The $200 Oxo Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder costs as much as some premium coffee makers. What sets this machine apart is a built-in scale, a feature usually reserved for more expensive commercial-style grinders. Not only can the Oxo grind the exact weight of grounds you'd like to brew, you can also set it to process beans based on how many cups of coffee will ultimately land in your pot.
The Oxo grinder also works quickly, whipping through coffee with more speed than the competing $145 Baratza Encore. The Encore has its positives, its price and finer control over grind size, to name two, but if what you want most is simple operation and the convenience of a built-in scale, the Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder strikes an excellent balance between the two.
Design and features
The Barista Brain Conical Burr Grinder cuts a convincingly premium profile you'd want to see in a $200 coffee grinder. A funnel-shaped hopper holds whole coffee beans up top. The hopper then feeds its contents into a grinding mechanism made from two pieces of steel.
You can adjust the quality of the grind between 15 different settings, ranging from fine enough for espresso or with the coarseness required for French press and siphon coffee. For a greater degree of grind size control, the Baratza Encore is the better choice. That machine offers a full 40 coarseness levels.
As to the Oxo's internal scale, it's fair to say a cheap $20 digital kitchen scale can tackle the same measurement duties for a lot less if you pair it with an affordable burr grinder. Even so, combining everything into one appliance makes a lot of sense. It's convenient, and it saves you countertop real estate.
Choosing the right portion of coffee is a snap too. Just dial the Oxo's main control knob to either the weight you'd like (in grams) or the number of cups you plan to brew. Hitting the button commands the machine to grind until grounds in the collection container reach your specified amount.