The 2 most important elements of making great cold brew at home are the beans, and the grinder. And with all of the coffee grinders available, it may seem overwhelming and even frustrating to choose the perfect one.
But keep your cool 🙂
I’ll help you out with this guide on finding the perfect one. Once you’re done reading, you’ll have the necessary knowledge to choose which coffee grinder would best suit your needs for making delicious cold-brew coffee at home.
What is Cold Brew Coffee?
The method behind making cold brew coffee involves steeping coarsely ground coffee beans in cold water for a long time, typically 12 to 24 hours.
This slow brewing process produces a smooth, sweet, and flavorful coffee concentrate with less acidity and bitterness, that can be diluted with water, milk, or ice to create a refreshing and delicious drink.
Why Do Grinders Matter for Cold Brew?
Cold brewing is all about slowly drawing out the subtle nuances and delicate flavors locked in the beans, which makes grinding those beans correctly an essential part of the process.
The grinds are in contact with the water for a long period, so getting an even extraction really counts here. The particle sizes have to be uniform, something only a quality grinder can achieve.
5 Best Grinders For Cold Brew in 2024
Finding the perfect grinder for cold brew coffee can be daunting – but it doesn’t have to be. I have carefully studied the best grinders on the market to make my own pick, and I’ll share with you my thoughts on each one.
Here are my top recommended grinders that will help you get the most out of your cold brew:
|Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic (Best Manual Grinder)
|No specific indicators
|1Zpresso JX S
|Baratza Encore (Best Electric Grinder)
|Burr (steel or ceramic)
1. Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill – Best Manual Grinder For Cold Brew
The Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro is a game changer for anyone who loves cold brew coffee. As a coffee connoisseur, you’ll appreciate the improvements made to this classic model.
The newly designed handle is comfortable and makes grinding an effortless experience. The improved conical burr design allows for straightforward grind adjustment and greater stability, resulting in a consistent grind. The rubber base keeps the mill securely in place while grinding. With a capacity of 100 grams, this manual grinder is perfect for large batches of cold brew or drip coffee.
At a fraction of the cost of an electric grinder, the Skerton Pro is a top-quality choice that offers exceptional value.
Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill Specifications:
- Capacity: 100 grams
- Conical burr design
- Rubber base for stability
- Improved handle design for comfort and ease of use.
2. 1Zpresso JX S
The 1Zpresso JX coffee grinder is a fantastic option for cold-brew lovers who value precision, speed, and consistency. This hand burr grinder outperforms many popular electric burr grinders, producing uniform coffee grounds with low fines for a vibrant and aromatic cup of coffee.
With 30 clicks per rotation, the internal adjustment system provides enough adjustments for pour-over coffee, but it falls short for espresso.
Its solid construction and resilient design make it a long-lasting and durable option. While it’s not the most affordable option for a steel burr grinder, its quality standards, performance, and build quality set it apart from its competitors.
1Zpresso JX S Product Specifications:
- Heptagonal 48 mm steel burr set
- Internal adjustment with 30 clicks per rotation
- 30-35 g capacity
- 700 g weight
- Constructed with aluminum alloy and steel body
- Designed for pour-over coffee brewing
3. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder – Best Electric Grinder for Cold Brew
The Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is my top pick for an electric grinder for cold brew and pour overs. With 40 different grind settings, you’ll be able to find the perfect one for your taste.
The Encore’s design is sleek and timeless, despite being made mostly of plastic. It’s compact and lightweight, making it easy to fit in your kitchen.
This grinder is relatively simple, with just a 2-way on/off switch and a pulse grinding button. Cleaning is equally straightforward. Adjusting the grind size is as easy as twisting the hopper to one of the 40 graduated markings, which allows it to produce consistent grinds from 250 microns to 1200 microns, making it perfect for a French Press, pour-over, or cold brew.
Although the Encore is more expensive than most entry-level grinders, its build quality and durability make it worth the investment. Plus, Baratza’s excellent customer service is a huge plus.
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder specifications
- Weight: 7 pounds
- Hopper Capacity: 8 ounces
- Grounds Bin Capacity: 5 ounces
- 40mm conical stainless steel burrs
- 40-step grind size adjustment
4. Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
This is a top-notch grinder with Swiss conical steel burrs, reduced-speed motor, and 16 different grind settings. It provides precision, accuracy, and durability.
The wide range of grind settings makes it easy to go from Turkish espresso to a coarse cold brew grind, and the BPA-free plastic hopper and 4 oz grounds container are helpful features. While other grinders may have more settings, the Capresso Infinity is an affordable, high-quality option for any coffee lover. Don’t expect to dial in your espresso with this grinder, though.
Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder specifications:
- Swiss conical steel burrs
- 16 different grind settings
- BPA-free plastic hopper holds 8.8 oz of beans
- 4 oz grounds container
- Safety auto-lock feature
- Gear reduction motor for less noise and friction
5. OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
The Oxo Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is an excellent choice for coffee lovers who want a great value for their money. Its performance is on par with the Capresse above when making cold brew.
This coffee grinder stands out for its 40mm stainless steel conical burr set, which provides an above-average grinding consistency with 38 grind settings. It is easy to use with one-touch grinding capability, and the timer ensures that you get the exact amount of ground coffee that you want. The standout feature of this grinder is the airtight design and UV-tinted bean hopper, which can store coffee beans for up to a week without worrying about degradation.
However, it may not be the best option for those who prefer making espresso or want more grind settings.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder Specifications
- 40mm stainless steel conical burr set
- 15 grind settings
- Airtight design and UV-tinted bean hopper with a 12 oz capacity
- Timer for exact amount of ground coffee
- Dimensions: 6.8″ x 11.8″ x 14.8″
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Grinder for Cold Brew
The right grinder makes all the difference. To get started, let’s have a look at the different types of grinders available and which one is ideal for cold brewing.
Manual vs. Electric Grinders
Manual grinders are beloved by home baristas who prefer a more hands-on approach when making their morning pick-me-up.
On the other hand, automatic electric grinders can save you time and effort because they take care of all the hard work for you – all you have to do is add your desired amount of beans into its hopper.
Here is a detailed comparison of manual and electric coffee grinders.
To give you a better clue on which grinder suits you best, here is a guide on the respective pros and cons of manual grinders and automatic grinders.
Portable (No power source needed)
Better control over the coarseness of the ground coffee
Does all the work for you
Needs your attention and manpower
Needs an electric power source
Choosing between these two options all boils down to your needs and preferences. I opted for a manual coffee grinder because I enjoy the tactile feedback of grinding my own coffee, and because it saves space on the kitchen counter.
Burr vs. Blade Grinders
It’s also important to understand the difference between burr and blade grinders, as these two types of grinding mechanisms produce vastly different results when it comes to cold brew coffee.
- Burr grinders have sharp steel surfaces that come together to form a precise grinding mechanism.
- Blades use rotating metal discs with blunt edges which often result in inconsistent size distribution.
I recommend getting burr models because they always yield better results than blades. Burr grinders create more uniform particles over all ranges of fineness or coarseness. They tend to be more expensive than blade models, but are worth it if you want to drink great coffee.
Here are 2 photos of grinds from a burr and a blade grinder. Based on particle uniformness, which do you think was made with a burr grinder?
Grind Size and Coarseness Settings
The size of the grind and the coarseness settings are key factors to consider for cold brewing, so you’d want maximum control over this.
You should use a coarse grind setting for cold brewing, as anything finer will extract too much flavor from the beans, leading to a bitter coffee. You may find your sweet spot with a medium-coarse grind or an extra-coarse grind.
Whichever grinder you choose, look for one that has adjustable settings or multiple presets for different levels of grind consistency.
Bean Hopper Capacity
When shopping for a cold brew grinder, the bean hopper capacity is an important factor to consider. This refers to the amount of coffee beans you can store in the grinder at once.
Generally speaking, manual grinders have smaller hoppers and are more suitable for grinding just enough coffee for one cup or two cups at a time.
Electric grinders with larger hoppers are great if you’re looking to make multiple cups of cold brew simultaneously or save yourself from having to refill every morning.
Ultimately, it all depends on your daily habits and needs – but know that this feature can impact the convenience and efficiency when using your machine in the long run.
- If you make cold brew every day, I would get an electric grinder.
- But if you only make it once every few weeks like me, a manual one is OK.
As I said, I use a manual grinder for grinding cold brew. The bean hopper is 30g in size, so I have to empty it 4 times to grind the 100g of coffee from my favorite cold brew concentrate recipe. Does it bother me? A little, yes, but there is no way around it with manual grinders.
Durability and Material Quality
It’s also vital to think about material quality when selecting the right cold brew grinder.
Not only do high-quality materials help keep your device running longer without any issues, but they also feel better while in use – which is nicer over many months and years of daily use.
For a better cold brewing experience in the long run, invest in high-quality models with premium components. A stainless steel body promises long-term durability while a rubberized finish offers superior grip.
Price Point and Value for Money
It’s no secret that some high-end machines may carry hefty price tags; however, there are plenty available across varying budgets without sacrificing performance or quality.
Burr grinders tend to cost more than blade ones, while automatic grinders are pricier than manual models.
Ultimately, it’s up to you whether you prefer affordability or ultimate grinding power – but keep in mind choosing carefully goes a long way in ensuring consistent results whichever option you decide on.
Additional Tips for Making the Perfect Cold Brew Coffee
Making the perfect cold brew coffee requires more than just picking the right grinder. Here are additional tips to ensure that you can create a truly delicious cup of cold brew every time:
Pre-Ground Coffee vs. Freshly Ground Beans
It might seem convenient, but I recommend that you avoid using pre-ground coffee for your cold brew. Freshly grinding your coffee will preserve more oils and aroma in your cold brew, delivering more flavor and body compared to its pre-ground counterpart.
Cold Brew Coffee Ratios and Steeping Time
Generally speaking, you’ll want to use a ratio of 3/4 cup of coffee grounds to 3 cups of cold, filtered water. The coffee should be coarse-ground and steeped in room-temperature water for 12 to 24 hours.
The longer the steeping time, the stronger and more concentrated the flavor gets. The ratio of coffee and water can also be tweaked to your liking.
Choosing the Right Coffee Beans for Cold Brew
When choosing your beans’ roast level, dark roasts usually work best as the full immersion cold brewing gives your drink a consistent, robust taste. You may also opt for light roasts if you enjoy reveling in the fruit notes and aroma of your cold brew.
I find it best to use arabica beans for that sweet and fruity flavor. You can also blend it with robusta beans for some added bold and earthy flavors.
Here is a detailed article on the best cold brew coffee beans.
Proper Storage of Coffee Beans and Grounds
Last but not least, make sure that your beans or grounds are properly stored once purchased to prevent them from going stale or losing their flavourful properties.
For grounded coffee, store it in an airtight container in a cool area away from direct sunlight or moisture; as for whole bean coffee, keep them sealed in an opaque bag or another airtight container away from any light and heat sources such as ovens or microwaves.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
In short – no. Blade grinders are typically used to produce finer particles. Because they chop randomly, they often result in inconsistent particle sizes which could potentially affect both extraction time and taste. In addition, blade grinders spin quickly and can heat up the beans, making them unsuitable for grinding course textures needed for cold brewing.
For most types of cold brewers, you’ll want to aim for a coarsely ground texture with visible pieces of the whole bean still intact.
The SSP burrs (Sung Sim Precision burrs) help in the accuracy of your grinds across different brewing methods such as cold brew. Just be sure to check compatibility with your grinder before purchasing one.
We’ve delved into finding the ideal coffee grinder for cold brew, covering options like the Hario Skerton Pro and Baratza Encore. Key factors like manual vs. electric, burr vs. blade, grind size settings, and your budget will guide you in making the right choice.
So, let’s make great cold brews with freshly ground beans, and please shareyour thoughts on these grinders or others you’ve encountered in the comments below.