Monday, July 22, 2024

Our 6 Top Picks To Choose From


When I do it correctly, Turkish coffee is a wonderful brewing method that delivers a bold, rich, and bittersweet cup. When I do it poorly, it’s sour, acrid, and all-around disappointing. 

The big difference between my sweet success and bitter failure? Getting a Turkish coffee grinder that can nail the unique Turkish coffee grind.

That’s why Home Grounds bought dozens of grinders claiming to deliver the appropriate Turkish grind size. Here are the top 6, chosen by me and our expert team after extensive testing.

How I Tested The Turkish Grinders On This List

  • I tested each of the grinders on this list, and many others that didn’t make the cut, exactly as you might expect. I brewed a lot of Turkish coffee. 
  • Each coffee was prepared without sugar using the same medium-roast blend. The coffee was tasted and scored based on flavor, body, and appearance – looking for that characteristic Turkish coffee foam.
  • I also evaluated the grinders quantitatively, using Kruve sifters to investigate grind consistency and the Kruve Brewler to measure grind size.
  • Ease of use was weighed heavily in these reviews. Since Turkish coffee grinders are mostly manual and require an exceptionally fine grind, arm soreness is a real consideration. The best grinders are well-engineered to minimize user effort.

Coffee grounds on a white paper next to a brewler showing the precise grind size that Julia used in her testing of best turkish coffee grinders

The proper grind size for Turkish coffee that I used as a testing parameter in this roundup.

The 6 Best Turkish Coffee Grinders I Recommend

Turkish coffee requires an extremely fine grind – finer than making espresso. It should feel like powder. A Turkish coffee aficionado will tell you that this extra-fine grind is crucial to the brew method, giving the drink its distinctive body. 

Even the best burr coffee grinders and espresso grinders aren’t necessarily up to the task. So here are six grinders I tested specifically for brewing Turkish coffee.

Best Overall

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill

Zassenhaus has been making premium coffee mills since 1867, and their expertise is clearly on display with the Santiago grinder. In fact, their confidence is so high that it comes backed by a 25-year warranty! After testing, I can see why.

The engineering of the grinding mechanism is impeccable, making for a smooth experience even when grinding extra fine.

Rather than the traditional Turkish style, the Santiago emulates vintage European coffee grinders – a reference to the brand’s long history. It’s available in several wood finishes, including natural oak, beech, mahogany, and a black stain.

photo zasserhaus santiago

photo zassenhaus grinder opened storage

I’ve noticed many reviews complaining that this grinder is awkward to use, but that’s because many reviewers aren’t using it as intended. The slightly concave sides of this grinder are designed to be clamped between your thighs for stabilization while grinding. This makes the Santiago one of the most comfortable manual grinders I’ve tried, producing less arm fatigue than a standard cylindrical hand grinder.

Pros:

  • Exceptional engineering
  • Clever leg-clamp design for stable grinding
  • Backed by a 25-year guarantee

Cons:

  • Can be hard to get all the grounds out of the little drawer
  • Bulkier than an average manual grinder

Best Manual Turkish Grinder

2. 1Zpresso X-Pro S

  • Type: Manual

  • Capacity: 30 g
  • Burrs: 40 mm heptagonal steel
  • Grind settings: 60 steps per rotation, 12.5 microns per step

1Zpresso X-Pro S

The 1Zpresso X-Pro S is the most versatile grinder on this list, perfect if you love Turkish coffee, espresso, and drip coffee equally. This is the rare coffee grinder that can do it all, and the external adjustment mechanism makes it easy to switch settings when you change brewing methods.

1Zpresso makes some of my favorite hand grinders on the market. While they aren’t the absolute cheapest, they are remarkably good value when compared to their competition. That goes double for grinders like the X-Pro S that are suitable for so many brewing styles.

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When testing this one for Turkish coffee, I was equally impressed by the fineness of the grind and the ease of grinding. It tired me out more than the Zassenhaus, but I could grind enough coffee for one cup in about 30 seconds.

The X-Pro S is great for travel, with a slim design and fold-away handle. The burrs and grinding mechanism are stainless steel, but the body is a lightweight aluminum alloy that keeps this grinder under 1.5 pounds. I often make Turkish coffee when camping because it requires nothing more than a pot and a campfire, and this grinder is the perfect addition to my backcountry set-up.

Pros:

  • Suitable for many brewing methods
  • Simple and efficient grinding
  • Lightweight and portable

Cons:

  • Somewhat pricey
  • Overkill if you only want Turkish coffee

Best Electric Grinder For Turkish Coffee

Capresso Infinity Plus

I will preface this by saying that an electric grinder that excels at Turkish coffee is probably out of the price range of the average home consumer. Few domestic grinders have a motor capable of crushing coffee beans to the requisite fine powder. And commercial models that are up to the task don’t come cheap (see the Bunn option below).

However, I think it is important to offer electric and manual options. Hand arthritis runs rampant in my family, so I am sympathetic to the need to avoid manual grinding. I tested all the most popular standard grinders, and the Capresso Infinity Plus was by far the best for super fine grinds. 

capresso infinity grinder on the kitchen counter

capresso infinity grinder top view of the basket

Plus, the Inifinity can be modded using a shim to make even finer grinds if Turkish coffee is your priority. The instructions are easy to google. Not that I would ever advise voiding your warranty in such a way… Wink, wink.

The Infinity Plus represents a small update to the older Infinity. The timer has been replaced by a knob labeled with number of cups, and the grind setting indicator is a bit easier to read. Neither of these is particularly important for Turkish coffee; just stick with setting 1 for the finest grinds.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use electric grinder
  • Large capacity for bulk grinding
  • Best low-cost electric grinder for fine grinds

Cons:

  • Can’t go as fine as the best hand grinders
  • Loud

Best Traditional Style

Handmade 9” Sozen Grinder

Turkish coffee isn’t just a drink; it’s a culture, a ritual, a tradition. That’s why it was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (1). And that’s why you should consider buying an authentic Turkish hand grinder. 

If you value the history as much as the drink itself, get a Sozen grinder. These grinders have been handmade in Istanbul, Turkey, by the Sozen family for generations. While I won’t claim this grinder actually made the coffee taste better, using it made the overall experience more memorable.

I don’t often mention the look of a grinder before discussing grind quality, but it’s impossible not to in this case. Made from pounded brass polished to a shiny gold color, this stunning design deserves its own display cabinet. And, of course, it yields the perfect grind for traditional Turkish coffee – no surprise given this grinder’s provenance.

The downside is this grinder isn’t nearly as comfortable as the 1Zpresso or Zassenhouse. The little knob on the handle is too small to grip easily, and the cranking motion doesn’t feel as smooth. Though the brand claims this is a versatile grinder, I’d recommend just using it when you want total immersion in the Turkish brewing experience.

Pros:

  • Handmade in Turkey to high standards
  • Gorgeous gold design
  • Excellent ultra-fine grind quality

Cons:

  • Harder to crank
  • Uncomfortably small knob

Best For Commercial Use

Bunn 1-Pound Bulk Grinder

As I said earlier, most home electric grinders can’t achieve a proper Turkish grind. Enter this commercial electric Turkish coffee grinder from BUNN. This grinder is powerful enough for real-deal Turkish coffee and delivers excellent grind quality throughout the spectrum, right up to coarse enough for cold brew coffee. 

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It’s definitely not cheap, but as commercial machines go, it’s not crazy. Serious home coffee lovers won’t balk at the price.

The BUNN 1-pound grinder is the same grinder you might see at the local coffee shop or the coffee aisle at your grocer. You could put one in your home kitchen, but it’s designed for bulk grinding a lot of coffee. It can churn through a full pound of beans in less than a minute.

photo bunn g1 grinder

Compared to the average home machine, it’s large, loud, and (in my opinion) not particularly attractive.

I’d recommend this one to anyone operating a coffee business – like a coffee cart, micro-roastery, or small cafe. The versatility of this machine is impressive, but if you have a Turkish coffee-focused enterprise, you can swap in special burrs designed specifically for the powder-fine grinds.

Pros:

  • Exceptional grind quality
  • Super-fast grind speed
  • Versatile enough for every brew method

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Large and unattractive

Budget Pick

GAVO Manual Coffee Grinder

Would I call this a good coffee grinder? Honestly, probably not. But would I call it a good coffee grinder for Turkish coffee? Surprisingly, yes! 

I tested many of these low-priced manual grinders, and while many were better all-around, this model from GAVO performed best at the super-fine end of the spectrum. It only has six grind settings, but that doesn’t matter because you only need one.

The finest setting delivers uniform, fine coffee grounds perfectly suitable for the Turkish coffee drinker on a budget.

The other thing that sold me on this grinder is its simple adjustment system. Usually, cheap grinders have a finicky internal mechanism that involves listening for clicks. But this one has a labeled external adjustment ring. With only six settings, you can’t dial in a perfect pour over or espresso, but switching between Turkish, drip, and French press is easy.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Compact and lightweight

Cons:

  • Very few grind settings
  • Not as smooth as the expensive models

Buyer’s Guide: Finding The Right Turkish Coffee Grinder For You

The nice thing about choosing the right grinder for Turkish coffee is that grind distribution isn’t nearly as important as in other brewing methods. You don’t need to worry about too many fines ending up in your cup of coffee or clogging your filter. Quite the opposite – you want all fines (2).

First, the coffee needs to be ground; this should be done just before you make the drink. The grind must be very fine, like talcum powder.

So, the key considerations are grind size and user experience. You want a very fine grind, and you don’t want to develop carpal tunnel getting it. Here are the things you should look for when you’re shopping. 

Manual Vs. Electric

Most Turkish coffee mills are manual; you’ll do some work, rather than pressing a button. Due to the intense force necessary to adequately powderize coffee beans, most electric consumer grinders can’t keep up.

The electric coffee grinders capable of the Turkish grind tend to be massive, industrial monoliths designed for commercial use. Although these machines get the job done, they do so loudly, in large batches, and at considerable expense.

I tested many popular electric grinders for this article in search of an affordable electric option for anyone with hand/wrist weakness or injury. While none were amazing, the Capresso Infinity at its finest setting was by far the best of the bunch.

All About Burrs

The burrs are the heart of a burr grinder. But when it comes to Turkish coffee, the result isn’t as sensitive to burr design as most others. Flat or conical burrs will have little impact on the outcome of your brew.

Size is a factor because bigger burrs grind coffee faster, and grinding your coffee to the ultra-fine sizes you need for Turkish coffee can be a slow process. The trade-off is that bigger burrs tend to be more expensive, so aim for the largest set that fits your budget.

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The two primary burr materials are stainless steel and ceramic, and both are good options. Stainless steel burrs are sharper, which is useful when grinding dense beans to a fine powder. And they are less brittle, making them better able to withstand damage. On the other hand, ceramic burrs are harder and maintain their sharpness longer.

What’s Special About Turkish Coffee Grind?

Great Turkish coffee requires an extra fine grind, and most coffee bean grinders stop at fine. You are looking for a grinder that can grind a few settings lower than you would use for an espresso machine, making a flour-esque powder.

There are a few reasons such a fine grind is necessary. For one, because the coffee is unfiltered, it is helpful that the very fine grinds form a sludge at the bottom of the brewer so they don’t get poured into your cup (3). 

This makes it possible to serve the coffee with the grounds. The grounds do not enter the mouth.

For two, the brew time is relatively short, and an authentic Turkish coffee should be very strong. Finer grinds allow for a more complete and flavorful extraction.

Do you really need a Turkish coffee grinder if you want to make Turkish coffee?

No, you don’t need to buy a Turkish coffee grinder to make Turkish coffee, though the aesthetic of the traditional Turkish grinders is pretty spectacular. If you make Turkish brew only rarely, it makes more sense to buy an all-around grinder that is equally capable of other brew methods.

How To Prepare Turkish Coffee

Preparing Turkish coffee starts with the classic Turkish coffee maker, the ibrik (also known as the cezve). Add water and finely ground coffee (and sugar, if desired) to the ibrik, then heat until it approaches a boil. 

You will see a dense foam on the surface of the brew. Remove from the heat, spoon the foam into your serving cups, and return the ibrik to the heat. Repeat the process two or three times before finally pouring the hot brewed coffee over the foam in the cups.

Check out our guide on how to make Turkish coffee for a detailed step-by-step recipe. Or watch Steven from Home Grounds demonstrate the technique in this video: 

The Verdict

My favorite Turkish coffee grinder this year is the Zassenhaus Santiago coffee mill. This German-made table-top grinder is the ideal union of size, facility, and price. Its clever design produces super-fine grinds with less struggle than most manual grinders and less expense than an equivalent electric grinder. The cherry on top is its lovely aesthetic, making it a proud addition to your kitchen. 

Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill

FAQs

Any kind of beans can be used to make Turkish coffee, depending on your taste. Most coffee drinkers choose medium-roast Arabica beans to brew an authentic Turkish coffee, as they have a sweet-bright balance that is enhanced by this coffee brewing method. You can try Turkish coffee with your favorite coffee beans, but remember that lighter roasts are denser, so the coffee may be challenging to grind finely enough.

Turkish coffee and espresso are very similar in terms of flavor intensity and caffeine content. Both are robust brews generally consumed in small servings. Turkish coffee and espresso have a caffeine content between 30 and 35 mg per ounce, varying depending on bean type.

No, Turkish coffee isn’t bad for you. Like all coffee that hasn’t been filtered through paper, it retains the coffee oils cafestol and kahweol. These oils can raise levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol (4). However, in order for it to be a health risk, you would need to be consuming upwards of 5 cups of Turkish coffee a day – and likely be predisposed to high cholesterol.

  1. Ramakrishnan, R. (2020, September 14). How Turkish Coffee was added to UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Retrieved from https://www.thehindu.com/children/how-turkish-coffee-was-added-to-unescos-list-of-intangible-cultural-heritage-of-humanity/article61705266.ece
  2. Dobrenov, P. (2015, September 28). How to Make the Perfect Cup of Turkish Coffee. Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2015/09/how-to-make-the-perfect-cup-of-turkish-coffee/
  3. Ozerkan, F. (2023, March 31). Turkish coffee, not just a drink but a culture. Retrieved from https://courier.unesco.org/en/articles/turkish-coffee-not-just-drink-culture
  4. West, M. (2023, March 6). Coffee and cholesterol: Risks, benefits, and more. Retrieved from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/coffee-and-cholesterol





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