1,951 of 1,989 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
Don't believe that ANY grinder in this price range will be the ultimate grinder for all your grinding needs. I read with amusement as some reviewers slammed this grinder for not grinding well enough to use with their espresso machines. I own this machine for use with my drip coffee maker only. I own a $500+ Mazzer Grinder for my espresso machine. The point being, that for the absolute consistent grind needed for use with espresso, you better be willing to step up significantly in price. That said, on to this grinder review.
Considering there are no decent blade grinders on the market - including those in the $25 price range, the best grinder to have is a burr grinder. Burr grinders do not create the heat that destroys the flavor of your beans and creates a more uniformed grind. Burr grinders do not produce the large "chunks" of beans in varying size that a blade grinder does. I have yet to see any missed "untouched" beans find their way past the burrs (as one reviewer claimed) and find that hard to believe, considering beans can only pass through the small space between the burrs and would thus be ground on their way through. You may get some bean smaller than your setting, but will not get anything larger than your setting.
As with any burr grinder under $200 this grinder does create some powder. It creates a lot of powder if you attempt to grind at its' finest setting (called Turkish Coffee). For drip coffee makers though, a mid-range toward coarse setting doesn't produce enough powder to be a concern when using paper filters in your coffee maker and a GOOD bean to start with. I sometimes wonder if the complaints of "bitterness" from some reviewers isn't a problem with their bean choice or their water temperature. As a drinker of 100% Kona in my drip maker, I have yet to taste a bitter cup of coffee, even with the less than a tsp. of powder that is present in my freshly ground coffee.
Noisy? Yes, but no more noisy than some and less noisy than most in this price range. A grinder of this size will create noise, but unless you plan on grinding 24/7 that is to be expected. My guests are actually enthralled by the noise and the ability to watch fresh beans meet their demise (I hang with a morbid crowd) as the beans slowly disappear down the hopper. The timer is a nice touch if noise is a concern. The fact that you can turn it on, leave the room and return in a minute or two (avoiding the noise) to find the unit automatically shut off should make those with sensitive hearing happy.
This grinder has a decent weight to it, making it feel sturdy on your countertop. The S/S body also gives the appearance of a well built machine and makes it more stylish than your standard black plastic neoprene models being produced by other manufacturers. This is a solid, sturdy, and well built machine for this price.
If there are complaints that you should be warned about, it is the age old problem of static cling caused by the use of plastic for the grounds receiver. Cuisinart should have used glass to receive the grounds. I would have gladly paid an extra $3 on the final price in order to avoid dealing with the static cling found in every machine that uses plastic for this purpose. The other is the clean-up, if you are as anal as I am about coffee equipment. Again, the static cling is annoying, but I keep a slim painters brush nearby for the purpose of brushing out the chute and receiver which makes the task quick and easy. It loses a star for the static cling issues, but I guess every grinder in this price range has the same problem because they use plastic.
Overall, for under $50 this is a very good machine for the price.
I mentioned in a response to a comment that I should have given this grinder 5 stars simply due to longevity of its life. I did that today, upgrading it from the original 4-star rating. This same grinder I bought in 2005 hasn't missed a beat in what's been a full 8 years!
5 STARS Cuisinart. You deserve it!
536 of 543 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2006
I've had mine for about 6 months now. I use it to grind for a drip machine, and it grinds for about 16 cups every day. The motor seems to take it all in stride, and it's never sounded like it was under undue stress, so I'm puzzled by all the reviews reporting bad motors. I suspect, at least some of them, are really interlock problems. There are at least two of them: one is under the cup that collects the ground coffee. The other is under the hopper. If the cup or the hopper aren't properly seated, the motor is prevented from operating. This is a safety feature.
The flavor of coffee ground in a burr mill barely resembles that of beans chopped up in a grinder with spinning blades. The spinning blades keep hitting the coffee over and over, heating it up. If you watch, you will see the coffee turn a lighter shade of brown as it dries out. A burr mill spits the ground beans into a cup as soon as it's finished with them, and the grounds are the same shade as the beans were. The difference in flavor is tremendous, so recommending a burr mill, such as the cuisinart, is a no-brainer.
Update Jan 09, 2007: We've been grinding for about 16 cups per day for about a year now. Still going.
Update July 27, 2009: 3.5 years of faithful service, but I have to admit that I'm starting to get paranoid. This thing has done a lot of work, and something has got to be on the verge of going out. I'm addicted to my morning coffee (I drink it ALL morning), and I'd be in a bad way if I couldn't partake of my favorite bean. I'm considering buying another one as a back-up.
Update Feb. 5, 2011: 5 years, and still grinding.
1,077 of 1,107 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2009
First, after checking the Amazon listings, I noticed a similar model (Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill). I'm not sure if this model is a newer version of that one--because they look awfully similar--but I did notice that some of the reactions to that other model are fitting for this one.
After my initial use, the first thing I noticed was that the grind (I used the lowest "coarse" setting) didn't seem as consistent as I thought it would be, considering the point of using a burr grinder is to get a consistent grind. There was a fair amount of dust that came through, in other words.
For the price, I can't say I expected it to be perfect, and honestly, this bit of coffee dust (maybe half a teaspoon)doesn't much bother me. A common complaint for the other model is that the plastic hoppers attract the coffee dust due to static cling. This is also true here, but for me, not a problem.
Overall, I like the way this grinder works. Just realize going in that this is one of the cheapest (price-wise) burr grinders on the market, so you can't expect it to function like a $400 model. If you're just getting into grinding your own coffee and want to begin to experience the benefits of burr ground coffee and french presses, I'd say this is a great place to start.
If, however, you already own expensive coffee equipment (say, an expensive espresso maker for instance) you might want to spring for a higher quality burr grinder.
The other model had many people mentioning the motor dying after 6 or so months. Some customers said that it was due to a buildup of coffee dust between the hopper and grinders, and that after unscrewing the top and cleaning it out, the motor worked again.
I've only had my grinder one day, so I can't comment on this yet. But I plan on updating this review periodically as I use my grinder.
Finally, a call for consumer support:
I am using this grinder with my French press, which needs a coarse grind of beans. I am testing the different settings (as there are about 5 or 6 "coarse" settings to choose from. I started on the low end of the coarse cycle.
My suggestion? If you get this machine, why not tell me, in the comment section, which setting works best for you with use of a french press. I will also update, once I've used all the settings, to tell you what I find in terms of the best setting.
UPDATE #1: I've now used all the coarsest settings except the very last (coarsest), and not surprisingly, the coarser the grind, the better the coffee when using a French Press. I'm sure other factors are coming into play, such as the amount of coffee I use, the temperature of the water, and the steeping time. But without a doubt, the coffee tastes much better than when I used to use a blade grinder.
I'm still experiencing a certain amount of "dust" with every batch I grind. Interestingly, the dust seems to clump up and stick to the edge of the container after being expelled. I'm not sure if this is common for everyone, or is possibly it has something to do with the quality of bean I'm using. But I'll be sure to update once I use a different type of bean.
The good news is that when the dust clumps like this, it's easy to brush away and avoid.
More Updates to come.
UPDATE #2: I decided to dial back the coarseness of my grind, so for french press I think I like the third to last coarseness setting the best. The machine continues to expel around half a teaspoon of coffee dust (clumped against the container) per grind, which I know most die-hards would find unacceptable, but for a novice like me, isn't too bad.
I've taken to scooping the dust into a separate container to save. My guess is that for every one pound bag of coffee I grind, I may get enough dust saved to brew one drip pot of coffee. Sure, it won't be as fresh, but it's better than using it in the french press and getting more "sludge", or throwing it away and wasting it.
I have also decided to change my initial 4-star rating to a 3-star. I still like the machine, but I do think the lack of grind uniformity and amount of dust is annoying. I reiterate: If you are a novice/just getting into grinding your own coffee, this machine is a good fit. But if you have expensive equipment (espresso machines, etc) spend the extra cash on a better grinder.
Update #3 (3/16/2010): I've had the machine nearly 3 months and it's still working fine. No motor failure here. I do unscrew the top of the machine to clean excess dust from the burrs, which does cake on pretty thick after a while, and *might* be the cause of some of the reported motor failures.
One other thing I neglected to note is the counter top mess. It seems nearly impossible for me to grind some coffee without getting a bunch of coffee dust on the counter. This does *not* occur during grinding, rather, when I remove the lid and scoop the coffee into my pot. In other words, it's probably to be expected, but I thought I'd note it.
Overall, I'm still enjoying my machine and getting good use out of it every day.
Update #4 (7/13/2010): Still going strong. No problems at all.
474 of 500 people found the following review helpful
on September 19, 2004
First off, the grind you get from a burr grinder is superior to a blade, hands down. This grinder makes a superbly uniform grind, and the fineness/coarseness is easily adjustable. For the price, this is an excellent burr grinder. Highly recommend it for your average coffee drinker. If you are grinding things finely, grinding spices or flavored coffees, or grinding lots of coffee, read on for important details.
I was a little disappointed with the plastic grind hopper. Burr grinders I have used in the past were glass, and while I didn't think plastic would be a big deal, extremely fine grinds tend to 'stick' due to static electricity.
When doing longer grinds (for larger pots of coffee, etc) the motor really starts to sound strained. I'm worried that with heavy use over a few months I might have issues with it. If I do, I'll update this review.
*most* of the grinder is very easy to clean... however, inside the base there are a couple of pieces out of reach, and really fine grinds tend to collect just inside the chute that dumps the grinds into the hopper. If you grind flavored coffees (or, in my case, fresh seed spices) and need to clean it, you might be a little frustrated.
303 of 322 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2004
This is the second automatic hopper-type burr grinder that I've owned. The first was the similarly-priced Capresso 551.01, which died after a couple years of use. I don't know what the lifespan of this Cuisinart grinder will be yet, but so far I'm extremely impressed with the comparison between the two. Start with the weight, at nearly 4 pounds--it simply feels more substantial. (The Capresso is a comparatively diminutive 2 lb. 9 oz.) The casing is an attractive stainless steel (which may just be a veneer over plastic, but it certainly looks nicer than the Capresso's black plastic) and the hopper and grind chamber are of thick, good-quality acrylic.
The Capresso had to be emptied before changing the grind coarseness, and had a small, finger-bruising wheel with which to adjust it, but the Cuisinart's entire hopper turns freely to adjust the grind, filled or not. I'm also very pleased to find that the Cuisinart doesn't dust the countertop with a sprinkling of coffee after use, as the Capresso did. The motor isn't whisper-quiet by any stretch, but it's not as noisy as many home grinders.
There are only two disadvantages of this grinder, in my opinion. First, the timer can only be adjusted in two-cup increments (minimum of 4 cups). It does this with a satisfying click, but still, I'd like to nudge the slider a bit for a weaker morning brew or a stronger nighttime one. Second, the hopper contains almost four cups' worth of coffee below the visible area, inside the machine. That, combined with the grinder's heftier weight, makes it a chore to empty it if you want to change coffees (say, if a guest requests decaf). Not only do you have to turn this brute upside-down, but you also have to turn it every which way so that all the coffee inside the machine works its way out.
But these are minor quibbles. Overall, this is an excellent machine.
97 of 103 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2006
We upgraded from our old Krups blade whirly grinder for this burr mill unit. So far it's been working without issues after 6 months of use and 8+ pounds of beans. This unit does suffer from the static issues, in that the collection bin is made of plastic and causes the ground coffee to stick to the walls and will make a mess when you open the lid to pour out the coffee. We're ready to try a better burr mill grinder now.
- Nice looks
- Adjustable grind settings
- Auto shut off
- Grinds designated amount of beans, so it's hands free
- Very LOUD!
- Plastic bin produces static grounds, making a mess
- Inconsistent grind
- Produces clumpy grind
- Hard to clean due to design
87 of 93 people found the following review helpful
(Helpful? Not? Please vote, so I know someone's reading these ;-) :: This grinder has a good name, seems sturdy enough, and gets the job done down to espresso grind, but no further.
1: Finest grind setting sufficient for pressurized portafilter espresso machines.
2: Turkish coffee is not going to be possible w/o modifying the machine.
3: Plastic hopper prone to static cling. Let grounds sit a couple minutes.
4: Noise level is tolerable, even low compared to other grinders
5: "Dosing" feature OK, but it's in "cups", so not like the fancy ones.
6: Finesse adjustments to grind are easy, sturdy, and work as advertised.
7: Model is compact, attractive, and reasonably priced.
8: No good for commercial-style espresso machines. Option up if that's you.
9: Does not supply the quality or consistency of grind like $300 models.
10: Beats trying to make espresso grinds with a blade grinder, hands down.
Remember, this is a $50 grinder, not a $350 Rocky conical-burr. If you want the best, you must buy the best. For my money, this was a good compromise. For others, with very sophisticated palates, it is unlikely to satisfy. That is the low-down on the equipment. Next ... know thyself. ;-)
63 of 66 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2004
This review pertains only to using the Cuisinart grinder for press pots. We have no experience using it to grind coffee for espresso. We have found that if we use the coarsest or next-to-coarsest setting, among the 18 settings, the coffee will be coarse enough to use our Bodum press pot. The grind is about 95% even-grind, with the remaining 5% "coffee dust." We don't find this to be a problem (it makes the coffee richer in flavor), but if you insist on a clear cup of coffee this grinder is probably not for you. The grind in a burr grinder like this one is nonetheless much more even than one can get using a blade grinder. We grind for six cups, which takes just several seconds. The Cuisinart is not really a loud machine---about the same as a standard blade-grinder. There is some static cling on the walls of the grind receptacle, but from what I have read that seems to be an unavoidable feature of such grinders. With a fine brush and some care, even a relative klutz like me can get the coffee out and into the press pot with only a quarter of a teaspoon or so of coffee on the counter. At Bed, Bath, and Beyond, with its ubiquitous 20% off coupon, the grinder is $40. We're well-satisfied. 4 1/2 stars.
76 of 82 people found the following review helpful
on December 4, 2009
I'm a self proclaimed whole bean coffee snob. I've owned several grinders over the years and have become addicted to grinding my own beans when I'm ready for brewing my trusty cup o' joe. Since I have an espresso machine, drip coffee maker, and a variety of french presses I can't just use the one-grind-fits-all approach. But why have 2 or 3 grinders taking up cupboard or counter space when I can now just use this?
The traditional whirling blade grinders take a lot of practice to get the timing just right depending on what level of grind you are looking for. More often than not I ended up settling for something a little too fine or a little too course. Enter the first burr grinder of my amateur barista world: I loved the consistency of it but couldn't get a fine grind for espresso. So for the last year or so I've had to use both...
No longer! This Cuisinart grinder has been a blessing from coffee brewing heaven! The variability of grind options is amazing with this machine! I can grind up my beans to a powdered perfection for espresso or chunky enough to make cowboy coffee worthy of Jack Palance's Curly from City Slickers.
As far as the quality concerns another reviewer mentioned it must have been a bad unit. I've used this one daily for over a month and not even a hiccup! This grinder is well worth the price!
195 of 222 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2006
I originally purchased one of these mills because I had been impressed with the Cuisinart food processor I had. I should have done my homework! This burr grinder is messy, loud, and slow. Horribly innacurate grinds. I'm a typical guy, so I figured I'd just live with it. Right. I had it less than 8 months when it began to slow during grinding, then stop before finishing a cycle. Motor fried.
I called Cuisinart "Customer Care" number from their web page. I was treated with suspicion by their representative, told my serial # was way out of warranty, and that there was nothing they could do for me. I asked for a supervisor to continue my complaints, and the rep's tune immediately changed. She put me on punitive hold for 6 minutes, then came back and said that they would get me one in a week or two, (no warranty on the replacement one, good luck) and I had to pay return postage on my old one, plus $4 for handling.
Here's the best part-- I got my new burr mill a few days later, sent the old one back. Started using my "new one" a week ago, now it's already slowing down and stopping! What a piece of junk! Shame on you, Cuisinart, and all you buyers beware! Avoid their stuff at all costs. I only wish I could give them a lower score than one star.....
By the way...this burr grinder is made for Cuisinart by Conair, a company best known for their hair dryers, if that tells you anything. Let's see---hair dryers, coffee, hmmmm... Oh, the things you find out when you start looking!
Back shopping for a better grinder not made by a hair dryer company (and maybe a new food processor, too...) The only thing worse than a bad product is bad customer service. You'll get 'em both in one stop here.