The Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder Review
So you’ve made up your mind to chuck that blade grinder out the window and buy a proper burr coffee grinder? Smart choice.
Enter the stylish Bodum Bistro electric burr grinder. It’s cheap, easy to use, and has a nifty little trick hidden up its sleeve that even the more expensive grinders can’t match.
What’s the trick? Keep reading this Bodum Bistro grinder review to find out.
Summary: The Bodum Bistro Burr Grinder
- Static-free materials keep both the interior and exterior clean
- Economical pricing
- Can only grind for 20 seconds at a time
The BISTRO Burr Grinder crushes beans between stainless steel conical burrs rather than slicing them which preserves bean’s intrinsic flavor and aroma.– Bodum
The Bodum Bistro Grinder Review
The Bodum Bistro is a great grinder for the beginner on a budget, looking for an intro to the world of manual coffee. Bodum clearly had that in mind when they made this grinder as evident by its design, features, and affordable price.
If you’re upgrading from a blade grinder, read on to find out why the Bodum Bistro could be the ideal electric burr grinder for you.
Design – 4/5
The Bodum Bistro burr grinder looks less like a dull kitchen appliance and more like a fancy restaurant gizmo. Its appearance alone may convince you to place it front and center on your countertop. But its beauty isn’t just skin deep.
Burr & Motor Design: The 160-watt motor drives the 35 mm conical steel burrs at a steady speed of 720 RPM. It is not the quietest motor out there, but it produces a consistent grind. And as per Perfect Daily Grind (1):
Without consistency, quality is impossible.
These burrs might not be the best in the market, but they will leave any blade grinder biting the dust when it comes to consistency.
Additional Features: Bodum has fitted this machine with a friction clutch. What that means is that if any stones get into the burrs, the grinder will make a rattling noise indicating the stone’s presence. That’s your cue to switch off the machine. It’s a nice touch in a budget grinder.
Hopper & Grounds Bin: The transparent plastic hopper has a 7.8-oz capacity, but it is the grounds bin that’s Bodum Bistro’s ace up its sleeve. The 11 oz container is made of borosilicate glass, which helps discharge the static from the ground coffee beans. So there’s no need to worry about spilling fine coffee dust all over your kitchen when pulling out the grounds bin immediately after grinding.
The thing to note is that even electric grinders that are three times as expensive come with static-prone plastic grounds bins.
Aesthetics: All of Bodum’s products are funky and chic, but not overdone. They are modern with a playfully minimalist flair. The Bistro burr grinder follows the same philosophy. It looks like a snazzy appliance that one might find in a hipster cafe rather than in a home kitchen.
It’s available in five eye-catching colors with contrasting switches. The one in shiny copper is especially beautiful. In the crowded burr grinder space, this grinder undoubtedly stands out.
Storability/Portability: The Bodum Bistro’s dimensions of 7.6 x 7.1 x 12.5 inches and 4.71 lbs weight make it a small, lightweight machine. It’s an absolute breeze to use whether you want to pull it forward to reload the hopper or store it under your cabinet after grinding.
Ease Of Cleaning: The Bodum Bistro is unique as it is virtually static-free. It means you won’t have to deal with the pesky, oily coffee bean residue that can take up residence within your burrs, and create a jam over time. A set of plastic spokes keeps your grounds flowing smoothly through the burrs and into the static-proof grounds bin (which is also dishwasher safe).
All of this helps keep this grinder clean and functional for a long time. But that doesn’t mean that you should neglect to brush out the accumulated coffee dust and grind residue from time to time (2).
Durability – 3/5
The burrs themselves seem to be built to last, but the machine parts are not of the greatest quality and will likely need replacement in a couple of years. This grinder’s body is made from a special plastic that is both scratch-resistant and smooth to the touch without being glossy. However, the switches and buttons don’t feel very durable.
Caution: The glass grounds bin may be static-free and dishwasher-safe, but make sure you handle it with care.
A few users have reported the base cracking when they put it down on the countertop with a little bit of force.
Ease Of Use – 3.5/5
The contrasting buttons on the Bodum Bistro make for an intuitive system when it comes to your daily grinding routine. Load your beans into the hopper; adjust the grind size by twisting the hopper; switch on the power button on the side; set the timer dial (adjustable from 1-20 seconds), and push the on/off button next to the timer.
It all seems very easy and convenient, but there is one flaw in this grinder’s simplicity: you can only grind for a maximum of 20 seconds at a time. And if you want to grind more beans, Bodum recommends that you give the machine a 5-minute break to stop the motor from overheating (3).
Grinding Capability (Settings, Range, & Consistency) – 4/5
The Bodum Bistro offers 12 different grind settings, ranging from espresso fine to French Press coarse. The best part is that the steel burrs ensure a precise grind at each setting. While it’s not as consistent as some of its more expensive competitors, it is more than enough to keep up with the needs of someone who is just getting started with manual brewing.
However, if you are specifically looking for a grinder to use with an espresso machine, you’ll probably not keep the Bodum Bistro around for very long. But for everything else, from Aeropress to French Press, this grinder offers a respectable level versatility and quality.
Value For Money – 4.5/5
You’d expect an entry-level grinder to be inexpensive. But the Bodum Bistro does one better. It sits at a price point usually reserved for the “grinders to avoid.”
You can easily bring one of these machines home without breaking into the triple digits.
For the quality you get, the price will make you do a double-take. Any newcomer will find the Bistro one hell of a deal, even after a year of extended use.
Do Not Buy The Bodum Bistro If…
You want a more budget-friendly option – If the Bodum Bistro seems a little too expensive, take a look at the Cuisinart Supreme Grind, which is the cheapest electric burr grinder we’ve reviewed. Though basic, it’s a worthwhile step up from a blade grinder.
Read our Cuisinart DBM-8 review.
You want a grinder that grinds more consistently – For a little more money than the Bodum Bistro, the Capresso Infinity offers better quality and consistency of the grind, making it a great option for your first grinder.
Read our full review to decide if it’s the one for you.
You want the best entry-level electric burr grinder – The Baratza Encore is the undisputed king of the entry-level grinders, providing a consistency of grind comparable to much more expensive models.
For all the details, read our review of the Baratza Encore.
You want a grinder for making espresso – Espresso enthusiasts, meet the Baratza Virtuoso Plus. It’s significantly more expensive than the Bodum Bistro, but its grind consistency, range of grinding options, and tons of extra features make it worth every penny.
Find out all about the Baratza Virtuoso Plus’s capabilities in our full review.
The Verdict On The Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Grinder – 3.8/5
The Bodum Bistro is an entry-level grinder without any extra features and a limited range of grind settings. But the consistency of each grind is far better than what you can get with a blade grinder or even some of the cheaper burr grinders.
It will definitely elevate the quality of your drip-machine coffee by a couple of notches. And even if you’re eyeing that DeLonghi Espresso machine, then the Bodum Bistro might be a good companion for it.
The static-free materials used in the Bistro will reduce the need to clean frequently (which even seasoned baristas find to be a major pain in the a**). And this comes at a price that most other burr grinders can’t even come close to.
This burr grinder is targeted at the newbie homebrewer who has taken an interest in manual brewing and is looking to upgrade from a blade grinder.
The bottom line is that you should temper your expectations when you buy any entry-level grinder as they’re all limited in their versatility. But if you have decided that the Bodum Bistro is suitable for you, click here to check it out on Amazon.
If you break the glass grounds bin/coffee catcher, you can order a replacement on Bodum’s website. They are inexpensive and easily available. Or you could use a regular coffee mug to catch the grounds (at least, until the replacement arrives). Although, that might make a bit of a mess.
The Bodum Bistro is not as good as the Baratza Encore, even though both are entry-level grinders. The Encore’s superior motor and gear system, higher quality conical burrs, and slower grinding speed produce a more consistent grind. The Bodum Bistro’s grind is consistent, but not on the same level as the Baratza Encore.
- Petrich, I. (2018, November 16). How To Improve Consistency When Making Espresso-Based Drinks. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2018/11/how-to-improve-consistency-when-making-espresso-based-drinks/
- (n.d.). (2018, May 22). Grinder Preventive Maintenance. Retrieved from https://coffeetechniciansguild.org/blog/2018/5/22/grinder-pms
- (n.d.). Bodum Electric Coffee Grinder Instruction Manual. Retrieved from https://www.bodum.com/pub/media/product_manuals/0/5/05-10903_1.pdf