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Last Updated on October 28, 2023
If you’re looking for low retention coffee grinders, we’ve got you covered.
In this post, we’ll tell you how you can save time and money by having an espresso grinder with low grind retention.
We’ll also give you our list of the best low retention coffee grinders that are worth your money.
Our Favorite Low Retention Coffee Grinder
Top 3 Low Retention Coffee Grinders at a Glance
What Is a Low Retention Coffee Grinder?
In coffee grinding, retention refers to the amount of ground coffee left in the grinder after you’re finished. A low retention coffee grinder ensures that you receive as many of your grounds as possible.
The way to measure retention is to weigh your coffee before and after grinding. For example, if you put eight ounces of beans in the grinder, you want to get eight ounces of coffee grounds. Low retention coffee grinders may give you 7.8 ounces, while less desirable models might give you 7 ounces or less.
The secret to low retention coffee grinders is the size of the burrs used to grind the beans. The smaller the burrs, the more coffee that comes out.
As a rule, an espresso grinder will retain less ground coffee, since these machines are meant for single dosing. When making a large batch of coffee, grind retention isn’t as much of an issue.
What Are the Benefits of Low Retention Coffee Grinders?
If you’re not a coffee aficionado, you might wonder whether a low retention coffee grinder is worth the investment. After all, some of these machines have a pretty hefty price range (going up into the quadruple digits). That said, here are the top reasons why you should buy a machine with minimal retention:
- You’ll save money. The coffee grinder itself might be a bit pricey, but you’ll save money on your coffee in two ways. First, you can buy coffee beans, which are always cheaper than ground coffee. Second, you’re not wasting as much in the grinder, so each bag will last longer. Over time, a low retention grinder can pay for itself.
- You’ll save time. These grinders are high-efficiency devices. You can get a single dose of nice coffee in less time. Single dosing is ideal when you’re in a rush in the morning. Also, most of the models on our list are automatic, so you won’t have to put much work in to get fresh coffee.
- Less hassle. One downside of using a coffee grinder is having to keep it clean. With fewer coffee grounds stuck in the conical burrs, however, you won’t have to work as hard to keep the machine in pristine condition.
If you want the best coffee experience at home, you should invest in a low retention coffee grinder.
Now let’s look at the top models on the market today.
Top Low Retention Coffee Grinders
Baratza is a pretty well-known name in the coffee grinder industry, and some of these machines can get pricey. Fortunately, the Sette 270 is relatively affordable, especially considering its quality and customization options. The Sette 270 is a multi-dimensional machine built for espresso drinkers and for people who like to mix and match their coffee.
The model’s name refers to the 270 unique settings that users have to program into the device. There are 30 macro adjustment options and 9 micro adjustments to enable you to get the perfect grind every time. Best of all, you can set your preferences to one of three programmable buttons for faster and more efficient grinding in the morning.
Speaking of efficiency, this grinder can process up to five grams of coffee per second. And thanks to the open-bottom design, the coffee grounds fall directly into a portafilter or brewing device. Whether you’re running late or you have time to appreciate an ideal espresso shot, the Baratza Sette 270 offers fast and consistent grinding.
The primary issue users have reported with this machine is the size of the trigger mechanism. If the trigger doesn’t catch, the grinder won’t start. This setup is a safety setting to prevent accidental grinding. Unfortunately, the trigger is a bit too small, so it won’t always activate. Some coffee enthusiasts who have used this device have reported that putting some tape on the end helps alleviate this problem.
- High-speed operation grinds up to five grams per second
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Three programmable dosing options
- 270 grind settings available
- Compatible with a wide array of portafilters and brewing devices
- A design flaw can cause the machine to not activate
- Over time, some elements can wear down faster than others
As with Baratza, Breville is another well-known name in the coffee industry, making high-quality grinders and coffee makers. This Smart Grinder Pro doesn’t have nearly as many settings as the Sette 270, but it should have more than enough options for most coffee lovers (we have reviewed the Breville Smart Grinder Pro and written about its best settings). You can use the digital LCD display to customize your coffee grind in 60 different ways, from espresso to French roast.
An 18-ounce bean hopper ensures that you can make as much great-tasting espresso as necessary, whether it’s a single dose or drinks for the whole office. You can use pre-programmed buttons for maximum efficiency.
One element we like about this coffee grinder is that it’s easy to take apart for cleaning and maintenance. Although this is a low-retention model, coffee grounds and oils can still get stuck in the burrs, so the ability to clean this machine quickly helps you extend its lifespan and ensure consistent espresso coffee flavor between brews. When you keep all your espresso equipment clean, you notice the difference in flavor.
- Durable stainless steel conical burrs
- 60 grind settings available
- Hopper holds up to 18 ounces of beans
- Programmable buttons for ease of use
- Easy to disassemble to make cleaning effortless
- In rare cases, the motor may overheat and shut down
- The impeller can break relatively easily when grinding thick beans
Like we said already, if you’re serious about getting coffee-shop quality coffee grounds, you can spend more than $1,000 pretty easily. This model from ECM is $1,400, so we only recommend it for those who want the best grinds and have the funds to get them.
The secret to the V-Titan 64 is its titanium-coated flat burrs. According to the manufacturer, these burrs will last for over 100 years, making them far more resilient and reliable than anything else on this list. And because they’re flat, you can achieve a finer grind more efficiently without damaging the mechanics.
Realistically, this coffee grinder is best for grinding for espresso. While you can adjust to coarser blends, more trial and error is involved. Conical burrs work well for coarse grinding, while flat burrs are ideal for superfine results.
- 450-watt motor
- Titanium-coated flat burrs
- Sleek 50s-inspired design
- Large hopper (17.6 ounces)
- Two-year limited warranty
- Programmable grind times
- Doesn’t switch between coffee grinds easily
- More expensive than other models
So far we’ve looked at automatic coffee grinders that allow you to program the settings and walk away while the machine does its thing. But if you want a more hands-on approach (literally), the Peugeot Kronos Coffee Grinder is an excellent choice.
There are a few benefits to using a hand grinder instead of an automatic one, such as:
- Easier to clean and maintain since there are fewer moving parts.
- Perfect for single dosing since you can only fit up to 50 grams of beans at a time.
- Portable and compact so you can bring it along on vacations or to the office.
Although this product is a manual coffee grinder, you can adjust the setting up to 43 different times. That said, this device doesn’t work well for coarser grinds as they can get stuck in the feeder. But the Kronos is excellent for great-tasting espresso.
- Adjustable wheel with 43 unique settings
- Lifetime warranty on the stainless steel apparatus
- Compact design is easy to store
- Ergonomic shape to reduce fatigue
- Easy to clean
- The handle is a bit small, so it’s harder for large hands to grind
- Doesn’t work well for coarser grinds as they get stuck
If you’re new to the world of coffee grinding, the Baratza Encore is an excellent entry-level machine. With over 11,000 reviews, this is one of the most well-reviewed products on this list.
This grinder only has 40 settings, so don’t expect to work miracles with it. But you can pre-program your top settings so you can just plug and play when brewing in the morning. If you want a slightly finer grind, you can use the pulse button on the front. Overall, this model is great for those who like the idea of grinding their own beans but don’t want a complicated machine to do it with.
- Small countertop footprint
- Durable construction and materials
- Uses commercial-grade conical burrs
- 40 setting options with pre-programmed buttons
- Pulse button on the front for added control
- Can be challenging to take apart to clean
- Doesn’t work with non-Baratza portafilters or brewing devices
Overall, if you want a reliable coffee grinder that offers a wide range of settings, you can’t do much better than the Baratza Sette 270.
We also appreciate the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, although it’s not quite as versatile.