Your Complete DF64 Grinder Review
Had your eye on the DF64 grinder?
Espresso is one of the most beloved coffee drinks. Once you try it, you’ll never be able to go back to drinking regular drip coffee again. It’s rich in flavor, has a perfectly uniform texture, and can be prepared quickly at home.
However, all of that excellence comes at a price. Espresso requires a finely-tuned machine to produce the rich, flavorful coffee that we all love. If you want to succeed at making espresso at home, you’ll need the right equipment.
Fortunately, espresso lovers have products like the DF64 Grinder. This essential piece of equipment gives you everything you need to get started in the process of making great espresso at home.
In this article, we’ll highlight what makes the DF64 Grinder such an excellent choice for coffee enthusiasts.
Why You Should Invest in an Espresso Grinder
Espresso machines are one of the most popular ways to get a quick caffeine fix at home. They’re simple to use, only requiring hot water, a little bit of pressure, and some ground beans. However, the process of making espresso is quite involved. To get the best results, you’ll need to invest in an espresso grinder. But why should you do that?
Espresso grinding is important because it affects the consistency of your espresso. A too-fine consistency can cause your espresso to be too bitter, while a too-coarse consistency makes it too watery. Espresso grinders are available in a range of different price points and styles. This guide will help you decide which espresso grinder is right for you and your home espresso machine.
Why Is Espresso Grinding Important?
There are a few different categories of coffee. The first is simply called “coffee.” The second is called “espresso,” and it’s what you get when you brew coffee with a higher water temperature. You may have heard of “latte art,” which refers to the decorations drawn on lattes. Latte art is created by brewing espresso and then foaming it with a handheld frother.
Latte art result from under-grinding, which is why espresso grinders are so important. Under-grinding can cause your espresso to be too bitter or too watery, which is why it’s important to get your grind right. Espresso grinders can help you get these variables right so you can produce consistently delicious shots of espresso.
What’s So Special about the DF64 Grinder?
Video courtesy of the great James Hoffmann via YouTube.
The DF64 grinder was created to produce the highest quality espresso grounds possible. Indeed, the grinder is engineered to produce uniform grounds and prevent clogging. When you use a grinder like the DF64, you’ll be able to get great results every time.
The secret? The grinder’s top-quality flat burrs are engineered to produce the grounds you need to make a great cup of espresso. The burrs are also designed to last for many years of use, ensuring that you’ll always have a grinder that produces consistent results. However, you’re more than welcome to upgrade the DF64 grinder to SSP burrs, ensuring even better results.
As a single-dosing grinder, the DF64 is ideal for small counter spaces. If you have a relatively cramped kitchen as it is, you’ll love the fact that this tiny wonder takes up very little real estate.
But before we delve too deeply into the DF64 Grinder, let’s explore the manufacturer of this mystery machine that seemingly popped up out of nowhere and is taking the coffee world by storm.
The DF64 Grinder: Who Makes It?
For starters, the name of this model is confusing because it can vary depending on where it is sold. Turin ELR and G–IOTA are some of the models that have been attributed to this product.
Those names are likely to have been mentioned in coffee forums, but they can still cause confusion nonetheless. But at the end of the day, these are actually the same grinders sold by various distributors in various parts of the world.
Do not be alarmed if you are unsure about the authenticity and the grinder’s quality. It is gaining a great reputation online and has excellent quality. If this grinder makes inroads into this market, brand awareness could also increase.
Now that we have some clarity into who makes the DF64 Grinder, let’s talk about the design aesthetics of this tiny but powerful machine.
Construction and Design
The DF64 grinder is a well-built product, especially considering its low price. It is made of most metal parts and it is very heavy. The weight is obvious from the moment the item is taken out of its box. Only the dosing cup and bellows are made from different materials. The grinder has the feeling of a machine that will last many years.
The portafilter fork allows you to dose right into the unit. A small but serviceable 58mm dosing coffee cup is available for easy dosing and transfer of ground beans to your portafilter. The dosing cup’s material is plastic, which is a problem. We recommend purchasing another stainless-steel dosing cup.
Aluminum is used to make an adjustment dial. It is strong and simple, but allows for adjustments to the size of the grind.
Burr Type and Motor
The grinding wheel has flat burrs measuring 64mm in diameter, hence the DF64 name. These burrs are made by ITALMILL, an Italian company. This one is made using titanium burrs. There is also a version that is slightly less expensive.
Coffee lovers love the commercial burrs. These burrs are usually only found on higher-end models. You can also upgrade to better SSP Burrs that add to its appeal.
Burrs are powered by a single-phase, synchronous 250W motor which rotates at 1400 RPM. This motor is strong enough to drive third-party burrs with ease.
The DF64 is a recent addition to the market. It’s difficult to predict the motor and burr’s longevity. The motor and burr will likely last decades if the coffee grinds less than 100g per day.
A DF64 Grinder next to a Niche Zero courtesy of MiiCoffee
It is compact and simple to use, making it ideal for home use. The Niche Zero is also similar in its sloping design. The DF64 grinder, however, is even simpler in design than the Niche Zero. The top features an on/off switch from steel and a dial for the grind size.
As mentioned, the DF64 is a single-dose grinder so there isn’t a big hopper at its top. It has plastic bellows, which lowers the cost of retention. There are, however, many colors available for the grinder, including:
And that’s not all; you can find many others out there in the wild. The classic black and white look is a popular choice, as it should go well with any décor.
The grinder’s lack of complex features means that it will last longer. The dimensions of the grinder are 225x130x300mm. This is approximately the same size and shape as the Niche Zero from Baratza Encore.
Get Your Grind On
The DF64 grinder can be used for any brew type. You can grind for espresso or pour over. The quality is also excellent. If you grind it coarser, however, you will have lots of fine particles. According to the adjustment ring, there are 90 settings.
It is a stepless grinder which allows you to make incremental adjustments within the range of espresso. There is also infinite dialing room. The DF64 grinder was tested and we found the optimal points for each brewing method.
These points can vary depending on what you like, so be open to adjusting according to your preferences. And honestly, these are the points that feel the best. That said, you can exceed the maximum indicator.
And you can even mark your ideal spot in the quadrant if it is not marked. Each quadrant contains approximately 30 marks. This will help you determine the grind size that you require, but we do not recommend going beyond zero.
As we mentioned, you can upgrade to 64mm SSP burrs. This upgrade has been reported to improve the grind quality. The product is still in its initial stage of development. We will continue to use the burrs that are already there.
The stepless grinder can dial in espresso quickly, regardless of whether or not you have a scale. For those who don’t have a step grinder, or an espresso maker with a built-in grinder, the stepless grinder is a great choice.
A Discussion on Retention
The retention on the DF64 grinder is nearly perfect.
Commercial grinders have large grind sizes that can grind huge quantities of beans per day. This means retention is not a problem. However, a grinder for home use has a retention problem that must be addressed.
You should only use your home grinder one to two times daily. It is important to not allow any coffee flavors from the previous day to mix with the beans the following day. Fresher coffee will be obtained if the retention is lower.
Remember to adjust the grind size every time you make an espresso shot, or change the roast level. However, removing the old grind can cause waste. Coffee grinders at home have a lower retention.
Design of the DF64 grinder allows for very low retention. You can also choose to have a blowing or accordion-shaped bag. The first step is to add the coffee to the grinder. Next, you will grind it. After a few puffs, it’s done.
The bellows are designed to force coffee residues from the grind chamber into the portafilter and the dosing cups. This is an easy and economical way to reduce retention.
The result is almost identical to Niche Zero’s total retention. To achieve this, you will need to put in a lot more effort than the product.
Is the DF64 Grinder Perfect?
The DF64 grinder offers many advantages, including the fact that it is stepless, can be purchased at a low price, and has low retention. But all is not perfect in espresso land. The DF64 grinder does have some drawbacks. So let’s get into the details.
The first problem is the dosing cup. The dosing cup is the first problem. While plastic can reduce overall costs, grinders that come with a stainless steel dosing cup will be more expensive and better quality.
Compare the DF64 to other plastic dosing cups. It will be easy to tell which one is better and why the former has received so many awards.
The static cling is the second problem. This is the second problem. This is a minor problem, but it can be annoying to have a messy countertop.
The DF64 grinder does not have enough space between the dosing cup (and the spout) for particles to fall out. If you don’t enjoy cleaning up after the coffee beans, you’ll soon get frustrated.
Unknown manufacturer’s products can also cause concern. An established manufacturer will not be able to provide the same level or quality of service and parts.
The grinder is sturdy and well-made. If you are able to overlook the small imperfections, the DF64 Espresso Grinder will last a lifetime.
Should You Invest in a New Espresso Grinder?
Espresso is a quintessential morning staple. The rich, bitter flavors of this beverage are the key to its addictive taste. However, the beans needed to make an espresso are fairly expensive. That’s where a good espresso grinder comes in. You want to ensure that you don’t waste those pricey beans, and an espresso grinder—the right espresso grinder—can meet your needs.
Espresso grinders are inexpensive home appliances that allow you to make your own espresso at home. Espresso is a method of making a strong, concentrated dose of espresso using finely ground coffee beans.
These beans are usually a blend of two or more varieties. Moreover, espresso is usually served in a very small cup, which is an espresso maker machine.
The process of making espresso is fairly simple. The aim of the process is to extract the oils from the bean, so that a higher concentration of those oils remain in the final drink.
Espresso is made by forcing steam through finely ground coffee beans at a very high pressure—almost double the pressure of a normal tap. Because the process extracts the oils from the bean, this results in a very bitter, strong brew.
Espresso grinders are not made equally, unfortunately. So it’s important that you invest in the right unit for the job.
How the Espresso Grinder Works
Caption: Burr chamber & adjustment dial on the DF64 grinder.
An espresso grinder works by grinding the beans into smaller than espresso beans and then pressurizing the beans and the resulting mixture to extract the essential oils from them. After the pressurization, the espresso is extracted from the beans.
The only difference between the process of making espresso and other coffee drinks is that the process of making espresso involves grinding the beans into very small powder and then forcing steam through them.
This steam pressurizes the beans and the resulting mixture. After the pressurization, the espresso is extracted from the beans. The only difference between the process of making espresso and other coffee drinks is that the process of making espresso involves grinding the beans into very small powder and then forcing steam through them.
How to Choose an Espresso Grinder
There are quite a few espresso grinders on the market, so you’ll need to do your research to find the best one for your needs. Some of the features you’ll want to look out for include:
Conical Burrs: Coffee beans are placed in a metal container and ground by spinning metal blades. These blades can be flat or conical, or they can be one of two geometric shapes: flat or V-shaped. Flat blades are less desirable because they can create too-fine grounds that may or may not be noticeable, while V-shaped blades are better at producing a coarse grind.
Blade Length: While espresso grinders all come with a specific grind size spec, you can also adjust the grind size to suit your tastes. The optimal grind length varies from person to person, which is why most grinders come with a range of settings.
Grind Consistency: Some espresso grinders come with a built-in scale that allows you to measure the consistency of your grind. Other grinders require you to carefully place a measuring spoon on the scale to get an accurate reading.
Hopper Capacity: The amount of coffee beans a grinder holds varies significantly. Some have small hoppers, while others have large hoppers that can hold a lot of beans.
Price: There isn’t a direct correlation between the cost of an espresso grinder and the quality of the product. A cheap grinder may or may not produce great results, while a more expensive espresso grinder may not be worth the investment.
Types of Espresso Grinders
Hand Grinders: Hand grinders are the most inexpensive espresso grinders. They are simple to use, requiring almost no technical expertise to grind your espresso. However, the quality of the grind is often inconsistent, with some shots being too coarse and others being too fine.
Electric Grinders: Electric grinders aren’t necessarily cheaper than hand grinders, but they’re certainly more convenient. They don’t require any technical expertise to work, and can be used with almost any type of beans.
Automatic Grinders: Automatic espresso grinders are the most convenient of them all. They can handle almost any type of beans, and some come with preset settings for various beverages. They’re convenient, easy to use, and will grind your beans for you.
What Is the Best Type of Espresso Grinder for You?
Buying an espresso machine is a big investment. Once you buy one, you’ll be using it every day, so you’ll want to get a machine that’s optimal for your needs.
While most people start out with a cheap grinder that will get them through their first few months, once you start getting into it, you’ll probably want to upgrade.
Depending on how often you plan to make espresso, the type of grind you prefer, and your budget, there are several different types of espresso grinders for you to choose from. Keep reading to learn about the different types of espresso grinders, how they’re different, and why you might need one of each.
Single Beater Grinders
These are the cheapest type of espresso grinder and are the most popular. They’re also the type you’re most likely to find on the market, since they’re the cheapest grinder. They’re made up of a single part, and have a metal hopper near the bottom that holds the coffee beans and a metal burr (which is what grinds them) that sits on a metal plate at the top.
Most of the time, these grinders have only one setting. The burr spins around a metal drum, either until it clogs, or until it breaks and falls off. Generally, these grinders produce a medium-to-coarse grind.
Double Beater Grinders
Double beater espresso grinders are similar to single beater grinders, except they have two metal plates, one on either side of the burr, which spin in opposite directions. It’s the spinning of the plates that breaks the beans, like a lawn mower blade.
While most single beater grinders produce a medium-to-coarse grind, double beater grinders are typically better for producing a medium-to-fine grind (like drip coffee).
Burr grinders look like a metal version of a doctor’s office scale, with a large metal disk at the top and a metal burr that spins around it at the bottom. The metal disk is generally metal, and the burr is made of metal, plastic, or wood. They’re typically the most expensive type of grinder and are designed to produce a very fine grind.
These are electronic grinders, like the Krups Touch or the Krups PID. They have a rotating drum inside that holds either a metal burr or metal plates that spin around. Most have a digital read-out on the front of the machine that lets you adjust the grind.
These espresso machines have grinders that sit next to the portafilter and pressurize your espresso. These grinders usually have a few settings, but the burr or plates inside will generally turn until they’re broken or the drum clogs. They’ll generally produce a medium-to-fine grind, and are made to be used either manually or with a portafilter.
Electronic Espresso Grinders
These are the newest type of espresso grinder, and are essentially the same thing as a manual burr grinder on steroids. What sets them apart from other grinders is the technology inside.
They have either a digital control that lets you adjust the grind for you, or a built-in sensor in the grinder that adjusts the grind for you by itself. The latter is more common, and can be found in various models.
Most have a range of settings, like manual burr grinders do, and will produce a medium-to-fine grind, just like a manual burr grinder. But they’ll also have other settings, like setting the dose of water, which can be adjusted from the machine itself.
Bottom Line on the DF64 Grinder
So, is the DF64 Grinder right for you? If you can overlook a couple of small complaints, you’ll find the grinder to be an excellent kitchen companion when you want a smooth cup of espresso.