Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder, Brushed Stainless Steel
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- Stainless Steel conical burrs designed to minimize grinding heat and protect the essential oils in the coffee bean
- 60 precise grind settings from the finest Espresso to the coarsest French Press Grind
- Precision Electronic Timer allows users to adjust grind time in 0.2 second increments and consistent dose every time
- 16oz coffee bean capacity with locking system for easy removal, storage, and transfer of the bean hopper
- Grind directly into portafilter, grinds container, gold tone filter basket or paper filter
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||J.L. Hufford||J.L. Hufford||Amazon.com|
|Item Dimensions||6.25 x 8.5 x 15.25 in||7.13 x 10.75 x 6 in||14 x 9 x 17 in||2.56 x 5.91 x 5.31 in||4.72 x 6.29 x 13.77 in||6 x 8.5 x 15.5 in|
|Item Weight||6.4 lbs||4.5 lbs||16 lbs||7.15 lbs||0.66 lb||5.8 lbs|
|Material Type||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Brushed satin metal, Black plastic||Stainless Steel||Plastic|
Breville's Smart Grinder Pro features Precision Digital Time (adjustable in 0.2 sec increments) to give you complete control over dose and grind time. The perfect coffee needs a precise amount of freshly ground coffee beans. But adjustments in grind size require different grind times to achieve a consistent dose. Choose among 60 different grind settings to achieve maximum flavor potential to suit your favorite brew. Grind settings allows you to go from the finest Espresso to the coarsest French Press. Further extend the grinding range by tuning the adjustable Upper Burr to either coarser or finer without the use of tools. The Breville Smart Grinder Pro automatically doses the same every time you grind making it easy to achieve a consistent dose.
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If you're making French Press or Moka Pot coffee, look elsewhere.
Some questionable durability...see updates below.
I'm so happy I waited this long to finally get an ELECTRIC burr grinder after years of manually grinding with the Hario Slim Mill Grinder. To think that I wasted all of those hours translated into days of my life to save a few bucks is baffling now that I've been using the new Breville Smart Grinder Pro for a couple of weeks now.
First, a short backstory:
-The first burr grinder I ever owned was the Capresso Infinity. My parents now use it in their kitchen, but I couldn't stand this grinder. Never could grind finely enough for espresso, was difficult to clean, had static build-up. Frankly, not much better than a blade grinder.
-I then bought my dad a Bodum Bistro. The thing was a piece of junk and broke after only a few uses. Was never able to return it because we lost the receipt.
-My next purchase was for myself. The Hario Hand Mill grinder. Very inexpensive, very effective ceramic burr grinders, portable, etc. But after about a week of using it you realize how impractical it is to spend 10 minutes grinding coffee every time you want it!
The reason I waited so long to invest in an electric burr grinder was mostly because of paradox of choice.
I considered the Rocky Rancillio because I heard it was unbeatable for home espresso. Still, at $300+ and a nice hefty size, I was reluctant to take the plunge.
I also flirted with getting a Baratza Encore or Breville Smart Grinder, but each was reported to have its own respective issues that only prolonged my indecision. In any case, I was ready to go for the Baratza Encore until I saw that Breville had released a new version of the Smart Grinder, the Smart Grinder Pro.
~~~~Differences Between Current and Previous Model~~~~
There were a few improvements to the new model that had me sold on giving it a try.
1) 60 default grind settings vs. 25 in the original. PLUS, an adjustable upper burr for an additional 10 grind settings.
2) "Smart" dosing timer that allows you to adjust the grind time down to 0.2 seconds. The old model allowed you to adjust the "strength" of your coffee. I guess it was designed to be idiot-proof, but I think if somebody is spending $200 on a grinder they know that more coffee + less water and vice versa is MOSTLY what determines a coffee's strength. In any case, the old way was a silly and arbitrary way of dosing. The new way makes more sense*
3) Start/Pause button instead of a Start/Cancel button. Now, I never used the old version so I don't know if this is just different wording or not, but with the Smart Grinder Pro you can pause the grind and grind timer to say, settle your ground coffee in a portafilter before continuing the grind.
*This feature isn't very accurate in my opinion. I've weighed my ground coffee after using the same dosing time and had inconsistent weights. If you're serious about your coffee, I'd stick with a gram scale for dosing. I will give it another try and report back here though.
-Removable magnetic grounds tray. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this feature. Which may seem ridiculous...but I owned the Capresso Infinity where ground coffee was constantly building up in the tray at the bottom. This made the grounds basket more and more difficult to put in place. With the Smart Grinder Pro, keeping the grounds tray tidy is so easy because of this feature.
-Lockable/removable 1 lb. bean hopper. This is a decent feature that allows you to remove the bean hopper and change out your beans without spilling them all over the place. This is really only useful to somebody who keeps their beans in the hopper at all times, which I don't. I should also note that not all of the coffee in the hopper will be removed from the grinder since some of it will still remain between the burrs.
If you're looking to get more serious with your coffee, you shouldn't really be storing beans in the hopper. But that's just like, my opinion, man.
-Grounds basket with "airtight" lid/seal. This is probably my least favorite part of this grinder. The grounds basket itself is fine, but the lid just gets in the way and isn't even close to airtight. I don't ever grind the coffee into the grounds basket with the lid on.
-Comes with two different size portafilter holders (magnetic) and brush for cleaning burrs.
~~~~My First Experience~~~~
Now, despite my love for this grinder the first day of using it was a nightmare.
I tried adjusting the upper burr on the first day of using it and then the grinder just stopped working. I called Breville, we did some troubleshooting over the phone, and the rep finally told me it was defective and would need to be sent back.
My heart sunk.
Fortunately, the return process was super easy (and free). They even sent the replacement before I sent my defective grinder back in (with a $150 hold on my credit card until they received the defective one).
My replacement has been working like a charm though. And with this great customer service experience, I'm not inclined to take away any points in my review here. Only time will tell if it holds up though.
-It's very quiet for a grinder
-It is essentially stepless, even though 60 steps are displayed on the LCD screen
-Does a brilliant job for my MyPressi twist (read: espresso)
-Great price for the versatility
-Bad plastic/chemical smell post-grind that has seemingly gone away after some use
-Doser isn't that accurate, despite the improvement in the way it's done
-Grounds basket lid is useless and just gets in the way
So there you have it. I will update this review as time passes. I highly recommend this grinder for the budding home coffee enthusiast!
****UPDATE #1 - July, 2015****
Well I have to say I'm pretty disappointed.
I am now on my third unit because of defects. This grinder works fantastically when it's working, but unfortunately it simply can't hang with the finer grind settings. The burrs lock up and the grinder stops grinding when I'm at a grind setting below 10 usually. Sometimes it works, but it's like flipping a coin because you really never know when it will lock up.
Additionally, I've come to realize that the coarsest settings really aren't that coarse. As others have mentioned, this grinder is best for medium grind settings (and fines when it works).
Breville has been great in terms of customer service, but there is really only so many returns I can deal with at a certain point. This will most likely be returned unless a solution presents itself quickly.
****UPDATE #2 - December, 2015****
I've bumped my review back up 1 star because my most recent unit is holding up pretty well.
Here are some tips that I think have helped prevent the grinder from locking up with espresso grinds:
1) Always adjust your grind setting with beans in the hopper while simultaneously running the grinder. Yes, you will waste some coffee, but this is pretty standard practice when using burr grinders.
2) Never run the grinder with an empty hopper. You don't want the burrs making contact with each other if you can avoid it.
3) Grind in short spurts for espresso. I only grind a few seconds at a time, pause, and then resume for a few more seconds. I find that this helps prevent the motor from disengaging or the burrs from locking up.
Couple of other points that I want to reiterate:
-This grinder is no good for French Press. Look elsewhere.
-I've found that the ground coffee feels pretty warm sometimes after grinding for espresso (I notice when I'm dosing). I don't have much of a baseline reference for how hot (if at all) the ground coffee should be fresh out of the grinder...but my guess is that there shouldn't be any noticeable heat. After all, heat is said to be one of ground coffee's biggest enemies.
-The plastic/chemical smell post grind is almost always there. This is certainly disconcerting.
We have had the Smart Grinder Pro for only one week, but it has already had a big improvement on our morning coffee routine. The ability to select the number of cups, hit Start, and have it automatically grind the beans while you fill up the coffee maker with water is a huge convenience. It's also pretty quiet. A bit more quiet than our Rocky, and much quieter than a whirlyblade grinder or a disc grinder. The conical burrs grind consistently for drip and espresso. I'm sure our old Rocky is probably a bit more consistent for coarse French press grounds, but we don't use a French press these days. I adjusted the burr settings towards the finer end of things, and I'm able to get a grind that is fine enough and consistent enough for our nonpressurized espresso portafilter.
This grinder does not have an integrated scale, but the automatic timer is well calibrated to grind the correct amount of beans per golden ratio cup or per espresso shot. You can adjust the timer for more or less as well. The only thing you have to watch for is if beans get stuck in the hopper while the timer is ticking. It has only happened to me once this week, but I could hear the grinder spinning with nothing in it. A tap on the side of the bean hopper got things flowing again, but I had to carefully measure out the coffee since I knew the timer was running for a few seconds with nothing to grind.
It shipped with two portafilter holders. The smaller one fits ours. The magnetic snap in feature is fantastic. It's so easy to switch between portafilter and drop container. The bottom tray also comes out easily for cleaning and then snaps back in with a magnet.
My only complaint about the grinder is that the container for catching grounds doesn't catch them as well as it could. If you use the lid, which has a hole for the grounds, some grounds always spill down the side. Not many, but a few. I've been grinding without the lid and that works fine. Another reviewer recommended a glass beaker that fits under the grinder perfectly. I may give that a try. It might not be necessary. The included container works with no mess so far, but it's plastic so static make the grounds cling to the side a little.
Overall we are very happy and I would give it 4.5 stars if that were an option. Only complaint is the design of the grind container lid, which many may not even use. If you have a flat bottom filter, you can just grind into that. Only time will tell if it lasts 12 years like our Rocky did, but so far we like it more. It's easier to use, looks easier to clean, keeps our counter totally clean, and makes great tasting coffee at all the grinds we need.