As a coffee lover, you probably know that a great grinder can transform your daily coffee experience from the inside out. By grinding your coffee beans just before you brew your coffee, you can experience your ground’s full flavor and aroma in your morning brew. Big electric grinders may work well at home, but you won’t be able to take them on your journeys.
For those who seek an ideal travel companion, a portable hand grinder is the way to go. Luckily, the Timemore Chestnut C2 Coffee Grinder has a lot to offer.
Although the Timemore Chestnut looks simple enough, it is well-designed to produce a precise and consistent grind. Let’s find out the good, the bad, and the downright ugly about this grinder.
Timemore is a Chinese-based coffee company founded in 2012 by a group of coffee enthusiasts. Up until now, Timemore only manufactures products from the manual brewing segment. While they’ve been around for some time, they’re just gaining traction among western coffee consumers. The most popular reason for Timemore’s popularity is its Black Mirror Coffee Scale and the range of its hand grinders. That’s not it; the company also makes pour-over kettles and drippers as well.
Many people appreciate the quality and design of Timemore products, and they tend to last a long time. The Timemore Chestnut C2 is their lowest-end hand grinder. It has been thoughtfully designed and provides outstanding value for your money.
Design & Build
The Timemore C2 features a basic design template commonly found in manual coffee grinders out there. The thing I praise the most about this grinder is its textured aluminum body which offers you a secure grip and support that many of the other brands from this category are unable to offer.
Moving on, the grinder owns an anatomically structured handle mounted on tiny plastic ball bearings for a convenient and smooth grind. Inside the grinder, there is a set of 38mm stainless steel burrs (more on that later) which works perfectly fine with some of the popular brew choices, such as the French press, Chemex, AeroPress, or pour-over brewer, but it’s not the best option for espresso.
It has to be noted that not all of the grinder is made of aluminum; some parts, including the hand crank and the burr, are made out of pure stainless steel. Although the lid and the bearings are made of cheap plastic, the brand had to make a few compromises for a budget grinder like that.
Given that the C2 combines a lot of aluminum and plastic in the design, it’s a very lightweight manual coffee grinder, weighing only 465 grams. There are also a couple of color choices available with the Timemore C2. There are all white and three other dark models. These dark models look pretty much the same from the outside; however, the only difference lies in the plastic parts’ color, such as the knob of the handle and the stabilizers.
Lastly, the C2 comes in a basic corrugated box with the burr grinder’s outline as the primary design and Timemore’s name at the bottom. Once you take the grinder out of the box, you’ll find a warranty card, instruction booklet, a cleaning brush, and a cotton travel pouch to carry the grinder around pretty much anywhere. The grinder comes pre-assembled hence you won’t have to worry about setting the burrs or anything like many other models that you can find online.
The Timemore Chestnut C2 has a 38 mm stainless steel conical burr set and dual bearings, as well as a full grind range, all of which is often found among higher-end burr grinders.
The burr set is more aggressive and acute than ceramic burrs often found in low-end grinders such as the Javapresse Manual Coffee Grinder. Not only that, the dual bearings of the Chestnut guarantee smoothness and uniformity each time you grind your coffee. All combined, these features help the C2 produce more consistent coffee grounds and enhance grinding efficiency.
When you closely analyze the burrs, you’ll notice that the burrs accommodate a distinct pattern, which is why they’re so effective. The first is that the burrs are larger to grip the beans. The second is that the grinder funnels the beans so that the feeding mechanism can function more effectively.
With medium-fine grinds for drip coffee makers, Moka pot, or coarser settings for the French press or the pour-over method, you can almost get 1 gram per second. Whereas, on the finer settings, though, you’re closer to 0.7-0.5 grams per second, which is still quite good.
The grind adjustments are simple to make using the burr settings knob underneath the burrs. The only disadvantage is that the dial lacks any markings. Instead of numbers, it utilizes a ‘click system’ with a series of dots broken down into smaller segments.
To find out your ideal grind setting, start turning the knob clockwise until it stops turning anymore. This stopping point is known as the zero point. After this, you’ll have to keep track of how many clicks it takes to start producing finer or coarser grinds. If you’re like me and are easily distracted before your morning cup of coffee, I recommend finding your right adjustment and never to change them until cleaning is required.
Timemore’s suggested grind size is a good place to start. Depending on the model of your coffee machine, it might just take some experimenting to get it right:
- Espresso: 10-14 Clicks
- Pour Over: 18-24 Clicks
- French Press: 25-27 Clicks
Note: The user manual provided with the grinder cautions against using 0-6 clicks for any reason as the burrs start colliding into each other, causing them severe damage.
The secret to great coffee is consistency in the grind size. So, given the importance of this topic, let’s take a look at how well the Timemore C2 hand grinder performs:
On coarse and medium settings, the 38mm stainless steel burrs do an excellent job. As a result, it’s perfect for French press coffee, drip coffee, pour-over, or for Aeropress preparation.
However, as pointed above, the grinder begins to struggle a bit at finer settings. So, if you wish to make excellent coffee with your Moka pot or espresso maker, you should reconsider a different grinder option.
There are several restrictions on manual grinders. So you won’t discover one that works well across all grind sizes if you don’t spend a lot of money. With that being said, if espresso is not what you’re looking for, the Timemore Chestnut Coffee Grinder is so far my top recommendation.
Cleaning The C2
The Chestnut C2 needs to be given a good wash every now and then to keep it at peak condition. As coffee beans are ground, oils and microscopic particles from beans build up onto the burrs. These deposits can quickly become rancid, collect on new coffee beans, and ultimately spoil the flavor of your coffee.
It is recommended to give a quick clean to the Chestnut C2 once a week or so to remove any residual oils, so it is ready to go when you need it. All of its parts are easier to disassemble. A soft brush is also included, which you can use to loosen and remove any leftover coffee particles stuck to the burr surfaces.
Occasionally, you should also give it a deeper clean every few months by disassembling the burrs. To do so, you unwind the adjustment knob and set it aside. You can then pull out the inner burr to give it a good cleaning, as shown in the video.
Other Things To Know.
It’s perhaps best to think of a grinder as being like a blender. Grinders, just like blenders, have their limits when it comes to how much coffee they can hold. It all depends on how much you actually require.
If you’re using a small grinder just for yourself, it’ll be enough. But, if you frequently host gatherings or have a big coffee drinking family, you’ll need something bigger to ensure everyone gets their fair share.
The C2 holds around a quarter of an ounce (or 30g) of beans and 25 grams of grounds in the base. As a result, it’s ideal for two or three cups of pour-over or french press coffee.
Ease of Use
The Timemore coffee grinders are designed to be extremely simple to use; the stainless steel handle is pretty ergonomic and can be conveniently attached to the top of the grinder. It fits pretty well, neither too tight nor too loose.
The dual bearings within provide the whole handle set with spin freedom and smoothness. You’ll appreciate how smoothly this grinder rotates. It allows you to enjoy grinding coffee beans by hand. Overall, it was an incredible experience.
The Chestnut C2 is a very light hand grinder, weighing just 465 grams. While the C2 isn’t small enough to go inside an Aeropress, you can easily bring it along on your travels. It also comes with a free travel bag when you purchase one.
The crank handle is permanently attached to the lid, making it relatively less portable. That’s something I don’t appreciate. If I take off the top and put the handle and grinder in a bag, the leftover coffee grinds will probably escape and make it a little messy, making it a bit more difficult to use as a travel grinder. That’s a minor drawback that will irritate you a lot while on the go.
For anyone seeking to upgrade from a ceramic burr grinder to a stainless steel one, the Timemore Chestnut C2 is undoubtedly an excellent value. Though it isn’t as expensive as those premium coffee grinders, it still delivers superior performance in the same price range as competitors using ceramic burrs.
Porlex was the premium choice in this price range before many high-end manual grinders became available. It’s not as good as inexpensive Hairo options, but it’s better than most low-cost ones. At the same time, TimeMore has outdone its performance alongside lowering its price. That’s an amazing accomplishment indeed.
For Who’s The C2 For?
The Timemore Chestnut C2 is a fantastic all-around burr grinder. When it comes to grind quality, it competes with most of the premium hand grinders at this price and build quality. As a result, I believe that the Timemore Chestnut C2 is the finest budget hand grinder available. It’s an excellent choice for beginners or anybody on a budget looking for a manual grinder.
Reasons To Buy
- Fast grinding speed
- Reasonably priced
- Lightweight and portable
- Dual bearing stability
- Good quality burr set
- Impressive grind consistency
- It’s easy to grip while grinding
- Smooth and easy to turn crank
Reasons To Avoid
- Not very ergonomic
- Doesn’t fit inside an AeroPress
- Grind settings lack numbers
- Not ideal for espresso
- Not for larger batches
- Sounds a bit cheap and clunky
Frequently Asked Questions
No, the diameter of the C2 is larger than that of the Aeropress; therefore, one cannot place it on top of the Aeropress. If you want something portable and compact that can fit inside your AeroPress, consider opting for the Porlex Mini or the 1Zpresso Q2.
Timemore is a Chinese-based company founded in 2012 by several coffee enthusiasts, which has since then taken the manual brewing market by storm. What makes their coffee brewing equipment so remarkable is how well they’ve managed to strike a balance among quality, price, and customer satisfaction. According to Timemore “the amazing power of art and craftsmanship can help people enjoy the slow life in the busy world.”
All in all, the Timemore Chestnut C2 Coffee Grinder is a perfect blend of form and function. It’s perfect for those who want a fuss-free, affordable, and portable coffee grinder. It produces consistent results better than any of the others – grind whole beans perfectly with your hand right away!
Taimoor followed his passion to become a coffee connoisseur and now travels the world to visit the most popular coffee shops. His cupboard is also stocked with a collection of brewing gadgets. He loves to drink Death Wish Coffee’s dark roast and highly caffeinated coffee grounds when he needs a boost of energy.