If you’re looking for a way to improve your home coffee corner and channel your inner barista, then look no further than the Breville Smart Grinder Pro. Not only is this grinder lightning fast, but it’s also highly capable. It can function at more than sixty different grind settings ranging from percolator (coarse) to Turkish coffee (ultra-fine). The grinder comes with two portafilter cradles and a coffee canister, so no matter your style of brewing, this system is capable of grinding for it. While it is unbelievably easy to clean, the only major downside to this grinder is when you grind into the canister, occasionally the grounds will accumulate on the top of the canister due to a gap between the canister and the ground exit chute. However, at less than $200, it is priced perfectly to allow you to achieve coffeehouse quality grinding without the price tag of a coffeehouse Mazzer.
- Price is high for a non-speciality coffee brand, but more than reasonable when you consider the grind quality and Breville brand behind it.
- Consistent grind once it’s dialed-in
- 60 grind settings give this grinder incredible versatility—capable of grinding for any brewing method
- LCD screen is easy to read, and the layout is intuitive
- Electrical cord can wrap around base to reduce slack, and has hole in the plug to assist with removal from the wall
- The grind quality is fairly consistent, but tends to perform better at medium to fine grind levels. That said, it’s still capable of producing great coffee from coarse-ground methods such as French press.
- Static electricity buildup can cause grounds to stick to the inside of the ground coffee container or to the area of the grinder near the exit chute
- LCD screen lacks brightness settings and can be a bit painful to look at after crawling out of bed in the morning
Breville, long known for its absolutely astonishing suite of kitchen-related equipment, makes a strong case for itself in the craft coffee community with its addition of the Breville Smart Grinder. Boasting several color options—brushed stainless steel, cranberry red, sesame black—there’s a color guaranteed to match every coffee-lover’s kitchen.
The grinder comes with a bean hopper, ground coffee container, cleaning brush, and two cradles capable of holding an espresso machine portafilter between the sizes of 50-54mm and 58mm (industry standard).
The bean hopper is capable of holding over an entire pound of coffee (18 oz), which makes grinding for large brew quantities simple. However, as a note from a coffee enthusiast, you may want to avoid storing coffee in the hopper, since it loses potency when exposed to light and oxygen.
If you’d like to take your beans fresh, you should consider storing your coffee in a specialized container and scooping in your desired quantity just before you grind it.
The ground coffee container is ingeniously designed to list volumes in three different units, depending on the direction you screw the lid on. The container is beautifully designed such that the lid can be twisted on one of three ways. Depending on where you start twisting the lid into the container, the hole will line up with a different third of the container. Each side of the container is marked with different units for the coffee (cups, shots, etc.). This might not be useful if you grind what you need right before use, but for larger brew volumes (French press, Chemex, drip) it may be advantageous to fill the container.
One downside to the container is that it doesn’t perfectly line up with the exit chute of the grinder. As a result, there tends to be some grounds buildup on the lip of the container after an extended grind. Usually, it’s no more than 3-5 grams worth, and the surplus can be easily scraped into the container—though it does gradually contribute to the buildup of grounds in the grounds tray.
The grounds tray catches any spillage and is magnetic, which enables you to easily remove the tray and grounds without having to pick up your grinder and shake it upside-down like a lead piggy bank. This feature shows its brilliance when you overfill your portafilter and spill ground all over the tray.
The coffee scoop, made of a hard plastic and Breville branded, is the right size for scooping beans for an espresso shot (single or double), but becomes frustrating to use if trying to fill the bean hopper entirely. If your daily coffee M.O. requires grinding more than 20 grams of coffee, you may want to look into getting a larger scoop. All in all, it’s a sturdy design and serves its purpose.
The cleaning brush that comes with the grinder is made of a hard plastic and is Breville branded. It has very, very coarse bristles that don’t seem like they should be used to brush anything delicate. Luckily, the metal burr installed in the grinder is just the thing to use the ultra-coarse brush on. Over time, coffee grounds and oils will build up on the burrs internally and they will need to be brushed to ensure you continue to get high quality and consistent grinds. We recommend brushing the grinder out every month or so, but YMMV. If you’re neurotic like us, and want to ensure you avoid contamination of flavor profiles between coffee roasts, you’ll clean it out every time you grind a new batch of coffee. Be warned: you probably shouldn’t use this brush outside of the burr housing, for it will likely finish the alluring finish of your brand new grinder. In addition to the provided brush, we recommend you pick up an extra brush, this time a soft bristle one, so that you can clean up grinding in areas where the coarse brush may scratch the beautiful stainless steel (or cranberry/sesame) housing.
There are two portafilter cradles that come with this grinder. One can accept portafilters from 50-54mm in diameter and the other can accept 58mm portafilters. The former will cover just about any espresso machine on the market. The latter is the industry standard size of portafilter and is usually found in the higher-end home espresso machines. This flexibility enables you to keep the same coffee grinder as you upgrade your espresso game to the big leagues. Each of these portafilters contains an embedded magnet that mates to the grinder (underneath the grounds chute) with a satisfying ‘click’. This enables rapid changing between grinding into the portafilter for a morning latte and grinding into the coffee canister for an afternoon pour-over.
Over 60 different grind settings allow you to serve anything from percolator to Turkish coffee by simply adjusting the side dial. Unfortunately for all of you lefties out there, the dial is on the right-hand side, so you’ll have to get comfortable with your non-dominant hand. On the bright side, this mean you can place the portafilter with your left hand and adjust the dial with your right hand, so maybe this was actually designed with lefties in mind. There is also an adjustable upper burr that gives an additional 10 grind settings.