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 French press coffee.
Coffee grinders come a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean you should casually choose the first one you come across.
I’ll tell you what you need to know to pick the best coffee grinder for French press in the guide below. But, If you’re in a rush, here’s our top pick:
Alternative Grinders For French Press At A Glance
The 7 Best Coffee Grinders For French Press 2021
Below we run through our favorites for the best french press coffee grinder of 2021.
Determining which one is right for you when shopping for a French Press coffee grinder depends on various factors that we’ve outlined in our buyers guide towards the end if you want to learn more.
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.
- Slow 550 RPM grind
- Good uniform coarse grind
- 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!
Related read: In-depth Baratza Encore review
As easy to use was its younger brother (the previous pick) but with upgraded internals. If you want all the bells and whistles, singing, and dancing coffee grinder for French Press, then the Virtuoso + is gonna be your jam.
- Useful advanced features
- Fast to work
- Uniform coffee grounds
It’s very similar to the Encore except for a few vital differences:
Its conical burrs 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’ll see a minimal amount of coffee fines.
Should you need it, it also functions reasonably well as an espresso coffee grinder achieving a particle size of 200 microns at its finest setting.
Secondly, the Virtuoso has a couple of advanced features missing from the Encore. These include an ability to pulsate the grind to ensure uniform coffee grounds and a timer which you can use to repeat the same grind level + time.
Nonetheless, these advanced features are more useful for espresso, which requires very fine and consistent grounds. If you just need a grinder for French Press, the first Baratza pick will more than suffice.
Remember, you also have to pay for the privilege for the Virtuoso+ as this high-end grinder comes with a premium price tag!
Nonetheless, it’s the best burr coffee grinder if you want the ultimate mid-tier Baratza all rounder.
Related read: In-depth Virtuoso+ review
1Z Presso is a company which has established itself within the specialty coffee community for their capability in producing more than just one manual coffee grinder which excels. If you obsess over coffee beans, you’ve probably come across this brand.
The Q2 is their manual travel burr mill. Importantly, this manual grinder for French press uses stainless steel burrs, which aren’t so common in manual grinders.
- Stainless steel burr
- Great grind
- Small 20g capacity
- Takes time
- Not great if you’re making multiple cups
Adjusting the grind setting is easy. There’s a numerical face at the bottom of the grinder, which allows you to flick through its 60 click grind adjustments and 10 numbered dial. Perfect if you usually struggle to find the right particle size when it comes to a manual coffee grinder.
This coffee grinder is highly portable, and it’s smaller than the size of a can of coke. Great if you’re a coffee aficionado looking for the freshest brew on the go! Or for something to sit discreetly on a kitchen counter.
Although being manual, it does take some effort and its small 20g capacity means it’s not suitable for those of you grinding for multiple cups. Nonetheless, this is my favorite manual coffee grinder for French Press when i’m solo!
The Infinity conical burr grinder is an easy to use conical coffee grinder.
It’s very basic to operate, making it a great choice for beginners looking for an upgrade from blade grinders that kill the flavor and murder your coffee beans.
- Stainless steel burr
- Grind works well for French Press
- Great value
- Large 8.8 Oz hopper capacity
- Made of ABS plastic.
- Coffee bean retention is a problem
A selector dial is 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 super good value!
Other similarly priced grinders for coffee 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.
In short, this is the best grinder for French press coffee if you’re on a tight budget and want an electric grinder.
I consider this coffee grinder as the most versatile grinder for French Pres because it has so many options and features. While it’s not a necessity for French Press, the number of settings for grind size given the price point are useful.
- Has the perfect grind setting for French press
- Innovative design
- One-touch button removes burr easily for cleaning
- Sturdy with a decent grind
- Problems with static can make cleaning a chore
- It’s messy and tends to throw ground coffee all over the place
In terms of grind settings, you can choose from zero (extra fine) to ten (coarse), and each level has ten tick marks to define your level of grind further. 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.
In short, this is one of the best coffee grinders at a budget price point for multifunctional use and within a reasonable budget.
If you need something you can use on a regular basis but can still fit within a budget, the Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder is one you should consider.
- Does the job for a low budget
- Operates quieter than many comparable coffee grinders
- Poorly designed collection box leads to wastage
- No lid for the upper bean container
It’s a basic burr grinder without a lot of fancy features, but it does exactly what you need it to do – grind coffee beans at a coarse grind on a super tight budget – and it does it well enough.
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 quieter than its competitors, ultra-light, and affordable.
Most importantly, it’ll help make you a good brew with little effort.
It’s also worth noting that this coffee grinder is made from lightweight plastic apart from the burr, which is made from stainless steel.
Check out out full review for an in-depth look into this pick.
Design focused coffee connoisseurs will appreciate this high-quality flat burr electric coffee grinder from KitchenAid.
- Has a flat steel burr for an even and consistent grind
- Heavy-duty build that’s long-lasting
- Needs to be cleaned frequently
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.
Guide To Buying A Coffee Grinder For French Press
Good French Press coffee can’t happen without the right grinder.
Regardless of if you like putting in the work using a manual grinder or if the best coffee grinder for you is a push-a-button ta-da electric grinder – You still need to get grinding.
Also, If you’re a committed french press coffee lover, you’re certainly going to need to be use a coffee beans grinder.
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 the best coffee prepared in a French Press – it must turn the beans to a large, chunky, coarse particle size.
French Press Coffee Grind Size
In your search to find the best coffee grinder, it’s imperative to realize you need to prepare coffee to coarse grinds if you enjoy French Press coffee.
This improves the water surface area leading to a flavorful brew.
Don’t get me wrong pre-ground coffee beans also works. It’s just that most of the options are not the right grind size for French Press coffee.
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.
Don’t worry, all of our picks above are burr grinders with a wide variety of grind settings, and they all excel in grinding to the right size for French Press coffee.
Type Of French Press Coffee Grinders
There are several different types of coffee grinders, but the two that are the most popular are blade grinders and alternatively those which use burrs.
In case you’re wondering, a burr grinder has grooves on the surface of the material, which act as slicers when the machine rotates, unlike blade grinders that function like high-speed knives in action.
Out of the two, you’ll need a burr grinder for French press coffee, so that’s what we’ll discuss.
A Blade grinder is pretty useless when making coffee in any form, so resist the temptation to buy one of these.
Burrs are more expensive than a basic blade grinder, but a blade won’t turn your beans into even grounds, making a burr grinder the status quo when it comes to a French Press coffee grinder.
So, In short – never buy a blade grinder for coffee.
Three Types Of Coffee Burrs For A Home Barista
A Burr is usually made from Stainless Steel or ceramic.
With the former being sharper but subject to becoming blunt over time. Whereas ceramic is less sharp and usually not preferred, but it remains sharp across time.
Outside of the material used, conical burrs are commonly found in one of three primary shapes:
Masticating Burr Grinders
Masticating grinders sort of “chew” your coffee beans rather than turn them into even grinds..Stay away from these!
They’re the most inexpensive type, but, like blade grinders, they don’t produce a consistent particle size, and they will heat the oils in your beans (more about heat and coffee grinders in the following section) during the process.
Conical Burr Grinders
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.
Although, there is one thing to be concerned about with the conical types…They may provide a consistent grind, but not entirely even ground coffee.
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 great cup of coffee, but flat burrs offer another level of precision and control.
Flat Burr Grinders
At first glance, grounds from flat burrs will look very similar to the output of conical burrs, but flat ones produce consistent and even ground coffee.
They perform exceptionally well at either end of the scale, including a coarse grind, so they make a burr a great coffee grinder for French Press.
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 large cafes).
All while the best grinder for French Press doesn’t necessarily need a flat burr, its a good to have. Especially if you enjoy another brewing method like espresso.
Gear Reduction VS Direct Drive
These terms describe the way the motor interacts with the burrs to turn your coffee beans into grounds.
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.
The Final Verdict
So what’s the absolute best burr grinder for French press?
I can easily say that the Brataza Encore is the best coffee grinder for French Press. It’s also a great all-rounder for coffee lovers who enjoy manual brewing.
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 1Z Presso Q2 if you need a portable and nifty manual coffee grinder for French press.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the advantage of manual grinders?
A high quality manual grinder is budget-friendly and portable. Although, you pay for these advantages with little grind capacity and the fact it requires effort.
Manual grinders are a good pick if you’re brewing solo but want multiple cups to get an electric grinder.
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.
The French Press grind setting is usually near the last setting on a high quality electric coffee grinder.
Can You Use A Blade Grinder For French Press?
Blade grinders are unsuitable for brewing coffee because they cannot ensure your coffee grounds are the same size as each other. Instead of buying a blade grinder, grab a budget conical burr grinder and enjoy!