Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review 2023: Best Budget Espresso Grinder

After working as a professional barista for many years, Arne Preuss founded Coffeeness.

There's little doubt that this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review is long overdue. For starters, I awarded the Breville "Best Budget Espresso Grinder" in my coffee grinder guide 2023. What's more, I know that lots of you are looking for an effective and affordable grinder to accompany your home espresso machine.

There’s little doubt that this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review is long overdue. For starters, I awarded the Breville “Best Budget Espresso Grinder” in my coffee grinder guide 2023. What’s more, I know that lots of you are looking for an effective and affordable grinder to accompany your home espresso machine.

With that in mind, I decided to take a closer look at what’s undoubtedly one of the most popular burr coffee grinders around. Heck, I even ordered one of these bad boys from Amazon to test out for you.

Now that I’ve spent some time playing with this grinder I can’t wait to tell you how it performs. So, let’s get my hands-on Breville Smart Grinder Pro review started!

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Great value for money!

60 grind settings

Suitable for espresso

Large LCD display

Includes portafilter cradles

Fantastic value for money

Not great for coarser grind sizes

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Review Overview

I can’t deny that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro looks pretty impressive. Regular Coffeeness readers will probably already know that I rate Breville products highly. Part of that comes from the fact that the Australian manufacturer’s design team is usually on-point.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro sitting next to the Breville Infuser espresso machine.

In any case, the Smart Grinder Pro fits right in with Breville’s aesthetic. As you can see, it compliments a Breville espresso machine very nicely indeed. You can also be assured that the Breville grinder is sturdy and well-made. While it’s always inevitable that plastic will be used to a certain extent, Breville doesn’t hold back when it comes to stainless steel construction.

As I was unboxing the Smart Grinder Pro I was pleasantly surprised by how heavy it is. I  mean, you won’t have a hard time lifting it or anything, but it does feel nice and substantial.

As with the majority of burr coffee grinders, the Breville’s bean hopper sits up top. Below that, you’ll find a large LCD screen displaying all the adjustable settings you’ll be dealing with. There are dedicated knobs and buttons for making adjustments, as well as a large dial on the side of the grinder.

I’ll discuss all that in detail later in my Breville Smart Grinder Pro review. For now, I’ll just say that the Breville offers a whopping 60 grind adjustment levels, which is definitely impressive. Plus, thanks to the included cradles, you can grind directly into a portafilter.

Ultimately, for $199.95, the Breville grinder represents extremely good value for the money. Although I was slightly dubious before I’d tested the thing, I can now tell you that this grinder is the real deal. I’ll tell you more a little later!

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Features

Now that we’ve got a better idea of what we’re dealing with, let’s continue this Breville Smart Grinder Pro review by delving deeper into its features and performance.

Size

When you’re shopping for a drip coffee maker, coffee grinder or other kitchen appliance, it’s easy to get carried away. I, for one, have definitely hit the Buy Now button without fully thinking things through! With that in mind, let me draw your attention to the Smart Grinder Pro’s dimensions.

While this isn’t the biggest grinder I’ve ever seen, it’s far from the most compact. Let’s just say that, if counter space is at a premium in your kitchen, a hand grinder might be the way to go.

Another thing to be aware of is the overall height of the Breville coffee grinder. Clocking in at 15.5 inches (39.4 centimeters), the Smart Grinder Pro might not fit below some overhead cabinets.

Bean Hopper

Looking into the Breville Smart Grinder Pro bean hopper.

The Smart Grinder Pro’s bean hopper has an 18 ounce (510 gram) capacity, which is pretty impressive. I also appreciate the fact that the plastic hopper is UV tinted. Plus, the hopper lid seals in place to keep things nice and airtight in there.

Still, I wouldn’t recommend leaving larger amounts of coffee beans in the hopper for an extended period. You’re much better off using a coffee storage canister.

By the way, I should also mention the handy ring pull for removing the hopper lid. It’s little design touches like this that really put a smile on my face. Cheers Breville!

Stainless Steel Conical Burrs

Whenever I write a coffee grinder review, I’m tempted to start comparing flat burrs and conical burrs. However, that’s a touchy subject among coffee nerds, and I don’t want to rile anyone up! So, I’ll tell you that the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is equipped with stainless steel conical burrs and leave it at that.

There are 60 grind settings to play with, and Breville claims this grinder will work as well for French press as for espresso. I’ll tell you whether or not that’s true when I discuss the results of my hands-on testing. For now, you should know that the upper burr is further adjustable if you want a wider grind range.

Incidentally, the upper burr is fully removable and can be lifted out with ease. That’s definitely going to make it easier to maintain the Breville grinder.

User Interface

Closeup of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro user interface.

If you’ve only ever used a bare-bones coffee grinder with a Start/Stop button, you’d be forgiven for feeling a little intimidated by Breville’s user interface. Well, allow me to reassure you – there’s nothing complicated about what’s going on here. In fact, the user interface is remarkably simple and easy to navigate.

The LCD screen provides information about your current grind size as well as a cool scale for a visual representation. You can change the grind setting via the large dial on the side of the machine. You’ll also see the current grind time, which is adjusted via the rotary knob underneath.

Aside from that, there’s a programmable Shots/Cups function, which seems kind of superfluous to me. To be honest, I ended up ignoring it altogether during my hands-on testing.

Dosing

Closeup of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro dosing into a portafilter.

In a perfect world, every home burr grinder would have the ability to grind by weight. After all, measuring your coffee before brewing is the only way to get truly consistent results. That’s as true for pour over coffee and French press as it is for espresso and AeroPress.

Of course, adding a grind-by-weight function means paying a lot more, which is why most affordable models grind by time. Anyway, that’s not the end of the world – it just means you’ll need to invest in a good coffee scale too.

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro allows you to adjust the time in 0.2 second increments, which is very impressive. Of course, you can also take over and grind manually if needs be.

Accessories

The Accessories included with the Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

I’ve never known Breville to skimp on accessories, which is why I’m unsurprised to see what’s included with the Smart Grinder Pro.

For starters, you’ll get a nice grounds container that’s designed to work seamlessly with the grinder chute. There are even markings on the side for grinding by volume if that’s your thing. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, grinding into the container with the lid attached can get messy – the opening is just too small. Still, an easy fix is to just ignore the lid altogether.

There are two cradles included, one for 54 millimeter portafilters and one for 58 millimeter portafilters. These attach using magnets, which is quick and convenient. Incidentally, another nice feature is the grinder activation switch under the dispensing chute. You can use this by pressing it with your portafilter.

Lastly, you’ll get a cleaning brush for taking care of any buildup that might occur on the conical burrs.

How to Use the Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Angled view of the Breville Smart Grinder Pro showing the grind adjustment dial.

I’m happy to report that using the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is a piece of cake. Before firing up the grinder for the first time, make sure to thoroughly wash the bean hopper, portafilter cradles and grounds container in warm, soapy water. That’ll get rid of any factory residue that could mess with your coffee beans’ delicate aroma.

Once everything is completely dry, go ahead and attach the bean hopper to the grinder. Turn it 90 degrees to lock it into place. Then, pour in your coffee beans.

By the way, I always use cheaper coffee beans as I’m familiarizing myself with a new grinder. The long and the short of it is that you’ll waste a good amount of coffee. So, maybe wait to use that expensive Geisha coffee from your favorite independent roaster.

If you’re grinding for espresso, attach the appropriate portafilter cradle. Otherwise, make sure the grounds container is in place. Now it’s time to select the grind size you’ll be starting with. Use the chunky dial for this, and you’ll see changes show up on the screen.

Oh, and make sure the grinder is running as you make changes. Believe me, your burrs will thank you!

Pro tip: If you remove the grounds tray, you can grind directly into a pour over dripper. I tested this with my Hario V60 and it worked a treat!

The Breville Smart Grinder Pro in Operation

As I already said, the Shots/Cups function seems redundant. It’s almost as if Breville felt like it needed to add something else just for the sake of it. Anyway, if you’re interested, you can consult the user manual for details.

Otherwise, simply use the knob to select your grind time, and then hit the Start/Pause button. Alternatively, you can use the portafilter activation switch to initiate grinding.

Of course, you’ll need to use a scale to find out how your grind time relates to weight. Incidentally, the Smart Grinder Pro is known for chute retention issues. I knew this going into my testing, so I was on the lookout.

I can report that I didn’t experience any problems whatsoever during my Breville Smart Grinder Pro review. Still, I’d recommend purging for a second or two before grinding, just in case.

My Tips for Using the Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Seeing as I’d talked up the Smart Grinder Pro as an affordable grinder for espresso, that was the brewing method I was most interested in. During my testing I paired the grinder with the Breville Infuser, which is one of my favorite home espresso machines.

  • I’m pleased to be able to tell you that the Smart Grinder Pro really can deliver the goods. Once I’d figured out the grind time/weight ratio, I found the Breville to function remarkably consistently. With the coffee beans I was using, I was able to accurately increase the dose by 2 grams per second. Plus, I experienced next to no variation in dose between grind cycles.
  • I found that the ideal range for espresso was between 9 and 11 on the grinder adjustment scale. The grounds were extremely uniform in size, and I experienced minimal clumping. Overall, I felt like there was tons of room to maneuver at the finer end of the spectrum. Plus, I made some killer shots of espresso!
  • Although not perfect, the portafilter cradles work really well. I found that I had to be careful when I was removing the dosed portafilter from the cradle, as it’s rather a tight fit. However, there was minimal static buildup and no spillage whatsoever.
  • The Breville grinder produced super consistent grinds for manual brew methods too. In my experience, a grind setting of around 30 was ideal for pour over, with 35 being the magic number for a Hario V60 dripper. As for Chemex, I increased the grind size to around 37.
  • As expected, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro started to struggle for consistency at the coarser end of the spectrum. Ultimately, I’d say this isn’t the grinder for lovers of French press and cold brew.

How Loud Is the Breville Smart Grinder Pro?

A decibel meter showing the Breville Smart Grinder Pro's loudness in operation.

I always make a point of measuring a grinder’s loudness. Let’s face it, none of us expect a whisper-quiet experience, but some grinders are definitely louder than others. I found the Smart Grinder Pro to be surprisingly quiet, especially when compared to other grinders at its price point.

With that said, it’s often the quality of the noise produced that’s most important. Fortunately, my Breville Smart Grinder Pro review didn’t involve high-pitched squealing or brittle screeching. In fact, I found the Breville’s muted purring to be quite soothing! I was quite surprised to see the thing register 70-80dB. I’m no authority, but I’m quite confident that this coffee grinder won’t wake the baby in the morning!

How To Clean the Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Urnex Grindz.

I know that you guys understand the importance of regular cleaning when it comes to home espresso machines and super automatics. However, I feel like coffee grinders are often overlooked.

Here’s the thing, cleaning and maintaining a coffee grinder is about as easy as it gets. But, if you neglect your grinder, you’ll start noticing a significant dip in your coffee quality. Coffee oils and fine grounds will build up on the burrs, affecting their performance and imparting a nasty taste.

Fortunately, using a product like Urnex Grindz will take care of any rancid oils. As for getting rid of dust and excess grounds, make sure to remove the upper burr and give it a good brush. I’d recommend doing this on a weekly basis.

While you’re at it, brush off the lower burr as best you can. If you want to take things to the next level, use a vacuum cleaner like the Brigii Mini Vacuum.

Another component to take care of is the bean hopper. Coffee oils can build up in there quite quickly, so don’t forget to wipe it out every now and then. I find that a paper towel works just fine, but you can use a damp cloth if you want.

Breville Smart Grinder Pro Specifications

Breville Smart Grinder Pro
ManufacturerBreville
NameThe Smart Grinder Pro
TypeElectric coffee grinder
GrinderStainless steel conical burrs
Grind levels60
Power165 watt
Voltage110 volt
Weight6.4 lb / 2.9 kg
Dimensions15.5 x 6.0 x 8.5 in / 39.4 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm
Suitable forEspresso, moka pot, AeroPress, pour over, drip machines
AccessoriesUser manual, grounds container with lid, 2 x portafilter cradles, cleaning brush
Current price on Amazon$N/A

Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Other Grinders

I don’t feel like my Breville Smart Grinder Pro review would be complete without taking a look at the competition. So, let’s see how the Breville measures up to a couple of other affordable grinders.

Smart Grinder Pro vs Dose Control Pro

If you’re looking for an affordable grinder to use just for espresso, the Breville Dose Control Pro might be just the ticket. This model is similar to the Smart Grinder Pro in that there are 60 grind settings to choose from and dosing is time-based. However, there’s no digital screen and no grounds collection container.

Rather, you’ll adjust the dose via a simple dial, and there are two portafilter cradles included. The Dose Control Pro should cost around 50 bucks less than the Smart Grinder Pro. However, its price on Amazon is sometimes inflated. Right now, it’ll set you back $305.00.

Smart Grinder Pro vs Baratza Encore

The Baratza Encore Grinder.

I’m a huge fan of the Baratza Encore. In fact, I’d say it represents stupidly good value for money at $118.95. While the Baratza Encore is a bare-bones grinder – you’ll only get a start/stop button and a pulse button – it’s remarkably consistent across the grind scale.

The Baratza’s stainless steel conical burrs provide as much grind precision for French press as they do for pour over, and there are 40 adjustment levels. However, the Encore won’t be suitable for espresso preparation, as it can’t produce fine enough grounds.

See Also: Baratza Encore Hands-On Review 2023

Breville Smart Grinder Pro vs Others Comparison Chart

Breville Smart Grinder ProBreville Dose Control ProBaratza Encore
ManufacturerBrevilleBrevilleBaratza
NameThe Smart Grinder ProThe Dose Control ProEncore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
TypeElectric coffee grinderElectric coffee grinderElectric coffee grinder
GrinderStainless steel conical burrsStainless steel conical burrsStainless steel conical burrs
Grind levels606040
Power165 watt165 watt220 watt
Voltage110 volt110 volt110 volt
Weight6.4 lb / 2.9 kg4.5 lb / 2.0 kg6.8 lb / 3.1 kg
Dimensions15.5 x 6.0 x 8.5 in / 39.4 x 15.2 x 21.6 cm13.5 x 6.0 x 8.0 in / 34.3 x 15.2 x 20.3 cm13.8 x 4.7 x 6.3 in / 35.1 x 12.0 x 16.0 cm
Suitable forEspresso, moka pot, AeroPress, pour over, drip machinesEspresso, moka pot, AeroPress, pour over, drip machinesMoka pot, AeroPress, pour over, drip machines, French press, cold brew
AccessoriesUser manual, grounds container with lid, 2 x portafilter cradles, cleaning brushUser manual, 2 x portafilter cradles, cleaning brushUser manual, grounds container, cleaning brush
Current price on Amazon$N/A$305.00$118.95

Verdict: Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Breville Smart Grinder Pro

Great value for money!

60 grind settings

Suitable for espresso

Large LCD display

Includes portafilter cradles

Fantastic value for money

Not great for coarser grind sizes

When it comes to finding an affordable burr coffee grinder for espresso, your options are very limited. That’s why I had such high hopes for the Smart Grinder Pro. Now that I’ve put the Breville through its paces I can confidently say this thing would be a bargain at twice the price.

As it happens, I’m of the opinion this budget-friendly grinder would satisfy even the most demanding home barista. Sure, it’s be nice to be able to grind by weight, but you can’t win ’em all. Besides, dialing in with this grinder is easy peasy.

Ultimately, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro stands head and shoulders above its competition. If you always choose ristretto over French press, this is the grinder for you!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my initial Breville Smart Grinder Pro review. Is there anything in particular you’d like me to focus on during my hands-on testing? Let me know in the comments section!

Breville Smart Grinder Pro FAQ

Seeing as it’s a relatively affordable grinder, I’d say the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is definitely worth the investment.

Thanks to its stainless steel conical burrs and 60 grind adjustment levels, the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is certainly good enough for espresso.

All coffee grinders are fairly loud, but the Breville Smart Grinder Pro is quieter than a lot of grinders at the same price point.

With its intuitive digital display and clearly labeled buttons and dials, the Smart Grinder Pro is very easy to use.

Breville grinders are manufactured in China.

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