The Timemore Chestnut C2 is one of the first grinders on the market to bridge the gap between entry-level and premium hand grinders. This beauty is packed with 38mm conical steel burrs which grind coffee beans consistently and quickly. All wrapped up in a very affordable price tag. This review will take a deep dive into the Timemore Chestnut C2 to see how it performs and who should consider investing in one.
Best Budget Hand Grinder
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is a rare find- it offers premium grind quality at an entry-level price. The C2 is packed with the same high quality burrs you find in Timemore’s other high quality hand grinders. These 38mm Stainless steel burrs deliver superb grind consistency, a wide grind range and an impressive grinding speed. If you are after a hand grinder for manual brewing, the Timemore Chestnut C2 is a stand-out.
Timemore is a Chinese-based company that was founded in 2012 by a group of coffee lovers. While they have been around for a while, they are just gaining popularity in the Western coffee scene. Timemore is now widely known for its Timemore Black Mirror coffee scale and range of hand grinders. However, they also produce pour-over kettles and drippers. The Timemore Chestnut C2 is their entry-level hand grinder. It has been considerately designed and offers excellent value for money.
Timemore Chestnut C2 Review
The Timemore C2 has a modern but minimalistic design. The main body is made of Aluminum alloy and is available in a range of neutral colors. The body has a textured surface, which not only looks impressive but makes it easy to grip. It is a striking hand grinder that wins in the aesthetics department.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 comes in at a pretty standard size, measuring 160mm by 60mm. The hopper can hold 25 grams of coffee which is more than enough for a single serve with most brewing methods. If you are after a hand grinder with a larger capacity, you could consider the Timemore C2 Max, which is an identical grinder but with a slightly larger capacity, it can accommodate up to 30 grams of coffee.
Given that the Timemore C2 incorporates a lot of aluminum and plastic in the design, it is a very lightweight hand grinder, weighing 465 grams. This, combined with the compact design, make it relatively portable. While it is too big to fit inside an Aeropress, you could easily take the C2 on your travels. And when you buy one, it comes with a complimentary travel bag. However, if travel is your main game, we recommend opting for the Timemore Nano or 1Zpresso Q2 instead, which have been specifically designed for travel.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 comes at a pretty special price, and how they make this viable is by including some plastic parts in the design (whereas other premium hand grinders are made entirely of metal). So the C2 has a plastic lid and crank pommel, plastic adjustment knob, and plastic stabilizers inside. This isn’t something to be too concerned about, as the PCTG plastic is pretty solid and durable. However, it is something to be aware of; this hand grinder is not fall-proof. Dropping it could result in some of the plastic parts cracking.
In saying this, the crucial components, like the burrs and hand crank, are made of stainless steel. The hand grinder has been carefully designed to ensure the burrs are stable and produce a consistent grind size. The handle spins smoothly, being mounted on dual bearings. Additionally, the inner burr is spring-loaded to ensure repeatability of grind sizes.
The long and short of it is, the Timemore Chestnut C2 does feel cheaper than other more expensive burr grinders. However, investing in one of these bad boys won’t cause quite such a dent in the bank balance. Timemore has invested its money into essential things, like quality burrs resulting in a premium grind quality, without the premium price tag.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is packed with a set of 38mm stainless steel conical burrs. The burrs have been designed by Timemore themselves and are a lot better quality than the burrs you would see on other hand grinders at this price. The burr set is sharp and aggressive, making quick work of your coffee beans. It takes around 38 seconds to grind 20 grams of beans at setting 15 for Pour Over. Or approximately 46 seconds to grind 20 grams at setting 13 for Aeropress (1). This impressive grinding speed is up there (along with the 1Zpresso Jx) as one of the fastest hand grinders on the market.
And here we come to the most crucial consideration- the grind consistency. The Timemore Chestnut C2 offers excellent grind consistency, considering the price. It offers a full grind range, allowing you to grind fine for Moka Pot all the way up to the coarser settings for French press or Chemex. Where it really excels is at the medium and coarse settings, producing a uniform grind size. It still does produce a modest amount of fines, which translates to less clarity in your cup. But given the price, the Timemore C2 well and truly blows its competitors out of the water.
This hand grinder is well-suited to manual brewing methods like Pour Over, Aeropress, French Press, or Moka Pot. While the Timemore Chestnut C2 can technically grind fine enough for espresso, it isn’t designed for this. There are not enough grind settings to dial the coffee beans in precisely, and it takes a very long time to grind a single dose that fine. There are better hand grinders, like the 1Zpresso JX-pro, that are better suited to grinding for espresso.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 has a stepped grind adjustment system. Thirty-six different settings cover a wide range of brewing methods. Adjusting the grind setting is done via a dial located under the main body of the hand grinder. To change the grind setting, you hold the handle in place and then turn the dial all the way to the right until the burrs are touching. This is the zero point. You then turn it to your desired grind setting, the dial clicks at each increment. Timemore suggests the following grind settings as a starting point:
The dial has dots around it to mark the level of coarseness or fineness. However, this system is not very accurate, making it hard to switch between settings. While this is frustrating, it is a common issue with manual grinders.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is simple to clean. It comes with a cleaning brush to help you wipe out any residual ground coffee. Every few months, you need to disassemble the burrs and do a deeper clean. To do this, you unscrew the grind adjustment knob coarser until it falls out. You can then remove the burrs to do a thorough clean.
Who is the Timemore Chestnut C2 For?
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is an excellent all-rounder burr grinder. It is entry-level in terms of build quality and price but is competing with premium grinders when it comes to grind quality. That is why we would say the Timemore Chestnut C2 is the best budget hand grinder on the market. We highly recommend it for those starting out or looking for an affordable manual grinder. It is a huge step up from its competitors like the Hario Skerton Pro or the Porlex Mini.
If you want a grinder with better build quality, you could step up to the next price bracket and consider the 1Zpresso JX or Jx-Pro. Both these grinders offer exceptional grind consistency and a premium build. The JX is aimed at manual brewing, whereas the JX-Pro can cater to both manual and espresso.
The Verdict-Timemore Chestnut C2
The Timemore C2 has become a very popular grinder, and it is easy to see why. It offers exceptional value for money. The Timemore C2 is a reliable grinder that delivers premium quality grind results, a wide range of grind settings and a fast grinding speed. If you are looking for a hand grinder for manual brewing, at this price point there is no comparison. It is the best budget hand grinder on the market and we can safely say you will not regret investing in the Timemore C2.