If you want to get coffee shop-quality coffee at home, you really need a quality burr grinder. It's one of the reasons professionally made coffee tastes better than the beans you blitz in a blade grinder before brewing them at home.
Wilfa's at-home version of the cafe workhorse, the Uniform grinder, is a stylish option that will accommodate all your at-home coffee needs. While it does a good job, it's certainly not priced for the person looking to get by without breaking the bank. For that reason, it isn't the coffee grinder you should buy unless you have a very specific aesthetic concerns. But if you don't mind shelling out for a really capable grinder that can be displayed on the counter, the Wilfa Uniform grinder is a solid option. Based on other coffee grinders we've tested, though, you can get similar performance for a smaller chunk of change.
- Strong performance
- Uniform grind
- Simple design
- A good-looking appliance
- High price
- Just a bit unwieldy
A stylish and simple coffee grinder
Arguably, the Wilfa Uniform grinder's greatest strength, like that of the Wilfa Performance brewer, is its look and simplicity. This is a coffee grinder that anyone can use.
The Uniform is a, well, uniform black cylinder. The lid that covers the coffee bean hopper sits flush to the top and blends in nicely. The container that catches the ground coffee inserts flush into the grinder body. From even a slight distance, it could be a spare, minimalist sculpture. (When I first got it out of its box, it looked a bit like a trash can. After a few days on my counter, I view it differently.)
Similar to the Wilfa coffee maker, the grinder has only two controls: an on-off button and a dial for controlling grind size.
To adjust the grind size -- from a large grind suitable for cold brew down to a fine espresso grind -- you twist the top two inches of the whole machine. While it's a neat design concept and contributes to the overall look, I couldn't help but think there should be an easier way to adjust the grind. For people with smaller hands, it'll take both of them.
The grinder's on-off button starts the grind, which will end automatically when all the beans have gone through. This isn't a grinder where you store your beans in the hopper for use throughout the week. You'll weigh out fresh beans every time you want to grind them (which delivers better coffee, anyway). It does have a 75-gram limit for a single grind, which will work for all but the largest home coffee jobs. You can also stop grinding by pressing the on-off button at any time during the process.
Ground coffee discharges into a small metal box that inserts into the grinder. It makes for a neat and tidy coffee grinding experience. That's not uncommon among coffee grinders, but it's still a welcome feature.
Strong performance and a consistent grind
CNET's test for coffee grinders is simple. Besides spending some time using it and getting to know how it performs as an everyday appliance, we also test the quality of its grind. Using a sifter that isolates ground coffee of a specific size (500 to 800 microns), we test the manufacturer's recommendation for drip coffee (we choose the middle setting of the drip recommendation, and then make it coarser by one setting). We grind 10 grams of coffee, sift it through the Kruve sifter for 60 seconds and measure what percentage of the coffee falls in the ideal range. We also time how long it takes to grind those 10 grams.
On average, the Wilfa Uniform grinder ground 30.7% of the coffee to the optimal range in 22 seconds. That situates it firmly in the range of many of our best picks for both of those metrics. It beats the Baratza Encore (26.3%) by just a few percentage points, but still trails some of the top performers by that metric, like the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
Coffee grinders are adjustable for a reason, and the Wilfa grinder put more in the ideal zone with a finer grind setting. While it didn't perform as well in our test at the manufacturer's recommended setting, with a little experimentation, you'll be able to find an ideal grind for a coffee.
Though I'm newer to the coffee beat and didn't personally test any of the coffee grinders on our best list, I can't image a simpler process for grinding beans. The Baratza Encore has the same minimal controls -- an on-off button and a hopper you twist to adjust the grind -- but it's no simpler than this.
Should I buy the Wilfa Uniform coffee grinder?
The Wilfa Uniform isn't for everyone, but there are a few cases in which it would be your best choice. If you're aiming to have only aesthetically pleasing kitchen appliances without sacrificing performance, you can't do much better than this Wilfa. Though it's obviously a matter of taste, I think the Wilfa Uniform is the best-looking coffee grinder available.
It performs well, too. It ground quickly and quite uniformly at each of the settings I tested. I ran into a brief issue at the finest, espresso settings, where no coffee was grinding. A quick twist of the dial while the grinder was running fixed the issue, like the manual said it would.
If you're just looking for a grinder that will do a good job, you can save some money and get similar results. CNET's best overall coffee grinder, the Oxo Brew Conical burr grinder, lacks the precision grinding of Wilfa at the ends of the spectrum, but will handle most at-home coffee needs for just $100. You could even spring for the Baratza Encore, which isn't that far behind the Wilfa in performace, but costs $130 dollars less. Neither of these grinders performs quite as well as the Wilfa or offers the same design, but for me, it's not worth that much extra money. That said, I'll be sad to see this grinder leave my kitchen.