The Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder packs plenty of features into its compact design. It also costs considerably less than other grinders with similar specifications.
If you’re looking to improve your coffee quality without paying a fortune, it’s worth considering. You’ll get a wide range of grind sizes, and options like the quick grind and timed grinding.
There’s bound to be a compromise at this price, and in this case, it’s durability. The plastic that holds the burrs together is prone to wear and tear, but it’s possible to buy replacement parts.
Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder – My Rating
- Decent grinder for those who don’t want to pay a fortune
- Good range of settings for the money
Ease of use
- Straightforward to use with minimal cleaning required
- Covered for 2 years – but only if you buy from approved suppliers
The Pros and Cons
- 14 grind settings from coarse to very fine
- Timed grinding and quick grind options
- Compact design
- The warranty may not be valid, depending on where you’ve bought it
- Doesn’t stand up to much wear and tear
You want to try grinding fresh coffee and you’ve heard that burr grinders are the best. But after a bit of online searching, you’re feeling confused. Some grinders cost twice as much as others. Is it a case of paying for what you get – or do you risk being taken for a ride? We’ll take you through the features of the Bodum Bistro grinder, and find out how it compares to its competitors.
Things to consider before buying a burr grinder
It might sound obvious, but ask yourself whether grinding your own coffee is really for you. You might love the idea, but if you need your coffee fast it may not be worth the hassle.
There’s no point in grinding your beans ahead of time and storing the grounds. You’ll lose lots of flavors and aromatics and might as well have bought pre-ground coffee.
And if you want premium quality but don’t have time to grind your own beans, there are other options. There are lots of bean to cup machines that will take care of the whole process. You can pay quite a lot of money for these though, so shop around and check reviews before you buy.
But if you want to put your own individual stamp on your coffee, start with your own grinder. An automatic version will drastically cut the amount of time you spend grinding.
Make sure you choose a burr grinder, not a blade version. They’re a bit more expensive but are easier to use and produce a more consistent grind size. That, in turn, means a far better flavor in your cup.
Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder at a Glance
The Bistro is a competitively priced burr coffee grinder. It’s aimed at the same market as the Capresso Infinity, but there are some differences between the two.
As you’d expect from Bodum, it’s stylish good looks are a cut above its main competitor. It comes in a wider range of colors as well.
It doesn’t have quite as many grind settings as the Infinity. On the plus side, the container for the coffee grounds will hold 11 ounces – more than twice as much as the Infinity.
The Bistro is one of two electric grinders offered by Bodum. The other is the 11160 blade grinder, a much cheaper machine. It’s extremely compact but has less than a third of the capacity of the Bistro. It’s a good option for a portable grinder, but the Bistro’s the one to choose for your kitchen.
Features and benefits
The Bistro’s good looks belie its modest price tag. With finishes including copper, chrome, bright red and matte black, there’s an option for almost all kitchen interiors. Never missing a style trick, Bodum offers matching kettles and French presses to complete the look.
This is a compact machine. With a footprint of just 7.6 by 7.1 by 12.5 inches, it won’t take up much of your countertop. It weighs in at less than five pounds, making it easy to move around too.
14 grind settings and automatic timer
With 14 settings, the Bistro can grind beans for anything from French press coffee to espresso. Simply turn a dial to select your preferred consistency. It’s flexibility more often found in considerably more expensive grinders.
There’s also a push-button timer. This clever feature allows you to get on with other things while it’s grinding, safe in the knowledge that the Bistro will dispense just the right amount.
One of the major irritations of coffee grinding is the static that causes the grinds to cling to the grinder. Happily, the Bistro has largely removed this problem.
The beans are ground into a container made of borosilicate glass, a material that’s virtually static-free. There’s also a snugly fitting silicone lid – so you won’t find your freshly ground coffee spilling onto your worktop.
Stainless steel conical burrs
The Bistro’s stainless steel burrs give a consistent grind size for good quality coffee. The jury’s out on whether stainless steel or ceramic burrs give better results, but steel is usually less expensive.
There’s also a friction clutch. This is designed to prevent the grinding gear becoming damaged if small stones find their way into your coffee.
Less positively, there are plastic components alongside the grinding gear. These are less durable than the steel burrs, and over time they’re liable to wear away.
It’s not ideal, but you can buy replacement grinding gear. For a grinder of this quality at this price, that may be a compromise worth making.
Generous bean hopper
The hopper will hold just under eight ounces of beans. It’s a decent size, but not so huge you should have beans sitting in it for ages. As it’s made of transparent plastic that’s good news – leaving your beans for too long in the light can impair their flavor.
There’s a tight-fitting lid to avoid air reaching the beans and making them go stale. And there’s a handy measuring guide too.
The warranty isn’t the strongest. You’ll be covered for one year for defects in manufacture, but check the small print. Two-year warranties are only available when you buy your grinder from approved retailers.
On the plus side, it’s possible to buy replacement parts. Both the conical burr piece and the grounds container can be purchased separately.
1. Capresso Infinity 560
At around the same price as the Bistro, Jura’s Capresso Infinity offers an extra two grind settings. It also offers an automatic timer, and like the Bistro the burrs here are made of stainless steel.
The grounds container is made of plastic, rather than glass. That means you’re likely to have a bit more of an issue with static than with the Bistro.
On the other hand, the Infinity boasts the slowest grind speed in its class. This reduces the heat transferred to the beans during grinding, protecting their flavor.
- 16 grind settings
- Low-speed grinding protects coffee flavor
- The plastic grounds container means there’ll be some static cling
2. Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
If you’re prepared to splash more cash on your grinder, the Baratza Encore is a worthy option. You’ll pay almost twice as much as for the Bistro, but that buys you no fewer than 40 grind settings.
It’s another compact machine with a simple design that’s easy to use. If you’re looking for something stylish for your kitchen counter, however, you may feel the Bistro has more to offer.
- 40 grind settings
- Easy to use
- The design won’t set your heart aflutter
3. Bodum 11160 Electric Blade Grinder
If you’re looking to spend less money but still get a good-looking machine, consider the Bodum 11160. It has all the style of the Bistro, but is much smaller. If space is at a premium it could be a good option, but remember it will only hold 60 grams of beans.
The more important distinction is that the grinding here is done by blades not burrs. Your grounds will be less consistent in size as a result. If you’re going to the trouble of grinding your own coffee, a burr grinder will give you much better flavors.
On the other hand, if your priority is portability – because you’re glamping, perhaps – the 11160 is a good option.
- Small and portable
- Funky style
- Uses a blade grinder, so you won’t get the same flavor as with burrs
The Bodum Bistro offers a lot of features for not a lot of money. If you want a decent grinder that’s easy to use and has a reasonable number of settings, it’s well worth investigating. Its stylish design is a bonus.
If you want more grind settings, you’ll need to pay a little more. The Baratza Encore is a good alternative.