An effective coffee grinder can transform your morning cup from average to excellent. There are essential factors to consider when buying your next grinder, and we explore how the Comandante manual coffee grinder stacks up to the competition. Below we examine how this popular product fairs in areas like grind consistency, speed, capacity, design, and portability.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Coffee Grinder
A new coffee grinder is a big purchase decision. Before you make the final buy, check out the key features below and judge your final product list on these capabilities.
Check out our coffee grinder buying guide here.
Type of Coffee Grinder
As you search for the ideal coffee grinder, you will find two primary options. Each provides a different quality level for your needs.
Blade grinders, also known as manual grinders, are a common choice because they are cost-effective. The lower cost sacrifices quality, however. Blade grinders are usually inconsistent because some of the beans will come out in a powder, while some will result in a partial coarse substance. Although blade grinders work well with spices or cheaper coffee types, they are not as durable as the market’s high-end options.
Burr grinders enable you to get the optimal flavor from your coffee. These grinder types offer a higher level of quality than blade grinders because they make ground coffee more consistent and uniform. You will usually discover two different types of burr grinders
- Conical – quieter and more affordable grinders
- Flat burr – slightly more expensive but deliver the most consistent particle size
Consistency and Particle Size
Particle size is one of the most vital considerations when searching for a new grinder. It directly impacts the flavor and smells that you get from your cup of coffee. Your coffee bean quality is a small factor in this consistency, but you want to ensure you invest in a product that grinds it to your liking right before you brew.
Speed is another critical factor because it reflects the quality and endurance of the grinder. High speed may sound like a positive feature, but it usually signifies a cheaper product with a shorter lifespan. A higher speed motor means it creates more heat, which could burn the coffee and impact the aroma and flavor. Direct your focus toward products with a slower grind speed.
The different grinder products will contain a set amount of coffee beans for each use. You typically get more flavor from your coffee if you grind your beans right before, so you do not need a high capacity. Ask yourself how many people will use the grinder too. If it is just you, a smaller capacity will work. But if the grinder accommodates you and your family or roommates, plan accordingly.
Comandante is a German-based manufacturer that produces manual grinders. The company’s mission is to deliver quality hand mills for specialty coffee products and drinks.
The product contains a stainless-steel core grinder that utilizes geometry to cut through the coffee beans for more consistent grind results without the dreaded dust. Comandante’s ceramic burrs cut the beans with a “push and squeeze” method, which results in an optimal balance of acidity and fruitiness.
Here are a few of the critical Comandante MK3 specifications:
- Body Type: Wood Veneer, Stainless Steel
- Burr Materials: High-Nitrogen Stainless Steel (High-Alloyed, Patented)
- Axle and Crank: Stainless Steel
- Crank Knob: 100% Natural Oak Wood
- Engine Frame: BPA-Free Eastman Titan
Things We Like
- The exterior build is strong and made for a longer lifespan
- Sleek design that comes in a variety of 6 different colors, including red, burgundy, green, dark grey, purple, and classic wood design
- Stainless steel burrs are made from an advanced alloy process, resulting in a more uniform grind result
Room for Improvement
- The product is not cheap, and the larger price may not be suitable for someone on a budget
- Not suitable for more than 6 cups at a time, which is not a good match for larger families or multiple roommates
- The glass grounds platform is delicate and could break easily if you drop it
Features & Benefits
There are several reasons why Comandante coffee grinders are some of the most respected products on the market. Built upon quality materials and processes, the grinder offers a consistent burr grind, a durable exterior design, and respectable grinding capacity for its compact size.
The Comandante burrs deliver a robust and sharp feature to help produce a much more uniform grind. Comandante leverages geometry principles with its Nitro Blade structure. The grinder’s center shaft rests on double-axle bearings, which fix the burrs in the correct place to eliminate wobbling. This consistent structure is what produces a reliable grind every day.
The small size of the conical burrs packs a big punch and slices through coffee efficiently because of the sharp design. Compared to its competitors, Comandante refines and processes its burrs through a much more rigorous system.
Sleek Design & Build Quality
The C40’s compact design will bring a lot of joy to the home barista. Apart from its six unique colors, the advanced burr fixture design offers a functional and fashionable layout. Through in-depth research and development, Comandante chose its burr materials with consistency in mind. Comandante grinders check both boxes when it comes to high performance and beautiful design.
The build quality of the Comandante hand grinders stacks up against many competitors in the industry. It delivers both wood and metal options for the grinder body. Its overall weight sends the message that it is built for the long term.
The grinder handle also conveniently attaches to the top part of the grinder, featuring a wooden knob. The knob’s oak material is from German’s Black Forest, contributing to its impressive design and overall look. Comandante’s precise manufacturing approach, including the handmade design features, offers an old-fashioned but functional formula.
The grinding capabilities and capacity of the Comandante are some of its more redeeming qualities. It utilizes a stepped adjustment system for a more uniform grind. The final grind result strikes the perfect balance of fine and coarse, making the grounds suitable for either Turkish coffee or a french press.
Because Comandante improves its product quality with its newer models, the grinds dispense much more evenly. When you compare the MKIII with the MKII, the latest grinder model delivers a faster and smoother alternative.
The grinding accuracy also delivers a key benefit within the Comandante product. Although the premium baristas aim for the most precise adjustable grinder, the Comandante historically delivers a respectable level of accuracy and stability for the more particular drinkers.
Adjusting the grind settings is also simple and straightforward with the Comandante grinder. By unscrewing the grind catcher and twisting the knob, you can change the grind settings to your individual preference. And even when you disassemble and reassemble the product, the grind setting will remain the same as the previous setting, making for an easy cleaning process.
Because the Comandante C40 comes in a small, compact design, it is the perfect “on-the-go” grinding product. The grinder only weighs around 740 grams, which is easy to attach to a travel bag, suitcase, or backpack.
The Comandante grinder does come with a couple of limiting factors, however. Although it is lighter than larger capacity industry grinders, it is heavier than comparable hand grinders made for travel. The glass catcher for grinds is another downside. Compared to the strong wooden components, it is much more prone to break if dropped.
Given the grinder’s smaller size, it is remarkable how much coffee it can grind. Compared to products like the Porlex and Hario Slim Mill, it is one of the smallest alternatives available. But when you compare grinding capacity among these three, Comandante comes out on top.
The C40 MKIII can grind up to 40 grams of coffee, which translates to 4-6 cups. This capacity may not be suitable for large families, but you get the most bang for your buck with Comandante’s compact size and design.
Maintaining and cleaning the Comandante grinder is very easy. Because of the simplistic design of the grinder, taking it apart is not a huge event. Much like the manual hand coffee grinders, you can implement a softer cleaning brush to the burrs every 30 days to filter out any excess grounds that could be stuck inside.
Alternatives & Conclusion
The Comandante grinder makes its case for one of the best manual coffee grinders on the market because of its sharp, durable, and stainless steel burrs, which produce consistent grounds and flavorful coffee or espresso. The grinder delivers quality grounds with an optimal balance of fruitiness and acidity, which is perfect for coffee fanatics and baristas alike.
Comandante packs a lot of value into its smaller hand grinder, given its artisan materials and delightful color designs. But we understand if the product is not for you or if you’d rather go for an electric grinder. Check out these products that offer more grinding capacity or a lower price:
- 1ZPresso Manual Coffee Grinder – if you want a grinder that’s super intuitive to use, this one has an external grind adjustment so you can change your grind size conveniently.
- Breville Smart Grinder Coffee Machine – this grinder can be programmed for your ideal preferences and repeated use, featuring conical burrs with various grind options.
- Oxo Burr Grinder – if you’re catering to larger groups of people, this grinder can do all the work while offering similar benefits as the Comandante, including a compact design and consistent grounds.
Comandante Grinder Review: Manually Grind Your Way To The Top
Are you ready to start grinding for real? Check out our Comandante grinder review and find out if this might be your next big purchase!
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