Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review – Is it worth it?
The Breville Smart Grinder is an electric-powered burr grinder that can be used for espressos. It is a pricey coffee grinder, but affordable compared to espresso grinders. For those who are interested in making espresso, but also used for other coffee drinks. In this review, I’ll go over some of the Breville Smart Grinder features.
If you’re worried about maintenance and upkeep, Breville’s long history should be comforting. Since Breville is a big company and has many products they will usually have replacement parts. For any repairs, they prefer to do them in house. These in house repairs will cost you though.
The grinder is great for anything that needs a medium to fine coarse level. When it comes to the more coarse grinds there can be a decline in consistency. If you are a fan of a french press this may be a concern, but if you use an immersion technique it should not make that big a difference.
Pros and Cons of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro
- Digital display to monitor settings such as the grinding time
- Indicators for grind sizes to ensure grinding precision
- 600 grind settings thanks to the combination of 60 adjustment and 10 micro adjustments
- Has a very durable build that can stand the test of time for a great price.
- Low power motor comparative to other grinders at the same level
- The motor can be very noisy
- Coarsest grind setting is too fine to use in a french press
- Prone to clogging if overused with very dark roast and oily coffee beans
- Requires frequent cleaning to perform at optimal levels
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Design
The Breville Coffee Grinder is a conical burr grinder. The burrs are 40 mm stainless steel. The main body is also made of stainless steel making it very durable. Plus the added weight provides more stability to the machine.
Plastic makes up most of the grinder, but it is still durable. Thanks to the large hopper then grinder can process up to a pound of beans at one time.
One thing to note is the 165-watt motor that runs the steel burrs. With a 450 RPM there is not much heat build-up there is not enough heat generated to degrade the coffee, but be warned that it can be pretty noisy!
Aside from a slightly noisy motor, one thing to lookout for is the size of the machine. It is pretty large with dimensions of 8.5 x 12.5 x 16.3 inches. Be sure to make room on your countertop as it should be stationary. Weighing in at 6.4 pounds I doubt that you’ll want to lug it around!
How to use the grinder
The Breville Grinder is easy to use!
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It has an interactive touch screen that allows you to adjust the settings. You can program the grinder to give the same amount each time. This way you only make what you need and have the freshest coffee every day.
For making fine grounds for espressos it would be best to use a separate scale since they require a bit more precision.
To start using the grinder make sure it’s plugged to an outlet. Only add enough of your favorite coffee beans to make enough for what you plan to drink, to preserve freshness. Choose the right grind setting for the drink.
If using a french press then a coarser option would be best, and if making an espresso the finer the better. Select the time and incremental setting with the dial under the digital touchscreen.
Finally, press start to get grinding!
Grind Consistency and Settings
There are 60 settings for grinding. These can also be adjusted for more coarse or finer results.
Note that typically the more coarse the grounds the higher chance for inconsistency in the coffee grounds. But Breville Smart Grinder has an ace in the hole with the ability to make micro-adjustments using the removable top burr.
It is common for other grinders to decrease in consistency grinding coffee into large granules.
With the Breville grinder, consistency is key!
Breville Smart Grinder Features
Let’s unpack the features of the Breville Smart Grinder. It comes with 2 portafilter holders of varying sizes. One is for 50-54 mm portafilter and the other form the more traditional 58 mm portafilter.
They are easy to remove and replace as they use magnetic force to lock into place.
This grinder has one of the largest hoppers compared to its alternatives. While it can hold one pound of coffee beans it is not advised to store your beans there.
The hopper can be removed easily and replaced using the lock and unlock setting.
After grinding, the finished coffee grounds can be stored in the plastic coffee grounds bin. Since the bin has an airtight lid, the ground coffee bean can be stored and preserve freshness.
Alternatives to the Breville Grinder
If you are wondering if there are other grinders that match up to the Breville, you are correct. The market for small grinders is large as there are plenty of us who like to grind our own coffee and save countertop space.
One of the alternatives is the Baratza Encore. This grinder can be used daily and is easy to use. The Baratza company has a strong reputation for their customer service and support. So if something goes awry then you can rest assured that they have your back.
The only thing that the Baratza is lacking compared to the Breville is the option for an espresso grind. If you do not need to make an espresso then this is no concern for you!
Another alternative comes from Breville in the form of the Breville Dose Control. Essentially it’s a simplified version of the Breville Smart Grinder. It is still a burr grinder, but without the digital user interface and the frame is made of cheaper materials. For a cheaper price, it is a great pick for the novice home barista.
Ownership and Maintenance
The Breville Smart Grinder is not without fault. Before purchasing one be aware that the grinder does have occasional defects and abnormalities. One thing to look out for is the underpowered motor.
While it generates enough power to grind espresso beans, the wear and tear can cause problems. If you ever hear the motor having trouble it is best to stop the grinder. Then remove the hopper to stop any damage from happening.
Cross compared to other small electric grinders, the competition shares the same fate. Grinding coffee and espresso beans is tough. So overtime a small appliance can only do so much.
Cleaning the grinder is really easy! Start by unlocking the hopper and removing it. The removable burr is exposed allowing it to be removed next. From there take a brush to get rid of any residue that could impact the performance of the grinder. It is recommended that you clean your grinders monthly to get the best out of them in the long run!