If you are in a hurry and want to find out which is the Best Coffee Grinder for French Press, I’d recommend the Baratza Encore as the best one.
“Many people who enjoy coffee as a hobby like to upgrade their equipment from time to time. I would strongly recommend investing in a better grinder first”. – James Hoffmann. World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing – Coffees Explored, Explained, and Enjoyed.
Any decent café has a grinder next to its espresso machine. Arguably, if the French Press is your favorite coffee maker, you’ll want the best coffee grinder for it too.
The thing is that picking the best French Press grinder can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. I don’t get tired of saying it: freshly ground coffee always beats pre-ground coffee.
French Press coffee is particularly dependent on grinding coffee on demand. Regular commercial coffee is too fine, which will result in a sludgy and overly bitter cup of coffee.
Additionally, freshly ground coffee is richer and tastier. Coffee loses much of its aroma after grinding, so you’ll have only a tiny portion of it with pre-ground coffee.
My first time brewing French Press coffee was a challenge. I used commercial coffee, so I ended with sludge in my mouth and a bitter and astringent aftertaste. I wrote this article because I don’t want anyone to experience that anymore.
The solution to terrible french press coffee became evident when I learned the importance of grind size for every brewing method.
Brewing coffee with a French Press requires a medium to coarse grind size to deliver the best cup of coffee possible.
A practical solution is to get your local roaster to grind your coffee on demand. Still, nothing compares with doing it fresh at home, just before brewing.
The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press
- Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
- 1Zpresso JX Manual Coffee Grinder
- Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill – “Skerton Pro”
- LHS Hand Coffee Mill
- Porlex Mini
How to Choose your Coffee Grinder
Although most coffee grinders are proud of their versatility, lots of them overstate it.
When we looked for the Best Coffee Grinders for French Press, we found many unsatisfied customers about their purchases. A few of them might improve their results after learning a few tricks, but most problems come from design issues in general.
Most coffee grinders tend to produce a more uniform grind for medium to fine sizes, which are optimal for other brewing methods like Espresso and Pour Over but aren’t that good for French Press coffee.
Although I thought at first that it’s easier to obtain more uniform coarse grinds than finer ones, it isn’t that way. Curiously enough, the best grinders for Espresso aren’t necessarily the best for the French Press.
So, to pick the Best Coffee Grinder for French Press we analyzed the following features:
- Precision: it delivers uniform and consistent medium and coarser grind sizes, which are the most appropriate for French Press. Uniformity allows you to obtain more control over the strength of your coffee cup while reducing undesired flavors. Stainless steel burrs tend to be more accurate and consistent, yet they’re always pricier too.
- Ease-of-use: you can enjoy or at least won’t suffer while grinding your coffee beans.
- (Un)messiness: cleaning around the grinder shouldn’t be more problematic than cleaning inside it.
- Durability: a coffee grinder should be reliable and durable so that you can trust it your mornings before the first glorious sip.
- Capacity: even the smallest French Press can brew a couple of coffee cups. Your grinder should have enough space to get in enough beans for that.
- Value: the French Press can deliver delicious coffee and is one of the most affordable brewing devices. I didn’t include the most expensive coffee grinders in this review, as many of them aren’t made for the appropriate grind sizes. Moreover, they can easily cost double any grinder included in this review.
Coffee Hack 💡
Oily beans aren’t the best way to obtain a strong cup of coffee. Experts recommend finer grinding and more prolonged contact with water to get a stronger brew.
If you want to learn more about it, I found this article that explains it thoroughly:
Burr vs. Blades
All of the Best Coffee Grinders, for any purpose, are Burr Grinders. Burr Grinders’ price point is significantly higher than Blade Grinders, which reflects accurately how superior are Burr Grinders.
Coffee burr grinders can come in a wide range of prices and quality. Overall, stainless steel burrs are more precise, reliable, and durable than ceramic ones.
Blade Grinders don’t grind coffee beans, to be accurate. They chop and slice them in a very chaotic way.
Although some bloggers claim that they would prefer pre-ground coffee instead of grinding with blades, we disagree. You could use a few tricks if you have a blades grinder already and want to have a decent brew while waiting for your Burr Grinder.
Flat vs. Conical burrs
Burrs can be conical or flat. Commercial grade grinders tend to use stainless steel flat burrs because they’re more accurate, reliable, and consistent. Yet, they’re more expensive, noisier, and heat easily.
Conical burrs are good enough for French Press coffee, as they’re for most brewing methods. Moreover, hand-grinders tend to have conical burrs. The latter is the current standard for modern grinders for home-use, electric or manual.
Electric vs. Manual
Deciding if you prefer a manual grinder or an electric one isn’t difficult if you consider how important the following four variables are for you:
- Speed: any of the electric grinders we chose in our list can grind a decent amount of coffee in seconds. On the opposite, hand grinders are very slow. You’ll need around 3 to 5 minutes to obtain enough coffee to brew a single cup.
- Silence: electric burr grinders are noisy. We’re talking about seconds of noise, but even 10 seconds of noise at 5:00 am can be your golden ticket for trouble at home or with your neighbors. Don’t get me wrong on this. Our favorites aren’t loud, but it’s a dramatic difference when you compare it with hand grinders’ smoothness. Manual grinders are very quiet, so if you value silence more than time or vice versa, you have already made your choice.
- Price: budget is crucial for your decision. The difference between the most affordable option and our favorite is almost eight times the price. It isn’t a nuance, and that’s the main reason we included some affordable options. If you aren’t keen to explore different brewing methods, it doesn’t make too much sense to spend over 100$ on a coffee grinder. Yet, if you’re thinking about versatility, I believe that you might consider betting in the long run.
- Portability: needless to say, if you spend a lot of the time of the year traveling, you might want to take your French Press and your Coffee Grinder with you. Manual grinders are the best choice if you’re thinking about it. It isn’t exactly the opposite of home use, but we prefer electric grinders to deliver fresh, delicious ground coffee in seconds.
Coffee Hack 💡
If you want to upgrade your coffee game, use a digital scale. If you weigh your coffee and the water you use to brew your coffee, you’ll obtain more control over your coffee recipes, so you won’t need to bet at random proportions of water and coffee scoops. I wrote a piece about my favorite coffee hacks, here.
If you think that I’m too nerdy about this, but you’re still curious, check the following video:
The Best Coffee Grinders for French Press
I will describe the best coffee grinders’ pros and cons for the French Press I’ve found. You’ll notice that our selection includes two electric grinders and three manual ones.
There are hundreds of options out there, but I believe that this review might be helpful for two different readers. First, French Press lovers can be decisive about their favorite brewing device. If you don’t want to explore too many brewing recipes and alternatives, it will be easier for you to pick a good grinder, based on the criteria described above.
On the other hand, if you want to explore further the brewing methods and recipes, you’ll find that versatility is a valuable feature, as you won’t like to buy another coffee grinder appropriate for Espresso or Pour Over. French Press coffee is delicious, but it’s great to try some different brewing methods like the Moka Pot or the Chemex, from time to time.
Finally, as I previously stated, you might think about it in terms of brewing while traveling and at home. It could mean that you might pick the Baratza Encore and the Porlex Mini to keep your game at a similar level, both on the road and at home.
Now, let’s see what these beauties have to offer.
Our favorite and top pick for French Press is the best entry-level burr coffee grinder we know. The Baratza Encore is known for its reliability, consistency, and ease-of-use. It’s, hands down, the best option considering almost all the variables we listed, except for its price.
- The Baratza Encore is an entry-level burr grinder, but it works like a pro. Most users describe it as a workhorse, capable of dealing with daily use. Its stainless steel burrs deliver consistent and uniform grinding every time. It’s especially suitable for medium to coarse grinding. I love this feature because it has the optimal range of grind sizes for the French Press and Pour-Overs. Although some claim that it’s a weak performer for the finest grinds, it still can produce coffee for a decent Espresso.
- The Baratza brand has a great approach to reduce waste, increasing the life of its products. It gets reflected in their customers’ commentaries, which report excellent technical service. In other words, the Baratza Encore has a reputable brand backing it up, with a reliable inventory of parts and service centers available. Additionally, the Encore is built to be easily cleaned and maintained. You’ll quickly find lots of videos and resources to keep the Baratza Encore on top of its performance for years.
- Most customers assert that the Encore is surprisingly quiet and easy to use. It includes 40 grind settings, which are pretty straightforward to use. James Hoffman, the acclaimed barista and coffee expert, recommends using medium grind size instead of coarse for French Press. So, you can test several grind sizes to find which is your favorite, and it provides the versatility you would need to try other brewing methods like Pour Over, Aeropress, and Moka Pot, among others.
- I know we are assessing the French Press capability of this grinder, but we can’t help to feel a bit frustrated about its limitations for finer grind sizes. Some users claim that it’s possible to calibrate it to deal with this. However, we’ve found that this change can reduce the lifetime of the Baratza Encore.
- The price tag can be too high if you’re buying it to brew with your French Press only. It’s a lot faster, convenient, and reliable than most hand grinders, but the Baratza Encore can triple the cost of some of the loveliest French Presses.
- It’s as basic as it is. The Baratza Encore doesn’t include a timer either a scale. Although it’s considered an entry-level grinder, some users would expect a bit more for its price.
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder is the strongest contender for the Baratza Encore I could find. Most users are quite happy with this machine and describe it as durable and reliable.
- Most users like the precision and consistency of the Oxo Conical Burr Grinder. It offers a perfect medium grind size, which is the best for French Press.
- The price is the best value for an electric burr grinder, considering the built quality, its stainless steel burrs, and its overall performance.
- It surpasses the Baratza Encore regarding convenience, thanks to its built-in timer.
- It offers 15 grind settings with a couple of micro-settings in between. In sum, the Oxo Burr Grinder has more than 40 grind settings.
- Customer and technical service aren’t as consistent and reliable as the medium grind sizes that this machine can make. Although we found many happy customers, we found some frustrated ones as well. Any appliance of this price range should offer an outstanding customer and technical service.
- According to several users, the container doesn’t lock into place sometimes, making the machine a bit unstable during grinding.
- The bottom burr is fixed, so it’s not easy to clean it. Although most of the grinders can be easily cleaned, the bottom burr is hard to reach and isn’t detachable.
The 1Zpresso brand is a brave newcomer, and many coffee lovers prefer it over more popular hand grinders like Javapresse and Hario.
The JX model is our favorite of the 1Zpresso brand offers because it has 35 grams capacity, and it’s relatively affordable, which is appropriate for French Press coffee brewing. Pricier than most popular models, it’s some kind of mid-range between cheap ceramic burr grinders and high-end manual grinders like Comandante, Kinu, and Weber Workshops.
- The 35 grams capacity of the JX is very convenient for brewing with the French Press.
- The stainless steel 48 mm burrs are top-quality. I prefer this type of burrs because they offer more accurate, consistent, and uniform grinds, with fewer fines.
- It’s designed to produce appropriate grind sizes for pour-overs and French Press. So, if you want to enrich your coffee game with drippers like the V60, Melitta, or Chemex, you won’t need another grinder.
- Burrs include a 1-year limited warranty and have a 300 kg use expected life. Overall, users claim that 1Zpresso customer service and durability are excellent.
- It’s the only hand grinder in this buying guide with a click system. I think it’s a great feature because you can adjust the grind size accordingly and obtain replicable results with different recipes, coffee beans, and brewing methods.
It can be extremely expensive for anyone on a budget. It could be a good option if you’re upgrading from a regular hand grinder, or simply want to start with a good one.
Most exigent users buy such a pricey grinder because it offers a numbering system. Yet, users complain about a learning curve to master it. It isn’t as intuitive as we expect, but it’s manageable.
Hario is one of the most beloved brands in the coffee realm. It’s one of my favorite brands because of the quality of its products and aesthetics. The Hario Skerton Pro is an improved version of the classic Skerton, and I prefer it because it is better built.
- The 100 grams approximate capacity of the Skerton is excellent for a hand grinder. I love this feature because I serve between two and 4 cups of coffee with my French Press, so I don’t feel limited by the Skerton Pro capacity.
- The Skerton Pro handle is one of the best we could find inside this category. It’s easy to use and doesn’t require more strength than patience to grind correctly.
- The ceramic burrs are very easy to clean, as well as the entire grinder. The plastic and glass parts are very resistant. Altogether, the Skerton Pro is sturdy and easy to clean, which adds to its overall durability.
- Although the Skerton Pro isn’t the most portable of the manual grinders in this list, it’s light for its size and relatively easy to pack.
- The price of the Skerton Pro is too high for a ceramic burr grinder.
- The glass container is sturdy, but it can reduce its portability. Indeed, most high-end grinders have glass containers, but I don’t believe it’s a pro for any of them.
- According to many users, if you grind 100 grams with the Skerton Pro, you’ll get tired or bored. It’s slower than expected for its size, so it demands patience to work with it.
- It’s hard to obtain consistent grind sizes with this grinder. Unlike more premium grinders, the Hario Skerton doesn’t have grind settings or any click system. Eventually, you’ll want to upgrade to a more precise and faster grinder.
The coffee world is plenty of affordable little luxuries, and this coffee grinder could be one of these. It offers the right balance of quality, capacity, and price. If you’re on a budget and still unsure about how serious you’ll get into the coffee world, this might be your best choice.
- Although we don’t have the exact capacity of the LHS Hand Coffee Mill, we’re almost sure it’s somewhere around 40 to 50 grams. It isn’t as generous as the Skerton, but it beats almost all the competition inside the affordable category and many expensive grinders.
- This coffee grinder is the easiest to use among the manual ones. It offers four adjustable levels from fine to coarse. I love this feature because it helps to obtain more consistent results along the time. Pricier grinders include a lot more customization, but you won’t need more than medium or coarse settings for your French Press.
- Price is a massive advantage for the LSH Hand Coffee Mill. It’s the most affordable on our list, so we believe it could be a good entry-level manual coffee grinder.
- As nice as this coffee grinder can be, it has entry-level capabilities. Customization and performance are limited, so it won’t grow with your knowledge and pickiness as you advance and dive into the coffee world.
- Most users complain about slow grinding and some unexpected noises. Apparently, the burrs are a bit too small, so that you might end working out for your coffee.
A great option for travel, the Porlex Mini can deliver uniform medium and coarse grinds perfect for French Press. It can seem pricey for its size, but it’s the best for travel inside our selection. It’s light, durable, and delivers excellent results to brew a fantastic cup with your French Press.
- The Porlex Mini can produce uniform and consistent grinds. I like this feature because it gives you a lot of control over the cup quality. Especially the flavor. Although most bloggers recommend coarse grind size for French Press, I followed James Hoffman’s advice on this, and medium-size is excellent. The good thing is that the Porlex Mini can grind both sizes with decent uniformity and consistency.
- I like to travel as light as possible. The Porlex Mini is very light and compact, so it’s easy to pack. It’s a very nice feature for me or anyone who likes to brew freshly ground coffee on the road.
- Nobody wants a disposable grinder. Yet, although we selected the best coffee grinders for French Press, the Porlex Mini is particularly durable. Most users admire the Mini’s build quality and claim they have used daily for more than two years.
- Unsurprisingly, the Mini has a limited capacity (about 25 grams). It’s a great option for travel and single servings, but it would be a nightmare to grind coffee for two or more with the Porlex Mini.
- You could buy our second choice with a little more money (the Oxo Brew Burr Grinder). In perspective, the Porlex Mini is expensive.
My favorite and the clear winner is the Baratza Encore. If you’re starting the journey toward home brewing like a pro, this grinder can go along with you for a long time. It offers excellent results, has great value, and a distinctive brand backing it.
It’s customizable, precise, durable, and has enough capacity to serve a good coffee lovers group. Moreover, it has a decent price tag, considering how difficult it is to find a good coffee grinder below 200$. Perhaps you already noticed it, but there are even some manual coffee grinders that can be more expensive than the Baratza Encore. So, if you’re thinking about the long run and want some versatility to experiment with other brewing methods in the future, I recommend the Encore.
Bonus Content for French Press Lovers 🤎
Yet, as important as it’s grinding your coffee properly, the recipe is quite essential too. If you want to try some new ones, I’ve been following Morgan Eckroth for a while, and she has terrific tips for French Press in the next video.
Finally, if you seek to learn how to brew coffee like a champ with your French Press, you might like to watch the next video by James Hoffman.