The most common question I hear when discussing coffee grinders for French Press is, why do I need the best? After all, there are many quality grinders to choose from that can get the job done.
In short, if you want a perfectly balanced cup of joe, you need the best burr grinder available. And given all the choices out there, it’s easy to wind up with a coffee grinder that doesn’t deliver.
Take it from me. As a geek from Coffee Gear Lab, I’ve researched most of the grinders on the market. And I’ve put together this post to make it easier for you to find your best option.
What Is a Conical Burr Grinder? And How Is It Different From Other Coffee Grinders?
The conical burr grinder gives you the most flavorful and aromatic cup of coffee. This is because the conical grinder works more slowly than other grinders. In so doing, it grinds your coffee beans with greater consistency and better preserves the oils and aromas contained in the beans.
What’s the best grind size for French Press coffee?
In order to make the best French Press, you need to grind the beans so that they are coarse, but not too coarse. If it’s too coarse, you will get a weak cup of coffee because much of the flavor will remain trapped.
But if you grind it up too finely, when you brew the coffee it will accumulate in your mesh filter and clog it up. You don’t want to deal with a clogged filter because it’s harder to press and causes coffee spills and even breakages. And worse, the extra resistance could make the mesh filter rip open and flood your cup of coffee with a mass of coffee grind.
In addition, if your grind is too fine it will sneak through the mesh filter and saturate your cup of coffee, even if the mesh doesn’t rip open. On top of being annoying, this will make your coffee brew overtime and taste bitter.
The key is to make it just coarse enough so that the coffee grind gets completely caught by the mesh filter when you brew the coffee and you are able to capture the most flavor. In order to attain this with many quality grinders, just set it to medium or higher, or select something above the drip setting.
So let’s get to my list of the best burr grinders.
Best Burr Grinders For French Press
|#1||Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder|
|#2||Rancilio Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder|
|#3||Baratza 586 Virtuoso Coffee Grinder|
|#4||Capresso 560.01 Burr Grinder|
|#5||JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder|
#1 Mazzer Mini Espresso Grinder
Simply put, this is the very best coffee grinder for home use on the market, both for French Press, and for anything else.
The Mazzer Mini is a serious commercial grinder, but it’s small enough for home use. It’s built like a tank, and every component is robust and replaceable. This machine is designed to last a lifetime.
Though it’s perfect for French Press, it was designed with espresso in mind and features a doser on the front that dispenses coffee in single-shot amounts. But you can simply adjust the dosing mechanism to control how much coffee comes out every time.
As for grinding, with the Mazzer Mini you will get a uniform grind. It has stepless adjustment, so you simply twist right or left to determine how coarse you want it.
Considering how many people have upgraded from the Rancilo Rocky to the Mazzer Mini, feel free to skip the next item on my list and go ahead and order the Mazzer Mini.
#2 Rancilio HSD-ROC-SD Rocky Espresso Coffee Grinder
This is more low-end as far as commercial grinders go, and it offers incredible value. It is one of the top grinders available for home use, and its price cannot be beat for such high quality. On top of this, the Rancillo comes with a 2-year warranty.
It is a well-built machine that contains little plastic and stays firmly planted on your kitchen counter.
As with the Mazzer Mini, the Rancillo was designed with espresso in mind and therefore does not offer a particularly coarse grind. But remember, to make the best French Press you only want it to be coarse enough, and you can achieve this delicate balance by setting the Rancillo to 25-30 on its 55 notch settings.
This grinder operates a little differently than other models in that it requires you to collect the grounds by placing a cup underneath the spout. You set the process in motion by holding a switch – simple and elegant.
While the Rancillo is a fine product, it has its flaws. The hopper is tinted to keep the beans fresh, but it isn’t airtight. It also leaves some leftover grounds. But don’t let this hold you back. Since the beans do not travel very far, most of them can be removed just by tapping the sides or inserting a curved brush through the spout and into the machine.
#3 Baratza 586 Virtuoso Coffee Grinder
The Baratza Virtuoso is one of my favorite choices. It has a metal casing which makes it heavy, solid, and stable. And yet it can easily be removed and cleaned, no hassle.
This machine features 40 different grind settings, affording you a wide array of choices. You can make it fine enough for Turkish and espresso or keep it sufficiently coarse for French Press and drip. In addition, you can easily switch the settings while you are brewing your coffee. With the Baratza Virtuoso, you will get a consistently good grind for most brewing methods. And it is refreshingly easy to use, even if you’re a newbie to brewing.
Any confusion or problems? Head right over to the Baratza web site for detailed instructions on how to re-calibrate the grinder to ensure it works smoothly.
#4 Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder
If you’re on a budget, this is your best bet from the bunch, and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
The Capresso most consistently delivers an adequately coarse grind compared with anything you will find in this price range. It’s a conical burr grinder and has a high torque, low-speed motor. These mechanisms preserve the beans’ flavor by keeping them cool. You will find no such combination of components in other grinders in this price range.
The Capresso also boasts an 8-½ ounce box to catch your grounds, so fear not if you wish to make larger French Presses.
Though a great deal, the Capresso is not perfect. After you use it there will usually be a good deal of grind left in the chamber. You can dislodge some of it by simply tapping and shaking, but if you want a great fresh brew every time you will need to clean the chamber after each use. But don’t worry, it only takes a few minutes.
Personal tips: out of all 16 settings, set it at 13. Also, as you open the grinder container you might find some grounds flying across your counter due to static. This is standard for grinders at this price range. To reduce this, just tap the sides, this will knock the grind back to where the bulk of the residue lies, and so less will pop out when you open it.
#5 JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
This nifty little gadget is a pleasure to use. At a mere $25, this impressive little baby outperforms far more expensive blade grinders. It is gorgeous, and the stainless steel look will make you want to bring it with you wherever you go.
But it really belongs in your kitchen. And it can only be described as the French Press soul mate. To be clear, this is not the right product if you’re looking for an espresso maker or a standard drip machine. But when it comes to French Press it will deliver just the right coarseness of grind. So long as you don’t mind putting in a little effort, this manual grinder is fun to use.
5 Things You Should Consider Before Choosing A Best Coffee Grinder For French Press
To make the best cup of coffee, you need a machine that will consistently grind up the coffee beans so that all the grains come out in the same size.
Cheaper grinders usually fail on this count. For example, blade mills, which are typically found in cheaper grinders, use fast spinning blades that indiscriminately cut through any beans in its path. This approach will leave you with uneven grains.
The burr grinder, on the other hand, methodically and evenly crushes beans with a high-torque, low-speed mechanism. It also generates little heat, which preserves the coffee’s aroma.
But not all burr grinders are created equal. Some are more geared towards fine grains and espressos, while others are designed to make a killer French Press with coarse grains. And some can’t get the job done altogether, since they produce an uneven grind.
The noise comes from two sources—the burr and the motor. The burr makes noise as it grinds the coffee beans, and the motor loudly rotates. The lower the speed at which the burr grinds and the motor rotates, the less noise. When it comes to noise, manual coffee grinders are your best choice.
The process of grinding up beans causes static to build up in the grains, which can consequently come flying out at you when you open the chamber to pour the coffee into your cup. The more high-end models are built to reduce or eliminate this unpleasantness.
With some grinders there will be grains leftover in the chamber after use. If you seek a great cup of joe you are advised to avoid reusing leftovers.
Keeping you grinder clean is essential to maintaining top grind quality and protecting the interior of the machine from damage. The cleaner your grinder, the longer it will last. For this reason it is advisable to find a grinder that can easily be removed.
We have a post listing Best Burr Grinders of 2018, check it out.