7 Best Burr Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew
There’s nothing like a refreshing cold brew coffee on a hot summer’s day. But use the wrong grinder, and what should be delicious will end up weak, sour, or bitter.
Don’t let that happen to you. Our picks for the best grinders for cold brew guarantee you’ll get the sweet and smooth beverage you deserve.
Capresso Infinity 565.05 Conical Burr Grinder
Our top pick is the Capresso Infinity 565.05, an electric grinder with conical steel burrs. This easy-to-use appliance delivers a reliable and even coarse grind perfect for cold brew coffee. It has the largest bean hopper on the list and a built-in timer, so preparing big batches of coffee concentrate is a breeze.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Grinder for Cold Brew
Cold brew coffee doesn’t require a particular grinder, but it does require a specific grind, namely a coarse grind. So your burr grinder must have a reliable coarse grind setting.
Once you pick one of the coffee grinders from our list below, check out our ultimate guide to making cold brew coffee, and you’ll be well on your way to a refreshing homemade cold brew.
||Capresso Infinity 565.05||
||Javapresse Manual Grinder||
||Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro||
||Dorcas Manual Coffee Grinder||
||Houselog Portable Grinder||
Blade Grinders: Just Say No
First, while you might be tempted to save money with a cheap electric blade grinder, we advise against it, particularly when it comes to cold drip/brew coffee. There are two reasons for this.
First, blade coffee grinders don’t really grind, they chop, which will lead to inconsistent grounds with a range of sizes (1). As a result, some will over-extract, and some will under-extract. Because cold brew coffee has such a long steep time, the off-flavors that result will be magnified.
A good burr grinder is more expensive but is a better calibrated, more precise, more consistent approach to grinding coffee. The results are more desirable for a variety of brewing methods.
Second, blade grinders generate more heat as they grind, which can impart a burnt flavor to your coffee. In the case of cold brew, which is made without any heat at all, this undesirable flavor will be particularly noticeable.
So buy a burr grinder for coffee. It’s well worth it, and there are options here: the best coffee grinders for all brew styles.
Manual or Electric
Manual or electric is the first decision to make when purchasing any burr coffee grinder, and when it comes to making cold brew coffee, there are some unique factors to consider.
Manual coffee grinders that require you to crank by hand are less expensive and will last a long time.
Because they don’t need a power supply, they’re great for travel and camping. The trade-off is that manual grinders require a bit of elbow grease, take a little longer to grind, and generally have small capacities.
Fortunately, the coarse grind required for cold brew is the easiest and fastest to achieve with a manual grinder, compared with the fine coffee grounds used for espresso, for example.
Electric burr grinders are more expensive, but they are undeniably easier and faster. Just touch a button for perfect ground coffee. If you plan to brew up big batches of cold brew coffee, an automatic grinder is probably a better choice, unless you relish a good arm work-out!
While you’re here, watch our video on making cold brew coffee with an Aeropress:
Burr Material Matters
Coffee grinder burrs are either made of steel or ceramic, and, surprisingly, you opt for will affect not only the grinding mechanism but also the flavors in your cup.
Ceramic burrs are harder and thus will last longer without getting dull. However, ceramic is brittle and can chip if you drop it. Because ceramics don’t conduct heat, these burrs heat less during grinding, so you run no risk of destroying any flavorful coffee oils (2).
Ceramic burr grinders yield coffee that is considered to be more complex, with a heavier body and creamier mouthfeel, which makes this style popular with espresso roasts.
In contrast, steel burrs can be made sharper, but they eventually dull. They also get warmer during grinding, though no study has shown this to have a considerable effect on the flavor.
Coffee from a steel burr grinder tends to be cleaner tasting, with a lighter body, which is well-suited to single origins. This crisper flavor profile is generally better for cold brew, but it is up to your taste buds.
You could try out your grinder for making cold brew in a mason jar, like in the video bellow:
Prioritize a Good Coarse Grind
The best grind size for this brew method is coarse. Though many high-end burr grinders advertise a wide range of grind settings, this is less important when choosing a grinder for cold brew. Although, if you want a multi-purpose grinder, it is worth taking into account.
Grind is typically very coarse for cold brew to reduce surface area. If we increased surface area by grinding finer, the long steeping process would result in very muddy and over-extracted coffee
For cold brew, the most important thing is a constant and even coarse grind size, so you should prioritize this over a vast number of settings (3).
How Much Cold Brew Are You Making?
A nice perk of brewing cold brew concentration is that it can be kept for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, always ready for craving strikes (4). For that reason, it can be useful to make a large batch at a time. If this is your intention, you will probably prefer an electric grinder with a larger bean hopper.
Hand grinders tend to have a lower bean capacity, no more than 2 ounces, which is excellent for travel or making small quantities but could be frustrating when prepping a large batch.
The 7 Best Coffee Grinders for Cold Brew in 2020
Here are our favorite burr grinders for cold brew. Whether you prefer manual or electric, steel burr, or ceramic burr, we’ve got the best burr coffee grinder. Pair any one of them with the best cold brew coffee maker, and you’re ready to brew up something cool and delicious.
Our favorite grinder for a cold brew this year is Capresso’s Infinity 565.05 electric burr grinder. It has all the features you need and none you don’t, which keeps the price reasonable.
It uses conical stainless steel burrs to grind coffee to one of sixteen settings, categorized into extra-fine, fine, regular, and coarse.
Most importantly, for cold brew, its coarser settings are very reliable, producing evenly sized grounds.
This quality is a result of precision crafting. Each set of steel burrs is made as a pair in Switzerland, where they hand-assembled them for a perfect fit. This conical burr coffee grinder comes with an innovative gear reduction motor, which is proven to generate less friction and heat.
The 8.8 oz bean hopper up top is the largest of any on our list, making this ideal for preparing a big batch of cold brew to have on hand, and the removable coffee grounds container has a 4 oz capacity. There’s even a built-in timer, which runs between 5 to 60 seconds, so you can set it and forget it.
This machine is easy to clean. It comes with a brush for cleaning, and the hopper and upper burr are removable for easy access to the interior. A safety lock mechanism ensures that the grinder can’t start without the bean hopper installed.
If you don’t plan to make a lot of cold brew at once, and you don’t mind a little elbow grease, Javapresse’s manual conical burr grinder is our runner up. It delivers consistent coarse coffee grounds at a fraction of the cost of an equivalent electric grinder.
Like most hand grinders, an adjustable grind selector uses a series of clicks to select the grind size. With over 18 click settings, the Javapresse’s well-crafted ceramic conical burrs can prep your coffee beans for anything from cold brew to espresso.
It’s incredibly easy to use, with a simple hand-crank mechanism. You don’t need any batteries or electricity, just good old-fashioned muscle power. The result is a grinder that is lightweight, quiet, and portable.
Of course, the compact nature of this grinder stems from its small capacity. It can grind 1.5 oz at a time, enough for about 5 oz of cold brew concentrate.
With awards from the Specialty Coffee Association to their name, Baratza grinders are favored by coffee experts worldwide (5). And we have nothing but praise for the Baratza Encore. The only reason this conical burr coffee grinder is not our top pick is that it offers more than you need for preparing the cold brew.
The Encore is Baratza’s best seller, and despite being their entry-level model, it’s a relatively advanced grinder. It offers a whopping 40 grind size settings. While most of these aren’t necessary for cold brew, there are enough coarse settings to dial in a perfect grind for your favorite coffee beans. It’s simple to use, with an on/off switch or quick pulse option.
The conical burrs are stainless steel, which yields precision grinding and a clean cup. Baratza uses the same manufacturing quality for both their commercial and residential models. If you buy this grinder, odds are you’re working with the same burrs as your local professional barista.
While style isn’t always a factor when choosing a grinder, you’ll be proud to display it on your countertop. Available in either black or white, it has a modern style and small footprint, while still housing an 8 oz bean hopper.
Japanese manufacturer Hario is perhaps most well-known for its famous Hario V60 pour-over brewer, but their other accessories are equally high quality (6). Skerton manual grinders’ entire line-up is excellent, but the newly upgraded Pro model is the best of the bunch and more than justifies its slightly higher price tag.
The Skerton Pro is expertly manufactured, with well-machined parts that fit together perfectly. They designed it with both durability and ergonomics in mind. An upgraded crank handle makes grinding easier, redesigned conical burrs allow for better control over grind size, and a non-slip rubber base keeps the whole thing stable while you crank.
While the hopper capacity is relatively small, one feature we love about the Skerton Pro is that they designed the grinding mechanism to screw onto a standard-sized mason jar. This smart design provides an inexpensive solution if you want a larger-capacity ground coffee container.
If you find yourself tempted to save money by buying a blade grinder, take a look at this conical burr grinder instead. The Dorcas manual coffee grinder offers precision ceramic burrs for the cost of a couple of cappuccinos.
It features a non-slip handle and an extra-wide opening, so it’s easy to add coffee beans without spilling. Fifteen grind settings are more than enough to find that perfect coarseness for cold brew. Frequently, the downside to buying a cheap grinder is that they fail to deliver the consistent and even super-fine grinds, as you would need for an espresso. But with cold drip method, there is no such concern, and you are safer to err on the side of inexpensive.
Like most manual coffee grinders, this one is light and compact. Its stainless steel body makes it durable and great for travel, and it disassembles – making it easy to clean.
The second Baratza grinder on our list is the higher-end Virtuoso+ Electric Burr Grinder. Though the most expensive here, it’s the closest thing to having a butler do your grinding. It’s a bit overkill for just cold brew, but if you want a multi-purpose grinder that works just as well for your espresso machine, Aeropress, or pour-overs, the Virtuoso+ is well worth a look.
It uses conical steel burrs to give consistent even grinds at one of 40 sizes. It has a built-in digital timer and an LED back-lit ground coffee bin, meaning you can dose your coffee accurately and reproducibly every time. It grinds at a rapid rate of 2 grams per second, so your ground coffee beans will be ready when you are.
Along with the premium features, the Virtuoso+ also displays that iconic Baratza style that any coffee lover will immediately recognize. Redesigned for 2020 with a more modern aesthetic, including a sculpted metal top, will be a beautiful addition to your countertop coffee bar.
Unlike most small appliances, all Baratza coffee grinders are designed to be maintained and repaired, rather than replaced. This initiative on the part of the company will save you money and an eco-friendly policy that you can feel good about supporting.
Although most hand coffee grinders are well-suited to travel, Houselog’s was explicitly designed with portability and durability in mind, and it shows. Go ahead and toss this grinder at the bottom of your backpack. It won’t break, and you’d be hard-pressed to notice the weight.
The entire body is made from rust-proof brushed stainless steel, no breakable glass or plastic, and measures just 5.1 inches tall by 1.8 inches in diameter. The detachable crank features an attractive and durable pear wood handle. The lower half is wrapped in soft ultra-fiber leather, a stylish touch that makes it comfortable to handle and provides a non-slip surface when grinding.
Of course, the compact design of the Houselog grinder means that its capacity is small. It holds enough coffee beans for one coffee at a time or about 4 oz of cold brew concentrate. If you’ve ever dreamed of brewing a perfect cold brew coffee deep in the backcountry, maybe pulling your cold water from a pristine glacial spring, this is your grinder.
When it comes to choosing the best burr grinder for the cold brew method, the most important thing is a reliable coarse grind setting.
Our top pick this year is the Capresso Infinity 565.05, an electric burr grinder that delivers an even coarse grind at the touch of a button.
Don’t mind doing a little manual labor in exchange for your cold brew? Our runner up, the Javapresse Manual Grinder, delivers an equally high-quality grind from its conical ceramic burrs.
You can use pre-ground coffee beans for cold brew. Unfortunately, most pre-ground coffee is ground too fine, which is why we recommend grinding your own. If you prefer to use pre-ground coffee, try shortening the steeping time to avoid over-extraction.
The best coffee for cold brewing is up to your personal taste. We love low acid, single-origin, medium roast beans.
Your homemade cold brew tastes bitter when it is over-extracted. Either the grind is too fine or the steeping time is too long. It can also taste bitter if you use stale or low-quality coffee beans.
- Burr vs. Blade Grinder. (2015, April 28). Retrieved from https://driftaway.coffee/grinders/
- Rossi, R. (2017, December 15). A Brewer’s Guide to Choosing a (Good) Coffee Grinder. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2017/12/a-brewers-guide-to-choosing-a-good-coffee-grinder/
- Grant, T. (2020, January 16). How Cold Brew Captured the Millennial Market. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/01/how-cold-brew-captured-the-millennial-market/
- Bilow, R. (2016, June 16). Cold Brew Common Mistakes You Would Never Make. Retrieved from https://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/common-mistakes/article/cold-brew-coffee-common-mistakes
- Klassen, J. (2013, December 13). Exhibitor Perspective | Making Connections, Closing the Loop. Retrieved from https://scanews.coffee/2013/12/30/exhibitor-perspective-making-connections-closing-the-loop/
- Kumstova, K. (2018, May 16). The Story and Development of Hario V60. Retrieved from https://europeancoffeetrip.com/hario-v60/