Cold brew coffee you either love it or loathe it or you’re on the fence. Whatever side you stand cold brew coffee is here to stay and I for one absolutely love this bitter cold caffeine-infused beverage.
For many of you reading this I bet your first experience with cold brew has been at your local coffee watering hole. But, for the true coffee addict churning out some great tasting cold coffee at home is a must – plus it’ll save you a few bucks too!
Apart from picking out some great tasting whole coffee beans, you’re also going to need a coffee grinder that can knock out the best grind for cold brew coffee.
But won’t any coffee grinder do? Yes and no. It’s true to say that the grind for cold brew is a little more forgiving compared to other brewing methods and seeing as cold brew typically calls for a more coarse coffee grind you can get away by using a cheap blade grinder like the Krups F203.
However, for the best tasting coffee, you really need to invest in a good burr coffee grinder that will ensure that your ground coffee is as even and uniform as it can be which in turn means a more flavorful and fully extracted brew.
Key Characteristics Of A Good Grinder For Cold Brew Coffee
Apart from choosing a burr grinder to use for your cold brew you also needs to pay special attention to the grind setting. You’ll need to ensure that the grinder has a wide selection of coarse settings – remember cold brew requires coarse ground coffee to help release the most flavor and it makes filtering easier too.
Ideally, the grinder should have a decently sized bean hopper so you’ll don’t need to keep on refilling – especially if you plan on making cold brew coffee in a large Toddy which requires huge amounts of freshly ground coffee beans.
Apart from that, there’s nothing else to look out for – as long as the grinder is a burr grinder and has an amply sized bean hopper with a good selection of coarse grind settings you’re all set.
4 Best Coffee Grinders For Cold Brew for 2019
The good news is that I’ve gone out and handpicked some of the best coffee grinders for cold brew that tick all of the boxes when it comes to brewing cold coffee at home. All of the below coffee grinders are the burr variety and offer a good selection of grind settings and can hold enough coffee whole beans to keep a highly caffeinated barista happy during a morning rush hour.
Let’s take a closer look.
Baratza Virtuoso – Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Out of the 4 coffee grinders featured in my list of recommendations, the Baratza Virtuoso is my preferred grinder for cold brew. For starters, it comes with a whopping 40 grind settings with enough coarse options to keep any cold brew coffee geek happy.
The power friendly DC motor has been carefully designed to keep heat buildup at a minimum so your coffee beans stay cool even during prolonged grinding sessions. Cool beans mean better flavor, burnt coffee beans will leave a bitter taste in your mouth.
The DC motor also features a combination of electric and gear speed reducers that keep the grinding burrs under 450 RPM. Not only does this reduce noise it also aids in a smooth, consistent feeding of the whole beans from the hopper to the grinding burrs and helps to reduce static buildup.
OXO On Conical Burr Coffee Grinder with Integrated Scale
Take the guesswork out of your cold brew with the OXO Conical Burr Coffee Grinder that features a built-in coffee scale.
The 40mm stainless steel conical burrs are ideal for grinding uniform coffee and with up to 38 settings to choose from, grinding coffee for cold brew is just a push of a button away. Just like the above Baratza, the OXO also comes with a motor speed control that helps to reduce static buildup and won’t overheat your beans.
The large hopper holds up to 16 ounces of whole coffee beans and once ground the collection container holds enough coffee for up to 12 cups – perfect!
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
I’ll let you in on a little secret – you don’t have to spend a fortune on a grinder for cold brew coffee in fact for under $50 you can pick up the Cuisinart DBM-8 which is more than capable of churning out a great coarse grind.
Some of the notable features of this particular grinder include a grind chamber that can hold enough coffee for up to 32 cups, 18 grind settings that can be further honed in so you can dial in just the grind you need. A smart feature is a timer that shuts off the Cuisinart DBM-8 once the grind cycle is complete. Excellent budget buy!
Baratza Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Why buy a grinder just for cold brew coffee when you can spend a little bit more and purchase a grinder that’s exceptional for all types of brew methods? What you need is the award-winning Baratza Sette 270 Conical Burr Coffee Grinder.
Not only can the Baratza Sette 270 knock out the perfect grind for cold brew coffee it’s got you covered for Espresso, French Press, Aeropress, and Hario V60 to name just a few – this truly is the “swiss knife” of coffee grinders.
The Baratza Sette comes with up to 270 grinds settings – yes you heard me correctly 270! Each of the settings can be micro-adjusted for one of the most precise grinders in the market today.
If you enjoy Espresso the Baratza Sette has your back allowing you to grind your coffee directly into your Portafilter. Not a fan of Espresso don’t worry you can use the provided grounds collection bin and brew using your favorite method.
Highly recommended multipurpose award-winning coffee grinder – if you love to brew different types of coffee this grinder is a must buy!
Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill
But what happens if there’s a power cut or you’re planning on making cold brew coffee on your next camping trip? What you need is a manual coffee grinder and I can’t recommend the Hario Skerton Coffee Mill enough – it’s the best hand grinder I’ve found. Don’t believe me? Check out my full review here.
This pocket-sized burr coffee grinder is perfect for using for cold brew. Once you’ve dialed in your medium to coarse setting you’re good to go, albeit with a bit of elbow grease.
The ceramic burrs help to keep the whole coffee beans cool during the grinding process and also reduce static buildup that metal burrs can be prone to.
The handle can be removed which makes packing a lot easier and any leftover ground coffee can be stored in the glass jar and the freshness kept locked in thanks to the supplied screw top.
Best Grind Size for the Cold Brew Coffee?
As you more than likely have worked out by now, a medium to coarse grind is going to be your best bet for achieving a great tasting cold brew coffee.
A fine grind is a big no for cold brew coffee, sure it means you can steep your coffee for a shorter period of time but I guarantee you won’t be able to completely remove all of the coffee grinds when it comes to filtering your cold brewed coffee. You will be left with a cloudy and bitter tasting coffee and you definitely won’t be able to enjoy any of the undertones and flavors found in your premium coffee beans.
A medium grind will reduce the extraction time but you’re going to struggle to completely filter out all of the grinds once you’ve steeped your cold brew for 12 hours or more, so the resulting coffee will not be as clean.
This is why a coarse grind is strongly recommended for cold brewed coffee. It’s going to be easier to filter your coffee won’t be cloudy, and the longer steep time will allow for all of the flavors and aromas to be released without any of the bitterness.
Manual vs. Electric – Which Is Better For Cold Brew?
The quick answer is both. Yes, both manual and electric coffee grinders will work perfectly for cold coffee brewing.
The question boils down to how much elbow grease do you want to put into making your batch of cold brew coffee?
Luckily cold brewed requires a coarse grind and that not going to take a lot of effort if you’re using a manual coffee grinder. The finer the grind size the more sweat you are going to shed.
One of the main advantages of an electric grinder over a manual is that they are very simple and easy to use, so much so, even your eccentric coffee loving grandma should have no problems grinding for her favorite brew.
All you have to do is load the bean hopper, select your preferred grind size (remember coarse for cold brew), and flip the switch. In just a few seconds you’ll have fresh grounds ready to be used in your cold brewed coffee.
However, one of the main drawbacks of an electric burr coffee grinder is that they can be fairly expensive. Sure there are cheaper units but before you think about running out to your local department store and picking up the cheapest option, let me warn you that you will get what you pay for.
It’s also worth mentioning that an electric grinder can heat up pretty quickly especially with prolonged grinding of large batches of whole beans. This additional heat can adversely affect your coffee due to the needless loss of aromas and flavor from your beans. The good news is that many of the best coffee grinders for cold brew have built-in limiters that control the speed on for motors so the heat is kept at a minimum.
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