The Breville Grind Control coffee maker is an all-in-one drip brewer. It has an integrated burr grinder, an LCD screen, and the ability to brew anywhere from a single cup to 12 cups of coffee at a time. If drip coffee is your thing, the Breville Grind Control could be a coffee machine worth considering.
Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker Review
The Grind Control features Breville’s distinct design- a brushed metal exterior, illuminated controls, and a clear LCD display. Like all their appliances, it has modern and clean aesthetics to complement any kitchen.
The Grind Control coffee maker is well-constructed with a hefty build. This is a rather bulky coffee machine and will take up a lot of counter space. It measures 8.5 (W) x 12.5 (D) x 16.3 (H) inches and weighs 16 pounds. The large size is understandable, given it is a grinder and coffee maker all in one.
The LCD screen is one of the standouts of the machine. It is clear and straightforward to use. The screen shows the grind setting, grind time, and the number of shots or cups you have selected. It also has a count-down timer that begins when you start the brew cycle and displays where the machine is in the brewing cycle: preheating, infusing, or brewing. The screen makes it simple to program different brewing parameters.
The Breville Grind Control coffee maker comes with a few accessories; a reusable gold-tone filter, a cleaning brush, and a 12-cup dual-wall thermal carafe to keep your coffee warm. The thermal carafe has been a point of contention, with several users complaining it has been pourly designed (excuse the pun). The pouring spout is prone to dripping and is difficult to pour from. Still, it is a helpful feature, capable of keeping a pot of coffee hot for hours (particularly if you preheat it). The carafe holds 60 oz. or 12 cups of coffee.
The Grind Control coffee maker is a versatile machine. On the one hand it can brew a single cup of coffee, for those looking for a quick caffeine hit. On the other hand it has the capacity to brew up to 12 cups, making it ideal for a family situation. The hopper can hold a half pound of coffee beans. But we are talking 5 oz. cups (not your standard 8 oz.). As mentioned above, it has a 60 oz. carafe to keep your coffee piping hot. This is a very versatile machine catering to either single-serve or carafe.
The Grind Control coffee maker is loaded with a stainless steel, flat burr grinder. This is a huge advantage over other drip coffee makers as it means the Grind Control delivers freshly ground coffee which is essential for delicious coffee. The built in grinder has six grind settings, which is a very limited range for a grinder. But it is aimed at drip coffee which doesn’t require the precise adjustments you would need for something like espresso. All the grind settings fall in the medium grind size range and should resemble the texture of sand. Overall, the grinder produces consistent grinds at this level. Additionally, the Grind Control offers the option of using pre-ground coffee.
Breville recommends that grind sizes between 2 and 4 should be suitable for most coffees. A finer grind (2-3) should be used if you are brewing a smaller volume. And conversely, if you are brewing a larger volume, a medium-coarse grind would be best (3-5).
The grinder has a calibration function to adjust the output times for different beans. To calibrate the grinder, you enter the calibration mode. The grinder then grinds for 10 seconds, you weigh the ground coffee on a scale, and then enter the weight into the machine. The Grind Control then adjusts the brewing ratio based on the result. This is an excellent feature for the coffee enthusiast but is likely more advanced than the average user would require.
Another handy feature of the grinder is that the bean hopper has a locking system, allowing you to easily remove the hopper when it’s full.
Ease Of Use
The Breville Grind Control is effortless to use. The LCD screen is easy to navigate to program your desired brew settings. To brew a cup of coffee, you fill the hopper with coffee beans, fill the water reservoir and then select how many cups you want to brew and your brew strength, then press start. The machine does all the hard work of grinding, dosing directly into the gold-tone filter inside the brew basket and then brewing for you. We would note that this coffee maker is rather loud when in use though.
You have the option of brewing directly into the carafe, or there is a piece in the drip tray you can remove, allowing you to brew a single cup directly into your travel mug. If you opt for a carafe, there is a Brew Pause feature allowing you to sneak a fresh cup of coffee mid-brew.
The Grind Control coffee maker offers a basic level of customization. You can alter the grind setting, strength, and batch size. As mentioned above, there are six different grind settings to choose from to change the grind’s coarseness. In addition to this, you can select from eight different strength settings, altering the dose of coffee used. One is the weakest, and eight is the strongest. Breville recommends starting on setting four for a medium-strength coffee and adjusting from there. The final option you have is to select your batch size, anywhere from a single cup to 12 cups.
There are no options to choose your dose of coffee or adjust the bloom time or water temperature. If you find the temperature of your coffee isn’t hot enough, your only option is to preheat the carafe (which Breville recommends doing anyway).
One other helpful feature the Grind Control has is a programmable auto-start. You can set the coffee maker to turn on and brew coffee, so you wake up to a fresh pot of coffee- a great way to start the day!
Now for the pivotal question, how does the coffee taste? The taste will depend on the quality of coffee beans used. But most users find the Breville Grind Control can produce a tasty brew. The ability of the coffee maker to grind beans right before brewing means the coffee made is fresh and delicious. If you choose to use the gold-tone filter, you will get a more robust brew with more oils and some sediment entering the cup. Alternatively, you can use a paper filter which will produce a cleaner cup.
The cleaning required of the Breville Grind Control coffee maker is its one chink in the armor. There have been recurring complaints that cleaning this coffee maker is complex and requires a lot of effort, particularly when using dark, oily beans. There have also been reports of the grinder malfunctioning, which is somewhat expected of grind-and-brew coffee makers. They are notorious for getting blockages if you don’t clean them regularly.
In terms of cleaning, after each use, you need to wash the removable parts by hand- this includes the carafe, brew basket, and filter. Additionally, the drip tray and grinds catcher need to be emptied and rinsed regularly.
The real clincher lies in cleaning the grinder. Breville recommends this be done every 2 to 3 weeks, and a notification will be displayed on the LCD screen when this is due. You have to remove the hopper and brush out the burrs, and grinding chute using the brush provided.
While a bit of effort is required to maintain the Grind Control, it creates very little mess when using it.
Value for Money
There is no denying that the Breville Grind Control coffee maker is expensive (it is almost as much as the Moccamaster, which is the gold standard of drip coffee makers). However, you are getting a grinder and coffee maker in one. This is a good option for the drip coffee lover looking for convenience. It is effortless to use and creates little mess when brewing.
If you are a coffee geek, the Breville Grind Control will likely not offer the customization you require. And you might find that the Breville Precision Brewer or the Technivorm Moccamaster coffee machines would be better suited. Alternatively, if you are interested in learning to brew manually, you could invest in a pour-over setup. This would be more affordable and produces better-tasting coffee.
Breville Grind Control Coffee Maker- The Verdict
The Breville Grind Control is a quality coffee maker that produces a fresh cup of coffee with the push of a button. If you love drip coffee, then it would be worth investing in the Grind Control. However, if you like experimenting with different brew methods or parameters, we think investing in a separate grinder and coffee maker would be better. This would give you the flexibility to grind for other brew methods.