We all know that waking up to a disappointing cup of coffee is awful.
We also all know how important it is to have consistently ground coffee beans in order to extract the best flavours and aromas during the brewing process.
However, investing in coffee grinders for home use can be expensive, and even if you fork for a pricey one, you can’t be sure it will deliver the goods.
So, you may be wondering if cheaper options like the Bodum Bistro Coffee Grinder are worth your time.
In this review, we do a deep dive on the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder and take a look at its pros and cons, who it would be suitable for, and the best alternatives.
Overview of the Bodum Bistro Electric Grinder
This is the premium electric coffee grinder from Bodum, featuring stainless steel conical burrs rather than the slicing mechanism found on cheaper blade grinders.
This grinder has 12 grind settings which, according to Bodum, makes it suitable for any brewing method, from espresso to plunger coffee.
Bodum’s Bistro Coffee Grinder comes with a built-in measuring guide on the lid and a sealed bean container to keep your beans fresh.
If you like to keep your kitchen tidy you’ll appreciate the glass catcher that reduces static cling and preserves the taste of your coffee grounds.
It has a push-button control and a preset timer that allows you to grind the exact amount of coffee needed, so beans stay fresh and don’t go to waste.
Finally, this grinder also features a friction clutch. This is something often found on more high-end machines that protects the grinding gears from damage caused by tiny stones sometimes found in coffee beans.
How to use the Bodum Bistro Grinder
This electric coffee grinder from Bodum comes with a host of handy features that make it easy to use.
Simply add your favourite beans, turn the adjustment dial to your preferred coarseness, and then hit the power button.
Your beans will be ground in 5-20 seconds, depending on the setting you choose from the timer.
If you’re serious about your coffee, you should be serious about grind consistency.
The Bodum Bistro performs similarly to other grinders in this price range:
- Good, consistent grind size in the fine to medium range
- Ground sizes are less consistent at coarser sizes
- Not the best option if you will be brewing mostly espresso (although will do the job if using pressurized baskets)
However, all of this is to be expected for a grinder that retails for less than $100.
In testing conducted by Tech Gear Lab, they found the grind consistency to be satisfactory.
They concluded that “consistency stayed true across the entire grind size range, from coarse French press grinds down to very fine espresso grinds. However, like most non-specialized models, the finest setting on the Bistro is at the coarser end of the espresso range, so we wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a grinder to solely be used alongside a proper espresso machine.”
We wouldn’t recommend this if you’re looking for a grinder to solely be used alongside a proper espresso machine – Tech Gear Lab
What brew types is this grinder good for?
Because this grinder is less consistent at the extreme ends of the spectrum, it’s more suitable for brew methods that don’t use very fine (e.g. espresso) or very coarse (e.g. cold brew) grind sizes.
The Bodum bistro grinder would be great if you plan to brew:
Ease of use
The Bistro’s dual-function control panel is designed to make grinding your beans simple, even if you’re not yet a coffee pro.
Put the beans in the hopper and twist it to adjust the grind size.
Hit the power button on the side and set the timer dial from 1 to 20 seconds and hit the power button. Boom. You’re grinding.
For the most part, this is a fairly clean machine, but it does leave a small number of leftover grinds on the countertop.
The grinding ring and both containers can be removed for easy cleaning. Use a soft brush to clean the grinding ring, and use a damp cloth to wipe the inside of the coffee bean container and housing.
The ground coffee container and covered lid are dishwasher safe.
What do users think of this grinder?
Users generally speak very highly of this grinder, thanks to it being efficient, reliable, easy to use, and affordable.
There are, however, several issues that users have experienced, including:
- Stopping working
- Messy on finer grind settings
- Not ideal for espresso
Sunbeam EM0440 GrindFresh Coffee Grinder
Coming with only a slightly higher price tag, the Sunbeam EM0440 is a very popular entry level grinder.
Like the Bodum grinder, it features stainless steel, conical burrs to minimize heat transfer to your coffee and preserve the aromatic qualities within the beans.
The burr design in this Sunbeam grinder is based on the conical burr set of a Lux grinder, which is housed in plastic burr carriers.
But where it really stands above the Bodum is with its 25 different grind settings. Ranging from very fine to very coarse, these increments allow the user to more accurately dial in their brew.
The Sunbeam EM0440’s notched grind adjustment collar allows users to easily choose a coarser or finer setting by twisting from left to right.
It comes with a 250g hopper at the top of the machine, slightly larger than that found on the Bistro.
Sunbeam’s EM0440 has a grind direct to handle feature that allows users to fill their espresso handle or filter directly from the coffee shoot. Each Sunbeam grinder comes with handle adaptors of varying sizes so that most wand sizes can be accommodated.
Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder
While certainly not in the same price range as the Bistro, we would be remiss to not mention one of the most popular (and highly rated) entry-level grinders on the market.
We’ve been testing this grinder for many months and we can see why it has such a great reputation. It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and delivers consistent grinds every time.
Grind adjustment is easy, with numbers ranging from 0-40 (40 being the coarsest grind). Featuring a dial for automatic grinding and a button on the front for pulse grinding, the Baratza Encore coffee grinder offers convenience like no other.
What’s more, easy access to the burrs after removing the hopper makes cleaning the Encore easy.
Where to from here?
Still looking for the perfect coffee grinder?