One of the joys of visiting your local coffee shop is taking in the rich aroma of freshly ground coffee. By milling your own beans, you can re-create that experience in your own home. Most coffee connoisseurs agree that the best flavor comes from beans that were ground shortly before being brewed. While you could buy a stand-alone grinder to do the job, a coffee maker that comes with a built-in grinder is a great solution that saves on both time and space.
Grind-and-brew coffee makers can be designed to make either drip coffee or espresso and come in a variety of styles, from compact single-serve options to professional-style machines. Read on to learn more about how to pick the best coffee maker with a grinder for your kitchen.
- BEST OVERALL: Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew Thermal Coffeemaker
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: KRUPS KM550D50 Personal Café Grind
- UPGRADE PICK: De’Longhi ESAM3300 Automatic Espresso/Coffee Machine
- BEST SINGLE-SERVE: Sboly Coffee Maker with Grinder
- BEST FOR ESPRESSO: Breville BES870BSXL Barista Express Espresso Machine
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Coffee Maker with Grinder
Before you begin to shop for a coffee maker, weigh some key considerations. Though it may be easy to assume that all coffee makers with grinders deliver similar results, there are several factors to consider. Read on to find out what to keep in mind when shopping for the best coffee maker with a grinder for your home.
Many high-end coffee makers and espresso machines are large and may not be the best choice for those with small kitchens. Because they have to sit on the countertop and can take up a significant amount of space, it’s important to consider what size machine will fit into your kitchen without sacrificing important food-prep areas. Generally speaking, espresso makers tend to be bigger than drip coffee makers. If you intend to store the coffee maker under your upper cabinets, be sure to take measurements before making a purchase to ensure it will fit.
Blade vs. Burr
Coffee grinders process beans using either blades or burrs.
- Blades: Most affordable coffee grinders use blades, which work like a blender or food processor, spinning to chop the beans. While they are prevalent on the market, they tend to produce an inconsistent coarseness, which is fine for drip coffee but isn’t ideal for espresso, which needs to be finely ground.
- Burrs: Burrs are considered to be the preferable choice for grinding coffee beans. Burr grinders, or mills, are found in the professional machines you’ll see at coffee shops. These grinders work by pressing the beans together using flat or conical burrs. Their main advantage is that they generate little heat, so the flavor of the bean isn’t affected. They also produce a consistent texture of ground coffee. However, they tend to be found only in pricier machines.
When shopping for a coffee maker of any style, consider how many coffee drinkers there are in your household and how much they consume on a daily basis. While some households may require a large capacity of 12 cups or more, those who live alone and drink only one cup a day may find a single-serve option to be sufficient. It’s important to note that the “cups” used to measure coffee machine capacities don’t actually align with the standard measurement you may be familiar with. A U.S. cup measures 8 ounces, but the “cups” on coffee machines typically range between 4 and 6 ounces.
Home drip coffee makers typically come with either glass or thermal carafes.
- Glass carafe machines come with a hot plate that keeps the contents warm for a set period of time. They tend to be more affordable and are great for those who drink their coffee shortly after it’s finished brewing because the coffee can develop a burnt taste after about 20 minutes.
- Thermal carafes typically have a higher price point but perform better when it comes to keeping coffee warm for long periods of time. They are generally made from stainless steel and have a double-walled design, which works to keep the contents piping hot for hours without negatively affecting the flavor.
Espresso makers don’t come with a carafe, dispensing the coffee directly into a cup or mug.
Most coffee makers that come equipped with a grinder also have a number of programmable settings.
- Timers allow users to add the beans and water the night before and set a time for the coffee to begin brewing in the morning.
- Brew strength control lets the user choose whether the coffee is weak, medium, or strong.
- Temperature control is a handy feature for coffee aficionados who want to set a precise water temperature for their brew.
Ease of Cleaning
In order to keep your coffee maker in ideal working order, it’s important to clean it regularly. One of the disadvantages of grind-and-brew machines is that they have more components that require regular cleaning. If ease of cleaning is a priority for you, look for a model that features removable, dishwasher-friendly parts.
Coffee makers come with a variety of additional features.
- Water filters eliminate chlorine, calcium, and other minerals that may impart an unwanted taste to the coffee.
- Auto shutoff is important for coffee makers with glass carafes to ensure the hot plate doesn’t stay on all day.
- Brew pausing is a great option for those who like to grab a cup before the brewing cycle has completed.
- LCD or touch-screen displays make for a simpler user experience.
Our Top Picks
The following recommendations take into account all the considerations mentioned, including carafe style, programmable settings, ease of cleaning, extra features, and most importantly, quality. This list features a variety of top-notch coffee makers with grinders to help you find the right one for you according to your needs and budget.
The Cuisinart Grind & Brew coffee maker is fully programmable and offers a number of useful additional features. It has a 12-cup capacity, making it a great choice for larger families with multiple coffee drinkers. Because it comes with a double-walled thermal carafe, the coffee will stay hot and taste fresh for hours.
One of the advantages of this coffee maker is that it can be used with either whole beans or pre-ground coffee because the burr grinder function can be turned off. It has a permanent gold-tone coffee filter, saving you from buying disposable filters. The charcoal water filter ensures a clean, mineral-free flavor. A handy additional feature is its brew-pause functionality, which lets users grab a cup of coffee before the machine has finished brewing.
This model is also available with a glass carafe at a lower price.
Most grind-and-brew coffee makers that use burrs rather than blades are on the pricey side, but this model from KRUPS performs well at a low price point. It has a glass carafe with a 4-cup capacity and features a stainless steel burr grinder that’s adjustable for medium or dark roast blends. Users can customize their brew by choosing the “bold” setting for a stronger flavor. The automatic keep-warm function ensures your coffee is piping hot for 30 minutes after it’s done brewing.
The grinder can be turned off so that pre-ground beans can be used instead. All removable parts that come into contact with beans or ground coffee are dishwasher safe.
What’s more luxurious than making a cappuccino at home? An espresso maker is essential to home-brew espresso-based drinks, but the restaurant-style manual versions are much more complicated to operate than a standard drip coffee maker. That’s where automatic espresso makers come in.
This model from De’Longhi makes long or short espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, Americanos, and more. It heats up in just 60 seconds and features a steel burr grinder as well as a manual milk frother. The water reservoir is removable so it can easily be filled at the sink, and the bean reservoir has a capacity of 8.8 ounces. It also has a separate container for using pre-ground coffee, and the brew unit can be removed for easy cleaning.
Those who live alone or have limited counter space in their kitchens may want to consider a compact single-serve coffee maker like this one from Sboly. There are plenty of small coffee machines on the market, but most of them don’t feature a built-in grinder. This one, however, allows users to fill it with their favorite coffee beans. The stainless steel blade grinder features three settings: fine brew, coarse brew, and ground, allowing the user to choose the right consistency for each drink.
It also comes with a dual-brewing option, allowing for whole or pre-ground beans. The one-stop pausing feature lets the user halt the process at any step of the grind or brew cycle. It comes with a 16-ounce stainless steel travel mug, and many of the accessories are detachable for hassle-free cleaning.
Those who want the most control over their espresso will be well served by a manual machine like this one from Breville. It comes with a high-quality grinder that features stainless steel conical burrs to produce finely ground espresso. Each shot of espresso contains 19 to 22 grams of ground coffee, making for a robust taste. The machine uses digital temperature control to ensure the temperature of the water is ideal for every cup.
The automatic steam wand is perfect for frothing up milk for a cappuccino or macchiato. The generous 67-ounce water tank allows you to go for several days before having to refill it. A cleaning kit is included with purchase, and the machine features a “clean me” light to indicate when it needs maintenance. This machine is pricier than others on this list, but it makes for a good investment for those considering swapping out their daily trip to the coffee shop.
FAQs About Coffee Makers with Grinder
With all the choices available, finding the best coffee maker with a grinder can be a bit overwhelming, so you might still have some questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about coffee makers with grinders.
Q. Does a coffee grinder make a difference?
Freshly ground coffee results in a more flavorful and aromatic brew. While grinding beans at home adds one more step to your morning routine, it’s definitely a worthwhile one.
Q. Do you need a special grinder for espresso?
Espresso should be ground finely for best results. The grinders that come built into espresso machines are specifically designed to achieve this.
Q. How do you clean a coffee maker with a grinder?
Cleaning instructions will vary depending on the model you purchase. Generally speaking, however, the grinder basket, brew basket, and carafe should all be removed and cleaned regularly with soap and water.