Bodum Bistro Coffee Grinder Review: Should You Buy A Bistro in 2022?

bodum bistro grinder review

Here at Black Ink, we know that many coffee lovers start with a basic, inexpensive blade grinder when they’re ready to move up from pre-ground coffee.

An entry-level model like the Bodum Bistro blade grinder can help you brew a good cup of coffee for a small investment. But we also know that the drawbacks of blade grinders can quickly leave some coffee fans disappointed and looking for a better machine. 

When you’re ready for more ability to control your grind size and get the best taste from your favorite coffee beans, you need to upgrade to the Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder. We’ve gathered all the information you need to judge the Bistro for yourself and decide if it offers everything you’re looking for. 

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An Entry-Level Burr Grinder

We love this Bistro grinder for its user-friendly features at a surprisingly low price point, which makes it an attractive entry-level choice. This machine isn’t the most high-end model available, and it’s not the cheapest burr grinder you can choose, either. But for its relatively small price tag, it has a good range of helpful features and grinding options. 

If you’re prepared to spend more on a burr grinder, but you’re not quite ready for an expensive model with tons of options that might overwhelm anyone but a connoisseur or a skilled barista, the Bistro could be the grinder for you. 

The Burr Grinder

Bodum’s burr grinder is available in two different models: the premium model #10903 and the basic/standard model #11750. If you’re on a tight budget, 11750 costs less and will get the job done. But we recommend 10903 because of some upgraded features like a grind timer and a borosilicate glass grounds catcher you might find well worth the extra cost.

If you’re on a seriously tight budget but want to grind your own coffee, the Bistro blade coffee grinder is also an option. A blade grinder used carefully and properly will give you a better cup of java than you’ll get with most cans or bags of pre-ground coffee. For a cheap grinder, this compact model does a decent job and comes in a variety of colors that will fit in well with almost any kitchen décor. 

We’re focusing on the premium burr grinder in this review, but we’ll also talk about the differences in the other models so you can make the best choice for your needs. 

Bistro Premium Burr Grinder 

Bodum Coffee Grinder

3.7 ⭐out of 5

Specs:

Width: 7.1 in

Depth: 7.6 in

Height: 12.5 in

Weight: 4 pounds

This Bodum premium coffee grinder has a few drawbacks that are worth noting before you purchase, but overall we think the pros will outweigh the cons for many users. 

✅ Its sleek, space-saving design has a small footprint on your countertop.

✅ You can choose black, red, or white, so there’s a model that will look great in your kitchen.

✅ You can choose any grind from fine to coarse with 12 different size options.

✅ Conical burrs offer a better grind than blades and typically run cooler and quieter than flat burr machines.

✅ Its pre-set timer ensures you won’t waste beans by grinding more than you need.

✅ A beginner at grinding coffee will find it simple to set up and use.

✅ The borosilicate glass catcher reduces static to help retain the aroma and flavor.

✅ Its friction clutch alerts you to stones or other materials to prevent the burrs from becoming damaged.

🚫 The grind can be inconsistent at times, though you have more control and better consistency than with blade grinders.

🚫 The cost, while relatively low for a conical burr grinder, might seem too high if you’re looking for perfectly consistent grounds day after day or if the extra features don’t impress you.

🚫 It has a short grind cycle and needs five minutes to cool down between uses.

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The Bodum Group

The form should follow the function. That philosophy has been the prevailing motto of Bodum since it was founded by Peter Bodum in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1944. 

Peter Bodum believed that a good design didn't need to be expensive. He applied that principle to all the products his company manufactured starting with its first offering, the Santos vacuum coffee pot.

The Santos pot's unusual design and the quality of its construction made it a popular coffee pot through the 1970s. Peter's son, Jørgen, became the incredibly young CEO of Bodum in 1978 when he was only 26 years old. He quickly introduced the iconic Bistro French Press coffeemaker, which was the first French press manufactured by the company. 

Through expansion and the acquisition of a talented team of designers from around the globe, Bodum continued innovating. In 1992, the company began manufacturing functional but affordable electric coffee grinders, kettles, and juicers. 

Their core products, like the 100 million French presses they've manufactured over the last 47 years, make Bodum one of Europe’s most successful, long-running housewares companies. A family business at its heart, Bodum is still helmed by Jørgen Bodum in 2021, and they're still creating new products with the clean lines and Scandinavian aesthetic that make Bodum products popular the world over.

Bodum Bistro Grinder Review

Bodum Bistro Burr Coffee Grinder

At Black Ink, we think the Bistro is a good offering among conical burr grinders especially for people who are just getting started with making freshly ground coffee. It offers a nice middle-ground between the cheapest blade and burr grinders and the most expensive ones while offering some nice features that deliver a slightly higher-end experience without a price that’s too steep. 

Design and Build Quality 3/5 ⭐

The materials used are plastic, stainless steel, rubber, silicone, and borosilicate glass. The inclusion of plastic brings the rating down, despite the other high-quality materials. A plastic casing is expected in a budget-friendly coffee grinder, but there are also plastic gears inside the casing among the stainless steel burrs.

In rare cases, those plastic pieces might break and render the grinder unusable. This problem seems to be an outlier rather than something that happens regularly, but it’s still a possibility to be aware of.

Bodum does offer a limited one-year warranty on manufacturing defects. Replacement conical burrs can now be purchased if anything should happen to the grinder after the limited warranty has expired. The catcher isn’t covered under the warranty but can be purchased separately if you need to replace it.

We give this Bodum grinder high marks for its coffee catcher. Glass, unlike the plastic grounds catcher in the basic model, resists static electricity. Not only does this keep fine coffee grounds from sticking to the sides of the catcher, but it keeps the static from damaging the taste or the aroma of the coffee.

The overall design of the machine includes clean lines and a small footprint, so it's pleasing to the eye and doesn't take up too much premium counter space.

Pros:

✅ Sleek, space-saver design

✅ Static-free glass catcher instead of plastic

✅ Stainless steel conical burrs

Cons:

🚫 Plastic gears inside the casing

🚫 A limited one-year warranty isn’t as long as many other brands

Performance 3.9/5 ⭐

The Bistro blade grinder and other similar types of grinders slice and smash the beans over and over which can give an uneven coarseness to the grounds. To get a fine texture with a blade grinder, if you can even get to that, you might have to run it so long that the friction heats the grounds, which can ruin the flavor and aroma.

Flat burr grinders use two flat plates or wheels with rough, serrated surfaces on their facing sides. They turn in opposite directions to grind the coffee beans. While this can produce a consistent grind, the design is more expensive than other types, can heat the grounds, and tends to be noisy.

The Bistro uses burrs that are conical that spin against each other. Because of their shape, these burrs grind slower, which keeps them from heating the way blades or flat burrs do. Their slower speed also makes less noise than flat burrs.

As noted earlier in our review, the grind can be inconsistent at times, which could mean that some types of beans don’t grind as well. If you use the Bistro and get an uneven grind, experimenting with different beans and grind times might fix the problem.

A more consistent grind makes a better cup of coffee, but the difference between a premium, high-end machine grind and the Bistro will probably only bother someone looking for the highest quality you find with a much more expensive machine.

Pros:

✅ High-quality conical burrs

✅ Slower grinding means it runs quieter than other types

✅ Won’t heat the grounds like other grinders

Cons:

🚫 An inconsistent grind at times might disappoint some users

Ease of Use 4.6/5 ⭐ (is it easy to use and/or easy to clean)

The Bistro’s user-friendly design is where this coffee grinder shines! We love that a total coffee newbie can follow the measuring lines on the hopper lid to add the right amount of beans, and the pre-set timer takes the guesswork out of figuring out how long to run it. 

The measuring guide on the lid makes it so easy to line it up for the type of brew you want and get the correct results every time. We’ve all known the disappointment of trying to make coffee in a pour-over coffee pot or a French press with grounds that are too fine. Fine grounds in a drip coffee maker aren’t just disappointing but can cause a huge mess. 

You can avoid grinding the beans to the wrong size with the Bistro by simply following the easy instructions and letting the timer handle the work for you. You’ll never again overwork the beans into a powder or heat them and flatten their flavor. Once you’re ready to grind, using the Bistro is as simple as pushing a button. 

The Bistro is straightforward to clean, too. You remove the hopper and lift the grinding ring to clean the conical burrs with a soft-bristled brush. The outside and the hopper can be wiped with a damp cloth, and to make the Bistro even easier to handle, the coffee catcher can be tossed in the dishwasher. No muss, no fuss! 

Pros: 

✅ Dishwasher-safe coffee catcher

✅ Push-button start

✅ Choosing the grind size is as easy as turning the hopper to the right setting

Cons:

🚫 Cleaning any burr grinder is a little more tedious than cleaning blades. With practice, you’ll get a feel for it.

Features 4.5/5 ⭐

✅ Stainless steel conical burrs that don’t need sharpening

✅ 12 grind settings

✅ A hopper lid that doubles as a measuring guide

✅ Built-in timer means you only grind what you need to reduce waste

✅ A friction clutch that prevents small stones or hard materials from causing damage

✅ A borosilicate coffee catcher that reduces status electricity to preserve the coffee’s qualities

✅ Its slower grind means less mess and noise than other models

✅ A non-slip silicone band makes the coffee catcher easy to grip for safety

Value For the Money 3.5/5 ⭐

The premium model can cost twice as much as the basic model, but the higher-quality, dishwasher-safe grounds catcher is a definite upgrade. The premium model is also available in three colors, while the basic model comes only in black. 

The measuring guide and the built-in timer in the premium model make the process simple for beginners, which might make it worth the cost for them. But someone experienced with grinding their own beans might not find those perks worth the extra money when the grinding action and quality are essentially the same. 

We think the helpful additions are probably worth the price for people new to making coffee from freshly ground beans, but might not seem worth the cost for those more experienced or who have used several different types of grinders already. 

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Comparing Bodum’s Other Models

Bodum Bistro Grinder

If you plan on buying a coffee grinder but aren’t sure the premium Bistro is right for you, consider one of Bodum’s other models. 

Bistro Blade Grinder

The Bistro blade model is super compact, at less than four inches across and less than seven inches high, which makes it easy to store when not in use or pack for traveling if you want freshly ground coffee instead of whatever your hotel might be serving. 

The simple push-button operation gives you complete control of the grinding time. A button keeps it from grinding until the unit is closed, and the clear top lets you see the grounds so you get the consistency you want. It comes in several different colors and is the least expensive of Bodum’s offerings. 

Bistro Basic/Standard Burr Grinder

The inner workings of this model are the same as in the premium grinder that we recommend, but there’s no measuring guide or timer. The grind catcher is plastic and more prone to static electricity. But it is often about half the cost of the premium model, so the savings might be worth giving up a few of those elements, especially if you’re experienced with grinding coffee. 

Who Probably Won’t Like the Bistro Burr Premium Coffee Grinder?

A coffee drinker who’ll be disappointed by anything but a precise, consistent grind will probably think the Bistro is too pricey for its performance. New coffee aficionados who want something easy and hassle-free to use, on the other hand, will probably enjoy the value they get for the cost. 

What Do We Really Think About the Bodum? 

The Bodum Bistro conical burr coffee grinder is a good entry-level grinder and a definite glow-up from an inexpensive blade grinder. Its ease of use makes it a wonderful starter machine for someone unfamiliar with coffee grinders who might be intimidated by more powerful, more expensive models. 

Some of its best qualities are its relatively small size, clean lines, and simple operation. Its measuring guide and dummy-proof timer prevent some of the biggest mistakes people make when they start grinding their own coffee. We think this is perfect for beginners and people who want great home-ground coffee with a minimum of fuss in the mornings. 

Final Verdict

Easy to use and clean, the Bodum Bistro burr coffee grinder won’t waste your time while it delivers coffee ground to your preference. You can make delicious freshly ground coffee for a fraction of the price of coffee shop brews, and the Bistro’s price point means it’ll pay for itself in no time. 

If you’re in the market to move up to a burr grinder or you’re upgrading from a less expensive model, we think you should take the time to look into the Bistro Premium coffee grinder today!

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