The Smeg Coffee Grinder Is a Stylish Way to Upgrade Your Morning Brew

I mean, just look at it

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Love Letter: SMEG Coffee Grinder

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

This post is part of our 'This Is Fire' series, where our editors and writers tell you about the products they can't live without in the kitchen.

I was ready to give the Smeg Coffee Grinder a 10/10 review the second I opened the box. I had yet to plug it in, of course—yet to see how well it worked or if it worked at all. But at that moment, it didn’t matter. The grinder could have been nothing more than a paper weight, and I would have been happy to simply display it in my kitchen. Smeg’s signature matte design and emphasis on a single striking color (in this case, a bright fire truck red) had me ensnared. 

Two years later and the Smeg Coffee Grinder remains one of my favorite kitchen devices, but not just for its aesthetic. I wholeheartedly recommend the item for its performance, too. It’s consistent, convenient, and still going strong, even through stretches of daily use when I grind beans for espresso.

The Smeg Coffee Grinder is one of the best options available today and certainly the best coffee grinder I have ever used.

Smeg Coffee Grinder

Smeg Coffee Grinder

Williams Sonoma

Perhaps the best praise I can give the grinder is that it has both simplified and improved my coffee routine. It’s so easy to use that I jumped right in and started grinding coffee beans without reading the instruction manual when I got it. While this surely isn’t the recommended approach, there are essentially just two parts to figure out and they’re both intuitive.

First is a lever that adjusts between 30 grind settings ranging from fine to coarse. Second is a knob that controls the amount of coffee ground, whether it’s enough for a single espresso shot or 12 cups of drip coffee. These settings eliminate the guesswork that can crop up with other coffee grinders, including the manual one I used before the Smeg Coffee Grinder.

Price at time of publish: $415

Love Letter: Smeg Coffee Grinder CGF01

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Once you hit start, grinding is extremely fast. It takes about three minutes on the dot to grind 12 ounces of coffee beans. The machine is surprisingly quiet, too. The closest comparison I have is that it sounds like the first few seconds of a washing machine cycle; it’s more of a whooshing white noise than the sound of coffee beans pulverized into tiny pieces. You should be able to run the grinder downstairs in the kitchen without waking anyone up in the morning.

My other small criticism is that I wish the grinder had a built-in scale, especially considering the price.

As for the most important question, how well does the machine grind coffee beans? Well, I’ve had to use all of the grind sizes over the years–fine for espresso, medium for drip coffee, and coarse for a Chemex and French press–and I’ve been more than happy with the results. The image below shows a terrific gradient as the coffee goes from a fine to coarse grind, and I’ve found the grinds to be consistent (even when I slack on cleaning the ceramic burrs).

Love Letter: Smeg Coffee Grinder CGF01

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Despite my high opinion of the Smeg Coffee Grinder, there are some drawbacks to consider before buying, starting with its high price tag. Upon writing this review I realized that the Smeg grinder is the most expensive item in my kitchen, which, in short, seems bananas. There are likely better bang-for-buck options out there.

One user-related shortcoming is that some coffee grounds stay in the machine longer than I would like. After grinding, I’ll often move the machine to a different spot on my counter and extra grounds will fall into the steel catch tray. I typically shake the grinder a couple times at the end of the grinding process to knock out the leftover grounds, but it’s somewhat annoying that this happens with a high-end machine.

Love Letter: Smeg Coffee Grinder CGF01

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

My other small criticism is that I wish the grinder had a built-in scale, especially considering the price. It’s not the norm for coffee grinders to have built-in scales, but there are some models in the same price range that do have them, providing an extra bit of accuracy.

All that said, if it falls within your budget, the Smeg Coffee Grinder is one of the best options available today and certainly the best coffee grinder I have ever used.

Love Letter: Smeg Coffee Grinder grind sizes

The Spruce Eats / Derek Rose

Capacity: 350 grams (12.3 ounces) | Dimensions: 5.9 x 8.6 x 15.1 inches | Weight: 6.8 pounds | Colors: Black, white, red, cream, pastel blue, pastel green | Warranty: Two years

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Derek Rose is a writer and teacher living in Seattle, Washington. The first cup of coffee he ever tried came from an airport vending machine. Despite the inauspicious beginning, he has been hooked ever since. Today he enjoys experimenting with different coffee recipes and brewing methods, as well as learning about coffee customs unique to specific parts of the world. He has been the Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats since 2019.