If you’re in a little bit of a rush, and don’t have time to read the entire article, then we recommend the La Pavoni. If you have the budget however, we don’t think you can go wrong with the Mahlkonig K30 Air.
Maybe you’re just setting up a cafe, or you’ve been in the business for a while now and looking to upgrade your coffee grinder.
Well, we understand that you’re going to need some of the best grinders on the market to keep up the demand of coffee. Not to mention you want to work quickly, efficiently and with as little stress as possible.
That’s why we’ve put together a list to find you the best commercial coffee grinder. There’s quite a lot to consider, so if I was you, I’d put a brew on and get comfy.
We’ll run through everything you need to consider before you buy your coffee grinder. So without further ado, let’s get right to it.
These are the best commercial coffee grinders we’ll be looking at:Table could not be displayed.
Don’t worry if you don’t know what ‘doser/doserless’ or ‘stepped/stepless’ means in regards to a coffee grinder, we’ve got all that covered.
- Why Invest In A Coffee Grinder For Your Business?
- What Coffee Grinder Options Do We Have To Choose From?
- Doser or Doserless Grinders
- Stepped vs Stepless Grinders
- Other Grinder Considerations
- The Best Commercial Coffee Grinders – The Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Why Invest In A Coffee Grinder For Your Business?
I’m sure many of you may already know why a coffee grinder improves the quality of the coffee you’re serving. It’s a game changer. The quality of coffee from freshly grounded coffee, compared to pre-ground is unparalleled. But how come?
Firstly, let’s talk about the aromas. When you’re grinding coffee beans fresh, the smells that fill the air, drifting throughout the office or shop, are going to be beautiful. It’s just not something that happens with pre-ground coffee.
Secondly, you’re going to be getting many more flavours out of each bean and into your cup. As soon as that coffee is grounded up, there’s more surface area exposed to the air, meaning it takes less time for your coffee to go stale. Freshly ground coffee is going to be just that, fresh and full of flavour!
So not only is it the senses that get tingling through grinding your own coffee beans, but it also gives you a wider scope of drinks you can make. Espressos need a fine grind, because their extraction time is short, but with a French press you need a coarse grind, as they have a much longer extraction time.
Having your own grinder that allows you to change grind size settings means you have many more options as to what kind of coffee drinks you want to make.
There’s an improvement in the quality of flavours, lots of beautiful aromas, and your choice of brew methods become larger.
What Coffee Grinder Options Do We Have To Choose From?
I know what you’re thinking. How many different grinders are there out there? Well the answer to that question is a lot.
The biggest difference is whether the grinder uses burrs or a blade to grind up your beans. Get a burr grinder. Period.
Blade grinders are okay if you’re at home, already have one in the house for herbs for example, and want to give grinding up your own beans a go. If you’re looking for a coffee grinder, always go for burrs. They give you so much more flexibility, precision and uniformity in your grind sizes.
The first real difference we’ll talk about is the two types of burrs you can get. These are conical burrs, or flat burrs.
Conical Burr Grinders
Conical burr grinders are popular for a couple of reasons. Their distinct cone-like design funnels the coffee beans in between the burrs. The outer serrated burr sits around the venter burr, which is a small cone-shape that’s covered with sharp edges. One spins very quickly while the other is stationary. The beans are funnelled into smaller and smaller teeth to create the desired grind size.
These types of grinders are unique due to the fact they produce two different grinds within the same grind size. To the naked eye, it’s uniform, but looking under a microscope tells a different story. One grind size is slightly larger than the other. This unique grind size mix encourages water flow, and creates a smooth yet strong espresso shot.
You can create many different grind sizes with conical burrs. They’re also quieter than the flat burrs, which is good if you’re in a quiet cafe. They also run at a cooler temperature than flat burrs which is going to affect your coffee beans less.
If you’re after a bright and thick body in an espresso, something that’s going to have a great texture to it, then conical burrs are going to emphasize this.
These are a few positives to conical burrs:
- Bring out the brightness of the coffee;
- Produces low heat;
- Quiet while grinding
However, there are a couple of negatives, for example:
- Can’t customise your shot as much as flat burrs;
- Can sometimes create an unbalanced extraction due to difference in grind size
Flat Burr Grinders
Flat burr grinders work slightly different. There are two flat burrs that lie horizontally, one facing up and one facing down. The coffee beans fall onto the burrs where they are ground down for the first time. They then fall between the burrs and get ground again.
This method creates an incredibly uniform grind. Unlike the conical burr grinder, the coffee grind that flat burrs create are all the same size.
There is no better or worse with regards to the grind. They both have their pros and cons. It’s more when it comes to maintenance and efficiency where the conical burr grinders creep ahead. But if we’re looking at flavour, then that is personal and also depends on brew methods. For espresso, you’re probably going to want flat burrs.
Not only is the conical burr grinder the preferred grinder for the professional barista, but they’re also easier to clean and don’t waste as much coffee during the grinder process. It’s also reported that the flat burrs give off more heat when grinding the beans, which some baristas argue changes the flavour.
These are the positives in a nutshell:
- Super uniform grind for a balanced extraction;
- Allows you to fully customise your espresso shot;
- Very rich textures
And the downsides:
- Produces lots of excess heat because of higher RPM
- Need to adjust the settings more
This video gives a great overview of the difference between conical burrs and flat burrs:
Doser or Doserless Grinders
Doser and doserless grinders can be built with conical or flat burrs. We’ll run through the differences and the pros and cons of doser vs doserless.
It’s not very complicated, so don’t stress. The basic difference is that a doser grinder is going to deposit the coffee grind into a container to hold the coffee ground until the barista pulls a lever. This helps create a nice and even amount of coffee.
The doserless grinders deposit the coffee straight into the portafilters, without stopping at any compartments.
So a typical doser grinder is going to grind up your coffee beans, then hold that ground coffee in a compartment until the barista needs some coffee and pulls the lever.
A lot of these modern dosers are electronic. Firstly they distribute exactly the same amount of ground coffee with every pull of the lever. Also, when the levels of ground coffee are running low, they will automatically grind up more coffee and deposit it into the compartment, as long as there is enough coffee in the hopper.
Dosers are good for a couple of things:
- You can serve many customers at the same time;
- Deliver highly accurate dosage giving you a consistent brew
If you have queues of people then you’re going to get through coffee quickly, meaning it’s beneficial to have coffee slightly pre-ground as you anticipate the customers.
There are a couple of drawbacks though, for example:
- Keeping ground coffee in the portafilter can compromise the freshness of the coffee;
- Dosers require more cleaning and maintenance;
With regards to freshness, this is why you need to have a steady footfall coming in and out of your business to get through the coffee, before the grounds become stale.
To sum up, doser grinder is going to save you a lot of time when you have a lot of customers lining up for coffee, and create consistency. But be careful not to let your ground coffee go stale.
A doserless grinder is going to deposit your freshly ground coffee straight into your portafilter, and not into a container.
Instead of having coffee pre ground into a compartment, ready for the barista to pull the lever and receive a dose, the dose is done manually and as and when you need it. There is usually an on/off button where the barista can stop the grinder when they think enough ground coffee has made it into the portafilter.
Some grinders come with dose timers for more precision.
There are a couple of advantages of this, however it’s more for the trained barista that’s had a fair bit of experience.
- You have maximum control over the dispensing of ground coffee
- It’s incredibly fresh
- Less waste as you don’t run the risk of pre-grinding too much.
So you get more freshness and more control, but what are the cons?
- Baristas need to know what they’re doing, and how the quantity of coffee grind is going to affect the flavours.
- Slightly messier as coffee easily escapes the portafilter when dispensing
Don’t worry if you’re after a grinder that is for varied skill levels. You can find doser or doserless grinders with an electronic dosing feature. These will automatically dispense the amount of coffee you have programmed it to dispense.
Stepped vs Stepless Grinders
This is the final decision you need to make with regards to the actual grinder. Do you want a stepped or stepless grinder?
This is the difference between the two:
A stepped grinder has many pre-set grind sizes for baristas to choose from. For example, you can have grind settings that range from 1-40, going from fine to coarse. A stepless grinder has more of a slider, that allows you to choose from wider and more specific grind sizes manually.
This feature is perfect for shops that have a lot of customers to make coffees for, or if you’re training new staff a lot.
A stepped grinder is going to have many notches that you can click the burrs into, quickly and efficiently changing the grind size. If you’re in a rush and don’t need to mess around with a dial then having these preset grind sizes is ideal. As long as there are enough settings to be somewhat precise.
You should consider a stepped grinder if:
- You have beginners or need to train staff;
- You don’t need to be perfectly specific with your grind size;
- You want to quickly change the brew methods you’re using to brew coffee.
All these are really great advantages, but there is a slight drawback:
- There are fewer grind size options
If you have many experienced baristas that know what they’re doing, or you want to play around with some grind sizes to see how the flavours change, you’re not going to have as many options than if you had a stepless grinder.
Don’t get me wrong, there are clear differences between stepped grinder settings, but it all depends how much you want to adjust your grind size, and how precise you want to be.
These are perfect for the skilled barista, or professionals that want to refine their cupping skills. The slider allows for a much more customisable grind size, as you can go in between the grind sizes that a stepped grinder has.
You can choose the perfect grind size for the coffee you’re wanting to brew. Allowing you to play around with the flavours and to see what you can get away with and what you can’t.
You should consider a stepless grinder if:
- You want more grind settings to experiment with;
- You want to perfect that espresso shot
However, there are some cons:
- Only experienced baristas are going to be able to adjust the grind setting accordingly;
- If you find the perfect grind size, it may be harder to find again later.
There is so much potential for the flavours and texture you can create with a stepless grinder, but it’s certainly not the easiest way to choose your grind size.
My advice would be that if you’re wanting a stepless grinder, use it specifically for espresso, or for one thing. You don’t want to be moving the grind size to make a French press coffee, if you have it perfectly set up for an espresso shot.
Other Grinder Considerations
Those were the 3 biggest differences in commercial coffee grinders, however there are a couple of other more general things to consider.
What Size Hopper Do You Need?
To answer this question, you need to ask yourself how many customers are walking through your doors?
If you’re not careful and find a coffee grinder with a small hopper quantity, you’re going to be constantly running out the back for the next bag of coffee to refill your grinder. This is annoying, tiresome and certainly not efficient.
Consider how much coffee you get through a day. That way you can figure out how many times you’ll have to refill the hopper throughout the day, and therefore how many times you’ll have to leave the front.
The Grinders Footprint
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the features of coffee grinder, how they work, how they dispense coffee ect. Now I feel is a good time to remind you to check the dimensions of the grinder before you buy it.
There’s nothing worse than receiving your coffee grinder to find out that it doesn’t fit where you had intended it to go. That’s a spanner thrown in the works that you just don’t need.
The Best Commercial Coffee Grinders – The Reviews
- 63.5mm tempered steel flat burrs
- Stepped grind adjustment
- Includes a doser
- Die-cast aluminium body
- 2.2 pound hopper capacity
- Dimensions (inches): 21 x 13 x 8
- 5 year replacement guarantee on burrs
- 2 year warranty on grinder
We’re kicking the reviews off with a grinder that has been around for a while now. The first time this grinder was manufactured was 2007, and they’re still going strong today. Many people have had the original model for a decade, however with better and better grinding technology appearing, they’ve often been shelved.
This isn’t the case for the modern La Pavoni grinders. They can grind 13lb (5.9kg) of coffee per hour, so if you have a shop that often has a queue, it should be able to keep up without a problem. Not only that, but for precision and efficiency it comes with a semi-automatic doser which is adjustable from 5g to 8g (0.17oz to 0.28oz).
This durable, user-friendly and consistent grinder is certainly worth the investment in the long run. One of the only downsides I can see is the fact it’s a stepped grinder, meaning you don’t have the flexibility of grind size options that you would have with a stepless grinder.
A fantastic grinder for moderately busy cafes, that experienced and novice baristas will both be able to use effectively.
- 64mm hardened steel flat burrs
- Stepless micrometrical grind adjustment
- Includes a doser
- Use timer or manual switch
- Automatically grinds beans when doser compartment gets low
- 2.7lbs (1.2kg) hopper capacity
- Dimensions (inches): 24 x 10.5 x 7.75
- 1 year warranty
The Mazzer Super Jolly is another impressive grinder, capable of supporting a busy cafe during a rush hour. The stepless grinder gives you true flexibility and precision when it comes to grind size. Allowing you to be as accurate as you’d like, and the option to experiment with whatever grind size you want.
The dosing mechanism dispenses from 5.5g to 8g of ground coffee for a quick and efficient process. Not only this, but it can grind 17g of coffee per second, giving you all the coffee you need to get through your busy periods.
With the Mazzer being a stepless grinder, it may be difficult for new baristas to get used to if they have to adjust the grind size often. These types of grinders are perfect for one brew method, as the grind size can get a little inconsistent if you’re having to adjust it often.
An overall beast of a coffee grinder, capable of grinding enough coffee for hundreds of customers a day, while giving you the precision and flexibility to explore your grind sizes.
- 65mm flat burrs
- Stepless grind adjustment
- Grinder starts automatically when inserting portafilter
- Features cooling rear fan to keep ground coffee from overheating
- 3.3lbs (1.5kg) hopper capacity
- Dimensions (inches): 21.7 x 9.5 x 12.6
- 1 year warranty
If you’ve been in the coffee game a while, you’ve most likely heard of Mahlkonig grinders, maybe you’ve heard of the K30 Vario? The United States and World Barista Championship official grinder. So it’s pretty decent.
Well, the K30 Air is the little brother, with some extra details that make this grinder even more great. You get precision with your grind size due to it being stepless, and the coffee doesn’t get grounded until the portafilter is under the dispenser. This means super fresh coffee. There is also a timed dose if you don’t want to eye it. This ranges from single or double doses.
One of the most standout features is the cooling fan. Flat burrs are known to overheat due to the faster speed at which they grind the beans. Therefore, this cooling fan design allows the grinder to keep on going, without overheating and damaging the ground coffee.
For the price you pay for this grinder, you expect to get one of the best grinders out there, and that’s exactly what you get with the Mahlkonig K30 Air.
- 80mm premium cast steel burrs
- Stepless grind adjustment
- Includes accurate dose adjustment with 0.01 sec increments
- Grinds 3g/second
- 3.31lbs (1.5kg) hopper capacity
- Dimensions (inches): 21.65 x 12.6 x 9.44
- 1 year warranty
Just like the K30 Air, the PEAK has all the same easy to use, modern grinding technology. The special cast steel burrs are huge, grinding coffee at an impressively quick rate, and incredibly consistent grind size.
Just like the K30, it also comes with the cooling systems, meaning the motor is going to run well during your busy times at the cafe. The dosing system works by grinding the coffee beans straight into the portafilter once it’s in place. Then the dosing measurements are timed, and can be programmed at 0.01 second increments.
This means fresh, precise, and an easy bean to portafilter process. To mention some of the features that we like, it has LED lights, doesn’t take long to clean or maintain, has a short or tall hopper to choose from, and the display shows the internal temperature.
The downside is that it’s expensive. It’s one of the pricier grinders on the market today, but you do get the bee’s knees so to say. Every now and then the burrs may misalign due to heavy use, and takes about 5 minutes to recalibrate. Apart from that, it’s a pretty faultless grinder.
- 50mm steel flat burrs
- Stepped grind size settings
- Includes a doser
- 0.65lb (300g) hopper capacity
- Tinted hopper to protect beans from UV light
- Dimensions (inches): 13.8 x 9.8 x 4.7
- Doesn’t come with a warranty
This is another coffee grinder that’s been around for a long time now. You can tell by features like the tinted hopper, that there’s been some thought put into the design and practicality of the grinder.
With it being a doser grinder, it’s quick and easy to load up your portafilter. However, it is an approximate amount of coffee that is dispensed, and not 100% accurate every time, so you’ll have to have a decent eye for how much coffee you need.
The burrs aren’t as big as some of the other coffee grinders we’ve seen, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Although the rotation speed is slower, this also means less heat is generated, preserving the quality of the coffee beans.
Considering the fact that you’re paying a fraction of the price for the Rancilio, you’re not getting a cheap, ineffective coffee grinder. This can certainly keep up with a busy footfall. Per hour, it racks up about 7.7lbs (3.5kg) of coffee grind.
If I’m completely honest, these coffee grinders are going to be great at doing their job. There are a couple that are more suited to certain business needs, or for certain drinks, but we have recognised these grinders for their performance, durability and quality.
Of course, you’re going to have to look at your business needs and personal preference to figure out which of these grinders are the best for you. However, personally, I’d give my vote to the La Pavoni, for its durability and user friendliness.
That being said, if you have the budget, I don’t think you can go wrong with the Mahlkonig K30 Air. This machine is going to be able to keep up with your busiest hours. It’s not going to be a problem or let you down when you need it most.
Let us know which one you went for in the comments!