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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This item Breville BCG820BSSXL The Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder, Brushed Stainless Steel
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|Sold By||Seattle Coffee Gear||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||J.L. Hufford||Main Event USA||J.L. Hufford|
|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||4.72 x 6.29 x 13.77 in||8.25 x 6 x 15.5 in||4.7 x 9.8 x 13.8 in|
|Item Weight||6.4 lbs||4.5 lbs||16 lbs||0.66 lb||6 lbs||15.4 lbs|
|Material Type||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||Stainless Steel||stainless-steel||Stainless Steel|
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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
Before I purchased this grinder, I did the normal reading of Amazon reviews and found the same thing you are finding: love/hate reviews for everything. Being unsatisfied, I branched out to other Internet sources and learned about the types of grinders, and more importantly, how the cheaper grinders are in my opinion misrepresenting themselves as being burr grinders. This thing is a real burr grinder, which as it turns out produces a VERY consistent grind and does not cause you to cringe while it is running.
The things I like the most thus far:
Coffee taste great, and it always taste the same.
I grind straight into the strainer or espresso filter, even at 5:30am, so I always have fresh grinds.
It dispenses in a downward fashion, instead of out the front at a 90 degree, so it shows no signs of clogging.
Changing grind size and time is extremely easy - digital display so you are not fighting an analog setting that moves when you bump it.
The occasionally small excess grinds that fall to the bottom of the grinder base are quickly dispatched by removing the base insert (simple magnet holds it in place so it is a one-handed effortless maneuver).
Short if is dying and early death, I think coming up with a dislike is going to be difficult. Very happy with the purchase; sorry I wasted so much money on inferior products.
As you will see in my review below, I thought I had already tried this. Clearly I had not. I still think this product could benefit from improvement. It seems to bind a bit readily. The jar is all too easily misaligned with the chute thus causing it to bind. But if you remove the lid from the jar, you should encounter no problems from it.
ORIGINAL 1 STAR REVIEW: Like so many others, mine is making loud clicking noises and refusing to grind coffee. I am now on my fourth morning with it, and have already spent a couple hours repeatedly tearing it apart and recleaning it to get it working again. Sometimes it will work for 30 seconds, sometimes only 3 seconds until it jams. When it jams it must be thoroughly cleaned.
I tried a million different things to get it to work.The coarsest grind settings, different receptacle that would remove back pressure, etc. I even tried buying brand new beans, just in case my week old ones were the cause (even though they're not oily, nor damp, nor do the appear to contain tiny rocks). I gave this thing every chance I could think of, no luck.
I don't think it's fair to call this poorly engineered. There are so many visible things about this grinder that are really well designed, from the hopper bottom that closes when you lift it out for cleaning, to the magnetic grounds catcher at the bottom. They put a tremendous amount of thought into a lot of details, which makes cleaning this a breeze. But, there are clearly a lot of defective units out there. Or, perhaps the all important internals weren't done by the same engineer.
I called Breville to see if they knew of any thing I could try before I returned it. The automated phone system offered to call me back instead of putting me on hold, it claimed I would not lose my place in the queue. "Cool!" I thought, "I love these." Over 3 hours later my phone rings, and immediately hangs up. I Google the phone number, and the first result is a Better Business Burea profile for Breville. Their rating: D-
I usually would never rate something 1 star, especially something with such an impressive exterior design. But, it's an expensive coffee grinder that doesn't grind coffee, and based on what I have seen an exchange is unlikely to help.