A Closer Look at the 5 Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
A cup of freshly-brewed coffee is definitely the best way to start your day. There’s something about the aroma and taste of coffee that seems to brighten your day and set things straight. And if you’re looking for the best French press coffee experience, you ought to look for the perfect coffee grinder.
Coffee grinders come with all sorts of bells and whistles. Some let you fine tune how coarse or fine the coffee grounds would be so you can switch between various brewing methods. But what seems to be a common favorite brewing style among coffee lovers is the French press.
However, it can be tricky to make the perfect French press coffee. You need to come up with a type of brew that’s a little denser than regular drip coffee but lighter than espresso. The result is a medium-bodied coffee that’s of just the right strength and flavor. With that said, you need to make sure of the consistency and quality of coffee grounds to make the perfect cup of French press coffee each time.
French press refers to a precise method of brewing coffee. The idea is to place ground coffee and hot water into a glass cylinder. The cylinder pairs up with a meshed plunger that slowly presses the grounds into the bottom. The plunger replaces the filter paper that other brewing methods utilize.
What the whole set up intends to do is to keep the coarse grounds below the plunger and let them extract as they diffuse with hot water. Little particulates of coffee grounds called “fines” can float over the mesh, but you should keep the coarse grounds below the mesh to allow a full-fledged extraction process. This gives your French press coffee a rich and bodied flavor.
There are a few known secrets to making the perfect cup of French press coffee.
- First, you need to have the right water temperature. Water that’s too hot can burn the coffee grounds and produce a bitter-tasting coffee. Water that’s slightly cooled down will under-extract the coffee grounds and make a weak coffee. So to get just the right water temperature, bring the water to a boil and let it sit for a minute. Then pour water over your coffee grounds.
- Another key to an excellent cup of French press coffee is a great coffee grinder that can make coarse grinds out of your coffee beans. The consistency of the grounds is always a primary concern when brewing coffee, more so if you’re making French press coffee. You want grounds that are coarse enough to sit below the meshed plunger while it brews.
At this point, you need a burr grinder to consistently turn coffee beans to the right ‘coarseness’ or ‘fineness.’ A blade grinder can do the job, but it won’t produce the right grind. As a result, your coffee will turn out murky with floating sediments. Meanwhile, a burr grinder will grind the beans to the uniform sizes, and the grounds will extract at the right speed and strength.
- Lastly, you have to time the whole process carefully. Let the coffee steep for 3-4 minutes. It should come out evenly-extracted and just the right strength. The coffee should have cooled down a little that you can already drink without burning your tongue.
Instrumental to all your future coffee-making endeavors is the best coffee grinder for French press. Different coffee grinders come with various features. If you don’t know what you’re looking for, the options could get overwhelming fast.
There are cheaper coffee grinders out there, but you’ll also find high-end ones amounting to a several hundred dollars. You should be able to find a decent entry-level coffee grinder with a French press capability for $50 to a more luxurious one for around $500.
But apart from the price, you also need to look at all the features of the grinder to determine if it’s worth your money and attention.
Electric vs. Manual Coffee Grinder
Both electric and manual coffee grinders for French press their respective merits and drawbacks.
You’d want a manual coffee grinder if you’re low on budget and don’t mind giving your arms some workout while grinding the beans. Manual coffee grinders produce excellent grind results with lesser static.
Electric grinders, on the other hand, are more convenient. You can start grinding coffee at the touch of a button. But electric grinders tend to be more expensive than hand-held ones. They’re also difficult to clean because they produce static.
Consistency is one of the most important considerations when selecting a coffee grinder. You want the perfect French press each time, and this is only possible if your grinder performs consistently over time.
One of the most telling signs of consistency is the type of grinder in your device. Blade grinders are cheaper and efficient, but they don’t create consistent grinds. Instead, consider investing in a burr grinder. This type of grinder will grind your beans in uniform sizes and produce the same great-tasting cup of coffee each time.
Static can be such a nuisance when you’re brewing your coffee since it can make cleaning more difficult. Electric grinders typically produce more static than manual ones. Pick a brand and model that produces the least amount of static if you intend to purchase an electric grinder. Or, just opt for hand-held grinder instead since it can work just as great as electric ones but produce less static.
A sturdily-built coffee grinder promises years of consistent performance. You want one that’s durable enough to stand your coffee brewing needs. Consider the type of grinder, the material used and its motor capacity.
As already mentioned, burr grinder may be more expensive, but they also churn out consistently ground coffee each time. Ceramic looks nicer than steel, but it can also be more prone to breakage. Steel is much easier to replace and replace. It’s always ideal to pick a grinder with lower motor speed, but the price comes as a trade-off.
A great coffee grinder should be easy to clean. Uncleaned leftover grounds left on the previous brewing can have a profound impact on the coffee’s taste. Look for grinders that can quickly expel most of the coffee grounds each brewing session to make cleanup easier.
Lastly, you need to consider how much you’re willing to shell out for a coffee grinder. Manual coffee grinders can cost as little as $20 but expect electric grinders to cost more. Burr grinders also cost more than blade grinders. If you’re quite a coffee lover and regard the coffee grinder as an investment, it’s better to pick one that can serve your needs and will last a long time.
There are numerous options for a coffee grinder for French press in the market nowadays. We’ve rounded up five of the best so you can quickly narrow down your choices and hopefully aid you in making the best purchase.
The Capresso Infinity burr grinder is an electric coffee grinder that can produce coffee grounds with four levels of fineness. This makes it easy to make various blends of coffee from Turkish, French press and espresso. It comes with a precision grinding feature so you can easily pick how fine or coarse you want the grounds to be. Lastly, the 100-watt motor with 450 RPM helps reduce static and heat during the grinding process.
- It is one of the most affordably-priced electric burr coffee grinder for French press.
- The grinder comes with an 8.5-oz bean hopper.
- The ground container can hold up to 4 oz of ground coffee.
- The 16 grind settings allow you to grind coffee for various brewing methods.
- The initial assembly can be difficult.
- It doesn’t expel all the coffee grounds and may take more time to clean.
The Baratza Virtuoso is a coffee grinder armed with a DC motor that runs at 450 RPM which powers the 40mm conical burrs for a uniform grind. This allows the coffee grinder to grind coffee beans with lesser noise, heat, and static. It also comes with 40 grind settings so you can easily choose a grind level fitting for your coffee needs, ranging from French press to espresso. Lastly, the Baratza Virtuoso takes pride in its ability to grind in various sizes, from 250-1200 microns.
- It is made of a metal base and top for a sturdy construction and modern look.
- The plastic parts help reduce/eliminate static.
- The grinder provides uniform and consistent grinds perfect for different brewing methods.
- The timer knob tends to fall off into the counter.
- The bean hopper is difficult to remove and hence tricky to clean.
The Zassenhaus Santiago is a manual coffee grinder made from mahogany hardwood. It is equipped with a bean chamber inside the grinder which feeds the burrs as you grind. The grinder can also impressively churn out various levels of fineness, including grinds for French press, drip and even espresso. Sturdy, solid with a vintage look to it, this Zassenhaus coffee grinder can be a great investment for both its look and functionality.
- This hand-held coffee grinder is made of hardwood mahogany making it durable yet a beautiful in your kitchen counter.
- The burrs are easy to adjust according to the desired fineness.
- The grinder produces uniform and consistent grinds.
- It comes with a 25-year guarantee.
- It is designed as knee mill grinder which some people find quite unsteady when inserted between their knees as they grind.
The Porlex JP-30 is a manual coffee grinder that produces outstandingly consistent and uniform consistent coffee grounds. You only need to adjust a small nut to set the grind level, whether you want a single serve of espresso or a hot cup of French press. The ceramic burrs and stainless steel body ensure that it stays durable and static-free.
- It costs an affordable $50 which easily makes it one of the most competitively-priced coffee grinders of the same models.
- The grinder comes with ceramic conical burrs that grind coffee beans to impressively uniform sizes.
- Adjusting the grind level using the nut can be quite tricky initially.
The Breville Dose Control is a moderately-priced coffee grinder that provides top notch grinding performance. It is an electric coffee grinder with stainless steel conical burrs which grind consistently while retaining the oils and expelling heat. The grinder also has a generous 60-setting grind level so you can easily switch in fineness of grind in between brews. It is also equipped with an electronic timer to get consistent grind results each time.
- It is competitively-priced for a grinder offering such excellent features.
- The 60-grind setting allows you to quickly switch grind level in between brews with a touch of a button.
- It also has a larger coffee bean capacity of 12 oz which makes it easier to store and transfer coffee beans as needed.
- The body is made of plastic which can feel less sturdy than other stainless steel coffee grinders.
All five coffee grinders are great devices providing consistent results with less static and heat. However, there is one grinder that stood out among them all: the Baratza Virtuoso.
The Baratza Virtuoso may be the most expensive coffee grinder in this list, but its features and construction do make up for its price. The professional grade conical burrs produce consistent grinds all the time. Equipped with a powerful motor for a uniform grind and impressively durable construction, the Baratza Virtuoso proves to be well worth the splurge.