If you are in a hurry and want to find out which is the Best Coffee Grinder for French Press, I recommend the Fellow Ode.
“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 for French press brewing, 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 up 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.
Top 9 Coffee Grinders for French Press in 2022
- Fellow Ode Brew Grinder – Our top pick ⭐
- Baratza Virtuoso Plus – Runner up 🥈
- Baratza Encore – Best entry-level electric coffee grinder
- Breville Smart Grinder Pro – Good versatility
- OXO Conical Burr Grinder – Best budget electric grinder
- 1Zpresso JX – Best hand coffee grinder 💪
- TIMEMORE C2 – Best budget grinder
- Normcore Coffee Manual Grinder V2 – Best in portability 🎒
- Hario Coffee Mill Slim – Best budget grinder for beginners
How to choose the best coffee grinder for your French press?
Although most coffee grinder manufacturers are proud of their versatility, most 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. In my experience, some popular grinders are below any acceptable standards. They’re slow, poorly built, and produce inconsistent coffee grind sizes.
To make things more complicated, most coffee grinders tend to produce a more uniform grind for medium to fine sizes, which are optimal for other brewing methods like pour-over, Moka pot, and Aeropress, 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. On the contrary, 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 it shouldn’t be more problematic than cleaning inside it.
- Durability: it 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 excluded 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 of the products in this review.
Electric grinders vs. Manual grinders
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. In the past, most home hand grinders were very slow because of ceramic burrs. You needed around 3 to 5 minutes to obtain enough coffee to brew a single cup. Currently, all grinders in our list grind around 1 g per second, with the sole exception of the Hario Coffee Mill Slim, which has ceramic burrs, and it’s the slowest among them.
- 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 them with hand grinders’ smoothness. Manual grinders are very quiet, so if you value silence more than speed 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 mere 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 recommend you consider betting for the long run.
- Portability: needless to say, if you travel frequently, you might want to take your French press and your coffee grinder with you. For many reasons, manual grinders are the most portable and convenient for this purpose. They are suitable for home use too, but I prefer electric grinders to deliver fresh, delicious ground coffee in seconds.
If you’re looking for the best, you can check our review of the top manual coffee grinders.
Flat burr grinders vs. Conical burr grinders
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, heavier, noisier, and heat easily. For this reason, commercial grinders are equipped with more advanced technology to control speed, and usually have more powerful motors to rotate heavier, larger flat burrs.
Conical burrs are good enough for French press coffee, as they’re for most brewing methods. Moreover, the conical design is the current standard for modern grinders for home use, electric or manual. Both conical and flat burrs can produce excellent results, depending on other factors, like rotation speed control and construction.
Burr grinders vs. Blade grinders
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 qualities. 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 in a very chaotic way. As a result, the coffee brew ends mixing flavors characteristic flavors of over and under extraction, with an overall bitter and sour profile, without any pleasant complexity, or aromatic nuances.
Steel burrs vs. ceramic burrs
Steel burrs are more precise than ceramic burrs, which means they can grind coffee more consistently. In this regard, taste and aroma are more pleasant, some of the flavors become more evident, and bitterness can reduce depending on your grind settings. Steel burrs also are faster than ceramic burrs. On the downside, steel burrs can heat up during grinding, which can affect the flavor of your coffee. Arguably, this is only a case when having an electric grinder. Manual grinders rarely heat up in a few seconds, which is what you need to grind up to 30 grams of coffee with steel burrs.
High-quality ceramic burrs, on the other hand, stay cooler during grinding and thus preserve the flavor of your coffee beans better. They’re also less likely to dull over time than steel burrs. However, most affordable grinders come with cheap ceramic burrs, which aren’t as durable and sharp as commercial-grade ceramic burrs.
Overall, home coffee grinders available using ceramic grinders tend to have pretty low prices. In this regard, pricing reflects accurately the quality you can expect from them. For this reason, we favor grinders with steel burrs. Therefore, the Hario Coffee Mill Slim is the only one in our selection that has ceramic burrs.
Grind by time vs. grind by weight
Timers are very popular in commercial settings, particularly espresso. The main reason for using a timer to measure coffee doses is the speed of service. Baristas don’t have time to weigh coffee beans on a scale, and then measure the grounds before brewing. Inspired by this workflow, many home grinders include timers, to emulate the state of the art in coffee brewing. That’s the case with the Baratza Virtuoso Plus, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, and the Oxo Brew. All three have a timer, which is a nice feature for anyone who values the barista experience.
However, a timer isn’t necessary for single dosing. In fact, using a scale is more reliable than a timer, and for home use, it’s preferable unless you brew coffee many times during the day. In our selection, we didn’t include any grinder with a built-in scale. It’s more affordable to get a separate digital scale.
Best coffee grinders for French press
You’ll find below the best French press coffee grinders’ pros and cons. On balance, the scale inclines towards electric grinders, but only slightly. Overall, I find they have enough strengths to be considered among the best, although none of them is perfect.
Now, let’s see what these beauties have to offer.
Fellow Ode: The Best Coffee Grinder for French press
The Fellow Ode Grinder is for coffee lovers who want a better starting point in their home coffee brewing routine. Furthermore, the carefully designed details make the Fellow Ode stand out from the rest.
- Even grind size distribution. The Fellow Ode punches above its weight in this aspect. It’s remarkably consistent, which creates tastier brews, where some delicate aromatic notes become more evident than with other grinders. Even in this price range and above. Although the entire grinder works to get these results, it has a commercial-grade burr set, with flat stainless steel burrs.
- Appealing design with a minimalistic approach. The Fellow Ode is a beautiful machine. It doesn’t look like a home appliance at all. It’s small and neat.
- The Fellow Ode Brew Grinder has unique features for an elegant user experience. It has a magnetically aligned catch bin and a grind knocker. Both work just fine, creating a smoother workflow.
- Comfortable and easy to use. The large dial feels nice, and it isn’t complicated to understand the settings.
- Smooth operation. The Fellow Ode is quiet and powerful.
- The guidelines offered for the grind size aren’t as helpful as intended. Many users claim that you’d get a coarse grind than expected when following the guidelines printed on the back of the hopper lid.
- Sometimes the grinder keeps working longer than expected, which doesn’t come as a problem, but it’s a bit annoying.
- Pricey. The Fellow Ode is a mid-priced coffee grinder, and it’s the first in years to compete with the Baratza Virtuoso Plus, which was the dominant home grinder for pour-over and French press. At the moment, it’s more expensive than the Baratza Virtuoso Plus, but the style and design features make the Fellow Ode look and feel more premium.
If you’re unsure about the Fellow Ode, or you want to learn more about it, you can check our detailed Fellow Ode grinder review.
Baratza Virtuoso Plus: Runner up
The Baratza Virtuoso+ is a great choice for those who value time-tested quality and performance. The Baratza Virtuoso Plus has more than ten years in the market with few changes, which proves its durability and sound performance.
- Solid construction for a durable grinder. Baratza manufactures long-lasting products, and the Virtuoso Plus isn’t the exception. This grinder case is made of thick plastic and stainless steel, and the machine inside is powerful, with outstanding steel burrs.
- The Baratza brand has a great approach to reducing waste by increasing the life of its products. It’s easy to verify by reading its customers’ praises for its excellent technical service. In other words, the Baratza Virtuoso Plus has a reputable brand backing it up, with a reliable inventory of parts and service centers available. Additionally, the Baratza Virtuoso is built to be easily cleaned and maintained. You’ll quickly find lots of videos and resources to keep it on top of its performance for years.
- Good grind size distribution, with great results for pour-over and French press coffee. Users praise the taste and aroma they get from the Baratza Virtuoso Plus.
- Fast, precise, and relatively quiet grinder. The engine has an intelligent system to graduate speed and prevent heating, and the solid, thick casing prevents from being loud. Furthermore, this grinder works twice faster than cheaper grinders, grinding about 2 g per second.
- This grinder looks solid, but not elegant in my opinion. It looks more like a home appliance, which isn’t necessarily bad.
Curious about this grinder? Read our full Baratza Virtuoso Plus review for more details.
Baratza Encore: Best entry-level electric coffee grinder
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.
- Reputable technical and customer service from Baratza.
- Most customers assert that the Encore is surprisingly quiet and easy to use. It includes 40 grind settings, which are pretty straightforward to adjust.
- It’s as basic as it is. The Baratza Encore doesn’t include a timer, a screen, or anything beyond the essential. Although it’s considered an entry-level grinder, some users would expect a bit more for its price.
For more information, read our Baratza Encore review.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro: Good versatility
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a good French press coffee grinder for people looking for advanced features at an affordable price. It has 60 grind settings, a powerful motor, and a durable stainless steel burr grinder. The grind setting allows you to choose the perfect grind size for your coffee beans, while the motor provides enough power to grind the beans evenly and quickly. The burr grinder is made of stainless steel, which is durable and doesn’t rust easily.
- The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a versatile coffee grinder that can be used for other purposes. Several users are happy with this grinder and praise its versatility. For espresso, though, it’s better for espresso machines with pressurized portafilters, which are more forgiving.
- A beautiful user interface gives the Breville Smart Grinder Pro an edge over its competitors. It looks and feels more advanced than other grinders in this price range.
- The overall design of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is sleek and appealing. It doesn’t look like a home appliance but a home version of professional barista equipment.
- Durability is the major weakness of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. We’ve found many complaints about its durability, which is a major issue at this price point.
- It’s pricey, particularly when compared with close competitors from Baratza, which are more durable and reliable.
For more details, read our Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Grinder: Best budget electric grinder
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Grinder is a sound entry-level grinder, with an unbeatable price tag. 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 they should be. We found many happy customers and several 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.
1Zpresso JX: Best manual coffee grinder for French press
The 1Zpresso brand has set new quality standards for manual grinders below 200$. The JX model is our favorite because it has 35 grams capacity, and it’s relatively affordable. Pricier than most popular models, it’s some kind of mid-range between cheap ceramic burr grinders and high-end manual grinders.
- The 35 grams capacity of the 1Zpresso JX is very convenient for brewing with the French Press.
- Solid construction, with most of the body in stainless steel and aluminum.
- 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, 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.
- A click system for adjustment settings. It’s a great feature because you can change the grind size accordingly and obtain replicable results with different recipes, coffee beans, and brewing methods.
- It can be expensive for anyone on a budget.
- Solid construction comes with a heavy burden. This grinder weighs around 700 g, reducing its portability.
- 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.
For more details, read our 1Zpresso JX review.
TIMEMORE C2: Best budget manual coffee grinder for French press
This grinder has an incredible price-value relationship, and it’s among my favorites.
- Fast and consistent, the TIMEMORE C2 can get you 1 g of coffee grounds per second with a pretty decent grind size distribution.
- Well designed, with an elegant and simple style.
- Affordable price for the quality it offers.
- Plastic parts harm its style and durability.
- It isn’t the most durable option. Some users have complained about burr alignment issues after heavy use, as well as some problems with the grounds receptacle.
For more details, read our TIMEMORE C2 review.
Normcore Coffee Manual Grinder V2: Best manual grinder for travel and camping
Light and well built, the Normcore V2 isn’t extremely popular. Few bloggers mention it, but I found it elegant, light, and reliable. Definitely worth mentioning in our list.
- Sleek design. The minimalistic aesthetic of the Normcore V2 is more than appealing. Additionally, it’s well built, durable, and reliable.
- Good speed. It comes with high-quality steel burrs for fast results.
- Light-weight and portable. The Normcore V2 weighs less than 500 g, includes a sleeve to keep the parts together when disassembled, and comes with a hard case, making it the most portable grinder on our list.
- Some users complain about consistency. Arguably, some come with a misaligned ring burr, making it a bit messy. We aren’t sure how frequent is this defect but came to our attention while checking customers’ experience, comments, and honest reviews.
For more details, you can read our Normcore manual coffee grinder v2 review.
Hario Coffee Mill Slim: Best budget French press coffee grinder for beginners
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 Slim is a good choice if you have a very tight budget. Still, its low price means compromising on many features.
- The capacity is good enough for brewing two cups of coffee.
- The handle is one of the best in its price range. 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 parts are very resistant. Altogether, the Hario Slim is sturdy and easy to clean, which adds to its overall durability.
- It’s light, easy to pack, and extremely portable.
- The price of the Hario Slim is higher than many ceramic burr grinders.
- According to many users, if you grind the Hario Slim to full capacity, 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 all the other options in our list, the Hario Slim doesn’t have grind settings or any click system. Eventually, you’ll want to upgrade to a more precise and faster grinder.
Best Coffee Grinder for French Press: The Verdict
My favorite and the clear winner is the Fellow Ode. If you’re starting the journey toward home brewing like a pro, this grinder can be your sidekick for a long time. It offers excellent results, has great value, and has a reputable brand behind it.
It’s precise, durable, and has enough capacity to serve a good bunch of people. Moreover, it has a decent price tag, considering how difficult it is to find a good coffee grinder in this price range. Perhaps you already noticed it, but there are even some manual coffee grinders that can be more expensive than the Fellow Ode. 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 Fellow Ode.
Frequently Asked Questions about buying a French press coffee grinder
Finding the best grinder for French press doesn’t come without questions. Below you can find some of the most common questions I found while researching for this blog post.
What’s The Advantage Of Manual Grinders?
Manual coffee grinders are much quieter, smoother, more portable, space-saving, and tend to be more affordable than electric ones.
What Is The Correct Grind Size For French Press?
The best grind size is somewhere between medium to coarse. I prefer closer to medium, since it’s tastier, and boosts the most delicate flavors in coffee. A finer grind will also produce a more balanced cup of coffee, while a coarser grind will easily bring sourness and less character to the cup.
Can You Use A Blade Grinder For French Press?
While you technically can use a blade grinder for French press, it’s not recommended as they produce inconsistent grind sizes, which results in poor taste. A better option would be to use a burr grinder, which produces a more consistent grind size and therefore results in a better-tasting cup of coffee.
Are There Cheaper Alternatives To Electric Burr Grinders?
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to an electric burr grinder, you might want to consider a hand grinder. Although they require a bit more effort to operate, hand grinders can offer superior results – and they often come at a lower price point than their electrically-powered counterparts.
What Is The Advantage Of Grinding Your Own Coffee?
The advantage of grinding your own coffee is that you can adjust the grind size to your desired preference. You can also ensure that you’re getting freshly ground, high-quality coffee beans. When you buy ground coffee, there’s always the chance that it’s been sitting on the shelf for a while and has lost most of its flavor. Grinding your own coffee beans gives you the freshest cup of coffee possible.
Can I grind coffee beans in my blender or food processor?
It’s possible to grind coffee beans in a blender or food processor, but the results are usually terrible. The blades of a blender or food processor are not designed to produce a consistent grind, so the coffee beans will be ground inconsistently and will not produce a good cup of coffee.
Are Burr Grinders Really Better?
While blade grinders are cheaper and more common, burr grinders are definitely the superior choice. Burr grinders create a much more consistent particle size, which is important for extracting maximum flavor from your coffee beans. Plus, they tend to be quieter and less messy than blade grinders (coffee grounds everywhere!)
If you’re serious about making great coffee at home, investing in a good burr grinder is a must.