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An amateur or professional barista will always grind his or her own beans rather than angering the coffee gods by using marketed pre-ground options; this is why if you enjoy a french press, you need a coffee grinder made for french press.
No matter what kind of brewing technique you use, the grind size is one of the most important factors determining whether or not you’re satisfied with the outcome.
In this article, we have reviewed the most consistent coffee grinders for the french press and answer questions relating to size, budget, durability, using a blade or burr grinder, decreasing static build-up, how to clean them, and more.
- Best Overall Burr Grinder – OXO Brew electric grinder
- Best Manual Coffee grinder For French Press – TimemoreG1
- Best Electric Grinder For French Press – Breville smart Grinder
- Best Budget Grinder – Javapresse
|OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
|TIMEMORE Chestnut G1 Plus Manual Coffee Grinder Capacity 25g with Titanium coated E&B Burr Internal Adjustable Setting, Double Bearing Positioning (Black)
|Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder White
|Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder, Brushed Stainless Steel
|JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Settings - Patented Conical Burr Mill & Brushed Stainless Steel Whole Bean Burr Coffee Grinder for Aeropress, Drip Coffee, Espresso, French Press
Do You Need A Grinder For French Press
Whenever you try a new brewing method, the most important step is figuring out the proper grind size for optimal extraction.
When it comes to the French press, you need an even coarse grind to ensure the proper extraction when you push the plunger down.
If your grind size is too fine, you won’t be able to push the plunger down effectively, leaving you with a muddy, bitter drink.
If there too coarse, there won’t be any resistance when you push the handle down, and you’ll under extract.
This is why you need a grinder that you can adjust to get the perfect coarse grind size. But, unfortunately, you’ll never be able to buy a pre-ground coffee that will be the right grind size for what you want to do.
What Are The Best Coffee Grinders For French Press
This list will cover the Best Electric coffee grinders and the best vintage-looking manual coffee grinders that will enhance the flavor and texture of your coffee.
Oxo brew conical burr is the right grinder for you if you are looking for an effective grinder that will give you consistent grind sizes for an affordable price.
There is also a model available with a built-in scale for those who want to know exactly how much they use during the brewing method.
It comes with 15 settings and additional micro settings, and multiple grinding sizes for your perfect brew.
● It has a sturdy construction that benefits cleaning it. That is, you don’t need to take the whole device apart to clean it properly.
● It has stainless steel conical burrs for consistent grinding.
● It’s not loud compared to other grinders.
● The Hopper holds 12 ounces of beans, and the ground container can hold up to 100gms of coffee (equivalent to 12 cups)
● You need to make sure the ground container locks in, or it may disconnect while functioning, make sure to listen for the click when locking it in.
This is the best manual grinder on the list, hands down worth every penny. (so why is it not the number one option, you ask)
The reason why I didn’t put it number one is due to how it’s a manual grinder, and it’s expensive. I know those 2 factors will make it an unpopular option for a lot of people.
It really is worth the time and money though, I highly recommend it.
Timemore Chestnut is a beauty, and Its titanium burrs give you the finest and coarsest grind sizes within a few minutes.
This is due to the ball bearings that fix the central axis to increase its consistency while grinding!
● One of the best models you will ever find in the manual grinder. It even won the Reddot design award (equivalent to an OSCAR in the designing world!) in 2017!
● You can grind for espresso and French press with this manual model!
● While it does seem that manual grinders consume a lot of time, this one doesn’t. You can brew your fresh beans in a couple of minutes.
● Easily portable
● Easy to clean and disassemble
● Consistency and uniform grinding due to the titanium burrs
● Bigger handle for a better torque!
● I want to say ‘none,’ but the price will make it not an option for some people, but this will still work when you buy your next coffee grinder for the french press.
Suppose you enjoy experimenting with your coffee brewing skills.
In that case, Baratza Encore gives you 40 settings to adjust your grind sizes, allowing you to perform different brewing techniques like espresso, Aeropress, harioV60, Chemex, french press, and anything else you may enjoy.
● Easy on/off switch mode to navigate easily through the machine.
● 40 settings to give you many brew options.
● Consistent grind to ensure proper taste and texture.
● Excellent customer service.
● The price might seem a little expensive, but it makes up for it in quality.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a professional grinder with 60 max settings to satisfy your needs for different brews and grind sizes.
It is very different from any other model you will ever see. It comes with digitized settings that will allow you to settle the timer and the grind size manually.
● Eighteen ounces of hopper capacity.
● Its stainless steel conical burr doesn’t allow heat or static to form.
● It lets you grind directly into the portafilter, airtight container, paper filter; the choice is yours.
● Dosing iQ allows you to adjust the grind timer within 0.2 increments giving you the perfect dose for your ideal brew.
● The consistency of the grind size is its most prominent feature that allows the perfect blend.
● The facility of an anti-static chamber avoids heat and static formation.
● This would be my number one choice if it weren’t for the higher price tag.
Using the grinder, you can easily adjust the grind’s coarseness with an accessible click mechanism, giving you total control. In addition, the unit is small, light, and portable, perfect if you travel or enjoy brewing a French press while camping.
Ceramic burrs are tested to ensure they will last up to five times as long as stainless steel blades, and the hand crank is smooth and virtually silent, making it easier to grind than other manual models.
It is the best grinder if you only need to grind a small amount of coffee on the go. Those who grind in bulk might want to choose an electric grinder that can grind more beans at one time for larger parties.
- Ceramic burrs are durable and stay sharp
- Easily portable
- Only grinds a small number of beans at a time.
My first stainless steel blade grinder choice will go to Hamilton Beach Grinder for its budget-friendly price and the effectiveness it offers you for an affordable price.
If you are looking for a coffee grinder that does the simple morning, 4 am coffee; this one is for you.
● Hamilton’s grind size setting is impressive for its price and gives you fine Espresso to french press and everything in between.
● It has removable stainless steel chambers that give you a mess-free experience.
● A hidden cord that can be wrapped around when not in use. While this might seem simple, cables can be a lot of mess on the kitchen counter.
● Its Hopper lid is finicky and needs to be appropriately adjusted to avoid damage.
● Sometimes, static electricity will leave grounds around the corner of the container. You can easily clean it with the brush, though.
The quality of the Handground Manual Grinder competes with that of an electric grinder! It has 15 grind size settings, and its transparent body gives you the chance to enjoy the action going on inside the grinder!
Although the burrs are ceramic, their design promises 5x durability that of steel burrs! In addition, the precision the burrs are built with allows razor-thin tolerance giving it consistency and uniform grind sizes.
● It is portable and can be carried easily on trips.
● It has more space than your average manual coffee grinders! That is, the Hopper can hold up to 100 gms of beans in one go!
● Skipping the conventional horizontal handle that required extra effort, the Handground manual grinder comes with a vertical grip to make it easier and quicker to grind.
● It has a solid, durable construction.
● Can only serve 0ne or two people at a time
● A little harder to clean than the other manual options on the list
● You have to put a little more effort into the grinding action than other models
I didn’t put this first on the list because of its overrated experience. Nonetheless, overlooking the faults, Capresso 560 does give you many excellent features.
With a capacity to hold 8.8 ounces of coffee beans, Capresso Infinity Conical Burr also has a 4-ounce capacity ground coffee container.
● No Static, whatsoever.
● Consistent grind sizes.
● The most significant feature is a low RPM that doesn’t let the beans heat too much resulting in no loss of aroma or flavor.
● It’s easy to use and program.
● Intelligent Customer service (because it is worth mentioning)
● It leaves 1-2% ground coffee after every use, which is a downfall.
● The jars are ABS plastic. Some might not find plastic a suitable substitute for glass jars.
If you are merely into the product’s functionality, this vintage manual Coffee grinder might not be the one for you.
This manual vintage coffee grinder is gorgeous, and a great piece of art on your kitchen counter or your coffee bar, and will act as a great conversation piece
● The satisfaction of art and antics.
● The grinder is made of steel, and the Hopper is a wooden case, giving it stability and functionality.
● Surprisingly enough, you can adjust the grind size for your brew. (Refer to the manual to better understand the settings)
● A more oversized handle to motion your grinding speed adequately.
● The burr is made of steel and ceramic, making the antique more professional and easy to grind.
● You can only brew a single cup at a time.
● Very delicate to handle and might need extra care.
Questions To Ask Before Buying A Coffee Grinder For French Press
While some of these might be the best Coffee Grinders for the French press, they might not be the best choice for you.
To choose the best coffee grinder for yourself, ask yourself these questions first.
Do you need a budget-friendly grinder? Would you want to have another brew option other than french press?
What about the motor, burrs, handle, the RPM…
Every machine has its pros and its cons. To figure out what you want to avoid or live with, asking yourself these questions below will help you figure it out.
Is the grind size consistent
The right consistency of your grinder is the leading factor that decides the taste of your coffee. If your grinder lacks consistency, your coffee won’t have its real aroma and essence.
The first lesson in brewing a good cup of coffee is using the correct grind size. If your grinder isn’t reliable, you will find yourself unhappy with your coffee all too often.
Consistent grind size is when the grind coffee beans are of uniform shape and size. For instance, it must not include anything other than a powder if it’s the finest ground.
For french press, the coarse grind sizes must be equal and not a mix of big and small chunks.
Is Your Grinder Easy To Clean
Truth be told, every grinder you will come across will need to be cleaned in order to make it last longer.
The number one reason grinders break is because the owner neglects to clean it or maintain it.
Although most of these grinders will have a similar build, they might differ in some ways.
Most of the grinders will allow you to disassemble all the washable parts along with the steel burrs.
If you don’t have expertise in the area, read the manual to do it right. We will be going over ‘how to clean the grinders?’ later on in the article in the article.
Can You Adjust The Grind Size
Of course, you prefer french press, and that would ask you for coarser grind size, but people like to experiment with their coffee every now and then.
Thus, it is essential to ask if the grinder you are choosing gives you the flexibility to try different brews or not!
Nevertheless, most of the grinders are equipped with a minimum of fifteen grind-size settings to give you options like espresso, a french press, Aero press, pour flow, etc., at a very minimal requirement.
If you want advanced grind size settings, go for grinders with 30-40+ grind size settings. They can be a little expensive but worth it if you use them.
Are The Burrs Steel Or Ceramic
Steel and ceramic burrs give you the most consistent grind results.
But to say which one is better can still be debatable. Not to sound biased, Steel burrs are engineered more finely and are very durable.
Nonetheless, ceramic burrs are equally durable and do provide desirable results! Whichever you choose, a good grinder with either one of them will offer you consistent grind sizes!
Do You Want An Electric Grinder Or A Manual Grinder
Electric grinders are fast, efficient, professional, marketable, and functional.
They don’t require effort while functioning, but they aren’t easily portable since they require electricity.
Electric grinders work efficiently and are more convenient for a higher percentage of people.
Manual Grinders are equally desired, but they are more for personal use than for a large group or party.
These will require effort and time to brew the perfect, old-fashioned coffee for you.
I believe the experience alone is worth your while.
But the question is, what do you want in your grinder? Do you prefer it for the whole family, a conversation piece on your coffee bar, or is it for your personal use?
Is It A Burr, Blade, Or Disc Grinder
Hands down, burr grinders are the only ones that can give your coffee the consistency it deserves. Conical/flat burr grinders smash the beans into smaller and smaller particles.
Meanwhile, blade grinders cut the beans, and cutting the beans won’t ever provide you with a consistent grind size!
Burr grinders are made up of two types: conical burrs and disc burrs.
Both are equally effective and give the desired consistency to your brew. These burrs are referred to as the most technologically advanced grinders!
The decision is crystal clear; go for conical burrs (most grinders come with conical burrs).
How Much Noise Does Your Grinder Make
Your grinder is inevitably going to make some noise.
If you choose an Electric Grinder, it will be loud, especially if you’re trying to make a cup of coffee when everyone else is sleeping. (I have been yelled at by my wife and kids many times because of this)
On the other hand, manual grinders are pleasantly quiet. The handwork makes it further authentic and oddly satisfying.
Many companies listen to their critics and have started to adjust the motors’ noise in their respected grinders. I have listed many grinders that are quieter than their older counterparts.
How Much Does It Cost
If you have an open budget, expensive electric grinders ($100 or above) will justify their price tag due to their quality, materials, and consistency.
If you are looking for a more affordable option, don’t go for a cheaper electric grinder as they will be made out of inferior materials and probably break within 6 months.
A more expensive manual grinder is still cheaper than an expensive electric option and will last a lot longer.
How Strong Is The Motor
The motor plays a very crucial role in electric grinders. A more powerful motor will grind faster and will be more efficient. A weaker motor will take more time and won’t be able to grind larger batches of beans.
If you want faster work in less time for a bigger crowd, don’t settle for a cheaper motor at lower prices.
Does It Create Static
An overlooked problem with many cheaper grinders is how they create static, which will cause the grinds to stick to the sides of the grinder, keeping them from being ground.
This will lead to an imperfect size and hinder the brewing process.
Is It Stepped Or Stepless
A stepped grinder has notches that allow you to change the grind setting by pre-determined increments already set by the manufacturer.
They are often numbered, allowing you to know that espresso will be ground at settings 1 to 3, which will change with the grind size for different coffee/brews.
A stepped grinder works on those instructions to give you the best results of the desired coffee. Do you want a predetermined grinder, or would you like to test your grind sizes?
A stepless grinder doesn’t have any notches or numbers and allows you to make the smallest adjustments to get your grounds the exact size you want.
If you like to experiment, you can get a stepless grinder, but if you’re a beginner who can use a little help, I would start with a stepped grinder.
Doser Or Doserless
A doser is a container that programs your dosing with a simple lever.
If you wish to buy a commercial grinder, then a doser grinder can be the best choice for you.
Many coffee bars and cafes will use a doser to set the exact amount of grams they want grounded to stay consistent.
But if you make less coffee and it’s for personal use, then a doserless grinder will probably be suitable for you.
The bigger the hopper, the more coffee beans you’ll be able to grind at one time.
Electric grinders will have larger hoppers than manual brands, but this may not be positive.
If you drink large amounts of coffee at one sitting, it makes sense to worry about how much you can grind at one time, but if it’s only you and one other drinking coffee, it’s okay to buy a grinder that has a smaller hopper.
Ensure to buy what is best for you without spending more than what you will actually need or use.
Remember, you don’t want to leave the beans in the hopper since they will become stale and start to oxidize.
How big is it
Whether you’re buying an electric or manual grinder, they will differ in size, and you will have to make sure to look at the dimensions to see if you’ll have room on your counter or in your drawers to store it.
Why Does a French Press Demand Coarse Grinds
Coffee grinding can actually become pretty technical. I’ll explain.
The right balance must be achieved during this process so that the coffee yields its best flavor. Coffee beans consist of soluble solids, which must be removed from the grind into the brew.
It is advisable to brew French press coffee with around 98.5 percent water to between 1.15 and 1.35 percent of brewed solids to obtain the appropriate extraction. As we mentioned earlier, one can only extract efficiently under conditions of maximum water contact.
Grind size has a direct impact on the surface area. For example, a French press coffee sample requires between 100 and 300 particles, while a typical espresso machine calls for 3500 particles.
The perfect brew also requires uniform ground coffee. Unevenly ground coffee can result in either over-or under-extraction, producing a bitter brew. The particle size also influences brew time.
In this way, you will have the perfect cup of French press coffee when the particle size, grind uniformity, and correct brewing time all work in unison.
You can obtain uniformity of grind and the correct particle size by using a good-quality burr grinder. However, getting the right brewing time depends on you!
Can You Use Fine Grind In A French Press
Finely ground coffee beans become too saturated while sitting in the water, leaving it bitter and muddied.
This will ruin your brewing process, giving you a bitter coffee that will resemble sludge more than a proper cup of coffee.
Why You Shouldn’t Use Pre-Ground Coffee
Pre-ground coffee cannot provide you with the flavor or texture you will get with freshly ground coffee.
Ground coffee is prone to contamination, oxidation, and moisture, which makes it stale and bitter.
The shell of a coffee bean protects the inside oils from becoming oxidized and stale; once it’s brewed and ground, the beans lose their freshness and true flavor.
What Is The Right Grind Level For French Press
The best grinder for a french press remains the one that gives you coarser grind sizes.
So, when you look for a grinder, make sure the grinder’s coarse grind size is not too fine.
Some manufacturers default the grinder’s setting (stepped grinders) too fine, which results in fine ground.
Don’t forget to reset the grinder and check the settings until you find the right grind size.
What Are The Minimum Grind Settings You Want To Have In A Grinder
The grind setting adjusts from the finest ground to fine to medium, medium coarse, coarsest grind. The subcategories give you a degree in numbers.
An average grinder will usually have 15 grind-size settings to choose from, ranging from Espresso to French press and everything in between.
More advanced grinders usually have 40+ grind size settings to choose from.
If you are looking for a grinder to use commercially for various brews, an advanced electric grinder will do the job for you.
But if your preference stays within smaller lanes, that is, Espresso or the French press, then a simpler grinder manual/electric will do the job for you.
Why Should You Grind Your Own Beans
Freshly ground beans will always taste better in their freshest state.
Pre-packed coffee gets stale and becomes oxidized, which will severely hinder the flavor and richness you have come to expect.
You want to buy beans that are only a couple of weeks removed from being roasted; some pre-packaged coffee can sit in warehouses and shelves for months before being bought.
Being a true coffee lover, once you taste freshly brewed coffee and compare it to a pre-packaged ground coffee, you will know the difference.
Does Medium Ground Work Best For French Press
Medium-coarse is the perfect grind for French Press.
Fine ground will make your coffee bitter, and too coarse will make it weak no matter how long you soak it.
Are Burr Grinders Better Than Blade Grinders
Conical Burr Grinders will always be the right choice for you because it smashes the beans between two burrs, while a blade grinder only cuts the beans in two, making the ground very inconsistent.
Burr grinders keep on smashing the beans until it’s a consistent ground size for the various brewing methods you may be trying.
Blade grinders are for blenders where you are trying to puree or chop fruits and vegetables.
What Is The Correct Water To Coffee Ratio For French Press
The correct ratio of coffee brew and boiled water is 1:15. So, for example, if you add 1g of coffee, add 15g of water.
This is not universal, though.
People differ, and so do their choices.
Some enjoy their coffee stronger, while others prefer it lighter. To balance this ratio, you can increase or decrease the amount of water you add to your coffee.
|3 – 12oz cups
|6- 12oz cups
|300ml – 10oz
|600ml – 20oz
|23g – 4Tbsp
|46g – 8Tbsp
|300ml – 10oz
|600ml – 20oz
|30g – 5Tbsp
|60g – 10Tbsp
|300ml – 10oz
|600ml – 20oz
Tips To Make The Best French Press Coffee
● Get your french press out and heat the carafe with boiled water or very hot tap water. (Remove the water once done) This heats the carafe and maintains a balanced heat level during the brewing process.
● Freshly grind the coffee beans and add the amount of coffee you want to make. I recommend a 1:15 (Coffee: Water) ratio. For example, if you add 1g of coffee, you will need 15g of water. Depending on your taste, you can adjust these ratios if you want a more robust or lighter coffee.
● A rough ratio would be one tablespoon of coffee per cup of water. Add 4 Tablespoons of coffee to the carafe.
● Add a little amount of water to let the beans soak in for a minute, and then add 4 cups of water. (Adjust for a stronger/lighter coffee)
● Let the coffee brew in the boiled water for 4 minutes, and then plunge the filter down.
● Your French Press is ready!!
Is It Better To Have Higher Or Lower RPM’s
A grinder with a higher RPM (revolutions per minute) will spin the burrs or blades faster, grinding your beans faster and but it will lose some torque.
The biggest drawback of a high RPM is the amount of heat it produces, which can cause static electricity, making your grinds stick to the side of your grinder, and it can dry the beans out, decreasing their aroma and flavor.
On the other hand, A lower RPM will give you a slower speed but will grind your beans at a lower heat.
You will lose some torque that can cause some inconsistencies, and it will be a little slower, but this shouldn’t be a huge problem unless you are extremely impatient.
What Is The Best Burr Size
Bigger burrs will produce more power and less noise.
The bigger the burr, the better your grinder’s performance.
An ideal commercial burr size is usually 40mm and does extend up to 50mm but think bigger and better!
What Is The Best Alternative To A Burr Grinder
It would have to be a blade grinder, some people may tell you a manual grinder, but all manual grinders are burr grinders.
If you want the best alternative to an electric burr grinder and don’t mind that it’s manual, I would say to go with a stainless steel manual grinder, but if you still want an electric model, you are better off with a blade grinder.
Leaving my bias aside, a manual grinder is a beautiful addition to your kitchen, and it will forever give you the traditional feel while personally enjoying your brewed coffee!
How Do You Clean A Grinder
A manual grinder will be easier to clean compared to an electric grinder.
For an electric grinder, you will need to disassemble its parts carefully with the manual’s help.
Start with unplugging the unit before you clean the grinder. I know it sounds like common sense, but you would be surprised by the stories I’ve heard.
● You can wash the glassware/plastic containers in a soapy solution, rinse, and air-dry it.
● DON’T EVER LET THE WATER TOUCH THE STEELWARES! Always brush the ground of the burrs and the steel parts, then vacuum clean all steel parts.
● You can even use grinder palettes to clean the grinder, but it’s optional.
● You can DIY clean your grinder with rice, but it lacks evidence of its effectiveness. So instead, use grinder cleaner pellets to remove residual coffee.
Electric Grinders VS Manual Grinders
Long story short, if you want a more manageable, inexpensive grinder, I’d go with a manual grinder.
If you want to serve a larger party and have a bigger budget buy an electric model.
The few differences that you’ll find are the Hopper and its capacity. Electric Grinders will have a bigger capacity compared to manual grinders.
Manual grinders are for personal use, and they do require effort, but that effort is oddly satisfying for any coffee lover!
Electric grinders are for a bigger party, and given its motor, it is faster and more efficient!
A manual grinder will provide you with a traditional feel, while an electric grinder might not meet the same expectation due to heat and burned oils.
It’s not a bad idea to have both types of grinders. They have their own distinctive features and can both be used at different times depending on the amount of coffee you’re making or just as a conversation piece.!
Conical Burrs VS Flat Burrs
Even when you try to find the real winner, the competition between conical burrs and flat burrs remains the same!
Their functionality is unbeatable, and a better version of it will always surpass the latter one. However, we still can differentiate among the two in terms of wastage, power consumption, heat generation, and noise difference.
Flat burrs will produce a more consistent ground compared to conical burrs because conical burrs maintain 2-3 sizes in their consistent ground (Neither one is a bad thing)
Conical burrs will produce less heat due to less friction compared to flat burrs. Similarly, flat burrs will produce more noise than conical burrs because conical burrs will require less power than flat burrs.
Flat burrs will produce waste because the ground will get stuck on the flat surface.
I prefer flat burrs, and this is what you will normally find in your very high-end grinders, but if you can’t afford a machine with a flat grinder, conical burr grinders are extremely efficient also.
You really are splitting hairs when you start comparing the two.
Ceramic Burrs VS Steel Burrs
Again, both are unbeatable, but you can bring your bias. Steel burrs are sharper than ceramic burrs, and ceramic burrs retain their edge longer than steel burrs.
Steel burrs get heated, thus affecting the taste of the coffee by burning out its essential oils. Meanwhile, ceramic is a cooled burr and doesn’t affect your coffee’s flavor. In fact, ceramic burrs give you a traditional taste and feel.
Being a Barista and a coffee lover for years, I can say with great delight that the right grinder will allow you to enjoy the intoxicating aromas and authentic flavors of your freshly brewed coffee.
Start with a manual grinder to start this sweet-smelling voyage, and slowly take your coffee brews to the next level with an electric grinder.
Follow these barista’s guides and Q&A to choose the best Coffee Grinders For French Press.