Brewing a fresh, vibrant cup of coffee with my Chemex each morning has become a sacred ritual for me. It wakes me up slowly and helps me focus on what’s ahead for the day. One of the key factors to getting a quality cup from my Chemex is how I grind my beans, but finding the right grinder for me was no easy feat.
So, I’ve made it easier for you by reviewing five of the best burr grinders to use for Chemex brewing.
At a Glance: Our Top 5 Picks for Grinders for Chemex Brewing
Finding a quality coffee grinder can be hard as there are so many products available and it can be hard knowing which features to prioritize over others. We have compiled, tested, and reviewed five of the top grinders available on Amazon to give you a guide in choosing the best grinder for getting your perfect Chemex grind.
Quick Summary: Best 5 Grinders for Chemex
|Boly Electric Burr Coffee Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
|Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
|OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
|Fellow Ode Brew Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
|BEGUKO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
|Mr. Coffee Burr Coffee Grinder||Check on Amazon →|
This stainless steel burr grinder offers 19 grind settings that you can adjust using a lever below the hopper. The settings range from very fine to coarse, and there is great consistency in the grind.
The hopper and basket can hold up to 12 cups (200 grams) of beans and has a timed setting. Simply adjust the dial to the number of cups you want to make and push the button to grind automatically. This makes it easy to use while multitasking, something that is necessary while setting up your Chemex.
I love how quiet, sleek and small this grinder is (measuring 12.68 x 9.37 x 7.56 inches). However, if you don’t get the antistatic feature, you will notice that the basket gets very staticky, causing grinds to stick to the sides and lid (where the opening for the grinds is located – not my favorite feature either as it contributes to the mess the static can cause).
Some users also experienced a burning plastic smell during the first several uses but did not notice it contributing to the taste of the grinds. I found that customer service is knowledgeable about the product and able to answer questions, which is a huge bonus! It’s definitely a great at-home grinder for the price, which is on the low side for a burr grinder.
This conical burr grinder is an excellent choice for your first at-home grinder. With 40 settings, this sleek-looking coffee grinder allows you to play with all types of grind sizes, including a range of coarse settings, making it ideal for dialing in your perfect Chemex grind.
Having a steel conical burr, this grinder delivers very consistent grinds but is a bit on the loud side. Having been on the market for years, Baratza has continued to update and improve the design, so you know this company has its consumers’ best interests at heart.
Baratza reflects this dedication to its consumers by providing top-tier customer support with troubleshooting and replacement parts. Many users have noted jamming issues, but this seems to only occur when using very oily beans.
We recommend non-oily beans for Chemex as part of the magic in this brewing method is the extraction of the oils – the more oily the beans appear, the less oil there is to extract as most of that oil has been roasted out (leaving an oily look).
You can check out our full review of this grinder here, but some other great highlights about this grinder are its hopper size (you can choose an 8 or 17-ounce sized hopper), its ease of cleaning, and the automatic thermal over-load cut-off feature that will shut the machine off if it gets overheated.
This OXO Brew conical burr grinder is sleek looking and is a nice small size that will look attractive in your coffee kitchen setup. It has 15 main grind settings, ranging from fine to coarse, but also allows for micro settings (35 settings in total).
This is fantastic as it allows you to really dial in your grind setting to exactly what you want and like. With a stainless-steel burr, the consistency in the grind does not leave you wanting. The hopper holds 0.75 pounds of beans, which will yield 12 servings that can all be held within the antistatic grinds basket.
This grinder has a one-touch automatic grind button, allowing you to walk away from it while it grinds. However, the hopper has to be emptied in order to change the grind setting.
If you have a preference for oily beans (think dark roasts, Starbucks beans, or cheaper big-brand coffee beans), this grinder may end up clogging. We recommend using freshly roasted beans from a local roastery for the best results and easiest maintenance.
Claiming to be café standard, this grinder does not disappoint. It has a higher price point for an at-home grinder, but this grinder has a sleek, new-age look that will put your other kitchen appliances to shame.
The inner workings of this machine are also high quality, with a stainless steel flat burr that grinds with consistency and precision. The noise level is dramatically quieter compared to most flat burr grinders, which is a huge plus.
The thing I love most about this grinder is it is made specifically just for coarser grinding; no fine grinds allowed. The Fellow Ode grinder has 11 main grind settings and also allows for 31 intermediate steps, allowing you to produce medium to coarse grinds of all varieties.
It’s also a dosage grinder, meaning you weigh your grinds out before putting them in the hopper, which is small and not very visible. If you’re the type of coffee nerd who loves to keep your beans at peak freshness for as long as possible, this is honestly the ideal way to do so.
The only negative things about this grinder are it has had some static issues for some users, though not something I experienced, and the sleek magnetic grind knocker that is supposed to help knock down the stuck excess grinds is not as efficient as it could be. Otherwise, this grinder is a joy to use and comes highly recommended by many.
I’ll start with the negatives with this one because this grinder was my least favorite in appearance. It’s a little bulkier and almost looks like a blender, which isn’t my favorite. It also has a very staticky grind catcher which can make it a little messy.
Everything else though – fantastic. This stainless steel conical burr grinder allows for 31 adjustable grind settings, ranging from very fine espresso grind to coarse French Press grind. This makes it a great option for Chemex brewing as you can play around with a wide range of medium-coarse to coarse settings.
This grinder has a timer setting, meaning it will grind for a certain length of time, rather than a dose setting, which is most common in grinders. However, this is easy to work with once you weigh your beans and figure out how long it takes to get the right dose.
This stainless steel flat burr grinder is one of the most affordable grinders you’ll find and is good quality. Because it uses flat burrs, it is a bit loud, but nothing compared to a blade grinder. The hopper holds up to eight ounces of coffee beans, and you can grind 2-18 servings of grinds before refilling.
With an automatic serving grind setting, you can turn your grinder on and walk away, knowing you’ll get your perfect dose of grinds. The grind chamber does have some static issues but is easy to clean and keeps the grinds contained well. Some users have found that fine grinds appear no matter what your grind size is, but I found this only happened when I didn’t clean out the grinder on a regular basis.
Overall, this grinder is a great pick for the price if you can accommodate a louder grind noise.
Things to Consider When Buying a Burr Grind
Grind Size and Consistency
Every element of the Chemex brewing process matters – but grind size and consistency probably have the biggest impact on the taste of your brew. You’ll want to keep your grind on the coarse side, aiming for somewhere between beach sand and sea salt-sized grinds. The smaller you make your grinds, the more bitter your coffee will be. If your grind size is inconsistent it will be harder to adjust to your taste.
When looking for a grinder specifically for Chemex grinds, you want to find one that allows for coarse grinds and is consistent in grind size. We highly recommend an electric burr grinder over a blade grinder, as they have the greatest consistency in grind size.
Flat vs Conical Blade
Burr grinders create a much more consistent grind than a blade grinder. This is because a burr grinder consists of two bladed wheels that the beans travel between to get into the basket, instead of just one blade randomly chopping the beans up with no consistency. Your grind size is determined by how close together these wheels are and the pressure applied by the motor.
A flat burr is essentially two identical wheels with small blades (called burrs) that lay horizontally, one facing up and the other facing down. The space between the wheels determines the size of the grind. A conical burr is one outer ring with blades that stay still, while a smaller inner wheel spins and grinds the beans through pressure.
Although there is some difference in the end result of the grind shape, there really isn’t evidence that one produces superior grinds or a better taste. Each coffee enthusiast will end up with their own preference due to their individual taste portfolio, but ultimately the burr style is more likely to determine the price and overall quality of your grinder and not really affect your finished coffee product.
A conical burr tends to be quieter, cheaper, and cooler, according to The Real Sprometheus on YouTube. Flat burrs require more power, usually meaning a larger motor and higher voltage. This makes them more likely to show up in café grinders, as these grinders are already much larger than at-home grinders. Conical burrs are more likely to be present in smaller grinders.
So essentially, no, your style of burr grinder will not make much, if any, the difference in your grind size, consistency, or flavor. But it may determine the pricing, sound, and size of your grinder, in which case it may make sense to look exclusively at conical burrs. For a more in-depth look at the difference between these two burr styles, check out our Conical vs. Flat Burr Grinders article.
Hopper and Basket Sizing
When looking at grinders, be sure to consider the size of the hopper and basket. Can they hold a fair amount of beans? Some grinders are made specifically for espresso and may have smaller hopper sizes, meaning you’ll need to grind more than once to get your desired amount of grinds.
Look for a hopper and basket that can hold at least one-half pound of coffee. Another element to consider is whether the hopper is tinted – this will protect your beans from direct sunlight and keep them fresher for longer.
Ease of Cleaning
Brewing in a Chemex allows you to enjoy the full range of flavors that a roast has to offer. Having a grinder that is easy to clean will save you a considerable amount of stress and will offer you the best flavor available.
You don’t want old grinds in your brew, and keeping your different roasts separate will help maximize the deliciousness of every roast. We suggest cleaning out your grinder every other week or between every new roast you add. This will help your grinder last as long as possible while also ensuring you’re getting the freshest and most uniform grinds.
Frequently Asked Questions about Chemex Grinders
We really hope that you have a good idea of the type of grinder you most want and that best fits your needs and budgets. However, it would be remiss not to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about finding the perfect grinder for your Chemex roast.
What grind is best for Chemex?
A Chemex coffee brewer is one of the slowest pour-over coffee brewers available, meaning your grinds will be immersed longer than in other pour-over methods. Because of this, you will want to go for a medium-coarse to coarse grind. Your grinds should be about the size of sand from the beach, or even up to sea salt consistency. This will ensure your coffee isn’t too over-extracted and bitter.
Does grind size matter for Chemex?
Absolutely. The finer your grinds are, the more extraction will happen, and your coffee will end up being very acidic and bitter. Aim for a medium-coarse to coarse grind size, as seen above.
What else do I need with a Chemex?
Really, just a Chemex filter and a heat source. We highly recommend you use your own coffee grinder to ensure freshness and the best quality of coffee, and also a kitchen scale to nail down your perfect Chemex grinds-to-water ratio.
But it is possible to get a great cup of coffee with just the Chemex filters and water heater. You can check out our complete Chemex guide for a step-by-step breakdown of the best Chemex equipment and techniques.
How should I grind my beans for Chemex?
The best way to grind your beans when using a Chemex brewer is to have an at-home grinder that allows coarse grinds. This will ensure freshness and the best quality of extraction from your beans. You can also grind your beans at most local supermarkets or coffee shops. Simply ask them for a Chemex grind or coarse grind.
Do you have to grind beans for Chemex?
Yes, and we recommend a medium to coarse grind. Without grinding your beans, your Chemex will simply allow the water to run through the whole beans, and you will just have hot water. Never a good start to the day!
We hope that this guide will help you in selecting the best possible home grinder. We’ve reviewed the top five grinders from Amazon in order to save you as much time in researching as possible.
Each grinder has its own unique features and also some “meh” things that we don’t shy away from revealing. No grinder is perfect, but there’s the perfect grinder for you, and we hope this has helped you find it.
Your coffee ritual is about to get that much easier and more efficient as you make your perfect brew in your Chemex brewer.