Breville BCG820BSS Pro seems to be one of the most commonly recommended relatively inexpensive burr grinders. It’s not among the very cheapest units you can buy but it’s nowhere near the price of high-end grinders.
Breville BCG820BSS Pro is equipped with 165 watt motor and hardened stainless steel conical burrs. It also has generously sized 18 ounce bean hopper and features huge range of variability – grind time can be adjusted in 0.2 second increments and it has 60 grind settings, which is already more than most at this price point but the burrs are also adjustable in grind fineness with 10 different settings. Some say this is why it has a total of 600 grinding settings but surely most of them overlap so it’s hard to say how many unique grind settings it actually has, but it sure has enough.
Breville BCG820BSS Pro grinds exceptionally well. Consistency is amazing and this is one of the cheapest burr grinders that’s actually good at grinding for espresso or Turkish coffees.
It’s not perfect though. At times motor leaves impression of being underpowered. It still grinds like it’s supposed to but feels like it’s struggling. Sometimes ground coffee also comes with small clumps in-between. Consistency is still the same but it’s like some of the ground coffee is stuck together. They are easy to break apart though with some light taps or brushing with toothpick or something similar.
In some ways this is the best burr grinder you can buy for the money but not quite in every case. It excels at being able to achieve any grind you want whether it’s extra fine, extra coarse or somewhere in between. If you only drink espresso there are slightly better grinders at this price point that are specifically designed for that purpose but they are not as easy to use as Breville and won’t be able to do coarse or medium grinds.
There are better “do it all” burr grinders you can buy but to notice any difference you will have to spend 2-3 times as much.
Control panel of Breville BCG820BSS Pro features LCD display, 2 dials and 2 buttons: “Cups” and “Start/Pause/Cancel”.
With the dial located under the LCD display you adjust grind time per single or multiple cups. You can save this setting by pressing and holding the dial until it beeps twice. After that you can adjust amount of cups to be grinded and grind time will be adjusted automatically.
You can also manually grind by holding “Start/Pause/Cancel” button or Portafilter Activation Switch.
To adjust grind fineness you use dial located on the right of grinder (the lower the number the finer grind). If you can’t achieve satisfactory grind you can further adjust conical burrs for coarser or finer grind (total of 10 settings, default one is 6. Setting 10 is the coarsest and setting 1 the finest).
To adjust conical burrs remove bean hopper, then upper burr and remove wire handles from both sides of the burr. Then you can align handle opening with the setting desired. Once you do that you have to put everything back on – insert wire handle on both sides of the burr, push the upper burr firmly into position, lock it and put bean hopper back on (This is the short version of the whole process, you can find more detailed instructions inside the manual). It’s simpler that it sounds.
One somewhat common issue that consumers have experienced is impeller eventually wearing out. It seems that Breville currently doesn’t sell that part individually (at least at the moment of writing this) but there are some individuals who make them and sell on internet.
Another potential issue that fortunately can be avoided is motor burning out. As previously mentioned it seems like it’s a bit underpowered. If you notice that grinder slows down then stop grinding immediately and clean lower burr with the included brush. This doesn’t happen often but if it does it seems like it can burnout the motor in some cases if you don’t follow the procedure.
Breville BCG820BSS comes with two portafilter cradles – small (50-54 mm) and large (58mm) so you can grind directly into portafilter. It also comes with conical burr cleaning brush and obviously grounds bin.
Breville BCG820BSS Pro is a great burr grinder for the money. You won’t find anything that does coarse to fine grinds as well for same price. It does have some flaws though as nothing is perfect. The motor could be more powerful and impeller designed improved but for the money there is nothing that will compete with versatility and user friendliness that Breville BCG820BSS Pro offers.
Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder Specifications:
- Motor: 165W
- Bean hopper capacity: 450 grams / 1 lb / 18 oz
- Grind settings: 60 (x 10)
- Housing material: Stainless steel
- Conical burrs material: hardened stainless steel
- Dimensions (W x D x H): 8.43″ x 6.3″ x 15.3” / 21.4 x 16 x 38.9 cm
- Package contents:
- 1 x Breville BCG820BSS Smart Grinder Pro Coffee Bean Grinder
- 1 x Portafilter Cradle: Small 50-54 mm
- 1 x Portafilter Cradle: Large 58 mm
- 1 x Grinds Container with Lid and Sealing Cap
- 1 x Conical Burr Cleaning Brush