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Cuisinart CBM-18 Programmable Conical Burr Mill

If you've ever spent a lot of money on a fancy espresso maker, you know how important it is to have a decent coffee bean grinder to go along with it. It's sort of like buying an expensive sports car; you want to buy good tires to go with it! Is the Cuisinart CBM-18 Programmable Conical Burr Mill the grinder that's right for you? Let's find out!

I've only recently become a convert of the whole conical burr grinder thing. In the past I just used a cheap bean grinder from Walmart. I think I paid $9.99 for it. I used it for grinding beans for my coffee as well as beans for my espresso. It seemed to work ok and my espresso tasted fine so I didn't understand the hype.

Then I finally tried a burr grinder. Wow! That's all it took; one try. Now I use them exclusively.

Let's Look At This Grinder

Cuisinart CBM-18 Programmable Conical Burr MillAs the name suggests, this is in fact a conical burr grinder. It's also fully programmable and holds about a half a pound of beans in its hopper.

You can see that it's a very nice looking unit. It definitely has that Cuisinart look and feel to it that I like. Of course, you don't have to use it with a Cuisinart espresso machine like the EM-100 or EM-200, you can use it with any espresso machine you like.

The CBM-18 has a cup selector so that you can choose how much coffee to grind; settings range from one to fourteen. It also has eighteen position grind selections that lets you choose exactly how you'd like your coffee beans ground. Positions include; ultra-fine (obviously you'd choose this or something close to this for your espresso grinding) all the way to extra coarse (I'd use that setting if I were grinding beans to use in my French Press).

A nice touch in this model is the LCD display. It will tell you the fineness and number of cups that you've selected, and even has a clock. Why not?

What Are Other People Saying About It?

This little gadget doesn't have a whole lot of reviews at Amazon, but there are enough to give us a good feeling of what experience others have had with it. Out of thirty-one reviews; ten were 5-star, thirteen were 4-star, two were 3-star, two were 2-star, and four were 1-star.

It's interesting to see more 4-star reviews than 5-star reviews. That probably tells you a little something. After reading through them all, I came away with the feeling that people think this is a pretty good grinder for the price, but thought it could last a little longer. People had some trouble with the thing dying after their 18 month warranty expired. That seems to be the fashion of the day though so I'm not really sure what you can do about it!

What's The Bottom Line?

My general feeling is that this is a good, but not great conical burr grinder. But keep in mind that the great ones can cost several hundred dollars. If you want to spend $300 on a Rancilio Rocky burr grinder, be my guest. If you've got less than a hundred bucks though, the Cuisinart CBM-18 Programmable Conical Burr Mill might be exactly what the pocket book ordered.

At it's regular price of $185 this is a definite pass, but at the special sale price of just $79.50 (see link below while supplies last) this little guy has definite potential!