Whats the Best Grinder for French Press?
- Coarse Coffee Grind – For Sediment-Free French Press Coffee
- Manual French Press Coffee Grinders
- Electric Grinders For French Press Brewing
- Cuisinart DBM-8 – Best Burr Grinder On A Shoestring Budget
- Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder – No Plastic, No Static, No Jumping Coffee Grinds
- Baratza Encore – Lasts A Lifetime
- OXO On Coffee Grinder – Grinds By Weight, Not By Time
- Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro – Save Your Settings And Your Time
- The Bottom Line – Whats the best coffee grinder for french press?
I think you’ll agree with me when I say:
The best coffee grinder for your French Press is not a blade grinder. That’s why we don’t waste our time with them in this post.
And if you can’t agree because you don’t know, would you please trust me for now: you don’t want a blade grinder for your French Press.
In this post, we focus on burr grinders I specifically recommended you for French Presses. We compare different types and what to look out for before you purchase a new “life partner” for your Coffee Press.
What do you say, let’s start!
Coarse Coffee Grind – For Sediment-Free French Press Coffee
Have you had French Press Coffee before? If yes, then you have probably noticed the sludge at the bottom of your cup.
Lucky you if it was just a little bit. But with the wrong grind size, you could end up having a tablespoon or more of coffee sediments in your cup.
This is one of the two reasons why your new coffee grinder should have a setting for a coarse grind size.
- Coarse Coffee Won’t Pass The Filter
The filter in a French Press is a fine mesh screen and pushes the ground coffee down to the bottom of the press.
If the grinds are too fine, they can pass the filter and end in your cup. And having coffee sludge in your mouth is not a pleasant experience.
So when you notice a lot of sediments in your coffee and the French Press filters are intact, your new coffee grinder should have a setting to increase the grind size.
- Coarse Coffee Reduces Risk Of Bitter Coffee (Over-Extraction)
You may have read about it a few times that the recommended steeping time of coffee in a French Press is around 4 minutes! But the brew time also depends on the grind size.
At first, let me tell you, there’s a lot more going on during the brewing process than just grind size and brew duration but for the sake of simplicity let’s focus in this post on size and duration.
You should know that the larger the grind size, the longer it takes to extract all the flavors. The problem that can occur with a fine ground coffee is that within the recommended 4 minutes, it extracts too much of the flavors in a short time which results in bitter coffee (over-extraction).
If you’re interested in the whole chemistry of coffee extraction, I highly recommend Coffee Chemistry, a leading website about coffee science and chemistry.
Now that you know why you should use a coarse grind size, let’s move on and look at recommended burr coffee grinders for the French Press.
Manual French Press Coffee Grinders
If you don’t mind using some arm power, you get the best grinding results with a manual hand coffee grinder. We have a whole list of manual grinders here, but the following few are best suited for french press fanatics.
Most of them are also affordable and at the same time grinding beans with a similar quality and consistency as you only get with more expensive electric versions.
You don’t need to be a weightlifter but if you have arthritis or a similar condition, a manual coffee grinder might not be a lot of fun to use.
In this case, an electric coffee grinder would be a better choice for you. But more about them later!
A manual coffee grinder is best for you, when you … ?
- don’t want to spend a lot of money
- don’t mind spending a few minutes grinding coffee beans
- travel and don’t have access to electricty
- enjoy the good old-fashioned way
Hario Mini Coffee Mill Slim Grinder – Affordable And Good For French Press
This grinder is called mini because it’s the smallest mill of the Japanese manufacturer. The container can hold up to 20 grams of coffee. Depending on your strength preferences it is enough for one mug or about 2 cups of coffee.
The burrs are made of ceramic. But all other parts are made of plastic, including the collection container and the grind adjustment nut .
Speaking of grind adjustment!
The size of the grinds must be set manually by turning the nut. Tightening the screw will grind finer while loosening will grind more coarse.
It might be difficult for you to remember the perfect position for one grind size if you switch back and forth from a coarse to a fine grind. You have to count the clicks to remember the last position. From fine to coarse, the grind size is consistent and even, just don’t expect it to be fine enough for espresso.
The Hario Mini Coffee Mill Slim Grinder is perfect for you when you brew small quantities of coffee in any kind of coffee maker, but it’s not recommended for espresso machines.
Low weight and size is also a plus if you’re looking for a grinder while traveling.
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Grinder – Most Popular Hand Operated Coffee Grinder
The Hario Skerton is similar to the Hario Mini Mill but it’s wider and has with 100 grams a larger capacity.
On average you can brew about 5-7 cups of coffee, which should be enough for a small family or your buddies on the next camping trip.
The burr material is ceramic but unlike the Mini, the container is made of glass which may provide a better grip when grinding the beans.
Glass also helps to reduce the static build up while grinding. The static makes the grinds jump all over the place and can create a mess at the table.
A nice add-on is the included lid for the bean container which prevents the beans from falling out during the grinding process.
Changing the grind size could be a little irritating.
Before you have access to the grind adjustment nut, you must remove the locking screw, the handle, and the stopper.
And don’t ignore the fact, that you have to put it all back together afterward.
Overall the users are happy with the grind consistency despite the fact, that some test results have shown a slight inconsistency with coarser grind settings.
Porlex Hand Grinder – Stainless Steel In Small And Tall
The Porlex hand coffee mill in stainless steel is available in two sizes. The larger version of the Porlex mill, the Porlex JP-30, is with 7.5 inches similar in size to the Hario Mini Mill.
In contrast, the Porlex Mini is so small that it even fits inside the Aeropress Coffee Maker which is perfect for traveling!
Except the size and the rubber band on the small one, they are both the same.
And both are equipped with ceramic conical burrs.
The Porlex Mini is an elegant little hand mill, which is well suited for beginners and travelers. With 20 grams of coffee capacity, it is perfect for 1-2 cups of coffee at a time.
The Porlex JP-30 can hold up to 30 grams of coffee and therefore, lets you brew about 2-3 cups at a time.
Since they’re made of stainless steel, there is no static built up after grinding. The static charge, which makes the coffee grounds jump all over the place, is really annoying in plastic made coffee grinders.
The Porlex hand mill has approximately 15 different grind settings. These range from a fine grind for the espresso maker all the way to a coarser setting for the French Press.
The grind size can be easily adjusted with the click mechanism on the grinder. Based on hundreds of user reviews, the consistency of the grind size is very good – for both fine and coarse grind settings.
Zassenhaus Knee Mill – The German Made Coffee Grinder
Rediscover the good old-fashioned way of grinding coffee with the Zassenhaus Coffee Mill.
The narrower design is ideal for you to hold the Zassenhaus coffee grinder between your knees. This may not be necessary for coarse French Press grind.
But the finer the grind settings, the more resistance you can expect. So locking the grinder between your knees might be helpful.
The drawer can hold about 60 grams of coffee which should be enough for 4-5 cups.
As a side note: I found this useful information at Sweet Maria’s.
The conical burrs are made from high-grade stainless steel and are adjustable from espresso fine to French Press coarse.
And the best is, that Zassenhaus coffee mills are NOT made in China, they’re still made in Germany.
The price is with about $100 definitely not made in China, but you’re paying for quality.
And if you choose the Zassenhaus Coffee Mill, your purchase is backed by a 10-year warranty on the grinding mechanism.
Electric Grinders For French Press Brewing
Less is more! Are you wondering what the heck I’m talking about?
Let me explain.
Cheaper burr grinders often struggle with grinding fine coffee grounds. But most of them still do a good job with coarse and medium grind sizes.
So what does that mean for you?
I would suggest, that everything above $250 for a french press coffee grinder is too much.
An automatic/electric coffee grinder is best for you when you…?
- want results within seconds
- prefer push-button convenience
- don’t mind cleaning the burrs every other month
- have access to a power outlet
Cuisinart DBM-8 – Best Burr Grinder On A Shoestring Budget
The Cuisinart DBM-8 Burr Grinder is one of the best budget friendly coffee grinder for the French Press with very good reviews.
But there’s a catch!
Don’t expect it to be the perfect fit for all your needs – the need for an espresso, to be more precise.
As a reminder, this post is about grinders for the French Press. And for this brewing method, I can recommend the Cuisinart Burr Grinder!
The burrs are not conical and look more like disk burrs. And they’re made of plastic.
In fact, everything is made of plastic: the hopper, the receiving box, and even the stainless steel looking housing.
But according to Cuisinart, all parts are BPA-Free.
So if you are about to make the switch from ground coffee from the store to grinding at home, get the Cuisinart DBM-8 at a price you can afford.
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder – No Plastic, No Static, No Jumping Coffee Grinds
The Bodum Bistro coffee grinder is actually the one I personally use at home.
Since I’m a dad on a budget I chose this one because of the great price plus the glass catcher for the beans.
Why does glass matter?
Because it reduces the static that causes coffee grinds to jump out of the container.
I haven’t tried the very fine settings yet because there was no need.
Most of the times I brew coffee with my French Press or the Bunn MCU and for these brewing methods the grind size is consistent and even.
The grinding process is either controlled by a timer (5-20 seconds) or on demand by pushing a button.
One thing that bothers me a little bit is, that after the grinder has finished, there’s still about a teaspoon of ground coffee left inside.
So just give it a little shake or knock to make sure it’s all out!
Did you know that you can choose between different colors? Not everybody likes the standard black.
Pep up your kitchen with an eye-catching white, red or even green Bodum grinder.
Baratza Encore – Lasts A Lifetime
Just to make one thing clear: With saying it lasts a lifetime, I’m not saying that this grinder cannot break. What I mean is, that Baratza offers every single part of the grinder for you to fix it yourself.
How often have you experienced a small appliance to break right after the warranty is over?
Fixing it yourself? You may be talented enough to do so. But where do you get spare parts? Ordering from China?
Not with Baratza!
On their website, you find everything: burrs, grounds bin, on/off switch, practically everything. You can even order the whole conical chassis.
Now let’s have a look at the grinder itself.
The entry-level coffee grinder of Baratza is an affordable solution with high-quality hardened steel conical burrs.
In particular, I recommend the Baratza Encore, if you primarily brew with the French Press or Drip Brewers, the Aeropress or other manual brewers that require coarse or medium grinds.
The Encore is good for a few espressos but only with pressurized portafilters.
You have 40 different grinding levels which you can easily change by turning the hopper left or right.
And the best, it’s easy to operate. At the front, you have an on-demand pushbutton for a short grinding duration. And on the side is an on/off switch.
OXO On Coffee Grinder – Grinds By Weight, Not By Time
The only electric grinder with built-in scale in this post comes from OXO. All other automatic coffee grinders have an integrated timer.
Why is this a big deal?
At first, you normally find a built-in scale only in high-end grinders which are way more expensive than the OXO coffee bean grinder.
And secondly, coffee beans can vary in size, density, dryness, which means 15 seconds of grinding won’t guarantee you the desired grams of coffee.
With the OXO On coffee grinder, you select how much grams of coffee you want and the grinder does the rest.
As with most others, you can expect stainless steel conical burrs in this price range.
The hopper is made of plastic and can hold up to 12 oz of coffee – which is the size of a specialty coffee bag.
But that’s not all!
The bean hopper also blocks UV-light, which is one of the enemies of coffee to loose freshness.
For the French Press, it does a good job with respect to the grind size consistency.
The scale is definitely a unique feature of the OXO On Coffee Bean Grinder, but you have to decide yourself if it’s worth the still high price.
At the expense of convenience, you could also get a cheap kitchen scale and a regular grinder without s scale. Just saying…
But if you already have an OXO On Coffee Maker, the both would make a great team in terms of design and quality!
Breville BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro – Save Your Settings And Your Time
The Breville BCG820BSSXL Pro is the most expensive coffee grinder in this selection.
Breville calls it the Smart Grinder because you can actually program the grinder after selecting grind time and grind size.
What makes this stainless steel conical burr grinder unique is the adjustable upper burr.
Why does this matter?
Because when you are not happy with the maximum coarseness of the grinds you can extend the range to an even coarser grind. Of course, this also applies to the opposite, the fine grind size.
Speaking of fine grinds. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro seems to do a great job with a very fine grind size for espresso machines.
I know, we’re talking about brewing with the French Press, but if you also have an espresso machine, this is a great coffee grinder for both grind sizes!
There’s also an electronic timer that can be adjusted in 0.2-second increments for you to set the perfect grinding duration.
The plastic hopper can hold up to one pound of coffee and comes with an airtight lid to keep the beans fresh for a longer time.
Can I recommend the Breville BCG820BSSXL Bean Grinder for brewing with the French Press? Oh yes, of course!
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is an excellent coffee grinder for an even better price for what it offers.
But if you only brew coffee with the French Press, you won’t really exploit the full potential of this grinder.
The Bottom Line – Whats the best coffee grinder for french press?
I hope that with my Top 9 selection of manual and automatic coffee grinders for the French Press, you now can choose the best one for your needs.
Whether a manual hand grinder, a cheap grinder for a first time purchase or a smart, programmable stainless steel coffee grinder is your choice, I’m sure you won’t regret your buying decision.
Please share with me in the comments below, what you think is the best coffee grinder for the French Press!
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