Featured image credit: Williams-Sonoma
This is our Breville Smart Grinder Pro review.
Keep reading to learn more about its main features and if it’s the best grinder for you.
Overview: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is an affordable grinder that competes with dedicated home espresso grinders and entry-level grinders at the same time.
Unlike other domestic coffee grinders, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro doesn’t look like a home appliance. On the contrary, it seems like prosumer equipment, with a sleek look.
The main strengths of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro are its appearance, usability, and uniform grind size distribution, with the capability to produce fine grounds for espresso using pressurized portafilters. Additionally, it has a good range of settings available, which makes the Smart Grinder Pro suitable for drip and filter brews.
In terms of weaknesses, the Smart Grinder Pro has several complaints about its relatively poor durability, which is disappointing. Especially in a space where competitors build long-lasting products, like Eureka and Baratza.
And the price? The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is pricey for an entry-level grinder and affordable for a beginner espresso setup. Perspective can be confusing, huh?
Who shouldn’t buy the Breville Smart Grinder Pro?
Typically, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro isn’t for:
Premium-oriented home baristas
At a glance, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro looks professional. But it’s most likely to disappoint someone looking for an advanced grinder.
You may say I am being harsh. This grinder has a screen, a timer, programmable dosing, and portafilter holders for different sizes (50-54 mm and 58 mm). But, it has stepped adjustments, which aren’t precise enough for prosumer espresso machines.
As you may know, prosumer espresso machines tend to come with non-pressurized portafilters, which are more challenging to master than their pressurized counterparts. To put it simply, if you’re aiming for the best piece of gear to come along your top-of-the-line espresso machine, the Smart Grinder Pro isn’t for you.
Pour-over and immersion coffee brewing Passionate aficionados
If you are serious about manual coffee brewing, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a good option, but it isn’t the best in this price range.
The Baratza Virtuoso Plus, for instance, is better for pour-overs, is more durable, and the price is very close.
Who is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro for?
Typically, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro will make you happy if:
You have an entry-level espresso machine
A brand-new yet affordable espresso machine is sitting on your countertop, and you are starting to realize that supermarket ground coffee doesn’t cut it.
If that’s your case, you may have put the coach behind the horses, but it isn’t too late. You can still get a decent piece of gear to improve your espresso.
And the Breville Smart Grinder Pro might be the perfect solution for your problem. Its stainless steel finish looks elegant, and it produces fine and uniform coffee grounds.
Just check if your machine comes with a pressurized portafilter for the best results. Most espresso machines under 200 dollars have this feature, but it’s worth checking before pulling the trigger again.
You want perfect Aeropress and Moka pot coffee
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a good option if you’re committed to improving your coffee brewing experience with more affordable coffeemakers like the Moka pot and the Aeropress.
It might not be a good option for the French press but it produces excellent coffee grounds for coffeemakers that use finer grind sizes.
Main Features: Pros and cons
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a mid-tier grinder, perfect for entry-level espresso setups. In essence, it’s a great grinder for anyone who wants to improve their coffee game without breaking the bank.
That said, its major shortcomings are its poor durability and that it isn’t a good option for espresso machines with non-pressurized portafilters.
The key features suggest that it’s easy to find better and more affordable grinders for filter and immersion brewers. Yet, it can be a good option for people looking for its looks and advanced features.
Let’s dig deeper so that you can make the best of our Breville Smart Grinder Pro conical burr coffee grinder review.
Breville put serious design skills into the Smart Grinder Pro. It looks sleek and advanced, ready to produce espresso powder. The size fits most countertops, but you better measure your available room.
If you’re all about polished stainless steel, you’ll love the Breville Smart Grinder Pro finish. Unlike more affordable options, it doesn’t feel plasticky or cheap. In terms of style, it’s an excellent add-on for any kitchen or home espresso bar.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is superior to most grinders in this price range thanks to its panel and wide array of adjustments available. Options can become a bit overwhelming for beginners, but it isn’t as complicated as it seems at first.
You can load it with beans, twist the upper part to the locked position, choose your desired grind setting, and press the manual-grind button until finishing.
However, taking advantage of these grinder features takes some practice. You have 60 grind settings available, and you can program the grinder in 0.2-second increments.
Grinding coffee daily with the Smart Grinder Pro takes a few steps:
- Put coffee beans inside the hopper
- Pick grind setting using the dial
- Set the grind time using the dial below the LCD screen
- Press the start button
Before starting the grinding process, it’s helpful to take two steps in advance. The first one, which is pure common sense, is to plug the grinder. The second, which I have forgotten a couple of times, is to place the bin or portafilter below the chute to get the coffee grounds.
The machine offers Espresso, Percolator, Filter, and Plunger programming options. You can also adjust the dose of coffee grounds depending on the number of cups or shots. Then, the grinder calculates and sets the grinding time accordingly.
Assembling this grinder takes a few seconds, which is perfect for everyone. You won’t have to waste time on setup, which is common with other grinders.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro shines beyond its looks. It has 60 individual grind settings, a powerful motor, and high-quality steel conical burrs.
The stepped grind settings are reliable, and most tests and customer reviews praise the consistency of the grind size distribution. In plain English, your coffee will taste better because the coffee grounds will have a relatively uniform size. That is to say, you can get the best out of your coffee with this grinder.
Additionally, I found that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro has even more grind size adjustments available.
If you want to get coarser or finer coffee grounds, you can remove the top burr and adjust it manually. For this reason, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro has 600 settings available, combining the dial and these adjustment options.
For this reason, it’s pretty good for domestic espresso machines with pressurized portafilters. You can get pretty decent espresso with the tighter settings.
Breville has an excellent customer support team, and you can expect from them only the best. But poor durability can be a severe issue.
Some experts claim that it’s the downside of the electronics included in this grinder, making it prone to random failure. It’s not always a deal-breaker, but it is worth bearing in mind.
In any case, it’s easy to find spare parts and technical service providers in the United States and Canada. If you’re in another country, it’s a good idea to check if you have technical service providers close to you. If not, I recommend picking another grinder.
If you’re looking for a sexy grinder, programmable, with a timer, and the best companion for your 200-ish espresso machine, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a top choice.
After seven years in the market, the cost of this grinder is below what it once was. Compared to other home grinders, it’s more expensive but tends to be better for most things.
In this price range, most of the better options are hand grinders. Electric grinders with similar capabilities are well above this price range. Even the Baratza Sette 30 can’t beat the Breville Smart Grinder Pro in several aspects, and it’s considerably pricier.
So, it’s a good choice if you want to spend more on something that will make your coffee taste better.
The Verdict: Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review
It’s hard to find a handsome grinder in this price range, yet the Breville Smart Grinder Pro ticks quite a few boxes.
Breville Smart Grinder Pro
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a rock-solid performer. It has 60 stepped grind settings, high-quality burrs, and an attractive design, making it one of the best choices in its price range. However, there are some downsides to this grinder. It’s not the most durable on the market. And it was a bit expensive. Nonetheless, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro gets uniform results, which are evident in the taste and aroma of your cup of coffee.
Product Brand: Breville
Product In-Stock: InStock
Breville Smart Grinder Pro Alternatives
If you prefer filter coffee or spend less money, manual grinders can serve you well. You can get some excellent hand grinders that are surprisingly fast compared to electric grinders for this kind of money.
But if you’re like me and prefer an electric grinder for home use, I got you covered. Find below some great options, both manual and electric, as alternatives for the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.
You can read our review for a detailed comparison of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs. Baratza Encore.
A hand grinder for this price must be something out of this world. And the 1Zpresso J-Max is pretty close to that!
This hand grinder is the new favorite kid on the block, competing with premium grinders like Comandante MK4 and Kinu M47.
You can get extremely tight adjustments with this grinder. It’s robust and can grind faster than most electric grinders. The results in the cup are impressive, and it’s easy to notice the difference between mid-range electric grinders compared with the 1Zpresso J-Max.
Baratza Virtuoso Plus
The Baratza Virtuoso+ has a similar price to the Breville Smart Grinder Pro, but it depends on the season and where you get it.
The most important thing here is that the Baratza Virtuoso Plus is a dedicated filter coffee grinder. Additionally, it’s reliable, more durable, and gives you the clarity you expect from an excellent pour-over, dripper, or some immersion devices like the Aeropress and French press.
If you’re curious about this grinder, I wrote a complete Baratza Virtuoso+ review for you.
Eureka Mignon Crono Coffee Grinder
You can get the Eureka Mignon Crono for a similar price, a good mid-range espresso grinder. It’s got 50mm hardened steel flat burrs, stepless grind adjustments, a timer, and it’s programmable.
It’s not as versatile as the Breville Smart Grinder Pro because it’s a dedicated espresso grinder. So, if you’re after complex espresso machines, the Eureka Mignon Crono can offer you the performance you need.
It isn’t as advanced as the Eureka Mignon Specialita, but it’s very similar at the core. To some extent, it’s a simplified and more affordable version.
People are asking some questions about the Baratza Encore over and over again. I am answering the most relevant that I found below.
How Do I Clean My Breville Smart Grinder Pro?
If you regularly use oily, dark-roasted coffee beans, consider using grinder cleaning products every week.
For medium and light roast users, you can use cleaning pellets once a month, and brush the burrs every week.
What’s The Difference Between The Smart Grinder Pro And The Dose Control Pro From Breville?
The Smart Grinder Pro is able to adjust grind speed in increments as small as 0.20 seconds, whereas the Dose Control Pro only does increments as large as one second.
Considering the minimal price difference between the two grinders, the Smart Grinder Pro is the best option.
What Coffeemakers Are Compatible With The Breville Smart Grinder Pro?
This grinder is not limited to any machine, but it’s made for pressurized portafilters. If you’re using a non-pressurized portafilter, you should look for a different grinder.
The Breville Smart Grinder Pro works better with:
* Moka pot
* Espresso machine under 200 dollars with a pressurized portafilter
Can A Breville Smart Pro Grinder Grind Espresso?
Yes, if you adjust the grinder appropriately, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro can grind very fine. As a default, it grinds fine enough but you might want more adjustments to dial the best espresso. Bear in mind that this grinder works better for espresso machines with pressurized portafilters, which are more forgiving.
Many users claim to have had the Baratza Encore for more than three years, and some state that they have had it for over five years. Durability is the second most relevant grinder, and with proper maintenance, it’s incredibly reliable.
What Type Of Coffee Is Best Suited For The Breville Smart Grinder Pro?
All burr grinders work better with medium roasts. Dark roasts won’t harm your grinder if they aren’t oily.
Oily residues clog burr grinders. So, if you prefer oily coffee beans, you’ll need to clean your grinder more frequently.