Are you an early riser? If you are, you are probably trying to tiptoe around your home while you get things done before the rest of your family starts waking up. After all, it is nice to have some time alone in the morning to relax and drink a great cup of coffee while you start your morning routine.
However, if you are a true coffee aficionado, you know that the best cup is brewed from freshly ground coffee beans. Grinding coffee beans can be pretty noisy. So, what is the best quiet coffee grinder to mill fresh coffee beans early in the morning without waking up the rest of your family?
My Previous Grinder Experiences
I am a coffee lover, and I have experience working as a barista in a local coffee shop. Working as a barista, I learned the difference between a cup of coffee and a great cup of coffee. Freshly ground beans make a huge difference in flavor and aroma. Since I am an early riser, I started grinding my coffee beans with an old garage sale coffee grinder that did a great job.
Unfortunately, it was pretty loud. My family always complained about waking them up, but funny, they never complained about the fresh coffee. After a while, I got tired of the whining and decided to do some research about coffee grinders to see which grinders were better for making coffee and whether it was possible to find a quiet grinder.
As it happens, there are several coffee grinder types and some of them are quite a bit quieter than others. So if you are looking for a quiet coffee grinder, you are in luck. Coffee grinders make noise dependent on how they are constructed and what type of mechanism they use for grinding the beans. There are pros and cons for each grinder type, so I am going to tell you what information my research filtered up.
An Overview of Coffee Grinder Types
If you are judging coffee grinders solely on how quiet they are, then in order of quietness, they are the following:
- Hand Grinder (Manual)
- Direct Drive Flat Burr Grinder
- Direct Drive Conical Burr Grinder
- Gear-Reduced Burr Grinder
Electric coffee grinders come in two main types, burr grinders and blade grinders. The difference is the mechanism that cuts or grinds the coffee beans.
Burr Grinders (Wheel & Conical)
Burr grinders are more expensive than blade grinders but the resulting ground coffee offers a better cup. If you want the best of the best in freshly ground coffee, a burr grinder is a good choice. A burr grinder uses two plates to crush and grind the coffee beans similar to crushing cracker crumbs with a heavy rolling pin. The plates do a better job grinding the whole bean offering a consistent flavor from cup to cup.
A wheel burr grinder uses flat plates to grind the coffee beans. This grinder runs faster than the conical grinder, making it louder and sacrificing some of the flavor. A conical burr grinder uses cone-shaped discs to grind the coffee beans which grind slower than the flat plates in a wheel grinder. The slower speed makes this grinder quieter. For a coffee connoisseur, the conical burr grinder is the optimal choice.
Blade grinders are the least expensive coffee grinders, because they chop the coffee beans with a flat blade. This method offers an inconsistent result because pieces of the beans are all different sizes. While this grinder is cheaper, it also gives a less that optimal cup of coffee.
A blade grinder works in a similar fashion to a food processor, using a flat spinning blade to cut the beans. Like a food processor, the longer you run a blade grinder, the more it grinds down the beans. However, you will never have consistently ground coffee. This grinder is a good choice if you need a cheap grinder for automatic drip coffee using a paper filter. However, you won’t get a top-notch cup of coffee from this grinder.
Hand Grinder (Manual)
A hand or manual coffee grinder is the quietest of all, because there is no motor to make noise. The only noise is the actual grinding of the coffee itself. Most manual coffee grinders are burr grinders which offer an excellent grind as well as a workout for your arm muscles.
To work the grinder, turn the hand crank to grind the coffee. Like the electric burr grinders, this grinder uses plates to grind the coffee for you to brew. The drawback to a manual coffee grinder is that it only provides a coarse grind which is good for a drip brewer.
5 Best Quiet Coffee Grinders
These coffee mills have the best quiet coffee grinder features that I could find. I’ve had good luck with the manual mills, but I realize not everyone wants to go that route, so I’ve included some quality electric burr grinders as well. Whatever you choose, I’m confident one of these will help you keep quiet in the morning to enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee in solitude.
If you are looking for an excellent and quiet hand crank coffee grinder, the Porlex JP-30 is one of the best available. Made of stainless steel, this manual coffee grinder is quite durable and will last you a long time as long as you take care of it after use on a regular basis. Made in Japan, this hand grinder has conical burrs to grind the coffee beans, providing a consistent grind and excellent flavor for every cup. It is portable, can be used anywhere and it is easy to clean.
You can use the Porlex JP-30 to make espresso or freshly brewed coffee from a French Press, because you can adjust the size of the grind for the type of brewer you are using. It is very lightweight, will never rust and is small enough to fit well in your hand for grinding.
While the Porlex JP-30 is more costly than a blade grinder, it is affordably priced and is perfect for that early morning fresh cup that every early riser can appreciate. In fact, you might get two cups in because it is so quiet that the rest of the family will stay asleep.
The Hario Ceramic Canister Coffee Mill has an old-fashioned style and look which many people will like to have in a kitchen. Also made in Japan, this grinder is squat in appearance in contrast with the Porlex JP-30.
One of the nice features of this manual grinder is that when you grind the coffee beans, the ground coffee falls directly into the glass canister which can store the coffee until you are ready to use it. This makes it very neat and compact. Like the Porlex JP-30, the Hario Canister Coffee Mill offers a range of grind sizes by adjusting the burrs. You get a very consistent grind for an excellent cup of coffee with very little sound during use.
Because of its country-style appearance, this hand grinder can be used as a functional coffee grinder as well as a decorative kitchen piece. Very sturdy and durable, this manual coffee grinder will last a long time with regular cleaning and maintenance. For those who prefer a cup of coffee made with a French Press, the Hario Canister Coffee Mill is an excellent choice. Your family will love the coffee that you brew for them with this manual grinder.
The Baratza Virtuoso Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is an excellent choice for someone who wants a supreme cup of coffee. The conical burrs grind a wide range of grind sizes for everything from extremely fine espresso to a very coarse grind for French Press coffee. Whichever size grind you need is professionally consistent in size which means that your cup of coffee should be top-notch every time.
This burr grinder is designed to keep beans cool by reducing the speed of the burrs, therefore you don’t have to worry about heat affecting coffee flavor. This feature also means that the grinder is quieter for an extended grind which will allow your family to sleep while you prepare their morning cup. The most recent motor for the Baratza turns slowly keeping it quiet while in use.
Built to last, the metal body and top are easy to clean and very durable while also offering an elegant profile for your kitchen countertop. The burrs will remain sharp for several years and have a precision mounting system which ensures an accurate grind. This grinder works to minimize grounds left in the grinder to keep your coffee as fresh as possible.
KitchenAid is not known for coffee grinders, but is one of the top manufacturers of many other small motorized kitchen appliances. That said, this KitchenAid Contour Burr Coffee Grinder does a good job making consistently ground coffee in a wide range of grind sizes.
If you compare this grinder to the Baratza described above, the Baratza offers a slightly better result and is a quieter machine. However, this burr grinder is also quite good and if you like the styling of KitchenAid appliances, you will love having this grinder on your kitchen counter. The KitchenAid grinder uses stainless steel burrs to grind the coffee instead of ceramic burrs, and it is designed to work cool to preserve the flavor of the coffee beans in a similar manner to the Baratza.
Like the Baratza, you can adjust the grind size to grind fine espresso coffee or coarse French Press coffee. This burr grinder is consistent and reliable like all of KitchenAid’s small appliances. The grinder comes in silver, black and red, which are also the most traditional espresso machine colors. Therefore, you may be able to match this machine to your espresso machine or other KitchenAid appliances you already own. It is easy to clean and very durable for long-lasting enjoyment of a great cup of coffee when you get up early in the morning.
If you want to buy a burr grinder but are looking for a more affordable option than the Baratza and KitchenAid grinders above, the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder is a great choice. Precision conical burrs made of stainless steel are manufactured in pairs to fit perfectly in this grinder. Grind size options range from Turkish coffee fine to very coarse for coffee preparation for French Press and other brewing methods. The motor grinds slowly to maintain the cool temperature of the coffee beans and to reduce noise. The slow grind is ideal to produce the maximum flavor from freshly roasted coffee beans for any size grind.
The Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder comes complete with a tightly-fitting ground coffee receptacle which reduces the dust from the ground coffee. You can see through both the coffee bean hopper and the ground coffee receptacle making it easy to know exactly how much coffee you have inside. One of the nice features of this burr grinder is the ability to grind Turkish coffee which is not a standard setting on most grinders. You can also benefit from the built-in timer which allows you to set the grinder and walk away completing other tasks until it is done.
The heavy-duty housing is sturdy and durable, although it is not as decorative as the KitchenAid or Baratza burr grinders. This unit has more of a commercial look to it, rather than decorative appearance. The Capresso is easy to clean and will last a long time with regular maintenance. For an early morning riser who wants a quieter burr grinder at an affordable price, the Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder is an excellent choice.