Every cold brew coffee lover should be able to make their own in the comfort of their own home.
However, in order to do that, you’ll need a dependable grinder that can break whole coffee beans into grounds. Every dedicated coffee lover knows that the most delicious coffee is also the freshest, and grinding your coffee right before brewing is one strategy to ensure that your coffee is as savory as possible.
When it comes to cold brewing, you need to make sure that you get your grind size just right, and you’ll need the best grinder that you can get. Read on to find the grinder that best fits all of your cold brewing needs!
First Off: What Is Cold Brewing?
Though we have an entire article on it here, we can give you a quick explanation of what cold brewing is exactly. Usually, cold brewing is contrasted to hot brewing with involves the filtration of hot water through coffee grounds, or iced coffee, which is hot coffee that’s heated down by ice.
Instead of filtering hot water through coffee grounds in order to extract the flavor, cold brewing uses room temperature water to steep the coffee grounds in for anywhere from 6-20 hours. Since this is a slower process, the deep, most inner flavors of the coffee can be highlighted, which is one reason why so many coffee connoisseurs can’t get enough of it.
Since cold brew is usually served over ice, you’ll need to store your finished brew in the fridge. It keeps fresh for a while, which is another reason that many fans of cold brew love it. We recommend keeping your cold brew no longer than a week. Cold brew coffee can be kept fresh for a while if stored properly, unlike hot coffee which pretty much begins to spoil as soon as it begins cooling down.
Who Cares About Grinders?
Well, for starters, many coffee fans do, especially those who like cold brew. Grinding your own coffee is important because it impacts how much flavor is extracted during the brewing process while water filters through the grounds. There are several grind sizes that you can grind your coffee into, the range being anywhere from fine to coarse. The finer the grind, the smaller the coffee grounds are, the coarser the grounds, the larger the grounds are. For colder brewing, you’ll need a coarser grind.
What Grind Do I Need For Cold Brewing?
For cold brewing, you’ll need a grind that’s coarser in size. Having a coarser grind can secure the overall quality of your coffee’s flavor for a multitude of reasons. First of all, if the grounds are larger in size, that means that they’ve endured less friction and heat inside of the grinder. The finer you grind your coffee, the more the coffee is exposed to heat and friction, increasing the risk of the over-extraction of the necessary oils that give the coffee it’s flavor. However, for coarser coffee, these oils are better preserved against the damages of over-extraction.
Not only is it important to protect the coffee’s flavor, but it’s also important for the brewing process itself. The larger size of the grounds will affect how well the water is able to filter through the coffee, as well as how much flavor can be extracted from the coffee.
How To Choose A Cold Brew Coffee Grinder
So how do you know what the best coffee grinder for cold brew coffee is? There are already many qualities to take into consideration before choosing a coffee grinder, but there are also specific ones to keep in mind when shopping for a cold brew coffee grinder. Here are some of the most important factors we believe you should keep in mind while shopping.
Manual or Automatic?
This is the first characteristic that you may take note of when searching for a grinder. If you’re trying to decide whether a manual or an automatic grinder is best for you, you should take into account how much energy you want to exert while grinding, how much control you want over the grinding process, and how much time you want to spend doing it. Furthermore, the portability, ease of disassembly, and durability will also all depend on whether your grinder is manual or automatic.
Number of Grind Sizes
Obviously, the more grind sizes that your grinder has, the more precise your grinder is. If your grinder only offers about three or four settings, then it won’t give you the amount of flexibility that you’ll need to have in order to make as many coffee drinks as you’d like. However, if you have a grinder with well over 15 grind size settings, then you should have all the flexibility you need to grind widely and accurately.
Since your main brew is to be able to grind for cold brewing as best as possible, it’s important to make sure that your grinder can accommodate. One way to do this is to make sure that your grinder can perform well and consistently when grinding with coarser settings. If you’re making cold brew, you’re going to be using a grind size that’s medium to medium-coarse. Some burr grinders are built with a coarseness selector to help find the exact grind texture that you’ll need for brewing.
Size Of The Bean Hopper
And of course, the size of the bean hopper will impact how many beans you’ll be able to grind at once. If you’re making a large amount of coffee, then you may want to search for a grinder that has a larger bean hopper in order to compensate for your needs. Likewise, if you’re only going to be brewing small batches at a time, having a smaller bean hopper won’t hurt too much.
Best Coffee Grinder for Cold Brew
There are several coffee grinders out there to choose from, and several differences to choose between. Some of these differences include blade vs burrs (and we ALWAYS recommend burrs over blades), manual vs automatic, and flat burrs vs conical burrs.
Our Favorite Manual Grinders
If you like grinding your coffee the old fashioned way, then a manual grinder might be more your preference. Though they take more time and energy to operate, manual grinders do give you more control over the grinding process. Here are a few of the best manual coffee grinders for cold brew coffee on the market today. So roll up your sleeves and stretch a little bit, cause we’re gonna look at some of the best manual coffee grinders on the market today.
JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder
The JavaPress Manual Coffee Burr Grinder is a favorite for many cold brew lovers. Offering 18 grind settings, the JavaPress is an electric burr grinder that offers grind sizes from extra fine to coarse, specializing in coarser sizes. It even has a “cold press” setting, designed to give you the best grind for cold brewing. It’s small, portable, and sleek in design, making it a great option for those who want to take their grinder out on the road. In addition, it’s made out of stainless steel, meaning that it’s strong enough to resist any damage or breakage.
Another great thing that we love about the JavaPress is that it has ceramic conical burrs. This means that the burrs are strong enough to get the job done, and the ceramic material will last a long time if taken care of properly. Furthermore, the JavaPress is easy to disassemble and clean, the crank handle can even be removed for thorough cleaning. As a result, the JavaPress is considered by many to be the best manual conical burr grinder for cold brew coffee that money can buy.
Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro Coffee Grinder
One of the most well known manual coffee grinders on the market today, the Hario Ceramic Skerton Coffee Grinder comes in three different versions: the Skerton, the Skerton Plus, and the Skerton Pro. The Pro is designed with sleek, modern lines, and it’s also designed to be efficient and effective for creating the best cold brew coffee possible.
It’s highly portable, strong, and durable. In fact, it’s actually made of heat resistant glass, and the majority of the container is this see-through heat resistant glass so you can observe how much coffee you’re grinding.
The Skerton Pro is simple to disassemble, easy to disinfect, and has many small features that make the Hario one of our favorite cold brew coffee grinders on the market. One of these features is the non-slip rubber base that keeps the grinder in place when you’re grinding coffee.
Automatic Coffee Grinders
If grinding your own coffee isn’t really your style, then you might be interested in automatic coffee grinders. Though they don’t give you as much portability as manual grinders do, automatic grinders do all of the work for you. Here are a few of our favorite automatic grinders that can produce delicious cold brew.
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder
The first coffee grinder on this list, the Baratza Virtuoso is a well-rounded coffee grinder than can produce coarser grounds for you to brew with. Favored by many professional baristas, the Virtuoso is designed with high carbon steel conical burrs, as well as a pulse button located on the front of the machine. With 40 different precision grind settings, the Virtuoso can get the most exact grind size that you need every time.
One reason that many prefer it for cold brewing is that it’s more accurate towards the coarser side of grinding. For example, some consumers often tend to find that their grinders have some difficulty in producing consistent, finer grinds-but can produce great coarse grinds. It has a 420RPM motor, allowing the beans to be ground at a slower rate. The main benefits to slower RPMs are the decreased amount of heat and friction, two things that can cause coffee to become over-extracted.
Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder
More affordable than the Baratza Virtuoso, the Capresso 560 Infinity Conical Burr Grinder is a commercial grade grinder that’s designed with performance and quality in mind. Made of stainless steel burrs, the grinder is capable of grinding at about 16 different sizes. The Infinity is also engineered with a gear reduction motor that reduces heat, friction, and unwanted noise while grinding.
It comes in two different designs: one made of black BPA free plastic, the other being solid stainless steel for a little bit higher in price. It has a capacity to hold a little under 9 ounces of beans in the bean hopper, as well as the ability to hold about 4 ounces in the bin/container. The Infinity is made for efficiency because it does a decent job of storing as much coffee as possible while taking up little space on your kitchen counter.
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Another great brand of automatic burr grinders, the OXO Brew is an electric grinder that offers 40mm stainless steel conical burrs that create uniform grounds for optimal cold brewing. It has 15 grind settings, as well as micro settings, allowing you for a few options to decide between for grinding. In addition, the OXO also has a one-touch start timer that saves your grinder settings, enabling you to grind consistently with each new batch of coffee beans.
The hopper is able to hold about 3/4 pounds of coffee beans, and the grinder itself is smaller in stature–12×7.4×16 inches to be exact. It can fit in any cozy space in your kitchen, or on a countertop. The grounds container can also accommodate up to 110 grams (which is enough for about 12 cups) of coffee!
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Grinder
Similar to its Virtuoso cousin, the Baratza Encore is great if you’re needing an automatic grinder. It’s a great entry-level grinder if you’re a beginner to cold brewing and will be grinding coffee in the comfort of your own home. Built with commercial-level quality in a cozy, home-sized package, it comes with high-carbon steel burrs to thoroughly break down the coffee beans. Combined with the powerful DC motor, the Encore is able to create uniform medium-coarse to coarse grind sizes, which is a cold brew lover’s dream.
There are also several features on the Baratza Encore that we enjoy about this machine. For example, there’s a user-friendly pulse button that’s located on the front of the machine as well as a simple on/off switch located on the side of the machine in order to make freshly ground coffee. It also has 40 grind settings that are suited to grind for espresso, French press brewing, but most importantly, cold brewing.
Whether you’re looking for an extra caffeine kick or just something to help you cool down on a hot summer day, a cup of cold brew coffee is a great choice to sip on. However, in order to make it just right you don’t only need to brew it correctly, but you need to make sure you grind it correctly with one of our recommended options above. Any professional barista would advise you that in order to have an enhanced, high-quality coffee experience, you must have a high-quality, well-suited coffee grinder.
Remember, there are many coffee grinders out there on the market today, but only a handful will be best suited to ensure the most savory cup of cold brew possible. Of course, it’s important to consider factors like size, price, coffee capacity, brand, automatic/manual, and whatever other traits you may want in your grinder. In addition to these, it’s also crucial that you choose a grinder that can easily handle coarser grinding.