The Grind: Best Coffee Grinders for French Press and Cold Brew

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Top Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew and French Press

Freshly ground coffee makes the best tasting coffee. Aromatic compounds are preserved and the natural oils in the coffee beans are intact and not oxidized. French press and cold brew both make an exceptional cup of coffee, and are the two methods I use the most at home. French press and cold brew coffee both use a more coarse grind of coffee. Cold brew uses an extra coarse grind, while french press uses a coarse grind. Coarse ground coffee is about the size of kosher salt crystals.

Coffee Grind Sizes

Coffee can be ground anywhere from coarse to fine. Each grind has its own uses. Best grind for french press coffee is a coarse grind. Cold brew also uses a coarse grind, but the best grind for cold brew is an extra coarse grind. A coarse grind helps eliminate sediment in your french press and cold brew coffee while allowing the flavors to extract. Ultimately let your taste be your guide.

All of the grinders we recommend excel at grinding coffee from fine to extra coarse, so you won’t be limited to using one of these exclusively for french press or cold brew coffee. If you’re looking for an electric coffee grinder or a manual coffee mill we’ve got you covered.

Why Grind Coffee Fresh

The quality of your coffee depends on a few factors. Water quality, water temperature, coffee grind size, and freshness of coffee. Coffee is a natural product, and can quickly lose freshness once ground. Coffee’s natural oils can oxidize and develop off and rancid flavors if ground long before brewing. By grinding coffee beans right before brewing you get the best quality extraction for the maximum flavor. Overly bitter and sour notes are reduced and you get a smoother coffee.

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 prefered 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

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill

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.

Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill

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Manual Portable Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

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.

Portable stainless steel coffee grinder for cold brew and french press

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Our Picks for Best Electric Coffee Grinder

Baratza Encore Conical Burr 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. 

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

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Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

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.

Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

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We hope you enjoy your coffee, french press style, cold brew, or any way that you enjoy. 


Now that you have perfect coffee, bring it with you! Check out our picks for great thermoses.