This grinder will grind coffee course enough for a press pot and fine enough (I believe… I’m not much of an espresso drinker) for an espresso machine. Unfortunately, it does all of this in one course grinding of beans!
This isn’t the grinder pictured here (this category covers all Cuisinart grinders). You can see it on the Cuisinart web site here: Click Here (www.cuisinart.com)
The routine for my morning Cup-O-Joe is to get it going first thing since it takes a few minutes to make coffee in a Chemex. I get my water going in the microwave, load up four level tablespoons of beans into the hopper and then walk out to my garage to grind them! This grinder is so loud I’m worried I’d wake up my wife at the other end of the house! One afternoon, in a fit of curiosity, I actually measured how loud it is. Measured from 3 feet away (“C” weighting with “slow” response) it clocked in at 86db! To give you some comparison, my microwave is only 56 db. According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (1), this falls between “Very loud” and “Extremely loud.” According to the ASHA, “Sounds louder than 80 decibels are considered potentially dangerous.” Now I doubt that the few seconds it takes to grind my beans will cause a long term hearing loss. But, I am holding it in my hands when grinding and I do this every morning! Now that I think about it, I think I’ll start to wear my ear plugs when grinding my beans.
It has a “Grind Selector” slider-switch on the top that you’re supposed to set to the number of cups of coffee to brew. I’ve never trusted it since that would vary with the coarseness of the grind. I first slide it to the max and leave it there until it gets down to the last few beans. This is when they start to dance around the hopper like water on a hot skillet. I then turn it off by sliding the “Grind Selector” switch all the way to the left and then switch to pulse mode by sliding the switch one click to the right and press the “Power Bar” button a few times (keeping the RPMs down) while tapping the side of the hopper to get the last of the beans ground.
Then, back in the kitchen, I remove the grounds bin. Before removing the lid from the bin I have to rap it on the counter a few times to dislodge the grounds that have been slingshot out of the grinder and are now firmly plastered against the bin walls. I then carefully remove the lid and watch as grounds jump out of the bin and onto my countertop due to the static charge.
Next I try to pour the grounds from the bin into my pre-moistened Chemex filter (per suggested instructions from Sweet Marias). I use my hand as a shield to try to keep more grounds from jumping out onto the counter and manage to usually get the bulk of the grounds into the filter.
By now my water is boiling and I can finally begin brewing my morning cup.
As I said in the first paragraph, it seems to grind course enough for a press pot, but, it also has enough fines that I would get a lot of the silt and sediment on the bottom of my cup each morning back when I used a press pot (one of the reasons I bought the Chemex). I don’t brew espresso so I can’t really comment on its ability to grind that fine. I would guess that at this price point and given the quality of the course grind that it really wouldn’t work to well for espresso.
If I happen to make a cup of coffee in the afternoon and grind the beans in my kitchen, I have to keep an eye on the grinder. The grinder tends to move around the counter a little bit from the vibrations of grinding the beans! This isn’t too surprising considering that it weighs in at just under 4 lbs (3 lbs 14 oz empty to be exact).
I’ve never measured the amount of residual left in the grinder but, judging from what I see when I occasionally clean it (like when switching to a different bean) I would guess that it’s not insignificant!
All of the parts are dishwasher safe (top rack only) but I’ve always washed them by hand. Cleaning the hopper and grounds bin are pretty easy. The grounds bin just slides out. Some warm sudsy water and a soft sponge and it’s clean. The hopper unscrews from the base and also cleans up easily with soap and water. I make sure to quickly dry the hopper to make sure the metal bits at the bottom (like the top burrs) don’t rust! I don’t know what material they use to make them or if they’d rust but I don’t want to take any chances.
I can then try to clean some of the old stale grounds out of the base but it’s not easy to get access. I brush out what I can reach. The grounds shoot is also hard to really clean and I’m sure I don’t do a very thorough job of it. I would think that a thick pipe brush would help but I don’t have one and haven’t bothered to look for one.
In the end, I would NOT recommend this grinder for any type of coffee. But, if you HAD to buy it (perhaps you can't afford almost $300 for a Rocky), I would suggest only using a brewing method that used a paper filter (automatic drip machine, Melitta manual drip, AeroPress, Chemex, etc). In fact, this is the reason I bought a Chemex! It was an inexpensive way to get a good cup of coffee without any of the sediment at the bottom of my mug! Finally a cup of coffee that I can drink to the last drop ;-).