Best Coffee Grinder For French Press? Some Great Options For 2017
For those of you who read Bean Ground regularly, you've probably already noticed that I've professed my love for the French Press time and time again. To be honest, It’s probably my first choice at home when brewing coffee to share. Well, it sounds like I'm not the only one that loves the French Press as many of you transitioning over from push button coffee brewers on now on the bandwagon.
The sudden surge has had my inbox full with lots of French Press coffee-related questions. One of the questions I seem to be getting more and more is related to grinder coffee for the French Press; a typical query is what's the best grinder for French Press?
So instead of answering each message one-by-one, I thought I would address this question in a full article, which in turn should help many more of you who are pondering the same issue.
Grind For French Press Coffee?
Okay, before we get ahead of ourselves lets first take a look at the French Press coffee grind. Forget about the grinder, to be honest, the coffee grind size is the key to a successful and tasty carafe of French Press coffee. It doesn’t matter what type of French Press grinder you have if you don’t get the grind right pre-brew the rest will fail.
Why? If your French Press grind is too fine (such as an espresso grind or something similar), you'll find that the coffee will pass through the metal mesh filter that’s attached to the plunger used in the French Press. This will leave you with “coffee sludge” at the bottom of your drinking cup (yuk!).
If your French Press grind not too fine but at the same time not coarse enough, you will find it tough actually to push the plunger down. The coffee isn't going to pass through the mesh filter, but it’s going to clog it up to a point where the water cannot freely pass through.
Now, this might all sound confusing, but it shouldn’t, making a French Press coffee is super-easy. Just ensure that your coffee is coarsely ground and you shouldn’t have any issues. Depending on how coarse your ground coffee is you'll also have to play with around the steeping time. I find that 5-minutes is perfect for my taste, but you may find that a shorter or longer steep time will give you your preferred strength of coffee. Longer steeping equals a more bitter and stronger tasting coffee; lesser steeping time will result in a weaker less bitter brew.
What To Look For In A French Press Grinder?
The French Press is rather forgiving when it comes to the grind; sure it has to be a coarse grind, but that can be achieved with almost any coffee grinder; you don't have to spend a small fortune or sell a kidney to get the best grinder for French Press. With that said here are some desirable features that any grinder should have.
You've probably heard it a million times, but grind consistency is a major factor in brewing up a great tasting cup. It's all to do with the surface area of the ground coffee; for a brewing method that has little contact with the water, the grind should be finer on the other hand for brewing such as immersion that the French Press uses a more coarse grind is required.
If the grind is too fine or contact time with the water is too high, it will result in an over-extracted brew which can often taste overly bitter. If the grind is too coarse or the contact time is too short, the resulting coffee will turn out weak and tasteless.
Most of the best coffee grinders will come with an array of various grind settings from super fine to extremely coarse and everything in between. When choosing the best grinder for the French Press, the number of settings the grinder has isn't an issue, if it can churn out a good coarse setting you're all set!
Burr grinders are the better choice but even a cheap blade grinder work with the French Press grind. If you're looking to buy a Burr grinder and you are not sure what the difference is between a Conical vs. Flat Burr Grinder make sure you read this article.
Many coffee grinders suffer from some static buildup, more so with the cheaper electric types. The materials used and the type of mechanism can affect the amount of static in the grinder. Static can play havoc on your freshly ground coffee making the grinds stick to every part of the mill. When buying a grinder for the French Press, I recommend buying a manual grinder is possible or an electric model that has anti-static features incorporated in the design.
Design And Durability
Simplistic is best when buying any coffee grinder, there's no need for those extra bells and whistles that never get used; seriously who needs an alarm clock, or a fancy LCD on their grinder!
Throughout the day your coffee grinder is going to get some serious knocks and bangs, it takes a lot of abuse and crushing coffee beans take a lot of effort. Ensuring that your grinder is durable and up for the job is a key factor when choosing the best. Metal, Glass, and hardwearing plastics are ideal for the outer-casing but for the grinding burrs ceramic is going to be a better option.
Best Grinder For French Press Grind On With These In 2017
Unlike other coffee brewing methods that require and the exact type of grind and a good grinder to achieve that grind such as a Burr grinder, you do have a bit of “wiggle room” when using the French Press (the coarse French Press grind is pretty easy to achieve).
You don’t have to spend a small fortune to make a good coarse grind and to be honest you can get away with using any coffee grinder. It doesn’t have to be the preferred Burr; any grinder will do. Even a cheap blade grinder like this will work.
So bearing that in mind I have picked out some of the best French Press grinders that won’t cost you an arm and a leg, but at the same time will be able to get that perfect French Press grind. Let's take a closer look.
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
My first recommendation is the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. Priced at just a smidgen over $40 (at the time of writing) you can't go wrong at this price for a Burr coffee grinder. What I like about the Cuisinart Automatic Burr Mill is the fact that it can be used to grind coffee for an array of different brews, not just for French Press. Making the Cuisinart the perfect option for those of you who want a multipurpose grinder.
The Cuisinart Automatic Burr Mill comes with three different grind settings, coarse (best grind for French Press), medium, and fine. So it doesn’t matter if you’re grinding coffee for a French Press, making a brew using your Moka Pot, or brewing inverted with your AeroPress, you have all bases covered with this coffee grinder.
With the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill, you also have six different settings per grind type. So, for example, you can play around with the six different coarse settings within the main coarse setting until you get the perfect French Press grind. These multi-level settings allow you to hone in on that perfect grind; this becomes more important when you get into the realms of pour of coffee brewing.
Depending on how much coffee you are going to grind, the Cuisinart will take roughly under 1-minute to grind your beans; however, you do have to experiment to find the right grind consistencies and quantities. If you can’t find this French Press coffee grinder in your local store, you can pick one up at Amazon as they always seem to have stock readily available.
Hario Ceramic Skerton Coffee Mill
If you don’t mind breaking a bit of sweat when grinding your coffee beans (more effort equals a better tasting coffee) for your French Press, I highly recommend the Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill. If the French Press is going to be the only coffee maker you’re going to be using, then forget about the above Cuisinart Automatic Burr Mill, save some money and buy this inexpensive coffee grinder.
The Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton is an entry-level, hand operated mill grinder that uses rotating ceramic burrs to break down your coffee beans. Priced at around $25 (at the time of writing) this is the best manual coffee grinder for French Press as far as I’m concerned, here are some reasons why. Firstly its cheap, it’s small, lightweight and super-easy to clean – did I say it was cheap? Make sure to read my full Hario Skerton Review here for a more detailed review.
The Hario Ceramic Skerton Coffee Mill is the best manual coffee grinder for French Press that I've found in this price range, and it’s one of the least expensive ways to achieve uniform coffee grounds for any traditional brewing method. You can find the Hario Ceramic Skerton Coffee Mill at Amazon if you are struggling to find it elsewhere.
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder
The last French Press grinder recommendation is the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder. This is an excellent compact, mid-range priced coffee grinder that features a unique and attractive industrial design that reminds me of their French Press range of brewers.
The Bodum Electric Burr Grinder has multiple grind settings and uses a stainless steel conical Burr grinding mechanism to produce very consistent grinds with varying coarseness. It features a simple push button to operate, and the pre-set grind timer lets you quickly grind the exact amount of coffee needed for your French Press or any other brewing device. It also enables you to grind just enough coffee each time ensuring that your coffee is always at its freshest, not wasted or left sitting to then lose its freshness.
The size is perfect for the smaller kitchen, and it can easily be tucked away in a cupboard or an unused corner of your counter-top. Priced at just under $90 (at the time of writing) it’s not a cheap French Press grinder, but if you plan on using it for making other coffee brews, the other various grind settings will allow that little bit more flexibility. It's worth the one-time investment if it's going to be fully utilized for other types of grind size and brewing methods. You can find the Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder at Amazon if you cannot find it elsewhere.