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4.1 out of 5 stars
Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black
Color Name: BlackChange
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809 of 821 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2010
Color Name: Black
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.
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881 of 914 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2010
Color Name: GreenVerified Purchase
Hi. I've never done a video review before, so forgive me if I ramble or go off-topic. Feel free to skip through to any parts you think are relevant. I run the grinder for the first time about halfway through the video. The first half of the video is spent explaining why I bought a new grinder, and what I hope to get out of it (less mess, less noise, consistency in the grind.) Without giving away the surprise ending (there is no surprise), I can simply say that this is the best burr grinder I have ever owned. It is also only the second burr grinder I have ever owned, so I'm no expert :) Although, I was a barista for a couple years, and I can tell a quality grinder when I see it.
Cheers, peace, etc.
*EDIT* Having used the grinder every day since I received it (and sometimes twice daily), I feel I can now comment on its practical features. Although the grinder seems to create more static/dust when set to a more coarse grind (still negligible static compared to my old burr grinder), the lid on the glass grounds container does a good job of keeping the dust inside the container- not all over my counter. I love the consistency of the grind. No matter the setting, all the grounds seem to be of equal size, which means less sediment in my French press! The machine is also noticeably more quiet than any other grinder I have encountered- burr or otherwise. The twenty second timer fills up about half the grounds container, which is perfect for a 7-8 cup setting on my drip machine. All in all, I would still give it five stars. So I got that going for me, which is nice. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black

EDIT #2, July 28, 2013. Glad the review still holds relevance. If it's any help, I use the grinder every morning, and it always works perfectly. I recently started brewing my coffee with an aeropress, and wow, what a smooth cup o' joe. I've had this grinder and used it daily for nearly three years, and never once have I had a problem. To the critics out there: I have used it many times for consecutive 20 second grinds without blowing the motor. I think the cautionary "wait five minutes between grinds" is to ensure we're not using this as a commercial grinder. But for everyday home use, it's awesome.

EDIT #3 March 11, 2015. Still use my grinder daily for a French press or pour-over. It's still going strong and performs like it did when it was new. I love it and have never had problems with not being able to grind enough due to the 20-second timer. Zero complaints! Buy with confidence.
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241 of 251 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2010
Color Name: RedVerified Purchase
When the magic smoke trailed out of my ancient Krups blade grinder, I knew I was going to bite the bullet and buy a burr grinder to replace it. Reviews led me to the Bodum Bistro, so now I'll share my thoughts as well.

I make coffee one cup at a time using a Melitta cone filter basket that sits on top of my coffee mug. If you have thus far avoided the hype that is single-cup coffee brewing machines, take the money you've saved and get yourself a one-cup filter and this grinder instead. A few experimental runs led me to the coarseness (just finer than drip) and time (7 seconds) required to grind exactly as much coffee as I need for a single cup. Now I leave the settings as they are and only have to push a button in the morning. I find that a pound of coffee lasts me longer now than it did when I was using the old Krups.

In a nutshell:

Pros:
- Even grind with less dust and sediment around the work area
- Acts as coffee bean storage
- Makes more efficient use of the beans
- Identical results every time
- Glass catcher and plastic lid keep grounds under control
- Small footprint and attractive design

Cons:
- Stays on the counter all the time
- Hopper doesn't quite hold a full pound of coffee
- Settings are awkward to change if you need to change them often
- Relatively small capacity per grind
- Rubberized exterior requires frequent cleaning - collects dust from the kitchen (flour, etc.)

If you make a full pot in a 12-cup drip machine every morning, this probably isn't the burr grinder for you. However, if you're a French press or one-cup drinker, I haven't seen a better grinder on the market to meet your needs.
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192 of 204 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Color Name: Black
As others have mentioned in their four and five star reviews, this thing has a flaw. The max time in can run is 20 seconds and then you have to wait 5 minutes to run it again or risk motor burn out. Well I use a manual drip coffee cone most of the time. We also have a french press and espresso maker. I grind six scoops of beans for our carafe. It takes ~30 - 35 seconds to grind the six scoops so I have it set to 20 seconds. I grind for 20 sec, wait 4-5 minutes and then grind the rest. Waiting to grind is no fun. Why did they design this thing to run only 20 seconds every 5 minutes? This is annoying. Otherwise I have no complaints. I have used it twice so far. The mess is minimal and the grind is very even. It grinds so much better than the blade grinder we have been using for years.

10/10/2013 - I have had it ~3 years now. It is still running well. I upped the rating to 4 stars. The manual that came with the grinder stated to not run it more than once every five minutes to avoid overheating the motor. I still don't use twice in a row. I run it once, let it sit at least a minute or two while the water is heating and then run it again, usually 10-15 more seconds will finish the amount of coffee I use.
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54 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on March 3, 2013
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I will say that I loved the grinder while it worked. Consistent grinds, and the glass container was less static-y than some others I've used with plastic containers.

After about 14 months (not even being used every day, maybe 5-6 grinds a week), one of the plastic drive gears broke. See my picture above. It started making a horrible noise, then bits of the gear fell out on to my counter.

Bodum does not sell replacement parts, so in the trash it goes. I tried emailing their US support & they never responded.
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94 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on April 6, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I have researched these things for hours before deciding to buy this unit. Here are my findings:

There are three units that were in the running (ordered by price):

a. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder (the unit on this page and the one I ultimately bought and am very happy with) - $89.99
b. Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder - $199.99
c. Rancilio ROCKY Rancilio Burr Grinder with Doser - $359.99

Now, if price is not an issue, by all means go with the Breville BCG800XL (really can't go wrong with that one). Also, notice that all of these are burr grinders (blade grinders are NOT the way to go) and all are excellent machines; all other machines researched under $400 have serious drawbacks - trust me - I've done the research.

Okay, now let's take a look at each one.

--- a. Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black - this is an excellent unit all around and the one I bought:

-- Grind:
Very consistent and perfect size for drip on drip setting; I have tried this with a drip coffee maker and it is excellent. Some say that it can't quite match the best machines out there for a cappuccino grind (i.e. very very very fine for very very picky machines) but I do not have a cappuccino machine and so this does not really concern me all that much.

-- Mess:
Awesome, no mess at all. The glass catcher reduces the static on the grinds so that they do not jump (no idea how some complain about mess); no mess here.
After catcher is removed, no excess coffee spills out.

-- Noise:
Not very loud at all; I thought it would be louder. Two scaredy cats in my house and both did not even wake up (same room as the appliance).

-- Cleanup:
Super easy; just rinse the catcher and you are done.

-- Features:
Timer -> 5-20 second; set it once, and it stays from grind to grind. 10 seconds was perfect for my mug (4 cups).

-- Build Quality:
Excellent all around with a glass catcher and plastic hopper. The burrs are very well machined.

-- Looks/Size:
The machine is on the small size but very good looking (I have a black one).

-- Cons:
Motor "should" (at least that is what the manual recommends) rest for 5 minutes before every 20 second grind. Really, for me, this is not an issue as 20 seconds produces about 6-8 cups of medium strength coffee.
Bean hopper is not tinted so leaving beans in it (especially in the light) may not be a great idea but you should not leave beans in the hopper in any case as suggested by all of the other machine's manuals.
Some claim that very very fine cappuccino grinds are not acceptable for very picky cappuccino machines; go figure.
Adjusting the grind size can only be done with the motor running (or so claims the manual). Not a big deal for me since I do not plan to adjust it ... well ... ever after the initial setting (doesn't have to have beans in it but just running motor while adjusting).

--- b. Breville BCG800XL Smart Grinder - if money is not an issue, why not - I could find really nothing wrong with it except the price.

-- Grind:
From doing much research, this thing really gets it right for anything you want; even the pickiest cappuccino machines like this thing. French press is also no problem.

-- Mess:
No mess; static is eliminated by their special technology that slows the coffee grinds before they get to the catcher.

-- Noise:
Very quite.

-- Cleanup:
Cannot comment on cleanup but people have said that it is not a problem.

-- Features:
Built in doser - very nice; will auto grind correct amount based on your cup and strength setting.
Nice LCD screen.
Bean hopper is tinted.

-- Build Quality:
Customers claim that it is very solid and well built.

-- Looks/Size:
Looks very nice.

-- Cons:
Price.

--- c. Rancilio ROCKY Rancilio Burr Grinder with Doser - if you want the best, this is it for a reasonable price (reasonable to some, all depends).

Specs:
I am not going to go into detail about this one but needless to say that those very serious about their cappuccino grind, etc. and for whom money is no issue should probably get this machine. Frankly, for this much money, I see no reason.

Conclusion:
- The Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder is an excellent all around machine with very minor (at least to me) drawbacks and if one is to consider the price/performance ratio, simply cannot be beat. Best of luck and hope this review saves some hours of research.
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44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2011
Color Name: Black
After years of getting my beans ground from the local Starbucks, something changed and their ability to grind espresso correctly went downhill. So, for Christmas, I asked for one of these based on the glowing reviews.

First impressions where good. The glass receptacle is great and the overall build quality doesn't seem too bad. It looks pretty good on the counter too.

I make a latte every morning and was counting on this to make constant espresso grind. It DOES do that very well, if you can get the beans to go through it. Setting the dial to French Roast feed the beans pretty well so it seems. But turning it down close to the finer espresso grind caused the motor to emit a high pitched whine and the feeding of beans to, um, grind to a halt.

No amount of cajoling could get the beans to feed again. I took it apart and cleaned it only to have it happen again. Only dropping the beans into the hopper a few at a time by hand seemed to work. This, of course, doesn't grind fast enough to get enough to fill the espresso filter in one "session" so multiple grinding (with sometimes a 5 minute wait between) is needed.

To be fair, this MAY be attributed to the very oily Starbucks espresso beans. But, IMHO, a good grinder should be able to deal with such beans. I will update my review though as I find out more (only on my second grind attempt).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: After using now a little over 2 months, and running several pounds of beans through, I can say that I really like it. It took a little patience at first but once it broke in, it feeds really well now. Even new and oily Starbucks beans it grinds well. Took a little to find the exact setting that my espresso machine liked but now it's consistent, easy to use, and not too messy.
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116 of 127 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2010
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
Looking for a good burr grinder, I first bought a Kitchenaid Pro-Line coffee grinder. I used it once. The motor started smoking and I had to take the thing apart twice just to get enough ground coffee to use in a french press. I returned it promptly. Horrible product.

So then I purchased this Bodum grinder. Having a glass grind receptacle was mandatory and there aren't many grinders on the market (for home use anyway) that have them. So I was hopeful that the Bodum grinder would perform better. And it did. The grind is consistent (I've only used the course grind for the french press) and the glass jar means no static and flying grounds so cleanup is easy. It's relatively quiet and less than half the price of the Kitchenaid unit. I haven't used this grinder long term, but based on my experience so far I'd rate it as a great buy. I'll never grind on its finest setting (espresso) so I can't comment on the grinding experience for that. I use very oily beans (french roast) and the grinder has no problem avoiding clogs.

UPDATE: I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and my earlier review stands. I have since tried grinding for a drip coffee maker and that finer grind is also consistent. Clean up with this grinder is very easy. The burr grinder pops right out. And you can tilt it over the sink and tap the built up grounds out.
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79 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2011
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I purchased this burr grinder based on the reviews, price point and look - which I really love. My coffee of choice is French or Pot Press - for me it brings out the best flavor and full body and I love a big mug each morning, usually a darker roast. The problem is the coarsest setting from this machine is still too small to make great French Press - see my pictures showing the largest ground size from this grinder vs the coarse setting on a supermarket grinder set to Coarse. That picture shows the average size of the Bodum is roughly half that of the standard size coarse grind.

For French Press here's the thing. First, we all know to start with good, nearly boiling, water and freshly ground, quality beans. The rest is in the preparation - the ratio of water to beans, size of the ground, and steep time make a huge difference in the taste. To get that full flavor takes time but too much time makes for a bitter cup. A small grind needs less time to avoid the bitterness. For myself it took close to week, reworking my recipe once each morning until I got a cup good enough that I wanted to finish but none have come close to the best French Press brew I've tasted with the same beans. My longer 4, sometimes 5 minute total time resulted in a bitter taste. Reducing the time too much give a weak taste so changing the ratio of water to beans will help compensate. I pretty much have that finally worked out now using 3 - 3 1/2 minutes time before it turns bitter but the body is a bit less than what I learned to love. A coarser ground and about 4 minutes or so would do the trick but the coarsest setting is not that coarse - see my customer pictures.

Aside for that I do love this grinder, the design, including the glass receptacle - which is much better than plastic for static, the ease or use... and it does make a very nice fine grind - for that I give it 5 stars. However, if you are looking for a burr grinder that does coarse grinding for French Press then look further since for that I give it only 1 star. I will likely return it since my morning cup/mug is not as special as it used to be. That said, the best affordable replacement for my needs is not obvious - my research frequently turns up comments like `most inexpensive burr grinders don't do well for French Press.'
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62 of 66 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 2, 2011
Color Name: RedVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I was not expecting much for the price. If you are torn between a basic blade grinder and the higher-end coffee grinders that cost several hundred dollars, then I would highly recommend considering this unit.

I almost exclusively make espresso-based coffee drinks and have done so for over 10 years. I would never consider using a blade grinder. The grind is just too inconsistent. Also, I have yet to find one of the commercial "in-store" grinders to produce a satisfactory grind no matter what the setting. Not wanting to spend several hundred on a top-rated burr grinder, I had to try different pre-ground coffees such as Peet's, Illy, and Lavazza (which are excellent coffees BTW) and are offered in espresso grinds. Still the grind was never just right.

So, along comes this inexpensive Bodum burr grinder, and I am making the finest, most consistent coffee grinds I have ever experienced. And, it comes a a terrific price. The burrs are conical steel and do an excellent job. I don't know how long they will last or how long it will take before they go out of calibration, so I can't speak for long-term durability. Disassembling it and reading the manual do not indicate any adjustment or replaceable parts.

The unit comes with a somewhat rubberized coating which helps it avoid looking/feeling cheap. The parts seem sturdy enough, and the hopper lid seals surprisingly well. The grounds container is glass with a silicone lid with a hole in it that seals against the grinder chamber. A first nit is that there is no separate cover, so you can't remove the jar and just keep that around if you still have coffee grounds left. (I typically pull 8-16 espresso shots throughout the day.) Thus, the grinder takes up permanent counter space. However, I am the type, whether it's a mixer, a soda maker, a blender, a juicer, or most other appliances, to try and put it away after use. The best compromise I've found is to transfer the grinds to another sealed container for short-term use.

The only major flaw I can find (outside of unknown long-term durability which can be considered fair in any case due to its low price) is the 20 second grinder limitation. According to the very terse manual, after running it for 20 seconds, you should let it rest for 5 minutes to cool off. Similar "Engrish" instructions say, "Warning: [...] Empty the coffee bean container [not the grounds container] after every grinding operation (20 seconds) to avoid overheating the motor." This does not make much sense and seems overly restrictive. I have ignored both these warnings and just used common sense. You can run the 20 second timer over and over for any length you desire by pressing the start/stop button. This whole notion seems a bit flawed and costs it a star.

There is also a section to wind the cord around inside the base to minimize the excess cord flopping around which is a nice touch. So far, I am quite impressed with this product, especially considering its price. It is smart-looking and lightweight so you can put it away if you want to.
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