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Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 5:44pm
Subject: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

I know Breville is a dirty word around here, but their latest products have been getting great reviews and that includes the Breville Smart Grinder.  The product itself looks great and the price is really good too.

If you have any experience with this grinder, what is your opinion of it?

Edit:  This was supposed to go in the Espresso/Grinders forums.  It seems I followed a link about other grinders from that forum and ended up here....Since I don't want to cross post, can this thread please be moved?
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JPDyson
Senior Member
JPDyson
Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 417
Location: Durham, NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tc5
Drip: V60, Bonmac, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery II
Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 6:32pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

I had the Breville Conical Burr grinder for a solid 2 years before I started to notice a real dip in performance - the metal burrs just wore out, and $40 for a new top burr (no bottom burr available) was absurd. By contrast, Baratza sells a SET of burrs for less.

Breville sells some sexy equipment, but you do pay the Breville tax. I like the smart grinder on paper, I'm just concerned about longevity.

 
--Josh
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,866
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Tue May 24, 2011, 10:03pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

People who have these did post opinions in this thread:

"Does anybody know the new Breville BCG800 (Smart Grinder)?"

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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NickH
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Breville Smart...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 5:37am
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

I just got mine last week. It's a great all-around grinder - I do mostly espresso with some Aeropress and the occasional drip. It goes fine enough for my La Pavoni Europiccola (with a little updosing) right out of the box and maintains good consistency all the way down to drip grind. I'll be putting one of the smaller shims I ordered from them (for free) on the drive shaft to give myself a little wiggle room at the fine end - not a big deal, a five minute job from what I've seen.

I can understand the concern with longevity - it probably won't outlast a Mazzer, the motor sounds like it struggles a little more than it probably should. But for the $175CDN that I got it for, I could get a new one every 2 years for 6 years and be just equal to a Mazzer :P Plus, it's far more attractive than most of the dedicated espresso grinders out there - very small footprint and very quiet too. It doesn't dwarf my La Pavoni and it doesn't look like I'm trying to run a cafe out of my house!
Really intelligible grind size selection too - it provides step increments through the LCD, but isn't technically stepped - the grinder just takes a reading of where the burrs are on the continuum from far-apart to close-together, so it is possible to go between "steps".
Last thing: it does clump, which isn't uncommon for doserless home grinders, so it might require the WDT or grinding into a container. I grind into a little glass, stir and then dose just because the LP has such a small basket (49mm) that I made a mess when stirring in the basket. Not a big deal, also disperses whatever static there might be (haven't noticed any yet though).

Great option in my opinion. If you have any questions, let me know. I had trouble finding some decent consumer reviews before I took the leap.

 
---------------------------------
Pre-millennium Europiccola, Kyocera grinder, Joie Cafe-In (single-cup drip)
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psychobrew
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2011
Posts: 93
Location: Maryland
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 6:37am
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

Please excuse my ignorance, but what's wrong with clumping?
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NickH
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Breville Smart...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 6:51am
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

If the coffee is not "de-clumped" somehow, it can lead to uneven distribution in the basket and an uneven tamp. This can result in channeling and uneven extraction. In other words, some parts of the coffee "puck" will be more or less extracted which can lead to unpleasant amounts of bitter or sour notes in the coffee.

Clumping can be resolved using the WDT (Weiss Distribution Technique) which simply involved stirring the grinds with a pin/needle to de-clump and distribute the grinds or grinding into a separate container and breaking the clumps there before moving to the basket.

Clumping is very common in home machines, partially because many are doserless (that's one of the major purposes of dosers) and because they're usually not as powerful as commercial machines. Some of the really high end machines employ a mesh-wire net between the grinding chamer and the exit chute to declump (Mazzer Mini-e) and some machines clump more than others - it's often a factor of the length of the chute and the speed of the burrs.

If clumping is the biggest problem in your home setup though, you're doing alright! :)

Hope this helps.

 
---------------------------------
Pre-millennium Europiccola, Kyocera grinder, Joie Cafe-In (single-cup drip)
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JPDyson
Senior Member
JPDyson
Joined: 12 Apr 2011
Posts: 417
Location: Durham, NC
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tc5
Drip: V60, Bonmac, Chemex
Roaster: Behmor, Poppery II
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 12:42pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

Seattle Coffee Gear says it's not an espresso grinder (not fine enough). Perhaps there's a simple mod - that was the case for the Conical Burr grinder (allowed finer settings) but I never really used it with a non-pressurized basket with success.

Edit: I see their update w/the shim kit.

 
--Josh
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NickH
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Breville Smart...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 12:49pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

Read my post above and watch SCG's other video on the shimmed upgrade (it chokes a Rocket Giotto - not exactly a common comsumer machine:P). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8piBChRggPM This is a completely different grinder than the conical burr that you're talking about too; the burrs are larger and they've added a more powerful motor, among other things.

 
---------------------------------
Pre-millennium Europiccola, Kyocera grinder, Joie Cafe-In (single-cup drip)
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JtothaR
Senior Member
JtothaR
Joined: 20 Dec 2010
Posts: 683
Location: Albuquerque, NM
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Faema D92/A1 Smart
Grinder: B VARIO, Krups Conic
Drip: Manual Pour-Over, Bodum...
Roaster: Redbird, Metropolis
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 2:17pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

NickH Said:

(it chokes a Rocket Giotto - not exactly a common comsumer machine:P)

Posted May 25, 2011 link

Choking a machine is not really a measure of grinder quality.

-James

 
Load and Lock.
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NickH
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Sep 2009
Posts: 49
Location: New Brunswick, Canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Breville Smart...
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Wed May 25, 2011, 2:21pm
Subject: Re: Does anyone have a Breville Smart Grinder?
 

It is a measure of fineness, which is one attribute of grinder quality. I spoke to many of the others in my first post above. The fact that it can grind fine enough to choke a semi-commercial machine simply demonstrates that it is capable of a fine enough grind for any home setup.

Not sure I ever made the statement: this grinder can choke a Giotto, ergo, it is of high quality :P

 
---------------------------------
Pre-millennium Europiccola, Kyocera grinder, Joie Cafe-In (single-cup drip)
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