The Best Espresso Grinder Under £500

health and wellness

9th February 2024 | 00:40:51

The Best Espresso Grinder Under £500

The Best Espresso Grinder Under £500

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TLDR: This video reviews and compares six espresso grinders under £500: Baratza Sette 270, Timemore 064 S, Niche Zero, Eureka Mignon Oro, DF64 Gen 2, and Lagom Mini. The reviewer discusses the pros and cons of each grinder, including their grind quality, ease of use, and value for money. Ultimately, the reviewer selects the DF64 Gen 2 as the best overall pick.
Unveiling the Finest Espresso Grinders Under £500
In the realm of coffee enthusiasts, the quest for the perfect espresso experience transcends the boundaries of casual enjoyment, evolving into an art form that demands precision, consistency, and an unwavering dedication to quality. At the heart of this pursuit lies the espresso grinder, an unsung hero that wields immense influence over the character and integrity of your espresso shots.
With a plethora of options available, selecting the ideal espresso grinder under £500 can be a daunting task, especially for those navigating the complexities of coffee brewing for the first time. To illuminate this path, we embarked on a comprehensive journey, meticulously evaluating six of the most sought-after espresso grinders in this price range: the Baratza Sette 270, Timemore 064S, Niche Zero, Eureka Mignon Oro, DF64 Gen 2, and the Lagom Mini.
A Comparative Analysis of Espresso Grinders
  • Baratza Sette 270:
    • Features: Conical burr design, 25 grind settings, portafilter-friendly catch cup, hot start capability, compact size.
    • Pros: Simple to use, consistent grind quality, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, affordable price point.
    • Cons: Limited grind adjustment range for espresso, retention issues, noisy operation.
  • Timemore 064S:
    • Features: Flat burr design, stepless grind adjustment, magnetic catch cup, RPM variation capability, compact size.
    • Pros: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, portable design.
    • Cons: Small hopper capacity, limited grind retention, lack of portafilter-friendly catch cup.
  • Niche Zero:
    • Features: Conical burr design, stepless grind adjustment, portafilter-friendly catch cup, anti-popcorning disc.
    • Pros: Exceptional grind quality, consistent performance, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, compact design.
    • Cons: Higher price point, safety switch hinders hot starts, limited range for coarser grinds.
  • Eureka Mignon Oro:
    • Features: Flat burr design, stepless grind adjustment, tilted body for easy dosing, Bellows for reducing retention.
    • Pros: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, easy to use.
    • Cons: Bellows may not be everyone's preference, limited grind range for espresso, higher noise levels.
  • DF64 Gen 2:
    • Features: Flat burr design, stepless grind adjustment, portafilter-friendly catch cup, Bellows for reducing retention.
    • Pros: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, easy to use.
    • Cons: Bellows may not be everyone's preference, limited grind range for espresso, higher noise levels.
  • Lagom Mini:
    • Features: Conical burr design, stepless grind adjustment, magnetic catch cup, compact size.
    • Pros: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, compact design.
    • Cons: Limited grind range for espresso, retention issues, slow grinding speed.
A Comparative Blind Espresso Tasting
To objectively assess the espresso quality produced by each grinder, we conducted a blind tasting session, enlisting the expertise of Ben from Square Miles Training to pull shots using an identical recipe and water chemistry. The results revealed subtle yet distinct differences in the flavor profiles of the espresso shots:
  • Baratza Sette 270: A balanced shot with pleasant acidity, sweetness, and a smooth texture.
  • Timemore 064S: A brighter shot with more clarity, acidity, and a cleaner finish.
  • Niche Zero: A shot with rich body, full texture, and a complex flavor profile.
  • Eureka Mignon Oro: A shot with a pleasing balance of acidity, sweetness, and a velvety texture.
  • DF64 Gen 2: A shot with a clean and sweet profile, but lacking in complexity and clarity.
  • Lagom Mini: A shot with a unique combination of clarity and texture, exhibiting a pleasant acidity and balanced sweetness.
Particle Size Analysis: Unraveling the Grind Consistency
To gain a deeper understanding of the grind consistency produced by each grinder, we employed a sophisticated particle size analyzer, meticulously measuring the size and distribution of ground coffee particles. The results provided valuable insights into the performance of each grinder:
  • Flat burr grinders (Timemore 064S, Eureka Mignon Oro, DF64 Gen 2): These grinders exhibited similar grind profiles, characterized by a distinct peak particle size and a relatively low proportion of fines.
  • Conical burr grinders (Baratza Sette 270, Niche Zero, Lagom Mini): These grinders produced a broader distribution of particle sizes, with a less pronounced peak and a higher proportion of fines.
Additional Considerations: Noise, Grind Time, and Power Consumption
Beyond grind quality and espresso performance, we also evaluated the grinders based on additional practical factors:
Noise: The Baratza Sette 270 and DF64 Gen 2 generated the highest noise levels during operation, while the Timemore 064S and Lagom Mini were noticeably quieter.
Grind Time: The Lagom Mini had the longest grind times, particularly for espresso settings, while the Baratza Sette 270 and Niche Zero were among the fastest.
Power Consumption: The DF64 Gen 2 exhibited the highest power consumption, exceeding its rated wattage, while the Timemore 064S and Lagom Mini consumed the least amount of power.
Likes and Dislikes: A Personal Perspective
While our evaluations provided objective data on the performance of each grinder, personal preferences and specific requirements also play a significant role in determining the ideal choice. Here are some notable likes and dislikes associated with each grinder:
  • Baratza Sette 270: Affordable, simple to use, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee. However, it can be noisy and has limited grind adjustment range for espresso.
  • Timemore 064S: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, portable design. However, it has a small hopper capacity and limited grind retention.
  • Niche Zero: Exceptional grind quality, stepless adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, compact design. However, it has a higher price point and a limited range for coarser grinds.
  • Eureka Mignon Oro: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, easy to use. However, the Bellows may not be preferred by everyone, and it can be noisy.
  • DF64 Gen 2: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, easy to use. However, the Bellows may not be preferred by everyone, and it can be noisy.
  • Lagom Mini: Excellent grind quality, precise adjustment, suitable for both espresso and filter coffee, compact design. However, it has a limited grind range for espresso, retention issues, and slow grinding speed.
The Verdict: Unveiling the Ultimate Choice
After meticulous testing and analysis, the Timemore 064S emerged as our top pick for the best espresso grinder under £500. Its exceptional grind quality, precise adjustment capabilities, and suitability for both espresso and filter coffee make it a versatile and reliable choice for home baristas. While it may have a smaller hopper capacity and limited grind retention compared to other contenders, its strengths far outweigh these minor drawbacks.
The DF64 Gen 2 closely follows the Timemore 064S, offering comparable grind quality and versatility at a slightly lower price point. However, the Bellows and noise levels may be deterrents for some users.
For those seeking a more compact and budget-friendly option, the Baratza Sette 270 is a solid choice, delivering consistent grind quality and ease of use. However, its limited grind adjustment range for espresso and higher noise levels may be drawbacks for some.
Ultimately, the choice of the best espresso grinder under £500 depends on individual preferences, brewing habits, and specific requirements. By carefully considering the detailed analysis and personal insights provided in this comprehensive guide, coffee enthusiasts can make an informed decision and select the grinder that perfectly complements their coffee journey.
FAQ:
Q: How does the Baratza Sette 270 compare to the other grinders in terms of features and performance?
A: The Baratza Sette 270 is a relatively affordable conical burr grinder with a range of features that make it a good choice for home baristas. It has a sturdy build quality and a simple user interface with a digital display and programmable grind settings. The grind quality is consistent and suitable for both espresso and filter coffee. However, it is not as fast as some of the other grinders in this comparison and may not be the best choice for those who need to grind large amounts of coffee quickly.
Q: How does the Timemore C2 compare to the Niche Zero in terms of grind quality and usability?
A: The Timemore C2 is a newer grinder that has gained popularity for its compact size and portability. It uses 64mm flat burrs and offers stepless grind adjustment, making it suitable for a wide range of brewing methods. The grind quality is excellent, producing consistent results for both espresso and filter coffee. It is also relatively easy to use, with a simple user interface and a magnetic catch cup for easy cleanup. However, it is more expensive than the Niche Zero and may not be as durable in the long run.
Q: What are the key differences between the Niche Zero and the Eureka Mignon Oro?
A: The Niche Zero and the Eureka Mignon Oro are two popular single-dose grinders that offer high-quality results. The Niche Zero is known for its simple design, easy adjustability, and consistent grind quality. It has a stepless grind adjustment mechanism and a large catch cup that can accommodate a double shot of espresso. The Eureka Mignon Oro is a more traditional grinder with a doser and a timed grinding function. It has a larger burr set and a more powerful motor, making it faster and more suitable for grinding larger amounts of coffee.
Q: How does the DF64 compare to the Lagom Mini in terms of grind quality and workflow?
A: The DF64 and the Lagom Mini are both popular flat burr grinders that offer excellent grind quality. The DF64 is a more affordable option, with a simpler design and fewer features. It has a stepless grind adjustment mechanism and a magnetic catch cup. The Lagom Mini is a more premium grinder with a more refined design and a wider range of features. It has a digital display, programmable grind settings, and a built-in bellow for purging coffee grounds. Both grinders produce consistent and high-quality results, but the Lagom Mini may be a better choice for those who want a more user-friendly experience and are willing to pay a higher price.
Q: Which grinder is the best for espresso and which is the best for filter coffee?
A: The best grinder for espresso will depend on your specific needs and preferences. If you are looking for a grinder that can produce fine grinds for espresso, the Timemore C2, the Niche Zero, the Eureka Mignon Oro, and the DF64 are all good options. If you are also interested in grinding for filter coffee, the Lagom Mini and the Timemore C2 may be better choices due to their wider range of grind settings. Ultimately, the best way to choose the right grinder for you is to consider your brewing methods, budget, and desired features.

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9th February 2024

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