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Cuisinart DBM-8 - Jeff Dubrule's Review
Posted: March 13, 2010, 3:04pm
review rating: 9.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Cuisinart Supreme Grind Grinder
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Arrow The Cuisinart DBM-8 has 37 Reviews
Arrow The Cuisinart DBM-8 has been rated 5.60 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 24, 2007.
Arrow Cuisinart DBM-8 reviews have been viewed 184,577 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Matt Johnson 10.00
Jonathan Friedes 9.50
Larry Schwarcz 9.50
Jeff Dubrule 9.50
Aaron Corey 8.50

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 3.2
Manufacturer: Cuisinart Quality: 3
Average Price: $60.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $40.00 Cost vs. Value 3
Where Bought: Costco Aesthetics 3
Owned for: 3 years Overall 1
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Blade grinder, Le'lit PL53
Bottom Line: Can't make espresso grinds due to its fake burrs.  Don't buy it, even "just for now", you'll never learn anything.
Positive Product Points

Compact & counter-friendly, relatively attractive (black plastic, tinted hopper, chrome).  Timed grind is relatively accurate & easy to use.  You never have to worry about the "burr"s going dull, because they were never sharp in the first place.

Negative Product Points

Not a real burr grinder.
Grind is not fine enough to be called espresso.
Also, loud.

Detailed Commentary

I bought this ~ 4 years ago after the safety-switch on my blade grinder broke, leaving me with a bunch of beans, and no way to grind them.  At the time, I was truckin' along with a little Mr. Coffee steam espresso machine.  When I went to replace that grinder, a friend had recommended that a burr grinder would be better than a blade grinder, because all the coffee would receive the same amount of grinding.

Unfortunately, while this is true, this is not really a burr grinder at all.  The "burrs" are not sharp, and rely on 'nubs' to break the beans, rather than blades to cut the beans.  You can see that here:  http://www.home-barista.com/espresso-guide-grinders.html about halfway-down.

The result is a very poor quality grind, where the 'shells' of the coffee beans haven't really been ground, just kinda muddled up, and the beans have splintered, with lots of dust, and lots of bigger pieces.

There have been suggestions of how to 'shim' the burr (which is mounted to the plastic bottom of the hopper, which screws into the top of the machine) to get a finer grind, but my attempt to do so didn't yield anything better.  Given the "blunt-instrument" nature of the burrs, I don't expect that this will ever be fruitful.

When pulling a shot at the finest setting, without a pressurized PF, you'll get about a 7-second double-shot with practically no crema.  I only really discovered this after getting a non-pressurized PF for my Lello Ariete Cafe Prestige, a ~ $150 pump-driven model that I've been using for a few years.  

To diagnose the problem, I went up to the cafe down the street, and asked for some coffee out of their grinder.  The grinds were darker, much more "powdery", and were completely different from what I was able to produce from identical coffee.  I popped it into the non-pressurized PF, and was able to pull a 20-second shot right off.

The conclusion is that if you'd like to start cheap, and then upgrade to better equipment later after your Barista-fu has improved, this will not work for you.  The grinds it produces does not behave the way properly ground coffee does.  All your leveling, WDT, Stockfleth's moves, dosing, tamping, etc., etc. won't mean jack because your input is completely wrong, and what's in your cup will be consistently bad.

Buying Experience

Easy.  Blade grinder died, walked into Costco, said "Hey, burr grinder!  Those are supposed to be better!", walked out with it.

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review rating: 9.5
Posted: March 13, 2010, 3:04pm
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