Best coffee grinder for french press in 2020 – Our Top 7 Picks

Regardless of how you like your fresh cup of coffee, you need the right grinder to pair with the extraction method.

If you’re using a french press, you won’t have the (auto) griding luxury of a fully automatic espresso machine. Instead, you will need to do the grinding yourself and ensure the correct consistency for the perfect brew.

Coffee grinders come a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean you should casually choose the first one you come across.

In this guide, I’ll tell you what you need to know to pick the best coffee grinder for French press coffee. But, If you’re in a rush here’s our top pick for a quick glance:

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Alternatives at a glance

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Best Coffee Grinders for French Press Coffee

Below we run through the best grinders for french press coffee out there and give you a heads up on the pros and cons of each.

Determining which one is right for you when shopping for a coffee grinder, depends on a variety of factors which we’ve outlined in our buyers guide towards the end.

You can find our top seven picks on the market below. We’re confident that you’ll find the best coffee grinder for French press coffee on this list.

1. Baratza Encore

Our top pick and for good reason, the encore is the perfect all-rounder for any beginner wanting to brew the freshest cup of joe.

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PROS (+)

  • Beginner-friendly
  • Slow 550 RPM grind
  • Works exceptionally well for French Press
  • Quieter than average

CONS (-)

  • Pricey
  • Needs regular cleaning
  • Lacks advanced features

Having picked this up last year, I’ve been really pleased with its versatility. Yes, it’s more expensive than others but it’s well worth it!

Its high torque motor spins the stainless steel conical burr blades at 550 RPM. It’s ability to grind consistently at a relatively slower speed gives it an edge when it comes to delivering an even grind and avoiding any jams.

As a result, the encore happily grinds any kind of roast you throw at it and into any grind size you require with ease, and it does so quietly (for a grinder of this size anyway).

If you’re brewing via a french press, there is nothing like the encore. Stop procrastinating and take a further look at this baby!

2. Baratza Virtuoso +

If you want all the bells and whistles, singing, and dancing grinder then the Virtuoso + is exactly that.

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PROS (+)

  • Useful advanced features
  • Fast to work
  • Delivers highly uniform grounds

CONS (-)

  • Expensive

Similar to the encore except for a few vital differences:

It can grind at nearly twice the speed while offering slightly better uniformity when it comes to coarser grinds. As a result, peering at the result by eye you won’t see any remnants of coffee dust. Nonetheless, this difference is small.

Secondly, the Virtuoso has a couple of advanced features missing from the Encore. These include an ability to pulsate the grind to ensure uniform grounds and a timer which you can use to repeat the same grind level + time.

Nonetheless, these advanced features are more useful for espresso, where you require very fine and consistent grounds. You also have to pay for the privilege as this high-end grinder comes with a premium price tag!

3. Capresso Infinity

The Capresso coffee grinder is a straightforward conical coffee grinder. It’s very easy and basic to operate making it a great choice for beginners who may not be familiar with all the advanced workings of a coffee grinder.

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PROS (+)

  • One of the slowest RPMs (< 450).
  • Grind works well for French Press.
  • Won’t turn on if the bean container isn’t locked.
  • Only uses 100 watts.

CONS (-)

  • Made of ABS plastic.
  • Coffee tends to spill in the back of the drawer area.

There is a selector dial built into the base of the bean container that allows you to choose between extra-fine, fine, medium, and coarsely ground coffee.

Each one of these has four levels to choose from so you have 16 grind sizes to choose from.

Other attractive features are a gear reduction motor, commercial-grade conical steel burrs, and a timer.

I have a love/hate relationship with this coffee grinder. It’s a great quality product but it has a lot of plastic parts. But hey, it’s not breaking the bank either!

Other similarly priced grinders have more metal components. However, it does come in a version with a zinc die-cast housing so if the plastic concerns you, choose the premium version.

4. Mueller Professional Series Ultra-Grind Conical Burr Grinder

I consider this coffee grinder as the most versatile one on the list because it has so many options and features, particularly the number of grind levels given the price point.

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PROS (+)

  • Has the perfect grind setting for French press
  • Innovative design.
  • One-touch button removes burr easily for cleaning.
  • Sturdy with a uniform grind.

CONS (-)

  • Problems with static can make cleaning a chore.
  • It’s messy and tends to throw grounds all over the place.

You can choose from zero (extra fine) to ten (coarse) and each level has ten tick marks to further define your level of grind. Essentially the grinder has 100 different grind levels.

You can also choose between dosing and non-dosing in the same machine.

The burr is made from stainless steel and the housing is made of ABS plastic which isn’t exactly preferred, but since the burr operates well, we can get over the ABS plastic.

5. Bodum Bistro Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

If you need something you can use on a regular basis but can still fit within a budget, the Bodum Bistro Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is one you should consider.

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PROS (+)

  • Does the job for a low budget
  • Operates quieter than many comparable coffee grinders.

CONS (-)

  • Poorly designed collection box leads to wastage.
  • No lid for the upper bean container.

It’s a basic conical burr without a lot of fancy features, but it does exactly what you need it to do – grind coffee beans – and it does it well.

All the dials and buttons turn/spin smoothly as does the coffee grounds catcher. Using it gives you a feel of using a luxury piece of equipment. It’s a little on the quieter than its competitors, ultra-light, and affordable.

Most importantly, it’ll help make you a good brew with little effort.
It’s worth noting that this coffee grinder is made from lightweight plastic apart from the burr, which is made from stainless steel.

6. kitchenAid Burr Coffee Grinder

Design focused coffee connoisseurs will appreciate this high-quality flat burr coffee grinder from KitchenAid. 

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PROS (+)

  • Has a flat burr for the most even and consistent grind you can get
  • Heavy-duty build that’s long-lasting

CONS (-)

  • Needs to be cleaned frequently
  • Expensive

To start, unlike the previous coffee grinders in the list, this one is made from glass and die-cast metal – zinc to be more specific.

Accompanied by stainless steel burrs, It has a heavy-duty build and you can tell it was made to last.

Besides having a great build, it also operates very well. The burrs run at 450 RPM and the grinder has 15 grind settings.

Since the hopper and container are glass, this significantly reduces static, so you don’t have to worry about beans or grounds getting stuck all over the machine.

The only potential downside is cleaning the flat burrs. It’s not a huge problem, just more of a reminder that flat burr grinders do need to be cleaned more often than cone ones.

This grinder is excellent but only as long as you clean it often (possibly each time you use it) so it won’t clog.

All in all it will give you superior performance for years to come.

7. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder with Adjustable Setting

The JavaPresse manual coffee grinder produces a performance that rivals the best full-sized automatic grinders. In some cases, it can be even better than automatic options.

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PROS (+)

  • Portable
  • Budget-friendly
  • Quiet

CONS (-)

  • Requires effort
  • Takes time
  • Not great if you’re making multiple cups

The stainless-steel body is accompanied by ceramic conical burrs, and a high-quality hand crank.

All these components are sturdy so you can easily grind coffee beans for French press coffee. You’ll enjoy the fresh aroma coming from this manual grinder – an aroma that can get lost or weakened with automatic grinders.

As with all manual coffee grinders, you also eliminate the problem of a noisy piece of equipment.

The JavaPresse is very quiet and, although you must put some arm strength into it, grinds your coffee perfectly.

Be sure to remember a manual coffee grinder is great for a single person, but multiple cups can be annoying to grind out!

You can choose from 18 different settings so you can be sure to find the perfect coarse grinder setting you need for french press coffee.

Guide To Buying a Coffee Grinder for French Press

Good coffee can’t happen without the right grinder.

Period.

Regardless of if you like putting in the work using a manual grinder or if the best coffee grinder for you is a push-button – You still need to grind.

Also, If you’re a committed french press coffee lover, you’re certainly going need to be using your own coffee beans grinder.

How come?

Because coffee prepared in a french press has to be of a medium to coarse size, unlike most ground beans.

Leading us to the first and most important criteria for any grinder you use for French press coffee – it must grind the beans to a large, chunky, coarse size.

Grind Size

In your search to find the coffee grinder for French press, it’s imperative to realize you need to be able to prepare coffee to a coarse grind.

This improves the water surface area leading to a strong brew.

Don’t get me wrong pre-ground coffee also works, it’s just that most of the options are not the right grind or strong enough to be used in this way.

If the grounds are too fine, they will seep right through the fine mesh and leave you with a gritty coffee surprise in your mouth each time you take a sip.

And well, no one wants a slurpy gritty mess!

Coffee Grounds Need To be uniform

Grind consistency also matters, as with uneven grounds, you can end up with a bitter-tasting drink.

This is important for French press coffee because it requires a much larger particle size.

Each ground is much larger than your average espresso grind due to the need for a larger surface area.

The perfect grinder for french press slices the beans into a uniform size which is around 10x larger per particle than what you’d need for espresso.

Uneven grounds that aren’t all the same size can be a complete nightmare.

Leading to either an under or over-extraction of French press coffee leading to a bitter brew.

So what are the best coffee grinders out there?

Type of Coffee Grinders

There are several different types of coffee grinders, but the two that are the most popular are blade grinders and burr grinders.

In case your wondering, a burr grinder has grooves on the surface of the material which act as slicers when the machine rotates, unlike blades which function like knives.

Out of the two, you’ll need a burr grinder for French press coffee, so that’s what we’ll discuss. 

Blade grinders are pretty useless when making coffee, so resist the temptation to buy one of these.

Regardless of which type you go for, there are manual coffee grinders (wallet-friendly) and automatic ones for the quickest cup of joe.

Burrs are more expensive than basic blade options, but a blade won’t grind your beans evenly, making burrs the status quo for the best coffee grinders.

Always use a burr if you can!

Three Types of Burrs

Coffee grinding burrs are separated into three categories depending on the shape of the cutting grooves of the blades.

Masticating Burr

Masticating grinders sort of “chew” your coffee beans rather than grind them..Stay away from these!

They’re the most inexpensive type but, like blade grinders, they don’t produce a consistent size grind, and they will heat the oils in your beans (more about heat and coffee grinders in the following section) during the grind.

manual coffee grind

Conical Burr

Conical burrs are two cones with blades embedded in the grooves of the surface. Beans drop between the 2 cones, and 1 of them turns evenly slicing the beans resulting in a uniform grind.

These types of burrs cause less heat transmission as they give you a higher level of control over the process.

You don’t have to grind as fast as other options, and the conical shape is pretty effective at delivering a uniform grind. As a result, they produce semi-consistent sized particles.

Conical is an overall a much better choice, although it may cost you a little more. It also happens to be the most common type of home burr.

Although, there is one thing to be concerned about with the conical types…They may provide a consistent grind, but not a completely even grind.

Conical grinders produce what is known as a bimodal grind, which is a combination of 50/50 small and large particle sizes. Regardless of how fine you grind, this split sticks.

You can still get a excellent cup of coffee, but flat burr grinders offer another level of control.

Flat Burr

At first glance, grounds from a flat burr grinder will look very similar to the conical burr, but flat options produce consistent and even grounds.

The holy grail of coffee grinding! Hallejlough!

All the beans will be ground to one, uniform, consistent size. This makes flat burr grinders the grinder of choice if you have the budget (they are often found in cafes and other business establishments).

However, there are certain exceptions.

As we go through the rest of the criteria, you’ll see how a conical grinder could be a better choice in some cases.

Be aware of heat

We’ll mention heat a few times throughout the guide.

If you’re an experienced brewer, you’ll probably already know why heat is bad for your beans during the grinding process.

If you don’t know, here is why..

Coffee beans contain oils, which are what helps make your perfect brew—adding heat to the grounds before brewing can disrupt the flavor and aroma of your coffee.

Not only does this mean you’ll lose flavor once you brew the coffee, but you may end up over brewing it. 

Stainless Steel vS Ceramic Burrs

Burr and blade grinders contain either ceramic or stainless steel components to slice the beans, and they have their pros and cons:

  • Ceramic doesn’t conduct heat, retains sharpness, and nor does it rust. As a result, the grind doesn’t spoil the beans’ essential oils and leads to maintaining the flavor of the coffee well. On the flip side, ceramic is not as of a heavy-duty material like stainless steel, and it can be damaged more easily.
  • Stainless steel is sharper, a more heavy-duty material, and it doesn’t rust either. However, it does conduct heat, and over time, the blades are prone to becoming more blunter over time.

Hence if you’re especially particular about zero heat condiction the coffee grinder best for you likely contains a ceramic slicing element.

Keeping it clean

Conical burrs are much easier to clean than flat ones.

This is due to the design – flat burrs tend to trap coffee particles around the blade and housing. These can build up and contaminate future portions of grounds if you don’t clean it often.

As long as you don’t mind a little extra work for that perfect cup of coffee, stick with a flat burr grinder. However, if you prefer low-maintenance equipment, a conical burr will be your best choice.

Grinder Noise

There is a distinct difference in the noise level of conical burr grinders and flat burr grinders.

Since conical burrs don’t need to grind as fast, they don’t need as powerful motors. This means they won’t make as much noise as a flat burr.

If the noise level is a concern for you, conical burrs are the better choice. However, if you can deal with the loud whine that a flat burr grinder makes, you’ll leave yourself open to the better choice.

After all, it’s only for a few seconds..Unless you use a manual coffee grinder and epically fail at the job.

Grind Speed

There are two grinder speed types: high-speed and low-speed.

We’ll tell you off the bat that low-speed grinders are better for French press or any coffee as a matter of fact.

A low-speed grind is an optimal choice because it doesn’t cause a high rate of heat transmission, they’re quiet, and they produce less static…So you don’t have to worry about your grounds sticking to the grinder as much as you would with a flat burr!

High-speed grinders may not be the top choice, but they aren’t out of the question for French press coffee.

While they may heat your beans slightly, they offer you more versatility in the grind size. Finding the right option for grind is crucial for the best brew, but you’ll have to weigh up the tradeoff.

High-speed devices also grind a little more consistently than low-speed ones.

Gear Reduction vS Direct Drive

These terms describe the way the motor interacts with the burrs.

Either of these would make a great French press coffee grinder, but you’ll still want to know the difference between the two.

In a gear reduction grinder, the motor is hooked to gears that reduce the speed of the burrs. This small alteration makes it much easier to control the speed.

A direct drive grinder has a motor that’s attached directly to the burrs. These are low-speed motors that are extremely quiet.

However, if you get one of these, get a premium one because the lower quality ones may clog easily and need frequent TLC in terms of cleaning.

Dosing vS Non-dosing

No matter whether you get a dosing or a non-dosing coffee grinder, you can still get a great cup of coffee.

A dosing coffee grinder, as indicated by the name, dispenses coffee in a single “dose” with the pull of a handle into a container like a portafilter.

A non-dosing grinder simply dispenses the coffee into a bigger container.

Non-dosing grinders cost less but you should keep in mind that you may end up grinding more coffee than you need at a time, so you’ll need a way to store it, so it maintains its freshness.

Recommendation & Summary

After all this information, I can imagine that you’re dying to know which choice on the list is the absolute best coffee grinder for French press!

I can easily say that the Brataza Encore is the best of the best coffee grinder for french press. 

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It’s not too hard on the wallet and can grind at a coarse setting perfect for use in a french press – double win!

This is a coffee grinder that I am comfortable recommending to anyone who wants the best coffee they can get.

But, If you’re flying solo and just need something reliable but budget orientated then you might prefer a manual grinder.

In which case I’d highly recommend checking out the JavaPresse, the king of manual grinders for french press coffee!

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Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the advantage of manual grinders?

While it requires more work, a manual grinder is budget-friendly and often made from ceramic meaning less heat conduction.

So don’t look at manual grinders if you need to prep coffee often or for many people!

What is the correct grind for French press?

You need a coarse grind for French press. If the coffee particles aren’t big enough, you will end up with sediment in your cup and potentially a bitter brew.

Can I use finely ground coffee in a French press?

Absolutely not!

All french press coffee needs to be coarse due to the way the mesh filter works.

Which is one of the reasons why ideally you need to grind your own beans. Most pre-ground coffee is too fine and will result in silty bits in your cup.

ahmed

Ahmed Mir

Founder and Editor

Ahmed Mir is the founder of Sip Coffee House. If he isn’t working, you can probably find him experimenting with different brewing methods, hanging out outdoors, or traveling.

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