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Cuisinart CBM-18N Programmable Conical Burr Mill
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- Fully programmable 1/2 pound capacity hopper
- Cup selector from 1-14 for your precise amount of coffee
- 18 position grind selector from ultra-fine for espresso to extra coarse for French press.
- Removable grind chamber, heavy duty motor, cord storage. BPA Free
- Conical burr grinder delivers a full-flavor, uniform grind without heating the beans.
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The perfect grind will be yours every time with this elegant brushed stainless programmable conical burr mill. The easy to read LCD display shows time, fineness and number of cups to ensure that every grind is just right. The 18 position conical burr grinder grinds the coffee beans uniformly while maintaining their natural flavors and oils, and automatically stops grinding after the correct amount has been ground. It packs away neatly with the convenient cord storage and scoop/cleaning brush.
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I've realized that the problem with turning to any Internet reviews, be they for products or restaurants, is that people are way, WAY too picky. Maybe it's just me, but it isn't helpful when people find it necessary to highlight anything and everything that could be seen as a possible flaw, thereby picking apart what is probably a suitable option for most people. So I want to begin by addressing two of the biggest complaints I've seen in these reviews: the unit makes a mess, there's a static problem with the grounds cartridge, and it's too hard to clean. I've also noticed a lot of people don't really understand why one would buy a conical burr mill as opposed to a plain ol' blade grinder (which are way cheaper.)
I've had the grinder for about 8 months now, and I have not experienced any of those issues to the extent that many people describe. If you give the unit a little tap on the side before removing the grounds cartridge after you grind, you're not going to have surprise grounds coming out of the chute. I have not found the static issue to be that big of a deal. The grounds cartridge is plastic, so yes, there is some sticking of the grounds to the sides of the cartridge, but it's usually the finer bits and dust (which I don't want anyway), and it really isn't that much. The cartridge is very easy to rinse out and dry. I brew using a Chemex, so uniformity of the grounds is really key for me. I brew every day, sometimes twice a day, so as long as I clean the burr every few days, the grind stays really uniform. It's not that difficult to clean. The hopper comes right off when you turn it all the way to the coarsest setting, and the inner burr pulls right out. I use the brush that comes with the unit and a lightly damp paper towel.
Regarding the functionality of the unit: the LED screen is nice (I haven't had any problems with it.) I weigh out my grounds, so I haven't used the cup presets that much. The variable grind settings are pretty accurate, especially for a coarser grind (as long as you make sure to clean it regularly as I've said.) I've noticed that some people don't think it can grind fine enough for espresso; unfortunately, I can't speak to that since I don't have an espresso machine. Overall, I've been very happy with the basic functionality of the unit.
You buy a burr mill primarily for two reasons: uniformity of the grind and no inadvertent heat imparted to the beans from rapidly spinning blades. If you use an auto-drip machine, the first reason isn't that big of a deal. If you're using any other method (i.e. French press, Chemex, vacuum, etc.), it matters a lot so that the coffee isn't over-infused, to keep your coffee from having too much sediment, and so on. Blade grinders chop the beans, creating all different sizes of grounds, and creating a lot of very fine dust which can be a problem for non-autodrip methods. (Burr mills crush the beans.) From what I've found, this burr mill provides a good uniformity especially for the price. I have two friends each with conical burr mills that were over $200 (a Baratza Virtuoso and a Breville Smart Grinder) and I really feel like my Cuisinart is quite comparable in ground uniformity. The second reason for a burr grinder is important no matter how you brew your coffee. The beans are quite sensitive to temperature, and blades spinning at the speed necessary to chop the beans (20k - 30k rpm) imparts heat to the grind. If you brew one or two cups at a time, chances are you're not running your grinder long enough for this to be a problem. But if you're doing a 10 or 12-cup pot each morning, the amount of aroma you lose using a blade grinder is significant. A conical burr mill runs at under 500rpm, imparting a negligible amount of frictional heat. This ensures that you're tasting your coffee the way it was meant to be tasted (assuming your brew is good.)
As the title says, this is a great grinder for the price. If you've been looking to get a conical burr mill, you've probably noticed that you can spend anywhere from $40 to over $450. So if you're new to this, it can seem like you could be spending $80 on a unit that isn't as good as ones that are more expensive but also might not be any better than one of the cheaper grinders. I'm pretty confident that this grinder is comparable to others that cost twice as much and (given reviews of cheaper burr grinders), it's worth spending the extra money for it.
Lemme cut to the chase. I spent in the neighborhood of $70 to replace a blade grinder. It's well worth the money.
People talk about the static in the plastic bin like it's crazy messy. It's not. There's just a little coffee dust remaining once the coffee comes out. Nothing you don't expect. And it's drastically less than what remains in a blade grinder after you tap it empty. If it's a deal breaker for you just put a sandwich bag in it first before putting the lid on. Or rinse or brush it out. It's not a big deal. Really.
The reason you should buy this grinder is you're upgrading from a blade grinder and/or you drink regular coffee. If you make espresso at home and have a machine that costs less than $500, this grinder will do you just fine too. It vastly improves your coffee's aroma. If you smell your coffee in the cup and it smells slightly burnt or acrid towards the end of the sniff then you have one of two problems: old beans that have been exposed to too much oxygen for too long (they've oxidized) or you're using a blade grinder and heating the beans when grinding them.
As long as you have decent beans (ideally brewed 5-14 days after roasting for optimal flavor), use good filtered water, and use enough beans this grinder is going to give you a great cup of coffee.
Speaking of using enough beans... there's just one issue with this grinder: it doesn't put out enough coffee when selecting cups. I've done a few tests (though nothing extensive) and I recommend weighing the coffee you like at the grind you like to find out which setting works best for you when you first get your unit. You'll likely find that the amount of coffee you use and the number of cups you'll need to set to grind will be two different things.
I have several friends who are coffee roasters and one of the owns a coffee shop. I've bugged all of them for their coffee recipe, since everybody is a bit different. The best recommendation was this: 16:1 water to beans by weight. It's important to note that it's WEIGHT and not VOLUME.
The trick to good coffee is weighing everything. The coffee industry plays fast and loose with the word "cup" enough so that using volume as a measurement is unreliable. The old "heaping tablespoon" measurement just shows how non-specific the directions for making coffee are.
When this grinder is on the 1 cup setting, it puts out between 6-7 grams of coffee grounds. At 7 cups it put out 45 grams of coffee so it seems consistent when grinding multiple cups.
Unfortunately, this is not nearly enough ground coffee to make a good cup of coffee. Remember the 16:1 ratio. This is closer to 7.5:1. My advice: double the cup amount on the grinder and then go down one number. So if you want 4 cups of coffee (cups on the side of your coffee maker, not "cup" as in 8 oz.) then you'd grind 7 cups worth of coffee on the grinder. (That's 640 grams of water for 40 grams of ground coffee.)
As for whether you should keep your beans in the hopper, the coffee purist in me would tell you to get a container with a vacuum seal for the ultimate in coffee storage. However, if you are a daily coffee drinker, the hopper only stores 1/2 lb. of coffee so for the ease of use, you can get away with storing your beans in it since you'll be turning over the entire 1/2 lb. in less than a week. If you're a big family or drink coffee more than once a day, you'll be replenishing the hopper every few days.
Will it get a little stale? It depends on your beans but I haven't noticed a real difference between the hopper and an OXO plastic storage container.
Bottom line: If you want an inexpensive conical burr grinder, this one does the trick just fine. In fact, it works so easily and simply, using it for the first time is a little underwhelming. It just grinds the coffee properly in less than 15 seconds. But tasting is believing.
Once you use a conical burr grinder instead of a blade grinder, you'll never go back.
It is quite easy to use, turn the base to select the grind and choose how many cups on digital display, press start and it times out for what you need. 12 seemed a little strong for our drip coffee maker and 10 seemed more to everyones liking, it will depend on the kind of beans you are using. As far as static in the receptacle bin, yes there is some but if you tap it as other have suggested before pulling it out it does seem to help and the humidity in our house is at about 35%. I found pouring it into the coffee filter then placing it in the coffee maker works best. If you have a plastic coffee maker it may be the difference in static charge between grinder and coffee maker that causes grounds to go all over, as we had that happen to us the first time so this is my solution!
For noise it is ok, makes more noise than I like I would guess in 80db range which is loud and I have some hearing loss and tinnitus so try to avoid exposure to loud sounds. They could make quieter but for 25 seconds of use it is bearable.
Most recent customer reviews
1. Sometimes the beans in the hopper get stuck and the grinder won't grind beans for...Read more