Making a fresh cup of coffee straight from a french press is a lovely and flavorful way to start to the day. In order to get the perfect cup of french press coffee however, your coffee beans will need to be ground fresh right before brewing, preferably with a burr grinder rather than a blade.
I used to just put whatever coffee I had on hand, usually a scoop of already ground beans, into my french press and add hot water, making a subpar cup each time. It wasn’t until I got my hands on my first grinder and experimented with course grind that I discovered the difference in quality.
If you’re making a cup of french press coffee, grinding the beans fresh before you start is essential to great flavor. Within hours of the grinding process, coffee begins to lose its flavor and aroma. Once the surface area has been exposed, the coffee is subject to losing freshness.
Preserving the freshness of your beans is key to making a delicious batch of french press coffee, and the reason you should always grind your coffee immediately before making your brew.
There are a lot of different coffee grinders out there, and I prefer to use ones with burrs instead of blades, for a more even, reliable grind.
If you are considering purchasing a small electric burr coffee grinder, you’ll want to keep in mind the many varieties they come in. Some are more heavy duty than others, and many come with a variety of different settings for grinding.
Lower on this page I’ve reviewed six of the best options for a small burr grinder but before we get to those reviews let’s summarize them first in the following table.
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|Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
► The Best! My #1 Recommendation
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|Brim Electric Handheld Burr Grinder
► Literally the Smallest Burr Grinder
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|KRUPS GVX212 Coffee Grinder
► Super Affordable Grinder
Obviously the best electric burr grinders are a bit bigger and more expensive but these all serve as good entry points to home grinding without spending too much money.
If you want to see my full review of some of these grinders then scroll down the page just a bit and let’s dive in.
This commercial-grade machine is comprised of conical steel burrs for perfect grinding. This is the most heavy-duty of the list, with gear-reduction motors to create a slow, quiet, static-less grind, which also serves to protect the flavor and aroma of the coffee.
This machine still has settings for grinding levels, but a little more simplified. There is an extra fine, fine, regular, and coarse setting, suitable for all preferences.
As far as convenience goes, the burrs are removable and easy to clean, and the machine comes with a cleaning brush and measuring scoop.
I really like the large, silicone comfort grip which allows you to hold the machine comfortably while grinding. There are nine settings which can produce a grind fine enough for espresso, and coarse enough for a french press.
The burrs are stainless steel, meant to optimize the speed of the grind, which helps preserve the flavor of the beans.
The burr mill system is designed to prevent overheating, meaning the coffee will always stay fresh and maintain its aroma. You can select the quantity you are grinding, and the machine will automatically turn off once its ground the right amount.
What stands out about this machine the most is the safety and maintenance features. The grinder will not turn on unless the lids are secured safely in place, and the burrs are removable for easy clean up. Even better for clean up, the machine comes with cleaning brush to get in the tight spaces.
This product makes it nearly impossible to not get the exact grounds you desire. There are 17 different settings, ranging from the finest to the coarsest. If you make a lot of different varieties of coffee, this would be a great choice because you can experiment with the settings to find the perfect number for whatever you are making.
The bottom unit has a bin with measurements, allowing you to get the right amount each time. It even has a timer and auto shut off, and can grind 2 to 12 cups of coffee.
This grinder promises lower heat generation during the grind, which helps maintain the freshness of the coffee.
There is a unit to add the whole beans to, and the product comes out in the bottom chamber. The grinder is easy to operate, and you can adjust how fine or coarse your grounds are by turning the cup counter-clockwise.
Grinding is an easy, one-click process. The two-part machine is easy to use, and easy to separate and clean.
I adore the look of this electric burr grinder. It’s got a black body, with a design very similar to the Gourmia Compact Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, but more sophisticated and sleek.
Like the Nesco, this grinder has multiple settings to allow you to reach your desired level of coarseness.
What sets this apart from the previous grinders is the extra features. This comes equipped with a 3-suction base to prevent it from falling off the counter and potentially getting busted. This is a big plus for me, as I have a lot of clutter and knowing this won’t get bumped off the countertop is a big relief.
How to Choose a Small Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
The purpose of a coffee grinder is to chop beans rapidly and efficiently. Beyond that, the right grinder to choose is dependent on a lot of lifestyle and personal needs.
First, consider how often you realistically will be needing to grind coffee, and at what capacity. If you just want to make a french press a few times a week, and that process will consist of pressing “grind” a couple of times until the beans resemble crushed black pepper, you probably don’t need a grinder with 17 different settings.
If you are going to be grinding on a daily basis, and use a variety of different textures, a compact grinder with few settings might be too little for your needs, and even get worn out too quickly.
All of the grinders on this list are high-quality choices, they just need to be aligned with the right lifestyle.
FAQ for Small Electric Burr Coffee Grinders
Are burrs better to grind with than blades?
Burrs and blades both have the same end goal: ground coffee. But blades tend to produce a less even grind than burrs, causing the taste to be inconsistent because of the mix of finely and coarsely ground beans.
An even grind is important, and burrs are more accurate at grinding coffee consistently because they chop the coffee in a manner that is more controlled than the typical blade.
Can I grind beans for a regular pot of coffee, not a french press or pour over?
Absolutely. All of the burr grinders on this list are great for creating the fine texture you’d want to put in a typical coffee maker.
Personally, I only ever buy whole beans. I always grind my beans fresh, even before putting them in my big coffee maker, to keep the flavor as potent as possible.
What is the difference between a high or low speed grind?
A low speed grind is generally preferred as it creates less heat and static, which can affect the taste of the coffee. I also prefer a low-speed grinder because they are typically quieter than their high-speed counterpart, which is useful early in the morning.
And now to wrap things up.
A coffee grinder is essential for any serious coffee-enthusiast. Nothing beats the fresh taste and aroma of a cup of coffee that came from freshly ground beans.
If you are looking to start grinding your beans, or find a better grinder for your money, you’ll want to take all of the features of these different burr grinders into account.
For me, the KONA Electric Grinder fits all of my needs. I love the design, and the look fits great with the rest of my coffee supplies. The grinder is also simple, which is important because I do not like having excess products or functions that I won’t use.
I just like to brew an easy french press a few days out of the week, and for that I always stick to one level of coarseness. This machine has very clear settings, which means I can play around and figure out which one produces the perfect cup, and then set it for that each time.
On days when I don’t make a french press, I still like to grind my coffee fresh. This machine allows me to get a fine ground in a matter of seconds.
Whatever your needs may be, incorporating a small electric burr coffee grinder into your collection of kitchen gadgets is a smart idea. Being able to consistently make a great cup of coffee, with no variation in the texture or flavor, is a great feeling.
Here are The Smallest Electric Burr Coffee Grinders:
- The Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
- The Brim Electric Handheld Burr Grinder
- The KRUPS Small Electric Coffee Grinder
- The Nesco BG-88PR Burr Coffee Mill
- The Gourmia Compact Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
- The KONA Electric Burr Grinder
I hope you’ll consider this list of small, electric, burr grinders before making your selection and steer clear of the slightly smaller blade grinders.
If you are OK with using a manual hand-crank grinder then we have a page dedicated to those here. They are smaller than those featured on this page but take a lot more effort to use.