Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder Review
Have you ever wondered why people bother with coffee grinders?
There must be something in it, right? Literally every half-decent cafe has a grinder, so they must do something that makes good coffee, right?
Well, yes! They really do. The key to their success is all based around freshness and the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder promises a beginner friendly introduction to grinding your own – and at a very modest price point.
We would all agree that the fresher the coffee, the better it tastes, I’m sure. Well as soon as coffee beans are ground, more air can ‘get at’ them, due to the increased surface area. No matter how quickly and efficiently the coffee is then stored away, some of those beautiful flavours and aromas will have been lost.
With a coffee grinder in your kitchen, right next to whatever machine you’re using to make your coffee, there is very little time to lose freshness. Straight from the grinder to the machine, and your drink is made seconds later. Fresh.
To put it frankly, if you want the best possible coffee in your house, you should buy a coffee grinder. But which one should you get? There are so many different models and types, it can be a little overwhelming.
Don’t worry though, as we have made it our mission to hand pick some of the best available on the market for you to consider. In this article we are going to be looking at the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder. A mid-range blade grinder. Let’s see what it can do.
Bodum Bistro Grinder Specifications
Before we get into what it can do, I think we should note that, like most Bodum products, it looks great. It’s their classic, simple design that manages to look quite stylish while seemingly making no effort at all. It’s a good looking little machine.
And it is little. Measuring just 9 x 9.5 x 16.6 cm, it will not take up much room at all if you leave it out on the kitchen counter, and if you want to store it away in a cupboard, there is a handy little area in which you can store the cord on the bottom. It’s even small enough to take away with you if you want fresh coffee on your trips or in the office.
The grinder itself is a blade – which rotates round at a precise RPM to ‘chop’ the beans into the grounds. As a general rule, blade grinders are a bit less effective than a burr grinder, which ‘crushes’ the beans between two plates.
The burr grinders tend to give you a more consistent grind, rather than the indiscriminate way that the blades work, but you will always pay more for a burr grinder than a blade.
The transparent lid will give you complete control over the grind of your beans. As how long you are grinding for will affect the size of your grains, being able to watch this process happen means that you will be able to stop when you have reached the optimum size. It saves so much time, when compared to constantly taking off the lid to check.
The whole process is triggered by a simple to use push-button, situated on the lid. This allows you to pulse, or grind continuously.
What It’s Like To Use The Bodum Bistro Electric Grinder
If the answer to that is ‘yes’, then you are qualified to operate the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder.
Now don’t get me wrong – in terms of the ‘science’ of making a coffee it does get more complicated than that, but purely operationally, pressing and holding a button is all there is to it.
Where you get to experiment, and put a bit more thought into your coffee, is in the amount of coffee you grind, and how long you grind it for.
In terms of how much coffee to grind, it will depend on how strong you like your coffee, but if you aim for around 7g, or two tablespoons, per cup, then that will be a good starting point. Obviously if you would like a coffee a bit stronger, just add a little bit more, and for a bit weaker, a little less.
When you are planning how long to grind the coffee for, it will depend on how you are making your coffee:
If you are using a french press, you will want a larger, more coarse grind, so a short, sharp press on the grinder, for around 10 seconds or so.
For a filter coffee machine or cafetiere, you’ll want a medium sized grain, so it’s recommended that you grind your coffee for around 15-20 seconds.
Finally, for an espresso machine, you’ll need a much finer grain, so hold down for much longer, around 30 seconds or so.
These are just rough guides, and part of the fun in having a machine like this is that you can experiment with different sized grains and different amounts for different coffees. You might discover that you prefer a really strong espresso, but a slightly weaker filter coffee, for example.
One advantage that this blade grinder has over some burr grinders is that you have absolute control over the grind – you’re not relying on the settings producing the perfect result, you can constantly check – is that fine enough? If not, simply keep on going!
So to conclude the section ‘What it’s like to use’, it’s incredibly simple, but you will need to know a little bit about what you are doing in order to get the most out of it. It won’t take long at all though, and very soon you’ll be able to make the perfect grind without even thinking about it.
While this may seem quite obvious, it’s a very common trap that people fall into. They spend hundreds of pounds on the biggest and best coffee machines around, only to then use inferior coffee to make their drinks – even the best machines in the world won’t save poor coffee.
While you can find ‘specialist’ coffee in the supermarkets these days, and the range is getting bigger and bigger, you don’t have to look very far to find really nice coffee for sale elsewhere. A lot of coffee shops will sell beans from their suppliers, farmer’s markets will often have a local roaster and of course there’s the internet – there are hundreds of quality, independent coffee companies that will post to your house.
There really is no excuse for not drinking really good coffee.
With all this in mind, once you have selected a decent coffee bean for your drink, the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder will set you on your way to making a great drink. The consistency of the grind is actually very good for a blade grinder, and with the transparent lid, you can get the exact sized grain that you’ll need for your coffee.
We tried out this grinder with a french press, filter coffee machine and an espresso machine, and each time we found that it helped produce a really good coffee and considering this cheap(ish) grinder uses blades we were pretty impressed with the final results. In fact, at its price point it is perhaps one of the better options out there.
If you are thinking about adding a coffee grinder to your armoury, then you absolutely should. In fact, if you’re not thinking of getting a coffee grinder, you should start – they’re great.
You may be thinking “will I really be able to taste the difference if my beans are ground at home or in a factory somewhere?”. Well, yes you will, but that only tells half the story. The process of measuring out your beans, the whirr of the grinder and that first hit of delicious coffee smell is just the best way to start the day.
I would understand, though, if this has not convinced you enough to spend hundreds of pounds on a state-of-the-art grinder – it’s a huge investment for something that you haven’t tried before.
That’s where the Bodum Bistro Electric Coffee Grinder comes in. This is the perfect machine to dip your toes into the world of coffee grinders.
First of all, and crucially, it does a good job. You are in complete control of how ground your coffee is, so you can experiment and find your optimum grind for whichever coffee you are making.
To be honest, a burr grinder will almost always give you more consistent results than a blade grinder, simply because of the nature of how they operate. A blade rotating around will never be able to get the same accuracy as two plates that crush the beans.
However, this leads me on to my second point – the price. This is set at a perfect price point for you to try and experience the benefit of a coffee grinder, and cheaper than you would find an equivalent burr grinder.
My advice – if you’re not sure about a coffee grinder, buy this one. If you are then sold on the idea, you can always invest in a more expensive machine down the line, and keep this for travel/the office/backup. If you’re not sold on coffee grinders having bought this one, well, there isn’t much point finishing this sentence, because you will be.