2020's 3 Best Coffee Makers That Have a Built-In Grinder
As an enthusiastic brewer and drinker of coffee for over thirty years, one of the first things that I learned was the importance of grinding the beans immediately before brewing. This captures the maximum amount of flavor available and produces the best beverages.
Buying ready ground coffee or grinding the beans too far in advance will always sacrifice flavor and fragrance and it is never recommended, unless you have no realistic alternative.
You can, of course, buy separate machines to perform the grinding and brewing, but a single coffee maker with a grinder built-in (also known as a grind and brew maker) provides a number of advantages, such as:
- It is generally quicker, easier and more efficient.
- You use up less storage and counter space
- It can work out less exensive to buy one combined unit, rather than two separate ones.
The only disadvantage that I've found is if one function breaks and you are left with only the grinder and no brewer, or the other way around.
This article looks at the main different types of grinder and the best grind and brew makers currently available.
The Top 3 Grind and Brew Coffee Makers
- Attractive and Affordable: The Cuisinart DGB-800 Burr Grind & Brew Automatic
- Durable and Reliable: The Capresso 464.05 CoffeeTEAM GS 10-Cup
- Quality and Excellence: The Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
Attractive and Affordable: The Cuisinart DGB-800 Burr Grind & Brew Automatic
Priced at the more affordable end of the scale, this Cuisinart Grind and Brew model is a bestseller and for good reason. It makes an excellent choice for use in the home, or an office area. I bought one for my daughter when she started college and she loves it.
As well as being elegant in appearance, it is very straightforward to use, as well as clean, and really is a great general performer for the price. There are three settings to control the strength of coffee: regular, bold or extra-bold.
The professional-style burr grinder produces very consistent grounds. It isn't the quietest grinder, but certainly not the loudest, in my experience. The noise doesn't bother me or my daughter.
It does require a regular thorough cleaning, but all in all it's a sturdy and durable machine that offers fantastic value for the price.
Durable and Reliable: The Capresso 464.05 CoffeeTeam GS 10-Cup
The Capresso 464.05 CoffeeTeam GS 10-Cup is my other favorite coffee maker with a grinder built-in that's at the lower end of the price scale. I've had one of these machines in my office for a number of years and I love it.
Great features include the easy to use settings. You can select to grind and make 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 cups and pick a mild, regular or strong brew.
One thing that I particularly like is the carafe, which feels comfortable to handle and doesn't tend to leak or spill - unlike many machines I've owned or used - that's important when you are using it every day and entertaining guests.
There are two buying options when it comes to the construction of the carafe: there's a glass and a stainless steel version. I personally prefer the stainless steel, as you wouldn't believe how many glass ones I've broken over the years, but I know a lot of people like glass.
There are only two negatives I've encountered. Firstly, the grinder is fairly noisy and isn't the quickest operator. Secondly, there is no easy way to swap out the beans if you have a few in the hopper and you want to get them out, or change them.
Neither of the negatives would put me off buying this model again.
Quality and Convenience: The Breville Barista Express Espresso Machine BES870XL
For those looking for high quality combined with convenience, it's difficult to go wrong with this grind and brew espresso machine. For sure, the Breville BES870XL Barista Express is not the most affordable model in my list, but don't let that put you off. I've been using this machine for nearly five years now to make my espresso and I would describe it as an excellent investment.
In my experience, provided the machine is kept clean, it will keep producing high quality beverages for many years. I make this point because I've read some reviews where the owners say that their Breville was amazing when they bought it, but went downhill over time, with symptoms that to me sound almost certainly cleaning related.
For instance, if the pressure gauge starts to show readings that are too high or low then I would recommend cleaning out the grinder, it never fails to fix the problem for me. Likewise when the "clean me" light comes on you will need to purchase and use cleaning tablets, as recommended.
This coffee maker is as automatic as it gets, using state-of-the-art digital technology to give you complete control over your coffee. The functionality is without doubt exceptional from a practical perspective, but this machine is a thing of beauty that makes excellent tasting coffee.
Some basic investigation online tells me that there are replacement parts for this machine available for reasonable prices, I'm talking about things like the filters, tray pieces, shower head, and frothing tip. I've not had to replace anything in the years since I bought mine, but it is reassuring to know that if anything does wear out, I can just swap out the parts myself without worrying about paying someone to fix it, or having to buy a brand new machine.
This machine is not cheap, but worth every penny in both my opinion and experience.
The Two Main Types of Coffee Grinder
If you are new to grinding your own coffee, you may not be aware that there are two main types of grinder: blade and burr.
Blade grinders work by cutting the coffee beans up with a spinning blade, which looks a bit like a propeller. This type of grinder tends to be the most affordable, but they are generally noisier and less precise than burr grinders.
Burr grinders work by crushing the beans against a static surface with a grinder wheel. They are split into 2 sub-types: those with flat grinder wheels are named: “wheel burr” and those with conical grinder wheels are called, “conical burr”. Wheel types are usually the more affordable out of the two, but the conical version is generally accepted as being the best, mainly because they are quieter and less messy than other types.
In summary, burr grinders are generally superior to blade grinders in pretty much every respect, but they are also more expensive.
How to Store Coffee and Keep It Fresh
There are 4 main things that cause coffee to lose its flavor:
- Exposure to air and moisture. This can be minimized by storing the coffee in a sealed container. Glass and ceramic vessels are often best, but a stainless steel container can work well too.
- Exposure to excessive light or heat. To avoid this happening you should keep the coffee away from bright places, especially if you are storing it in a glass jar. Instead, keep the coffee somewhere relatively dark and cool, away from heat and direct sunlight.
- Freezing and refrigeration. Excessively cold temperatures can damage the coffee's flavor.
- Grinding your own coffee makes a difference. It is recommended that you buy your coffee in bean form, rather than ready ground. Grind the beans just before brewing to maintain maximum flavor.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
Questions & Answers
I'm looking for a coffee machine that makes both espresso and a regular cup of Joe? Do you have a recommendation?
As far as combination coffee makers go, your options are fairly limited. I've not found a machine that I'm entirely happy with, but you may want to consider the KRUPS XP1500 or the DeLonghi BCO320T.Helpful 16
© 2011 Paul Goodman