An Honest Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro Review

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

Struggling to find an impressive electric coffee grinder that can grind for any brewing method? It can be agonizing looking at grinder after grinder, trying to find the right one for you. Your time is precious and you need something that will work now.

The Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro is exactly what you’ve been looking for. It’s the only grinder you’ll ever need again, because it gives an even grind for espresso, percolator, drip filter or french press.

It’s got plenty of features, including:

  • hardened stainless steel conical burrs for an even grind,
  • 60 different precision grind settings all the way from espresso to plunger,
  • automatic or manual grinding,
  • dosing IQ technology,
  • an LCD backlit display, and
  • a 1 year limited warranty.

Watch this video for a brief overview.

Let’s look at some of the features closer up.

Features Of The Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Accessories:

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro comes with a handful of essential accessories. These will help you with grinding, cleaning and storing your coffee and include:

  • Two different sized portafilter cradles
    • Make grinding into your espresso machine portafilter super easy.
    • Never spill coffee grounds on your kitchen counter again!
  • An impressive grinds container with a lid and sealing cap
    • Stores your ground coffee and keeps it delicious and fresh.
    • Why not grind some extra now, if you know you’re going to need it later?
  • A simple cleaning brush for cleaning the conical burrs
    • Keep the burrs from getting dirty.
    • Everyone will appreciate how delicious your coffee is if you keep your grinder clean.

The bean hopper:

Starting from the top of the Smart Grinder Pro, you have the huge 18oz removable bean hopper. Some of the benefits are:

  • Keep your beans as fresh as possible with the air-tight seal lid.
  • No more spilling coffee beans everywhere! Transferring your beans from the hopper to a storage container is painless. This is thanks to the brilliant easy-to-use locking mechanism.
  • Avoid damaging the grinder thanks to its impressive safety mechanism. This stops the grinder if it’s not in the correct position. The LCD screen shows the message “PLEASE LOCK HOPPER” when this happens.

The LCD display and controls:

Know exactly which settings you’ve selected by looking at the backlit LCD screen. Adjusting these stupid-simple settings will help you get the perfect grind every time. These include:

  • grind coarseness,
  • grind time,
  • amount of shots or cups to grind, and
  • the grind size.

You can change these settings can by using the following controls:

Grind Amount/Program button

  • Achieve the perfect grind every time thanks to Dosing IQ Technology.
  • Adjusts the grind time in increments of 0.2 of a second.
  • Save your favorite grind settings by pressing and holding this button.

Shots/Cups button

  • Adjust the number of shots or cups.
  • See the table below for the greatest number of shots/cups per method.
Brew methodEspressoPercolatorDrip filterPlunger
Grind settingFineMediumMedium coarseCoarse
Grind size1-3031-4546-5455-60
Amount1 up to 8 shots1 up to 12 cups1 up to 12 cups1 up to 12 cups

 

Start/Pause/Cancel button

  • Start, pause or cancel the grind.
  • Press and hold this button for an effortless manual grind.

Grind Size dial

  • Adjusts the size of the grind from coarse to fine.
  • Found on the side of the machine

Adjustable burrs

To get the most out of your Breville Smart Grinder Pro, you can adjust the upper burr to extend the grind range. This gives you even more control in grinding for any brewing method.

It’s a simple process that you can do without the use of any tools. The operating manual shows how to do it in detail.


Click this image to see it on Amazon.

Smart Grind Pro Specifications

Included accessoriesPortafilter cradle – small – 50-54mm
Portafilter cradle – large – 58mm
Grinds container with lid and sealing cap
Conical burr cleaning brush
Capacity18 ounces
Construction materialsStainless steel housing
Stainless steel conical burrs
Dimensions8.50 X 6.00 X 15.50 inches
Weight6.40 lbs
Grinding mechanismStainless steel conical burr grinder efficiently designed to minimise grinding heat and protect the essential oils in the coffee bean
Power165 Watts
Settings60 precise grind settings from the finest espresso to the coarsest french press grind
Voltage110 – 120 volts
Warranty1 Year Limited Product Warranty

 

If you want to go into more detail, you can view the user manual and user guide.

Cleaning And Maintenance

Cleaning your Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro often will help to get consistent grinds. It should also increase the lifespan of your machine.

Follow these proven tips to keep your grinder running like new:

  • Remove the top burr and brush with your included brush to remove any coffee grounds.
  • Brush the lower burr inside the grinder with your brush to loosen any coffee grounds.
  • Use your vacuum cleaner to vacuum up any of the loose grounds inside the grinder.
  • Use a residue cleaner like Grindz. This removes any coffee residue and oils that build-up in the grinder over time.
  • Don’t put any parts in the dishwasher. Instead, wash the parts and accessories in warm soapy water. Use a soft sponge instead of anything abrasive, such as scourers or steel wool.

Why Should You Buy A Burr Coffee Grinder?

There are many genuine reasons why you should buy a burr coffee grinder, such as the Breville bcg820bss. These include:

  • Low Noise:
    • They’re low-noise, as they operate at a low RPM.
    • They’re the perfect coffee grinder for your home.
    • You won’t wake people up grinding your coffee in the morning.
  • Low Heat:
    • Operating at a low RPM, they produce less heat.
    • The low heat is less disruptive to the natural oils in the coffee beans.
    • This makes for a more delicious brew.
  • The Grind:
    • You’ll get a more consistent grind.
    • This means the best extraction when brewing.
    • You, your friends and your family will LOVE your coffee!
  • Control:
    • With most, you can adjust the grind size.
    • This gives you powerful control and freedom of grind choice.
    • You can grind for espresso, percolator, drip or french press coffee.
See price on Amazon

What Are Other People Saying?

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro has thousands of reviews on Amazon. Most of these reviews are amazing, saying things like:

  • I’m glad I spent a little extra on this rather than buying a cheaper model.
  • It’s an amazing grinder for its price.
  • I would definitely buy another Smart Grinder Pro.
  • Being able to grind into the filter basket makes it super easy.
  • I wanted an awesome grind consistency and this grinder delivers.
  • You can’t go wrong with this grinder if you want a great tasting coffee at home.
  • Best. Grinder. Ever.

Check out the price and the reviews on Amazon now, from other people who have bought it.

Who Should Buy The Smart Grinder Pro?

The Breville bcg820bssxl Smart Grinder Pro is best suited to someone who:

  • Wants a coffee grinder that is quick and easy to use,
  • Uses a variety of grinds, for espresso, percolator, drip and french press,
  • Doesn’t want to wake up the neighborhood when grinding, and
  • Doesn’t mind paying a little bit extra than a basic electric blade coffee grinder.

If this is you, order this from Amazon now.

Conclusion

Have you purchased the Smart Grinder Pro or have a different grinder to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!

The 5 Best Hand Grinders For AeroPress Greatness

If you’re looking for the best hand grinder for AeroPress, there’s a wide variety of options available. But you don’t want just any hand grinder, as they can range dramatically in price, size, quality and ability.

It’s also worth choosing a hand grinder that will compliment the features of the AeroPress. In particular, it should be:

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Fast
  • Portable
  • Lightweight

There’s a lot of great hand grinders out there, but in this post, I’ll just be focusing on some that are most suitable for use with the AeroPress.

If you haven’t yet done any research on suitable hand grinders, you can relax. I’ve done the research and now present to you my list of the best hand grinders for AeroPress.

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

Features

So what do you need to look for when choosing a suitable hand grinder for the AeroPress? The appeal of the AeroPress itself relies on certain key features, aside from the great coffee that it makes.

Therefore, if you want the best hand grinder for the AeroPress, you should choose a grinder that compliments the features of the AeroPress. It should be portable, compact, light weight, fast and durable.

Now let’s take a look at each of these features as they relate to hand grinders.

Portability

If you’re using an AeroPress already, I’m sure you appreciate how easily portable it is. You can take it with you anywhere: camping, the office, your friend’s house, interstate/overseas travel, and so on.

You’ll want an equally portable grinder that can travel with you anywhere that you would normally bring your AeroPress.

Compact

Little space is taken up by the AeroPress when it’s not being used. Likewise, a small or compact grinder will suit you well. Perhaps you can choose a grinder that fits inside the AeroPress.

Lightweight

The AeroPress is one of the lightest coffee makers around. If you intend on doing any sort of travel with your coffee making setup, it’ll be best to choose a grinder that’s not big and heavy.

Speed

Speed is one of the greatest features of the AeroPress. Make sure the grinder you choose can produce a grind at the size you need within a similar one to two minute window.

You don’t want to be grinding away for five to ten minutes to make one or two coffees.

Durable

Similar to the AeroPress, owning a grinder that can handle a bump here and there and not fall apart is necessary.

If you’re using it for home use, this may not be as much of a concern for you. But then again, if you plan to travel with your setup, this becomes essential.

More than likely, you’ll want a grinder that’s going to last.

A close up of one of the 5 best hand grinders for AeroPress, the Porlex Mini, disassembled with all the parts shown.
Porlex Mini hand grinder flickr photo by skinnydiver shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Best Hand Grinders for AeroPress Greatness Features

Now, we’re going to take a look at the JavaPresse, Vevok Chef, Hario Slim Pro, Timemore Chestnut C2 and Porlex Mini hand grinders in detail.

JavaPresse

The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder has some appeal in the eyes of AeroPress users, as it compliments most of the features of the AeroPress quite well.

It’s compact enough to fit neatly inside the AeroPress, which also makes it portable.

There are no visual cues as to what grind setting is selected, so if you’re likely to change the setting for different brewing, you’ll need to go to the finest setting first and then count the clicks as you get coarser.

There are 18 different grind settings available, giving you lots of control over your grind. The most suitable setting for the AeroPress is medium to medium fine (4 – 9 clicks).

However, because there are no visual cues, you need to remember how many clicks you have turned it from the finest position.

Overall, it operates at a decent speed and can grind 20 grams of coffee for AeroPress in about one minute.

However, some users have reported it taking between five and ten minutes to produce a grind for espresso as well as producing an inconsistent grind.

Due to its small size, it’s relatively lightweight, which also adds to the portable aspect.

There are mixed reports about how durable it is, but most reports suggest that it’s not as durable as expected and can have parts break after not too much use.

With that being said, their customer service is top-notch and there are many examples found online of people receiving whole replacement grinders when theirs has broken.

Cleaning the JavaPresse is reportedly a minor issue for some people. The team at JavaPresse have put together a short video showing you exactly how to clean their grinder.

You can watch it here or below.

Pros:

  • 18 different grind settings
  • Fits inside the AeroPress chamber for easy portability
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Grind adjustment doesn’t have visual cue for settings
  • Grind receptacle attached to bottom of grinder can sometimes fall off
  • Some reports of parts breaking after some use
  • Inconsistent grind quality
  • Some reports of difficulty cleaning
See price on Amazon

Vevok Chef

The Vevok Chef Manual Burr Coffee Grinder is a budget stainless steel burr grinder, but is definitely great value for what you get, as it produces a consistent grind.

At 2 inches wide (with the handle removed), it fits inside the AeroPress, making it compact and portable.

It provides 6 different grind settings, with the recommended setting for AeroPress being about 2 – 3. You will need to hold the adjustment ring while grinding, as it does have a tendency to shift settings while grinding.

One grind (20g) is enough for one AeroPress coffee, however the glass receptacle can hold enough coffee for two grinds (48g)

Being a stainless steel burr grinder, its speed is quite fast and you should be able to get a finished grind under a minute.

Its overall weight is just under 1 lb, so it’s definitely lightweight.

It is durable as it has a stainless steel body, handle and burr. However, the glass receptacle at the bottom that catches the ground coffee can break.

Replacement glass receptacles for this grinder are available for purchase on Amazon, but I’d recommend first reaching out to the seller, as there have been reports of them providing a replacement receptacle free-of-charge, and in some cases, two.

Pros:

  • Great value for a stainless steel burr grinder
  • Consistent grind at all settings
  • Fast grind
  • Great customer service

Cons:

  • Grind setting can change while grinding
  • Glass receptacle could break
See price on Amazon

Hario Mini Slim, Pro, Black

This is a ceramic burr grinder, but being made by a known brand like Hario, you can expect it to be decent.

The grind receptacle can hold about 30g of grounds and the hopper can hold about 40g of beans.

There are no visual cues as to what grind setting is selected. This is a minor annoyance if you’re likely to change the setting for different brewing often.

You’ll need to go to the finest setting first and then count the clicks as you get coarser. AeroPress is good at around 4 – 9 clicks.

While the Hario Mini Slim Pro is compact, unfortunately, it’s not compact enough to fit inside the AeroPress.

This is mainly due to its wide-mouth hopper, which does however have the benefit of reducing the chance of spilling any beans.

It’s quite lightweight, weighing in at just under 1 pound, which contributes to its portability also.

Its speed is good, taking a couple of minutes to grind about 20g. This falls slightly outside the time range you’d be hoping for to match the AeroPress, but not necessarily a deal breaker.

There’s definite quality here and it seems as though it’s durable and built to last. However, many, many users have stated that the bottom receptacle has a tendency to separate from the grinder when being used.

One of the issues with this, is that the instructions state that you shouldn’t operate the grinder if it’s not in the correct position.

This can be difficult to achieve while grinding and seems to be a common point of frustration among its users.

Pros:

  • Wide mouth hopper reduces beans spilling
  • Lightweight and portable – just under 1 pound
  • Decent speed – about 2 minutes for 20g

Cons:

  • Many reports of design flaws in regards to receptacle attachment
  • Receptacle may need to be held when grinding to stop it falling off
  • Grind adjustment doesn’t have visual cue for settings
  • Doesn’t fit inside the AeroPress
See price on Amazon

Timemore Chestnut C2

The Timemore Chestnut C2 is a quality grinder at the bottom end of the premium price scale. All user reports suggest that it should receive more recognition than it gets for being such a great grinder.

Apparently, all Timemore grinders use the same internal parts and same stainless steel burrs, with the exception of titanium coated burrs available on some models.

The hopper can hold about 20g of beans and the bottom receptacle screws into the grinder, so no concerns about it accidentally falling off while grinding.

With a stainless steel burr, it’s definitely fast and made to last. The body is made from aluminium and is very durable.

There are no visual cues as to what grind setting is selected, so if you’re likely to change the setting for different brewing, you’ll need to go to the finest setting first and then count the clicks as you get coarser.

It’s very fast, with the ability to grind even turkish coffee quickly. However, some users suggest not even using it for espresso at all, with the risk of damaging the burrs on the finer settings.

The owner manual itself states not to grind below 6 clicks to protect the burr sharpness.

The speed for producing a grind for the AeroPress (around 15 -20 clicks) would definitely be under a minute.

It’s lightweight, weighing in at 1.58 lb, which makes it portable.

It’s quite slim and compact, but if you’re looking for a Timemore hand grinder that can fit inside the AeroPress chamber for easy travel, look at the Timemore Chestnut Slim or Timemore Nano.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel burr grinder
  • Very consistent and fast grind
  • Great quality build
  • Overwhelmingly positive reviews

Cons:

  • Not recommended by some for espresso
  • Grind adjustment doesn’t have visual cue for settings
See price on Amazon

Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder

The Porlex Mini Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder is a ceramic burr grinder. However, it’s on the upper price range for the ceramic burr grinders.

There are no visual cues as to what grind setting is selected, so if you’re likely to change the setting for different brewing, you’ll need to go to the finest setting first and then count the clicks as you get coarser.

For AeroPress, you’d want to go to about 10 clicks.

The speed seems good. Most AeroPress users report being able to produce a good grind within a minute or two.

This is a tiny grinder and definitely the most compact of the grinders being reviewed here. It easily fits inside the AeroPress. Being as tiny as it is, it can hold about 24g of coffee beans.

Weighing in at just 8 oz, it’s the most lightweight by far. Because of this, it’s also portable and perfect for travel.

There was an updated model released about 2017 to resolve an issue with the grinder handle coming off while grinding, which does seem to have resolved this issue.

It’s made in Japan, so you can expect it to be well made, although there are mixed reports about its durability.

If this concerns you, it comes with a 7 year warranty (which is unfortunately not offered to purchases made via Amazon), but you may not even need it.

Some users report using it for more than 8 years without any issues at all. That sounds pretty durable to me.

Pros:

  • Made in Japan – expect good quality
  • Very compact and fits neatly inside the AeroPress
  • Very lightweight

Cons:

  • Grind adjustment doesn’t have visual cue for settings
  • Will only grind enough for one coffee at a time
See price on Amazon

Conclusion

Considering that we’re looking here for the best hand grinders for AeroPress greatness and not the best hand grinders overall, I can see that one grinder stands above the rest, but only slightly.

The Porlex Mini is the hand grinder that compliments the features of the AeroPress the most and in my opinion is the most suitable choice here.

It was a close call between the Porlex Mini and the Timemore Chestnut C2, though, so if you were not completely sold on the Porlex Mini, I’d go for the Timemore Chestnut C2.

Have you tried any of these grinders yourself? Have you got a different hand grinder that you’d like to recommend for using with the AeroPress? Let me know in the comments below.

Best Coffee Grinder For Camping

There’s nothing more I enjoy doing in the warmer months than loading the car with all the necessary camping gear and driving for a few hours with the kids to one of our favourite camping destinations.

It’s great to just get away from everything and spend some quality time with the family and friends as well.

No doubt you’ll be bringing some coffee with you when you go camping.

The best option is always to grind your beans fresh, because you’ll appreciate the aroma from the fresh grind, as well as the taste, compared to pre-ground coffee (or instant coffee, but who drinks instant, right?).

There’s many possible options for coffee grinders, but what’s the best coffee grinder for camping? Let’s take a look.

A hand coffee grinder for camping with some coffee beans

Best cheap coffee grinder for camping

Disclosure: Some of these links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost, I earn a commission if you buy which helps to maintain this website.

World Barista Champion (2007) James Hoffman knows a thing or two about coffee and reviewed a handful of hand coffee grinders.

You can watch the full video here or below.

It’s definitely worth watching the video to get a better understanding of why each grinder received the score that it did.

Here’s the scores that he gave each grinder for price, build, portability, usability and grind quality.

At the time of writing this, the Henry Charles coffee grinder is unavailable for purchase from Amazon, so I haven’t included it on this list.

It’s worth mentioning that although the Porlex Mini got the highest score, it also has the smallest capacity.

Not a deal breaker, but worth mentioning, as you may be looking for a larger capacity coffee grinder.

The best premium coffee grinder for camping

If you enjoyed James’ video above, but would like to get a coffee grinder that’s better quality and don’t mind spending a bit extra for it, he reviewed a few more premium hand coffee grinders.

He even carried over the winning Porlex Mini from the last video to see how it compares to the more premium models.

The coffee grinders reviewed in this video are:

In the end, James’ pick was the Kinu M47, but he stresses several times that it’s very expensive.

What makes a coffee grinder suitable for camping?

Woman sitting at campsite with a cup of coffee

There’s various factors to consider when trying to find a suitable coffee grinder for camping, such as:

  • size,
  • easy to take apart and store,
  • durability,
  • electric or manual,
  • capacity,
  • brewing method and
  • consistency of grind.

We’ll quickly look at each of these points and why you should consider each of them before making a purchase.

Size

You’ll want something that is small and compact. When you’re camping, space is a big issue and any space that you can save is worth saving.

Choosing a coffee grinder that is compact will save room in your car for other belongings. There’s a variety of small coffee grinders available, but they may not all fit the category of best coffee grinder for camping.

Easy to take apart and store

It’s important to make sure that you can easily take apart your coffee grinder and store it in a way that will see that it doesn’t get damaged.

For instance, most hand coffee grinders will allow you to remove the handle, so it can be stored quite easily.

Durability

Considering you’ll be packing the coffee grinder into your car with a lot of your other gear and it may get pretty full, durability should also be looked at.

Avoid choosing a coffee grinder that has any parts that can easily be broken or seem fragile.

Electric or manual

Unless you go camping with a powered caravan or you have some solar panels to use for an electric coffee grinder, you’ll want a manual coffee grinder.

You might hear these referred to as “manual coffee grinders”, “hand coffee grinders”, or even “hand crank coffee grinders” – they’re all the same thing.

Hand coffee grinders are also likely to be more compact and easier to take apart than electric coffee grinders.

Capacity

This one’s more up to you. Coffee grinders come with various grinding capacities, so you’ll need to think about your specific needs.

Do you want to be making a large grind for a few people, or is it going to be just for yourself?

Again, thinking about the size of the coffee grinder, in my opinion, the more compact the better.

Grind size

Are you going to be using the coffee grinder for various brewing methods or just one?

If it’s for various methods, you’ll want a coffee grinder that can be easily adjusted for different grinds to suit the different brewing methods.

When I go camping, I bring my AeroPress coffee maker. Read my review to find out more about the AeroPress.

Consistency of grind

While this may not be directly applicable to camping, you should always consider choosing a coffee grinder that gives a consistent grind.

Overall, it will produce a better brew and a more enjoyable cup of coffee for you.

Conclusion

The best coffee grinder for you may not be the best coffee grinder for someone else. Everybody is going to have different needs when choosing the right coffee grinder.

Hopefully I’ve been able to show you enough options to help you make an informed decision.

Have you tried any of these coffee grinders yourself or have I left out a coffee grinder for camping that you’d like to recommend? Let me know in the comments below.

Stay caffeinated!