perfect grinder for price/value/quality with an Aeropress coffee maker
Positive Product Points
- nice design - price and value - grinds to the quality I needed for an Aeropress - hopper size (less refilling) - noise level is reasonable
Negative Product Points
- the glass container isn't as static proof as I read in reviews. - 20 second grind time. potentially a problem during dinner parties when I need to grind more coffee for the drip maker - good enough for expresso?
I used a Bodum Mini Santos E coffee maker with a cheap President's Choice burr grinder for 8 years before the Bodum conked out. so the search for a new daily maker commenced. My wife started drinking tea so making a pot was wasteful also. I REFUSED to get hooked into capsules for the Tasimo. Although the Kureig system was intriguing with their reusable filter.
My reference to the best coffee I've ever had as a daily drink was made with the Hario glass vac maker that I got to enjoy when I went to a friend's house. That was my goal.
All the reviews noted the quality of Aeorpress so I knew it was going to be close to the Hario but the cheap grinder I had from President's Choice really held me back from making a good brew. The discharged puck was definitely not compact enough so I knew the grind wasn't fine enough. Given the price of the Aeropress and having no interest in a grinder good enough for espresso, a pro spec grinder in the $300+ range seemed like overkill.
On my various trips to the mall, department stores and online, I'd try to find a good value grinder (sub 200) that had the minimum fine grind needed for the Aeropress. A quick search on coffee geek reviews or Amazon reviews on my iphone would reveal the grinder's strengths and weaknesses. Something always came up that made it a no sale. Many of the grinders I saw require a modification to perform well. I was already saving up for a Baratza Virtuoso in case my search was fruitless (finding a sub 150 unit ideally).
Last week, I saw the Bodum Bistro at a store. Reviews on line showed it was able to grind pretty well and the feature set was promising. In a rush to buy I went home and read and watched more reviews. The price was even BETTER than budgeted, so I went back the next day and picked one up. cleaned the unit and made my first cup.
Immediately I noticed sound level was lower than my prior grinder. The timer was accurate and the grind was a nice fine powder like the videos showed. The styling is fabulous and takes up minimal counter space. I picked up the black unit with red accented buttons.
the aeropress produced a fabulous cup of coffee now. Immediately matched what I had experienced with the hario. I was happy!! the discharged puck was compacted nicely and held it's shape. I haven't experimented yet with the grind level. I have set it 3 notches above the finest. right in the middle between drip and expresso as recommended by the Aeropress.
the Bodum glass jar was touted as being less static prone with the ground coffee but I still get a bit of a mess.
will the Bodum Bistro be good enough for espresso? I don't know. Many of the reviews on line said "no" though.
The timer was set to yield the perfect amount of grounds. I set it at 15 seconds for the one cup of coffee. Handy to not grind too much for my one cup. This is a concern when I have a dinner party and need to make 6-8 cups of coffee. I'll definitely have to use my drip maker so a lot more coffee is needed grounded. The 20 second grind limit on the Bodum (recommends 5 minutes wait before the next grinding according to instructions) may be too short.
Now that I have a proper grinder, makes me wonder how much better my coffee could have been all those years with the Bodum Santos E.
more a gift card using issue than the availability or service at the store. it's nice to be able to walk into a store and buy something instead of always going to Amazon.