If you’re unfamiliar with the coffee space and you see the words ‘cold brew‘, you may think it’s a heightened form of java-flavored kombucha. But cold brew has nothing to do with brewing temperature. Cold-brew beans are carefully soaked so they need wet grinders.
But while coffee grinders can often work on other grains and nuts, the best coffee grinders for wet brew are not the same as Indian food grinders. So how do you know what to buy? We’re here to help. First, here’s a list of seven top cold brew grinders. We’ll tell you our favorite pick.
Quick Glance: The Best Coffee Grinder for Cold Brew
The Best Coffee Grinder for Cold Brew In 2020
1. JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder (Best manual coffee grinder for cold brew)
Age limits vary around the world, so depending on where you live, you can work part-time at 14, drive at 16, go to war at 18, and drink at 21. But in most places, 18 is considered the legal figure for maturity, marriage, and arrest warrants. So with 18+ crank settings, this JavaPresse grinder is full-grown. It’s a pretty little cylinder with a 1.8-inch diameter and 7.5-inch height.
If you enjoy the satisfying crunch of cold brew coffee beans, this is a good grinder for you. It has 18+ settings and the crank mechanism is detachable for easy cleaning. But while it’s easy to maintain, you do need to be careful since some of the inner components have sharp sections.
The JavaPresse does have some fine prints. Its burrs are ceramic so the manufacturer recommends replacing the burrs (not the whole grinder!) after two years. And if you’re like me and can’t tell left from right, you’ll need to be careful which way your grind. When you’re turning the crank on any machine, it’s normal to pause for a moment and change direction mid-crank.
It’s about regaining momentum. But if you do that with the Javapresse, you’ll break it – it’s only meant to be cranked clockwise. If the gadget sticks, don’t force it. Just pour out the grinds, reload, and start again. This grinder is portable enough to fit in your handbag and versatile enough for coarse, fine, and medium grind. No batteries, no power bills, low noise. It’s perfect!
For java-lovers with a taste for cold brew, the well-named JavaPresse is a treasure. It facilitates a range of coffee drinks from espresso to French Press. And it’s 90% quieter than rival brands!
- The brushed steel finish and detachable cranky make cleaning easy.
- It has a convenient coffee window to show grinding progress.
- JavaPresse is discreet in size and sound levels.
- It’s a manual grinder, so you’ll need time, elbow grease, and possibly an energy drink.
2. Cuisinart DBM Supreme Grind (Best Electric coffee grinder for cold brew)
JavaPresse may the best manual coffee grinder for cold brew, but Cuisinart is probably the best electric one. Like JavaPresse, it’s an ‘adult’ machine with 18 grind settings and can grind up to 18 cups at a time. And while the conical grinder can hold beans for those 18 cups, the coffee collector at the bottom can hold grounds for up to 32 cups. It’s a removable container.
The Cuisinart DBM is a mid-sized device. It weighs about a pound and measures 6 by 7.13 by 10.75 inches. And you can adjust the fineness of your grounds by turning the ‘gear’ at the base of the hopper. It’s marked with ground textures from coarse to fine, with multiple spots between.
It comes with a plastic coffee scoop that has a cleaning brush at the end of its handle. The hopper, lid, and coffee dish are all removable for hygiene and storage. The Cuisinart DBM gets loud though, so time your grinding carefully unless you want to wake the entire household.
The Cuisinart DBM is nice to look at and easy to use. It has a conical hopper and a large coffee container. The slider makes it easy to choose the number of cups you want to grind.
- You can select grinding batches from 4 cups all the way to 18!
- The 34-inch cord allows more flexibility in grinding locations.
- Your Cuisinart comes with a coffee-scoop-cleaning-brush combo.
- It is NOT a quiet machine so be sure you’re fully awake (and not hungover!) when you use it. Of course, the noise is great for jolting you awake when your concentration lags at work or while studying. All that buzzing adds extra effectiveness to your coffee break.
3. Baratza Encore Burr Coffee Grinder
If you like compact things with gloss and shine, you will love this Baraza Encore. Its body is made of glossy black plastic and it takes up minimal countertop space at 4.7 inches by 6.3 inches. It’s a tall machine though. Including the hopper, it’s over a foot tall so it won’t work in kitchens for wall-mounted cabinets positioned over the countertop. There isn’t enough room.
And although its footprint is small, it weighs about 7 pounds. It has a pulse button on the front and it has start-stop functionality plus continuous grinding. To maintain the sleek style of the outer body, the hopper and coffee collector are tinted and translucent rather than fully see-through. So from certain angles, these containers mimic your grinder’s shiny black housing.
Of course, there’s a white model too, but black is better for hiding greasy coffee stains and finger smudges. But if you’re a clean-freak, you’ll prefer the pristine white version – it nudges you to wipe it down more frequently. This device has the kind of steel burrs that Michael Bolton would love, pun intended. And if you regularly clean your burrs, they will last much longer.
These burrs are conical so they work best for pour-over cold brew. It’s a step grinder, so you turn the hopper to select grind sizes between 1mm to 40mm. The clicking sound between cranks is soothing and satisfying, but it does take some effort to turn the hopper. It holds about 12 ounces.
The Baratza Encore is among the best entry-level coffee grinders for cold brew. It comes in black or white, and even coffee novices can use it. It comes with a 1-year limited warranty.
- The hopper has 40 grind settings.
- It has an on/off dial on the side to save power.
- Its translucent coffee container shows you volumes at a glance.
- The 40 settings sound nice but they’re not as precise as they seem. The grinder struggles with anything below 7mm, no matter how many times you pulse.
4. Hario Skerton Pro Ceramic Coffee Mill
This coffee grinder is cute and compact, standing at 21cm (lid inclusive). And yes, you can hold it while grinding, but that wastes momentum. If you want all your had-power to go into grinding, place it on the countertop as you grind. The non-slip rubber base will stop it from moving around so you get energy-efficient grinding. Both the lid and the hopper are see-through.
Adjusting your grind size isn’t as intuitive as other models because the hopper doesn’t turn. But the handle does come off. Detach the hopper to expose the grind adjuster, then tweak the nut as needed. It’s an infinite nut with no size markings, so be careful not to turn it too far – you might damage the gear. And if it breaks, it’ll just keep turning with no visible change in grind size.
The removable handle works as a safety lock, so it needs to be in place when you’re changing grind size or cleaning your cold brew grinder. The hex-nut handle-lock keeps your grinder cinched and prevents accidents while also ensuring consistent texture but keeping it in place.
One downside is the dark-colored hopper. Its silicone seal prevents slips and contaminants, but you can’t observe your beans while you grind. This coffee grinder comes apart completely for easy cleaning, but it has small parts. So you have to be extra careful not to lose any of its components. Dry it fully before re-assembling to avoid damp, mildew, or bad smells.
The Hario Skerton Pro has a steel handle with a silicone grip, a glass coffee collector, ceramic burrs, and a non-slip rubber base. It’s a manual device though, so power up before you grind.
- The non-slip rubber base keeps it stationary while you grind.
- Its handle has been upgraded for greater grinding ease.
- Its hopper holds about 100g.
- It’s small and manual so you’ll use a lot of energy for a minimal amount of grounds. Plus, it needs careful maintenance, so be prepared to keep it clean.
5. Capresso Infinity Coffee Grinder
If you know how coffee burrs work, you know one gear moves while the other stays still. In some coffee makers, all the parts detach for convenient cleaning. But with the Capresso Infinity, only the top burr comes off. You can still access the inner burr using the burr brush that comes with your grinder. You can buy the coffee maker in ‘black’ or ‘stainless’ but both are painted plastic.
It’s sturdy plastic though – ABS. And the burrs are steel, so you want to have many complaints about your grinder’s quality. To use the grinder, twist the hopper to fine, coarse, medium, or extra-fine. Each one has micro-settings for a total of 16 grind positions. The grinder also has a knob.
This knob selects timer settings from 1 to 10. Each number is 5 to 6 seconds so the maximum preset grinding time is roughly a minute. Yes, you can run it longer, but remember, this is a low wattage grinder that can run continuously. So you may need breaks between grinding.
Safety locks are an essential feature of any device with spinning motors and cutting edges. The one on this Capresso is pretty manual though – the grinder won’t start unless the coffee container is securely in place so if you pull it out or forget to put it back after cleaning, your grinder won’t spin. And you still get 0.1mm grinding precision and a 450rpm rotor.
The Capresso Infinity has four main settings ranging from coarse to extra fine. It’s assembled by hand in the world’s clockwork capital, Switzerland. The safety lock prevents grinding accidents.
- It has a slow, powerful grinder that’s low on noise and high on the aroma.
- The hopper holds 8.8 ounces and the coffee container carries 4.
- The grinder has a sturdy ABS plastic housing.
- It’s a 100W machine and the slow motor does enhance aroma, but you may prefer to sacrifice your ‘coffee scent’ for a faster, stronger coffee grinder.
6. Khaw-Fee HG1B Conical Coffee Grinder
If you’re a fan of Hario, you may notice the similarity between this Khaw-Fee grinder and Hario’s version. You may even conclude that Khaw-Fee is the reason Hario updated their silhouette to something slimmer. But the Khaw-Fee – brilliant name aside – has its advantages.
For one, its infinite grind size dial adjusts on the inside of the hopper, not below it. So while the process is equally tedious, top-facing adjustment gives you easier access. And just like the Hario, the Khaw-Fee’s handle doubles as a safety lock. It’s an entry-level grinder with plastic parts.
Higher-end models may have rubber or silicone instead, at least for the hopper and the housing. But the functional parts of this Khaw Fee grinder – including the gears and the burrs – those are ceramic and stainless steel, so they hold up to heavy use and typical household handling.
The Khaw-Fee may seem like a starter-pack version, but it has a lifetime warranty so you’re assured of quality. Its parts are fully detachable so it’s easy to clean and maintain.
- The manual handle is far quieter than electric models.
- It has an infinite grind adjuster.
- The glass container is aesthetic and hygienic.
- Just likes its doppelganger, the Khaw-Fee is cumbersome to adjust.
7. Oxo Conical Coffee Grinder
The first thing you’ll notice about the Oxo is its distinct look. The hopper doesn’t taper like other electric grinders. But it remains one of the best coffee grinders for cold brew. In other brands and models, the conical shape helps ‘pull-down’ your coffee beans. On this one, the extended vertical height (16 inches if you include the hopper) facilitates gravity-fed grinding.
The grinder is made of black mast plastic and brushed stainless steel. It has steel burrs with 15 settings and several micro-settings. These settings are marked at the hopper base so you can watch see labels as you turn the hopper. The Oxo also has a timer you can set for up to 30 seconds at a time. If you need to grind longer, pause between sessions to avoid overheating.
This hopper has a safety lock to keep it from falling off mid-grind. The upper rotary burr has a bucket loop so you can easily detach it for cleaning. To use your Oxo, pick a setting, set the timer, and push the start button. The grinder comes with a scoop whose serving suggestion is one scoop per cup. The hopper holds 0.75lbs while the coffee container holds 110g or 12 cups.
Oxo is among the best burr coffee grinders for cold brew. It has unique styling and simple settings. But it gets really loud, so maybe don’t do your grinding while the baby is asleep.
- Its stainless steel coffee container retains freshness and aroma.
- The hopper has a 50oz capacity.
- The Oxo has 15 grind settings.
- At 16 inches (hopper-inclusive), it rises too high for overhead kitchen cabinets. Also, the coffee container is opaque so you have to open it to check the level of your grounds. Meaning you’ll open it more often so it’ll lose its freshness quicker.
Soak ‘N Grind!
We’ve asked around, and our research team says the best coffee grinder for cold brew is the Cuisinart DBM Supreme. Here’s why:
- It looks SO pretty on your countertop and has a large capacity.
- You can choose brewing volumes from 4 cups to 18 cups.
- It comes with a coffee scoop that’s also a cleaning brush.
- Its power cord is 34 inches for broader positioning options.
- To adjust the grind position, just turn the hopper.
- The hopper and coffee holder is removable for quick cleaning.
Whit wet coffee grinder are you using at the moment? Show us photos in the comments!
What’s the best grind size for the cold brew?
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
High Speed Vs Slow Speed – Which is better for cold brew?
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.
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.