Most helpful positive review
832 of 844 people found the following review helpful
Everything I need, without spending a fortune!
on November 11, 2010
I've been drinking coffee for years now and know a good cup from bad. I bought this unit after doing lots of research online and going to local stores and inspecting the grinders up close. I found that most machines in this price range are using ABS plastic where the burrs are located. This to me is a big NO NO and a huge red flag. The ABS will break. This unit uses nylon or UHMW plastic at first glance. These plastics are more ductile and will last. Being a machinist, i am very picky with build quality. The burr set is conical and looks to be Stainless Steel or somesort of hardened steel. Nonetheless, both good options and the burrs look very nicely built. They have been machined and ground and look a lot like burr sets you'd see in units that are 2-3 times the price. The outside of the machine is wrapped in rubber and looks nice. The top hopper is a clear plastic, but seems strong, especially where it matters (the point where it meets the machine). The container receiving the grind is GLASS wrapped in rubber. This is great!! No static, which means, NO MESS! My first attempt at a burr grinder was poor. I just bought something from the local superstore without any research. It had flat burrs and rotated at the speed of sound, or so it seemed. Everything was plastic and grinds flew everywhere. Hated that thing!
I'd say the only thing that may bother some, is that the timer goes 20 secs. Now for me this is more than enough, but for others its not nearly the time they would need. Bodum recommends after 1 20sec run to leave the machine idle for 5 mins to prevent the motor from overheating(i read the manual). I thought this would be an issue for me, but my daily use only requires a 10 sec run at a time which delivers about 1/2 the jar or enough grind to yield about 3-5 cups(my small french press is 3cup capacity, which is really 1 mug). I am not grinding for espresso and have not tried the finest setting yet, but intend to and wish i had to make this review more complete, but my results so far are very consistent and from what i can see im sure itll do a fine enough grind for espresso and if not, im sure it can be modded easily enough to provide. I plan to start into the world of home espresso extractions, but not at this time as im still experimenting with other methods.
Also if you were to use for espresso, it looks to me that you could easily remove the bottom jar, pop the portafilter in place(obviously holding it) and run the machine. The grind should fall nicely into the portafilter.
UPDATE (JAN 10/2011): I'm still using my grinder after 2-3 months and I still love it! I've started grinding for espresso with great results. Glad to see that most everyone is as content as I am with this little guy! Clean up is a breeze, and its never once clogged up on me personally, although i read one review where someone said theirs did. Happy Grinding!
UPDATE (April 2012): Grinder is still working great. I have some concerns. The glass jar has a very thin bottom and if your using anything other than a softer utensil, will break. I found a small hole in mine after a lot of use with a spoon. I've since been using a wooden spoon. My fix for this hole was tape.
My espresso 'machine' up to this point has been a Presso. The bodum at its finest setting works great with the Presso. Any finer and you'd never be able to pull a shot without breaking the Presso (which i've done). I've since bought a machine and with the pressurized basket the grind is consistent enough and fine enough to yield good results. Since I enjoy tweaking equipment to some degree, my next step is a single walled basket and bottomless portafilter. The bodum will in my opinion not grind fine enough for this set up. I have a hario mini for now, but looking to buy a more expensive grinder for espresso. The bodum will be for drip and french press which I believe it does a great job at. One thing about the bodum as compared to more expensive units is the bodum is quite light in comparison. I feel if the bodum was a heavier machine with more use of metals rather than plastics, it could probably be set up to grind finer and be a wonderful machine overall. But at this price point this is what you get, and for the money, it does a nice job.
One other thing, I roast my own beans and when I first started roasting the bean consistency was not perfect due to the method. This resulted in the bodum actually skipping during operation. I stopped it quickly enough as to not destroy it, but was a little alarmed. Now that I've changed my methods for roasting, the beans are always consistent and the bodum grinds them no problem.
UPDATE Dec 2012: I still use the bodum daily. It is a superb grinder for the money and I am glad it has served me so well. I tested the bodum against the Hario Mini and my friends Baratza Virtuoso grinder and found that even though the Hario and Baratza will grind finer, the bodum produces the most consistent grind, hands down! Considering the Baratza is triple the price I'd say I was quite surprised. You can get finer grind from the bodum, but I don't take any responsibility for anyone modifying their machine. I took the top burr out, and found that there are two tabs (plastic section that houses the burr) that sit on the threaded section of the bottom burr which allow for the grind settings. You will notice 2 beveled edges. If you sand these down slightly the top burr will come closer to the bottom burr. I took measurements before starting with calipers and started working from there. This does work well, just be careful as moving the burrs closer could cause them to rub against each other.