Monday, August 5, 2013

The Best Manual Grinder For French Press Coffee

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As I continue my research on manual coffee grinders it occurred to me that I typically make one of three different types of coffees these days. I make coffee

  • in my french press, 
  • my Moka Express, 
  • and I make large batches of coffee in my drip coffee maker.
In all cases the coffee grind should be different sizes.

A few days back I posted my thoughts on the best manual coffee grinders for sale but today I wanted to focus on just coffee grinders for french press - manual french press grinders that is.

Manual French Press Coffee Grinders

Considering the fact that I work from home and don't have morning time constraints that some others have changing grind settings between coarse and fine is not that big of a deal for me. I can easily take the few extra minutes to change the grind size from medium-fine to coarse whenever I want but what I failed to take into account previously is that it's a bit harder for an inexpensive hand grinder to produce consistent grind at coarser settings.

Hand grinding coffee beans for a french press is more likely to result in inconsistent grind size than it is grinding for drip coffee, moka pots, or espresso. Hand held (inexpensive) grinders are simply far more likely to create smaller particles even when set at the larger grind size setting... and mud or coffee dust is going to be created in larger quantities in these cheaper models.

The fine folk over at Prima Coffee echoed my concerns a while back and found that among the bestselling and most highly touted hand crank coffee grinders, the Skerton and the Mini Mill, the Hario Mini Mill was probably the best manual coffee grinder for french press coffee due to it's spring loaded support mechanism for the movable burr.

Because movable burrs in stepped and fluid burr grinders are prone to - well, movement - coarse settings are frequently going to slip between fine and coarse grind through normal use. The Hario Mini Mill however supports the movable burr with a spring ensuring a more consistent grind size and less dust.

Although the Mini Mill may not be the best crank grinder for large amounts of coffee or even for espresso or other fine grinds it is probably far superior to the Hario Skerton for coarse grind coffee.

Long story short, assuming you are making a small batch of french press coffee the Hario Mini Mill is going to be your best hand crank choice.

It will also pair well with these travel friendly french press travel mugs.

For bigger batches of french press coarse ground coffee you can also use the Mini Mill or jump up to the Skerton if grid consistency is not that big of a deal. In the future I'll have a page on this outlining the best coffee grinders but for the time being you'll just have to wait and come back again. Drop your email in the box in the sidebar and I'll keep you in the loop.

In all cases french press coffee is almost always going to leave a little sludge in the bottom of your cup so you won't be stepping down too much for the extra volume.

Read this post for my favorite way of cleaning your french press without plugging up your drains.

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