Pros: Easy to use, nice automatic features, consistent grind sizes.
Cons: The receiving container is not perfectly fitted, more expensive.
Right off the bat is claims “fully automatic”,”Better Tasting coffee” due to uniform shape, and “The right grind “ by giving you 18 grind settings.
I bought this for three reasons. The first is the name...Cuisinart. I really enjoyed their coffee makers that I used before doing my french press thing. Secondly it was at Costco and I trust the Costco will not put a bad product on their shelves (and for the most part that is true.). Third it was a burr grinder. I wanted a burr grinder for quite some time now. This is so my coffee grounds will be uniform and I don't have to filter out my coffee after using the french press (if I have time to do that.)
What you get
Top Hopper 1/2 pound coffee storage.
The grinding unit.
A ground coffee housing.
An attached cord with manuel cord storage on the bottom.
A coffee scoop with brush at the back end.
How it works
This is the coolest thing, once you set the cup number the grind level and number of cups, you just press a button and it does the rest. Nothing can be easier. The grinder had a very high range of grinding sizes that anyone I can think of would be pleased with the result. You control the grind size by twist the top hopper unit 180 degrees for different size coffee grounds. You control the amount of coffee ground dispensed by moving a slider on the top of the main unit (in front of the hopper). It can grind enough beans for 4-18 cups (depending on where you set it of course.)
You put the beans in a top hopper that holds up to 1/2 pounds of coffee at a time (actually it can hold more.) The seal is poor so you might want to consider only putting 1/4 pound of coffee at a time if you are obsessed with freshness and have sealed containers.
Are the grind numbers accurate?
As any coffee fanatic knows there is not such thing as a perfect amount of coffee. Yes there are definitely a lot of no no's like not grinding enough coffee because of a bad bitter taste will result and over usage wastes coffee and may or may not produced the desired flavor. The first thing I did was to brew it at 6 cups of coffee ground which I have found to be best with my glass coffee press in the past. I know I will be adjusting this for testing purposes as we go, I did 7 this morning and I will stick with 7 or 8 from now on).
When I did one of my first tests I went ahead and measured out the coffee and found out that the grinder put out the perfect number of scoops (6 at that test). So right away I'm impressed with its accuracy.
Just a warning, you will need to spend some time adjusting both the grind level and the amount of coffee pumped on. The only way to do this is trial and error because we will always have different tastes. So far I'm finding that I like 7 or 8 for my settings. Yes it is more coffee but the coffee is coarsely ground, perfectly for the french press.
I also wanted to see how much residue my paper filter could extract. On my first few trials I am still filtering it with a coffee filter and I have noticed that the lower the grind the lower amount of residue in the filter. But there was residue in my paper coffee filter, even at the coarsest level. Well I was in a rush Friday and just made two batches, quickly brewed, plunged, poured into my stainless steel containers, rinse and repeat, and went to work. I used the coarsest level and made 6 cup per pressing. I drank it like normal and noticed that the residue was very very minute. It did not interfere with the coffee drinking experience like my old coffee grinder did. Yippee, I don't have to filter my coffee twice any more. Plus a little body is nice.
I'm mixed on the 1/2 pound hopper. It isn't vacuum sealed or anything like that so some air can get in. But from the looks of it very little air will. The lid does not have a silicon ring but it also doesn't move once placed on the top by gravity. So I see some designed changes could be made with the hopper but for the most part I'm not concerned.
Ergonomics and ease of use.
The hopper is conical which makes the filling of it very easy. The buttons and swivel cylinder are easy to use.
My major complaint is the ground coffee container is not easy to get in and out. The start button is too easily hit. The cord storage system is a joke and not very useful.
Who is this for?
Any coffee freak that want fresh beans ground in a consistent fashion.
There are more expensive ones out there made with better materials. If you have the money then go for it. But for those coffee freaks that are on a budget, this is a great option.
You other option is to have them ground at the store (which means the flavors in the beans are starting to lose it before you even leave the store.)
Or you can do what I have done in the past and use a blender type contraption that unevenly grinds the beans. The advantage is you grind them immediately to retain freshness and the unit is inexpensive (great for grinding spices too.) This results in different size pieces and some of the bean flavor cannot be extracted because the beans are too big. The smallest pieces from this grinder will go straight through the mesh of a french press.
I obviously choose this option because of the consistent grind is freshness factor freshly ground beans provide.
The unit is a bit messy. The connection between the ground coffee storage and the main unit is not perfectly sealed. So some coffee dust gets out on the unit and the counter around it. It is very easy to clean up with a damp towel. Something they definitely need to work on for the next generation. You probably want to brush off the gearing and around the entrance and exit holes every couple of weeks with the brush supplied on the coffee scooper.
Great question. Someone remind me in year to update this. So far nothing has broken or failed. And I have had good luck with Cuisinart in the past.
Your normal 120 volt socket
Weight and dimensions
Weight empty: 3lb, 9 3/8 ounces
Depth: 7 inches
Width: 5 inches
Height: 11 inches
Capacity: little over 1/2 pound
So it is a small enough unit to fit under a cabinet but a little big if space is an issue. (like in a small home or R.V. But worth it for me.)
A burr grinder is for someone that needs their beans ground fresh and ground evenly. No other home device that I know of can do this (except another burr grinder). If you love coffee then you are passionate about getting the freshest beans and grinding them right before brewing. This is a tool I have been wanting for a long time and I am so glad that I did buy it. It is far superior to my cylindrical blender-like blade grinder.My only concern is durability but we can only wait and see on that part. My other Cuisinart tools have lasted a long time for me in the past and it is a name I trust.
© Common Loon Productions
Other reviews you might be interested in.
Chambord french press
GSI French press
My old Mr. Coffee grinder
List of my coffee reviews