Best Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew – Top 5 Picks (2018)

Connoisseurs of coffee have come to treasure the depth of flavor, subtle sweetness and low acidity of cold brew coffee, and the more adventurous have tried making it at home.

If you have, you know fresh grounds are much better for getting the richest flavor while minimizing bitterness and that dreaded sour tang of old coffee.

Check out these picks, from a Seattle-born coffee fanatic, for the best coffee grinder for cold brew.

Our Top Recommended

Best Manual Coffee Grinder For Cold Brew

JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder, Conical Burr Mill, Brushed Stainless Steel

Best Electric Coffee Grinder For Cold Brew

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

What's the best grind size for the cold brew?

Extra coarse

Extra coarse

It can be daunting with so many options these days, but here are some of the things to look for in grinders specifically for making cold brew.

Firstly, unlike drip or espresso coffee, cold brew takes at least 8 hours (ideally 12 and even up to 30) to finish brewing.

This gives the water plenty of time to soak into the beans and extract that characteristic deep and subtly sweet flavor (1).

There are even purported health benefits to a cold brew.

Brewing over such long contact time with no heat preserves all the natural antioxidants of coffee beans without all the acidity that comes with heating them.

It also means that the best flavor will be achieved with a coarser grind. In other words, ideally, you'll want a grinder with an extra coarse setting.

Related Post: Baratza Encore vs Capresso Infinity – Which Is Winner?

Types of grinders for cold brew

Even when just looking at extra coarse grinders, there are a variety of options. You've probably seen manual coffee grinders before.

Personally, I like them because they make me feel like Little House on the Prairie - but beyond the extra workload, they can be extraordinarily messy.

The other options are blade grinders, among which you can also consider blenders in a pinch, and burr grinders, which represent the majority of dedicated electric coffee grinders that you'll find.

1. Manual Burr

Hand grinder

Pros

  • Most precise
  • Great flavor
  • Cowboy experience

Cons

  • Time-consuming
  • Messy

You may have seen your hipster friends (yes, me) extolling the virtues of grinding one's coffee by hand, with a big crank on top that's very Laura Ingles.

You can actually also grind coffee with a rolling pin if that's your thing. For cold brew, these are both actually pretty effective, so I wouldn't rule them out if the flavor is your biggest concern.

But make sure you have the upper body strength as well as patience, because it can take up to 3 minutes to grind as much as you need for a decent 2-3 cups.

2. Electric Burr

Coffee burr grinder

Pros

  • Precise
  • The superior flavor from grounds
  • Most are quieter than blades

Cons

  • Cost

Burrs are basically two circular discs that grind against one another to reduce whole coffee beans to anywhere from peppercorn size to sand.

Increasing the distance between them increases the size of the ground they produce.

The biggest advantage of these is that they're specifically made for coffee, so you know they work and you only have to clean them when they need it.

Many coffee drinkers, myself included, also prefer the taste of burr grinders, since the grounds tend to end up more even so they can impart their flavor better when brewed.

Particularly in the case of those specifically made for the coarser grind, many have adjustable speed or low RPMs to begin with in order to avoid imparting heat onto the beans during grinding.

3. Blade Types

Powered blade grinder

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Convenient
  • Good at coarse grinding

Cons

  • Less precise than burrs
  • Can wear out faster
  • Heat

Blade types tend to be low on cost, and are perfectly good to be used for coarser grinds, though some can struggle with anything finer than drip coffee.

Another advantage is that they can be found at pretty much any major kitchen store.

4. Blender

Blender

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Usually inexpensive

Cons

  • Can be difficult to clean
  • Unable to produce fine grind

The obvious plus with a blender type is that you can use it for other things besides coffee.

Especially in the case of those similar to a Bullet, it's hard to beat the convenience of a machine that can make coffee, smoothies and even salads.

These will also naturally impart less heat onto the beans than burrs, which is a big deal for flavor.

The disadvantage of course is having to clean them thoroughly every time you use them, unless you like caffeinated salad.

It's important to look at the user manual to make sure you're using it correctly though.

Additional tips for buying the best coffee grinder for cold brew

  • Look for low RPMs or adjustable speed
  • Look for conical burrs for cold brew, flat for espresso
  • Check if they have a warranty

And once you have your perfect grinder

  • Experiment with grind size to your taste
  • Keep beans in the freezer to preserve flavor

Related Post: What's the Best Coffee Grinder for Chemex?

High Speed Vs Slow Speed - Which is better for cold brew?

cold brew coffee grinders

One of the things I've found that's important to look at in a grinder with an extra coarse setting is speed.

We're all busy, so of course we want to just blitz those beans and be done with it.

Sadly, if the speed is too high, the friction with the grinder can cause the beans to heat up, which will force some of their aromas to escape before brewing.

If the beans get hot before they're brewed, it can even make them taste sour. 

Think late night gas station coffee, kept at a high temperature for hours or even days at a time. That is how coffee loses its umami, the sixth flavor somewhere in between sweet and savory.

The advantage with high-speed grinders is that, since they grind the beans quickly, there is less time for them to be exposed to heat.

If you're making drip or espresso, this doesn't affect the flavor too much since you'll be heating them anyway.

Finer grinds also need less contact with heat when brewing, which is why espresso is characteristically bitter but tolerable.

But if your biggest concern is getting the most out of the beans by taking your time with a slow brew, I would definitely recommend a slow grind speed.

Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, Brushed Silver

There is a paradox with slow grinding though. While grinding at a low speed is better for the beans, it can be hard on the burrs (the surfaces that grind the beans), reducing their longevity.

Since the burrs in slow-speed grinders tend to be finer and their motors tend to have more gears, it also means there's more to break.

It's a good idea to make sure to look for grinders with stainless steel burrs, which can take some amount of beating without giving in to wear and tear.

If the cold brew is your only coffee of choice, you can concentrate on just these factors, but personally, I like some variety.

In this case, it's good to look for grinders that have a wide variety of grind and speed settings, especially those that mention espresso or Turkish coffee (the finest grind) in their blurb.

With that said, here are my favorite choices for the best coffee grinder for cold brew lovers.

The Best Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew Currently On The Market – My Reviews 2018

1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder (Our Top Recommended)

Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

The Baratza is my favorite for beginners. It's not only packed with settings (40 actually!), but it also comes with an extensive brewing guide.

There are a few quirky things with this one, like the fact that there's a slight trick to getting your grounds into your French press or percolator without also getting them on your floor, and the fact that it may struggle with anything finer than drip, but it's a good all-rounder.

What I Like

  • Great for beginners
  • Versatile
  • Low speed

What I Didn't Like

  • Can be fiddly (it's a lot of settings)

2. Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr

Capresso 560.04 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder, Brushed Silver

The Capresso is another great all-rounder, especially if you like to switch up what kind of coffee you want.

It's budget that run this quiet and slow, and the uniformity of the grind overall is excellent.

If you like slightly less than extra coarse for your cold brew, this is the one I would go for.

What I Like

  • Slowest grind for the price
  • Light
  • Low noise

What I Didn't Like

  • Can be messy

3. Baratza 586 Baratza Virtuoso Coffee Grinder

Baratza Virtuoso - Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

If money is no object, this is my favorite grinder before you start getting into professional equipment.

It's extremely consistent in size, meaning you'll always get the most out of every cup of coffee.

It has 30 ground settings and adjustable speed, so you won't need any other grinder whether you're into cold brew or Turkish coffee.

What I Like

  • Best performance short of professional
  • Impeccable consistency
  • Wide range of settings and speed control

What I Didn't Like

  • Cost

4. Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder

Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder, Electronic Coffee Grinder with Continuously Adjustable Grind, Black

This is my pick for durability. The Bodum is small, has few moving parts and in general has a very sturdy construction.

I've owned one for several years now and it still works as well as the first day I got it.

It's can grind fairly coarse, and it imparts very little heat, but similar to the Baratza can impart some grounds onto your floor if you're not careful.

What I Like

  • Durable
  • Easily adjustable
  • Small

What I Didn't Like

  • Can be messy
  • Small capacity
  • Can be too fine for some people's taste in cold brew

5. Gourmia 633 Electric Burr Coffee Grinder

Gourmia 633 Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black

The Gourmia is my budget pick, because it has 22 settings, can hold 1lbs of beans in its hopper, and is easy to take apart and clean.

It is noticeably loud, and I have noticed that static sometimes causes dust to stick to various surfaces (including my hands), but especially if you're new to home brewing/grinding and want to see if it's for you, I would give it a try.

What I Like

  • Affordable
  • High capacity
  • Safety lock

What I Didn't Like

  • Loud
  • Not very precise
  • Static

Conclusion

To sum up, I think the best coffee grinder for cold brew in terms of cost, speed, grind, and practicality is the Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

It's relatively inexpensive and very good at what it does. It's so small it could easily fit on a countertop or in a drawer even when you're not using it.

Particularly for cold brew lovers, the fact that it doesn't have as big a capacity as some aren't as much of a problem, because cold brew really only need as cold brew is concentrated so you usually only use less than half a cup of cold brew for a cup of coffee.

In other words, you don't need to make much at once. It's not the quietest, but certainly not the loudest either. It's very user-friendly, easy to set up and easy to use.

And it will last years, and will give you delicious, uniform grounds for cold brew every time.

My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.

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