Sage Smart Grinder Pro Review
Our Sage Smart Grinder Pro Review takes this relatively expensive grinder and puts it through our rigorous testing procedures (by that, I mean we made and drank loads of coffee using beans we ground from it) – so if you are in the market for a new grinder, be sure to read this review before you do anything else.
If you like coffee, it is my long-held belief that you should own a coffee grinder. Why do I think this?
Fresh coffee is the best – we can all agree on that, I’m sure. Well, the longer ground coffee is left open to the air, the more flavour and aroma is lost – even if the most care possible is taken to ‘lock in’ the freshness, the second it is ground, some will inevitably be lost.
Grinding beans yourself, right before you make your coffee, is the only way to get the freshest possible coffee. Straight from the grinder into your coffee machine of choice.
The other huge advantage you have when grinding your own beans is the control you have. Depending on how you’re making your coffee, and what style of coffee you are going for, you will want a different sized grain for the best results. With a grinder, you can make different sized grains to suit your needs.
Away from the fantastic taste, I also love the process of making a coffee with a grinder; measuring out the beans, calibrating the settings and the initial whirrs of it kicking into life – it’s just the best way to start a day!
Once you’ve established that you absolutely need a coffee grinder, you’ll probably be wondering which one to get – there are so many different types on the market. Well don’t worry, we can help. In this article we will be looking at one of the more expensive options – the Smart Grinder Pro from Sage. Let’s see if it lives up to its meaty price tag.
Sage Smart Grinder Pro Specifications
It’s an incredibly attractive machine, with the stainless steel finish, LCD interface and metal dials. It’s sleek and slender, measuring 20.6 x 49.5 x 19.8 cm, and just looks like a machine that is going to do a good job. It oozes self-confidence.
Okay, in terms of practical features, as you would expect for a coffee grinder in this price range, it is a conical burr grinder. For the uninitiated, this means the coffee is crushed between two plates, as opposed to chopped by rotating blades. You generally get much more consistent results with a burr grinder.
There are 60 different grind settings available to you. I’ll be honest, that is more than any grinder I’ve ever used, to the point that I’m not sure it’s necessary, and could be a little overwhelming.
But with the intuitive grind settings, you don’t need to worry. At the twist of a dial, you set the grinder to the perfectly sized grains for whatever drink you are making – from espresso to french press.
You also have full control over how long the grinding takes – to 0.2 of a second, and how much coffee you grind – in terms of shots for espresso and cups for fresh press etc. There really isn’t an excuse not to find the most perfect grind for your coffee.
You also have options when it comes to what you grind into – with two cradles (a small 50-54 mm and a large 58mm) that come with the machine, you can fit a portafilter, an airtight container, gold tone filter basket or paper filter below the grinder to collect the grains – another way to keep your coffee as fresh as possible.
A couple of other extra little ‘nice-to-have’ accessories that accompany the machine are a Grinds Container with Lid and Sealing Cap – great for keeping excess coffee fresh, and a Conical Burr Cleaning Brush – perfect for a little wipe down after use.
Sage Smart Grinder Pro – What It’s Like To Use
On the face of it, the Sage Smart Grinder Pro can seem very intimidating to use – with 60 grind settings, adjustable grind size and time (to two tenths of a second!) you could be forgiven for thinking that this will be more hassle than it’s worth.;
Well, there’s two things that I can reassure you with – firstly, if you’re thinking of spending this much money on a coffee grinder, then I would say that it’s very much in your interest to learn how to make the most of it, and also, it’s nowhere near as complicated as it may first seem.
Let’s take it step by step. First of all, you pour your beans into the top of the grinder. You don’t need to worry about how much you pour in – the machine will take care of the quantity.
Next comes the settings. As soon as you have a closer look at the LCD display, you will realise that this machine is incredibly intuitive to use. The dial across the top shows you the scale of the grind size, and even goes as far as to name the types of coffee so that you can simply move the dial to your required setting.
You’ll notice that the scale goes quite far beyond ‘espresso’ when it comes to a fine grind – this highlights the versatility and range of the machine as an ‘espresso’ grind is often as fine as a grinder goes. This gives you the opportunity to produce grounds that could make a Turkish coffee, or even just experiment with a finer grind in your espresso machine.
To change the settings, you simply turn the appropriate dial until the display shows your required amount/time/grind size – that’s as complicated as it gets. You can even press down on the left-hand dial to save your settings, so when you find a grind that you really like, you can go back to it time and time again, without having to change anything.
When you have all your settings in place, you just need to decide what you would like your grinds to be decanted into. This can often be a slightly messy operation with grinders – whatever you decide to use can sometimes not fit properly onto the grinder, so when it all kicks into action, you can have an unholy mess on your hands with coffee flying everywhere.
As mentioned above, though, you have a range of options with the Sage Smart Grinder Pro, and the means to make sure they all work effectively. The two cradles really make such a difference, and mean you can even grind directly into your paper filters without worrying about spilling any at all. A great feature that takes the stress out of the process.
I’ve focused a lot on the ease of use in this section, but to be honest, my overwhelming feeling when posed with writing the section ‘What It’s Like To Use’ is fun.
I appreciate that you have probably come to this page to find out how this machine functions, but I think it’s important to stress this – coffee drinking, for most of us, is a hobby, and hobbies should be fun (as I have told myself many times when leaving Villa Park after another defeat). So rest assured that playing with the different settings on this machine, if you care about your coffee, will bring you joy. It certainly did for me.
Smart Grinder Pro Taste Test
Now, while incredibly important, the ‘Taste Test’ section for grinders can often be quite difficult to write, for obvious reasons. Namely, it depends on what coffee you’re grinding, and what machine you’re using to make your coffee with.
Of course, you need all three to be good to get a good cup of coffee.
However, the results we found with this machine were very good indeed. We tried it with an espresso machine, a filter coffee and a french press and each time we had a really nice cup of coffee. The grind size was exactly what we wanted, and complemented our choice of beans and machine perfectly. The freshness cannot be beaten.
You may be able to guess where this is going – we’re huge fans of this machine.
The functionality is unrivalled. Yes, sixty grind settings is probably far more than you will ever need to use – but they are incredibly fun to play with. The same with being able to set the timing to 0.2 of a second – it’s not likely that you will ever need it to be that accurate, but it’s great to be able to play around with.
You need to be serious about coffee to even consider this though – it is not a cheap piece of kit that you might buy on a whim, only to find you never use it. You need to be excited about experimenting with your coffee, and passionate about drinking fresh coffee.
If you fall into that category, though, this machine cannot be beaten. You can do whatever you could possibly want to do with a coffee grinder – it is easy to use, and yet performs to the minute detail. The results are fantastic, and most of all, it’s a really pleasurable machine to use, and own. If you’re seriously considering spending a decent amount on a coffee grinder, you won’t regret buying the Smart Grinder Pro from Sage.