Nobody wants surprises after a few weeks of using new coffee gear. That’s why I wrote this TIMEMORE C2 review to help you decide before paying for your new grinder.
In short, the TIMEMORE C2:
- Is fast – Most owners love the TIMEMORE C2 speed. This burr grinder has sharp steel burrs that work like a beast and have an impressive grind size distribution for the price. The C2 just grinds fast and uniformly.
- It looks good – yet the TIMEMORE C2 has a couple of plastic details that harm its style. We all know that it could look better with those pieces in wood, but that could easily mean a few more dollars up.
- It’s affordable – Not long ago, it was unbeatable in this price range, now it has some close competitors, but it’s still a game-changer for coffee enthusiasts on a budget.
Now, let’s get into the details. Keep reading to find the whole picture in our TIMEMORE C2 grinder review.
Overview: TIMEMORE C2 Burr Grinder Review
I was skeptical about this affordable burr grinder at first. Starting with TIMEMORE: I never heard of this brand before the C2 became an ever-growing global sensation a couple of years ago.
In the meantime, I changed hand grinders a couple of times and got my first home electric burr grinder. That said, after checking the TIMEMORE C2, I regret not buying it before.
The top strength of this grinder is its burr set. Although you can pick between titanium-coated steel burrs and standard steel burrs, both are great.
Why are steel burrs so great?
Steel burs are:
- Produce a more consistent grind-size distribution
- Work faster
I could say that TIMEMORE and 1ZPresso changed the rules for affordable manual grinders by introducing their entry-level products.
Cheap grinders used to come with ceramic burrs only, and you may find some of them for less than half of the price of the C2.
TIMEMORE C2 Tiny Specs Sheet
- Aluminum body with PCTG plastic parts
- 38 mm CNC steel conical burrs
- Capacity: 25 g
- Grinds 1 g per second
- Dimensions: 14.7 cm x 5 cm – with handle 16 cm
- Weight: 450 g
- Made in China (except the burr set)
Is TIMEMORE a good brand?
TIMEMORE is a firm that specialized in coffee like few brands are. Their product range is relatively narrow, and perhaps only 1Zpresso is its only direct competitor that’s even more specialized than TIMEMORE.
While TIMEMORE digital scale gets mixed opinions, most TIMEMORE products have good quality, appealing aesthetics, and outstanding value for the price.
Still, something went against TIMEMORE when they started. Coffee enthusiasts take pride in their coffee beans’ origin and gear. For this reason, TIMEMORE had to fight against Chinese products’ low-quality reputation to earn the public’s respect.
Perhaps, for this reason, TIMEMORE launched the TIMEMORE Chestnut X, their most luxurious grinder and a worthy opponent for more famous products in the high-end segment.
Let me be blunt. As much as we prefer high-quality grinders made in Europe, it was almost impossible to find a decent hand grinder below 300$ just a couple of years ago. Some years ago, Kinu and Commandante were the only reasonable alternatives, while cheap ceramic burr grinders were the only choice for coffee enthusiasts on a budget.
TIMEMORE changed the game when they launched the C2 Chestnut. Indeed, it’s considerably pricier than available entry-level grinders like the Hario Slim, my first one. Likewise, it’s significantly superior.
I can’t complain about the Slim. It served me well for years. But, both in terms of built quality and performance, TIMEMORE achieved to get something closer to a Commandante grinder while keeping the price tag below 100$.
In other words, TIMEMORE is a pretty young company that made possible something that was just a wild dream a few years ago.
Who shouldn’t buy the TIMEMORE C2?
Money can be divisive. And when it comes to picking the TIMEMORE C2, it’s the case. For this reason, the TIMEMORE C2 isn’t for people looking for the cheapest grinder available, nor those looking for the most premium device either.
Additionally, unless you get the titanium-coated burr set, it isn’t a great choice for espresso.
In short, you should avoid the TIMEMORE C2, if:
- You want the best hand grinder
- You want the cheapest grinder on the market
- You want to grind coffee for espresso manually
Who is the TIMEMORE C2 for?
Are you looking for quality without breaking the bank?
You might be tired of your cheap ceramic burr grinder, or you’re upgrading from a blade grinder. In any case, you know that coffee can taste better, and you’re willing to pay a bit more. In that case, the TIMEMORE C2 might be just what you’re looking for.
The TIMEMORE C2 would be the most evident entry-level hand grinder in a perfect world. It still isn’t the case because so many cheap offerings are flooding the market.
Truth be told, I fell for it earlier in my coffee journey. In my defense, it was unthinkable for me to spend 300$ on a manual grinder just to test the water.
You might say the same about a similar product around the 100$, but considering the immense amount of happiness you get from well-ground coffee, I would say that it’s pretty reasonable.
So, the TIMEMORE C2 is for you if:
- You already know the importance of coffee grind size distribution
- You want something better than a ceramic burr grinder
- You DEFINITELY want something better than a blade grinder, and…
- You’re on a budget
Ceramic vs. Steel vs. Titanium-coated Steel
The burr set makes a huge difference here. After checking several TIMEMORE C2 burr coffee grinder features, the burrs are what makes it different from cheaper models. At the same time, curiously, the burr set is what makes it similar to the VSSL Java and the Varia.
Regarding materials, ceramic burr grinders are the most affordable, and for a good reason. Ceramic is relatively cheap, and although is pretty durable, burrs aren’t sharp enough. They produce a lot of fines and a messy grind size distribution. In contrast, steel burrs are sharper, more reliable, and faster.
Titanium-coated steel burrs have become popular recently. They are more durable and seem to produce a more consistent grind size. In the specific case of the TIMEMORE C2, most users are happy with their titanium-coated steel burrs. In this regard, I found opposing views about performance without enough data to support either claim.
⚙️ A quick note on burr sets
Many people get shocked when they realize that the TIMEMORE grinders share their burr sets with competitors like the Varia and the VSSL Java. However, it isn’t a strange practice in the industry, nor a shady one. Several companies source their burrs from third parties. Even the sensational Niche Zero gets its burrs from Mazzer, for instance.
Main features: pros and cons
On balance, the TIMEMORE C2 grinds fast and well with adjustable settings. Moreover, it looks nice, and it’s pretty portable.
Regarding its weaknesses, it has a couple of plastic parts that make it look cheap, but most importantly, some users complain about burrs alignment. The latter tends to be a more severe problem when aiming for finer grind sizes.
Finally, some users find the 25 grams capacity too limited. Regarding capacity, there is another frustrating issue. Some users claim that the grounds receptacle can feel loose after some use and even fall unexpectedly.
- Good quality burr set
- Adjustable grind settings with click system
- Compact design
- Nice look
- Easy to use and clean
- Limited capacity
- Burrs alignment issues
- Plastic parts
- Faulty grounds receptacle
Let’s look at each set of features in further detail.
The TIMEMORE C2 Burr Grinder has a decent appearance. It looks premium compared to cheaper grinders, despite having several plastic parts.
The body is mainly aluminum and comes in two different presentations. Its checkered grey body with rugged texture feels pretty well and has an outstanding grip. The other option is white and neat.
Both presentations look well, although the rugged one offers a more pleasant grip. Additionally, having a white piece of manual gear can require extra care.
The TIMEMORE C2 has adjustable settings with a click system inspired by high-end grinders. It’s a great feature that delivers a consistent and premium grinding experience.
Additionally, grinding feels easy and smooth. Most users claim that they can grind the total capacity in seconds.
Grabbing the C2 is comfortable and reliable, especially when using the model with the checkered pattern.
Some users have found that the coffee grounds chamber doesn’t hold itself securely after some use. Moreover, I have seen complaints of a faulty locking system to keep the grinder and receptacle together.
It’s hard to overstate how great is the TIMEMORE C2 in terms of performance. Considering its limitations to dialing in a great cup of espresso, it’s perfect for almost everything else. Actually, we found it’s a great grinder for the French press, as well as the Aeropress and the Moka pot.
You’ll find plenty of cheaper options, but ceramic burr grinders are slow and aren’t as reliable.
Steel burrs are sharper and more reliable than cheaper ceramic burrs, producing significantly better ground consistency and fines generation results.
As a result, the TIMEMORE C2 helps to obtain cleaner cups of coffee that display specific aromatic profiles and notes that are almost impossible to perceive with cheaper grinders.
The approximate capacity of 25 grams makes this grinder a good choice for single servings, working for a maximum of two small cups for most brewing recipes.
Build quality is notoriously superior to cheap plastic grinders with ceramic burr sets.
The aluminum body is light and resistant, while the steel burrs are made to last. Even plastic parts are durable. However, bear in mind that the TIMEMORE C2 is a budget product. It isn’t supposed to compete with premium products like Kinu, Commandante, or even the 1ZPresso pro range.
The coffee grounds chamber seems to be a design weakness, as some users complain about it falling unexpectedly or feeling loose.
The TIMEMORE C2 is a great value for the price. It has a steel burr set and a click-system for adjustable grind settings that emulate premium grinders that triple its retail price.
For many, it can be a great travel alternative. As such, it’s a complementary option that suits very well those with a good electric grinder at home.
TIMEMORE C2 alternatives
Below I describe some options if you’re looking for a manual grinder for espresso or aiming for more premium manual grinders.
Looking at the prices of popular models from the past, like the Porlex mini or the Hario Skerton, I wouldn’t seriously consider them as an option. Budget-wise, a manual ceramic burr grinder with a plastic body isn’t serious competition for the TIMEMORE C2 and its direct rivals.
Many enthusiasts compare the TIMEMORE C2 and the 1Zpresso JX, but that’s unfair. The 1Zpresso Q2 is closer to the TIMEMORE C2, in my opinion. They have similar features, and although the company offers the Q2 as a travel grinder, I must say that it works just fine for most people grinding around 20 to 25 grams per serving.
The built quality of 1Zpresso Q2 is superior to both the TIMEMORE C2 and the Normcore V2, and the performance is great.
As expected, it is slightly pricier than its competitors, but I find it pretty reasonable.
Unbeatable in style, all-metal, and wood, the design of the Normcore is impressive. It comes with a high-quality steel burr set and stepped grind adjustments.
Overall, it performs similarly, and sometimes you can find it cheaper than the TIMEMORE. As you may know, prices vary from one season to another, so it’s worth checking the price tag before deciding.
For more details, you can read our Normcore manual grinder v2 review.
The Verdict: TIMEMORE C2 Burr Grinder Review
Compared to cheaper grinders, the TIMEMORE C2 is unbeatable in performance, looks, and durability. However, it might seem weaker in terms of aesthetics and build quality compared to closer competitors.
Overall, my TIMEMORE C2 Chestnut coffee grinder review concludes that it’s an excellent option for coffee enthusiasts looking for an upgrade from cheaper products or beginners who want to start strong.
If you’re looking for more options, you can check our review of the best coffee manual grinders.
If you’re a fan of the French press, check our article about the best coffee grinder for French Press.
Featured image by TIMEMORE.