Pros:Reliable, convenient features, good quality grinding
Cons:Very messy for fine grinds, difficult to cleanly transfer grounds to the coffee maker
If you use heavily roasted coffee, with a lot of surface oil (expresso and french roast), here's three important things that you should take into account before buying this grinder. These defects add up to a perpetual mess of escaped grounds on your counter:
Recommend this product?
(1) The burr's grinding friction apparently creates static electricity, so that fine grounds "jump" out of the grounds receptacle when you lift the lid, or take the receptacle off the grinder. These grounds adhere to the body of the grinder (which seems to have an opposite charge, or fall onto the counter. (I had the predecessor Braun grinder, which is no longer available, which never had this problem.)
(2) When using an oily coffee bean (which is typical of freshly roasted coffee beans) the discharge vent of the grinder (leading into the grounds receptacle) very quickly clogs with grounds. Braun apparently realized this, and "helpfully" provided a plastic spoon that has a specially shaped handle that is designed to clean out the discharge vent - of course, it would have been much, much better to redesign the machine so this was not a problem. (Again, the predecessor Braun grinder did not have such a problem with this - yes it needed to be cleared out once in a while, but not every day!)
(3) Because of the two above-mentioned defects, when the grounds receptacle is removed from the machine to dump it directly into your coffee filter, grounds will fall out of the hole in the receptacle that the discharge vent feeds into, and the out of the discharge vent, onto the base of the machine and onto your counter. Braun apparently realized this too, and disingenuously attempting to make a virtue of a vice, suggests how convenient it is to use the plastic spoon provided to scoop the coffee from the receptacle to your waiting filter. (Oh, how I long for the ease on the earlier model with which the grounds could be transferred directly to the filter - slip the receptacle off the grinder, tap it on the counter, take off the lid and turn it upside down into the filter.)
Bottom line: I always have coffee grounds on my counter each the morning. I was a devoted user of the predecessor Braun model for (I went though two of them in 15 years, making coffee at least once a day), and I was very disappointed with the new model. I recommended the earlier version to everyone, but I would not recommend this model to friends. I am not familiar with other manufacturer's competing products, but it seems that someone could do better than this.
If you don't grind a heavily roasted coffee (I typically grind Starbucks French Roast), or you use a course grind, maybe these defects will not be such a problem. But I would not bet on it. If you can abide the messiness of this grinder, there are a few good things that did carryover from the old grinder (with a little improvement):
(a) The bean feeder canister continues to work well, and is conveniently large so you don't have to put in new beans every day.
(b) The burr grinding action works well, and produces a good range of granule sizes.
(c) The variable quantity selector (a dial controlling how long the grinder runs when you start it) is very convenient.
(d) This model is not as loud than the earlier model, but it still is not quiet. (Why doesn't Braun insulate the housing better - such a loud noise in the morning is unpleasantly jarring before I've had my coffee, and my spouse, who is still in bed, hates it. Of course I could grind the coffee the night before, but doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of having your own grinder?)
(e) This grinder was reasonably priced, and I expect that this model will live up to my prior experience with Braun grinders that they will last for a long time - unfortunately, in this case because of the mess it makes, I now view that as a mixed blessing.
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