Cold brew is easy to make ahead and refreshing on a hot, summery day. But to brew it, you’ll want very coarsely-ground beans, which can be difficult to buy pre-ground. So what’s the best grinder for cold brew beans?
To make your shopping easier and get you to a tasty glass of cold brew faster, we’ve put together this guide to the five best cold brew coffee grinders of 2020. For our detailed reviews, we tested all of the best brands and compared price, design, grind consistency, grind settings, and size so you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get. Keep reading for our top five rankings and comprehensive guide to buying a great cold brew grinder.
|Capresso Infinity Grinder|
|JavaPresse Manual Grinder|
(Best Budget Buy)
|OXO BREW Conical Grinder||2 Years||4.45/5|
|Baratza Encore Grinder|
|Bodum Bistro Grinder||Limited 1 Year||4.25/5|
Our favorite grinder was the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, a reasonably priced, well-designed grinder that produces consistent grinds at all coarseness levels. The commercial-grade steel conical burrs spin at a slower speed, less than 450 rpm, to produce higher-quality coffee grounds.
The Capresso 560.01 has a stylish piano-style grind size chart and a simple dial timer, so you won’t have to it monitor as it grinds. Weighing four pounds, this model has an 8.8-ounce bean container and a four-ounce grounds container.
The upper burr is removable, making it easier to clean, which is fortunate because quite a bit of grounds become stuck in the burr while grinding. The machine does require frequent cleaning, so the package includes a cleaning brush and measuring scoop. Capresso provides a one-year warranty.
Are you looking to spend a little less? You may be interested in the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, a good grinder that offers excellent value for money as long as you’re willing to put in the elbow grease. This hand-operated model, which comes with a code for a free bag of coffee, weighs a mere half a pound, has 18 different grind settings, and operates very quietly, making it a great choice if you’re sensitive to noise.
JavaPresse’s manual grinder has a compact, stainless steel body that’s attractive enough to display and small enough to put away. In testing, we found that this machine is more difficult to use. You’ll have to put in a fair amount of effort to grind a full cup of beans, and setting the grind size without indicators is not very intuitive. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, this model will produce a consistently coarse grind, perfect for brewing cold press coffee, at a fraction of the cost.
JavaPresse recommends replacing the ceramic burrs every year and sells replacements through its website. The company offers an impressive lifetime warranty backed up by great customer service.
The OXO BREW Conical Burr Coffee Grinder can be another good option, with its moderate price and weight and expensive-feeling stainless steel construction. It’s also surprisingly quiet, which your family or roommates will appreciate.
With stainless steel conical burrs, 15 grind settings with microsettings, and an adjustable timer, this model boasts quite a few convenient features. In testing, we found that the beans do not always feed correctly, so you may not be able to walk away during grinding.
This model boasts a large, 12-ounce plastic hopper with a UV-blocking tint, though the grounds container can only hold four ounces at a time. This machine does not seem terribly durable, so the generous two-year warranty may come in handy.
The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder could be your pick if you’re willing to spend a little more. It has several nice features, including a pulse button and on/off switch, as well as 40 grind settings.
Unfortunately, we didn’t feel that this grinder felt as expensive as it is. With a plastic body and somewhat unattractive design, this 6.83-pound machine, which has steel burrs, doesn’t quite live up to its price. In testing, we found that it may require frequent recalibration, though it is pleasantly quiet.
Baratza offers a one-year warranty with good customer service.
Our last pick is the moderately-priced Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder. This model, which weighs a reasonable 4.6 pounds, has a decent glass and silicone design and features stainless steel conical burrs. However, it’s not the most durable and has limited features.
The Bodum Bistro grinder has a relatively limited 12 grind sizes and an adjustable timer. It can hold up to 7.75 ounces of beans at a time and has a dishwasher-safe borosilicate glass container to catch grounds. The hopper lid has a grind size chart to make grind size easy to adjust.
This machine’s plastic gears are unfortunately not very durable, and although Bodum sells replacement glass containers, it doesn’t offer silicone parts or gears. This model is backed up by a one-year warranty, though we found reports of less-than-responsive customer service.
To make a batch of cold brew, you combine coffee beans with cool water and let the mixture sit overnight. When your coffee has steeped enough, you pour it through a paper or cloth filter to remove the grounds.
Cold brew is defined by its high bean-to-water ratio, generally about one ounce of beans for each cup of water, and correspondingly high caffeine content. Cold brew is typically strong, and because it’s never heated, it has low acidity and a sweet flavor.
Because cold brew is brewed for so long, you don’t want to grind your beans too finely, or you could end up with over-extracted, bitter coffee. If you grind too finely, you could also end up with cloudy or silty coffee.
For the best flavor, you’ll want coffee that’s been ground to a consistently coarse grind size. If your grounds are inconsistently-sized, you could end up with coffee that’s been both over- and under-extracted, which won’t have a great flavor.
To produce that consistent coarse grind, you’ll want a precise, even grinder that won’t heat up your beans as it grinds. The best type of grinder, therefore, is a burr grinder, which will produce consistently ground beans at any grind size setting.
Burr grinders work by crushing beans between spinning steel or ceramic burrs. To adjust grind size, you typically rotate the bean hopper, which adjusts the distance between the burrs.
You can read all about the two major types of grinders in our comprehensive guide.
● Grind consistency: A perfect cold brew grinder will have good grind consistency even at coarse grind levels.
● Grind size range and adaptability: Do you only make cold brew coffee, or will you need to adjust the grind settings frequently? If you brew different types of coffee, you may want to keep an eye on how easy it is to adjust the grind size settings.
● Grind speed: Grinders that work too quickly run the risk of heating up your coffee beans. Cold temperatures are one of the biggest benefits of cold brew, so you may lose some of the characteristic sweetness and low acidity if your grind works too quickly.
● Manual vs. electric: Are you looking for an old-fashioned hand-operated machine which will work without electricity – and do it quietly? Or would you prefer an electric grinder that you can program and walk away from?
● Capacity: How much coffee do you make every day? If you brew batches of cold brew regularly, you may need a grinder with a larger capacity.
● Price: How much would you like to spend on a grinder? Making cold brew doesn’t require specialized machinery, so you may have more room in your budget. If not, you may want to consider whether you’re willing to trade automation and features for a lower price.
● Design: Do you prefer stainless steel or plastic construction? You may want to consider how your grinder will fit into your kitchen.
● Noise: Though they’re typically quieter than blade grinders, burr grinders can be fairly loud. If you have noise-sensitive roommates, family members, or pets, you may want to look for a quiet grinder, particularly a manual one.
● Burr materials: Most burrs are made of either stainless steel or ceramic. Steel burrs are less expensive but also less durable, so if you want a really durable grinder, you may want to spend a bit more for ceramic burrs.
● Warranty: All of the coffee grinders we reviewed have at least a one-year warranty, but some have multi-year or even lifetime warranties. If you’re interested in protecting your investment, you may want to look for a longer warranty and a company known for its customer service.
What’s the bottom line? Our favorite grinder for cold brew coffee is the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, a well-designed, consistent burr grinder that works at low speeds. Our top pick for a smaller budget is the JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, which is consistent, quiet, and very well-priced, though you’ll have to operate it by hand. If you’re looking for something a little higher-end, the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder could be your pick, with a high price, interesting design, and a good range of features.
Shopping for a great coffee grinder doesn’t have to be difficult. We hope that our buyer’s guide to the best coffee grinders for cold brew, plus our detailed reviews of the best brands on the market, help you shop quickly and confidently.
Featured Image by: Caio Resende, Pexels
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