The Best Coffee Grinder For Cold Brew Enthusiasts In 2023
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We are a little obsessed with cold brew around here. Can you blame us? On a hot day (or any day), you just can’t beat a smooth, refreshing cold brew.
If you’ve ever cold brewed at home, you have likely learned that getting the grind size right significantly impacts the quality of your brew.
And in case you haven’t yet invested in a quality coffee grinder for cold brew, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite grinders to help you find your perfect grind.
The Best Coffee Grinder For Cold Brew
Are Burr Grinders Really Better?
In a word, yes. We know how tempting it is to buy a cheap blade grinder for cold brew and call it a day, but please don’t do that. Here’s why:
First, blade grinders are inappropriately named. They don’t actually grind anything. Blade grinders use a blade (duh) to chop up the beans, resulting in inconsistent grind size.
Getting the grind size right is essential, or you’ll end up with either an under or over-extracted brew (or a combo, gross).
Because cold brew steeps for so long, inconsistencies in the grind will be even more noticeable in the final product’s flavor.
Second, blade grinders generate heat as they chop, which causes the beans to release precious aromatics and can impart a burned flavor to the beans. Again, this flavor will be even more prominent because cold brewing is a slow process.
So, do us a favor and spend a few more bucks to get a quality burr grinder and avoid the blade grinders altogether.
But how do you know which burr grinder is best for you?
How To Choose A Good Coffee Grinder
There is a lot to consider when choosing a coffee grinder for cold brew: the amount of coffee you’re brewing daily, availability of storage space, portability, noise level, and price (just to name a few).
So let’s unpack these a bit.
You should first consider how big a batch of cold brew you usually make. A manual grinder generally has a smaller bean capacity than an electric grinder, so keep that in mind.
Kitchen storage space is at a premium in most homes, so think about where you’ll store your new coffee grinder and whether you’re cool with it living on your kitchen counter.
Do you often travel or love to camp? If you don’t want to go without your brew while on the road, you may want to consider a small, manual grinder for easy portability.
If you are grinding beans while others in the home are sleeping, consider the noise level of your future coffee grinder. Although, spoiler alert, even the quietest coffee grinder still makes some noise.
Lastly, you’ll want to monitor your budget when selecting a coffee grinder for cold brew. Electric coffee grinders can be very expensive but don’t worry; we’ve got a few stellar options that are totally affordable.
Electric Coffee Grinder Vs. Manual
Deciding between a manual grinder and an electric grinder is the first step in choosing the right grinder for your needs. Both make excellent grinders for cold brew, so the choice is yours.
But are manual coffee grinders any good? You bet they are. If you’re willing to do the work, a manual coffee grinder can produce a consistent grind that rivals the best electric grinder.
The benefits of a manual coffee grinder are that they’re significantly less expensive than electric grinders, are totally portable, and can easily be packed on camping trips and vacations. Not only are they small in size, but they don’t require any electricity to operate.
The downside of a manual grinder is that its capacity tends to be less than that of an electric grinder, and, obviously, you have to do the grinding yourself.
Additionally, manual grinders are pretty slow. A manual grinder may not be your speed if time is a hot commodity.
You may want an electric grinder for cold brew if you are short on time and/or need to brew a large batch.
Electric coffee grinders do the work for you but at a price. The higher price tag is essentially buying convenience, speed, and capacity. An electric coffee grinder will give you a consistent grind with minimal effort and make excellent grinders for cold brew.
Pre-Ground Coffee vs. Beans
If you’re a person who prefers to buy pre-ground coffee, you should consider changing your ways.
At least when it comes to cold brew, anyway. Pre-ground coffee is too fine for making cold brew and will leave you with a muddy, over-extracted brew.
Besides, pre-ground coffee will never taste as good as freshly ground coffee. This is because coffee beans begin to oxidize immediately after roasting (yikes), and the more exposure they have to the air, the faster they expire.
When coffee is ground, more oils and aromas are released from the beans, and even more beans are exposed to the air around them. Therefore that bag of ground coffee from your local market is already stale when you bring it home.
What Grind For Cold Brew
So what is the ideal setting when grinding for cold brew? Coarse.
You’ll find that many coffee grinder manufacturers advertise a high number of settings, but this is less important when it comes to grinding for cold brew.
You want to achieve a consistent, coarse grind for cold brew. Having the other settings is great if you dabble in other brewing methods, but if you’re strictly looking for the best coffee grinder for cold brew, prioritize consistency over the number of grind settings.
The Best Manual Coffee Grinders
We love using manual grinders. While the grind on a coarse setting may not be as consistent as an electric grinder, it’s not far off. Either of these two will make an excellent coffee grinder for cold brew for several reasons.
Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro
The Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro is an update on a classic. Hario took the feedback from the Skerton Pro’s predecessors (the Skerton and the Skerton Plus) and made some pretty significant improvements to the Skerton Pro.
The Skerton was a solid coffee grinder for cold brew in its day. Its replacement, the Skerton Plus, is a marginally improved version of the original, but the Skerton Pro is where you’ll feel the difference.
The (slightly) higher price tag is warranted.
The pro includes:
- A newly designed handle for a more comfortable grinding experience.
- An improved conical burr design with more straightforward grind adjustment and greater stability.
- A rubber base to keep the mill in place while grinding.
It has one of the largest capacities of any manual grinder at 100 grams, so it’s well-suited for larger batches of cold brew and drip coffee brewing.
Overall the Skerton Pro produces a consistent grind at a fraction of the cost of an electric grinder. The Skerton Pro is hands down the highest quality grinder you’ll find at this price point, making it an exceptional value.
1Zpresso JX Manual Coffee Grinder
If you’re willing to shell out a few more dollars for your grinder, may we introduce you to the 1Zpresso JX.
1Zpresso may be a lesser-known brand than Hario, but don’t let that fool you. In our humble opinion, they make some of the best coffee grinders today.
And the 1Zpresso JX grinder might just be the best of the best. It’s one of our all-time favorite grinders, including automatic/electric grinders.
What the JX lacks in capacity compared to the Hario, it makes up for in speed. This is one of the fastest manual coffee grinders on the market today and is even faster than some popular electric grinders!
In our tests, the JX ground at a speed of about 1 gram per second, depending on who was doing the grinding. In other words, you can grind a full 30-gram hopper in 30 seconds or less.
So even if you’re making a large batch of cold brew, it’ll only take a minute or two to grind up your beans.
But if you typically brew small batches of coffee (like cold brew in a French press), this grinder is a fantastic option for you. With 40 clicks of grind settings, large 48mm conical burrs, and sturdy stainless steel construction, this beauty feels solid in your hand.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another manual grinder that outperforms the JX for medium to coarse grinding for cold brew. We use it daily for pour over, cold brew, and French press, and we can’t say enough good things about it.
The JX is a joy to grind with, gives you a consistent grind, and is quite possibly the best grinder for cold brew. It definitely deserves a top spot in your coffee arsenal.
(Note: if you’re looking for a manual grinder that is also suited for espresso, check out our full review of the 1Zpresso JX Pro)
The Best Electric Coffee Grinders
Think an electric grinder is more your speed? Any of these picks will excel in grinding for cold brew and take the work out of the morning grind.
Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
If you aren’t a fan of manual grinders but need a grinder with respect for late sleepers (slowly raises hand), the Capresso Infinity Grinder is for you.
The Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is one of the quietest coffee grinders we’ve found outside of manual grinders (which, should be noted, can be pretty loud in their own right).
So how does this little grinder create a consistent grind at a significantly reduced volume?
The Capresso Infinity grinder features a unique gear-reduction motor that grinds slowly, thus reducing noise and static build-up.
This slow grinding speed (the slowest in its class, btw) creates less heat and friction, which means your coffee will retain its aroma and flavor regardless of which grind setting you choose.
The Infinity is a fantastic grinder for cold brew and all brewing methods. It produces a decently consistent grind, from super-fine for Turkish coffee to coarse grind for cold brew!
This grinder offers exceptional value at a reasonable price, making it a terrific option for anyone who wants an electric grinder with plenty of bells and whistles without all the noise (see what we did there).
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The OXO Brew Grinder is a fantastic option for just about anyone. It is made from quality materials and is a fraction of the cost of other equal or lesser quality models.
With 40-millimeter stainless steel conical burrs and 15 grind settings, the OXO Brew Grinder creates a consistent grind regardless of your setting. It performs well on the coarse setting, making it an excellent grinder for cold brew.
We love the timer feature on this grinder. It remembers your last setting, so grinding the next day is one-touch, zero effort (perfect for those who aren’t morning people).
At 110 grams, the capacity of the OXO Brew is generous, great for grinding for cold brew made in large batches.
We recommend the OXO Brew Grinder for those who want a quality coffee grinder that’s built to last at a reasonable price. You’ll get a fairly consistent grind with minimal effort in a relatively small package, making it a win for anyone with limited space in the kitchen.
Fellow Ode Brew Grinder
Ok, so the Fellow Ode Grinder is a bit pricier than the others on this list, but we’d be remiss not to include it as one of our picks for the best grinder for cold brew.
While on the pricey side, the Ode is a unique grinder. Fellow emphasizes aesthetics alongside performance, so everything they produce not only works exceptionally well but looks fantastic while doing it.
The Ode is no exception. This grinder is as beautiful as it is powerful and looks fantastic on any kitchen counter. But its beauty is only one of the things we love about it.
The Ode is the quietest grinder on this list and even outperformed the Capresso Infinity in our noise tests. It produces an impressively consistent grind with minimal noise, even at the highest rpm.
With professional-grade, 64 mm flat stainless steel burrs, this grinder is built to perform professionally and to stand the test of time.
The Ode comes backed by a 1-year warranty plus amazing customer service from the Fellow team should you have any concerns.
We were quite pleased with the consistency of the Ode’s coarse grind, making it a phenomenal grinder for cold brew. We also love the thoughtful design features, such as a magnetic catch, auto-stop element, and a grind knocker to reduce grind retention.
The Fellow Ode is the grinder that other cold brew grinders aspire to be. This grinder is worth the extra cash if aesthetics and noise reduction are top priorities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is A Coffee Grinder The Same As A Spice Grinder?
Ideally, no. Spice grinders are typically blade grinders, which we don’t recommend for coffee due to the inconsistency of the grind and lack of control over grind size. Please don’t use a blade grinder for cold brew.
If you have a blade grinder and want to upgrade to one of those featured on this list, don’t toss out the blade grinder. Instead, clean it well and keep it on hand for spice grinding.
How Often Should You Clean Your Coffee Grinder?
Cleaning frequency will depend on how often you use your grinder and switch roasts. We recommend cleaning your grinder before switching beans to remove the old bean residue before sampling a new roast.
Otherwise, if you consistently stick with the same beans, we recommend cleaning your grinder at least once every few months. Again, if you don’t use your grinder daily, you won’t need to clean it as often.
One thing we don’t recommend? Using rice to clean your grinder. Several folks suggest this technique, but we caution against it for several reasons.
Rice is starch and can leave a residue on your grinder parts, making it even more challenging to clean. Rice is also harder than pellets made to clean grinders and can cause damage to your coffee grinder.
So stick with a soft brush and/or cleaning pellets and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your grinder.