Top 5: The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press

If you are looking for the best coffee grinder for French press, you're probably already convinced of the delicious taste a French press brings to coffee. Heralded by many coffee enthusiasts as the best method of brewing an excellent cup of coffee, the French press is a low-cost, high-reward coffee maker that belongs in every coffee drinker’s arsenal.

Despite its incredibly simple design and intuitive operation, however, many people are unknowingly brewing subpar coffee with their French presses; they don’t place enough importance on the grind. This oversight by coffee drinkers is all too common, and can be mostly attributed to false advertising by grinder manufacturers. Most burr grinders on the market will have a coarseness setting specifically marked “French press,” despite a mechanical incompetence in reaching the coarseness and uniformity necessary for a truly great French press brew.

This is a widespread problem that impacts most low-end, and even some mid-range burr grinders. The best coffee grinder for French press is simply one that can produce a coarse enough grind consistently. Coffee particles should be uniform in size, as too many chunks will make your brew weak, and too many fines will turn your coffee into sludge. The best coffee grind for French press should be only slightly finer than steel cut oats.

The purpose of this article is to look beyond manufacturer claims to determine what the best French press coffee grinder is based on the expectations laid out above. With many grinders incapable of producing a coarse enough grind, and many others being barely competent, the following is a countdown for the best grinder for French press.

The Best Coffee Grinder for French press

After going through many existing coffee grinder reviews, we have compiled a list that shows you the best French press coffee grinder.
Based on features, convenience, performance, excellent build quality and great value for your money, we present you:
The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press of 2016
(Tip: Check the orange buttons for full detailed coffee grinder reviews and 1-on-1 comparisons)

WINNER

Porlex JP-30 Manual Grinder

French press coffee is sometimes a bit of a finicky coffee type. Getting the grind just right is not always possible with every grinder. The JP-30 gets the job done perfectly though.

RUNNER-UP

Breville Dose Control Pro

A bit less romantic than the Porlex is the Breville Dose Control Pro, which is the best electric grinder for Frech press coffee. It produces the right grind needed for French press.

NOTEWORTHY

Zassenhaus Santiago

The Zassenhaus 156BU combines excellent grind quality with beautiful vintage looks. It is in the same league as the Kyocera, but its looks make it a real showpiece in your kitchen.

1. Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

A good French Press brew requires a somewhat coarser grind that most coffee brews. While this is certainly possible with a lot of grinders, far too many manual and electric grinders simply can’t produce the kind of consistency required to make a French Press brew turn out well.

The Porlex JP-30 is one of the few grinders with settings that make it perfect for French Press. The Porlex JP-30 has only a limited number of settings. A small nut can be twisted to close the gap between the burrs in order to create finer or coarser grinds. The adjustment process has been identified by several customers as being a bit more trouble than it’s worth, and many customers stick to one grind that they like in order to avoid having to adjust the grinder frequently.

Nevertheless, if you’re going for a French Press grind, the Porlex delivers well, giving a very consistent grind, limiting fines and reducing static build-up due to the stainless steel construction of the shell. Popular among coffee aficionados, the Porlex JP-30 is a great device for those that want to make quick and easy cups of coffee for either themselves or a loved one in a more authentic, and extremely quiet manner.

2. Breville BCG600SIL The Dose Control Pro Coffee Bean Grinder

Like Baratza devices, Breville machines often find themselves at the top of many “best of” lists. The Dose Control Pro is a fairly new offering by Breville, but will undoubtedly be a favorite of coffee aficionados for years to come. It is a beautiful, high-value, high-performance burr grinder that excels at producing an incredibly uniform grind, even for French press. At its core, the Dose Control Pro is Breville’s best mid-range grinder retooled as an entry-level product. This makes it the best grinder for French press in its price range.

It is very hard to fault the Dose Control Pro in any way. It is incredibly well built (especially for its price range), it produces a grind uniformity akin to the best mid-range burr grinders, and it is exceptional for most brewing methods, including French press. It also avoids all the shortcomings of the other electric burr grinders on the list. It produces virtually zero fines, has a high-torque motor that will make easy work of any beans at any coarseness, and features a top-tier build quality.

This is the best French press coffee grinder by leaps and bounds within the low to mid-end electric grinder category.

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3. Zassenhaus Coffee Grinder Santiago Natural Beech - 156BU

Zassenhaus hand mills have garnered a very strong following amongst coffee geeks worldwide. They are beautiful antique coffee mills that boast top-tier performance and are built to last for decades. Unlike some of the cheaper manual grinders (notably Hario), Zassenhaus grinders are more than competent at producing grinds for French press coffee. In fact, the 156BU outperforms most mid-range burr grinders on the coarse side of the grind spectrum.

The Zassenhaus 156BU does not have any issues grinding for French press. It produces virtually zero fines, and its coarsest grinds are just as uniform as the finest. There are two complaints to be made about the 156BU. The first is the fact that it is a manual grinder, and requires more work and more time than a standard electric burr grinder. The second complaint is the price. While perfectly reasonable for collectors of vintage items, the 156BU’s price is a little too high for customers who value practicality above all else.

Although incredibly competent and stylish to boot, the Zassenhaus is not the best French press grinder available, simply by virtue of its price.

4. Capresso 565.05 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder

Only slightly pricier than the Baratza Encore (#5), the Capresso 565 Infinity is superior in almost every way. Its performance, grind uniformity, and coarseness ranges from slightly better to significantly better. The difference is most pronounced on coarser ranges, which is exactly what we’re looking for. The Capresso 565 produces fewer fines on its coarsest settings and supports the ideal granularity for French Press. It is also a much sturdier machine, being built from die-cast metal instead of plastic. It is simply the best coffee grinder for French press under $150.

There is one issue that keeps it from being the best overall: its occasional difficulty with handling darker, oilier beans. While the difficulty often arises from grinding dark beans on the finest settings of the machine, it is still an important consideration that speaks to the machine’s overall performance. Even if you don’t plan on using the Capresso on its finest grind settings, you should keep in mind that its low-torque motor can still clog and chug.

The Capresso Infinity is perfectly capable of producing the best coffee grind for French press,but is not the highest performing, nor most reliable method of grinding coffee. It is still a fantastic multi-purpose machine that would make most coffee drinkers happy; it is just short of being the best.

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Breville

Besides the #2 on this list, Breville also produces the Smart Grinder Pro, one of the most popular coffee grinders.

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Baratza

From entry-level to commercial grinders, Baratza has a full range of excellent grinders for every budget.

5. Baratza Encore - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Time and time again, Baratza’s entry-level burr grinder finds itself amongst the most oft recommended grinders to novices. The reason is quite simple: the Encore’s European-made burrs produce a very consistent grind, and have enough adjustment to cover most standard brewing methods (outside of espresso), including Turkish pot. It stands strong as a contender for the best French press grinder on the market.

The only issue the Encore has with coarser grinds is a presence of fines. While the Encore produces substantially less than most electric burr grinders in its range, they are nevertheless present. At best, you won’t notice any fines in your brew, and at worst, your coffee will take on a slightly gritty texture at the bottom of the cup. It definitely does not produce enough fines to turn your coffee into sludge, however.

On a more general note, Baratza machines are infamous for poor build quality. Cheap plastic casing, flimsy knobs, and improper factory calibration are fairly common problems across Baratza’s product range. Build quality issues coupled with the existence of some fines keep the Encore from scoring higher.

Our Best Pick: Porlex JP-30

Porlex JP-30 Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder
List Price: $50.99
Price: $50.99
Price Disclaimer
  • Fred

    I really wish I had seen this line before I bought the Breville:

    “It produces the fine grind needed for French press”
    Yep, it produces a fine grind alright… too bad french press needs a coarse grind.

    These reviews are bought and paid for by the manufacturers. Thanks a lot for selling me on a product that doesnt get anywhere close enough to the coarseness needed for french press. Waste of time, this website.

    • Jacco

      Hi Fred,

      I am sorry about the miswording in the intro, instead of “fine” it should have been “right”, so I fixed that. This grinder is perfectly capable of producing the grounds needed for French press. I have a different Breville myself, with a limited number of settings, yet still, it produces a perfect grounds for French press.

      These reviews aren’t bought of paid for by manufacturers, nor are they affected by the commission we receive. This commission is purely used to pay the guys writing the articles, and if we do a bad job, we won’t get paid anything.

      I hope this clarifies it a bit.
      Jacco, Chief Grinder

  • Fred

    Haha AND they monitor all comments to keep people from calling them out for what they are…

    Lying sales people.

    • Jacco

      Hi Fred,

      you’re right all comments are moderated because we would have a lot of spam on our site if we don’t. We want the comments to be helpful, as well as having a reply before being posted. So no lying sales people here, just a different timezone which is why it takes a bit longer before your comment gets seen.

      Jacco, Chief Grinder