There are so many great coffee grinders out there. So many schools of thought when it comes to getting the best one, and over the last few weeks I have learned an awful lot. Back when I was a barista I was concerned more with the tamper and the steam wand than the grinder we used, but I now realize that even that device could make or break a good cup of coffee.
I have a wide variety of products tested and reviewed now, automatic, manual, burr and blade, and I have a favorite type, automatic burr for the record. So when I look over the specs of the grinder that is what I am looking for. I have reviewed a Mr Coffee grinder in the past, a blade job that left me wanting a little more uniformity in the grain, and now I return to the company to look at their burr effort.
Burr grinders can be used for more than just coffee, you can grind spices and other things in them too. I have in the past used bladed grinders to make spice rubs, but I shy away from using the burr grind machines, mostly because of the added difficulty in cleaning. You need specialist soaps and a decent amount of elbow grease, two things I have in spades, but I would prefer them to be on my person.
The Mr Coffee Burr grinder is a the more expensive product coming out of Mr Coffee. I tested their blade grinder, which was a wonderfully designed product, but feel at the final hurdle due to a slightly more varied grain size. The slightly higher price point here belays the quality, and I hope to go into detail in a moment.
So let’s get to grinding.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder Design and Build Quality
I tend to start with the look of the build, and I realize that this is hardly the most important section, but the price differences in the world of coffee grinders is less of a deciding factor than in other industries, so I have to look for other things. The Mr Coffee bladed grinder was one of my favorite builds to look at, it was sleek, simple and fit for purpose. While the Mr Coffee Burr grinder is simple and fit for purpose, it is anything but sleek. Look at it, it is so old school as to be unappealing. To me at least. you may have a different opinion, but this kind of top heavy build has never interested me. It works though, and if you like old school looking grinders this might be what you’re looking for. I worry about the long term viability of the product, and the 1 year limited warranty does not fill me with confidence, but it is highly regarded online.
Using the Mr Coffee Burr Grinder is a breeze. Just fill up the top section, set the fineness and number of cups and hit the button. I love that in a grinder. I have tried out all kinds of manual settings, from hold the button til you’re satisfied to grind it by hand like pepper, and I much prefer it fully automatic. There are 18 levels of fineness here, so getting the right grain size for your choice of brewing method is easy too.
Now to the insides, and two weeks running I get to talk about the benefits of the a burr mill over a bladed grinder. 18 different levels of fineness here, which is a staple of the burr mill. The main difference between a bladed grinder and a burr grinder is the uniformity of the ground coffee. When you brew coffee, no matter the method, the ground release their flavor and caffeine at a rate dependent on the size of the grain. If the sizes are all over the place, as it can be with a short blast bladed grinder, then you got two choices, a weak coffee or a bitter coffee. If you have a uniform grind it’s all released at the same time, and you can dial in the perfect flavor.
Overall this is an amazing product. The options are just right, the components are of the highest quality, and you can make the coffee you want to make, when you want to make it. Granted, I am not a fan of the look, but as I said in that section, looks aren’t everything. My biggest issue is the price, and the final question for you is whether or not you are willing to shell out for the Mr Coffee Burr Mill Grinder.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder Testing
Now I get to the actual testing. I went into this with high hopes, after all it’s a burr grinder and it’s an automatic. Imagine my surprise when I found the finest setting was a little inconsistent, and a lot too coarse for the purpose with which I wanted to put it. The top section can hold a half pound of coffee beans, which is great, but that doesn’t add up to much if you can’t get the consistency right. It only takes around 30 seconds to grind up the beans, which is nice. I would say that for a french press and drip coffee makers this is fine, but I use a moka pot.
I love moka pots. I love making espresso based drinks, and my partner loves drinking them. Rather than spending the money on store bought, or one of those little auto-pot machines, I decided to go for the moka pot. It’s like a low pressure espresso machine, down to the crema layer and all. You can get them online for cheap, and the flavor from them is apparently superior to the drip machines. All you have to do is fill the bottom section with cold water, fill the sieve spout with the fresh ground beans and plop the thing on the stove. The pressure builds and forces its way to the top section, leading to a wonderful espresso like drink. Throw in a manual pump milk foamer and you can make whatever drink you like, from the comfort of home.
So I made my usual three drinks, vanilla lattes, with a vanilla extract and stevia based syrup substitute. I am so sorry to say that not one of them was acceptable to my partner. She found all three to be weak, palatable if only for the milk and syrup. It is always sad to see a product fail, but remember, this one doesn’t appear to be focused on the espresso crowd. I may well end up buying a french press just to see if that makes the difference for myself, but I think I am safe in saying that it would be.
Like last week, I neglected the spice mix this week as well. The other grinders have proved to me that a fine spice rub can be made easily with these things. For me it isn’t worth the hassle of cleaning it to see if this is best at last, they all perform well, bladed and burr based. Cleaning out the coffee from the device was pretty easy though. I used some burr mill soap and water, clung to the particles of coffee and cleaned it nicely. If you want to try your hand at a spice rub, and have already used it for coffee, be sure to clean out the coffee first then run a round of bread through the grinder. It will absorb the smells and flavors that are left over.
Now a look at the price, and it is here that we seal the fate of the Mr Coffee Burr Mill grinder. For a product that does not do what I want it to do $50 is a ludicrous price. For everyone else there are far cheaper products out there that will make a fine drip coffee. That said you can likely get it for a bit of a discount by clicking here if it suits your taste’s more-so than mine.
Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder Conclusion
This is a no brainer. If I ever do head to heads you can bet that in all categories the Mr Coffee Burr Mill grinder will lose. It’s a little unbelievable to me. I tested their balded build a few weeks back and it made a passable cup of moka pot joe. Here we have a burr grinder that simply doesn’t stack up. What’s worse is that I can’t even recommend it to those out there looking for a grinder for their french press, due to the price. I have never tested a grinder like this before.
To sum up, too expensive, doesn’t grind fine enough for me, better options out there.