Prior to purchasing this Braun White coffee grinder I owned a Braun Black and used it on a regular basis until the motor died. A lesson that indicates although these machines are sturdy, the motor isn't meant to be run at high speed for long periods. My husband use to use the other one frequently but he wasn't aware that the beans should be pulsated and after a few years of continuous use at high revolutions the motor on that one gave out. Although the black one's motor died after about 3 years, so far my white Braun has been working flawlessly for just as many with no signs of fatigue and no trouble at all. Of course my husband's grinding days are long ended and I am the only one who seems to use this little grinder any more. The blades are still as sharp as when I first purchased it and I've not had any difficulty in grinding my coffee beans to my liking.
I purchased the white Braun coffee bean grinder a few years ago through my local Costco store and for a very meager $9.99 I received the grinder and a large bag of coffee beans to go with it. The grinder is equipped with a series of 4 small but very sharp blades that are slightly bent upwards at the tips and angled in such a way that it makes it very difficult for a coffee bean to remain untouched once whirled around in the grinder at high revolutions. This is definitely not an appliance that one wants to keep on the counter or lower shelf of a cupboard for the simple and obvious reason that if young fingers get a hold of it...severe damage and injury can definitely result. This particular unit however doesn't operate unless the top is on securely but there is always a possibility of injury and of course safety is of the utmost importance where any electrical appliance is concerned.
The capacity of the grinder isn't such that you'd want to grind an entire bag of coffee beans in one sitting but then in order to enjoy the full flavor and aroma of a great cup of coffee, this little grinder is meant to be pulled out as needed and is so easy and quick to use that grinding fresh coffee for every pot is no more troublesome than opening a can of coffee that has been pre-ground. I can easily obtain several heaping scoops of fresh ground beans by adding enough full beans to come just below the recommended 'fill' line of the grinder. Normally I'll fill the beans to the recommended fill line which is roughly 1/4 of an inch from the brim of the grinder and be able to make a full 12 cup pot of coffee with still enough grinds left to toss into a coffee tin and make at least another 4-6 cups later.
The plastic see through lid comes equipped with a button that once put into place on the grinder and pressed comes into contact with the switch on the grinder that engages the blades and sets them in motion...quickly. There is little effort necessary to begin grinding and the light touch required can be obtained by simply pressing the palm or heel of your hand or finger tips to the button and applying just the slightest of pressure. I can easily grind up to a half can full of fresh beans in a manner of a few minutes using this grinder if I wish.
The grinder came with a brush which works great to clean out the grounds and ensure that I am getting all the coffee with very little residue left inside the stainless steel bowl of the grinder. The only beans that I have found to pose a problem are those that are higher in oils such as the dark French Roast beans or beans that might be used for espresso. In that case the oils do tend to make the grinds stick to the ledge of the grinder inside at the rim and around the center of the blade housing but if I leave the grinds sit for a bit cleanup is usually a quick process. However, the approximate 1/2 cup capacity of the grinder is easily wiped cleaned using the brush and then a slightly damp or even a dry paper towel.
Coffee made from freshly ground beans is exceptional and I can usually get a little over a tin of ground coffee from an average 300g bag by grinding the beans to a fine consistency. You have to pay attention to how long you grind the beans though otherwise you can quickly find yourself staring at very, very fine coffee grains which some coffee makers don't do well with. Usually only a few quick rotations of the blades is necessary to result in medium grind while 4-5 one second rotations can easily result in a fine grind.
By depressing the button several times in quick succession, making the blades pulsate, the method recommended in order to avoid burning the motor out too soon, you can easily determine by looking into the see through cover of the grinder just how course or fine your coffee beans are. I recommend holding the button down for no longer than a second or two at most and doing this 4-6 times so that you are neither taxing the motor of this little machine or making your grind too fine for your personal preference.
Although this is a coffee grinder it hasn't hesitated to grind other things for me such as walnut pieces, hazelnuts, M&M's, smarties, and I've even used it to grind pepper corns. Once I was done grinding those however I made certain that I wiped the inside of the grinder well with a soft cloth that had been dampened with white vinegar and lemon juice in order to ensure that my coffee beans later wouldn't continue to carry the taste or aroma of the pepper.
This is a workhorse tool that I'd not be without and Braun is an excellent name in this arena offering a quick, dependable and easy to use solution to using pre-packaged coffee that may not be ground to the way you would really like it.
The grinder wraps up quickly with the base offering a place to wind the cord around it securely for easy storage. The Plastic cover acts as a cup as well so that once your coffee is ground you simple turn the machine over and most of the ground beans will transfer easily to the cup to allow for easy dumping of the grounds into a can or bag. I've not placed the top into the dishwasher so I wouldn't know for certain that it is dishwasher safe, but overall it is sturdy enough to indicate that provided the top is placed securely in a dishwasher environment and not used in a 'heat cycle', that cleaning the cup would be dishwasher safe. I normally just use warm water and soap however and dry thoroughly after use.
The remainder of the grinder however holds the motor and cord and is of course not meant to be immersed in water or placed in the dishwasher.
As a coffee-holic, the one thing I can't be without is my little Braun coffee bean grinder. A great investment that has helped me to brew numerous great cups of coffee and at $9.99 it was a steal.