Grinder to anyone willing and able to use a little elbow grease to produce a high-quality, precise espresso grind at a reasonable price point. Still not convinced? Check out our full review of a similar predecessor, the now-discontinued JX Pro.

Solis Scala Zero Static Coffee & Espresso Grinder

Solis Scala Zero Espresso Grinder

If manual grinding isn’t your speed, the budget-friendly Solis Scala Zero Static Espresso Grinder might be the best espresso grinder for you.

Pros

  • The Scala Zero offers 24 grind adjustment steps, making getting the perfect grind for your espresso easy.
  • With the 60-second adjustable timer, you can save your ideal dose and get consistent results every time.
  • The electrically charged anti-static system in the spout of the grinder helps reduce messy build-up in your grounds bin.

Cons

  • Consistency in coarser settings leaves something to be desired.
  • The plastic construction of the grinder may not be as durable as some other options on the market.
  • The Scala Zero is relatively new to the market, so there may not be as many user reviews yet.

In our experience, the Solis Scala Zero Static Coffee Grinder is a solid choice for those on a budget looking for a versatile grinder that can handle espresso and other brewing methods. The stepped settings make it easy to dial in your grind, and the timed dosing feature helps ensure consistency in your shots.

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We especially love the static reduction on this model, which is a massive improvement from the original Solis Scala. The cleanup is almost non-existent, plus its compact stature makes it easy to tuck away if you don’t want it to live on your counter.

One thing to note is that the grinder’s plastic construction may pose longevity issues compared to other options on the market, so keep that in mind if you’re looking for an affordable grinder that will last for years to come.

Overall, we think the Solis Scala Zero Static Coffee & Espresso Grinder is the best budget espresso grinder for those just starting with espresso or looking for a budget-friendly grinder that can handle a variety of brewing methods. If you’re looking for an affordable espresso grinder that can deliver consistent results and won’t break the bank, the Scala Zero is definitely worth considering.

Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder

Baratza Sette 30 burr grinder

If you’re looking for an entry-level home grinder that can handle grinding for espresso and other brewing methods requiring a finer grind, the Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder is the best budget espresso grinder for you. Is it as good as the Baratza Sette 270? Not quite. But at this price point, it’s a fantastic entry-level option.

It can produce a consistent grind with 30 grind settings and high-speed grinding up to 5g/second. Plus, it comes with a digital timer that gives you precise control over how much coffee you need.

Pros

  • The Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder features a beautiful design and incredibly fast grinding for the price and is backed by Baratza’s world-class support.
  • Its user-friendly grind adjustment feature allows you to adjust the grind settings easily.
  • The innovative straight-thru grind mechanism ensures minimal retention (almost zero waste) and creates fluffy grounds with minimal clumps.

Cons

  • The Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder is very noisy, which can be problematic if you grind early in the morning or late at night.
  • It’s a bit expensive compared to other entry-level grinders, but it’s worth the investment if you’re serious about making great coffee.
  • It lacks the granular grind adjustments of the 270, making it more challenging to dial in espresso.
  • Gearbox may fail after a couple of years, but Baratza offers exceptional technical support for repairs (in the US).
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The Baratza Sette 30 is the most basic of the Sette line, yet we’re impressed with its performance. It’s easy to use, and we love the digital timer feature, which lets us get the perfect amount of coffee every time. The grind settings are easy to adjust, and we appreciate the consistent grind we get with this grinder.

One thing to note is that the Baratza Sette 30 Conical Burr Grinder is incredibly noisy due in part to its mostly plastic construction. The Sette 30 is also lightning-fast, further contributing to its noisiness. However, we have found that the noise is worth it for the stellar coffee we get at such a reasonable price point.

The Baratza Sette 30 is hands down the best espresso grinder for under $300. Overall, we highly recommend it to anyone in the US looking for an entry-level home grinder that can handle grinding for espresso and who isn’t bothered by loud noises.

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a decent option if you are looking for a high-tech, feature-rich, high-quality espresso grinder that looks good and matches your Breville espresso machine.

Pros

  • The 60 precise grind settings allow maximum flavor potential and suit your favorite brew.
  • The Precision Electronic Timer allows users to adjust grind time in 0.2-second increments and grind a consistent dose every time.
  • Includes two portafilter holders and an 18 oz hopper featuring a unique lock/unlock mechanism.

Cons

  • The grinder is relatively loud, which may be a problem for some households.
  • The grinder can be messy, with coffee grounds sometimes spilling out of the catch cup onto the countertop.
  • The price point is higher than similar espresso grinders on the market that offer better consistency and durability.

With 60 precise grind settings, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro allows you to achieve maximum flavor potential for your favorite brew, espresso, or French press. The Precision Electronic Timer is also a great feature, as it allows you to adjust grind time in 0.2-second increments and ensures a consistent dose every time.

But there are times when less is more, and this is one of those times. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is indeed very smart. It might be too smart for its own good. With seemingly infinite settings combinations (grind size, grind time, number of shots), dialing in the perfect grind can be overwhelming, making it a less-than-ideal choice for beginner espresso brewers.

Additional downsides to the Breville Smart Grinder Pro are its noise level and messiness. The grinder is relatively loud, which may be a problem if you’re trying to grind coffee early in the morning. Additionally, the grinder makes a bit of a mess around the portafilter. Luckily, Breville included a magnetic base plate for easy cleaning.

Overall, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro isn’t the best espresso grinder we’ve ever tested, but it’s an excellent option if you love high-tech features and are willing to spend a little extra time getting to know your machine and dialing in the perfect shot.

Fellow Opus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

fellow opus grinder

Okay, hear us out. This is more of an honorable mention than a top pick for the best espresso grinder. If you’re looking for a highly versatile and high-quality coffee grinder at an accessible price point, the Fellow Opus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a great option.

Pros

  • Grinds for espresso while covering the full range of precise grind sizes from pour-over to cold brew.
  • A 6-blade 40 mm conical burr set and powerful motor with 6Nm of torque deliver outstanding consistency and flavor across all brewing styles.
  • Use the volumetric dosing lid to measure beans for up to 12 cups of brewed coffee, pop the load bin lid for a grind guide so you’re never lost, make precision adjustments using the inner ring, and keep your settings in check with unique no-tool calibration.

Cons

  • The price point may be a bit high for those on a budget.
  • Some users may find the grinder to be a bit loud.
  • The plastic construction may not be as durable as some other grinders.

In our experience, the Fellow Opus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a great choice for anyone who wants to enjoy a variety of coffee beverages at home. Our full review of the Fellow Opus will give you more detail on its pros and cons, but here’s a summary of why we’ve included it here.

The grinder’s 41+ easily adjustable settings allow you to achieve the perfect grind for any brewing method, from espresso to cold brew. This means it’s a versatile grinder for the beginner barista, allowing you to experiment with more than just espresso.

The grinder’s 6-blade 40 mm conical burr set and the powerful motor delivers outstanding consistency and flavor across all brewing styles. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a beginner, you’ll appreciate the quality and convenience of this grinder.

The Fellow Opus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is also very user-friendly. The volumetric dosing lid makes measuring beans for up to 12 cups of brewed coffee easy, while the load bin lid provides a helpful grind guide.

Does it offer granular espresso adjustments? Not really. We’ve found that the Opus only grinds fine enough for espresso at the lowest two settings, but it does a decent job at it. It just won’t allow for micro adjustments and fine-tuning of your shot.

Is the Opus the best espresso grinder? No. But overall, we highly recommend the Fellow Opus to anyone who appreciates form and function and is a fan of the Fellow line of products. This grinder looks fantastic on your kitchen counter and can grind for a wide range of brewing styles, including espresso.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best grind size for espresso?

The grind size is crucial when it comes to espresso. The best grind size is generally considered fine but not too fine. The ideal grind size depends on your espresso machine and coffee.

Dialing in your espresso shots is part of the fun, so don’t be afraid to experiment with your grind, coffee beans, and espresso machine settings. Each coffee bean is unique and may require slight adjustments to your routine to achieve the best-tasting espresso shot.

How important is a good grinder for espresso?

Using the best espresso grinder is essential for making great espresso. Espresso requires a very fine and consistent grind. If the grind is too coarse, the water will pass through too quickly, resulting in weak and watery espresso. On the other hand, if the grind is too fine, the water will struggle to pass through, resulting in bitter and overextracted espresso.

A good espresso grinder will ensure you can achieve a consistent grind size for your espresso, resulting in a delicious and well-balanced shot every time. Investing in one of our picks for the best budget espresso grinder is a fantastic first step if you are serious about making great espresso at home.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Heather Calatrello

Heather Calatrello owner of ShedLight Coffee Roasters