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There are a lot of different ways to make coffee, and even though it is not the most popular, a French Press coffee is one of the simplest ways to make a rich and flavorful cup of coffee. Technically, you’ll only need a coffee press to make a cup, but coffee connoisseurs know that the trick is sometimes in the ground coffee beans.
A coffee grinder can give you the professionally brewed taste you love without breaking your bank – and you don’t even need to leave your kitchen.
French Press coffee needs coarse ground coffee beans, and to help you choose which are the best coffee grinder for French Press, I’ve rounded up a list of coffee grinders to get the perfectly fresh coarse ground coffee beans.
Top 8 Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
- If you don’t want the hassle of having to figure out the amount of coffee beans you need to make a certain amount of coffee cups, the OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Intelligent Dosing Scale is a great product to use as you’ll have to option to grind coffee beans based on the number of cups, the weight or amount of coffee beans, and it also has a manual setting if you want to decide on your own the duration of the grind.
- For those that are more budget-conscious, the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is a great choice. It has almost the same features minus the dosing scale, for only half the price off the OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Intelligent Dosing Scale.
- If you are very much irritated at having their coffee grounds stick to the container because of static, the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder is the best choice as the glass container is made from borosilicate glass which is anti-static.
- The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin is the coffee grinder for those who are very particular in the kinds of coffee grounds that they get.
- For those who doesn’t mind splurging on their coffee grinder a bit, the Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder is the best option as it has a lot of nifty features like the Auto dosing system, air tight Bean Hopper, and the coffee grind settings are shown on a backlit LCD screen.
- For those who wants a fresh cup of coffee even while on the go, the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder is the perfect accessory.
- The Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is a great machine, with the automatic setting makes grinding coffee a snap. This is great for those who loves the convenience of getting ground coffee with the press of a button and does not mind the noise.
- For those who are just starting out in making ground coffee, KRUPS F203 Electric Spice and Coffee Grinder could be a bit tricky since it does not have any coarse settings. You will have to estimate things yourself, push the button for as long as you want the machine to grind beans.
There are 14 grind settings for the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder so it can be used to grind coffee beans for different kinds of coffee and not just French press. The container fits tightly to the grinder, thereby minimizing the spills on the counter.
Although the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder is consistent when it comes to grinding the coffee beans, those who are a bit more particular when it comes to the coarseness of their ground coffee might find that the coarse setting for this coffee grinder might still be too coarse for a French press.
The Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder is the cheapest of the three though the price is not too far from the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder. The glass container for the coffee grinder is made from borosilicate glass which is anti-static, so the coffee grounds won’t stick on the container.
- Consistent ground coffee
- Easy to clean, less static
- Glass container is a bit sensitive
- Do not sell replacements for broken parts
CAPRESSO 560.01 – Best Electric Burr Grinder
There are 4 settings on this coffee grinder — Extra Fine, Fine, Medium, and Coarse — with each setting divided into 4, making a total of 16 different settings to grind your coffee beans.
The coffee container also fits tightly into the coffee grinder, as to avoid coffee grinds getting on the counter, but you will have to be careful in removing the container from the grinder as fine grounds can get into the nook and crannies of the grinder and could spill when the container is removed.
Also, to ensure that there are minimal grounds that will fall and scatter on the counter, tap the container before pulling it out.
The minimum Coarse setting is great for a French press coffee. When you feel that the coffee beans have been ground enough, but the timer is still running, make sure not to turn the timer into zero and just twist the top of the grinder to make the machine stop. Pull the plug on the machine for the timer to run to zero on its own. Forcing the timer to zero could potentially damage the machine.
Unfortunately, the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is not the most user friendly when it comes to assembly. The instructions are also not always useful. For those who just got their machine and is assembling it, make sure the removable burr wheel is seated well so that the hopper will fit.
The Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder definitely a lot cheaper than the first product, and it has a commercial-grade conical burrs so grinding is pretty precise. With every purchase, there is already a cleaning brush and measuring scoop included in the package. The timer could be set to grind between 5 to 60 seconds.
- Not noisy when grinding beans
- Consistent ground coffee
- A bit tricky to assemble and use
- A little static on coffee grounds
OXO On – The Best Bang for Your Buck
This is very easy to use because you have the option of grinding your coffee beans based on either the number of cups you will use, the amount (or weight) of coffee beans that will be ground, or the manual mode wherein the user will decide the duration of the grinding themselves.
Even with the different types of setting that the OXO On Conical Burr Grinder have, the coffee beans are grinded consistently.
The Oxo On Conical Burr Grinder is not a cheap grinder, but the price of the grinder is very much worth it! The grinder comes with a built-in weighing scale so a different equipment is not needed to measure the amount of coffee beans to be used. The best part is that the coffee bean container could even be replaced and the scale would recalibrate itself.
- Not noisy when grinding beans
- Consistent ground coffee
- Looks elegant
- Very easy to assemble and use
- A little static on coffee grounds
Baratza Encore – The Easy to Use Professional Option
This is the perfect machine for those who not only want a French Press, but also wants to experiment on the kind of coffee grounds that they will make especially since the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Bin comes with 40 different grind settings.
The grinder is pretty consistent when it comes to grinding the coffee beans so there’s no worries that some might be grounded too fine.
We feel that the bottom line here is this – the Baratza Encore is an excellent conical burr grinder to buy if you want to jump to the next level of grinding beans at home for either french press, drip coffee, or espresso.
There are very few complaints out there about this grinder, with the majority of people finding it to be a great all-around machine.
- Baratza sells spare parts in case any gets broken
- Little to no static
- Great customer service
- Not the best grinder for oily beans
- A bit louder than normal coffee grinders
Breville – The Best Grinder for Precise Measuring
The Breville Smart Grinder is a coffee grinder that has some pretty cool features. It has 25 different grinding settings, it also comes with an air-tight lid for the removable bean hopper ensures that the beans can easily be stored.
The Dosing IQ feature of the Breville Smart Grinder changes the dose needed whenever grind settings are changed to make sure that the right amount of coffee beans is grinded.
The LCD screen is also a great feature so that you’ll know the grind settings, the amount of coffee the could be made and the amount.
- Minimal noise
- The tight lid on the hopper minimizes the ground coffee dust
- Can easily grind directly into a portafilter or filter basket to minimize the dirt more
- Easy clean up
- A bit more expensive than the others
JavaPresse – Best Manual Coffee Grinder
The JavaPresse has 18 different click settings that helps the user choose how finely or coarsely ground their coffee beans will be. A little additional info to operate the machine is that to determine the type of grind, you simply have to turn the adjustment knob all the way to the right.
JavaPresse also offers 100% customer satisfaction, and includes guides for brewing based on type of coffee maker and even type of bean. The only drawback is time — since it is manual, it could take you up to a minute to get your grounds, especially if you are using a super-fine grind. That said, if you are a serious coffee devotee (or make coffee occasionally and don’t want ground coffee sitting around going stale) this is a great addition to your at-home brewing kit.
This manual Manual Coffee Grinder machine doesn’t need any batteries or power source to operate. It is also very simple enough to use that even a 7-year-old could be able to operate the little machine. The machine does not have a nut that will help to keep the handle, but it doesn’t easily come off while grinding.
The best part of the JavaPresse is the customer service and guarantee wherein the company has a 365-days Money-Back Guarantee.
- Sleek, compact, and elegant design
- Minimal noise
- Great customer service
- Easy to clean
- Can only make 1-2 cups per grind
- A bit inconsistent grind for coarse setting
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme – Best Automatic Burr Mill
The Cuisinart has 18 different grind settings. It also has an automatic setting wherein you can simply set the grind settings and the number of cups you want, the number of cups can range from 4 to 18 cups.
There are two main problems with the Cuisinart, the noise and the static on the ground coffee. Although there’s not much you can do with the noise, but I’ve learned that spraying the container with cooking spray and wiping it down with a paper towel would help to lessen the static.
The Cuisinart is also a disc burr grinder, not a conical burr, so you shouldn’t expect very consistent coarse ground coffee beans.
- Great design
- Automatic settings
- Can grind beans for up to 18 cups
- A bit loud when in use
- There’s a bit of static
KRUPS – The Simple Choice
A great feature of the Krups is its safety switch. You will not be able to run the machine unless the lid is secure.
Krups is very easy to use because all you have to do is put the coffee beans into the receptacle, make sure the lid is secure, and press a button to get the ground coffee. The coffee grinder does not have coarse control so the first few uses will be a bit of a trial and error to get the perfectly ground coffee consistency that you want.
The Krups coffee grinder can grind up to 3 ounces of coffee beans, roughly enough for 12 cups of coffee.
- Quiet to use
- Very easy to use and clean
- 2 year warranty
- No coarse control
Best Coffee Grinders Buying Guide
Why A Good Grinder Is So Important?
So why on earth do you even need a coffee grinder? Can’t you just go to your local cafe and ask for some pre-ground coffee? If you want to get the most out of your espresso machine the answer is a resounding no.
Let me explain why:
- Freshness: Grinding fresh beans is essential for producing great espresso. Pre-ground coffee won’t cut it as it quickly degrades, isn’t adjustable, and can’t compensate for the changing elements that affect coffee quality. For the best results you need to grind fresh coffee and extract it straight away.
- Adjustably: Every barista knows you have to adjust your grind settings several times a day. This is because variables such as air moisture, temperature and bean age all affect your extraction time. A good coffee grinder allows you to adjust for these variables. Pre-ground coffee can’t do this as it’s set to one particle size.
- Consistency: Without a consistent grinder you’ll be wasting a lot of coffee trying to get your grind right. A good grind ensures you can replicate your results time again.
What Makes A Good (And Bad) Coffee Grinder?
So now you know why you need a grinder, but what makes a good one?
This is an important question as a lot of times when people buy an espresso machine they get disillusioned with the quality of their coffee.
More often than not this isn’t the result of the espresso machine but actually the grinder they used.
Espresso is hot water passed passed through ground coffee after all. You can’t expect quality coffee if you’re using a sub-standard grinder. Knowing how to cut through the junk will save you a lot of time.
So what should you look out for?
Burr Coffee Grinder
A “burr grinder” describes the way a grinder grinds its coffee. They work by having one stationary disk and one spinning disk that grinds.
This allows for fantastic performance and accuracy and as a result have become the gold standard for grinding coffee.
Good cafes strictly use commercial burr grinders as they produce the most even and uniform grind particles.
So it makes sense to incorporate a burr grinder into your home set up, as any other type will give you sub-standard results.
We’ll cover burr grinders in greater detail later on in this article, but first lets quickly discuss what grinders you should avoid.
Blade Coffee Grinders (Bad)
The alternative to burr grinders are “spinning blade” grinders. Stay away from these!
Spinning blade grinders are not in any way suitable for espresso.
Instead of creating uniform particles, blade grinders simply CRUSH the beans into uneven parts.
Blade grinders are only suitable for brewing methods that don’t depend as much on grind consistency, like French Press, but if you have the choice you should always opt for a burr grinder regardless of the brew method.
A lot of people don’t realize how bad blade grinders are, that’s why KRUPS F203 Splice is the best selling grinder on Amazon.
Don’t be deceived by the “best seller” rating. This is one of worst grinders you can buy.
Let me show you why.
Below you can see an example of how a burr grinder differs from spinning blade grinders.
Notice how on the left the burr grinder produced consistent and even particles, while the spinning blade grinder spliced the coffee up into uneven parts.
If you put that blade sliced coffee into your espresso machine you would taste the worst, grind filled, and under extracted espresso in the world.
But that’s not the most frustrating thing about it.
The most annoying thing about using a spinning blade grinder is that no two grinds will ever be the same! Imagine trying to make good tasting espresso without a consistent grind…you’ll be wasting a lot of coffee that’s for sure.
Frankly if it’s not a burr grinder it’s not worth your time!
Different Types Of Burr Coffee Grinders
But here’s the tricky thing most guides on the Internet fail to mention – not all burr grinders are created equal!
This is because the price of burr coffee grinders are affected by the build quality, features and the actual burr used inside the machine.
We’re going to discuss all these element but we’ll start of with the fundamentals – the two main type of burrs you can choose from:
- Conical burr grinders
- Flat burr grinders
Both of these grinders have their pro and cons and advocates on either side. But in general both conical and flat grinders are sufficient to make great tasting espresso at home.
The key differences between them is how they go about grinding the coffee, how long the coffee bean is in contact with the burrs, and the coffee particle shape they produce.
The verdict is still out on which is better but most high end consumer manufactures tend to favour flat burrs over conical due to their accuracy, whereas cafes use conical burrs tend to be more popular due to less heat output.
Knowing how conical and flat burrs differ will help you narrow down which is the better fit for your budget and needs.
Concial Burr Grinders
Conical burr grinders have two key parts. The first is the conical burr that spins, it’s responsible for grinding the coffee. The second part is the stationary burr, it’s responsible for setting the grind size as you can move it closer or further away from the spinning conical burr as shown in the diagram below.
The main benefits of a conical burr grinder are:
- It grinds at a slower RPM when compared to a flat burr grinder due to the “cone” shape. This means that the coffee is exposed to less heat.
- It creates “bimodal” grind particles. This means that it creates two sets of grind: one smaller grind and one slightly bigger grind. The end result is a stronger “full body” espresso. Some advocates of flat burr grinders say this is not a good thing, as it means the grinds are not evenly extracted.
- More forgiving to dial in when compared to flat burr grinders as the mix of small and slightly bigger grinds give you more “leg room” to have a similar shot for a longer duration.
I recommend domestic conical burr grinders for the home barista just starting out on their coffee making journey.
This is because they’re more forgiving to set up and are usually the cheaper option. The caveat being as the coffee ages you’ll have to adjust the grind slightly due to the beans losing essential oils.
The Breville Smart Grinder to the right is an example of a great entry level conical burr grinder.
Flat Burr Grinders
Flat burr grinders work by using two “flat” burrs to grinder the coffee. One burr is responsible for spinning and grinding the coffee, while the other burr stays stationary and moves closer or further away from the spinning burr in order to set the grind setting.
Recently a lot of home baristas have been advocating the benefits of flat burr grinders over conical burr grinders.
The main benefit is that flat burrs create more uniform grind particles. As a result the short extraction is more “true” to the essence coffee blend as each coffee particle is evenly saturated, rather than having an uneven saturation like conical burr particles have.
The key benefit of flat burr grinders are:
- I recommend flat burr coffee grinders for those looking for precision in their grind output. This is because flat burr grinders create more uniform grind particles. They produce a more uniform grind distribution compared to conical burrs.
- The uniform grind allows for even saturation of the coffee, whereas conical grinds do not due to slightly different sized particles.
- The coffee has less exposure to the burr blades, however flat burr grinders have to spin at a higher RPM when compared to conical burrs. This means more heat output. Higher end flat burrs have mechanisms in place to mitigate this heat such a larger burr diameters reduce grind time.
The caveat to this precision is that you may have to adjust your grind settings more frequently depending on the build quality of the grinder. You could also argue that heat may be an issue, but this is a negligible concern for home espresso as you’re not making 100+ coffees at day.
The Baratza Vario 886 to the right is an example of a precise flat burr grinder that is a favourite among precision advocates.
Which should you get? Conical vs Flat?
Ultimately the verdict is still out on which is better.
But for home use I believe you should put more weight on a grinder’s accuracy. This is because at home you have the time to make the perfect coffee, and because of this I have a personal bias towards flat burr grinders as heat is not an issue with low volume. If you’re in a commercial setting I’d go for a conical.
But in the end you can’t go wrong with either as long as the grinder is of good build quality.
In terms of taste profile some advocates also say that conical burrs bring out “brighter” and “fruiter” elements in coffee, while flat burrs enhance the “earthy” and “caramel” tones.
So your taste preference may be the better indicator of which grinder type to get, as once you get to the mid to high end grinder market both have the ability to make quality espresso.
Taking Care of Your Coffee Grinder
The coffee grinder is one of the first things that will touch your coffee beans so it is not surprising that a bad or dirty coffee grinder greatly affects the taste of your French Press.
For blade grinders, all that is really needed is to wipe out the blades and the machine with a wet paper towel. Burr grinders, however, a bit trickier to clean, but if done regularly shouldn’t take too long to do either.
This won’t only help in making sure you make a perfect cup of coffee everytime, but will also help keep your coffee grinder in great condition for a long time to come.
Brushing or wiping
There are coffee grinders that come with a cleaning brush, and this brush is very handy to use to clean the visible grounds in your coffee grinders. For those sensitive enough with the taste of their coffee, a daily brushing or wiping will go a long way to keeping stale ground coffee affecting the taste of your coffee.
Anh here are the steps:
- Make sure to unplug the coffee grinder before you start your cleaning regimen.You can now start taking apart your coffee grinder for a bit of brushing or wiping.
- Remove the hopper, remove the upper grinder casing if it’s there,
- Once you get to the burrs, you can now wipe them down or brush the excess coffee grounds, and any other build up that are stuck in there.
This is one of the easiest ways to clean your coffee grinder if you don’t have the time (or confidence) to take apart your coffee grinder.
Grinder Cleaners like Urnex Grindz and Full Circle should be able to do the job without any hassle. The best part is that you will only have to grind the coffee cleaner the same way you would grind your coffee beans.
For best results, grind some spare coffee beans to remove the remaining grinder cleaners in your machine.
There are those that recommend rice to clean out your coffee grinder, but since rice is harder than coffee beans, it can really hurt your coffee grinder in the long run. Quick-cook dry rice can be used, though there are already some brands that voids the warranties for products that were broken because of the use of rice as cleaners.
For a deeper clean, you can opt to also run through your coffee grinder with a vacuum cleaner. Like brushing and wiping your coffee grinder, vacuuming your machine would require that you take them apart first.
The steps are pretty much the same with brushing and wiping your grinder, except that you will use the vacuum to clean out the grinder before putting them back together again.
Make sure small parts of the grinder are not sucked into the vacuum when cleaning.
All the coffee grinders reviewed have their own merits and demerits, but when it comes to ease of use, consistency in grinding, and noise level, the Breville Smart Grinder seems to take the cake in all categories. The one and only drawback to the Breville Smart Grinder is that it does not come cheap. If you want a cheaper option, you should consider a manual coffee grinder
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