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Best Coffee Grinder for French Press: Consistently Delicious

Gerard Paul
June 24th, 2020

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In a hurry? My pick for best coffee grinder for French Press coffee is the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

There's nothing quite like the smell of fresh coffee in the morning. True coffee aficionados, though, crave a whiff of freshly ground coffee beans a bit before that smell, ready to feed their french press coffee makers.

Coffee grinders are the heart of good french press coffee. I can't imagine making a cup of joe without one of these to grind down my personal choice of beans with immaculate consistency. 

If you're looking to pick up a french press coffee grinder for your home, this guide is precisely what you need.

Top Coffee Grinders for French Press Reviewed

French press coffee next to beans

Things You Need to Know Before You Choose the Coffee Grinder

There are a handful of factors to consider before you pick the grinder to match your coffee maker. We walk you through these details below.

Type

There are three general types of kitchen coffee grinders — burr, block, and blade grinders. Each of these offers different levels of consistency as you grind your beans. You can also split burr grinders into two categories — conical or flat burrs. Let's look at the differences.

Burr

Burr grinders are the top-shelf versions of coffee grinders. With a burr grinder, expect a consistent, repeatable grind for your cup of coffee. A burr grinder comprises two revolving surfaces with abrasions, or burrs, on them. 

You adjust the distance the burrs are apart to suit your preference, and beans are ground between them, a handful at a time. This allows you to achieve the desired consistency from the coffee beans.

You do have to pay a premium for these grinders, and they are easily the most expensive. You have two options to consider when picking out a burr grinder, too — conical or flat plate burrs.

Conical burrs are the ultimate grind. They have two heavy-duty cone-shaped burrs that use ridges on their surface to grind the beans. 

Flat plate burrs use identical and parallel rings with serrated edges to crush the coffee. Both these models have one stationary grinder and one grinder that's rotated using a motor. 

The grinder slowly draws the beans through, where they get crushed with remarkable consistency and precision. You will find conical burrs being used on low-speed gear reduction grinders, while they use flat burrs pretty much across the board.

Block

In terms of grind quality, block grinders are a bit below a flat burr, but superior to blade grinders. Block grinders should be your goto if you don't want to shell out for a burr grinder.

They offer a modest – yet admirable – level of consistency from your coffee bean.  

Blade

These are budget variations of coffee grinders and rely on the old-school method of grinding the beans using spinning or rotating blades. The consistency is relatively mediocre compared to the output of a burr grinder, but the cost of these models is modest.   

To be honest, they're often better used as a spice grinder...

Materials

There are two popular choices for the materials used in the production of coffee makers. These play a significant role in the overall durability and quality of the grinder, so let's learn more about them.

Ceramic

Ceramic grinders have a longer lifespan than their stainless steel counterparts and are also quite resistant to moisture and heat. However, they are delicate in unexpected falls, so you need to be careful when handling ceramic grinders.

The taste created by ceramic versions is also superior, offering a consistent blend every time you use the machine. If you're a coffee aficionado, opt for ceramic as it can produce a more traditional coffee. You will have to pay a premium for this option, though.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel grinders are far more durable in the long run, as stainless steel is extremely tough and resistant to sudden impacts. You don't have to worry about the blades rusting either as stainless steel components are resistant to corrosion.

However, heat can be quite damaging to stainless steel grinders, which is why they tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to ceramic versions. These products also tend to lose their sharpness a lot faster.

Usage

When it comes to operating coffee grinders, you have two options to consider.

Manual

You operate manual grinders using a hand crank. They are quiet, portable, and cost-efficient. They are also the ideal choice if you like to take your coffee on the road, as their overall size is generally quite small.

You do have to put in the effort to grind the beans using this method. You can look at this as a drawback or take pride in the fact that you made the grind yourself. 

Electric

Electric grinders are high-speed and efficient, allowing you to grind your coffee quickly with the press of a button. They can be fairly loud, though, and it is quite a chore to clean these machines thanks to a sizable amount of moving parts.

Review of the Top Four Coffee Grinders for French Press

After scouring the online world for the best coffee grinders, we've narrowed down our sights to these four incredible options presented below.

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza Encore is an award-winning grinder that is a popular choice for coffee experts around the world. If you're just starting your journey of making coffee at home, this has got to be your go-to pick thanks to its efficiency and ease of use.

It is an electric model with a front-mounted pulse button that allows you to begin the grinding process quickly, with no hassles. Baratza has made it using 1.57-inch commercial-grade conical burrs, and you will have access to 40 distinct grind settings to help you find your way to the ideal brew.

Pros: 

  • Made using 40 mm commercial-grade conical burrs.
  • Easy to use front-mounted pulse button.
  • Offers 40 different settings.

Cons: 

  • The machine runs reasonably loud.

Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

The Capresso 560.1 Infinity is a quality burr grinder that uses commercial-grade, solid steel conical burrs. Capresso has created these burrs using a unique design that allows for highly advanced grinding of coffee beans.

It also features a gear reduction motor system that helps grind the beans with minimal noise and helps preserve the aroma in every blend.

You can also make multiple cups of coffee using the large 8.8-ounce bean container and the 4-ounce ground coffee container. 

The beans are ground with the help of a powerful motor that operates at 120 volts and 60 hertz.

While most automatic grinders tend to be painful to clean, this model offers a more accessible alternative by allowing you to remove the upper burr so you can dive right into the thick of it.

Pros:

  • Advanced cutting design.
  • Made using commercial-grade solid steel conical burrs.
  • Gear reduction motor helps preserve the ground bean aroma.
  • Large capacity of 8.8 ounces.
  • Easy to clean.

Cons: 

  • Timer-style dial can be difficult to use for some.

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Setting

If you're looking for a budget selection that is also easy to use and produces a great coffee cup, you can't go wrong with the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder.

It features a built-in adjustable grind selector that allows you to pick between 18 settings to create the perfect coffee cup based on your preferences. 

This manually operated model is easy to use thanks to the removable hand crank mechanism. This feature also makes this model virtually noiseless and a cinch to clean.

Grinding in this device occurs with a patented ceramic combo burr that claims to last five times longer than similar stainless steel products.

Pros: 

  • 18 adjustable settings.
  • Removable hand crank mechanism.
  • Easy to clean.
  • Noiseless.
  • Quality ceramic combo burrs.

Cons: 

  • Ceramic replacement can be hard to find.

Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel manual grinder is perfect for those who love the grind of it all! This model by Porlex is exceptionally portable, making it the perfect choice for travelers and those who like their coffee on the road.

It features ceramic conical burrs that can create a wide range of outputs ranging from powder to french press. It has a smaller capacity than most similar products at 20 grams, but this is precisely what makes this model portable.

Its portability is excellent, thanks to the compact dimensions of 5.12 inches in height and the diameter of 1.85 inches.

Porlex makes the body of this model using stainless steel, which provides a tough exterior to protect the ceramic blades within.

Pros: 

  • Highly portable with a height of only 130 mm.
  • Exterior made using stainless steel.
  • Runs on ceramic conical burrs.

Cons: 

  • Some users reported a relatively short lifespan.

The Final Press

French press remains one of the most popular ways to make coffee around the world, and it is a process that's incomplete without a quality coffee grinder.

If you had to settle for only one product out of the four listed in our selection above, I'd urge you to consider the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

With its 40 distinct settings, it offers options for every type of coffee drinker. A beginner can make a great brew with the press of a button, while an expert can fine-tune the grinding process to create the ideal blend.

Gerard Paul
Prolific eater and founder of ManyEats.

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