Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control

 

Introduction

Anyone who loves coffee as fresh as possible has probably longed for a coffee maker that not only brews, but can grind the beans as well. Coffee aficionados swear by the burr grinder, a precision instrument that creates the perfect consistency of grind depending on the coffee drinker’s preference. With this Breville coffee maker, now there’s an all-in-one machine that lets the user choose six different grind levels. It also allows for multiple size options – so making anything from a single cup to entire pot of perfect coffee is an absolute snap. Retailing at about $300, the Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control is a drip coffee maker that may just be the only machine you’ll ever need.

Specifications and Features

At 9 x 14 x 17 inches and with a weight of 16 lbs., this is not a small coffee maker. But for what it does, it shouldn’t have to be. That said, the 17 inch height might prove to be a little tall for some kitchen counters. Since the bean grinder can be filled or emptied by popping off the back, you’ll need to make sure you have access to the rear of the machine; the lid that covers the water tank doesn’t open too high, however, so that shouldn’t be an issue in adding extra height. The Breville Grind Control comes with a small brush to clean the blades of the grinder (which is stored next to the grinder hopper), a gold tone filter (but you can use flat bottom paper filters as well), and a 60 fluid oz. thermal dual-wall, stainless steel carafe (which keeps the coffee hot without a heating plate).

The built-in grinder itself features flat, machined stainless steel burrs that are nice and sharp. The bean hopper has a ½ lb. capacity, and it’s pretty easy to unlock to hopper to switch out the beans (for example, to choose a different flavor, or to use decaf beans during the evening hours). And if, for whatever reason, there’s only ground coffee in the house, there’s a pre-ground setting that will disable the grind function.

Want to know how much water is in the tank? The LED display indicates this – along with other helpful items, like if there’s enough water to brew the size chosen, the grind setting, and whether the machine is grinding, pre-heating, infusing, or brewing. The way it works is basic: while the beans are grinding, the water pre-heats; after about three minutes of immersion, the coffee brews. The LED display also includes a timer that counts down the amount of time that’s left in any of the processes.

One of the best things about the Breville Grind Control: the sheer number of size options it offers. It makes single cups in 8 oz., 10 oz., 16 oz., and up to a 20 oz. travel mug, and a full 12-cup carafe (60 oz. total – which is one of the largest on the market). To make a travel mug full of coffee, there’s a removable piece at the bottom that gives the cup 7.5 inches of clearance and creates a very large cup of coffee for those on the go. And it’s hot. The temperature in the carafe runs about 180 degrees just after brewing, and 162 degrees into single cup – both of which are above the minimum recommended temperature for a “hot” cup of coffee (plus you can pre-heat your cup for hotter coffee; user beware). The carafe continues to keep its contents hot as well, which is a better trade-off for a glass carafe and heating plate.

The Breville Grind Control is also a nice-looking coffee maker, fashioned from brushed stainless steel that will go with any décor. Any plastic parts that may come in contact with water and/or coffee are BPA free.

 

Ease of Use

The Breville Grind Control is extremely easy to program and use, thanks to the display. Add water, add beans to the hopper, adjust the grind setting for lighter to darker roast beans anywhere from 1 (fine) to 6 (coarse), adjust the brew strength, choose the cup size or choose full carafe, and start it up. Within minutes, piping hot coffee will be ready for your enjoyment. Just make sure lid is locked on carafe before pouring; no one wants a lid popping off and coffee everywhere (especially coffee a hot as this).

Various parts open at a touch – like the water chamber lid and brew basket – making an already user-friendly machine even better. Like all good coffee makers, there’s a brew pause drip stop to allow the pouring of coffee while in mid-brew. Again, the display is invaluable when it comes to programming grind, cup size, and when you want that coffee (including the ability to set the timer for use at a future time).

Keeping the machine clean is also easy. The basket swings out so that the contents can be emptied (and the gold tone filter rinsed out with water); behind the basket is the grind chute disc, which can be wiped clean with a soft cloth to prevent buildup. Should you space out on cleaning the filter, the always-helpful display will give you a gentle reminder. Any removable parts are dishwasher safe, and the base and LED display can be quickly wiped down with a damp, soft cloth.

 

Value

Because it’s a grinder and automatic drip coffee maker all in one machine, the $300 price tag is pretty reasonable. That you get six different grind settings, a large thermal carafe, and option to make multiple cup sizes add to its value, especially when comparing the price per cup to that of buying coffee out every day. There’s nothing like having fresh, hot coffee ready for you before you even leave the house, and having it made exactly how you want it? Best thing ever.

 

Pros

  • Multiple cup sizes can be made, including travel mug.
  • Makes a 60 oz. carafe of coffee, one of the largest available.
  • Stainless steel thermal carafe keeps coffee hot.
  • Burr grinder has six settings for the perfect bean grind.
  • Programmable timer lets coffee brew at a later time.
  • Comes with washable gold tone filter and brush to clean grinder.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • LED display advises of water level, cup size, brew strength, etc.
  • Silvery finish fits with most kitchen color schemes.

 

Cons

  • May be cost prohibitive.
  • Somewhat large; may not fit on some countertops.
  • Grinder may be somewhat loud for those not used to grinding their own beans.

 
 

Verdict

If you’ve dreamed of the perfect coffee maker that combines precision grinding of a favorite whole bean with the seamless brewing of that bean, the Breville Grind Control has arrived to make those dreams come true. With its helpful display, easy-to-use technology, and varied cup options, this is a machine that will be reliable for years to come with proper use and care.