Cold brew makes for a refreshing coffee drink on a hot summer’s day. But to cool off the right way, you need coarsely ground beans that can be hard to find pre-ground in most coffee shops and grocery stores.
So what’s the alternative? Grinding whole beans from home. Here, we take a look at the best grinders for cold brew coffee, with the Capresso infinity as our best overall pick.
Why You Should Get A Grinder?
Freshly-ground coffee is always better than pre-ground. Oxidation kicks in very rapidly in ground coffee and ultimately degrades your coffee’s flavor, while whole beans absorb oxygen and release carbon dioxide at a far lower rate.
Pre-ground coffee is also easily susceptible to flavor contamination because of higher rates of bean oil dilution through exposure to moisture in the air.
The result? Weak-tasting coffee with watered-down flavor notes and missing roughly 60% of its aromatics. This is why we cannot insist enough that you use a grinder to ensure you get the best, freshest cup possible.
Top Picks At A Glance
In-Depth Product Reviews
Summary: The fully electric grinder from Capresso with easy, entry-level operation and a powerful grind process.
The Capresso provides excellent value for money. With its 16 included grind size settings, it allows you to grind from Turkish all the way to cold brew coarse.
With the advanced cutting design calibrated into the 40 mm stainless steel conical burrs, you can rely on a precise, consistent grind for cold coffee brewing.
This fully automatic electric grinder makes for hassle-free coffee preparation without the hand-cranking and elbow grease. Plus, the durable, zinc die-cast body with stainless steel casings gives you a grinder that will last years of cold brew coffee to come.
One thing to note is that the Capresso Infinity is known for its high static, which makes messy grain residue more frequent and requires thorough frequent cleaning. That said, the removable upper burrs and coffee container make it easy to get the grounds out that tend to get stuck.
Needless to say, the Capresso infinity grinder requires electricity to operate and therefore makes it unsuitable for camping trips and the like.
- Consistent grinds across all grind 16 settings
- Advanced cutting design for added precision
- Removable upper burrs and coffee containers
- Durable zinc cast build
- One-year warranty
- High static
- Grounds can get stuck in burrs
- Not portable
Summary: Precise grinding with 38 grind settings, the OXO Brew is an automatic coffee grinder worth writing home about.
The OXO Brew houses 15 settings with added micro-settings for an all-in-all 38 precision coarser sizes for grinding, an impressive feat for a versatile coffee experience.
The 40-second one-touch smart timer remembers your last grind setting, allowing for a repeatable coffee process and a perfect grind just for you. Push grind, and your ground coffee beans will be ready in less than 10 seconds, as the OXO grinds 23 grams in just 9.4 seconds.
We also noticed that the OXO is fairly quiet, so you don’t have to worry about waking up your neighbors when preparing those early-morning coffees.
The bean hopper capacity is a whopping 12 oz., while the grounds bin is designed to be static resistant, making the necessary upkeep of your machine hassle-free. Though, when you’re cleaning, you may find some clogged beans along the way, as online reviewers highlight moderate issues with ground coffee beans lodging into the burr chamber.
Meanwhile, OXO’s cold brew coffee grinder manual is inaccurate at best. Refer to our cold brew guide instead for instructions on how to make delicious cold brew coffee.
- One-touch smart timer
- Is relatively quiet
- Large-capacity bean hopper
- Static-resistant grounds container
- Two-year warranty
- Clogging issues
- Small 4 oz. grounds container
- Poor cold brewing instructions
Summary: The top pick for budget grinders with a small, compact footprint, and sturdy ceramic material burrs.
The Hario Ceramic Skerton Pro operates through manual crank motions of the anti-slip grip lever. This crank, plus the secure grind shaft, makes for a comfortable, stable grind compared to other manual machines.
Like most manual grinders, the simple cranking operation allows you to produce from finer grounds to coarser grounds by listening for the corresponding clicks. For cold brew, you’re going to want to listen for anywhere from 12-16 clicks, depending on how strong you want your coffee to be.
The heavy-duty ceramic burrs promote a very uniform grind, as ceramic burrs conduct heat at a lesser rate. This results in a thorough grind that doesn’t burn or prematurely extract your coffee.
The unit is designed to be simply assembled and disassembled, meaning you get an easy-to-clean machine; the parts are dishwasher safe taking the extra bit of elbow grease out of the equation.
This is a fully portable grinder with a tiny footprint at only 8 inches high, though it’s largely made of glass and will require some protective packaging when taken on-road.
Hario designs and manufactures its products exclusively in Japan, so be prepared for longer than average shipping and delivery times.
- Heavy-duty ceramic burrs
- Portable grinder with tiny footprint
- Anti-slip grip and grind shaft
- Simple disassembly; dishwasher safe
- Fragile glass frame
- Long shipping times
Summary: The tiny but mighty 1Zpresso offers a competitive grind speed with guaranteed grinder integrity.
The 1Zpresso JX is the best pick for campers and on-the-move coffee drinkers to add to their cold brew coffee arsenal; the durable aluminum body and tiny frame are ideal for your backpack.
With a competitive grind time of fewer than 30 seconds or 1 g/s, you’ll have your morning grind and morning cup faster than ever. The 1Zpresso is designed with 30 clicks a rotation supported by powerful 48 mm burrs for cold brew but also a larger variety of brew methods.
Each grinder is guaranteed top performance by 1Zpresso based on a patented team of product testers and coffee experts. This quality grinder is calibrated without wobbly parts or sub-par conical burrs.
Like most hand-held grinders, the 1Zpresso’s portability is a trade-off as the price you’re paying is in bean hopper size: a humbling 1.23 oz.
And speaking of price, the above moderate price for the 1Zpresso is a little daunting, considering that it’s a pretty standard manual grinder. You’re not getting any largely notable, unique features when compared to other manual grinders in a lower price range.
- Speedy grind time at less than 30 seconds
- Product guarantees by 1Zpresso team
- Powerful 48 mm burrs
- Designed for any brew method (30 clicks per rotation)
- Tiny capacity intended for single use
- Expensive compared to competitors
Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Best Grinder For Cold Brew
Electric vs. Manual
Choosing between an electric and a manual grinder comes down to personal preference. Are you ready to put in some manual work, or do you prefer to push a button and have your grounds ready in seconds?
Electric Coffee Grinders— Ease of use for the coffee drinker, with programmable settings and speedy, precise grinding, all at the touch of a button. While very convenient, automatic grinders require electricity, tend to have a larger footprint, and come with a higher price tag. Depending on the model, they can also be quite noisy.
Manual Coffee Grinders — Usually more durable with high-build quality, manual grinders require some elbow grease. They are also more affordable than electric grinders for the same grind quality and are typically preferred by budget-conscious coffee lovers and those who prefer grinding the old-school way.
Grind Size Settings
The perfect grinder will allow you to easily customize your coarseness with accurate grind size settings. Every model featured here covers extra coarse grinds for cold brew coffee.
If you frequently brew different types of coffee, make sure to check how easily you can adjust grind settings according to your brewing method. On manual grinders, adjusting grind sizes tends to be a bit more tedious, where you have to listen to the number of clicks on an adjustment screw.
On automatic grinders, the adjustment is usually more straightforward with designated labels or at the push of a button.
Most quality grinders have at least 15 grind settings, allowing you to grind all types of sizes for any brewing method, including Espresso, French Press, or drip coffee. The more settings, the better you can fine-tune. However, it doesn’t necessarily equal better grind quality.
When considering portability, it’s important to consider your grinder’s size and weight. Generally speaking, electric grinders are significantly bigger and heavier, making them less portable.
The Hario Ceramic Skerton and the 1ZPresso are quite compact; with such a small footprint, you can easily travel with your grinder, allowing you to prepare excellent coffee from anywhere.
Burr material plays a huge part in the uniformity you can expect from your grind and the taste you’ve come to love from coffee. Nowadays, there are two types burrs in grinders.
Stainless Steel — Most popular option among coffee grinder manufacturers, with an energy and heat-resistant frame. Best for fines and filter longevity while available in conical and flat burr design, known to warp over time.
Ceramic — The most durable coffee burr grinder material with less friction and greater heat reduction; no imparted taste on your coffee beans. Conical design with serrated burrs for even grinding; most expensive option.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Choose A Grinder?
You can choose a grinder based on a number of factors pertaining to your individual needs. The most important factors to consider include your price range, the type of grinder (manual vs. automatic), the durability of the material, and the burr type. Also, consider the grinder’s size and capacity, grinder speed, maintenance required, and ease of use.
How Coarse Should I Grind For Cold Brew?
The ideal grind size when preparing your cold-brew coffee beans is extra coarse. The grind should resemble the texture and size of sea salt or peppercorns. Always feel free to experiment with different grind settings.
Do I Need A Good Grinder For Cold Brew?
Make sure you have a solid grinder to work with no matter your brewing method. Cold brewing is no exception. Keep in mind that cold brew coffee requires a coarser grind than what you’d expect from hot coffee. As a result, make sure you choose a grinder that can produce consistent coarse grounds.
How Much Should I Spend On A Burr Grinder?
That entirely depends on your budget. While you can pick up a decent manual grinder for around $50, high-quality automatic grinders can cost hundreds of dollars. Keep in mind that the grinder is by far the most important coffee brewing accessory, so don’t try to cut corners here. The quality of your conical burr coffee grinder will impact the texture, taste, and overall efficiency of your cold brew.
We set out on a mission to bring you the best grinders for a cold brew and back up why the Capresso Infinity is a solid choice with excellent value for money.
Needless to say, mission accomplished.
With consistent grinds for any brewing method and an advanced burr-cutting design, be prepared to enjoy excellent cold brew coffees on those hot summer days.