Timemore C2 Review: Timemore Chestnut C2 Hand Coffee Grinder
There’s nothing as therapeutic for a coffee lover as manually grinding coffee beans. As you start, you immediately feel grounded by the cool texture of the grinder, the satisfying sound of the burrs working hard, the sensational smell of the beans, and the soul-soothing sips of great coffee presented aesthetically in your mug.
This article reviews the Timemore Chestnut C2 to help you determine whether this coffee grinder is right for you.
Summary: Timemore C2 Chestnut Hand Coffee Grinder
- Affordable and entry-level suitability
- Fast and smooth reliable coffee grind
- Cross-hatched aesthetic texture for a better grind
My favourite things about the C2 . . . 1) The grip. 2) The hopper is very easy to pour coffee into.– Timemore Chestnut C2 Hand Coffee Grinder Owner
The Timemore C2 Review:
The Timemore Chestnut C2 has been on the market for manual coffee grinders since 2020 as a professional yet also beginner-friendly high-quality hand coffee grinder. Established in 2012 in China, Timemore Coffee is a brand fuelled by fellow coffee lovers like yourself who are passionate about art, originality, enjoying life mindfully, and, of course, coffee. Other Timemore Chestnut manual grinders include the Timemore Chestnut X, the Timemore Chestnut G1, the Timemore Chestnut Slim, and the Timemore Chestnut Nano (1).
The Timemore Chestnut C2 manual coffee grinder is a lightweight stainless steel burr coffee grinder made of aluminium alloy and an eye-catching checkered pattern design. This design curates a comfortable skid-proof gripping experience for a consistently fast and smooth grind.
There are 4 different colour options to choose from, including an all-white choice and 3 dark models that only vary based on the colour of the plastic pieces. Upon initial purchase, the grinder comes with a manual, a soft brush, and a cloth travel bag.
But is this budget grinder the best for your coffee-grinding needs? Are there advantages to choosing this unique design from other well-known brands? Let’s dive in to learn more about one of the most recently released premium coffee grinders.
Grind Consistency – 4/5
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is well-renowned for its reliable grind consistency at medium and coarser settings at 15 clicks and over. This makes it the ideal choice for grinding coffee beans for use in French Press, AeroPress, Chemex, Cold Brew, Drip Coffee, Pour Over, Percolator, or other brewing methods available. The hand crank spins fast and smoothly due to the plastic bearings found within, and it takes only 30 seconds to grind coffee evenly (2).
Burr grinders provide more consistent and even particle size distribution than blade grinders – resulting in better extraction overall.
When it comes to grinding espresso, unfortunately, the Timemore Chestnut C2 falls short in its precision to grind fine technically. In this case, you’re better off using another coffee grinder if you regularly use an espresso machine or a Moka pot for espresso premium-quality grind results. That’s not to say that the Timemore C2 can’t do it, but the grind quality suffers below 12 clicks. Furthermore, in terms of the preferred grind settings, the instruction manual explicitly advises against using the finest 0-6 click settings. This is to protect the sharpness of the burrs. Otherwise, both the grind and the grinder suffer.
Compared to blade grinders, burr grinders are quite simple to adjust to modify the grind size to be compatible with more brewing methods.
With 36 adjustable settings and a grind adjustment dial, you’ll have ample opportunity to experiment with a full grind range and find the best grind coffee for you via hand grinding (3). Just note that there are no numbers to denote the markings on the settings visually. Hence, the coarseness is adjustable using a system of clicks with dots mapped along the top. To use this system, the manual says to rotate clockwise from the start zero point for a finer grind and to rotate counter-clockwise for a coarser grind, which is the recommended direction.
We took off one point here: half for the coffee grinder’s unsuitability with finer settings for grinding espresso and half for the visual confusion that comes from a lack of numbering the dial of adjustable grind size settings.
Build Quality – 4.5/5
The Timemore Chestnut C2 coffee grinder is a good quality grinder for various grind sizes. This great manual grinder has an aluminium body and plastic stabilizers with dual-bearing stability. The texture of the body serves a dual purpose of being aesthetically pleasing and more practical for a better grip while grinding your coffee beans. It is simultaneously light and sturdy, and it is also easy to disassemble and clean. The Timemore C2 even comes with a soft cleaning brush to use on the inner burr once a week to ensure its long-term maintenance.
It is crucial to clean Timemore Chestnut C2 with a brush and air-dry it. Do not wash or submerge it under water.
Manual grinders are usually made of steel, ceramic, or plastic, and the material matters as this affects the coffee grinder’s durability. Because the Timemore C2 is mostly made of aluminium and plastic, it is not the most durable option compared to stainless steel. For this, we took off half of a point.
Burr Quality – 5/5
Like its new and improved version, the Timemore Chestnut C3, the Timemore Chestnut C2 grinder has 38 mm stainless steel conical burrs, which is the standard size for many other coffee grinders of a similar size. The high-quality burrs in this burr grinder are made of 5-axis CNC. The hardness of the stainless steel burr grinder is HRC 55-58, which cuts the coffee beans swiftly and consistently. This burr set has a 420 high-quality grade score. For comparison, this is much more effective than typical ceramic burr grinders.
The crank handle mechanism for the burr set eliminates 90% of the noise that an electric grinder would usually produce, so you can start your day more mindfully and enjoy a peaceful time while preparing and drinking your coffee. No excessive force is needed.
Portability/Capacity – 5/5
The portability is greatly increased due to the amount of plastic used to cut down on this coffee grinder’s weight, making it the perfect lightweight hand grinder for travel. Not only is there plastic inside, but it also has a plastic lid cover and a plastic grind adjustment knob. This lightweight coffee grinder measures 14.7 cm high, 5.2 cm in diameter, with a 15.9 cm handle, and weighs 430 g. It can hold 30 g of coffee beans, suitable for 3 cups, but it is recommended only to put in up to 25 g. There are also no wires, cords, or batteries to worry about here.
Price – 4.5/5
Since its initial release, the Timemore Chestnut C2 manual coffee grinder is no longer one of the cheapest, with some premium ones available for just 1/6th of its cost. However, it is by far nowhere close to being one of the most expensive burr grinders, with many more expensive burr grinders offered at thrice its cost. You’re still getting a good deal for your money here as the Timemore C2 is considered an excellent coffee grinder with its adjustable settings, intricate handy exterior, and grind quality. This is a far better value than other coffee grinders in the same price range, with no manually adjustable settings and cheaper builds.
Although it is well positioned on the market price-wise, we took off half of a point due to some other offerings that are available for more premium quality at a discounted rate.
What we liked:
- Budget hand grinder and friendly beginner pick
- Spins quickly and smoothly for a consistent grind
- Textured surface for a better grip and overall aesthetic
What we didn’t like:
- No numbers on adjustable settings
- Not as effective with espresso grind size settings
- Feels cheap with lots of plastic in its lightweight build
Do Not Buy If . . .
- You want to grind espresso – the Timemore Chestnut C2 coffee grinder just won’t cut it or grind it if you’re looking to use espresso rather than standard coffee, and your espresso grinding needs will be left sorely unmet. For more reliable accuracy and the exact manipulation of how fine you want your espresso grind to be, check out the Comandante, which offers just that. Also, as a general rule of thumb, a ceramic burr grinder with an espresso setting is ideal, whereas steel burrs with coarser settings are intended for more manual brewing methods like a French Press or a Moka Pot.
- You’d like another aesthetic – Maybe you’re not a fan of the Timemore C2’s trademark checkered patterned design. Maybe the colour scheme of the Timemore grinder clashes with your kitchen aesthetic. Maybe it’s just not pretty enough for your personal preference. Whatever the reason, perhaps this Timemore coffee grinder checks off all of the boxes, but the aesthetic is just all wrong compared to what’s offered by other premium hand grinders.
Do not be dismayed, as I have the perfect alternative: the Goat Story Arco. This grinder keeps up with aesthetic trends and features an award-winning distinctive inverted U-shape design with a carefully curated minimalistic matte black finish. This is certainly a head-turner, and you’ll feel like you’ve levelled up in your home barista setup. And it not only serves as a manual coffee grinder but also works well electrically!
- You need a better burr quality – The Timemore C2 grinder settings are pretty good with 38 mm stainless steel burrs that only take 30 seconds to produce a high-quality grind. However, there’s always something better than the best. The Lido 3 grinder is no exception, featuring a build quality with 48 mm Swiss-steel burrs that are much larger, more powerful, and yield a smoother grinding process for your ground coffee.
- You’re looking for a long-term solution – If you are a frequent traveller, the aluminium build of the Timemore C2 will not offer as much protection as another coffee grinder made of stainless steel. Comparing the Timemore C2 vs 1Zpresso JX, for instance, shows just how much more the latter is suitable for the task as a more premium coffee grinder option.
- You plan to grind for non-coffee-related purposes – Sometimes, people use their coffee grinders to grind ingredients that have nothing to do with coffee. We wouldn’t recommend doing this with the Timemore Chestnut C2. If you grind dry ingredients such as nuts, spices, dry fruits, or cinnamon sticks, it will result in a fine fresh powder that will be difficult to clean out and may retain the smell, which will interfere with the “coffee-ness” of your brew. Wet ingredients are out of the question here, as you cannot clean this coffee grinder with water. For these purposes, you should consider a food processor, an electric or blade grinder, a blender, or another.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is a handy lightweight manual coffee grinder with a checkered texture that allows for a better grip and a neat aesthetic. Pre-set the coarseness from 36 adjustable options, and you are guaranteed a reliable grind quickly and smoothly. Keep in mind that the settings are not numbered and that the finer the grind, the less effective this coffee grinder is, especially with espresso settings. Although some customers complain this hand coffee grinder feels cheap with its use of plastic, it is a great affordable option for beginner home baristas looking for an entry-level grinder.
- Timemore. (n.d.). Chestnut C/C2 Coffee Grinder. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from https://en.timemore.com/taimochanpin/modouji/lizicshouyaomodouji-m/
- Pipunic, A. (2022, July 25). Which material should your grinder burrs be made from? Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2022/07/which-metal-should-grinder-burrs-be-made-from/
- Mott, J. (2020, September 8). How Have Hand Grinders Evolved? Retrieved October 28, 2022, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/09/how-have-hand-grinders-evolved/