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Bodum Antigua Grinder - Simon Hall's Review
Posted: June 27, 2007, 6:25pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Bodum Antigua Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Bodum Antigua Grinder has 37 Reviews
Arrow The Bodum Antigua Grinder has been rated 6.64 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Bodum Antigua Grinder reviews have been viewed 174,281 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Joel Schulz 9.50
Jeff Greenberg 9.00
Thomas Bafia 9.00
Vic Lam 8.00
Brian Browder 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.6
Product Reviewed: Antigua
Manufacturer: Bodum Quality: 7
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $150.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: Harvey Norman Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Breville bean basher
Bottom Line: The metal-bodied version (tweaked) is just fine.
Positive Product Points

Sturdy construction - I have the cast (zinc? aluminium?) one
Large bean hopper

Negative Product Points

Didn't grind fine enough without intervention
Not particularly easy to clean the innards

Detailed Commentary

I think most of the adverse reviews for this thing are for the plastic-bodied version.  Bodum seems to have recognised an issue here and produced a cast metal, chrome-plated version.  It's quite solid and heavy.

I bought it several months before I got an espresso machine, so initially I was using it for french press - ie relatively coarse grounds.  The static in the collection bin was an issue for a while, until I had washed it a few times.  Note that in NZ many appliances (and all wall sockets) use an earthing pin, so having the metal body earthed may help.

When I came to grind for espresso, the consistency was good, and ok-ish for my machine (because it came with a pressurised portafilter).  After I got hold of an unpressurised portafilter, I found that the grounds were too coarse.  Unsurprisingly a number of others had too, so I followed the instructions of several individuals' postings on the interweb and tweaked it.

While getting into the plastic version apparently involves popping a few clips, the metal one has several safety torx screws holding the two halves together.  I had to file down a bit-holder to get it to fit down the holes (or I cold have bought a safety torx screwdriver...maybe).  Once apart, I followed the guides and advanced the cam ring by four notches.  I was reluctant to go past that, because advancing any further means that the top half of the burr can't be removed for cleaning.  Not to mention the danger of mashing the burrs together.

The grounds were considerably finer after this, but still not really fine enough.  No matter how hard I tamped, I couldn't get a shot to extract in more than 17 seconds.

At the beginning of this year I moved about 1400km, from Dunedin to Auckland.  Something must have happened in transit, because I found that when I set my espresso gear up in my new abode, the Antigua was grinding much finer.  I now have no trouble achieving a 25-27sec pull, with the adjustment backed off 2-4 clicks from the finest setting.

So there you have it.  If your Antigua isn't performing: open it up; do the tweak; put it on a 1400km road journey.  I didn't give it a high value-for-money rating because it still seems expensive, but given how much cheaper than a 'proper' grinder it is, I suppose it's not bad.

Buying Experience

Bought from an appliance shop where I knew more about it than the staff.  No dramas.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: June 27, 2007, 6:25pm
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