What’s inside this buyer’s guide
- Types of commercial coffee grinders
- Styles of commercial coffee grinders
- Things to consider before purchase
- Best makes of commercial coffee grinders
- Used commercial coffee grinders — worth considering?
- Frequently asked questions
- Commercial coffee grinder glossary
- Keep your cash; use ours!
Coffee – the elixir that fuels our day, is the daily delight that keeps your cafe buzzing with life.
A commercial coffee grinder is an indispensable tool that lets you brew that perfect cup your customers love.
However, every café has its beat, its unique blend of challenges and aspirations.
Choosing the perfect grinder involves a delicate balance of budget, space, brewing needs, and unique grinding preferences.
It's an art in itself.
This guide is your practical companion, crafted to simplify this intricate process.
It's here to ensure that every cup served in your café embodies the essence of excellence.
Types of commercial coffee grinders
Different types of coffee beans and roasts require different types of grinders to bring out their best qualities.
Depending on your needs and preferences, you can choose from three main types of grinders: automatic, semi-automatic, and manual.
Each style imparts a unique character to the coffee-making process, shaping it in its distinct way.
Let's delve into the features and benefits of each, helping you make the best choice for your restaurant’s coffee needs.
Automatic coffee grinders
An automatic coffee grinder simplifies the grinding process, eliminating presumption and manual work, to ensure consistent, fresh grounds at the push of a button.
No manual adjustments are needed; it gives you the perfect grind size while keeping the aroma and intensity of coffee flavour intact.
Designed for busy settings, these machines are equipped with a doser for pre-grinding coffee, ensuring it's primed and ready for brewing.
Certain coffee grinders are equipped with built-in brewers and milk frothers, catering to a wide range of coffee preferences.
Their flexibility allows for both whole beans and pre-ground coffee use.
How it works
Simply load the beans, press start, and the grinder utilizes its burr or blade mechanism to transform them into coffee grounds.
Engineered for efficiency, the grinder halts automatically when the doser is full, preventing potential overflows.
Consider bustling cafes or restaurants that need a constant coffee supply.
Automatic replenishment keeps the doser full, making it ideal for high-demand places.
Yet, it's equally suited for specialty venues where precise grind quantities are crucial.
The prime advantage lies in simplicity.
Automatic grinders swiftly and consistently produce fresh coffee, outperforming their manual counterparts.
This uniformity is vital for optimal coffee extraction, resulting in a superior cup every time.
When it comes to coffee, these machines stand as champions, prioritizing the essence of freshness above all else.
Semi-automatic coffee grinders
A semi-automatic coffee grinder offers enhanced control and adaptability in grinding.
You can customize grind size, dose, and timing to match your preference and brewing method.
Unlike automatic grinders, it needs manual initiation and cessation of the grinding process.
Crafted for coffee experts seeking versatility, these machines let you provide an enhanced variety and customization for your customers.
These grinders come with a bean hopper, a burr or blade mechanism for grinding, and a doser or dispenser for effortless release.
Some models even feature a timer or scale to help you measure the precise amount of coffee grounds/beans.
How it works
To operate, simply load the hopper with beans, choose your desired grind size, and activate the grinder with a button or lever.
You can employ a timer or scale to gauge the dose or manually halt the grinding once you've achieved your desired amount of ground coffee.
Then, effortlessly dispense the grounds into a portafilter, filter basket, or brewer of your choice.
Think of busy coffee shops and restaurants aiming to craft various coffee drinks like espresso, pour over, macchiato and more.
The semi-automatic grinder allows you to adjust the grind size and dosage to suit your taste and brewing method.
It's also versatile, working well with different types of coffee beans, roasts, and blends, giving you the freedom to showcase your coffee skills and creativity.
The key benefit of a semi-automatic grinder lies in its control and adaptability.
It allows you to play around with various settings, discovering your perfect grind size and dose for every cup of coffee.
Plus, you get to relish the freshness and flavour of freshly ground coffee without compromising on convenience.
Manual coffee grinders
Manual commercial coffee grinders allow baristas and coffee enthusiasts to hand grind their beans, ensuring a unique coffee experience.
Found in coffee spots that prioritize fresh, high-quality brews, these grinders boast a few distinguishing features.
With a minimalist and compact design, manual grinders have three essential components: a bean hopper, grinding burrs, and a grounds chamber.
How it works
First, you manually turn the grind adjustment ring to get the perfect grind size for your choice of brew.
Then slowly start to crank the lever to rotate the burrs, crushing the beans uniformly.
The freshly ground coffee collects in the chamber beneath the burrs.
Beyond their aesthetics and mechanics, these grinders are versatile.
Whether it's for a cold brew, siphon, or pour-over, they can grind it all.
Their compact design also ensures they snugly fit into cozy corners, making them a practical choice for specialty brews.
Opting for a manual grinder comes with its advantages.
You get precise control over the grind size, enjoy a quieter grinding experience, save on costs, and benefit from a durable design.
Additionally, grinding just before brewing ensures that each cup captures the beans' essence and aroma, delivering a truly satisfying coffee experience.
Styles of coffee grinders
Let's dive into grinder styles.
They're not just about mechanics; they significantly shape how your coffee tastes and the overall quality of your brew.
Exploring these styles helps create a coffee experience that's just right for you.
These grinders operate using two rotating surfaces, called burrs, to crush and grind coffee beans evenly.
The uniform grind ensures balanced flavour and aroma extraction, perfect for cafes aiming for top-notch brews.
Burr grinders come in flat or conical burr designs, each influencing performance differently.
Flat burr grinders
Flat burr grinders use two parallel flat surfaces, known as burrs, to crush coffee beans uniformly.
Ideal for espresso, they ensure a balanced extraction and clear flavour.
Yet, it's worth noting that they can be a bit noisy and might require more frequent cleaning to prevent the build-up of old coffee residues.
Conical Burr Grinders
Conical burrs feature a cone-shaped inner surface, known as a burr, encased by an outer ring surface, also called a burr, to crush and grind coffee beans consistently.
Renowned for their versatility, they can be adjusted to produce various grind sizes, catering to different brewing methods.
Moreover, conical burr grinders offer quieter operation and simplified cleaning than other grinder types.
They tend to clog less and have minimal ground retention.
Blade grinders operate with a swift-spinning sharp blade to chop and grind coffee beans.
However, they lack consistency, often resulting in uneven grinds that impact the brew's quality.
Pulsing the blade instead of running continuously can yield a slightly improved grind.
While blade grinders are affordable and user-friendly, they aren't the top choice for premium brews.
On-demand grinders are engineered to grind coffee beans precisely when you need them, dispensing the grounds directly into a portafilter or bag.
Their primary focus is freshness, elevating the coffee's flavour and aroma.
Additionally, they cut down on waste by grinding just the right amount for each cup.
These grinders are particularly beneficial for busy cafes, ensuring every customer's constant supply of fresh grounds.
Stepped adjustment grinders
Stepped adjustment grinders come with preset, fixed grind settings known as "steps."
While these settings are simple to switch, they offer limited flexibility in adjusting the grind size.
These machines emit a distinct clicking sound when you adjust the grind size.
It is ideal for cafes with stable menus, where frequent grind adjustments aren't needed.
Perfect for coffee newcomers due to their simplicity and user-friendly design.
Step-less adjustment grinders
Step-less adjustment grinders provide the flexibility to choose any grind size without preset limitations.
These grinders offer precise control over grind size, which is essential for crafting custom brews and adapting to different brewing methods.
Coffee enthusiasts favour these grinders for their unparalleled precision and adaptability.
Step-less adjustment grinders are ideal for cafes that provide gourmet coffee experiences or adjust brewing methods to cater to customer preferences.
Things to consider when buying a commercial coffee grinder
Type of coffee
Before you invest in a new commercial coffee grinder, take a moment to consider:
What kind of coffee do you plan to serve?
This seemingly simple question has a significant impact on your equipment selection.
In an era where coffee enthusiasts have refined and diverse tastes, consider whether your cafe will cater to a broad audience with high-volume coffee or venture into the world of premium, seasonal blends and unique single origins.
And how will you serve it?
Will you require an espresso grinder, a filter grinder, or perhaps a versatile option?
Certain commercial coffee grinders are designed for specific brewing methods and coffee varieties.
Therefore, it's vital to thoroughly understand your coffee sources, brewing techniques, and your target customer base before making this substantial investment.
After deciding on your customers' coffee preferences, assess the weekly coffee volume your business expects to handle.
Practical considerations deeply influence the selection of a commercial coffee grinder.
Is your establishment a dedicated coffee haven emphasizing top-tier brews?
Or does coffee complement an already diverse menu of delights?
Grinder efficiency is paramount in bustling establishments where coffee consumption exceeds 40kg weekly.
It should quickly recover after each use, manage heat effectively, and deliver a consistent grind.
However, high-end grinder features may be excessive for cozier venues or those specializing in unique brewing methods.
Choosing a simpler machine without unnecessary frills can be both budget-friendly and suitable for your requirements.
Commercial coffee grinders predominantly utilize two dosing systems:
In this setup, the grinder dispenses coffee based on a pre-set duration.
After configuring the settings for that perfect coffee shot, you can set the timer, and the machine takes care of the rest.
It's a hassle-free "set and forget" technique, so numerous commercial venues favour this approach.
Nonetheless, certain challenges do arise:
Various factors can influence grind consistency, such as:
- The density of coffee beans.
- Ambient humidity.
- The quantity of beans left in the hopper.
Though the variations resulting from these factors may be slight, transitioning to gravimetric grinders could prove advantageous for those who value the utmost precision.
Gravimetric grinders measure the ground coffee's weight as it flows into the portafilter.
Like timed systems, you can fine-tune the settings throughout the day.
The key benefit of a gravimetric system lies in its exceptional precision.
Weighing the beans ensures a uniform grind size, which is crucial for achieving a precise brew ratio.
This approach assures a consistent amount in your coffee basket, unaffected by differences in bean density, external climate, or the remaining beans in the hopper.
Don’t forget to consider aesthetics, the appearance is just as important as that first sip experience! When picking a commercial coffee grinder, keep in mind these factors that contribute to its visual appeal:
Design: Reflect on the ambiance you want to create. A modern, glossy grinder exudes contemporary vibes, while a classic Italian design may evoke the charm of Rome's streets.
Size and shape: Consider your surroundings. Picture a dainty, modern grinder tucked away in a cozy nook. Alternatively, visualize a bold, robust grinder making a statement amid rustic elements. Size and shape significantly influence the aesthetic harmony of your cafe.
Colour and material: Consider the soul of your space. Is it calling for the sharp elegance of stainless steel, a statement of purpose and efficiency? Or does it crave the warmth of wood accents, promising intimate, comforting coffee moments? Which grinder aligns with the vibe you want to create?
Brand and model: Are you a fan of brand recognition? In the world of coffee, some grinder brands are like celebrities. Displaying a prestigious brand could elevate your cafe's reputation quickly!
Ease of use
Your coffee grinder shouldn't be merely a machine; it should effortlessly blend into your daily operations, enhancing every cup of coffee into a delightful experience.
Here are essential factors to consider for user-friendliness when selecting a commercial coffee grinder:
Choose a grinder with a seamless interface.
Look for essentials like a digital screen, timer, scale, or intuitive dial.
Ease in adjusting grind size, dose, and timing is vital.
Having the grinder's status and settings readily visible adds convenience to your experience.
Hopper and doser
Check that the grinder provides a roomy, transparent hopper and doser capable of handling the volume of coffee beans and grounds your business demands.
Burr or blade mechanism
Opt for a grinder featuring a robust and efficient burr or blade system, ensuring a reliable production of top-notch grinds.
One that is easy to clean and maintain.
Consider the grinder's noise level and heat output, both influencing performance and coffee quality.
Choose wisely, as the noise levels can also impact the ambiance at your café.
Give preference to a grinder equipped with integrated safety measures to minimize accidents and injuries.
Features such as automatic shut-off, overload protection, lock-out switches, or tamper mechanisms enhance the overall safety of operation.
It is essential to strictly follow the manufacturer's guidelines and recommendations for the safe usage and maintenance of the grinder.
Your safety is paramount.
Ease of cleaning
To ensure your café or restaurant functions seamlessly, meticulous attention to every equipment detail is imperative.
Your grinder should brew outstanding coffee and uphold stringent hygiene and maintenance standards.
Consider these pivotal cleaning aspects to guide your selection:
Hopper and doser
Pay attention to specifics such as a detachable and washable hopper and doser.
The capability to disassemble these parts allows for thorough and regular cleaning.
Furthermore, evaluate the hopper lid, portafilter holder, and knock box design to ensure they are easily cleanable and perform efficiently.
Prioritize hassle-free maintenance for a seamless experience.
Burr or blade mechanism
Choose a grinder that allows you to effortlessly access and remove the burr or blade system.
This user-friendly feature streamlines the cleaning routine, ensuring proper maintenance for longevity.
Consider noise levels and heat output; these elements can significantly influence the grinder's performance and your coffee's quality.
Exterior and interior materials
Opt for a grinder made of durable materials like stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic, both inside and out.
Clean the surfaces with a damp cloth or soft brush to remove dust and dirt, avoiding harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could cause damage.
Choose a grinder that includes clear, comprehensive cleaning and maintenance instructions.
Regularly follow these guidelines to maintain top-notch performance and prolong its lifespan.
If you have questions or face any issues, don't hesitate to contact the manufacturer's customer service for assistance.
Best makes of commercial coffee grinders
Founded in 1924, Mahlkönig is a revered German brand known for its precision coffee grinders. Trusted worldwide by baristas and enthusiasts, their durable and reliable grinders cater to diverse needs, blending quality and functionality seamlessly.
Some of their most popular models include the EK43 and E80S GbW. The EK43, a commercial all-purpose grinder, excels in speed and consistency. Its versatility extends to various brewing methods like espresso, drip coffee, and cold brew. It's a reliable choice with a 1500 g hopper and a robust 1300 W motor. Featuring 98 mm cast steel flat burrs, it ensures exceptional performance.
On the other hand, the E80S GbW is a top-notch espresso grinder designed for coffee shops. It offers a fast grind, quiet motor, 80 mm steel flat burrs, and an 88.3 mm display. With an 1800 g hopper and 1700 rpm, it ensures uninterrupted operation. Certified for safety and durability, it's ideal for baristas.
Shop Mahlkonig commercial coffee grinders now.
Nuova Simonelli is a renowned Italian brand known for its exceptional espresso machines. With a rich history dating back to 1936, their machines combine craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology, delivering excellent coffee quality. Built to last, Nuova Simonelli is a top choice for both professionals and coffee enthusiasts alike.
The Nuova Simonelli Mythos and the GX 85 W are some of their popular espresso grinders
The Nuova Simonelli Mythos boasts a 1.3 kg hopper, a zippy 900 rpm grind speed, and impressive 75 mm titanium flat burrs. These burrs promise exceptional longevity, lasting up to 1500kg of coffee beans—twice the lifespan of regular burrs. It's a grinder built to endure.
The GX 85 W is a gravimetric grinder with variable speed for precise grinding and reduced waste. It has 85 mm flat burrs and operates at 500W, so it adapts to different voltages (115/230V). This grinder ensures maximum accuracy, minimizing waste and optimizing your coffee grinding experience.
Shop Nuova Simonelli commercial coffee grinders now.
Founded in 1957 by George W. Bunn, BUNN is a trusted name in commercial coffee and beverage equipment. Based in Springfield, Illinois, the company is known for excellent customer service and for providing top-notch coffee experiences. BUNN products are prized for their durability, performance, and user-friendly design.
The Bunn G1 HD Bulk Coffee Grinder is ideal for high-volume needs in busy cafés. With a 450g hopper, 80mm flat burr, and the ability to grind 13.5 kg of coffee beans per hour while storing 1500kg, it's a reliable and efficient solution for commercial coffee grinding.
Fast Cup, powered at 208V and 60 Hz, offers seamless coffee brewing with BUNN link wifi integration. This commercial bean-to-cup brewer features three hoppers, each with a 3.0 capacity. Operating at 5000 watts, 24.0 amps, and 1 phase, it efficiently delivers up to 120 cups per hour, making coffee preparation swift and effortless.
Shop BUNN commercial coffee grinders now.
Mazzer is a family-owned Italian company that has been manufacturing commercial coffee grinders since 1948. Mazzer grinders are known for their precision, consistency, and reliability. They are made with high-quality materials and construction and are designed to withstand the rigours of daily use in commercial settings.
The Mazzer Super Jolly V Pro: 1.1 kg hopper, 1400 rpm grind speed, and 64mm hardened steel flat burrs. It offers step-less micrometric grind adjustment, is made from durable aluminum die-casting, and connects to the cloud for remote access to grinder data. Perfect for precision coffee grinding.
The Mazzer Mini A is a compact, commercial-grade coffee grinder tailored for small cafes and restaurants. It's ideal for espresso extraction with step-less micrometrical grind adjustment, flat burrs, 64mm diameter, and 250W power. Its reliability, durability, and espresso-focused design make it a top choice for businesses aiming for quality coffee.
Shop Mazzer commercial coffee grinders now.
Since 1920, Eureka, an esteemed Italian brand, has been crafting premium coffee grinders. Renowned for precision, consistency, and durability, their grinders are cherished globally by baristas and coffee enthusiasts.
Crafted from high-quality materials, Eureka grinders endure the demands of daily commercial use.
Popular among specialty coffee shops and roasters, the Atom Touch 65 boasts high-speed grind dispersion and a step-less micrometric regulation system. With 65mm flat burrs made of hardened steel, 1310 rpm, and a 1.2 kg bean hopper capacity, it ensures efficient productivity ranging from 2.7 to 3.7 g/s.
The Eureka Mythos grinder offers high-speed grind dispersion and a patented step-less micrometric regulation system. It features a dinamometric tamper (0-22 kg), 75mm flat titanium burrs, and operates at 1400 rpm with 800W power. Its 3.2 kg bean hopper ensures steady productivity at 4.5-5.5 g/s.
Shop Eureka commercial coffee grinders now.
Used commercial coffee grinders — worth considering?
Spending thousands of dollars on a commercial coffee grinder can strain your budget and cash flow.
If you’d prefer not to invest a lot of money in a commercial coffee grinder, a cheaper, pre-owned appliance might be the solution you’re looking for.
SilverChef’s range of ‘Certified Used’ commercial equipment is mostly ex-rental equipment sourced from businesses we know and trust.
The equipment is typically less than two-and-a-half years old, has been fully refurbished by us, and is backed by a three-month parts-and-labour warranty.
Considering the effective or useful life of a coffee grinder is much longer, you can be sure our Certified Used commercial coffee grinders have plenty of life left in them.
You can either buy or finance the ‘Certified Used’ (and clearance) equipment on our website. (We’re one of the few financiers, if not the only one, in Canada that funds second-hand commercial kitchen equipment).
Read more about ‘Certified Used’ equipment.
Frequently asked questions
How to clean a commercial coffee grinder?
Follow these steps to clean your commercial coffee grinder to prevent the buildup of coffee grounds and oil residue–
Empty the hopper: Remove it and empty any remaining coffee beans. Keep the beans in a sealed container to maintain freshness.
Clean the hopper: Wash it with warm, soapy water, rinse it thoroughly, and dry it with a clean towel before reattaching it to the grinder.
Clean the burrs: Remove the burrs from the grinder and brush them with a soft brush. For thorough cleaning, you can use a mild soap or detergent, then rinse and dry them before reinstalling. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions for the appropriate cleaning guide.
Clean the dosing chamber: Empty the dosing chamber and use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner to remove any stuck coffee grounds.
Wipe the exterior: Clean the exterior of the grinder by wiping it with a damp cloth. Be cautious not to allow water to enter the grinder.
Use a grinder brush to remove coffee grounds from burrs and tight spots. Avoid water ingress
Utilize specialized cleaning tablets, following instructions for a thorough cleanse.
Adhering to these steps ensures your grinder functions effectively and lasts longer.
Which is the best commercial coffee grinder?
Determining the best commercial coffee grinder can be a nuanced decision, as it hinges on various factors, including your specific business needs, budget, and volume of coffee you'll be grinding.
However, some reputable brands that cater to the Canadian market include Mahlkonig, Mazzer, and Bunn.
To make an informed choice, consider reading our comparative review highlighting features, durability, customer support, and overall value for money.
If you’re new to the business, then try chatting with owners and baristas who have hands-on experience with these grinders; they can provide valuable insights tailored to your unique business context.
Remember that what's best for one business may not be the ideal choice for another, so it's essential to assess your requirements before making a decision.
Explore Silverchef's coffee grinder options to discover incredible deals.
If you’re under budget constraints then check the lease-to-keep option, where you pay for the equipment over a period with a fixed interest rate and own it when the lease ends or the rent-try-buy option where you rent the equipment for 12 months.
You can upgrade, buy, continue renting, or return it after this period.
How long does a commercial coffee grinder last?
The lifespan of a coffee grinder varies based on factors like usage, maintenance, and quality.
High-quality grinders, with proper care, can endure 5 to 15 years in busy cafes.
Regular cleaning, adherence to guidelines, and avoiding overloading are crucial for longevity.
However, lower-quality grinders might lack replacement parts, posing challenges for repairs. Blade grinders wear out faster than burr grinders.
Typically, burrs or blades may require replacement after grinding around 454 kg of coffee.
Investing in a reputable brand and choosing a grinder that suits your needs contributes to longevity.
Despite care, all grinders wear out eventually.
To maximize lifespan, consider usage patterns, maintenance, and availability of replacement parts.
Commercial coffee grinder glossary
The container connected to your commercial coffee grinder stores your whole coffee beans.
A section to store ground coffee. Using a lever, it dispenses precise coffee portions for your preferred brewing method.
Two revolving abrasive surfaces separated by a distance set by the user, to crush coffee beans to the desired size.
A disc-shaped grinder that ensures remarkably uniform coffee grounds.
A type of a burr that is shaped like a cone, known for its capacity to produce a uniform grind size, ensuring consistent coffee grounds.
A term indicating the amount of coffee sold weekly. A high-volume café sells over 40 kilograms weekly, yielding approximately 60-70 servings from each kilo.
Coffee grinder's ability to operate independently with minimal manual intervention, ensuring a consistent grind size and availability with a push of a button.
Coffee grinder that requires some manual operation from the user such placing of container or portafilter, but also has automated features.
Stepped grind adjustment
A mechanism that offer pre-set grind sizes in discrete steps, limiting flexibility compared to step-less grinders.
Step-less grind adjustment
A mechanism without fixed grind sizes, allowing precise control and very fine adjustments by the user.
Refers to the coffee residue remaining in the grinder after the grinding process. Finer grinds, especially espresso, tend to increase retention within the machine.
Refers to the consistency in the size of the coffee grounds produced during the grinding process.
Keep your cash, use ours!
We hope this guide has helped you better understand what you need to look for in a commercial coffee grinder and how to choose the right model for your needs.
If you want to know more, you can always reach out to the SilverChef team.
Hospitality equipment can be expensive, and paying for it outright can put pressure on your business’s cash flow.
Our finance solutions allow you to get the equipment you want now and to pay for it in small, regular amounts out of the revenue it generates for you.
Rent–Try–Buy® not only helps you maintain your cash flow, it gives you unrivalled flexibility to adapt your equipment to the changing needs of your business.
You can upgrade or buy the equipment at any time or, after 12 months, return or continue renting it.
If you decide to buy the equipment, we’ll give you back 60% of the net rent you paid in the first year and 20% of any rental payments thereafter — to put toward the purchase price.
Read more about Rent–Try–Buy.