When it comes to making better coffee at home, having a grinder is a must. Pre-ground beans, even high-quality coffee beans, go stale very quickly and lose their taste.
And in addition to the better taste, the smell of freshly ground coffee is simply amazing. I would say that grinding coffee at home is probably the most direct way to improve your brewing. And hand grinders like the IKEA Metallisk coffee grinder are a great entry-level product that doesn’t break the bank.
We’ve compiled a short guide to the Metallisk grinder’s features and how they stack up against other hand grinders on the market.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
First and foremost, before buying a coffee grinder, you have to consider your budget. A decent grinder can cost anywhere from under $20 to multiple thousands of dollars, and you probably want to know your price range before deciding.
But if you have a flexible budget and you’re not sure at all about which grinder is right for you, then you should probably start with our complete buying guide for coffee grinders. That will give you an idea of the price range of the most popular grinders, both electric and manual.
My current grinder is a Baratza Encore, and it has given me years of delicious coffee. But my first coffee grinder was a cheap hand grinder—it took a few years before I was ready to upgrade to the Baratza. So for coffee enthusiasts who can’t yet justify a higher price point, manual hand grinders are a great option.
Yes, as we described in our guide to grinding coffee, you can technically grind coffee with a blender, a mortar, and pestle, or even a hammer. These might work if you’re desperate, but the quality will suffer. Because, while a hammer does crush the beans, it’s challenging to get a consistent grind.
Consistent grinds—meaning the pieces are all the same size—are crucial for the highest quality coffee. And most hand grinders, like the IKEA coffee grinder, have a remarkably consistent grind for their price.
IKEA Metallisk Coffee Grinder
So we now know why it’s essential to grind our coffee right before brewing. And unless you’re ready to purchase a higher-end electric grinder, a hand grinder is probably the best option.
The IKEA Metallisk coffee grinder is a stainless steel grinder with ceramic burrs that you can adjust depending on your desired grind size. And at just over 1 pound, it’s easy to hold and easy to carry around.
Things We Like:
- It’s an accessible price point for grinding coffee at home.
- The ceramic burrs are incredibly durable.
- Its compact size and removable handle make it easy to travel with.
- You can change the grind size for everything from espresso to french press.
Room For Improvement:
- Other than the burrs, it has more flimsy plastic parts than other hand grinders.
- It creates some boulders (chunks of coffee pieces that are bigger than the grind size).
- It can only grind approximately 24 grams of coffee at a time (1-3 cups max)
- Grinding for espresso takes a long time
The Metallisk’s Features & Benefits
When it comes to improving your coffee game at home, having any grinder is already a vast improvement—the smell alone is almost reason enough to buy a manual hand grinder. But before considering alternatives to the IKEA coffee grinder, let’s get into the details of some of its main features.
It’s a Burr Grinder
If you’re thinking of buying a grinder because you care about quality, then a flat burr grinder is a must. While blade grinders are cheaper and faster, they don’t come close to the quality of burr grinders.
Burr grinders involve a two-piece blade design, and the beans fall through the opening in between the two burrs. This means that every coffee bean has to move through the same size opening in the grinder mechanism, resulting in evenly sized particles. If you’ve ever used manual spice grinders, like in a high-end restaurant, you’ll have the picture in your head.
Why is an even grind important? Well, without getting into too much chemistry, delicious coffee is about getting just the right extraction out of the beans. The delicious flavors inside of the coffee bean dissolve into the water. And when the coffee particles are of all different sizes, the extraction is extremely uneven.
So the Metallisk’s ceramic burrs will ensure an even grind and an even extraction.
Personally, the fact that hand grinders are portable might be my favorite feature. Even though I have upgraded to a Baratza electric grinder at home, my hand grinder still travels with me everywhere.
So even if you think you might upgrade at a later date, a hand grinder like the IKEA Metallisk is still a smart purchase. You won’t use it at home anymore, but you’ll still take it with you on the road. While it doesn’t compete with the higher-end electric burr grinders, you won’t have to settle for bad coffee just because you’re traveling.
With a removable handle and compact size ( Width: 4 ¼ ” Height: 4 ” Length: 7 “), it is light and easy to pack. Combined with a brewing method like the Aeropress, you’ll be able to maintain your coffee quality wherever you go.
Oxygen is the enemy of coffee, and after being roasted, even expensive beans start to deteriorate slowly. In whole bean form, this process is slower because most of the bean is not in direct contact with the air. But once ground up, the coffee has a much higher surface area which means that the aging process speeds up.
Aged coffee has a rancid and overall flat taste. In addition to the good flavors becoming muted, new bad flavors will start to emerge. It’s not that aged coffee is unsafe to drink; it’s just that it doesn’t taste good.
So while pre-ground coffee is extremely even—it is ground on costly industrial machines—it’s simply not fresh. And even though a hand grinder adds a minute or two into your coffee routine, it’s worth it for the flavor.
In addition to the freshness problem, pre-ground coffee also means that you can’t adjust the grind size. And if you can’t change the size of the coffee particles, you can’t brew with different methods. Some brewing methods (like espresso) require a fine grind, while others (like French Press) require a coarse grind.
And even with just one brewing method, adjusting the grind size allows you to play around with the flavor. Different grind sizes will create different extractions. You can get different flavor profiles out of the same beans each day.
And the IKEA coffee grinder, like most burr grinders, has a way to adjust the grinder range. The burrs are adjustable by turning the plastic ring on the bottom of the grinder. When tightened, the burrs are close together and make a fine grind. And when loosened, the burrs are farther apart and make a coarse grind. This makes it easy to adjust the taste of your coffee.
The IKEA Metallisk grinder has ceramic burrs instead of steel burrs. A high-end steel burr set grinder has steel burrs (steel is sharper), but for a hand grinder, ceramic is preferable. Ceramic requires less maintenance, doesn’t heat up with use, and is longer lasting. This means that the sharpness of the blades won’t degrade over time.
Yes, ceramic is more fragile than steel, but this shouldn’t be a problem unless you plan on dropping your grinder. And if you want to, you can geek out in more detail with our full article comparing ceramic and stainless steel coffee grinders.
Alternatives & Conclusion
If your goal is to buy the very best grinder, don’t expect it to be a hand grinder. The best grinders for home use are usually heavy motorized expensive coffee grinders like those made by Baratza, and while they have amazing quality, you also pay for them.
But hand grinders like the IKEA Metallisk are a convenient way to get the high quality of burr grinding without breaking the bank with a grinder upgrade. And even if you upgrade at a later date, you will still use this whenever you travel.
But you can buy a grinder cheaper, and it’s worth noting that there are other hand grinders at similar price points. Hario, for example, is a well-established company that has many coffee products. They have two hand grinders, the Hario Skerton Pro and the Mini Slim.
And there are also hand grinders at much higher price points, such as the LIDO 3 by Orphan Espresso. But if you’re going to spend that much money, it’s probably more logical to get an electric grinder (as long as it’s not a blade grinder). But if you want to be thorough, you can watch World Barista Championship winner James Hoffmann review some of the higher-end hand coffee grinders here.
So if you’re looking to improve your coffee at home at a more reasonable price, the IKEA coffee grinder is worth it. For its price, it will significantly enhance your coffee, especially if you’ve been using pre-ground beans.
It does add some extra time into your coffee routine, but the hands-on experience is fun, and your taste buds will thank you.