There’s nothing like the rejuvenating taste of freshly-ground java to kickstart your day. Unfortunately, grinding coffee beans can be both tedious and time-consuming. The best grind and brew coffee maker can cut out the middleman—or middle machine—to get the job done.
Are you wary of one gadget handling the entire process from bean-to-cup and potentially impacting flavor? Perhaps you have other concerns?
Discerning drinkers can invest in a coffee maker with specific features, which you’ll learn about in the buyer’s guide. We cover five models to suit all budgets and preferences: grab your cup and dive in!
Our Top 3 Picks for Best Grind and Brew Coffee Makers:
1. Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew
2. Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker
3. Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam TS
- 1 Benefits of a Coffee Maker With A Built In Grinder
- 2 How to Choose
- 3 Best Grind And Brew Coffee Makers
- 4 Grounding It Up
Benefits of a Coffee Maker With A Built In Grinder
A coffee maker with a built in grinder is extremely convenient because it offers a freshly ground brew in a piping hot cup with only having to use one machine.
A grind and brew coffee maker is ideal for those who prefer a fresh as possible brew. With this type of machine you are able to brew the freshly ground coffee beans immediately after grinding.
This is a fresher approach to brewing when compared to traditional coffee brewers that use pre-ground coffee. You also have the ability to purchase a grinder that is independent of your coffee maker, but this does result in having to use and clean two separate pieces of equipment every time you want to grind and brew.
How to Choose
How Do You Like Your Coffee?
Are you a fan of frothy lattes with plenty of sugar? Or do you savor your favorite blend of flavorsome Robusta beans straight black?
Choosing the right Grind and Brew Coffee Maker for you, depends on a number of factors including what type of coffee you prefer to brew.
The typical grind and brew coffee machines come in two options either as an automatic coffee machine or a drip coffee maker.
An automatic coffee machine typically has preset features for brewing coffee. Automatic espresso makers are closer to professional, barista-style coffee makers and have different espresso beans that are used during the brewing process.
Prices for automatic coffee machines are higher, but they might be a worthwhile investment for more discriminating coffee aficionados. One other advantage of this type of machine is that you can also experiment with different types of coffee: e.g., cappuccino, espresso, latte, etc.
Click here to check out Cozy’s Review of Best Automatic Espresso Machines.
Drip makers are more cost-effective and produce higher quantities of coffee. They also tend to get your beans ground, brewed and in the cup quicker, which is ideal if you have several people hankering for caffeine in the morning.
A drip coffee maker brews coffee by slowly dropping water through ground coffee placed in a filter. Although a great cost effective option, be aware that a drip coffee machine will not come with as many options as an automatic brewer.
Burr vs. Blade Grinder
Most grinders will come with either a burr or blade option, it is important to understand the difference between the two.
Blade grinders are designed with rotating blades, much like the ones you will find on a food processor, that slices the beans into grounds. It works by using the two blades to ding up the beans as they are rotating around versus actually grinding them.
Typically the blades are located close to the bottom of the grinder. To use, you simply pour the coffee beans on top, place the lid back on and then grind.
The longer you opt to grind, the finer the coffee beans will be. It is recommended you use a pulse method when using a blade grinder, being if you hold the grind button down and let the blade grinder run it can create problems with both heat and consistency of your ground coffee.
The rule of thumb typically is the longer that you grind, the finer the coffee will be. If you opt for a couple shorter pulse cycles you will get a coarse grind that would work well for a French Press. Longer, repeated pulses will result in a finer grind that works well for most drip coffee makers. Overall, blade grinders are fast, small and less costly.
Critics say that blade grinders tend to generate more heat than burrs, which can damage your coffee beans. They’re also less consistent than burr grinders as they slice rather than crush.
Burr grinders, sometimes referred to as burr mills, are known to be much more precise. Burr grinders work by rubbing the coffee beans between two abrasive surfaces. Typically this is two burrs, either cone shaped or flat, that slowly work to grind the beans into even pieces.
Burr grinders produce a consistent and even grind, which is one of the key factors in making good quality coffee. Burr grinders are typically more expensive than blade grinders.
There are several different types of burr grinders available on the market today.
Flat Burrs versus Conical Burrs
One differentiating factor can be whether the grinder is designed with flat burrs or conical burrs. Both flat and conical burr grinders grind coffee beans in the same way, having a serrated ring move against another ring that has jagged edges or teeth. As coffee beans fall between the two rings, they are ground to a consistent size.
Flat burrs are designed with two discs with angled teeth that lie flat on each other that are usually horizontally aligned. Conical burrs grind vertically with one burr sitting inside the other that has small angled teeth.
Luckily both types of grinders will provide you with uniformly ground coffee, as long as you opt for a good quality model.
Steel Burrs versus Ceramic
Burr grinders are typically made with either steel or ceramic.
Steel burrs are engineered to produce an even grind. Ceramic burrs are also a durable choice, typically recommended for coffee blends as well as espresso.
Overall, steel or ceramic will provide you with quality ground coffee. If you will be using your grinder primarily for espresso you may want to consider a ceramic option.
Electric versus Manual Burr Grinders
Electric grinders will provide you the convenience of ground coffee at the push of a button.
Manual grinders require much more effort and muscle. Typically manual grinders are operated by turning a crank over and over eventually resulting in ground coffee.
Manual grinders do typically produce a similar quality grind when compared to electric models. The downside is that they are much slower than electric models. Unless you enjoy a good arm workout while preparing your coffee in the morning, Cozy recommends you opt for an electronic model.
High Speed vs Low Speed Grinders
Typically you can opt to purchase a high speed or low speed grinder.
Low speed grinders are less expensive than high speed grinders. This is because they are designed with smaller motors that cause the burrs to operate at a slower pace.
High speed grinder are more expensive but with good reason. High speed grinders have large motors that result in a faster and more consistent ground coffee than those manufactured with a smaller motor.
If you are a coffee drinker who will be grinding on a regular basis, Cozy recommends you opt for a high speed grinder. With fewer parts to wear out and the ability to provide a fast, high quality grind makes them worth the upgrade.
If you are only opting to grind to supplement your daily coffee habit every now and then, you could consider a low speed grinder which can be suitable for occasional use.
Despite burr grinders being the method more often chosen by brewers, that’s not to say you should turn your nose up at all models with blade grinders. You shouldn’t notice a dramatic decline in flavor and quality as long as the machine is well-built.
You will want to consider how many beans you will want to grind and brew at one time. Also, it is important to know how many cups the brewer can brew.
If you are brewing for a large coffee drinking household, you will want to opt for a model with a larger capacity. If you are brewing one cup a day, a brewer with a one cup option will be a better choice.
What settings are available for you to play with? Can you set it up to start grinding and brewing 15 minutes before you’re up and ready? How about choosing how strong you want your java to be?
Bear in mind that a vast menu and various programs aren’t necessarily a plus for everyone. Too many embellishments and buttons can be overwhelming if you’re after a basic cup of joe.
If you don’t have the patience for complex home appliances, search for a grind and brew coffee maker that won’t give you a headache.
If you don’t mind studying the instruction manual, there’s no harm in going for something intricate.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Cleaning out the coffee machine is a pain for most of us. If your grind and brew coffee maker is tedious to maintain, it can render the convenience of fresh coffee pointless.
It is good to remember that the more components to the brewer, the longer it will take to clean. Grinders are notorious for being difficult to clean.
It is often worth spending a bit more for a high quality brew and grind model as they are typically designed with ease of cleaning and daily maintenance in mind.
These appliances can vary in price from cost effective to expensive. Determine how much you’re willing and able to spend. Make note of the most important features you will want and need.
Price points for coffee makers with built in grinders can vary dramatically due to many factors including the brand, ease of use, quality of materials it is built with as well as the amount of features the machine has.
Best Grind And Brew Coffee Makers
The DGB-900BC by reputable brand Cuisinart is fully programmable and refreshingly user-friendly. Instead of mysteriously unmarked switches and dials, buttons are clearly labeled to save you hauling out the instruction manual every time.
It will appeal to high-consumption households as it can produce between 10 to 12 cups of coffee, depending on the model. You can also take it down to a minimum of four cups.
You can select from a flavor strength of regular, bold, or extra-bold. If you have ground coffee that you don’t want to waste, there’s a “grind off” setting.
Once you’ve configured everything to your liking, the DGB-900BC is a breeze to handle. It also comes with a measuring scoop and a water filter to get you started.
Unfortunately, the grinder on this model isn’t particularly discrete sound-wise. Another drawback is maintenance—some users complain it’s a formidable operation to get it clean again.
- Produces 10 or 12 cups of coffee
- Burr grinder
- Includes water filter and measuring scoop
- Clean design
- Difficult to clean
Breville Barista Touch
Aspiring baristas will appreciate Breville’s delightfully compact Barista Touch Espresso Maker. This grind and brew coffee maker has sophisticated features to prepare anything from a foam latte to an invigorating espresso.
It’s equipped with a conical burr grinder to extract the most flavor from your coffee. The rapid ThermoJet heating system will get your beans to the optimal temperature within three seconds. A grinding cradle allows for direct portafilter grinding.
If you appreciate innovation, the Barista Touch won’t disappoint. The touch screen is fun to use and adds a modern feel to this device. You can personalize eight different coffees with a unique image and name. Finally, a steam wand enables you to practice your latte art as well as generate microfoam.
Although this model is a good value for the money, it’s still pricey. You should anticipate a steep learning curve before you get comfortable using it. While there are other budget-friendly machines available, this is an excellent model you’ll be happy with.
- Includes steam wand
- Personalize up to eight coffees
- Semi-automatic grinding
- Heats up fast
- Complicated to use at first
Capresso 465 CoffeeTeam TS
This digital grind and brew coffee maker by Capresso is an attractive pick for finicky coffee drinkers. At first glance, the numerous buttons might look excessive—but they allow you to customize the brewing process to your specific tastes.
A slow-grinding conical burr extracts the most flavor from any type of bean without overheating them. You can switch between five fineness settings depending on the consistency of your beans.
There are automatic and manual operation settings available, and you can customize different programs for each. You can also configure your desired strength, and set up a time for brewing.
Another advantage is simple cleanup. You aren’t obliged to use paper filters, and the Goldtone filter is dishwasher-safe.
Unfortunately, the CoffeeTeam TS can also double as an alarm clock: the conical burr grinder is noisy. Several buyers found that the coffee maker didn’t grind up coarser beans all the way.
- Easy to clean
- Highly customizable settings
- Produces up to 10 cups of coffee
- No paper filters
- Conical burr grinder
- Might not grind all beans
De’Longhi delivers a fully automatic grind and brew coffee maker. If you want a barista-style machine that requires limited effort to operate, the Magnifica hits the mark. You can whip up cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, or Americanos—server’s choice.
A quiet burr grinder has 13 adjustable settings for various coffee beans. Once you program in the strength, temperature, and cup size for your favorite brew, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it deal.
The instant reheat function will keep the Magnifica at the right temperature if you take breaks between cups. Cleaning is equally convenient, as the boiler and bean container are both removable for easier access.
Be warned: the grinder can stick. De’Longhi recommends beans that are less oily and medium roast for best performance.
Another potential issue is that there are occasional accounts of defective or faulty machines. Although De’Longhi seems happy to address such problems, it can still be inconvenient if you get a dud.
- Automated settings
- Easy to program
- Innate cleaning program
- Grinder can stick
- Reports of manufacturing defects
KRUPS AutoStart Maker
The KRUPS Grind and Brew AutoStart Maker is an affordable model that delivers what it promises. This machine is all about simplicity in every respect.
A self-explanatory control panel enables you to set the machine up without too much frustration.
There are five grind settings available for fine to coarse beans, and three brew strengths. You can use it with beans and pre-ground coffee.
A standout feature is the two-hour keep-warm setting to ensure your java stays nice and hot between cups. AutoStart allows you to program brewing time to right before you wake up.
The Grind and Brew works for conservative and heavy coffee drinkers alike: you can program it to deliver anywhere from two to 10 cups of coffee.
Now, it isn’t jam-packed with features like other coffee makers on the list. The blade grinder might also be a dealbreaker for some of you.
- Produces up to 10 cups of coffee
- Keeps coffee hot for two hours
- AutoStart setting
- Simple to use
- Blade grinder
- Limited features
Grounding It Up
With so many models out there, it can be challenging to settle on the best grind and brew coffee maker for you. Remember to factor in how features will support your household’s coffee-drinking habits.
Since choosing a coffee maker is almost as personal as selecting beans, it’s hard to pick a single winner. However, the Cuisinart DGB-900BC Grind & Brew is a great, mid-range choice that should tick all the boxes for most java enthusiasts.
If you’re looking to splurge on something more advanced, the Breville Barista Touch Espresso Maker is the way to go. The diverse capabilities and semi-automatic handling are well-suited to wannabe baristas.