Among a number of methods for brewing coffee, French press seems the easiest and quick. That’s true, you just have to get a good French press and do the brewing. However, this method requires some precise details to be taken care of, things like the temperature of the water, roast and size of the beans, and the brew time. If you get these things aligned, the coffee you brew will no doubt be perfect.
Type, quality and grind of the beans is what you should be more focused on because french press is all about how the coffee beans are, there is a very little role of other things. This is why you need to focus on the best coffee grinder for French press. To some people, grinding might seem just a process of crushing the beans, but there is a lot more to it. The way you grind beans and the size you choose changes a lot. These are some of the best grinders for French press coffee and there’s a lot of information to cover below, only then you will be able to get your hands on a good coffee grinder.
Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
Role of Coffee Grinder in French Press Method
As mentioned in the very start, you need to take care of certain things and only then you will be able to brew a perfect cup of coffee using French press. Of all, the very first thing, of course, is to get the perfect coffee beans for french press, then comes grinding and brewing. Once you have chosen the beans, the grinding part is of utter importance. Because grinding isn’t just crushing or chopping the beans, if done wrong it can spoil your coffee and if done right, it will give you the best coffee you’ve ever had.
Size of the Grind
For French press method, the size of the coffee grounds is of utmost importance. The best grind size for French press is medium to coarse. Every person has a different taste and every time you may not have the same beans or the same water temperature. For this reason, relying on the grind size is important. If you get yourself a coffee grinder, you’ll be able to sort out what size produces a taste that you like the most.
Fine grind size is of no use for French press brewing method. The immersion does not take place properly because of the lower surface area. In addition, there is a good chance that a certain amount of coffee grounds will pass through the mesh if they are too fine. A medium or coarse grind size allows maximum surface area contact, and due to this, the hot water is able to extract more flavor from the grounds. For for this very reason, you can not rely on pre-ground coffee, because it is a fine grind mostly. So going for a grinder which is best known for its medium and above grind sizes is a good idea.
In addition to the grind size, it is important that all the particles of the coffee grounds are alike in size. Uniformity brews the coffee the way you want it to be. If the coffee grounds are uneven, there is a chance that the final coffee will either be too strong or too weak. Now uniformity is totally related to the blade or burr used inside the coffee grinder. Burr grinders are known for even grind size, but when it comes to blade grinders, not all of them are good with getting you an even grind.
Preservation of Oil and Flavors
No one wants their coffee beans and grounds to lose taste or flavor. Well, some grinders might result in coffee grounds losing the actual flavor or aroma. Mostly, when it comes to blade coffee grinders, they might cause this issue. In some cases, the blade rotates at high speed which causes the coffee beans to burn. This causes loss of flavor and a burnt taste in your final coffee.
French press method usually requires 3 – 4 minutes for proper brewing. Now time, grind size and taste are related to each other. Suppose you use fine coffee grounds in a French press, because of immersion the taste and flavors won’t come out easily but your coffee will taste bitter. On the contrary, if a medium or coarse grind is used, the flavors will be properly extracted and within 3 – 4 minutes you will get a rich coffee. Ultimately, proper coarse grounds will get you that lovely cup of coffee.
Best Grinder for French Press Coffee (Reviews)
1. Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder (Stainless Steel)
CONS: Power and timer in same button
Capresso Infinity is a widely used coffee grinder, it has a big number of positive reviews from experts and users. And the coarse grind of it is considered best for French press. OK, starting with the design, it is not too big, so it won’t be occupying a lot on the countertop. Also, the design is good which makes it suitable to be placed anywhere, it will be a nice addition to your kitchen appliances. One main reason based on which it becomes the best electric coffee grinder for French press, is the slow speed of crushing beans. This stops the burr from heating and the flavor is intact.
You get to choose both, grind size and time for grinding in this coffee grinder. You get 4 different grind brackets (extra-fine, fine, medium and coarse), each of which further has 4 more grind sizes, this makes it a total of 16 grind sizes. You can change the grind size by rotating the bean hopper left or right. For timer, you can choose anywhere from 5 seconds to 60 seconds, based on the amount of beans you want to crush. The bean hopper on the top is transparent and can hold up to 8.5 ounces of beans at a time. More, it has a safety lock which makes sure the grinder won’t start unless the bean container is locked in.
The coffee grounds container at the lower front is transparent as well. There is a max marking on it, which is reached when there are 4 ounces of grounds in it. This marking should not be crossed for good performance of the grinder. Overall, it is a nice choice for grinding beans which are supposed to be used for French press. And talking about its price, among electric coffee grinders with such good features, it falls on the budget side.
2. Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
With its unique modern design, easy of use and good features, the Sboly coffee grinder pops up as one of the best coffee grinder for French Press. All you need in coffee grounds for French Press is the proper size and uniformity of the size, and so this coffee grinder here is a beast in it. The reason Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder has a lot of happy users is because of the quality it applies to the grinding process. And we all know, there is nothing better than fresh, uniform coffee grounds.
From coarse to extra fine, the Sboly Conical Burr Coffee Grinder allows you to choose from a range of 19 different grind sizes which is cool. Since we know that anywhere between medium to coarse is what we use for French Press, so you can easily find your most likes setting and then keep on using it. Also, the grinder lets you choose the amount of beans to grind unlike cheap ones which only grinds a specific amount.
Now as mentioned it is a conical burr, this means the quality of grind will be amazing. Also the design and looks are amazing, but this also takes the price up. One might not like to invest this much in a grinder but honestly it is worth it. So, if you are a coffee lover and want that best cup of coffee in the morning then you need to invest in a good grinder which make the taste and your day even better.
3. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
CONS: Loose hopper lid
Bodum is considered to be one of the best burr coffee grinder for French press when it comes to style and design. It is designed perfectly, occupies very little space and looks fancy on the countertop. Inside, it uses a steel burr which is very solid and its grind performance is good too. You get to choose from 12 different grind sizes and on the way, you will see icons on top which are drip, espresso and French press. These icons are the recommended grind sizes for each type, but you can always alter and choose among any of the 12 available options.
The bean hopper on the top can accommodate up t 7.75 ounces of beans and the lid of it is made of plastic. You may not like the fact that the lid is not a very tight one and therefore you should nor be keeping your beans there unless you want to grind them. The bottom container for coffee grounds is made of glass and has a rubber lid with an opening in the center, this is where the coffee grounds are dropped into it. Overall, it assures that not coffee grounds fly around.
There is an ON/OFF button on the side of the machine which allows current to it. Then on the top is a power button and a circular dial for setting the time. You can choose anywhere between 5 – 20 seconds. So yes, the grinding speed of this coffee grinder is good. About the price, it costs in the upper 90s which makes it an average price for good coffee grinders because many others with the same features are way too expensive.
4. JavaPresse Adjustable Manual Coffee Grinder
CONS: Low hopper capacity
JavaPresse has been able to design an elegant and best hand coffee grinder for French press. It looks pretty stylish, the design is simple yet effective and most of all, it is cheap. Yes, if you are looking for a budget coffee grinder, this is the one. It is made of all stainless steel and the construction is pretty good. It comes with a handle that does not permanently attach to the grinder, you only have to hook it when in use. Below this is the lid and by removing the lid you will enter the bean hopper where there is a burr. Below the burr is another chamber which holds the coffee grounds in it.
The burr here also offers you to adjust the grind size, you can choose anywhere from 18 different settings and the sizes are pretty precise. On the outer side of the burr, there is a scroll which by rotating changes the grind size. If you rotate it to the left, the grind size becomes coarse and by going to right it gets fine. The hopper can accommodate up to 35 grams of beans at a time, this is low capacity but the price of the grinder is low too.
Overall, it is easy to use, does not produce a lot of noise and is cheap as well. The only thing one may not like is that the amount it can grind at a time is very small and you’ll have to put some force into it too, of course, this is because it is a manual one. Other than this, it is best for French press sort of grind and the burr inside it is pretty effective.
5. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
CONS: Finest grind throws whole pieces
Here comes another grinder that is known best for entry-level use. It is nicely designed, has multiple ways of starting it and overall performance is average. Speaking of the design, it is very sleek. It won’t be occupying a lot of space on the countertop. The bean hopper on it is semi-transparent and allows you add up to 8 ounces of beans which equals half a pound.
You can adjust the grind size anywhere between 1 to 40, where 1 is the finest grind and 40 the most coarse. The grinding performance is not ultimately at the top. If you go for a very fine grind, it starts throwing big pieces of coffee beans into it. And the coarse grind is a little on the uneven side. The good thing about it, based on which people choose it a wide range of grind sizes. So, among 40 grind sizes, it is obvious that you’ll find yourself the perfect size.
On the side of it is a circular dial using which you can set the time and turn it ON. But you also get a button on the front of this grinder, it is a press and hold button. When you press the button the grinder starts and it shuts OFF as soon as you leave the button. The price of it is good, not too expensive and it proves to best for entry-level purposes.
6. OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
CONS: Tall for most countertops
OXO BREW conical burr grinder is the final thing we have here. It is mostly made of plastic and stainless steel. The hopper it gets is a bigger one than many and can accommodate up to 0.75 pounds of coffee beans in it. This might even be the reason why this coffee grinder is tall. Speaking of the burr, it is hardened steel and the grinding results of it are pretty good. The hopper has a lock mechanism using which you can lock the beans from getting in and remove the hopper.
The coffee grounds container is also made of stainless-steel with lid on it. It is nicely air-tight and you can store coffee beans for a longer period without any worries. The adjustment option allows you to choose anywhere between 1 – 15 grind sizes. And to be honest, the coarse grind size of it is pretty good for French press. On the front of it, lies a circular dial where you can set the time up to a maximum of 30 seconds. And the mid of this dial is the power button.
It’s a nice-looking coffee grinder and is from OXO which means it is a quality build. The price of it is pretty justifiable, $100 is considered to be an average price for good coffee grinders. And despite a lower price you get good results along with grind adjustment options. One thing you should seek out in advance is that it is taller compared to other grinders, so make sure it will make its place wherever you will be placing it.
Choosing the Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
There’s a number of things which you need to consider in order to choose the best coffee grinder for French press. A little knowledge of these factors will help you a lot.
The size of the particles of coffee grounds needs to be even. An uneven grind will destroy the coffee. Consistency matters a lot and it can be achieved if you go for a good grinder. In most cases a burr grinder will always give you a consistent grind, whereas, a blade grinder will not always have same results. So you should try to stick to a burr grinder.
Manual vs Electric
Coffee grinders can be both electric or manual, and both of these have their own pros and cons. Manual coffee makers are most of the time cheap, but their performance is limited. It will take longer to grind the beans, you will have to sweat yourself a little and controlling the size of the grind is something not desirable in manual grinders. On the other side, an electric coffee grinder does the grinding quickly, the results are always good and they offer you precise grind size adjustment. But there is no doubt about the fact that they are expensive compared to manual grinders.
Burr vs Blade
The way beans are crushed inside a coffee grinder will either be a burr or a blade. A blade coffee grinder does not offer a size adjustment option and is not able to grind evenly. But the good thing here is that blade grinders are quick and cheap. So if you prefer saving money over the taste of coffee then a blade grinder is what you should be going for.
Whereas, a burr grinder gets you the best grinding results. The size of coffee grounds is always even and it also offers you size adjustment option. But truth behold, they are expensive and they take longer for grinding the beans. And for this reason, a burr grinder is always preferred for French press because you will be needing the option for altering the grind size.
Stainless-steel vs Ceramic
The burr inside a coffee grinder can be either ceramic or stainless steel. Both are good in their own way, but those with ceramic burr may cost a bit higher. The thing is that ceramic burr will work for longer, its sharpness will not fade and it does not get heated during the process, as a result the flavor, oil and aroma are totally preserved. Steel burrs on the other side are durable as well and are much sharper compared to ceramic (initially), but it dulls with time. And steel gets heated during the process which somehow spoils the oils and flavor of coffee a little bit.
One important thing which a grinder for French press must-have is the grind size control. This feature, no doubt, takes the price higher but is useful. You will have to change the grind size every now and then for reasons like changing coffee beans or maybe using a different brewing method. If this feature is absent, you will be stuck to a single grind size forever.
Most of all, the coffee grinder you use should be easy to clean and maintain. You will have to clean the burr and the compartment where the coffee grounds are caught. For this, the disassembling and assembling of the grinder should be easy.
Size of the Grinder
Finally, the dimensions of the coffee grinders matter for some people. See, you may already have many important things like coffee maker, microwave oven etc. at the countertop. Your grinder should not make it any more difficult for you. Make sure, the coffee grinder you go for is not too wide and heavy. It has very limited use (a minute or under) and therefore should be compact in nature.
Medium to coarse coffee ground which is uniform and the oils are preserved in it is very important for French press method. Make sure the coffee grinder you buy for French press has all these qualities in it. Additionally, a burr grinder will always beat a blade grinder in performance, this is why the burr type is preferred. Good Luck with finding the best coffee grinder for French press.