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Breville Conical Burr Grinder

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A few quick design notes - there's 1/2lb hopper up top, which rotates to make coarseness adjustments. At the very coarsest setting, it can vibrate out of the "grinding" mode and into the "removing the hopper" mode, which makes for a fun mess to clean. However, this coarsest setting is too coarse to be useful anyway.

There's a timer on the side that goes up to 30 seconds, which is very loose/easy to turn. It's very easy to lose that elusive "perfect" timer setting. I placed a sticker on the machine so that I could make non-permanent tick marks for my settings. The on-off button is beside the timer dial, which means even a careless button press could bump the timer up or down.

Adequately sized collection bin at the bottom (note: machine won't grind without the bin in place unless you manually press the safety button). Nice, hefty case design with stainless panels and black plastic. The operating controls and window for viewing grind settings are on one of the "wide" sides, and the grounds container slides in and out of an adjacent narrow side. This means you either have to have the machine sitting "wide" on the counter and be able to slide the grounds container out the side of it (meaning a good 5 inches of space to the left) or put it on the counter with the "narrow" side facing out, and use the controls as on the side of the machine. I think this could be done a lot better - all controls on the front along with the grounds container would be ideal.

Overall, usability is relatively simple, once you learn your way around the machine. Aside from the timer issue, I really don't have any major problems with it. I've used this machine for over 2 years, covering duties from French Press, to pressurized-basket espresso, to traditional basket espresso, and then back to press-only duty, and THEN drip-machine duty, and finally back around to press/pour-over/moka pot duty. I've even thrown in a few pots of Turkish coffee - and it could handle it all, until recently. In a recent cleaning, it became apparent that the burrs had just done all they're really going to do. It still grinds, but there's a higher occurrence of "fines" which leads to some brewing issues. The biggest problem here is that Breville only sells the top burr, and that for $40. I believe they're steel.

Bottom line, right now Baratza sells the Barista refurb (aka, a Maestro "Almost Plus" painted silver) for $80. Aside from having a remarkable grinder pedigree, they also sell more replacement parts at better prices. Your money is better spent elsewhere, but if you have one already or you can get a good deal on one of these, count on a couple years of solid performance.

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A few quick design notes - there's 1/2lb hopper up top, which rotates to make coarseness adjustments. At the very coarsest setting, it can vibrate out of the "grinding" mode and into the "removing the hopper" mode, which makes for a fun mess to clean. However, this coarsest setting is too coarse to be useful anyway.

There's a timer on the side that goes up to 30 seconds, which is very loose/easy to turn. It's very easy to lose that elusive "perfect" timer setting. I placed a sticker on the machine so that I could make non-permanent tick marks for my settings. The on-off button is beside the timer dial, which means even a careless button press could bump the timer up or down.

Adequately sized collection bin at the bottom (note: machine won't grind without the bin in place unless you manually press the safety button). Nice, hefty case design with stainless panels and black plastic. The operating controls and window for viewing grind settings are on one of the "wide" sides, and the grounds container slides in and out of an adjacent narrow side. This means you either have to have the machine sitting "wide" on the counter and be able to slide the grounds container out the side of it (meaning a good 5 inches of space to the left) or put it on the counter with the "narrow" side facing out, and use the controls as on the side of the machine. I think this could be done a lot better - all controls on the front along with the grounds container would be ideal.

Overall, usability is relatively simple, once you learn your way around the machine. Aside from the timer issue, I really don't have any major problems with it. I've used this machine for over 2 years, covering duties from French Press, to pressurized-basket espresso, to traditional basket espresso, and then back to press-only duty, and THEN drip-machine duty, and finally back around to press/pour-over/moka pot duty. I've even thrown in a few pots of Turkish coffee - and it could handle it all, until recently. In a recent cleaning, it became apparent that the burrs had just done all they're really going to do. It still grinds, but there's a higher occurrence of "fines" which leads to some brewing issues. The biggest problem here is that Breville only sells the top burr, and that for $40. I believe they're steel.

Bottom line, right now Baratza sells the Barista refurb (aka, a Maestro "Almost Plus" painted silver) for $80. Aside from having a remarkable grinder pedigree, they also sell more replacement parts at better prices. Your money is better spent elsewhere, but if you have one already or you can get a good deal on one of these, count on a couple years of solid performance.
Price
3.00 star(s)
Value
3.00 star(s)
Quality
4.00 star(s)
Packaging
4.00 star(s)
Durability
4.00 star(s)
xa_sc_review_field_title.fit_&_finish
4.00 star(s)

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