Now, we are moving up to the next level of coffee grinders – all of which are burr coffee grinders available for under $200, and these are a different breed of grinder altogether from the more inexpensive models. These coffee grinders are bigger and badder and give you more bang for your buck, with a ton of great features. This is why we say they’re the best available in 2016!
With LCD screens, removable hoppers, and extremely adjustable grinding capabilities, you won’t find any blade grinders on this list at all, since the higher quality coffee grinders on the market are exclusively and without exception burr grinders.
This particular list of under $200 grinders includes brands such as Capresso, Baratza, Breville, and Bodum.
If you are looking to really take your home brewing to the next level, whether it be for coffee or espresso, these are some of the grinders you will need to get familiar with.
Without further delay, let us take a look at our Top 5 Best Burr Grinders For Under $200…
Breville Conical Burr Grinder
One great thing that comes standard with the coffee grinders of this price point is the highly durable conical burrs used to grind the beans, and, in the case of this Breville model, we’re talking about stainless steel 40mm burrs.
On this list we have not one but two Breville grinders, and here at #5 we have the BCG450XL, which is their entry level automated grinder.
With this Breville grinder, you have the standard grind settings ranging from coarse to fine, all the way over to Turkish (powdery / super-fine), although whether this grinder can achieve a decent super fine Turkish grind has been up for debate in the various forums, but it does the other grinds – particularly the espresso grind – very consistently, according to buyers.
The look of the machine, with its stainless steel finish mixed with black durable plastic is a classy addition to any kitchen, as the BCG450XL here has a nice, sharp look. As is standard, the plastic hopper can hold a decent amount of beans (5 oz) and is removable, which is a welcome touch. The grind settings are labelled conveniently on the hopper.
Perhaps due to some of the plastic components, there have been reports of issues with static electricity with this machine. This seems to be one of the main gripes with the BCG450XL, and one must take this into account.
The conical burrs with this grinder grind the beans slowly so as to reduce heat and lock in the bean’s natural flavor, which leads to better coffee flavor. Some coffee grinders, particularly the less expensive ones, grind the beans in a frenzy and have a tendency to burn the beans – not good!
The Breville BCG450XL also has a soft-touch rubber precision timer on the front of the unit, which ranges from 10 to 30 seconds of grind time, and just above it there is a start/stop button. The grinds are collected in the receptacle on the side.
Here we have another conical steel burr grinder in the form of the Baratza Encore, that also has a great reputation with buyers. Baratza, like Breville, knows their grinders, and the Encore is definitely a go-to for many coffee and espresso buffs who want something relatively inexpensive, but are willing to invest more than $50 to get a more precise grind.
To compare with the previous grinder, each have 40 mm conical steel burrs, which are adjustable, making the Encore and the BCG450XL quite comparable.
Baratza advertises reduced burr speed reduction, for maximum freshness, and “cool, quiet” operation. This can be attributed to their new Gearbox 2.0, which is a newer innovation from Baratza involving a superior drive transmission to older Baratza models. It even has a thermal cutout so that if something were to get lodged in the burrs, the unit will cut the motor to prevent damage.
Also similar to the Breville BCG450XL, the Baratza Encore places an emphasis on simplicity and elegance, which is evident in the look of this grinder.
Operation is quite simple. Load the beans into the hopper, adjust the grind settings (there are 40 to choose from) to suit your desired type of grind, and either use the timer on the side of the unit, or the grind-on-demand button (or “pulse button”, as they call it) on the front, and the beans grind down into the bean receptacle – and you’re ready to brew!
One thing this grinder lacks that the previous one possesses is a locking mechanism for the hopper, so unless the hopper is free of beans, you can’t conveniently remove it.
All in all, the Baratza Encore is another great adjustable conical burr grinder to have here on our list.
Breville Smart Grinder
The Breville Smart Grinder is on the more expensive end of this list, edging out the Breville BCG450XL by a few bucks, but the difference between them is quite apparent. This particular grinder is packed with great features, and represents a good bench mark for a good all-round grinder at this price point.
Breville calls this its “Smart” because of its backlit LCD display screen on the front of the unit, that gives us a lot of useful information, such as the grind setting from course to fine as well as the amount of cups or shots. The grinder is smart enough to know what you’re aiming for as it changes from “cups” to “shots” on its own, and a weak-strong dose meter.
Directly below this is a dial which is used for calibrating the dosage meter, so depending on how strong you want your coffee, you can manually tweak this dial to suit your needs. The “Dosing IQ” feature, as they call it, may take a bit of getting used to, but its worth it in the long run as it adds another dimension to your coffee experience that other entry-level pro grinders don’t take into account.
The grind settings, of which the Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder has 25, is controlled by an easy-to-use dial on the right hand side of the unit.
In regards to the hopper, there is a plastic lid with a rubber seal that fits tightly onto the hopper, and keeps the air out. This is a great feature, as it keeps the grinds fresh in case you step out for a minute. There is even a ring-shaped attachment here which allows for the lid to be easily removed just by hooking a finger in there.
The hopper itself holds about a full pound of beans, which most consumers find to be adequate for home use since its more than enough for a pot or two of coffee.
There is even a locking mechanism so that beans can be transferred inside the hopper, and this is a feature that most grinders at this price don’t include. The conical steel burrs inside this grinder are, as is standard, 40mm, and highly durable. There is even a latch for removing the top burr; thanks Breville!
Unlike the other grinders, the hopper has no markings to indicate grind settings, but that’s because its “smart”, and that information displays on the LCD screen on the front.
We would also like to add the noise created by this coffee grinder is on the quieter side. Some grinders make a very unappealing screeching sound when they grind, but not this grinder.
This coffee grinder is perfect for espresso. When the grinds are dispensed, you have a couple of options. You can use one of the two porta-filter cradles that come with the machine – one holder being 50-54 mm and the other is 58 mm – or you can grind down into the receptacle, which also seals up and you can store grinds in it. The receptacle looks nice on its own, which isn’t exactly the case with the other grinders.
There is also a magnetic catch tray which is easy to clean, and when that is removed, there are handy cleaning instructions beneath it. There is a large button behind where the grinds are released which is part of the Breville Smart Grinder’s “hands free” feature.
Here, you can use a porta-filter and depress the button, and grind to an amount of your own specifications, and then when you’re done, you just release the button, and the grinding stops. This is handy for getting a custom amount of grinds, or, obviously, using a porta-filter.
The Breville Smart Grinder comes with a cleaning brush, making cleaning quite easy. The power cord has a winding device on the bottom of the unit so the cord is out of the way when you’re not using it. Lastly, there is a one year warranty. Yes, there’s plenty to love about the Breville Smart Grinder.
Reasons that people love the Bodum Bistro include its convenient size, stylish design and color selection, its two year warranty, and the price is on the more affordable side. People absolutely love this little burr grinder.
Once again, we have a grinder with conical steel burrs, with conical burrs being the best choice for any grinder because it makes the grind cooler which preserves coffee flavor. How does it work? Conical burrs use the force of gravity to pull the beans down inside the burrs, as opposed to centrifugal force which flat burrs use, or sheer slashing force which blade grinders use.
The Bodum Bistro goes for a black rubber exterior, which sets it apart from the other grinders on this list which use plastic or steel. As Bodum says, the grinder is made from a combination of “borosilicate glass, steel, plastic, rubber and silicone”, which ultimately results in less static build-up.
In terms of color, you can choose from a variety of colors with this unit, from sherbet orange to lime green, and more. Obviously, Bodum is going for a bit more pizzazz with the color scheme here (price is different for each color), but if you’re not into the bold colors, there’s always black.
The rubber body also gives this grinder a different aesthetic as well, which the majority of users who do like this grinder really like how unique it is. The combination of the black exterior, red buttons, the glass grind receptacle, and deep brown coffee beans make for a fun color palette.
The hopper is larger than it might look on the screen, with a lid that fits snugly on top to keep things fresh. There is a red indicator which you can’t miss, and it is used to point to the type of grind you want, from coarse to fine espresso style.
There is quite a bit of the color red on the Bodum Bistro. The on/off switch found on the left side of the unit is red, the timer on the top is red, and the grind button is red. This applies to all the color variations of the unit except for red, where the buttons are black.
When compared to the other grinders on this list, the Bodum Bistro has just 13 grind settings. Some grinders on this list boast more, while some stepless grinders like a professional grade Macap M4 has infinite grind settings, but most customers don’t seem to have many complaints here about the lack of grind settings for the price of the Bodum Bistro.
Overall, this stylish little grinder does just fine!
Capresso 560.01 Infinity
The Capresso Infinity finds itself here on this list because it is one of – if not the – best rated burr grinder at this price point. It is sleek, compact, and made of heavy-duty / easy-to-clean zinc. It comes with a measuring scoop and a cleaning brush as well! If you visit the product review pages of this particular grinder, you will surely see that it holds a very high average user rating with many satisfied customers. Oh, and this grinder grinds coffee like nobody’s business!
As we mentioned earlier, a slow / cool grind is a good grind when it comes to coffee beans, and that is how the Capresso Infinity does its grinding, courtesy of the Swiss coffee masters who manufacture it. To preserve coffee’s original flavor, and not altering it with added heat or damage (as blade grinders do), the Capresso Infinity has an optimal grinding speed which ensures bean flavor is at its best. Also, at 100 watts, we get a relatively quiet, static-free, zero-burn grind consistently each time.
As with other coffee grinders at this price-point, with the Capresso Infinity we see that there are 16 grind settings we can adjust to to meet our preference; from Turkish fine to very coarse. 16 grind settings is more than some, but less than others. If you are a big fan of Turkish coffee making, you might be hard pressed to get the right grind with this or really any of these grinders on this list, although some shrewd home brew experts say it can be done.
But what really matters to most people is whether this grinder can handle a good espresso grind, which is most certainly can. The grind settings are divided into fours; four for each type of grind: coarse / medium / fine / extra-fine.
This unit is made from heavy-duty zinc, which looks great and is easy to clean. Like all the other grinders on this list, operation is simple and cleaning is generally uncomplicated as well.
Based on buyer appreciation alone, the Capresso Infinity is one of the best-selling and most well-loved grinders on the market, and therefore we had to include it on this list!