Brew Review – The Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker [Top 7 + Buyer’s Guide]

Cold brew coffee is hard to beat. As the weather starts to heat up and drinking a cup of pour-over in the morning gets you sweating, turning to colder coffee alternatives becomes more appealing. You can pick up some good cold brew from any half decent coffee shop, or, with a cold brew coffee maker, you can make your own at home.

If you’re going the home route then you’re going to want to know which cold brew coffee maker is the best. Making cold brew, however, can be quite tricky. You’re going to want something that simplifies the process and gives you control of all of the variables involved.

That’s where we come in. Luckily for you, we at Caffeine Fiend have nothing better to do than sit around, drink coffee and look for the best products on the market.

In the quest for the ultimate cold brew coffee maker, we present to you our findings.


The Top 7 Manual Cold Brew Coffee Makers Ranked and Reviewed


Price
Pros & Cons
OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker
$49.99+ Rain extraction method results in more uniform extraction
+ Beautiful design that doesn’t take up too much space in the kitchen

Plastic construction may affect the flavor of the concentrate.
Unable to make big batch brews.
Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker
$19.99+ Very affordable
+ Easy to use and clean
+ Portable

Only makes very small batches of cold brew
Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker
$70.26+ Makes relatively fast cold brew compared to other methods

Fairly expensive
Requires electricity
Doesn’t make cold brew in the traditional sense
Cold Bruer Drip Coffee Maker
$79.98+ Drip method means almost no sediment makes it through to the final product
+ Adjustable drip setting allows for speed control

Can be quite tricky to set up
Incorrect coarseness can result in uneven extraction
Fairly expensive

KitchenAid Cold Brew Maker
$59.00+ Beautiful design that looks great in any kitchen
+ Spigot attachment makes for easy dispensing

Spigot may leak from time to time
Country Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker
$26.95 + Ideal for large batch brewing
+ Simple to use
+ Easy to clean

Coarse filter means sediment occasionally finds its way into the concentrate
Toddy Cold Brew System
$34.95+ Easy to use and clean
+ Reusable wool filters can help reduce sediment
+ Ideal for brewing large batches of cold brew

System can sometimes be messy
Rubber plug tends to leak slightly if not properly attached

Sidebar: Cold Brew Coffee vs Iced Coffee

Before we dig into the buyer’s guide and reviews, let’s dispel a few misconceptions first. When we talk about cold brew coffee, some people might think that we’re referring to iced coffee. In reality, they’re two completely different things.

The main differences between cold brew coffee and iced coffee are the brewing methods.

Iced coffee is coffee – whether an americano or espresso – which is brewed hot before being chilled – usually by adding ice or cold milk. Cold brew coffee is brewed using room temperature water and a slow extraction method, and takes up to 16 hours to make.

These different methods have a direct effect on the final taste of the coffee. Iced coffee is going to maintain the characteristic bitterness that most coffee is known for (unless sweetener is added). Cold brew, however, tends to be a lot more smooth and way less acidic.

Another difference between the two drinks is their consistency. The cold brew method produces an initial concentrate which is then diluted with milk or water before drinking. An iced coffee is generally good to go from the start.

And while we’re on the topic – it’s worth noting that most of the coffee makers on this list are going to produce a very intense concentrate. Therefore you’re always going to want to have some water or milk ready to dilute it with. Drink this stuff straight and you’re probably going to have heart palpitations.


The Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Our Ranking Factors


On our mission to find the best cold brew coffee maker, we examined a number of different variables:

– Method

There are generally two methods which are employed to make a stellar cup of cold brew: drip and immersion. Some people prefer the drip method because it separates the coffee grounds from the water completely. However, many others tend to use the full-immersion method as it’s a much more passive approach, and way less time intensive.

– Design

A cold brew coffee maker is as complicated as you want it to be. At its most basic it’s a section of cheese cloth and a mason jar. The more complicated designs include tiered structures with different filters that have to be attached at various stages during the brewing process.

We took tried to include a good mix of different designs to give you a broad idea of what’s available.

– Size

Size is one of the most critical factors when it comes to cold brew coffee makers. While the initial instinct might be to buy the coffee maker with the largest volume, these can take up immense amounts of kitchen counter space.

Most cold brew coffee makers can brew about four cups of cold brew concentrate at once. This keeps for about two weeks and is diluted with water before drinking, so your final yield is going to be about twice that amount. It’s important to keep this in mind when buying; bigger might not always mean better.

– Filter

All cold brew coffee makers require some kind of filter to produce concentrate. However, the exact type of filter differs from maker to maker.

Disposable paper filters are easy to use, but can become expensive as time goes on and are also not great for the environment. Longer-lasting filters require some care when cleaning, but can be used upwards of ten times. We took care to include models that used different types of filters so you can find one that best suits your needs.

– Price

And our last ranking factor is price. Cold brew coffee making requires exactly two things: coffee and water. For that reason the equipment used to make it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

However, like most products, there are levels to exactly how costly they can be. Pricier doesn’t always mean better, but then again that depends on what your needs and expectations are. The following list contains coffee makers of all price points so you can find the best one for you.


The Best Cold Brew Coffee Maker: Breakdowns and Reviews


1. OXO BREW Cold Brew Coffee Maker Review

Best Overall Cold Brew Coffee Maker

OXO Brew Cold Brew Coffee Maker product review image

OXO did something incredibly right when they thought up the design for their cold brew coffee maker. As functional as it is aesthetically pleasing, the OXO Cold Brew Coffee maker is a big net positive for any kitchen.

There are a few ingenious features that sets the OXO apart from others. The perforated rainmaker at the top of the machine allows water to evenly distribute over the coffee grounds for optimal flavor extraction. On top of that the brew release switch allows for simple and easy filtration control.

The carafe is also made of a resilient borosilicate glass, meaning it’s less likely to break and warp. Oh, and it can hold a whopping 32 ounces of cold brew concentrate. For $49.99 it’s hard to find another product that offers such high functionality and intelligent design.

2. Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker Review

Best Budget Cold Brew Coffee Maker

Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker product review image

If you’re looking for something that’s well-designed, easy to use and produces great results every time, you’ll be hard-pressed to find better than Takeya’s little beast. The Takeya Patented Deluxe Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker also won’t even put a dent in your wallet.

At $19.99 it’s the cheapest on this list, which is why it earned the title of “Best Budget Cold Brew Coffee Maker.” But the low price tag doesn’t mean it lacks functionality.

In fact, in addition to the price, the Takeya’s brewing method is what sets it apart from other cold brew coffee makers. It features a separate filter which coffee grounds are added to before being screwed in to the main carafe. Simply add water to the carafe, set it aside, and you’re good to go in a couple of hours.

The only downside to this is that the concentrate produced might be slightly weaker than normal. But since most people dilute the final product with water or milk anyway, this might not be such a big concern.

The design is simplicity itself, and means you don’t have to worry about filters, plugs or valves. Just add coffee and water, place it in the fridge, and when you wake up your coffee is good to go.

3. Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker Review

Best Automatic Cold Brew Coffee Maker

It’s a design flaw inherent in the very nature of cold brew – it takes a long time to make. If you’re impatient and want your cold brew now, then the Cuisinart Automatic Cold Brew Coffeemaker is the best you’re going to get.

Keep in mind that it’s not as immediate as making an espresso, but when compared to traditional cold brew production times, it’s pretty quick. This machine allows you three different strength settings with corresponding brew times. Mild takes 25 minutes, medium 35, and bold 45.

And while the machine is simple enough to use, it does require electricity, a consideration that might put some people off. It works by agitating the water and coffee grounds to speed up the extraction process, then depositing it in the carafe below. Unfortunately some grit tends to get past the filter, which for some people is a deal breaker.

The only way you’re going to get true, delicious and smooth cold brew is the old fashioned way. That being said, if you can’t bear the wait then the Cuisinart is not a bad choice. For $70.26, however, you might be better off just buying multiple manual cold brew machines.

4. Bruer Drip Coffee Maker Review

Best Grit-Free Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If you’re not in the market for a cold brew coffee maker that uses the immersion as its primary extraction method, then look no further than the Bruer Drip Coffee Maker. As the name suggests, it uses a drip method for the smoothest, grit free coffee this side of town.

The design might look a little crazy at first, but it’s actually quite simple to use. Simply add coffee grounds to the chamber containing a steel mesh filter, dampen the grounds and place a paper filter of top. Snap the container into the glass carafe and fill the top section with water and ice.

Twist the knob in the center to control the drip speed. The ideal drip rate is about a drop of water per second. At this point you just sit back, relax and let gravity do all the work.

For $79.98 this is quite a pricey piece of machinery. But hey, grit-free coffee doesn’t come cheap, and this bad boy is pretty!

5. KitchenAid Cold Brew Maker Review

Classiest Design

I think it’s safe to say that KitchenAid are known for developing beautiful, if not quite high-tier functional products. Their cold brew maker is no exception.

One look at this handsome fella and you’ll fall instantly in love. For good reason – it’s gorgeous. Constructed of stainless steel and glass, this cold brew maker would look right at home on any kitchen shelf or counter.

Its looks aren’t its only strong point either. Designed with a stainless steel grounds tray that fits into a larger glass container, and a spigot for easy pouring and dispensing. Some users commented that extra fine grit made its way through the fitler, but the spigot seems to trap the worst of it.

At $59 this is both a statement piece as well as an effective piece of equipment. If you’re someone who appreciates style and classy designs, then this is undoubtedly the piece of kit for you.

6. Country Line Kitchen Cold Brew Coffee Maker Review

Best Large-Batch Cold Brew Coffee Maker

If you like to make huge batches of coffee a week in advance or simply have a lot of thirsty friends, then you need the Cold Brew Coffee Maker from Country Line Kitchen. Comprised of a two-quart mason jar and stainless steel filter basket to brew, the brew system is exceedingly simple.

Add a ton of coffee grounds to the filter basket and pour 64oz of water slowly through it. Let it sit for 12 hours (24 if it’s in the fridge), remove the filter basket and it’s ready to pour.

It’s worth pointing out that you should use quite a coarse grind of coffee with this cold brew coffee maker. The mesh filter tends to let smaller particles through and this makes for a grittier final product. That being said, the concentrate it produces tends to be smooth and not acidic at all.

For $26.95 it’s a great system for making large amounts of cold brew at once. Country Line Kitchen is also a Wisconsin-based, family-owned business. So you can rest assured that your money is supporting local operations.

7. Toddy Cold Brew System Review

Best Minimalist Cold Brew Coffee System

When discussing cold brew coffee makers it’s hard not to bring up the Toddy. Constructed by chemical engineer Todd Simpson in 1964, the Toddy Cold Brew System is practically an institution.

The construction is a simple, no-frills design that places the emphasis on functionality rather than aesthetics.

And function it does. While it does rely on reusable or disposable filters, the Toddy consistently produces rich, smooth and full-bodied cold brew concentrate.

Its only design flaw is the rubber stopper which has to be removed manually to drain the cold brew concentrate into the bottom glass carafe. It almost always results in some of the concentrate getting on the counter or onto your hands.

But if a little clean up doesn’t bother you then the Toddy Cold Brew System is the way to go. For $34.95 it’s unlikely to break the bank, but is likely to consistently produce delicious cold brew coffee.


The Complete Buyer’s Guide for Cold Brew Coffee Makers


Best Coffee Beans for Cold Brew

While the production process is important, when it comes to cold brew the most crucial ingredient will always be the beans. In order to achieve the low acidity, smoothness and lack of bitterness which the cold brew is known for, a good roast is always required. Here are our favorites:


Red Flags To Watch Out For

While it’s generally pretty difficult to mess up a cold brew completely, there are a few things that you might want to avoid.

Always check the filters of the cold brew coffee maker you’re investing in. If it’s too porous or not sealed properly, then it’s probably no good. The beauty of cold brew is in its smoothness, and any type of grit is going to ruin that consistency.


FAQs

Is cold brew coffee easy to make?

Yes, extremely! While some of the cold brew systems feature different carafes, filters and drip methods, generally making cold brew is a very straightforward affair. At its core it consists of nothing more than immersing coffee grounds in water for a long period of time.

As long as you have some sort of fine-mesh filter, coarse coffee grounds and some clean water, you’re good to go!

Does cold brew have more caffeine than regular or iced coffee?

Because cold brew is brewed as a concentrate, it tends to have significantly more caffeine than say an ordinary drip coffee. That being said, it usually gets diluted before consumption. However, if you’re someone who wants to sip cold brew like you would an espresso, just be careful – you might just get the shakes.

How long does cold brew coffee last?

One of the wonderful things about cold brew coffee is its ability to keep for long periods of time. Unlike hot coffee, which pretty much loses all appeal as soon as it cools, you can store cold brew for up to two weeks in concentrate form. While you can brew it in large batches to store, it’s flavor profile starts to disintegrate after a week.

How long does it take to make cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee takes between 8 – 24 hours to make depending on a number of different factors. A general rule of thumb is that the warmer the water, the quicker the extraction. Using room temperature water will get you a batch in 12 hours, but putting your cold brew in the fridge will take a full day.

If you like your cold brew weaker, just remove the grounds before the full 12 hours has elapsed.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee: The Ultimate Guide

My love of coffee is unquestionably a hereditary trait. My grandmother, my mother, and I, have all affirmed that coffee is our one true love.

Nevertheless, my mother is a strict and cautious woman. So, no matter how much I begged her when I was growing up, she always refused to let me (or my siblings) drink coffee. It wasn’t until I was sixteen going on seventeen (yes just like “The Sound of Music”) that she finally relented and let me drink my first cup.

However, she wasn’t going to let me squander my coffee virginity on just any old coffee. She made sure that my first was a cup of real Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

And that’s when I unabashedly fell in love.

How Does Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Taste?

Now, I could go the easy route and say that the taste is “indescribable” or that “you have to taste it for yourself to truly understand”. If I did, I wouldn’t be lying. However, in an effort to share my passion and hopefully convert you to a Blue Mountain lover, I’ll try my best.

Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has a relatively mild but energetic level of acidity that is complemented by a smooth texture, leaving very little bitterness in your mouth. It is a coffee that I can only describe as having a “clean” taste.

On the aromatic side of things, I personally get hints of nuts that are intermingled with sweet flowers and herbs. The smell of the Blue Mountains.

The Blue Mountains in Jamaica

Real Recognize Real – Avoid Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m Jamaican – born and raised. I’m also a self-declared coffee lover. What do these two facts have to do with anything?

It means that it’s virtually impossible for me to fall victim to buying fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. However, chances are that you don’t to have my experience in this regard. So, here’s what you need to know about fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee and how to avoid it.

Why is Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee So Prevalent?

The answer to this question can be broken down into two simple facts: supply and demand.

Jamaica is a small island and the Blue Mountains cover a relatively small area. In addition to this, it is time consuming to grow and prepare. All of these factors keep the supply fairly limited.

To put it mildly, the demand for it is high and this is primarily thanks to both the quality and the flavor. You don’t have to take my word for it, just ask Japan.

Approximately 80% of the Blue Mountain Coffee that is produced is exported to Japan – so their love for the coffee is also partially to blame for the limited supply. In fact, January 9th is “Blue Mountain Coffee Day” in both Jamaica and Japan.

How to Tell the Difference Between Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee and the Real Deal?

The Seal of Certification

The “Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica” is a division of the “Jamaica Agricultural Commodities Regulatory Authority”. They are the governing body that establishes and enforces guidelines, rules, and regulations that are related to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Seals of Certification

One of the simplest yet most effective ways that they do this is by using a seal of certification and approving every label that is being used for Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

Read Everything on the Packaging

Fake Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee will always boldly try to imitate the real thing. They will do this by stating things like “Made in Jamaica” or “100% Jamaican” on the packaging. What you need to do is read the fine print.

Oftentimes these fakers will say that they are made in Jamaica but they will have a tiny line of text that says it was packaged in the USA or some other area.

The real Blue Mountain coffee is grown in Jamaica, roasted in Jamaica, and packaged in Jamaica.

Familiarize Yourself with the Packaging of Real Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

The Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica approves all labels and packaging that are being used to sell authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. If you’re a coffee lover that has lived in Jamaica for some time, then you’ll no doubt be able to easily identify these labels.

If you’re a tourist or someone that is buying from overseas, then you won’t be able to tell what’s real at first glance. Don’t worry, as long as you do your research and know what to look out for, you’ll be okay.

A landscape view of where coffee is grown

Why Does It Cost So Much?

My mom didn’t solely drink Blue Mountain coffee when I was growing up; we weren’t rich enough for her to do that every day. Instead, her everyday cup was a local blend that contained around 25% Blue Mountain coffee. This was about half the price of the real thing and still managed to contain some of the flavor that she loved.

Her real Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee was her “feel good” coffee for when she wanted a pick-me-up.

Even if you’re a coffee lover that has some extra money to throw around, you will most likely still be surprised at how pricey authentic Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee can be compared to your other coffee imports. Why is it so expensive?

  • It takes much longer for it to mature.
  • Every bean is hand inspected and beans with defects are weeded out.
  • Harvesting takes time because of the steep slopes and secluded locations.
  • The Blue Mountains are large but only a few select regions have been deemed suitable enough to grow the coffee.
  • Approximately 80% of the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee that is produced is exported to Japan.

My Recommendations for Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee

If I had to recommend just one brand, then it would be no contest – JABLUM all the way! JABLUM Classic has been my go to coffee for years and that won’t be changing anytime soon.

JABLUM Roasted Blue Mountain Coffee Beans

Wallenford comes in second but that doesn’t mean it’s bad by any means, it’s wonderful. It’s just that JABLUM is a step above it.

Wallenford Blue Mountain Coffee

As for blends, I could recommend at least a dozen local blends. The only problem is that you won’t be able to order them online. One online blend that I can recommend is Volcania Coffee’s Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Blend. It has a 30% Blue Mountain coffee content and (in my opinion) actually rivals some local blends that I love.

Jacqueline S.

Author at Caffeinefiend.co

Jacqueline is a trained teacher with almost two decades of teaching experience under her belt. However, her friends and family would tell you that her true passions are writing, DIY projects, eating good food, and of course, listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Best Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals for Coffee Lovers (2019)

This time of the year marks the zenith of discounts on a vast array of retail products. We’ve focused on the coffee category to bring you this list of the best Black Friday deals for coffee lovers.

We recommend reading our sale shopping tips first, but if you’re in a hurry, you can always click the links below to jump straight to the section you’re here for:

Black Friday/Cyber Monday Shopping Tips:

Black Friday Deals for Coffee Products:

Black Friday or Cyber Monday: Which is Better for Coffee Product Deals?

For a long time, Black Friday has been one of the best days – if not the best – to do some bargain shopping. Lately, Cyber Monday has become an equally great opportunity.

Black Friday deals are usually focused on specific products, namely more expensive ones that consumers buy less than once a year (an Espresso Maker, for example) whilst Cyber Monday tends to be more popular for smaller gadgets and products in the tech industry.

If you’re looking to save some money on a bigger coffee purchase, we suggest you keep a lookout for Black Friday deals. If, on the other hand, you’re looking to buy smaller gadgets or gifts, you might find more discounts available for them on Cyber Monday.

(N.B. Every store has different discount periods, so we’ve tried to include them in our list too)

How Do I Make Sure I’m Getting a Good Deal?

1- Oftentimes, once a coffee product is discounted by one retailer, other retailers (or marketplaces like Amazon) try to match or even beat the discounted price. Make sure to check Amazon for the same product to see if they have a better deal.

2- Remember to read product reviews! Your goal is to make a bargain – just because a coffee product is on sale doesn’t mean you should buy it. Make sure it’s actually a good product with real, positive reviews first.


Black Friday Coffee Maker Deals:


The ProductThe Black Friday DealWhen and Where?
Nespresso Vertuoplus Deluxe By De’longhi With Aeroccino3 Frother
$161.96, was $378.SurLaTable, Discounted as of Nov 26th, Limited Stock
Keurig K-Compact Single-Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
$59, was $67Walmart online – Nov 27 starting 10 PM.
Doors open on Thanksgiving Day at 6 PM.
Hamilton Beach 12-Cup Programmable Coffee Maker
$18.70 + shipping with “GIVETHANKS” Promo Code, was $25 + shipping.

OR you can choose to apply for a $12 rebate after purchase. Cannot be used with promo code.
Kohl’s – Rebate offer available for purchases online made from Nov 25th to Nov 29th, or in-store from Nov 28th to Nov 29th.
Ninja Specialty Coffee Maker
$85, Was $180. Free shipping.Target, Discounted as of Nov 26th.
AeroPress
$22.46 with Promo Code “THANKS19“, was $35SurLaTable, Discounted as of Nov 26th.
Bella – Pro Series 14-Cup Coffeemaker – Stainless Steel

$35, was $60Best Buy on Ebay, Discounted as of Nov 26th.
Keurig K-Classic K50 Single Serve K-Cup Pod Coffee Maker
$60, was $120Best Buy, Discounted as of Nov 26th.
Keurig K-Duo Essentials Coffee Maker, with Single Serve K-Cup Pod and 12 Cup Carafe Brewer, Black
$79, was $99Walmart Online , Discounted as of Nov 26th.

Black Friday Deals at Starbucks Coffee


Source/Images from: stories.starbucks.com

The ProductThe Black Friday/Cyber Monday DealWhen and Where?
Starbucks Gray Brewed Refill Tumbler
Buy the Tumbler for $40, get Starbucks Grand Coffee, or Tea (does not include lattes or other specialties) for free for the whole of JanuaryStarts Nov 26 at Starbucks
Starbucks Gold Foil Tumbler (16 OZ)
$9.95, was $18.95Nov 26th through Dec 25th at Starbucks
Starbucks eGift Card
Buy an eGift card of $20 or more on Cyber Monday and get a $5 Starbucks eGift CardCyber Monday on the Starbucks eGift Store

Larger Coffee Equipment Deals


The ProductThe Black Friday DealWhen and Where?
La Marzocco Linea Mini Home Espresso Machine


$4.6k – $5.05k, was $4.9k – $5.5k (up to $450 off)Prima Coffee, Until Dec 5th
Hottop Coffee Roaster
$50 store credit (and 6lbs of free unroasted coffee if you’re in the US). The Roaster is $1.1k – $1.6kStarts Nov 28th on Prima Coffee‘s website

Coffee Grinder Deals


The ProductThe Black Friday DealWhen and Where?
Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
$85.48 (40% off from its $143 list price)Bodum on Amazon, Discounted as of Nov 26th
Baratza Virtuoso+ Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Buy one and get a Free AeroPressPrima-Coffee, until Nov 30th

An Undisclosed Black Friday Deal in South Africa


According to Business Insider – South Africa, this PicknPay deal for Nescafe Gold will be available from Black Friday (Nov 29th) to December 1st.

The ProductThe Black Friday DealWhen and Where?
Nescafe Gold 200g
R60 (43% off from R107)November 29th to December 1st on PicknPay

The Best Milk Frother: Top 10 Frothers on the Market

The perfect cup of coffee is a combination of many different factors. Getting your hands on the best beans, the right grinder, and selecting the ideal brewing method are all key contributors to a stellar cup of joe. But if you’re a cappuccino or latte fan who enjoys a thick, luxurious layer of milk on top of your drink, then acquiring the best milk frother should also be a priority.

It’s for that reason that we’ve put together this guide of the best milk frothers currently on the market in 2019. In an effort to find the best milk mixing machine, and to ensure that you always have the creamiest coffee companion, we frothed ourselves silly. The result – a definitive guide of lactose lathering that (hopefully) won’t leave you intolerant.

Best Milk Frother: Quick Round-Up


Price

Pros & Cons
Secura Automatic Electric Frother
Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother
$34.98+ Beautiful, functional design.

+ Insulated interior keeps your milk either hot or cold.

+ Can heat and froth milk.

+ Easy to operate.

Not dishwasher safe.

Electric and so always needs electricity in order to froth milk.
Powerlix Battery Operated Handheld Milk Frother
Powerlix handheld battery milk frother
$13.97+ Slim and portable design; perfect for travel.

+ Froths milk quickly and evenly.

+ Quiet motor so you can froth milk early in the morning and late at night.

Battery operated and so requires the changing of batteries from time to time.
Aerolatte Hand Frother
A blue Aerolattee handheld milk frother
$19.99+ Solid stainless steel construction means it won’t rust.

+ Froths milk extremely fast.

+ Reliable product from a trusted brand.

More expensive than other frothers on this list.

Battery-operated so batteries will need to be replaced at some point.
Nespresso Aeroccino Plus
An electric milk frother from Nespresso
$116.98+ Offers a wide range of milk frothing options.

+ Can make hot and cold milk very easily.

+ Extremely consistent and versatile.

+ Beautiful design.

Extremely expensive especially compared to other frothers on this list.
Bonsen Kitchen Electric Milk Frother
BonsenKitchen's battery-powered milk frother
$9.99+ Extremely affordable.

+ Handheld and portable.

+ Perfect for travelling.

Uses batteries and so needs new ones periodically.
HIC Milk Creamer Frother
HIC Milk cream frother
$21.01+ Very affordable considering the quality.

+ Beautiful design that looks great in any kitchen.

+ Produces consistently foamy and creamy milk.

+ Doesn’t require electricity and is very portable.

Takes slightly longer than electric frothers.
Capresso Froth Plus
The Capresso Froth Plus
$58.95+ Large capacity means it can froth large quantities of milk.

+ Dishwasher friendly.

+ Very easy to use; froth milk at the push of a button.

Expensive considering that the frother is made from plastic.
NoPro Glass Froth Master
a Glass froth device
$12.95+ Beautifully minimal design.

+ Extremely affordable.Manual milk frother that doesn’t require any batteries.

Glass construction makes this frother quite fragile.

Small volume means you might have to froth multiple servings of milk.
Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother
The Nestle Nespresso Aerocinni 3 Milk frother
$69.99+ Rapid hot or cold milk frothing capabilities.

+ Unique design.

+ Auto shut off when milk is finished frothing.

Hefty price tag makes this quite inaccessible for first-time buyers.
Breville Milk Cafe Frother
$129.99+ Dial allows precision control of temperature.

+ Creates consistently foamy and thick milk.

+ Ideal for making cappuccinos.

Huge price tag; most expensive milk frother on the milk.

The Best Milk Frother: Our Ranking Factors


Type

Milk frothers generally fall into three different types. Namely electric, battery-powered, and manual. This doesn’t necessarily determine the efficacy of the frother, but each category is going to appeal to different types of buyers, and so we tried to include a good mix of all three.

Temperate Control

Can a milk frother heat your milk as well or can it only froth? These are the burning questions we want to know the answers to, and so we judged each frother accordingly.

Construction

Not all frothers are made equally. We sorted the wheat from the chaff (the curds from the whey, if you will) by looking at the construction quality and what the frothers were built from. All of the frothers on the list feature solid, robust and sturdy designs that will keep you frothing for years.

Price

It’s difficult to create any buying guide without taking the price into consideration, and this one was no different. As with any other broad category of product, there are levels to the amount of money one is willing to spend. We included a wide price range so that we could find something for everyone.


Top Milk Frother Picks – in Detail


Secura Automatic Electric Frother

Sleekest Design


Secura Automatic Electric Milk Frother

As far as electric frothers go, you’d be hard pressed to find a better looking one than the Secura Automatic Electric Frother. Made entirely from stainless steel, the Secura is easy on the eyes and would look great on any kitchen counter.

The Secura is able to froth both hot and cold milk effortlessly. If you’re simply heating milk then it has a capacity of 250ml, but if you’re frothing milk then it can only hold half that as frothing causes the milk to double in volume. This frother is vacuum insulated meaning it will keep your milk warm (or cold) for quite a while, even when you’re done heating it.

It’s also detachable, making it super easy to clean without worrying about getting the electric parts wet. And really that’s it’s only handicap – being electric. For $35, the Secura is a great little frother, but without batteries it means that you’ll never be able to bring it with you on a business trip and it will be forever relegated to the kitchen.

Powerlix Battery Operated Handheld Milk Frother

Best Battery Operated Frother


Powerlix handheld battery milk frother

If you’re looking for a milk frother that feels great in your hand and does exactly what it says on the packet, the Powerlix Battery Operated Handheld Milk Frother should be your go-to. The Powerlix features a svelte, portable design that will make short, creamy work of any flat, bodiless milk.

Constructed from stainless steel and featuring a motor capable of producing 19000 revolutions per minute, the Powerlix is sturdy enough to not break, bend, rust or fail in any way. The motor is also pretty quiet so you can froth milk early in the morning or late at night without worrying about waking anyone.

For $13.97 this is a decently powerful piece of kit. Its construction is pretty enough to fit most kitchens and it’s also portable meaning you can take it camping or on business trips. The only downside is that you need a couple of AA batteries to keep it running, which over time can add up.

Aerolatte Hand Frother

Best Handheld Frother


A blue Aerolattee handheld milk frother

Aerolatte is one of the most trusted coffee brands on the market, so it makes sense that when it comes to hand frothers they would deliver a great product too. The Aerolatte Hand Frother is a beautiful hand-held frother packing a tiny motor just strong enough to froth milk perfectly every time.

This is a no-frills frother that does exactly what it claims. With a whisking head and shafted constructed from 18/8 stainless steel, you don’t have to worry about wear and tear or rust, regardless of whether you’re frothing hot or cold milk.

The Aerolatte is operated with a simple on/off toggle switch and powered by two replaceable AA batteries. It’s a wonderfully effective and functional frother, and for the price of $19.99 it’s hard to fault it.

Nespresso Aeroccino Plus

The Beast Frother


Nespresso Aeroccini Plus, An electric milk frother from Nespresso

If you don’t have too much time in the mornings but would like to sneak in a quality cup of coffee before work, then the Nespresso Aeroccino Plus is the answer. While this isn’t the most technical frother on the list, it’s ability to quickly heat and froth milk makes it ideal for making a cappuccino on the go.

With a capacity of 250ml this isn’t even the biggest frother on the list, but its ability to produce foam so creamy you might as well be drinking a cloud sets it head and shoulders above similar frothers. But with a price tag of almost $150, some might struggle to justify the huge expense.

Bonsen Kitchen Electric Milk Frother

Best Value for Money


BonsenKitchen's battery-powered milk frother

If you’re absolutely strapped for cash but you just can’t live without a morning latte, then you might want to consider the Bonsen Kitchen Electric Milk Frother. At just $9.99, it’s the cheapest frother on this list by a mile, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective.

Quite the contrary, with a solid construction and a wand and whisking head made from 18/8 stainless steel, the Bonsen can froth milk with the best of them. Operating the Bonsen is also exceedingly simple; one button turns it off and on and that’s all you need to worry about.

The Bonsen is portable and reliable, but it does run on batteries. So just make sure you keep a couple handy should this little guy run out of juice half way through a froth.

HIC Milk Creamer Frother

The Best Manual Frother


HIC Milk cream frother

Electric frothers are cool and all, but you’ll always be beholden to power to get the job done. Not with the HIC Milk Creamer Frother! This manual frother gives you the ability to create creamy concoctions regardless of whether or not you’re close to a power source.

Not only that, but it looks beautiful as well. The stainless steel construction is as ornate as a vanity mirror, and will have your milk frothed in a minute or less.

To use it, simply pour milk into the HIC, insert the plunger, secure the lid, then pump the handle between 30 and 60 seconds. For the low price of only $20.01, and considering that you’ll never have to spend money on a single battery, the HIC is an absolute steal.

Capresso Froth Plus

The Best Electric Frother


The Capresso Froth Plus

If you want to get technical with your frothing or you plan on having a lot of guests over, then the Capresso Froth Plus is what you need. With a massive capacity of 8 ounces of milk for frothing or 12 ounces for heating, there’s enough space in here to make lattes for the whole family.

The Capresso is smart too. With two frothing disks and one heating disk that stirs the milk simultaneously, this frother will keep your milk warm and mobile to avoid it burning. With only three buttons, it’s also intuitive and easy to use.

The downside of the Capresso is its limited mobility; this little guy is going to have to live in a kitchen unless you plan on travelling with no other luggage. And with a mid-range price of $59, and considering how functional it is, it’s hard not to be impressed.

NoPro Glass Froth Master

Best Budget Frother


a Glass froth device

You can be forgiven is at first glance you think that the NoPro Glass Froth Master is a little French press coffee maker. But no, while the NoPro does share some similarities and even uses a similar technique to the French press, it’s functionality is limited to frothing milk, which it excels at.

The NoPro doesn’t require any external power source. Rather it’s powered by your own elbow grease (none of which makes its way into your milk hopefully). With around a minute of work you should be able to achieve a luxuriously creamy milk to rival any other electronic frother.

At $12.95, it’s also extremely affordable. Surprising, considering how effective and aesthetically pleasing this little device is. The only possible deal breaker might be its construction. With the body made entirely of glass, the NoPro is quite fragile and will require quite a bit of care during cleaning.

Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother

Most Functional Frother


The Nestle Nespresso Aeroccini 3 Milk frother

Sure most milk frothers can deliver a decent foam when working with milk, but how many can lather up non-dairy alternatives? The Nestle Nespresso Aeroccino 3 Milk Frother does just that, making short work of even the most stubbornly non-foamy products such as almond and cashew milk.

The Aeroccino 3 is also an impressive piece of kit to observe, and looks like it would look at home on the set of a science fiction film. It has a one button functionality for both heating and frothing milk, and its auto shutoff feature means milk will never overheat or spill over the top.

For just over $66 it’s a bit pricey compared to other frothers on the market, but its ability to work with other liquids apart from milk makes it worth the investment.

Breville Milk Cafe Frother

Most Multifunctional Frother


Breville Milk Cafe Frother

The Breville Milk Cafe Frother might just be the most feature-laden milk frother on the list, and maybe even on the market. Before purchasing one, you might not be aware that you want or need temperature control, but afterwards you’ll struggle to understand how you coped without it.

The temperature control has the potential to elevate your milk and coffee game to untold levels of awesome. You’re able to heat the milk and get a ton of foam using nothing but the Breville’s frothing disc. And in addition to coffee, this frother is also adept at churning out excellent hot chocolates.

At $111 this isn’t going to be the cheapest frother on the list. But you’re paying for quality here, and the Breville delivers every time. 


The Creme de la Creme

So there you have it. The best frothers on the market ranked, discussed and reviewed. We left no stone unturned in order to bring you the very best in foam-making machinery.

The only choice you have to make is which device you choose to purchase in your pursuit of the perfect latte or cappuccino. As the ultimate test (if you’re still unsure about which one you should pick), we recommend determining the effectiveness of your frother by the size of the cream moustache it can give you.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

The Best Moka Pot: 6 Pots Ranked (Ultimate Guide)

Whether you call it a moka pot, bialetti, percolator or a stove-top coffee maker, when it comes to brewing espresso-style coffee, it’s hard to deny that it’s one of the best. If you’re new to the coffee game, however, deciding on the best moka pot can be an intimidating proposition. 

Don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. 

In this article we’re going to provide a detailed breakdown of some of the best moka pots currently on the market (quick scroll ⇊) , and help you decide which is the best choice for you.

Wait, What Exactly Is a Moka Pot?

Before we nerd out and get into a detailed analysis of some of the best moka pots out there, let’s first establish a baseline definition of exactly what a moka pot is.

Put simply, a moka pot is a coffee brewing device that uses pressurised steam forced through coffee grounds in order to brew coffee. The resultant brew is dark, thick and intense, and similar in consistency and taste to espresso. However, making espresso requires much greater amounts of pressure than a moka pot can produce.

The device itself is a fairly simple piece of kit. It consists of a steel body which contains two chambers separated by a funnel-like filter. Water is added to the bottom chamber and ground coffee to the filter. The top chamber gets screwed on, added to a heat source such as a gas or induction stove, and the heat forces the water into steam and through the coffee.

The resultant brew gathers in the top chamber and boom, in a few minutes you’ve got hot, aromatic coffee ready to go.

a moka pot on top of a stove

What People Love About Moka Pots

If you’re reading this guide it’s likely because you’ve seen moka pots in restaurants, cafes or your friends’ kitchen, and you’ve decided you have to have one. This makes sense considering that the moka pot is a world-wide phenomenon found all over the world.

The reason for its popularity is twofold. First, it’s an extremely simple yet effective device to use. Once you have a moka pot you need very little else other than coffee grounds, water and a heat source in order to produce coffee that would rival that of the best third-wave joint in town.

It’s also extremely cost-effective. Most moka pots don’t need to break the bank. In fact, because of their straightforward construction and robust build, they provide one of the best bangs for your buck if you’re looking to get into the luxury coffee game. 

Of course, like any hobby or interest, there are levels to the amount of money you can spend when pursuing the very best moka pot. That being said, a simple, no-frills moka pot that will produce consistently delicious coffee is not going to put you in debt. 

using a moka pot to pour espresso coffee in a mug outdoors

How We Ranked Our Moka Pots: Criteria Breakdown

When putting together this list we looked at a number of different criteria on which to base our selection. This helped us determine which were the best moka pots and which ones were substandard.

Capacity

When it comes to size not all moka pots are created equal. Each moka pot has a different capacity for the amount of coffee it can brew at once. Some can brew enough for one person and some enough for four.

Material

In the coffee world there’s a debate about which is the best material to construct a moka pot from. It generally falls into two camps – aluminium and stainless steel.

Stainless steel is generally considered the superior material and the best moka pots are constructed from it. They’re non-porous, non-corrosive and extremely durable. Chances are that if you invest in a quality stainless steel moka pot, it’s going to last you for a very long time.

That being said, stainless steel is quite expensive.

The alternative is aluminium. But this material is quite a bit more temperamental than it’s steel counterpart. For starters, they’re not dishwasher safe so they have to be hand washed and dried in order to prevent them from rusting.

While they won’t last as long as stainless steel, aluminium moka pots will still give you a good decade of use if you treat it well. Because of this shortened lifespan, a moka pot made from aluminium will almost always be cheaper.

Design

Ever since their inception, moka pots have always had considerable style. They’re a great addition to any kitchen and look fantastic on any shelf. In fact, they look so good that their original design hasn’t changed all that much from the 30s until today.

But there are variations, and we took this into account when ranking our best moka pots. Most come in traditional silver, but it’s common to find moka pots with varying colors and patterns. 

Safety

When using a moka pot you’re going to be dealing with vast amounts of heat, pressure and steam. For that reason alone it’s important that your moka pot is as safe as possible. 

Such high amounts of pressure make moka pots ticking time bombs without essential safety features. In this case, one of the main features stopping a moka pot from detonating is a pressure release valve, and we made sure every moka pot we reviewed came duly equipped.

The 7 Best Moka Pots: Side-By-Side


Pros & Cons

Price

Bialetti Moka Express
+ Available in a variety of different sizes.Italian-made.
+ Classic design.
+ Trusted brand with a long history of quality designs.

Constructed from aluminium so not as durable as stainless steel counterparts.
$20.31 – $51

Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker
+ Unique Design.
+ Durable stainless steel construction.
+ Dishwasher safe.
+ Compatible with gas and electric stoves.

Slightly more expensive than traditional moka pots.
Non-classic design for those who prefer the traditional-looking moka pot.
$39.95

Cuisinox COF-10R Roma
+ Stainless steel construction.
+ Comes with a 25 year warranty.
+ Beautiful and eye-catching design.
+ Works with both electric and gas stove tops.

Hefty price tag that is more than double other comparable options.Not made in Italy.
$121.53

Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Percolator
+ Unique design featuring an attractive wooden handle.
+ Constructed to be used on an open fire, and so is perfect for outdoor use.

Not the most ideal option for home-use although can be used on a gas stove.
$34.38

De’Longhi EMK6 Electric Moka Pot
+ Electric Moka Pot that can be used without a gas or electric stove.
+ Ideal if you don’t have a kitchen.
+ Convenient and easy to use.
+ Warm function keeps coffee warm for up to 30 minutes after brewing.

Made from aluminium and plastic.
Plastic chamber may affect the taste of the coffee.
$49.99

Bialetti Venus
+ Elegant construction and finish.
+ Constructed from stainless steel and suitable for both gas and electric stove tops.
+ Can also be used on campfires.
+ Fairly affordable.

Not dishwasher safe and requires washing by hand.
$25.79

The Best Moka Pots: Our Top Picks

1- Bialetti Moka Express 

When it comes to the best moka pots around, you can hardly go wrong with anything form Bialetti. Having been around since the 1950s, they’re one of the heavyweights in the industry when it comes to producing premium coffee equipment.

The Bialetti Moka Express is exemplary in this regard. With a classic look that is both attractive and instantly recognisable, the Moka Express sits well in any kitchen. This Italian design helps defuse heat evenly for a balanced yet strong cup of coffee. 

This moka pot is compatible with most stoves. The only drawback is that it’s made from aluminum, so won’t have the same shelf life as a stainless steel counterpart. That being said, for the price, it’s really difficult to beat the quality that it delivers.

2- Bialetti Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker

Another from the Bialetti range, the Kitty Stainless Steel Espresso Maker delivers what the Moka Express can’t. Featuring a more modern design that’s all shiny surfaces and curves, the Kitty is constructed from stainless steel, making it a durable coffee companion for years to come.

Unlike the Moka Express, the Kitty is manufactured in China instead of Italy. Don’t let this put you off though; the stainless steel construction means it’s dishwasher safe and can be used on all stovetops. And although the price point is a little higher, for the added longevity, it’s worth it in the long run.

3- Cuisinox COF-10R Roma

Get out your check books – this one is pricey. The Roma Moka pot by Cuisinox is one of the most expensive on the market. Like the Kitty, it’s constructed from stainless steel but comes at more than double the cost.

Why is it so expensive? To start with, you’re paying for quality. The Roma is touted far and wide as one of the best moka pots currently available.

To back up this claim, the manufacturers have slapped on a 25 year warranty, meaning they’re confident that this thing is built to last. Hardiness aside, it’s also a beautiful piece of equipment to look at, and would look at home with other high-end kitchen appliances.

It’s hard to wrong with the Roma. The only thing slightly off-putting is high price tag, so you have to be absolutely sure that this is the moka pot for you before committing. 

4- Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Percolator

Are you a coffee addict who loves to camp? Is the thrill of the outdoors overshadowed by your anxiety of not having quality coffee first thing in the morning? If so, then the Tops Rapid Brew Stovetop Coffee Maker is calling your name.

Available in a variety of sizes to suit your needs, the Tops Rapid Brew is constructed from stainless steel and aluminium. This tough build and design is extremely important, as you’re likely going to be lugging this guy through rugged terrain and treacherous mountain paths.

The design is sleek and a pleasure to look at, which is surprising for something designed to be carried in a backpack. 

If you’re not an outdoorsman and the Tops still appeals to you, make sure you have a gas stove at home. Unfortunately this moka pot isn’t designed for all manner of stovetops. 

5- De’Longhi EMK6 Electric Moka Pot

Is space tight in your apartment? Do you live in a houseshare with untrustworthy roommates who might destroy any half decent items you leave in a communal space? Now you don’t have to worry about that ever again with De’Longhi’s EMK6 Electric Moka Pot.

Unlike other moka pots on this list which require an external heat source, the EMK6 is entirely electric. All you need is a plug point, a tiny bit of free space of a desk and some quality coffee grounds and you’re good to go.

The EMK6 features a number of high-tech additions that more analogue versions lack. The safety automatic shutoff ensures that your coffee will never overflow and the heat function means your coffee will stay at the perfect temperature for up to thirty minutes.

For all its merits, the EMK6 also has flaws. The construction, for example, is mostly aluminium and plastic. This is problematic for some coffee connoisseurs as the plastic components have the capacity to alter the flavor of the coffee.

That being said, for the convenience and price point, this little electric moka is perfect for someone under the right circumstances. 

6- Biatletti Venus 

The Venus from Bialetti is as functional as it is beautiful. Featuring a svelte, easy-on-the-eye design and a construction of stainless steel, this is one of the best moka pots out there.

The reason is that the Venus can be used just about anywhere. Whether it’s in the kitchen on an induction stove, or in the wilderness over an open campfire, the Venus can be deployed to maximum effect with minimum effort.

It’s also extremely affordable. The price point to quality ratio is absolutely off the charts, so it’s worth buying if you’re new to the game or just want an affordable all-rounder moka pot.

The only thing to be wary about is the handle. Due to the plastic used in its construction, you should be careful about how you place it on an open fire just to avoid it melting off.


The Ultimate Moka Pot Buyer’s Guide: Here’s What to Look For When Buying

In the market for a moka? Here are the things you should take into account.

Material

As we discussed earlier, the material of which a moka pot is constructed is one of the biggest determining factors when buying. Traditionally all moka pots were made from aluminium, which tends to be cheaper but also comes with a shorter lifespan. Stainless steel, however, will last you for years to come, but is a more expensive investment.

Also worth considering is durability. While both metals are resident to oxidation and corrosion, stainless is definitely more durable than aluminium. This means you’re likely to get more bang for your buck in the long run.

Size

Moka pots come in a variety of sizes, so you should choose one that best suits your lifestyle. If you’re a bachelor who needs that morning pick-me-up, then a two-cup will do the job. If, however, you plan on serving guests or bigger families, then a six-cup is the way to go.

Remember that the coffee produced by a moka pot is quite strong, so you’ll likely need less coffee than you think.

Lifestyle

Think about when and where you’re going to use your moka pot, and how this can fit into your lifestyle. If, for example, you spend a lot of time at home and also have a gas stovetop, then you’re going to want a moka pot that works with gas stoves.

If you’re a camper or like to spend time in the outdoors, then having a portable moka that works well with open fires is definitely the way to go.

Price

Any finally, price. Not all moka pots are made equal, and this is most obviously reflected in their pricing. Take a look at your budget and determine how much you’re willing to spend on the best moka pot for you.

While you can spend upwards of $150 dollars on a single moka pot with guaranteed quality, this might not be the wisest choice if you’re just getting into the luxury coffee game. If that’s the case, scale back and opt for something for affordable. 

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

The Best Coffee Grinder for French Press Coffee (Side-By-Side)

The French press is undoubtedly one of the most popular methods for making high quality coffee among home baristas. It’s unrivaled in both its simplicity and its ability to tease delicate and complex flavors from the coffee beans being used.

But beans aren’t everything when it comes to making delicious coffee. As anyone who has ever tried to make French press at home will know, the quality of the grind is second to none. And achieving the perfect grind starts with having the best coffee grinder for French press.

Coffee Grinders for French Press: A Quick Round-up

First, here’s a short roundup for you to skim through:
These are the coffee grinders we’ve selected – and further on in this article we’ll explain in detail our selection criteria. We’ve also included our own reviews for each grinder, and answers to all of your questions about coffee grounds for French Press.



Price

Pros & Cons

Caffeine Fiend Award
Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Baratza Encore Burr Grinder
$139.99+ Wide range of coarseness settings.
+ Simple to operate
+ Produces consistent and uniform grinds

Louder than hand grinders
Quite basic and doesn’t contain any extra features
Fairly expensive
Best Overall Coffee Grinder
JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder
JavaPress Manual Grinder
$23.99+ Extremely affordable
+ Produces a consistent grind
+ Multiple grind settings that are easy to adjust

Requires some effort in order to grind the beans
Can be slightly inconvenient to hold
Best Budget Coffee Grinder
OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Oxo Brew Cronical Burr Grinder
$99.99+ Efficient and produces a consistent grind
+ Easy to clean
+ Cheaper price tag than other electric grinders

Fairly loud
Draws quite a bit of electricity. 
Best Value for Money
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill
Cuisinart Automatic Burr Grinder
$36.28+ Affordable entry level grinder
+ Attractive and sleek design
+ Produces a relatively consistent grind

Not as consistent as many of the other grinders on this list
Best Entry Level Electric Coffee Grinder
Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder
Khawfe Manual Coffee Grinder
$26.42+ Attractive and sleek construction
+ Very affordable
+ Very consistent and uniform grinds with many settings to choose from

Glass grinds catcher can be quite fragile if dropped
Best Manual Coffee Grinder
Comandante C40 MK3 Hand Grinder
Comandante Hand Grinder
$250.00+ Extremely consistent grinding ability
+ Beautiful and high quality design and construction
+ Perhaps the highest quality grinder on the market

Fairly steep price tag
Best Premium Coffee Grinder

Respect the Grind(er)!

What about pre-ground beans?

There’s nothing wrong with using pre-ground beans per se. In fact, many amateur coffee aficionados start out this way before they gain a deeper understanding of manual grinding and brewing techniques. However, it’s not perfect.

The main issue is the fineness of the grinds. The French press requires medium to coarse grinds for the best possible coffee, whereas store-bought pre-ground coffee tends to be extremely fine and suitable for other styles such as espresso or drip coffee. This type of grind is going to filter straight through the mesh filter of the French press, leaving a gritty residue in your mug.

We’re not bashing pre-ground beans. There are some excellent roasts made by extremely competent baristas out there. But if you want to extract the best, most delicate flavors when using the French press method, then grinding your own beans is definitely the way to go.

Down to grind.

So by this point we should have convinced you that grinding your own beans is not only important, it’s crucial. The question is why? What makes home-ground beans so superior to their store-bought cousins?

As we mentioned above, one of the main parameters has to do with fineness, or particle size. The French press requires a medium to coarse grind in order to achieve the best results. This isn’t only because some of the particles will end up in your final product (although that’s one reason), it also has to do with taste and extraction.

The ideal range for French  press uses about 100 to 300 particles of grinds. For comparison, espresso generally needs around 3500. On top of this you also want uniformity to your grinds to prevent over or under extraction.

Because maximum surface area is necessary for full-extraction, a medium to coarse grind will allow for more exposure when added to hot water. This allows for a more thorough and complete extraction. This also allows for a more efficient carbon dioxide release when the grinds are steeping, adding even greater nuance to the final flavor of your coffee.

So to sum it up – if your grind is too fine, you’ll end up with a slurry mess equivalent to sludge. If your grind is too coarse you’re not going to be able to get the most flavors or aromas from your beans.


French Press Coffee Grinders: Our Criteria For Quality

To really determine which are the best coffee grinders for French press, we’ve carefully reviewed a number of the top grinders on the market. It goes without saying that if you’re reading this guide then you’re serious about making a decent cup of coffee. You’re spending money on quality beans and you don’t want that compromised by a poor or mediocre grind.

With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the following qualities that we believe a good coffee grinder for French press coffee should have. 

– Consistency

You’ll see this word used a lot in this guide and others, and for good reason. The ability of the grinder to produce consistently fine or coarse grinds is one, if not the, most telling quality of a good grinder. A French press requires a coarse grind, and so you’re going to want a grinder that can deliver this every time without fail. 

Grinders are generally divided into two categories – blade and burr. While blade grinders do have their uses, they generally lack the consistency and accuracy that burr grinders deliver. And since this guide is about achieving the best results, we’ve decided to focus entirely on burr grinders.

– Manual, or Electric?

Another good way in which we’ve categorised grinders is whether they’re manual or electric. Neither is particularly better than the other and it largely comes down to which one you prefer.

A manual grinder has the benefit of being way quieter. Since it’s cranked by hand and doesn’t contain a motor, you can make coffee at all times of the day without worrying about noise. They’re also small and portable, meaning you can bring them with you on a camping or business trip and enjoy quality coffee wherever you go.

However, they’re also slow and laborious to use. Loading beans and grinding by hand is a time-consuming process that also requires you to break a slight sweat. Electric grinders, on the other hand, are great if you’re impatient for your morning cup of coffee and don’t want to work for it.

– Range of Use

If you’re investing in the best coffee grinder for French press, then you’re going to want a device that can do more than simply deliver coarse grinds. Grinders are versatile machines, and while producing consistent grinds for French press might be your goal, it’s never a bad idea to pick up one with a broader range of settings.

If you’re someone who only drinks French press occasionally, then maybe you want a grinder that can produce finer grinds for a weekend espresso. We took this into account when reviewing our favorites so you can rest assured that the suggested grinders can be used for a variety of different coffee styles.

– Size

As mentioned above, hand grinders tend to be smaller and more portable. Electric grinders on the other hand, can take up a hefty amount of counter space in the kitchen. 

If you’ve got the space and are more concerned with grind consistency, then this shouldn’t matter too much. However, this should always be a consideration when deciding on which grinder to purchase.

– Price

And of course the final aspect to consider is price. Grinders, both manual and electric, are available across a variety of different price ranges. Obviously not everyone can afford the highest-end grinder on the market, and so we’ve taken this into account.

You can find a decent grinder that won’t break the bank, but it’s generally a safe bet that if you’re investing a fair amount into it then you’re going to get great, consistent returns. It all depends on your budget and how much you’re willing to pay for the best coffee grinder for French press.


Top Coffee Grinders for French Press Coffee: The Breakdown


1. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Best Overall French Press Coffee Grinder

With 40 different grind settings, the Baratza Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a godsend for those looking for some variety and specificity when it comes to the coarseness of their grinds. It’s also why it’s made the top of the list as the overall best coffee grinder for French press. It’s able to deliver consistent and uniform coarseness and is perfect for creating the ultimate French press grinds.

The price tag, however, might scare away a few prospective buyers. At $140, the Baratza is a lot more expensive than some of the other grinders on this list – but it’s worth it. The fact that it’s electric and can grind continually and consistently sets it a league above many other grinders. And so $140 is a relatively small price to pay for the functionality present in this machine.

2. JavaPress Manual Coffee Grinder

Best Budget Grinder

Priced at only $23.99, the JavaPress is a conical burr hand grinder that is small not only in price but in stature too. It’s the perfect entry level grinder for someone who’s testing the waters when it comes to home grinding, but doesn’t want to splash out on the most intricate tool.

Equipped with over 15 coarseness settings, the JavaPress gives you a level of grind control not seen on many other grinders within this price range. It’s got a solid, clean and attractive design and grinds relatively quietly, especially compared to its electric counterparts. It’s also sporting ceramic burrs, which means it’s going to last about five times longer than its stainless steel burr counterparts.

3. OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder

Best Value For Money

The OXO Brew Conical Burr Coffee Grinder is a smart and beautiful piece of equipment that delivers grind functionality without a huge price tag. At $99 it’s very moderately priced for what it delivers. 

Whereas many other electric grinders rely on a timer in order to process the coffee beans, the OXO uses an integrated scale. This smart technology means that the grinder can accurately detect the precise amount of coffee being ground. This gives home baristas that additional specificity which so many love. 

The interface of the OXO is also great. The entire machine is controlled with only one button and dial, making the grinding process fun and intuitive. If there’s criticism to lever it’s that the grinds sometimes tended towards being too coarse.

That being said, the OXO is still a beautiful piece of equipment that is worth buying, especially if smart technology and precision are important to you.

4. Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill

Best Entry Level Electric Coffee Grinder

If you’re keen to dabble in home grinding but aren’t comfortable with buying more expensive, sophisticated equipment, then the Cuisiniart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is your answer. At just $36, it delivers pretty good results without ever setting your wallet on fire.

The design is cute and it will never look off in any kitchen, but for this price point you’re definitely not going to get the most hard-hitting functionality. The grinds won’t always be consistent or uniform, but for a beginner home barista this should do the job adequately. It may not be the best coffee grinder for French press, but it certainly does a decent job.

5. Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder

Best Manual French Press Coffee Grinder

If you’re looking for something delivers consistent, uniform grinds, is small enough to keep at home as well as take travelling with you, then it’s hard to go wrong with the Khaw-Fee Manual Coffee Grinder. Going for just $26.42, it’s an absolute steal as well.

The Khaw-Fee is not only ideal for producing grinds suitable for French press, but also for various other styles of coffee. Its easily adjustable settings means you have complete control of the coarseness of your grind. What’s more, since the Khaw-Fee is manual, it’s near silent, meaning you can grind coffee in the morning without ever having to wake your loved ones. 

Featuring an attractive plastic and glass construction, the grinder also comes apart for easy and effortless cleaning. If you can fault the Khaw-Fee on something this would be it. While the design is beautiful, the glass grinds catcher is fragile and can break if dropped. 

6. Comandante C40 MK3 Hand Grinder

Best Premium Coffee Grinder

If quality is what you want and you’ve got the budget to match it, then the Comandante C40 MK3 is going to be your coffee grinder match made in heaven. Selling at a considerable $250.00, the C40 MK3 isn’t just a grinder, it’s a work of art.

With a body constructed from high quality wood and burrs made of high-alloyed, nitrogen stainless steel, the C40 MK3 is not only pretty, but exceedingly functional too. Grinding coffee is a smooth and effortless experience, and beans are transformed into grinds with only moderate amounts of force.

And while the C40 MK3 is the best coffee grinder for French press, it can handle every other variety too, grinding fine enough even for espresso. This grinder just works on every level, and it’s workmanship is apparent in every aspect of its simple yet powerful design and functionality. 

Seriously, if you can afford it and you’re serious about French press coffee, buy the Comandante C40 MK3.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

The Best Manual Coffee Grinder: 6 Grinders Ranked & Reviewed (Plus Buyer’s Guide)

Producing an exquisite cup of coffee is not a straightforward affair. On paper, however, it looks quite simple. Grow the plant, harvest the fruit, process the beans, grind into a coarseness of your choice, and use this to create an espresso, latte, macchiato or whatever style of coffee you think is superior. Of course the true story is slightly more complex than that.

The growing process alone could be documented in a series of dense tomes, and every step thereafter is a combination of differing factors which alters the final flavor of the coffee in innumerable different ways. The way in which the beans are roasted are, of course, critical to how they taste. But an often overlooked step, which is equally, if not more crucial, to the creation of a delicious brew, is the way in which the beans are ground.

Grinding itself is a science. There are various schools of thought which approach the process of grinding with the same zeal as a scholar approaching a humanities discipline, or a sommelier inspecting the soil of his vineyard. It’s a skill, and one that requires some foreknowledge, but one that can be learned.

And like many skills that can be mastered – it requires tools.


Different types of Grinders

Grinders can roughly be divided into two categories – burr grinders and blade grinders. The grinder which coffee aficionados, both amateur and professional, choose to use are governed by a number of critical factors and preferences. 

Blade grinders, as the name suggests, utilize blades to aid in the grinding of beans. They’re generally the cheapest type of grinder on the market, as the blade method used to slice the beans into ever smaller pieces can often result in grain inconsistencies. The heat generated by these grinders can also taint the bean as it’s being ground, and affect its final taste. 

Burr grinders are different from blade grinders in that they crush the beans against a non-moving surface using a grinding wheel instead of blades. This burr can be adjusted to multiple settings, giving you control over the exact coarseness or fineness of the final grounds. This level of customization allows for greater accuracy and consistency, and makes these type of grinders a firm favorite among baristas and other coffee professionals. 

These styles of grinders are also available in both manual and electric varieties. The choice of one over the other comes down the goals you want to achieve when it comes to creating coffee. Do you want something fast and convenient but expensive, or something smaller, cheaper, more personal and portable?

The devil is in the details, but for the sake of this guide we’re going to be focusing only on manual coffee grinders.

Choosing the Best Manual Coffee Grinder: What We Looked At (Our Ranking Factors)

Specifically, we’re focusing on what to look for when buying a manual coffee grinder and what makes it great. We’re also going to provide a list of our firm favorites currently on the market. To do this we’re going to focus on a number of different factors which all grinders share, including:

  • Bean capacity
  • Grind settings
  • Price
  • Design
  • Durability

The Top 6 Manual Coffee Grinders Ranked


Price

Pros & Cons
1Zpresso Mini Q
$94.05 + Extremely portable.
+ Produces consistent grinds of any fineness or coarseness. 

Small bean capacity. 
Handground Precision
$79.95 + Made from quality materials; very durable and aesthetically pleasing.
+ Can set grind size easily without disassembling. 

Larger grind settings can possibly yield grind inconsistencies. 
Lido 3
$195 + Large bean capacity.
+ Great selection of different grinds.

Made entirely from plastic.
Fairly expensive for the materials it’s constructed from.
Comandante C40

$250 + Extremely robust.
+ Advanced stainless steel burrs result in a much more consistent grind.
+ Aesthetically pleasing.

Quite a large price tag, especially for home baristas.
Glass grounds catcher may be prone to breaking if dropped.
Knock Aergrind
$160 + Lightweight and compact.
+ Durable materials and construction.

Dial lid sips off of the shaft fairly easily.
Finer grinds tend to stick to the bottom edge of the container; can be a bit tricky to clean.
Helor 101
$259 + Performs as well as grinders far more expensive.
+ Excellent contemporary burrs.
+ Exquisite finish and aesthetic.
+ Lightweight, yet the grind quality is flawless.

Very expensive for amateur coffee aficionados. 

Product Breakdown

1Zpresso Mini Q – The Best Manual Grinder for Travel

Born from a Taiwanese company that produces only hand grinders (and one manual espresso maker), the 1Zpresso Mini Q is a product born of a company with a singular focus. That’s great news for coffee drinkers, and even better news for coffee drinkers who travel, because as the name suggests, the 1Zpresso is the ideal travel grinder. Weighing in at 445g, the 1Zpresso isn’t exactly weightless, but it’s not heavy either. 

It’s solid construction and brushed aluminum alloy finish make it heavier than you might expect, but with a diameter of just 4.8cm and the ability to hold upwards of 20g of beans within its hopper, it’s still the perfect size for travel. 

Its burrs, while excellent, don’t always result in the most consistent grind. That being said, it’s still an excellent mid-level grinder that could even be used comfortably at home, especially with a reasonable price tag of $94.05. 

Handground Precision Coffee Grinder – The Best All-Rounder

With an easy price tag of $79.95, up to 15 grind settings that can effortlessly produce grounds for pour over, French press, espressos and even Aeropress, a wonderfully practical build quality and the ability to produce a consistent grind, the Handground Precision Coffee Grinder is the best all-rounder manual coffee grinder on the market. 

The Handground is also very stable, making grinding beans a simple and comfortable process. It’s functionality is that of a grinder twice its price, and its build quality means you don’t have to break a sweat in order to get the necessary coarseness for a cup of pour over. 

If there was some criticism to levy, it might lie in the grinder’s size. With a hopper big enough to hold 100g of beans and towering at 8.7 inches, the Handground is definitely not suited to travel, and might take up considerable space on your countertop.

If this is an inconvenience to you it can be overlooked in favor of the grinder’s numerous other features including 38mm ceramic burrs, the 20 preset coarseness levels, as well as the external coarseness adjustment ring which means you don’t need to breakdown the machine in order to change its settings.

The placement of the handle on the side of the grinder rather than the top makes for a smoother, more natural movement when grinder.

Overall, for the price and the quality, it’s hard to find a better all round manual coffee grinder.

Lido 3 – The Sturdiest Manual Grinder 

At $195, the Lido 3 packs a price tag which promises a lot – and it delivers, mostly. Featuring a beefy 48mm set of Swiss-made steel burrs, the Lido 3 makes short work of any large quantities of beans, delivering a consistent grind and requiring very little manual force to do so. It’s a full-range grinder which can produce everything from Turkish to espresso to French press grinds very easily.

Setting the grind size is a bit of a pain, however, and requires some trial and error in order to select the correct grind size. Once you have it dialed in, however, the Lido 3 is a pleasure to use.

While it’s marketed as a travel grinder to use at home, the Lido 3 weighs a hefty 2lbs 5oz, making it portable but only just. That being said, as a staple grinder in the kitchen, it’s a wonderful addition to a barista’s tool set. The only off-putting thing might be its construction which, for carrying around a price tag almost as heavy as its body, contains way too much plastic for a premium-level grinder. 

Comandante C40 MK3 – The Best Specialist Manual Coffee Grinder

As a successor to the MK2, the Comandante C40 MK3 is a premium, high-end grinder that delivers everything it sets out to do. It’s a beautifully constructed manual coffee grinder with an exquisite wooden finish.

The grinding mechanism is the C40’s true strength. The Nitro Blade stainless steel burr set is a serious engineering feat, and exemplary of the finest German craftsmanship. This material means that the burrs and the entire grinder are tough, resistant and maintain a high degree of edge retention. Setting the desired grind size is also an effortless affair, making the entire process of grinding from start to finish a pleasant affair.

If you’ve got the money, then this is where you should be spending it.

Knock Aergrind – The Best Companion For an Aeropress

If you’re on the road constantly and in need of a good cup of coffee then the Knock Aergrind might be exactly what you’re looking for. After the success of his previous grinder, the Feldgrind, Peter Kilpatrick decided he could do one better with the Aergrind. 

Featuring 38mm hardened steel black burrs and a stepless grind adjustment, the Aergrind produces a consistent grind while also remaining stable. It’s construction is sturdy, lightweight and small enough to fit into an Aeropress.

At $159.99 the Aergrind on the higher end of the spectrum for manual travel coffee grinders, but its quality and performance make it worth the price if you’re looking for something that will provide consistently good grinds. 

Helor 101 – The Best Double Burr Manual Grinder

The Helor 101 is a beautifully svelte grinder that looks like it comes from the future. The entire body is crafted from 6000 Series aluminium block, and this makes for a sturdy and stable tool when grinding your beans. 

The Helor 101 features ceramic bearings in order to create a smooth grinding experience, and one that will never require any lubrication and that won’t result in any weathering of the parts. The key to its pristine functionality is the fact that it uses two sets of burrs –  one conventional and one contemporary. The contemporary burrs are used to for grinding brewed coffee, while the conventional ones are used to make espresso.

The exact grind you want can be achieved by adjusting the grind settings at the bottom of the grinder. It’s an easy process which makes for an incredibly consistent grind, and the ceramic bearings ensure that the grounds are never heated and therefore that the flavor remains unaltered.


Manual Coffee Grinders: The Complete Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve decided to grind your own beans, but an electric grinder is too expensive or takes up too much space in your kitchen, then opting for a manual coffee grinder is an excellent choice. However, with a flooded market and innumerable choices out there, it’s hard to decide exactly which model to go for.

It helps to have a basic framework to work with, know what specifications to look for, the best brands on the market as well as the definition of relevant coffee grinder jargon. We’ve narrowed it down for you below.

Specifications

  • Particle size and consistency – perhaps the most important factor when buying a manual coffee grinder, this refers to how fine or coarse the final grounds will be, and how consistently the grinder performs.
  • Cost – Grinders come in all shapes and sizes, not to mention different costs. A good grinder isn’t cheap, and a cheap grinder most likely isn’t good. If you want something that does that job consistently, expect to pay anywhere from $70 – $300.
  • Grind settings – Most coffee drinkers drink an array of different coffees, and so require a grinder with multiple grind settings. These generally come in the form of stepped and stepless, which refer to either having a number of predetermined grind settings, or a wide range without any presets. 
  • Bean capacity – The number of beans which a grinder contains. This generally depends on what coffee you intend to make and how many people you intend you brew for. If you’re someone who travels often, a 15g hopper will be perfect, but if you’re making coffee for friends at home, you’ll need something closer to 100g.
  • Size – Again, this depends on your needs. Manual coffee grinders come in various different sizes. You want to determine if you have enough countertop space in your kitchen for the grinder of your dreams. 
  • Speed – It may sound counterintuitive, but when it comes to manual coffee grinders, slower is better. High speed grinders tend to heat up which in turn affects the taste of the bean and the final product. On top of that, high-speed grinders wear out more quickly than their sturdier, more stately counterparts.
  • Ease of use and cleaning – Grinding takes time. The amount of effort you’re willing to put in first thing in the morning in order to produce the perfect cup of coffee is a big consideration when it comes to buying a grinder. Some grinders are simple and require little effort to use, others are more complex, and can be a pain to clean. 
  • Burr Material – Burrs are generally made from stainless steel or ceramic. Ceramic burrs have the benefit of being more hardy and producing more consistent grinds, but if something happens to one of them, they’re quite a mission to replace. Stainless steel burrs, on the other hand, perform pretty well across the board, and are way easier to replace. 
  • Durability – Manual coffee grinders are expensive, and so you’re going to want one that has a decent shelf life. Grinders made from higher quality materials are likely to last longer, so you may want to factor this into your pricing. Afterall, why buy two inferior grinders when one superior grinder will outlast both?

Best Brands on the Market

  • Handground
  • Hario 
  • JavaPresse
  • Norpro
  • Fecihor

Red Flags to Consider When Buying A Manual Coffee Grinder

Cheap price tag – As the saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. The same can be said when purchasing manual coffee grinders. While they’re not the most expensive product in the world, if they’re advertised as extremely cheap, then the functionality is likely going to mirror the price. Rather pay a little more for something of exponentially higher quality, rather than trying to score a good only to have to replace your grinder in a few month’s time. 

Poor build quality – For a manual coffee grinder to perform optimally, it needs to have a solid, robust construction. Cheap materials and low build quality will result in an uneven and inconsistent grind, and this will ultimately affect the final flavour of the grounds. Always check that your manual coffee grinder has high-quality burrs and construction in order to have it last for years to come. 

Constantly jamming – While it’s normal for a manual coffee grinder to jam once in a while and require some cleaning, if your grinder is constantly jamming this is a sign that your burrs aren’t grinding correctly and may need replacing.

Small hopper – Grinding beans takes time, so it helps to have a substantial hopper capacity that allows you to grind up a modest amount of beans in one sitting. A small hopper isn’t always a red flag, especially if you’re using it to travel, but if you’re planning on grinding your own beans at home then opt for something that can grind enough for at least a few cups of coffee.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.