Any coffee lover will tell you that the easiest way to upgrade your brewing game at home is to purchase a burr grinder. Freshly ground coffee beans is the key to amazing cups of coffee. This is true for any roast and any brewing method you might prefer.
A burr grinder is a cornerstone piece for coffee newcomers and veteran aficionados of the bean. When you have one at home, you can experiment with so many brewing methods. This is why we take such a close look at all the different burr grinders on the market.
Read on to see how this burr grinder rises up to our standards for quality.
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Now that electric burr grinders have become a common kitchen appliance, the market is flooded with models of all shapes, sizes and settings.
It's contribution to the burr grinder scene is simple, sleek and functional.
Like most grinders that hover in the same price range, it offers several stepped settings that help you fine-tune the grinding for all the usual brew styles: drip, press pot, espresso and everything in between.
Does that mean this is the best fit for every brewing method? The answer may surprise you -- we'll talk more about it down below.
This burr grinder ranks well on our list for entry-level grinders for a few reasons, but especially because it's so feature-rich for where it sits on the range of affordable grinders without a lot of bells and whistles.
There's still plenty of benefits for the at-home coffee lover to appreciate that would even make their more experienced friends sit up and take notice.
Here are a few of the details we love the most about this burr grinder:
That makes it an easy fit for small kitchens or tight squeezes beneath a cabinet.
When the function of an appliance is so simple, it's these defining points that really set one brand apart from the other. We'll compare this grinder to some other top standard grinders in detail a little later.
What type of coffee is best suited for the Bellemain Grinder?
We're here to give our honest thoughts and opinions, so it's time for some hard truth for this grinder: it isn't going to work for every type of brewing method, even if it has a setting to grind it fine enough for that method.
Espresso lovers know that a reliable consistency in grinding is key to producing the rich, smooth flavor and crema that are the hallmarks of a perfectly pulled shot. This grinder won't be able to meet that expectation.
Dialing up to the coarser grinds the percolators, drip brewers and pour-over coffees require is where Bellemain hits its stride. This still covers a lot of favorite brewing methods, especially the popular French press, as well as the AeroPress and Chemex devices.
Making the most out of the grinder
When you're trying to figure out which grind works best for your favorite way of brewing, test each setting within that range and compare the consistency of the grinds against each other on a plain white surface. This will help you learn which calibration makes the best cup of coffee as you experiment.
Always double-check that you have the appropriate number of cups set for the automatic grinding function. This prevents a potential issue with overheating or accidentally grinding too much coffee in one sitting.
Cleaning the appliance regularly will help maintain its longevity and functionality. When we talk about how to clean this appliance down below, you'll be able to see how the simplicity of this design lends itself to easy upkeep, too.
The downside of the Bellemain Burr Grinder
How to clean this grinder
Without a lot of complex parts, this machine is easier to clean than more high-tech appliances. In just a few simple steps, you'll have it wiped down and ready to go for the next batch.
1. Unplug the appliance and turn on its side.
It's always best to make sure the grinder is off and unplugged so that you don't accidentally start it up while wiping down the outside. Using a dry brush, clean the burr and chute until they are free of grounded coffee beans.
2. Wash hopper lid and the container for grounds.
These can be washed with warm, soapy water by hand. They should be completely dry before returning to the appliance since moisture can make the coffee clump together.
3. Reassembly is easy.
The coffee box slides back into place on the bottom and the lid clicks shut without the need for any latches or hooks.
Main competitors to the Bellemain Burr Grinder
While the function of each of these grinders remains fairly similar, there are a few details that could sway our choice depending on what we were looking for in grind consistency at our chosen setting. Check out how this burr grinder compares with its top competitors:
Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme
Cuisinart's Supreme model spells out its settings in big, bold letters that are easier to read for coffee lovers who may be confused by the Bellemain's symbols and dial settings.
It grinds a minimum 4 cups and a maximum 18 in one sitting, so it's definitely meant for those who brew in quantity.
While this grinder offers fewer stepped settings from coarse to fine, it does have a burr assembly that minimizes heat transfer that includes an auto-stop mechanism.
Additionally, the grinder has a safety feature where it doesn't operate unless hopper and container are locked in place.
At the higher end of price, the Capresso Infinity proves its worth when it comes to consistency for finer grinds that the Bellemain just doesn't nail as well.
Espresso enthusiasts would appreciate that improvement even if the larger hopper capacity isn't as impressive an upgrade.
Careful internal calibration is the most important feature for getting a good grind at any level.
We're not alone in thinking the straightforward design of this grinder gets the job done -- it makes it on to plenty of lists for anyone who wants an easy but effective start for grinding at home.
We love the ability this grinder has to select so many options between coarse to extra-fine, though we think it performs best for medium to coarse grinds that brew best with drip machines and pour-overs.