Bodum Bistro Coffee Grinder: A Comprehensive Review

7 min read JUN 15, 2024

The Bodum Bistro presents a mix of advantages and challenges. Let's delve into whether it's a worthwhile purchase for you.

Bodum, commonly associated with high-quality French presses, is a Danish brand that offers a wide range of coffee-related items.

In this detailed review, we're going to examine the Bistro, Bodum's premier coffee grinder. We'll explore its features, performance, and overall value to help you decide if it's the right choice for your coffee needs. Continue reading to gain insights into whether the Bodum Bistro should be your next kitchen addition.

Design Quality and Brand Image

The Bodum Bistro boasts a reasonable build quality, with its lightweight feel offering a sense of simplicity and ease in handling.

This grinder features an elegant matte black plastic finish, enhancing its aesthetic appeal. Its design leans more towards a stylish, designer-product look, differentiating it from other budget-friendly options on the market. However, some may prefer a design that's more minimalist or utilitarian in nature.

Potential Drawbacks:

Color Durability: A notable drawback of the Bodum Bistro's design is the tendency for the red accents on the buttons and adjustment dial to fade over time. This fading can detract from the grinder's overall appearance, giving it a less premium look.

Lid Stability: The plastic lid of the grinder also presents a minor issue. Rather than securely locking into place, it tends to sit loosely atop the hopper. While this doesn't significantly impact the grinder's functionality, especially given its relatively quiet operation, it can be a minor annoyance in everyday use.

Remarkably Clean Operation

The standout feature of the Bodum Bistro is undoubtedly its borosilicate glass catch jar, reminiscent of the durable glass used in Bodum's French presses.

While glass is inherently more delicate than plastic, which is a factor for those prone to accidents, its benefits in this context are significant. The Bodum Bistro sets itself apart from other grinders in its class by effectively reducing static. This leads to a remarkably clean grinding experience, which is a substantial advantage in daily use.

For coffee enthusiasts who prioritize a tidy and hassle-free grinding process, the Bodum Bistro is an essential contender to consider. Its design and functionality align seamlessly to provide a neat and efficient coffee grinding experience.

Ease of Use in Everyday Grinding

The Bodum Bistro is known for its user friendly design, which is a common feature among most entry level conical burr grinders. Adjusting the grind size is simple; rotate the hopper to your desired setting.

Moreover this grinder comes with a timer making it convenient whether you're grinding a serving or filling the hopper completely.

As mentioned earlier one of the advantages of the Bodum Bistro is its mess free operation. The combination of a rubber lid and a glass catch jar keeps coffee grounds contained neatly minimizing static. This efficiency remains even without using techniques like the Ross Droplet Technique.

However it's important to note that there may be a retention of about 1 to 1.5 grams of coffee per use. For those who pay attention to this detail, gently tapping on the side of the grinder while it finishes grinding can help dislodge most of the remaining grounds from the chute. This ensures a more efficient grinding process, for your coffee preparation.

Mixed Performance

The value proposition offered by the Bodum Bistro can vary significantly depending on your location—it may be an affordable choice or unexpectedly pricey.
When evaluating this grinder it's important to consider its price point. While it may not offer the level of consistency as higher end hand grinders like the Timemore Slim or 1Zpresso Jx it still provides uniformity for entry level electric grinders.

Based on my experience the Bodum Bistro delivers consistent grounds when adjusted to finer grind sizes. This is a characteristic among entry level grinders. However as you move towards coarser settings— beyond the "pour over" mark—the uniformity decreases noticeably. You'll end up with a mix of finely ground coffee and larger chunks resembling "boulders."

Additionally I found that there is a limited range between the "fine" and " coarse" settings. The transition from fine to coarse happens abruptly which can make it challenging to find the right grind size for methods such as pour over especially, within the 800 900 micron range.

Concerns with Coarse Grinds

Although Bodum has a reputation when it comes to French presses, the Bistro grinder's performance with coarse grinds was somewhat disappointing. The inconsistency at this setting leads to an uneven extraction, which is particularly noticeable in brewing methods that are sensitive to grind size.

Bodum claims that the grinder is capable of producing espresso grounds but It falls short of being ideal for this purpose. It might work adequately for machines equipped with portafilters. It isn't suitable for serious espresso enthusiasts.

Initially the grind appears consistent at the pour over setting indicated on the adjustment ring. However during the brewing process you'll notice a significant amount of fine particles resembling dust mixed in. This can have an impact on the flavor profile, resulting in a somewhat harsh taste lacking in sweetness. While this issue is less apparent in immersion brewing methods, like the press or Aeropress it becomes quite evident when preparing coffee using pour over techniques.

To counteract the flavors caused by these particles especially in drip coffee it may be necessary to opt for coarser settings and adjust the brew ratio accordingly to achieve a stronger cup of coffee. This approach can help mitigate some of the limitations of this grinder when it comes to delivering the desired flavor profile.

Who Is It For?

The Bodum Bistro grinder stands out as a good choice due to its design, which may attract certain users and differentiate it from options like the Baratza Encore.

To achieve the results experimenting with grind size and brewing ratios is necessary although the Bodum Bistro can produce coffee.

For those who enjoy their coffee with additives like milk and sugar on a regular basis and prefer medium to dark roasts, the Bodum Bistro should satisfy their needs adequately. However individuals who appreciate specialty coffees and crave flavor notes might not find it as impressive.

The Bodum Bistro features a burr commonly seen in entry level grinders. When set to settings it can sometimes result in a taste and muddled flavors that make it challenging to identify specific tasting notes. On the other hand grinding coarser leads to a grind with a higher proportion of larger particles resulting in under extraction. To compensate for this inconsistency one might need to adjust brewing ratios such as 1;14.

While grinders like the Baratza Encore may offer flavor clarity the Bodum Bistro excels, in terms of cleanliness and minimal static. If you value a grinding experience that's free from dirt and static, the Bodum Bistro is a good choice.

Frequently asked questions

1. What distinguishes the Bodum Bistro's design from other grinders?

The Bodum Bistro stands out with its sophisticated aesthetic making it different from affordable grinders. It has a lightweight construction, which makes it easy to handle. The grinders matte black plastic finish adds to its look appealing to those who prioritize style in their kitchen appliances. However some people may prefer functional designs.

 2. Can you elaborate on the drawbacks of the Bodum Bistro's design?

Certainly! One notable issue is that over time the red color on its buttons and adjustment dial tends to fade, which can impact its premium appearance. Additionally there is an inconvenience, with the lid design of the grinder. The plastic lid doesn't securely lock into place; instead it simply rests on top of the hopper. While this doesn't significantly affect the functionality of the grinder it can slightly inconvenience use.

3. How effective is the Bodum Bistro in maintaining cleanliness during grinding?

The Bodum Bistro excels at providing a grinding experience. Like the glass used in Bodums presses, the catch jar made of borosilicate glass effectively reduces static ensuring that coffee grounds are contained properly. The rubber lid fits tightly preventing any spills or messes. This design is perfect, for those who value an organized kitchen.

4. Is the Bodum Bistro user-friendly for daily grinding tasks?

Absolutely! The Bodum Bistro is designed to be user friendly. It has a mechanism for adjusting the grind size by rotating the hopper. Additionally it comes with a timer making it convenient, for both doses and grinding larger amounts of coffee. Although there may be a retention of about 1 to 1.5 grams of coffee this grinder is efficient and effortless to handle on a daily basis.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Grata Medium Roast.

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