Timemore C2 Review: Best Budget Manual Coffee Grinder, bar none

Take a quick search for a coffee grinder and you’ll be met by a bevy of grinders of all shapes, sizes, and price points. For the coffee brewer that could be looking for their first manual grinder, it can get quite intimidating, and the unfortunate scenario is that you may end up spending less money today for a cheap grinder that will only really do a salvageable job at grinding your coffee. Over several years of using and buying different manual grinders across different price points, the Timemore C2 may be the perfect grinder for the aspiring home brewer. Wanting to see what the hype was all about, we grabbed ourselves a unit online and, after a couple of days of putting it through its paces, here’s what we’ve found.

Unboxing:

The C2 comes in a simple corrugated box with the outline of the grinder being the key design to greet you, along with Timemore’s logo at the bottom.

Opening the box, you’re greeted with some standard documentation like the warranty card and the instruction manual, while underneath that is a nice little travel pouch for when you plan to brew coffee on your trips. I ordered the white model which differs with the rest of the available C2 colors, since the white model has a smoother looking exterior while maintaining a rough outer texture for just the right grip. The stainless-steel burr is already installed so that’s one less thing to worry about during the set up.

The slick stainless steel burr
The unboxed package

The rest of the package includes the handle and the cleaning brush which, ideally, you should use regularly to keep your burrs clean and spiffy.

Set-Up and Performance:

Since the grinder comes pre-assembled already, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is setting your grind size. Grind size is measured in “clicks”, with an indicator noting that you need to turn it to the left to get a courser grind. For pour overs, I brew at around 20-24 clicks depending on the coffee, as well as a bit of trial and error, and while I haven’t tried using it yet for manual espresso attempts, there are some who have found it to do a passable fine grind.

Adjustment settings
Grind size at 24 clicks

The use of steel burrs at this price point is nothing short of great, allowing for quicker coffee grinding and better consistency. As someone who’s used ceramic burrs in the past, pesky beans can, from time to time, clog the burr, creating very uneven grinds. Over several weeks of use, I’ve never once encountered this problem. The vast majority of cheap manual coffee grinders often leave brewers frustrated for varying reasons, and I’ve yet to find a reason to complain about the C2. The most coffee I’ve been able to grind with it is 30g (despite the listed maximum capacity of 25), and the textured grip of the grinder allows me to hold on to it much better. It also helps that the coffee grind chamber is screwed on and not magnetically connected, which offers me the right amount of calm in ensuring nothing suddenly falls out.

Brew of the Day from Red Rooster Coffee Roasters

From a performance standpoint, it gets the job done and quite admirably at that. My daily coffee grinder is a Baratza Virtuoso, and I use the C2 on weekends, and I must stay that if your standard brew is around 20-25g, I’ve brewed on a Fellow Stagg XF and a Timemore Crystal Dripper to similarly good results. It’s an added bonus that the coffee can be ground quite quickly, with average grind times lasting about a minute with the grinder full and at a 24-click setting.

Conclusion:

There’s no question that at a sub-$100 price point, the Timemore C2 is a steal of a deal. With its mostly metal build, steel burr, and great overall grind performance, there’s little to criticize about this. I’ve been of the opinion of spending just the right amount of money at the start of your coffee brewing journey to avoid having to spend money replacing your gear after a few months, and using the Timemore C2 over the last few weeks has made me realize that had this been available about 4-5 years ago, I would have saved myself a lot more money and obscene amounts of coffee grief if I had gotten a great budget grinder. Quality has come so far in the last couple of years, so if you’re only starting your coffee brewing journey today, the C2 is definitely a great grinder to start with.

If you want to get yourself one of these, Amazon has a great deal on them here, while getting yourself one on Lazada will yield you a free Timemore Crystal Eye Dripper over here.

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