Let’s be honest, who enjoys lining up for a coffee everyday? If you’re someone who enjoys brewing their own espresso and feel you can do better than your barista: start by grinding your own beans.
Your journey from coffee novice to french press connoisseur begins with freshly ground java in your drip, or espresso machine. Sit back with your favorite style of coffee while we outline what makes a good coffee grinder and then on to our picks.
- Our Top 5 Coffee Grinder Reviews
- Brewing Guide: Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
- Roundup: Best French Press Coffee Grinders – Manual and Electric
Our Top 5 Coffee Grinder Reviews
|Product||Comments||Price Guide||Our Rating||Our Review|
|Baratza Virtuoso||Want the best home grinder on the market? Look no further...||Premium||(5.0 / 5)||Click here|
|Breville||Perfect grind for espresso drinkers at a bargain price||Premium||(4.5 / 5)||Click here|
|Baratza Encore||Top rated entry level burr grinder. A great grind without a huge budget||Mid||(4.5 / 5)||Click here|
|Capresso Infinity||Best 'Bang for Buck' Espresso Grinder||Mid||(4.25 / 5)||Click here|
|Krups F203||Our top rated budget electric grinder. Under $20 it's a bargain||Low||(4.0 / 5)||Click here|
Although you extend the shelf life by freezing the ground beans this causes other problems effecting the taste of the brew. The next most important factor in the taste in your cup is in the grinding process.
Grinders are distinguished by a few factors, consistency, range of granularity, low-temperature operation and noise levels which they operate.
Your baseline grinder generates higher temperatures and coarser, irregular grinds — and sounds like a jumbo jet at full roar. A fine grind is essential to pulling an espresso shot that has the characteristic flavor and extracts the distinguishing essential oils that set apart good arabica from the foul coffee that your grandma serves. Consistency during the grinding process is also critical for replicating quality coffee, shot to shot.
Avoid spinning blades at all cost when picking a grinder. They chop your beans — you want a conical burr grinder that crushes and pulverizes the coffee to the required fineness.
French press style require coarser, the finest moondust for Turkish coffee, with espresso a few settings under the fineness.
Just like your coffee the exact cost and specs which you decide to spend are up to you — but here are a few great machines to start your research. Good luck and enjoy!
Baratza Virtuoso Review – Best Grinder for the Money
Baratza grinders are favorites in the prosumer range, and the Virtuoso model is your best option around the $200 bracket and it can handle every brew from espresso to French press. In fact it’s also our recommendation as the best grinder for producing consistent results with your french press. (link)
While the deadman switch, which forces users to continuously press the “grind” button, might be annoying for drip brewers, the professional-grade conical burrs and powerful 480W DC motor rotate at a relatively slow 450 RPM, which means the beans remain cool, and tasty.
For our readers who love a nice cup pressed coffee in the morning, make sure to read our french press guide section below. We’ve recommended the Virtuoso as the leading french press grinder currently available.
Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder
As our readers already now, we rate the Breville Espresso machine range very highly. It won’t come as a surprise that Breville also produce high-quality grinders.
Their BCG820BSSXL smart grinder not only produces a delicious grind consistently but is available at a great price.
This is a great value burr grinder for buyers who drink quality drip coffee and espresso at home. Espresso drinkers who use a bottomless filter basket or pressurized filter basket will love the 820XL.
Overall the 820XL provides a consistent grind across most of its 60 different settings. I could dial-in the Breville to my preferred brew in 5 minutes.
My only criticism is the grinder struggles on the coarser settings. I’d recommend French Press or Moka Pot drinkers look at buying the Baratza Virtuoso.
Breville grinders have always been known as noisy. Fortunately their 820XL unit is an improvement over the earlier Smart Grinder BCG800XL
The BCG820BSSXL Smart Grinder Pro requires regular cleaning by removing the bean hopper and upper grind burr. The chamber collects any residual beans and ground bean. Breville included a brush in the standard package for easy clean up. The exterior is stainless steel and high quality plastic which can be wiped with a damp cloth.
Underneath the bean hopper a small amount of grounds usually collects, which can be cleaned easily with the small brush.
International buyers located across Asia, Australian and NZ require the 220 volt version (110 volt unit is only for USA and Japan)
Capresso 560 Grinder Review – Great ‘Bang for Buck’
- Will grind fine enough to choke any espresso machine, without modification
- Good quality burrs
- Produces fairly consistent results
- Slow speed a big plus – no damage to beans and little static
- Easy to clean
- Timer is a silly add-on. On/off button would work better
- If grinds build up, grind gets coarser and you pollute your grounds with old stale coffee
- The bean hopper is fragile and is prone to breaking
Capresso’s Infinity 560 automatic burr grinder is even more affordable than others in its class. Usually priced under $100, the 560 includes a conical steel burr grinder at the top with a storage container for your beans waiting to be ground. There’s a handy grind catch at the bottom for the ground coffee to use later.
The Capresso is capable of producing a range of grinds from super-fine Espresso or Turkish coffee all the way up to the more coarse grinds. Upper compartments are easy to disassemble for cleaning, and the grinder has even been designed with pulse grinding functionality if that’s what you prefer.
Best of all a slow grind is available so your beans don’t over heat, and spoil the taste of your brew. The Infinity engineers have designed 16 individual grind settings, three separate colors, black, brushed silver, and stainless which will suit any kitchen decor. If you’re looking for a mid-range grinder, the 560 Infinity is a good unit to buy.
Baratza Encore Review
- Easy to set grind
- Includes a pulse button for on demand espresso grinding
- More accessories available online. eg: portafilter holder
- Consistent particle size
- Grinding can be slow on the finer grind settings (approx 1g/s on pour over size)
- Quite noisy, but name me a burr grinder that isn’t
- Burrs had imperfections
- The instruction manual included is very light on detail, however the online version is very helpful and can be found here: baratza.com
I’ve tested the Baratza Encore grinder extensively at home and it’s one of the best entry level burr grinders that I’ve ever used. It’s simple to use, does a great job grinding coffee for just about every brewing method and is backed by the experts some at Baratza.
The Encore has been designed and built with the quality Baratza is famous for producing. It’s efficient motor keeps your beans cool during the grinding process, even when extended grind times are required. A combination of electric and gear speed reducers slows the burr to 450 RPM, ensuring a smooth bean feed and reducing noise, heat and static buildup.
Usually priced just above $130, look no further for the perfect coffee grinder.
Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder Review – Best Manual Grinder for Espresso
No frills but the Hario gets the job done. It’s cheap and it’s portable. However, it’s not going to meet the demands of espresso lovers or high volume coffee lovers. While it has adjustable conical ceramic burrs and is dishwasher safe, the settings are not marked.
It’s as slow or fast as your ability to manually turn the crank. Seeing the grinder is manual its great for taking away on vacation or picnic. You’ll get ground coffee suitable for a French Press or drip, anywhere. You’ll also get sore arms, just keep that in mind.
Krups F203 – Best Budget Grinder for Espresso
One of the best selling budget grinder’s in 2016. Not only can the Krup’s F203 grind your coffee beans, you can pop your favorite spices in before cooking fresh paprika or basil. Not bad for it’s really cheap price!
Brewing Guide: Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
How to Make Beautiful French Press Coffee
While not everyone is a fan of the French press, it’s one of the easiest methods of brewing your own coffee at home, and if you do it right, produces a great tasting cup of Joe.
As we mentioned in our home coffee guide, the single most important aspect of making great coffee is the grind quality. By avoiding these common mistakes you’ll be sure to get the best brew every time.
The beauty of a French press is its simplicity — grind your coffee, add hot water, and go. But even with an easy task, things can go wrong; despite its simplicity, brewing in a French press isn’t always easy.
Here are three common mistakes people make when brewing French press coffee.
1. Grind the Beans Properly.
When using a French press, you want your beans to have a coarse, even ground. Also don’t forget ground coffee spoils very quickly, usually after 2-3 days. So you’ll want freshly ground beans, produced from a high quality grinder.
You’ll know when the grounds are too fine or too coarse by pressing the filter down. If grounds are too fine, you’ll have a hard time pressing downwards. If you can push the filter with little resistance, then the grounds are too coarse.
2. Use the Correct Amount of Coffee.
The true art of making a delicious French press is the coffee-to-water ratio, and because you’re extracting, timing is important as well. A general rule of thumb for French press coffee is in the range of 1:10 coffee to water ratio: that is to say, 1 gram of coffee for 10 grams of water. This ratio varies according to your preferred taste, but most coffee drinkers find 1:10 is the sweetspot.
3. Remove Coffee from the French Press after Pressing.
If you leave your coffee in the French press after it has finished brewing, you’re probably going to drink bitter coffee. That’s because even though you’ve pushed down the plunger, the beans continue brewing.
You want to drink your coffee right away, so your best solution is to make the exact amount of coffee you’re planning to drink.
If you know you’re going to want more than one cup, and you don’t have the time to brew a new batch for your second round, brew a larger serving and after plunging, immediately pour the leftover coffee into a thermos so it remains warm.
Roundup: Best French Press Coffee Grinders – Manual and Electric
Baratza Virtuoso – Best Grinder for Making French Press
I use the coarse grind for my french press, the results are great even when it’s not on the coarsest setting.
In my opinion the leading coffee grinder for producing french press at home. Baratza Virtuoso grinds much coarser than 99% of machines on the market. While Baratza specialize in grinders specially for espresso, the Virtuoso includes Preciso burrs which are capable of coarse grinds, which is perfect for french press.
It’s easy to clean and capable of producing 50g of ground coffee in under 90 seconds.
Hario Skelton – Best Manual Grinder for French Press
I’ll be honest, if you want the consistent french press results an electric grinder is practically a must. But if your budget is limited, or you just really like manual grinders – there are more options.
For a low price the Hario Skelton uses an aggressive burr set that’s incredibly fast grinding at coarser settings. Just be aware – at finer settings it will take more turns (and more time). By itself the Hario will make a nice cup of french press, but the results can be inconsistent.
That’s why Orphan Espresso have created a modified bearing setup that takes 10 minutes to fit onto the Hario. So for around $50-60 dollars this manual grinder combo makes a great cup of french press every time.
Do you have any suggestions or feedback? Leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to reply.