OXO BREW Conical Burr with Integrated Scale Review
Pros: Good grind consistency, intuitive interface
Cons: Expensive, can be messy, creates a grating noise
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The OXO BREW Conical Burr with Integrated Scale offers good performance where it counts (grind consistency and user-friendliness), but kind of drops the ball in other areas (cleanliness and noise). If you're willing to pay top dollar for a grinder, there are better models available.
The most important aspect of any grinder is its grind consistency, and the Conical Burr with Integrated Scale sat near the front of the pack in our grind consistency testing. When we ran its pourover-sized grinds through a set of sieves it got a whopping 68% of those grinds into the ideal size range, more than the majority of other models we tested. It also produced very similar extraction times when we made multiple cups of pourover coffee, maintained its grind consistency when producing coarse french press grinds, and was able to get a shot of espresso to pull just one second faster than the ideal time (that last feat is particularly impressive for a countertop grinder). All this is to say that the Conical Burr with Integrated Scale is capable of producing reliable, repeatable results, no matter your preferred brew method.
We've long been impressed with OXO's ability to create small, simple controls that somehow offer very clear functionality. The Conical Burr with Integrated Scale is no different. It has one large dial to adjust grind size, and one small dial for selecting the amount of grinds you want. You can choose your desired dose by cups or, thanks to the built-in scale, by grams. You can even program how much coffee is ground when you select 1-cup, so if you think the default 8 grams per cup is weak, you can adjust it to 10.
Our biggest complaint with the Conical Burr with Integrated Scale is its propensity to dump coffee grinds all over the counter. These grinds start flying about during the actual grinding process, where a surprising amount of coffee manages to miss the grinding cup and get strewn about. This problem gets even worse when grinding at coarser sizes (think French press). That problem continues as you pour the grinds from the grind cup into your brewing vessel, as the cup builds up a good amount of static during the grinding process, resulting in a lot of grinds clinging to it. Even if you employ plenty of patience and skill, it's really hard to get all of those charged grinds out of the cup without spilling at least some.
The other thing we don't like about the Conical Burr with Integrated Scale is the noise it produces. While it isn't actually that loud (it registered a slightly below average 88 decibels in our test), the pitch is much higher than most other models. That higher squeal got under our skin noticeably more than louder yet lower-pitched models.
The OXO BREW Conical Burr with Integrated Scale asks top dollar, and it does offer correspondingly good grind consistency. However, it makes more of a mess and sounds a bit more grating than most of the other high-end models. Thus, if you're willing to pay a premium price, we think you can get a bit more for your money elsewhere.
The OXO BREW Conical Burr with Integrated Scale produces good, consistent coffee grinds, but drops the ball a bit when it comes to it cleanliness and noise attributes.
— Max Mutter and Michelle Powell