Last Updated on December 20, 2023 by David Michael
Best Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew and French Press
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Indulging in the exquisite flavor of coffee is a delightful experience, especially when you opt for freshly ground beans. This practice not only results in the most delectable brew but also ensures the preservation of aromatic compounds and the integrity of natural oils within the coffee beans, preventing oxidation. At home, my preferred brewing methods are the French press and cold brew, both renowned for producing exceptional cups of coffee. The secret lies in their shared use of a more coarse grind, a texture akin to the size of kosher salt crystals. In particular, cold brew takes it a step further with an extra coarse grind, enhancing the extraction process and delivering a uniquely bold and smooth coffee experience.
Coffee Grind Sizes
Coffee grinding offers a spectrum of possibilities, ranging from coarse to fine, with each grind serving a distinct purpose. For the perfect French press coffee, a coarse grind is the ideal choice. Similarly, cold brew enthusiasts also favor a coarse grind, but the pinnacle of cold brew perfection is achieved with an extra coarse grind. This texture not only aids in eliminating sediment in both French press and cold brew concoctions but also facilitates a thorough extraction of flavors, resulting in a rich and satisfying cup. As you embark on your coffee journey, trust your taste buds to be the compass guiding you towards the grind that resonates best with your palate.
When it comes to coffee grinders, the ones we recommend excel across the entire spectrum, from fine to extra coarse. This versatility ensures that you’re not confined to a specific grind for French press or cold brew coffee. Whether you opt for an electric coffee grinder or a manual coffee mill, rest assured that you have the tools to explore the full range of coffee grinds, allowing you to tailor your brewing experience to your preferences.
Why Grind Coffee Fresh
Achieving the pinnacle of coffee excellence hinges on a delicate interplay of several crucial factors. The water quality, temperature, coffee grind size, and the timely consumption of freshly ground coffee all contribute to the symphony of flavors in your cup. As a natural product, coffee possesses a fleeting freshness that diminishes swiftly once ground. The intrinsic oils of coffee, vital for flavor, are susceptible to oxidation, leading to the development of undesirable and rancid notes if ground prematurely. The key to unlocking the full potential of your coffee lies in the art of grinding just before brewing—an essential step that ensures optimal extraction and preserves the richness of natural flavors. This meticulous approach not only mitigates the risk of overpowering bitterness and sourness but also imparts a silky smoothness to your coffee, elevating your brewing experience to a realm of unparalleled quality and taste.
Types of Coffee Grinders
Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
A burr coffee grinder uses two burrs that have an adjustable space between them. That space determines the size of the grind. A larger space makes more coarse coffee grounds. Setting the burrs closely together yields a fine grind. They produce very little heat from friction as the coffee drops into a receptacle once ground. Burr coffee mills are the preferred method for grinding coffee because of their consistent results. All of our recommended coffee grinders are the burr style.
Blade Coffee Grinder
A blade coffee grinder is basically a miniature blender. They use a blade that spins around to pulverize the coffee beans. It’s very difficult to get consistent grounds with these; some end up coarse, some end up finely ground. They also generate heat from the friction of constant contact between the blade and the coffee beans. None of our recommended coffee grinders are the blade style.
Manual or Electric Coffee Grinder
Coffee grinders come in manual as well as electric versions. Both are great and the choice of which to use depends entirely on your preference and usage. Manual grinders are great for smaller households. There are also portable manual grinders that are easy to take with you, whether you’re traveling via hotels, or camping in the woods.
Electric grinders are great for larger households and those that drink a lot of coffee daily. They’re also great for those with limited strength or mobility in their hands. Whichever you choose, we’re sure you’ll be happy with one of our choices.
Our Picks for Best Manual Coffee Grinder
The Hario uses ceramic burrs to grind the coffee beans. The ceramic burrs are easy to clean, don’t absorb flavors, and are incredibly durable. The grind is adjustable using preset steps from fine to coarse. This is the coffee grinder I personally use, and it’s consistently ground coffee for me for over 7 years. For me this is the best manual coffee grinder for cold brew and french press coffee.
This is a stainless steel grinder that uses ceramic burrs to grind the coffee. It has 36 preset grind settings. The craftsmanship is superb, this is a quality grinder through and through. The only drawback is its smaller capacity. The smaller capacity makes it ideal for travel however. This is the perfect coffee grinder to toss into an overnight bag or suitcase so you can enjoy excellent coffee on the go. Now I have great coffee whenever I travel.
Our Picks for Best Electric Coffee Grinder
A trusted name in coffee, Baratza’s countertop electric coffee grinder will make quick work of your coffee beans. The burrs are made of a hardened stainless steel. A great feature of the Baratza is the grinding mechanism is designed to be easily removed and replaced. There are an impressive 40 presets for grind size making this suitable for every type of coffee imaginable.
The Cuisinart also uses a stainless steel burr to grind coffee. This model has 18 preset grinds, but also a lever that lets you grind coffee from 4-18 cups. Like all electric grinders this one is on the loud side, but you only use it briefly to grind coffee. We think the Cuisinart is an excellent value for the features and convenience of a coffee grinder.
We hope you enjoy your coffee, french press style, cold brew, or any way that you like it.
Now that you have perfect coffee, bring it with you! Check out our picks for great Coffee Thermos.