I know some of you are going to be in a bit of a rush, so we recommend the Baratza Encore as a great burr grinder for French press.
Brewing coffee via French press is, and always has been, a very popular method for making a cuppa. There are undoubtedly some amazing pre-ground coffee out there for this method, but is it the best coffee you can brew?
No. For that you should be grinding up your own coffee beans. We’ve found the five best burr grinders for French press brewing so you can start dialing in to that perfect grind size and making the freshest coffee.
These are the burr grinders we’ll be reviewing:
Let’s take a look.
- Why Not Pre-Ground Coffee?
- What Kind Of Coffee Grinder Should You Buy?
- What To Consider When Buying A Coffee Grinder
- Best Burr Grinder For French Press – The Reviews
- Final Thoughts
Why Not Pre-Ground Coffee?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with using pre-ground coffee. There are some amazing brands out there. Especially if you buy from a local roastery, where you know the beans are freshly roasted and pre-ground just before you bought them.
For people who are new to drinking coffee, pre-ground is convenient and easy. But for those of us that want to up our coffee game or want to experiment with how different grind sizes can affect the taste, grinding your own beans is the way forward.
Not to mention the added freshness and incredible flavour that grinding your own beans will bring to your cuppa.
Using a French press as your brewing method requires quite a coarse grind size. Reason being because the extraction time is quite long, around 5 minutes, and so you don’t need a massive surface area of coffee exposed.
Finding the perfect pre-ground coffee for a French press, to fit your taste buds, can be difficult. It’s much easier to do it yourself. Plus, you can then experiment to fine tune your grind.
Also, maybe in the future you will want to try how coffee tastes from other brewing methods. Having a grinder that can produce a wide range of grind sizes will let you produce freshly ground coffee, no matter how you want to make your coffee.
What Kind Of Coffee Grinder Should You Buy?
Now you know why it’s best to grind your own beans, it’s time to figure out what kind of grinder you should get. There are a few different variations, but we’ll walk you through it as simply as possible.
Burr Or Blade Grinder?
I don’t want to sh*t over a certain type of grinder, but that’s exactly what i’m about to do.
Blade grinders will offer your smashed up coffee beans that are uneven, which will give you an unbalanced extraction. You won’t be able to adjust the grind size, you get what you get and that’s that.
I have used a blade grinder in the past. I had been using pre-ground coffee in my moka pot and read that grinding up your own beans is better. I got myself a blade grinder, ground some coffee beans and placed them in my moka pot.
Only for it to brew an incredibly weak coffee. Honestly it was like dishwasher water. The coffee grind was way too coarse to be used in a moka pot and so the extraction was poor. The worst thing was I couldn’t do anything about it. There’s no option to change the grind size.
I would recommend getting a burr grinder over a blade grinder any day of the week.
What To Consider When Buying A Coffee Grinder
Buying your first coffee grinder doesn’t need to be a complicated thing to do. These are a couple of things you should bear in mind to make sure you find the grinder that’s best for you.
Adjustable Grind Size Settings
I know at the moment you’re looking at how to grind your coffee beans up so they’re the ideal size for a French press. However in the future you’re probably going to want to explore different brew methods.
Finding a grinder that offers a wide range of settings will give you a lot of flexibility. The more options you have for grinding, the more options you have for how to brew your coffee.
Consistency Of The Grind
Having lots of different options is only going to be useful if your grinder is producing a consistent grind size.
Like we said earlier, you need an even grind size to extract a well balanced cuppa. Otherwise all your flavours are going to be off and that’s a waste of coffee. Nobody likes wasting coffee.
Any decent burr grinder is going to produce that even and consistent grind size that’s crucially important.
Ease Of Cleaning
To ensure that your grinder will have a long lifespan, and so that it’ll produce an even grind size, you’re going to need to clean it.
It’s one of those jobs that you might not think is super important, but if not done often it can have a negative impact on your coffee grind and it’s durability.
The grinder you buy should be easy to clean, so you’re more likely to do it. Also, it should be good at expelling all of the coffee grinds. There are some grinders that aren’t very good at this, which means the stale and tasteless leftover coffee grounds will end up in your new, fresh batch.
That’ll taint the flavour of your coffee, and not in a good way.
Coffee grinders come in all shapes and sizes, from big, bulky, commercial ones, to small and compact manual models that you can take with you in a backpack.
If you’re looking at getting one of the bigger models, it’s important you measure the space you’re thinking of putting it. Having your long awaited coffee grinder arrive to find out it doesn’t fit where you wanted it to go is annoying to say the least.
This is especially true if you live somewhere with limited storage or countertop space. We’ll let you know the dimensions of each grinder to make it easy for you.
Best Burr Grinder For French Press – The Reviews
We’ve put together a mix of manual and electric grinders to try and cater for everyone’s budgets and the amount of coffee each want to grind. All of them are burr grinders too.
- 15 grind size options
- Super quiet
- Very high quality and durable burrs
- 1 year warranty
The JavaPresse is a very popular choice of manual coffee grinders. It’s built to a very high standard and delivers a consistent coffee grind every time. It tends to be more consistent when grinding fine compared to coarse, but the difference is pretty minimal.
With it being so small and compact it’s really easy to take away with you on your travels, so you’ll never be without freshly grinded coffee. If you have small coffee equipment, like a French press or Aeropress there’s no stopping you!
I really like the simple design of the JavaPresse, which makes it very easy to use. The cranking arm is smooth, and I think the window at the bottom which lets you see your ground coffee is a very nice touch.
If you’re wanting to start grinding your own coffee beans but don’t want to spend a lot, then this is a fantastic grinder to get you going.
As an added bonus, you get a unique code with every purchase which allows you to redeem a bag of whole bean coffee.
- 15 grind size settings
- Ergonomic design so it’s comfortable to use for an extended period of time
- Simple to load and clean
- Amazing customer service
- Lifetime warranty
Before we get onto the actual grinder, I want to bring your attention to the lifetime warranty you get. This screams a high quality build that Epare is willing to back, or else they wouldn’t give you such a long warranty. If anything does go wrong, the customer service is spot on, responding very quickly to resolve any issues.
As for the grinder itself, there are some nice touches that show they’ve really put some thought in. For example, the grippy pad on the bottom means the grinder isn’t going to slip when placed on the counter.
Again, it’s really easy to take apart for cleaning purposes, plus it’s super compact which means you can take it on your holidays with you.
One downside is the finest grind size setting doesn’t seem to be fine enough for a really good espresso. It’s slightly too coarse. So if you’re a big espresso drinker then maybe this isn’t the best grinder for you.
- 12 grind size settings
- Dishwasher safe
- Silicone band for a non-slip grip
- Coffee catcher made of anti-static borosilicate glass
- Air tight hopper lid
- 7.1 x 7.6 x 12.5 inches (L x W x H)
- 1 year warranty
The Bodum Bistro has a couple of neat features. For example with the coffee container being anti-static borosilicate glass, there aren’t any coffee grinds that will get wasted as they won’t stick to the glass.
You can also keep your coffee beans in the hopper without the worry of them losing their freshness and flavour due to it having an airtight lid.
If you have a colour theme running through your kitchen and you have matching appliances, then you’ll be happy to know that the Bodum comes in a range of different colours. Black, copper, red and white, plus a few more variations.
There is a maximum of a 20 second grind time before having to wait 5 minutes until it’s ready to go again. 20 seconds is probably enough time for you to grind as much coffee as you need, but if it isn’t, it’s quite annoying.
- 40 grind settings
- Electric grinder
- Very consistent and precise grind
- Pulse button
- 14 x 7.7 x 7.2 inches (L x W x H)
- 1 year warranty
For someone that has no experience grinding coffee beans, this might be the best entry level grinder on the market. Firstly, with its 40 grind settings, it allows you to fine tune the grind size so it’s perfect for your brew method.
It also lets you experiment how different grind sizes can affect the taste and flavours of your coffee. With a powerful DC motor it produces a consistent and precise grind size for however you want to brew your coffee.
It’s perfect for going really fine for whenever you want an espresso too. Like the Bodum, it has an anti-static coffee container so no ground coffee sticks to the glass.
With a high performance and powerful motor, it can be noisy. So if you’re wanting to grind your coffee early on a morning, maybe get ready for an earful off the rest of the household.
Overall, a really high quality build and grind. We have a full review on the Baratza Encore and it’s big brother, the Baratza Virtuoso, if you want to check them out in more detail.
- 18 custom grind settings
- Removable hopper and grinding chamber
- 8.4 x 7.9 x 12.8 inches (L x W x H)
- 1 year warranty
Our final grinder is the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Grinder. It’s one of the cheapest electronic burr grinders on the market. There are some blade grinders that are more expensive than this, so it’s a great price.
A feature I really like is the dosage function. As long as there are enough beans in the hopper, you can choose how many cups of coffee you want to brew, and it will grind up the amount of coffee you’ll need.
For the price this grinder costs, you can’t be expecting a top of the range, high performance burr grinder. Yes it gets the job done, but the grind can be inconsistent at times. You can get some powder building up which is going to affect the extraction process.
The biggest drawback is the mess it makes. The ground coffee sticks to the container and ends up everywhere when you take out of the grinder. Plus, to get to the burrs for cleaning, you have to unscrew the hopper as it’s not easily removable.
It’s a good electronic burr grinder, for the price.
There are many burr grinders out there that are going to get the job done of grinding down your coffee beans. No matter which one you get, you’re probably going to see an improvement in the quality of your cuppa.
If you’re on a budget or wanting to take your coffee grinder away overnight with you, then go for a manual grinder. Both the JavaPresse and the Epare are great manual grinders, but with the Epare you get a lifetime warranty which is handy to have incase anything breaks a couple of years down the line.
Honestly though, if you have the budget, go for the Baratza Encore. It’s an amazing entry level burr grinder that’s going to drastically improve your coffee game from home.
Why don’t you check out some of our coffee bean reviews so you know which beans you want to grind up first.
You can also head over to our friends at HomeMuse for more coffee grinder reviews.
Let us know which burr grinder you went for in the comments!