How far will you go for a great cup of coffee? For many people, grinding their own coffee beans is essential. Consumer Reports can help you find a good grinder for less.
Some coffee machines have built-in grinders, which sounds like a good combination-but they have drawbacks.
"The combos can be annoying to use and to clean." said Consumer Reports Bob Karpel. "And if you haven't ground all the beans, it's an extra step to take the beans out."
Consumer Reports says consider a stand-alone grinder instead.
"There are basically two types of grinders. There's a burr grinder, which has two gears and they crush the beans, and then there are blade grinders, which actually have a blade and that blade chops the beans," said Karpel.
Consumer Reports tested three blade grinders...and three burr grinders. Burr grinders tend to be more expensive, as much as $140. But they usually hold more beans and tend to grind more uniformly.
One from Cuisinart-the Supreme Grind-is a good choice.
It grinds consistently and costs $50.
If you want to spend even less, consider the Mr. Coffee IDS 77 Blade Grinder, which did almost as good a job for only $20.
In the market for a coffeemaker, too? Consumer Reports has tested dozens and found some best buys, including a $40 one from Michael Graves, model 40304. It brews and excellent cup of coffee.