Breville Grind Control Review 2021 – Grind & Brew Made Easy
Breville is known for making coffee gear that is ultimately user-friendly. They have this way of taking something that many find overwhelming, in this case, grinding and brewing coffee and putting it into a neat package. Easy to understand, easy to use, and above all, produces delicious coffee.
Today we’re talking about the Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control 12 cup coffee maker. A coffee maker that grinds your coffee doses the ground coffee into the brew basket, and brews, all on its own.
It can even do the whole thing automatically while you are still in bed…Heaven! Keep on reading for our complete Breville grind control review.
Breville Grind Control Review Overview
- Features a stainless steel flat burr coffee grinder.
- Programmable auto-start feature.
- Large 60 oz brew capacity and carafe.
- Requires regular cleaning for smooth operation.
- Grinder can’t be used for other applications.
What I like About The Breville Grind Control
I LOVE that the Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control can grind and brew a carafe of coffee automatically before you wake up.
I also really dig its stainless steel flat burrs and big 12 cup brewing capacity. The controls are super simple and easy to understand, something I think many will love about it.
What I Don’t Like About The Breville Grind Control
While this is a coffee maker and grinder combo, the grinder can’t be used separately for other brewers.
So if you want to brew with a V60, you’ll need to buy another grinder. Because of how all the parts work together, there are a few nooks and crannies that can be hard to clean. The inability to keep these parts clean and clear of coffee and coffee oils may eventually lead to clogging.
The Breville grind control coffee maker is perfect for those who want a fresh, delicious cup of coffee effortlessly, without needing to grind coffee separately.
If you know that you don’t want to use any other brew methods, the Grind Control coffee maker is a great, all-in-one option.
Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control – The Details
Let’s start by saying that the BDC650BSS Grind Control is an absolute beast. Weighing in at a whopping 16 pounds, the thing is a tank. But it does look good. With a brushed stainless steel body, illuminated controls, and a clear LCD screen, it looks high-tech yet is simple.
The control panel is paid out nicely with two dials in the center to control the brewing parameters. Above the two dials, we have a clean LCD screen that displays just enough information. Clear and uncluttered.
From the main control panel, you’ll be able to see everything that’s relevant to your brewing and the machine as a whole. On permanent display, we’ve got the time on permanent display, a water level reader, batch size, and brew strength.
When you adjust the grind using the dial on the bean hopper, a grind size number will show up on the LCD screen too.
Design Pros and Cons
This model weighs more than basically all other drip coffee makers on the market because it features a built-in burr grinder. Having a grinder built-in has some distinct pros and cons.
First, on the pro side, the ground coffee is dosed directly into the brew basket. As the user, all you need to do is set the particle size, then tell the machine how strong you want your cup of coffee to be and how many cups you want to brew.
But because of how connected everything is, we get the downside of blockages. For a device to grind, dispense coffee grounds, and brew on its own, there are multiple moving parts involved. Without proper weekly cleaning, these moving parts can get stuck or become clogged.
This shouldn’t be a problem so long as you give the grinder portion a good weekly clean using the brush provided by Breville.
Grind Control Coffee Maker Feature Set
Integrated Coffee Grinder
One of the big pulls to this coffee maker is that it doesn’t just brew but also cuts beans. So for this brewer to really be great, it needs to produce even grinds and brew efficiently. A tall task!
Inside the Breville Grind Control coffee maker, we find a set of flat stainless steel burrs. This is opposed to conical burrs or the blades found in a blade grinder. While it is debatable, many, including me, believe that flat burr coffee grinders deliver a more even particle size for ground coffee.
With 6 grind settings, dialing in the right size is fairly straightforward. It would be nice to see more size settings, but because the goal here is batch brew, you don’t really need micro-adjustments as you would for espresso or pour-over coffee.
Adjusting the burr grinder is done via a dial housed at the top of the machine, right near the half-pound bean hopper. As you change the particle size on the dial, the screen will give feedback on where you’re at settings-wise.
It’s a little confusing sometimes when a manufacturer says their product brews 12 cups of coffee at a time. I mean, a cup of coffee for me is 250ml. Is it 12 of my cups or 12 of theirs?!
It turns out, in this case, we’re talking 5 oz cups, meaning its carafe holds 60 oz of pure flavor. Probably a good thing. Imagine how big the machine would be if it were 12 of my cups…
Coffee drips from the brew basket into a 12 cup double-walled stainless steel carafe. It’s a well-constructed carafe that’ll keep coffee hot for hours.
If you want to grab and go, you can remove the carafe, revealing a small drip tray. Place a travel coffee mug of up to 20 oz on the drip tray and brew directly into it.
At the top of the grind control, we have a lid covering the 60 oz water reservoir. The water levels of the Breville Grind Control coffee maker can be checked in two ways.
First, using the water level indicator on the front LCD. There is also a little red floating indicator to give you a heads up when the water tank is at capacity. As you fill the tank, both water levels will go up in real-time.
While this Breville model doesn’t offer as many customizations as the famous Breville Precision Brewer, it does feature enough control to take care of basic brewing requirements. Batch size and ground coffee dose (sort of).
Batch size is pretty simple— choose how many cups you want to brew. Anywhere from a single cup to a full 12 cup carafe.
The Breville Grind Control features 8 different strength settings. In adjusting this setting, you are actually telling the device how much coffee to use. The higher the strength setting you choose, the more beans the machine will use.
Unfortunately, you can’t tell it to use a specific amount of coffee in grams, nor can you program a bloom phase.
This lack of control is what makes this brewer perfect for those who don’t want to tinker. But it’s also what makes it not great for those who love to mess with their brew parameters.
The Filter Basket
We’ve got two options when it comes to filtering coffee with this brewer. We could use the gold tone filter that comes included with the machine or use a standard flat bottom paper filter.
To brew a clean, V60-like cup of coffee, go for the paper filters. Paper filters stop fines and much of the oils in coffee from reaching the cup.
On the opposite end, if you want something heavier, closer to a French press, the gold tone filter will be the ticket. Metal filters like this one allow many more fine particles and all of the coffee oils into the cup.
Wake up to Freshly Ground and Brewed Coffee
A drip machine with an auto-start feature is no big deal. Most of them have it. It’s expected. And, yes, It’s old news.
The issue with delayed start timers on most coffee machines is that you need to add your ground coffee to their brew baskets. This means grinding your coffee the night before. And as we all know, there is a lot of flavor and aroma that can be lost overnight.
But…! The delayed start timer on the Breville 12 Cup grinds the coffee, too. Meaning you add your coffee to the bean hopper the night before, but it isn’t ground until 8 am or whatever time you’ve set.
Freshly ground, freshly brewed coffee. What could be better? Precisely, nothing.
Easy to Use
With simple strength and batch volume controls, the Breville Grind Control coffee maker is designed to be easy to use.
You don’t need to know about brew ratios, blooming, or brew temperature. All you need to be able to do is taste your coffee. Your taste will guide you on how to change your grind size.
The LCD screen makes it easy to see everything you need to make your brew, from water levels, strength, and cup size.
It’s as easy as taking a sip of coffee— is the coffee watery and thin? If so, make the grind finer. If it tastes bitter and dry, make it a little coarser. Easy!
Coffee is really oily, especially when it has been roasted dark. These oils tend to build upon anything they touch, given enough time.
This is why cleaning coffee gear is so essential— not just for tasty coffee but also for keeping our gear functioning the way it should. It’s the case with all coffee gear, but it seems that the Breville Grind Control, with all of its various parts, is more susceptible to issues than others.
In researching for this Breville Grind Control review, I discovered that cleaning is the biggest issue most users face with the Grind Control. I mentioned earlier that because there are so many moving parts in this coffee machine, it can easily become clogged.
The only way of avoiding the chute, and the cavities around the filter basket from becoming blocked, is with weekly cleaning.
Breville is aware of this issue and has an easy-to-follow cleaning protocol that you can check out.
At first glance, the Breville BDC650BSS Grind Control is really expensive. It’s over double the price of some of the nice Bonavita coffee machines and about the same as the industry-leading Technivorm Moccamaster.
So what are we getting for the high price tag?
This machine is expensive because it is a drip coffee maker that also grinds your coffee beans.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say it is a dripper coffee maker AND a coffee grinder because you can’t use the grinder for anything other than with this machine, which puts the Grind Control in an interesting position.
It is designed to be an all-in-one coffee brewing station. Easy to use, convenient, neat, and tidy. Say you are starting from scratch, with no coffee gear at all.
Or maybe you already have a Mr. Coffee brewer, using it with preground coffee beans. If you have no interest in manual brewing down the line, the Breville Grind Control offers a good value product that will undoubtedly brew tasty coffee.
I wouldn’t say it’s excellent value, though, because the coffee grinder can only be used with this machine.
Tinkerers and total coffee nerds might find this setup not worth the money. Those who want to also learn about manual brewing and maybe espresso should look at buying their coffee grinders and drip coffee makers separately.
The Breville Grind Control Isn’t For You if…
You want to explore other brew methods
If you want to brew with an espresso machine or hand brew some pour-over coffee, this setup won’t be for you.
While the Breville Grind Control does have a decent burr grinder, it can’t be used for other brew methods. Those looking at getting into coffee brewing might want to have a look at the Baratza Encore— a classic, affordable, entry-level grinder.
You want a maintenance-free machine
So there is pretty much no coffee equipment that truly requires zero maintenance. But the Grind Control by Breville does require a little more than other machines and products. With so many moving parts, things can become jammed and blocked without regular cleaning.
If you want something that is close to maintenance-free, check out a hand grinder like the 1Zpresso JX and pair it with a manual brewer like the AeroPress. That’s about as close as you’ll get to a maintenance-free setup!
The Final Verdict: Grind Control Coffee Maker
Breville has conjured up a really solid, user-friendly machine here with the Grind Control 12 Cup. It has everything you need to brew a tasty carafe of coffee.
While it lacks some of the more advanced features that other brewers might have, that is precisely what makes it so good for those who simply want a delicious cup of coffee with an in-built grinder.
If I wanted to make large amounts of coffee without the effort of grinding and hand brewing, this machine would be at the top of my list to purchase!
I hope you enjoyed my Breville Grind Control review, and it has been useful to your pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee!
Specialty Coffee Expert (Ex-Barista & Coffee Trainer)
Beau is a writer and coffee professional with over 10 years of specialty coffee experience. From starting as a barista to becoming a coffee trainer across the last decade. If he’s not thinking about or brewing coffee, he’s probably gone skateboarding!