The Good: Grinds coffee beans well, Style, Parts easy to clean, Easy to get ground coffee from
The Bad: Grinding chamber somewhat a pain to clean out
The Basics: After years, I FINALLY found the ultimate stainless steel coffee grinder to both fit my decor and meet my coffee grinding needs!
I will never be an apologist for Cuisinart. Indeed, after my experience with their loathsome Grind Central - which I am shocked in retrospect to find I rated as high as I did! - I was once again forced to search for a coffee grinder. My criteria for a coffee grinder were that it needed to actually work and I desperately wanted a stainless steel finish so it would match my kitchen's decor. The Grind Central had the look and was inexpensive enough that it did that, but I remember hating it for not grinding well enough.
A year later, Cuisinart redeems itself with the coffee grinder that will be - so long as this holds up - the last coffee grinder I ever have to buy! The new (and final) coffee grinder for my house is the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. This little number has the stainless steel look that matches all of my kitchen's big appliances as well as the black plastic to match my Hamilton Beach Coffee Maker (reviewed here!)! In other words, this has the look to be the perfect fit in my kitchen. Fortunately, it had much more than that.
Working my loathsome night job, I have been drinking a lot of coffee lately, which means I'm grinding coffee an average of twice a week. I tend to like my coffee very, very strong, which means the finer the beans can be ground, the better. The Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill lives up on that front. This classy little number has multiple settings that are easy to figure out and this was pretty much an intuitive coffee grinder to use, making it easy to proudly recommend to anyone who loves having fresh-ground coffee available to them.
The Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is not a subtle device. Standing a foot tall, five and a half inches wide and a little over seven inches deep, this is a grinder that lets everyone know it is a coffee grinder! Affixed at the top is a plastic basket that holds over two cups of unground coffee beans. This is a grinder that screams to all who see it that the user is obsessed with coffee.
The base is made up of a stainless steel chamber that houses the motor with the clear plastic receptacle out in front to show where the ground coffee ends up. It is topped with the plastic basket (around the house, I call it the pre-fire chamber!) with a black plastic top to keep the beans inside when grinding and to keep anything else out of the chamber while it is sitting around. There is a three foot cord that comes out of the base. If one has a permanent position for the grinder near an outlet - or wants to have the grinder away for storage - the cord can be wrapped around two plastic tabs that looks very flimsy and brittle, but have held up so far on my unit.
On top of the base, below the basket, are the controls, right atop the easy-to-remove receptacle. The buttons are clearly marked, with a slide control dictating how much coffee is ground based on how many cups of liquid coffee one wants (from two to eighteen) and a starting bar beneath it to easily activate the unit. As well, the slide bar can be moved to off to prevent any unwanted grinding from anything hitting the activation bar without the user's consent.
Ease Of Use
The Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is remarkably easy to use, in fact the controls make it seem more complicated than it needs to. First, it ought to be noted that there is one additional control; the bean reservoir turns a limited amount to offer seventeen options for how coarse the beans that come out of grinder are. In all honesty, the first day I experimented with this and there are huge differences in the coarseness between the finest and medium and coarsest settings, but some of the finer distinctions (i.e. prime medium to the medium one notch closer to coarse) are lost on me, even when I'm looking to see how well this works. In other words, I quickly found the setting I - and all who drink coffee with me - like; the most fine setting.
Using the Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is truly, ridiculously simple: place the beans in the prefire chamber, place the black plastic top on, twist the base (if needed) to adjust to the coarseness of ground coffee one wants, slide the bad to the number of cups coffee one wants (I tend to just leave that on 18, so I can get two days worth of coffee out of it) and tap the "Start" bar and the machine will grind for a minute, spitting the grounds into the receptacle.
A full batch of the finest ground coffee takes less than two minutes to grind (I use that time to contemplate world peace . . . or defrost a bagel, cut it and stick it in the toaster oven) and the Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is fairly quiet. My cats originally would be woken up but the unit or freak out at it, but after two weeks of use, the lazy one opens one eye, confirms it is the coffee grinder and goes back to sleep. The little one doesn't even do that! This is not so loud that it's going to be problematic in a house, but if one is living in a small apartment, in addition to the amount of space this takes up, it might be a little noisy. I find it to be one of the quieter units I've experimented with; I can talk on the phone in proximity to the grinder while it is running, in fact.
When the Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill is done, it turns itself off and all the user has to do is pull out the receptacle chamber, pop the top off (the top is brilliantly designed to keep the unit clean and to allow one to move the receptacle away from the grinder without fear of spilling coffee grinds everywhere!) and scoop out the coffee. Cuisinart even provides a scoop with a brush on it for the user!
It is hard to imagine an easier to use coffee grinder that actually effectively grinds coffee beans than the Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill.
Ease Of Cleaning
Cleaning is the Achilles heel of the Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill. This is a Jekyll & Hyde device as there are parts that are ridiculously easy to clean and others that are damn near impossible.
First, this device is stupidly easy to disassemble to clean. The prefire chamber, the grinding receptacle and the tops to both of those easily are detached from the base and can be stuck in the dishwasher. Let it deal with them! This works out wonderfully and after a few months of use, I have not found there to be any wear on the plastics from this. The bulk of the parts, then, are ridiculously easy to clean.
Second, the exterior of the unit can just be wiped down with a wet washcloth.
But then, there is the interior. The actual grinding chamber, where the beans are pulverized, where the blades are hidden and do their fabulous work (it is hard to argue with the results this unit gets!) is difficult to get to. For the first few days of use with the unit, I used the brush on the scoop Cuisinart provided. It reached down into the chamber where I otherwise could not reach. It broke up the fine ground beans that I could not simple tap out. Unfortunately, there was a lot that it not seem to get. In fact, I was irked when I found the next batch I did was somewhat contaminated by a noticeable enough quantity of grinds trapped in the nether regions of the chamber.
But then, I came up with the solution: air. For computers, there are compressed air canisters that are used to blow dust and dirt out of components, like keyboards. The Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill may not be as sophisticated as a laptop, but it turns out the same type forced air blast is ideal for blowing out the grinding chamber. Since I started doing that, my cleaning time has gotten down to less than two minutes for the grinding chamber and it is more effectively cleaned than when I tried to wipe the chamber out or brush it out. Blowing it out is the way.
Unfortunately, the Cuisinart Supreme Grind Automatic Burr Mill does not come with a little air blaster, but it ought to. That said, this unit might seem expensive with its $50 price tag, but the thing is, it actually works and it works phenomenally. Anyone who is serious about grinding coffee and might have different coffee grinding needs (like needing more coarse beans for recipes or such) will find this unit invaluable. I know I do. I looked long enough for the perfect coffee grinder and this might well be it.
For other kitchen product reviews, be sure to check out my reviews of:
Proctor Silex E160 Coffee Grinder
GE JES1142SJ Microwave
Chef's Choice 675 Electric Kettle
For other home and garden product reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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