Making coffee with a coffee grinder and a manual Pour-Over device can be a relaxing and satisfying brewing process.
But automatic coffee machines can help save both time and effort on those days you just want to consume the hard drink without doing any of the hard work.
Enter the Breville Grind Control, which is capable of both grinding and brewing to pull off any type of coffee beans or brews you have in mind without having to purchase multiple brewing systems.
In this article, you can read an in-depth Breville Grind Control coffee maker review. Learn about its best and worst features and comparison with similar coffee makers to decide whether it can meet your coffee needs.
- Are Breville Coffee Machines Good?
- Breville Grind Control – The Details
- Best Features Of The Breville Grind Control Coffee Machine
- The Downsides Of The Breville Grind Control
- How To Clean Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
- Main Competitors – How Does It Compare?
- Our Final Verdict – Breville Grind Control Review
Are Breville Coffee Machines Good?
The sun is up. The sky is blue. It’s beautiful and so are Breville coffee machines.
And beyond their professional and modern look, Breville devices are also well-known for their high-quality functions that are on par with their price.
They enable you to make third-wave specialty coffee at home with minimal effort thanks to efficient automation and innovative technologies in place.
Some of its coffee machines have also been certified by the Specialty Coffee Association [SCA], which means they live up to the strict standards of experts in the coffee community.
And, as long as you put enough effort in to keep the coffee machine in its tip-top shape, your Breville can last for as long as 5 – 10 years.
Breville Grind Control – The Details
This device, in particular, is an automatic coffee maker that’s capable of both grinding and brewing barista-quality coffee anytime with minimal effort.
The coffee maker boasts a convenient integrated and adjustable burr grinder that offers you extensive grind control to deal with any type of coffee beans and produce any grind size that best suits your personal preference.
The Grind Control coffee maker is also designed with a programmable auto-start feature so you can wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and get a caffeine fix right away.
And, you can easily navigate through the grinding and brewing process via the simple Breville buttons and dials and intuitive LCD screen.
It’s a great automatic coffee maker for anyone who couldn’t bother with all of the work in the morning yet still desire fresh customizable hot coffee that’s third-wave worthy.
Similar to other Breville devices, the Grind Control coffee maker can fit right on your kitchen counter among other appliances thanks to its sleek and smart brushed stainless steel look.
All of the angles are softened into curves, making it very easy to handle and safe to be around. That being said, hot water is still potentially dangerous, so make sure to monitor your children around the device.
Although it’s not the most compact coffee maker in the market, when you take the built-in grinder into account, its size can be tolerable.
- Weight: 16 lbs (7.3 kg)
- Dimensions: 12.5 x 8.5 x 16.3 inches (31.8 x 21.6 x 41.4 cm)
- Material: Stainless steel
- Water tank capacity: 60 oz (1.8 l) ~ 12 cups
- Bean hopper capacity: 1/2 lb (226.8 g)
- Thermal carafe
- Built-in burr grinder
- 6 grind settings
- LCD screen
- 8 brew strengths
- Brew Pause Drip Stop
- Auto-start feature
- Steep and release technology
- Accessories available
Best Features Of The Breville Grind Control Coffee Machine
Let’s dive into more details about what this device is capable of.
Breville Grind Control Coffee Grinder
Its best feature is undoubtedly the integrated stainless steel burr.
This means you don’t have to get a separate grinder to make your morning coffee.
And the entire coffee-making process is also made more streamlined from grinding to brewing.
After adding fresh whole beans to the hopper, the machine will grind according to your setting and dispense the grounds into the brew basket below, prompting the brew cycle to start.
So, you can pretty much don’t have to be involved once you’ve made basic preparations.
Notably, this drip brewer is equipped with a set of flat burrs rather than the usual conical burrs that Breville espresso machines come with. How come?
Conical burrs can create dual-sized ground coffee that suits the brewing process of espresso machines. On the other hand, flat burrs specialize in producing single-size coffee grounds with insanely high precision, uniformity, and speed, which is ideal for a drip machine and French Press.
Breville Grind Control Grind Size
Like most burr grinders out there, you can adjust the grind size to ensure that it fits the type of beans you’re using and achieve the coffee strength you prefer.
This is because beans with varying backgrounds tend to require different grind sizes. These factors include:
- Variety (Arabica, Robusta)
- Blends (100% Arabica, 90% Arabica 10% Robusta)
- Origins (Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia)
- Ages (how long since the roast date)
- Roast profiles (light, medium, dark)
There are 6 distinct settings in total from coarse to fine to pick from. Though they should be enough for your typical beans, there’s another way to make more adjustments to achieve the best grinds.
Breville Grind Control Calibration
This is actually the first drip coffee brewer that comes with a grinder and calibration mode.
Other than modifying the grind size, the user can also adjust the amount of coffee that’s dispensed or the grinder output times.
This is a great technique to maximize the flavor extraction potential and achieve the coffee strength that you desire no matter what kind of beans you use.
Can You Use Ground Coffee In The Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker?
Yes, when you use pre-ground coffee, make sure to switch to the “pre-ground” setting to disable the grinder.
Breville Grind Control Bean Hopper
The bean hopper capacity is pretty large. It’s able to accommodate up to a half-pound (226.8 g) of beans, which is as much as the capacity of some specialized coffee grinders.
There’s a hopper locking system in place to make removing and transferring beans easier.
You’ll interact with this Breville coffee maker via the intuitive buttons and dials to perform functions such as selecting the brew strength (8 settings).
And, the machine displays information as you navigate through the process via the backlit LCD screen.
On the screen, you can see:
- How much water is in the water tank
- How much coffee you want to brew (or how many cups)
- The coffee strength you select
- The time
- The grind size setting
During operation, the machine displays:
- The estimated remaining time
- Stages of the brew (pre-heating, infusing, and brewing).
It also alerts you to take certain actions so that it can operate properly.
If you dread the fact that you have to make coffee before you get to drink coffee in the morning, the programmable auto-start function should be very appealing.
You can program the specific time you want the machine to automatically turn on and start grinding and brewing.
Breville Grind Control Water Tank
The machine has a pretty large water tank with enough water to brew up to 12 cups of Joe.
Breville Grind Control Single-Serve & Batch Brew
The machine allows you to brew any amount of coffee that you desire, from only a single cup of coffee (via the single-serving mode) up to 12 or a whole carafe (via the carafe mode).
Steep And Release Technology
Thanks to this feature, you can brew directly into a regular coffee mug, the accompanying carafe, a tall cup, or a travel mug without having to sacrifice the balance in flavors and strength.
Breville Grind Control Parts & Accessories
Other than the main brewer, make the perfect cup of coffee with the help of these accessories:
- Gold-Tone Filter
- 12 Cup Dual Wall Stainless Steel Thermal Carafe
- Cleaning Brush
The Downsides Of The Breville Grind Control
As great as it sounds, the machine still has some drawbacks that you should keep in mind.
Due to the integrated grinder, the device takes up quite a lot of space for a drip machine (12.5 x 8.5 x 16.3 inches/31.8 x 21.6 x 41.4 cm). So, if you have very limited counter space, take measurements to ensure that it can fit properly.
It’s also quite heavy (16 lbs/7.3 kg), making it rather hard to move around.
The carafe is designed with an inner lip, which means you may not be able to pour all of the coffee out unless its bottom is all the way up.
Possible Clogging Issue
Sometimes the coffee beans may not exit the hopper to get ground. This mainly happens when you don’t use much coffee. The easy solution is using a spoon or a chopstick and swirling the beans around so that they can enter the burr grinder.
Another clogging issue that you need to take into consideration is when the ground coffee enters the brew basket, especially if you’re using oily dark-roasted beans.
So, if possible, try to avoid the oily beans with a shiny surface. If you really want to drink a strong dark roast, make sure to clean the burr often to prevent clogging.
How To Clean Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker
None of the parts and accessories are dishwasher-safe so you have to do this manually. Here are some simple instructions to give you an idea of what cleaning and maintenance are like with this device. The instructions are based on the Breville Grind Control manual.
How Do I Clean My Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker?
Make sure to turn the machine off and unplug it before cleaning.
- Brew basket & Gold-Tone filter
Discard the used coffee grinds and paper filters after every use. But, the included Gold-Tone filter only needs a rinse like the coffee basket. And, wash them in warm soapy water once in a while.
Empty the carafe once you’re finished and avoid leaving coffee in it overnight which can lead to hard-to-remove stains.
Usually, just a simple rinse should be fine, but, for deeper cleansing, wash it in warm soapy water. Remember to let it dry properly.
Warm soapy water and thorough dry should suffice.
- Burrs & coffee chute
You need to do this every 2 – 3 weeks or wait for the LCD screen to display “CLEAN COFFEE CHUTE”.
After removing any leftover beans, remove the upper burr and use the cleaning brush to get rid of built-up grounds. Then wipe the grinds chute disc and put everything back together.
- Grinds catcher & removable drip tray
Again, warm soapy water and thorough air drying are your best friends.
- Outer housing
Use a soft damp cloth and a gentle cleanser to wipe it down. Then, use a soft dry cloth afterward.
How Do I Descale My Breville Grind And Brew Coffee Maker?
About once a month, descale the machine to get rid of the mineral build-ups. Do it more often if you live in a hard water environment. The LCD display may also alert you to do this when there are excessive build-ups.
You can descale the device using a mix of white vinegar and water (1:2). Make sure to rinse properly afterward to get rid of the taste and smell of vinegar.
Main Competitors – How Does It Compare?
Breville Grind Control Vs Cuisinart Grind & Brew
Both devices are capable of grinding and brewing a cup of coffee.
They also offer programmability, Brew-Pause (to slip a cup mid-brew cycle), and accommodation for pre-ground coffee.
Yet, the Cuisinart machine costs $200 less than the Breville! So, what kind of cuts did it make to become so affordable?
First, the Cuisinart device comes with a blade grinder rather than a burr.
Compared to a blade grinder which can only mindlessly cut the beans into smaller inconsistent pieces, the burr grinder can give you way more control over how the beans are ground. The result is a precise and consistent grind size that you desire.
What’s more, the burrs are also easier to use and more durable and sharp, making their higher price tag totally justified.
Another thing is, the Cuisinart 12-cup brewer comes with a glass carafe rather than a thermal one. Though a glass carafe can win many coffee drinkers’ hearts with its looks, the thermal carafe is a more practical choice when it comes to its main function – keeping the coffee hot – and durability.
To be fair, the Cuisinart also comes with certain features that aren’t available on the Breville machine, namely, auto-off and self-cleaning.
Unless you really prioritize those functions and the Cuisinart’s extremely affordable price tag, if you have the financial means, definitely get the Breville machine for its clearly superior perks.
Breville Grind Control Vs Precision Brewer
The Precision Brewer is in fact the one Breville machine that got certified by the SCA.
They share the same price point, but, unlike the Grind Control, this device doesn’t come with a built-in grinder. So all of the cost goes into making it a kick-ass drip brewer with more advanced features.
It has 6 convenient preset brewing modes, including Gold, Fast, Strong, Iced, and Cold Brew. The last setting is customizable. You can create a cup of My Brew by customizing various parameters (bloom time, temperature, flow rate) to acquire the desired taste.
Since it’s a Precision Brewer, “precision” is its top priority, evident by the digital temperature control (PID) and the Thermo-coil heating system, none of which are available on the Grind Control model.
You can also have more freedom in brewing volumes thanks to the accompanying dual filter baskets (flat bottom and cone filter).
The main appeal of the Grind Control is the seamless automatic grinding and brewing process, suitable for those who want to drink fresh coffee with a moderate amount of adjustability and minimal effort.
The Precision Brewer, on the other hand, is perfect for anyone looking for more control and accuracy over the extracted coffee.
They most likely prefer a separate specialized grinder that can offer more accuracy and consistency and cater to a wider range of brewing methods.
But, that also means the cost for all of the coffee gear is more expensive as well.
Our Final Verdict – Breville Grind Control Review
Overall, for its price, this is a convenient programmable automatic drip brewer that can both grind and brew excellent coffee for any cup size, from a single cup, a travel cup, to a full carafe.
It offers moderate flexibility in the grind size and amount calibration to cater to whatever beans you use, so it does require attention to detail to make suitable adjustments, especially if you experiment a lot.