Best Turkish Coffee Grinder: Reviews and comparisons
- How to Choose the Best Turkish Coffee Grinder
- The Best Turkish Coffee Grinder Reviews
- 1. Zassenhaus “Santiago” Manual Coffee Mill – Most Versatile
- 2. Sozen Manual Brass Coffee Grinder – Most Authentic
- 3. Zassenhaus Havana – Most Stylish Option
- 4. Capresso Infinity Plus V2 Conical Burr Grinder – Best Electric Grinder for Turkish Coffee
- 5. BUNN Bulk Coffee Grinder – Best for Restaurants and Cafes
- The Bottom Line
The history of Turkish coffee goes all the way back to the 14th century when Syrian traders brought Arabica beans to Istanbul. It has since turned into an essential part of Turkish culture  and remains a popular way to enjoy coffee there and around the world.
It takes a little getting used to, but many coffee lovers swear by its uniquely powerful taste. To make an authentic Turkish coffee, you’ll need a Turkish coffee grinder. The grinders in this list all fit the bill and you’ll learn a bit about how to pick the right one.
How to Choose the Best Turkish Coffee Grinder
For the uninitiated, Turkish coffee is different from other brews in a few ways. For starters, it’s unfiltered — the coffee grounds go directly into the water. It’s also not steeped, but meant to be made and enjoyed quickly. To achieve a good extraction with this technique, the coffee must be ground very finely, almost like flour. More finely even than for espresso.
It’s traditionally made and served in a cezve, a traditional copper brewing pot with a long handle (2). When the water boils, it creates thick foam which is the hallmark of Turkish coffee. Sweeteners and sugar are sometimes used, but it’s never stirred after brewing so as to not disturb the coffee grounds once they settle on the bottom of the cup (3).
To pick the right grinder, you’ll be looking at a few characteristics that affect how it performs. The material it’s made of, its overall design, the size, and — most importantly — the grind consistency.
The material that the grinder is made of and the material used for the burrs are both important. Traditional manual grinders for Turkish coffee are made from copper or brass. They aren’t very thick, so they dent easily. They’re beautiful, but require a little extra care.
Since beans spend more time with flat burrs than conical burrs, there’s more friction involved, which generates more heat.
By and large, it’s agreed upon that steel conical burrs work best because the fine grind tends to overheat beans if grinding takes too long. Conical burrs have a larger grind area so they grind a little faster. In a perfect world, you’d find a plastic or wooden grinder with high-grade steel burrs, giving you a great grind mechanism without being too heavy.
The traditional design of Turkish coffee grinders puts as much emphasis on aesthetic appeal as it does on grind quality and consistency. The surface is usually carved with filigree ornaments. This ornamentation serves a dual purpose, it makes for a more attractive grinder and it provides a better grip.
Of course, you’re under no obligation to buy a traditional grinder. Many electrical grinders are perfectly capable of producing a fine Turkish grind. However, if you’re looking to get the full experience, you might consider one of those old-fashioned Turkish manual coffee grinders. Bear in mind that such a fine grind is a chore to do by hand, so an ergonomic handle is a must if you’re considering a manual grinder.
Size and Portability
This is obviously going to depend on your needs. On the whole, manual Turkish grinders are very suitable for travel, as they’re light and compact. However, the trade-off is that their collection bin and hopper capacity are both very small. There are tabletop coffee mills with a manual grinding mechanism that are larger, but not as portable.
If you’re not too concerned with the size and looks, an electric grinder can get the job done just as well. The style points you lose will be made up for in convenience.
It cannot be overstated how important the grind size is for a cup of good Turkish coffee. It needs to be very fine and consistent with no stray chunks (4). Even some very popular and high-quality mills don’t have the right grinding mechanism for Turkish coffee.
If you’re intent on making an authentic Turkish brew, your best bet is a grinder specifically made for that. However, there are a few multipurpose grinders that manage to do a decent job and you can find some of the best ones on this list.
The Best Turkish Coffee Grinder Reviews
Now that you’re armed with the knowledge about Turkish grinders, here are some great grinders that will perform well and look the part. Remember, the name of the game is a fine and consistent grind when it comes to Turkish coffee and all the models on the list will deliver that.
1. Zassenhaus “Santiago” Manual Coffee Mill – Most Versatile
- Material: Wooden construction, carbon steel burrs, metal crank handle
- Dimensions: 8.2” x 3.5” x 8”
- Grind settings: Stepless grind settings go from extra-fine (Turkish) to French press
The Santiago grinder is truly a work of art. It’s one of the most stylish manual coffee grinders on the market, though it still delivers perfectly ground coffee quickly and easily. This is a “knee-type” or knee-style grinder that was, at a time, very popular in certain regions of Europe. It’s called that because the frame is designed to fit comfortably between the knees while you operate it. Of course, it can also be held down on any surface while grinding.
It’s available in several different finishes, including mahogany, beech, and black stained wood. You don’t have to hide it away in a cupboard, as this grinder even makes a nice centerpiece.
The grind settings are stepless and fully adjustable by tightening or loosening the nut on top of the grinder. It has carbon steel conical burrs that blast through beans quicker than you’d expect. The crank handle is fairly long and has a comfortable knob that fits nicely in the average hand. When set to the finest grind size, it outperforms even some traditional Turkish grinders.
On top of all that, Zassenhaus gives a 25-year warranty on the grinding mechanism. That basically means this can easily be the last hand grinder you’ll ever buy.
BEST SUITED FOR: Homes that don’t need more than a few cups of coffee. The Santiago grinder can effectively handle any coffee beans you throw at it but it’s not well suited for mammoth batches. If you want a Turkish coffee grinder that doubles as an all-rounder, pick the Santiago.
2. Sozen Manual Brass Coffee Grinder – Most Authentic
Don’t let the “budget” designation fool you. This is a quality grinder and has that traditional look and feel of old-fashioned Turkish grinders and, in fact, it is one. The Sozen family has been making grinders in Turkey for over 120 years.
Making Turkish coffee isn’t meant to be a walk in the park, and this grinder proves it. It will take you a while to get used to grinding with this little guy, but the results will certainly be worth it. It consistently produces the floury grind required for a Turkish brew.
Nothing says authentic Turkish coffee like spending long minutes toiling away on your grinder. This had a social component in the old days, as people took the opportunity to sit around and socialize while grinding coffee beans.
The grinder itself is actually very small, measuring only seven inches in length and about two inches in diameter. So one of the added benefits is that you can have great Turkish coffee anywhere you go.
If you’ve never used one of these traditional grinders before, don’t worry. The basic operation is very simple, just attach the handle to the axis, fill the grinder with coffee, and grind. The very same handle can be used to adjust the grind setting by unscrewing the grinder. It’s a little time-consuming to take apart and clean, but you won’t have to do it often if you use this as a dedicated grinder for Turkish coffee.
BEST SUITED FOR: People looking for the real deal. This is a traditional Turkish grinder designed and made in Turkey. Be warned, you’ll need to put in some work for your coffee with this one.
3. Zassenhaus Havana – Most Stylish Option
- Material: Brass body, steel burrs and grind mechanism
- Dimensions: 7” x 2.2” x 2.2”
- Grind settings: Stepless grind settings go from extra-fine (Turkish) to French press
Zassenhaus makes beautiful coffee grinders, but they really outdid themselves with this one. It very faithfully emulates traditional Turkish grinders and does so with elegance.
The grinding mechanism has the quality expected from Zassenhaus and comes with their standard 25-year warranty. While it will set you back a little more than an average hand coffee grinder, it is worth every penny.
The body is ornate and polished, making for a really impressive grinder. There’s a bit of irony in getting one of the best Turkish coffee grinders from Germany, but here we are. It’s a little easier to do the actual grinding than with an authentic Turkish grinder, chalk that up to good old German engineering.
The Havana grinder is easy enough to take apart and clean, but you’re well-advised to avoid dishwashers and water in general. Hard water tends to tarnish brass, and it would be a shame to ruin the gorgeous exterior of this grinder. Use a cloth to wipe the outside, instead and you can get any stray coffee grounds out with a brush.
BEST SUITED FOR: The home barista that puts as much stock in the appearance of their gear as they do in the quality of their grind. This gorgeous grinder makes a quick work of most grind types with consistency and ease — and looks great while doing it.
4. Capresso Infinity Plus V2 Conical Burr Grinder – Best Electric Grinder for Turkish Coffee
- Material: Plastic construction, steel conical burrs
- Dimensions: 14.3” x 9.5” x 6.6”
- Grind settings: 16 different grind settings from Turkish to French press
As promised, this is one of the electrical grinders that can handle Turkish coffee rather well. The Capresso brand is mostly known for its espresso machines and grinders, but there’s no reason you can’t use this for a finer grind as well. The motor is powerful, but it’s tuned down to prevent it from grinding too fast and overheating the coffee beans — a common problem for Turkish grinds.
As far as electric burr grinders go, this is an entry-level model but it performs very well for the price tag. It also has a wide selection of settings. The hopper has a decent capacity of just below nine ounces of coffee beans, so you can serve several people without refilling. One caveat is that the collection bin isn’t anti-static, so finer grinds like the Turkish will clump and stick to it. Overall, this is a good little grinder if you don’t want to go through the hassle of manually grinding your beans, but still want a great cup of Turkish coffee.
BEST SUITED FOR: Turkish coffee lovers without the patience for a manual grinder. The Capresso Infinity Plus performs very well for an entry-level electric grinder, even when it comes to the super-fine Turkish grind.
5. BUNN Bulk Coffee Grinder – Best for Restaurants and Cafes
- Material: Full metal construction and flat steel burrs
- Dimensions: 22” x 7.3” x 16”
- Grind settings: Wide range of settings from Turkish to French press and cold brew
This grinder is not messing around and it has the price tag to prove it. The BUNN grinder will find a home mostly in commercial settings, as it’s a bit expensive for home use. In fact, it’s likely you’ve seen BUNN grinders like this one in your local coffee shop.
The hopper on this model accepts a whole pound of coffee and it can power through it in just below 30 seconds. You’d think that kind of speed would roast your beans in a second, but it has a turbo system that pulls coffee beans through the grinding chamber faster than they can heat up. The burrs come with a three-year warranty, a nice feature for commercial applications.
It easily delivers a consistent Turkish grind, but it’s also just as good at grinding any other size. Operation is relatively simple and once you set it up, all you have to do is push in a container and it will start grinding.
If you can afford one of these for your kitchen, and you don’t mind a giant hunk of a grinder on your countertop, this is the grinder for you. However, this guy will grind more coffee within seconds than any family can conceivably drink.
BEST SUITED FOR: Supermarkets, coffee houses, and cafes. This is a very popular commercial grinder and the warranty on the burrs is a useful benefit. If you need a decent grinder for your business that can also handle a Turkish grind with ease, this is the grinder for you.
The Bottom Line
If you’re just getting into Turkish coffee, you probably don’t want to grind it manually. That’s why the Capresso Infinity Plus is the top pick in this roundup. It’s an electric grinder that does more than a decent job of grinding fine coffee. Plus, it won’t break the bank.
If you think you’re ready for a more authentic experience, go for the Sozen manual grinder or the Zassenhaus Havana. They’ll make you work for your grounds, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing as you’ll appreciate your coffee that much more. If you’re not overly concerned about authenticity, but still want a manual grinder, the Zassenhaus Santiago is both beautifully designed and efficient.
Turkish coffee is stronger than espresso, at least as far as flavor is concerned. However, a shot of espresso has slightly more caffeine per volume, at 35-50mg of caffeine, compared to 30-32mg of caffeine for the same amount of Turkish coffee.
You should serve a glass of room-temperature water with Turkish coffee. This is to cleanse the palate before drinking it. In addition, it’s traditional to serve a sweet treat such as a pastry or cookie, or Turkish delight candy.
You don’t need the traditional ibrik (also called cezve) to brew Turkish coffee, but it gives you more control and is more traditionally correct. In a pinch, you can brew Turkish coffee in any small, high-sided saucepan.
- Yılmaz, B., Acar-Tek, N., & Sözlü, S. (2017, 12). Turkish cultural heritage: A cup of coffee. Journal of Ethnic Foods, 4(4), 213-220. doi:10.1016/j.jef.2017.11.003 Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352618117301841
- Gutierrez, C. (2019, February 14). Cezve. Retrieved September 12 2019 from https://baristahustle.com/glossary/cezve/
- How to Best Enjoy Your Turkish coffee: Senator Hotel. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.senatorhotel.com/blog/how-to-best-enjoy-your-turkish-coffee
- Popular Brew Methods Around the World. (2018, February 13). Retrieved from https://blog.bluebottlecoffee.com/posts/popular-brew-methods-around-the-world
Coffee lover and Dad, on a budget. Since the wishes of my beautiful wife and two charming kids are of course of much higher priority than my own ones, I always keep an eye out for coffee products which give me the biggest bang for the buck!