Moccamaster KM5 Burr Grinder Review: For a Better Cup Of Coffee
While you might find yourself testing and adjusting grind size initially, once you get up and running with Moccamaster’s KM5 Burr Grinder, it’s unlikely that you’d ever go back to the pre-ground stuff. You’ll have to set aside a little time to keep it running smoothly, but beyond that, it should deliver delicious coffee for years to come.
As every coffee lover knows, the moment beans are ground, the flavour starts to fade, meaning that your French press, cold brew or pour-over from a pre-ground bag is never at peak perfection. The only solution is a coffee grinder at home, yet the mess and fuss can be off-putting.
Moccamaster’s KM5 Burr Grinder has been designed to minimise both of those, with its powerful motor whizzing through beans fast, and a spout that reduces static, so freshly ground coffee goes straight into a storage jar and not everywhere else.
And, unlike the average bag of ground coffee, the KM5 Burr Grinder offers more than one size of grind – a generous nine of them – so you can choose the best one for beans and the style of coffee you’re brewing.
Home coffee grinders tend to be quite compact, not needing to be the huge, professional machines you might spot at your local café. So it comes as something of a surprise that while the Moccamaster KM5 Burr Grinder still has a compact footprint, it’s taller and deeper than many. A height of 32.3cm and a depth of 21.1cm (12.75×8.3in) give it the appearance more of a small pod coffee machine than a grinder.
This, however, ensures that there’s space for a good-sized 250g (8.8 ounces) bean hopper on top and a powerful 310W motor inside, although this adds to the weight – it’s a chunky 4.6kg if you want to move it around the kitchen. One appealing factor is that its plastic body is available in a choice of three colours to coordinate with your space: Matt White, Matt Black and Polished Silver.
Moccamaster claims that it can produce 60g of coffee in less than 30 seconds and this was borne out in our testing
At the front, a specially designed spout aims to reduce the static charge of the coffee as it’s dispensed (anyone who’s ever owned a grinder will be familiar with the mess it can make). Below this is a 100g glass jar, topped with a rubber dispensing lid, which can then be swapped for a rubber storage lid to keep the contents fresh.
Rachel Ogden / Foundry
It’s operated by a single button, with the grind size set by a dial next to the hopper: there are nine settings suitable for different brewing methods, ranging from coarse 7-9 for cold brew, 6-8 for French press, right through to 1-2 for medium-fine drip.
For a coffee lover, one of the most appealing features of the Moccamaster KM5 Burr Grinder will be playing around with the different grind sizes on offer: one humble bag of beans can provide multiple coffee experiences and flavour profiles when paired with a good grinder like this one.
What’s especially noticeable about the KM5, though, is its speed. Moccamaster claims that it can produce 60g of coffee in less than 30 seconds and this was borne out in our testing.
However, it is worth noting that because the burrs and motor are running at such a high speed, there’s a maximum usage time of a minute before you have to give it a 15-minute break.
This is fine if you’re grinding as you go, but possibly more of an obstacle if you like to grind all your coffee for the week ahead. In addition, the button needs to be held down to operate – again, fine if you grind small amounts but more of an annoyance if you’re grinding a batch.
Rachel Ogden / Foundry
There’s plenty of guidance as to suitable grind sizes, though we found not all of them will be the ideal one from the start. For example, 6-8 is recommended for a French press, but we found that 8 was a very coarse grind that produced fairly weak coffee, although a plus was hardly any fine grounds left in the cup after drinking. We found the finer grind of 6 to be more to our taste, producing a robust flavour.
One humble bag of beans can provide multiple coffee experiences and flavour profiles when paired with a good grinder like this one
We had more instant success with the finer grinds, choosing 3 from the recommended 3-6 for pour-over coffee. This was an excellent semi-fine grind, perfect for extracting the oils from the grounds slowly after blooming. The resulting cup of coffee accentuated the rich flavour of the beans far more than the French press despite using the same beans.
We also ground the beans at 5 for use in a bean-to-cup machine for espresso on a regular basis. This replicated that machine’s internal grinder perfectly and made faultless espresso.
However, grinding using the KM5 wasn’t a completely mess-free experience as we’d hoped. After each grind there still tended to be some grounds stubbornly stuck to the spout that shook free when the glass container was moved.
Rachel Ogden / Foundry
Less mess, but not no mess. The KM5 also needs more maintenance than you might expect: a weekly wipe around the bean hopper to prevent a buildup of coffee oils, plus a thorough clean every three to six months.
In the US, Moccamaster’s KM5 Burr Grinder has an MSRP of $339 and is available direct from Moccamaster and from Amazon, among other retailers. At the time of writing, there’s no price advantage at any particular retailer.
In the UK, it has an RRP of £279 and is available at this price from Moccamaster – but right now, there’s a great deal on at Amazon that’ll save you 15%.
There’s no getting around the fact that this is a pricey purchase but it’s in line with what you’d expect for a high quality burr grinder. Our other recommendation would be Smeg’s coffee grinder, which at around $330/£220 is slightly cheaper – in the UK at least.
There are cheaper ways to grind coffee, such as food processor and blender attachments, but few offer the kind of choice, precision and uniformity that a burr grinder does. In effect, this is what Moccamaster’s KM5 Burr Grinder offers but in an appealing, robust package with plenty of thoughtful features to make the process a pleasure rather than a chore. It even goes so far as to offer exterior colour choices, which is more than most do.
However, the biggest point of difference, and probably one of the best reasons to buy, is its ability to be repaired or replace broken/lost accessories. In this, it offers an appliance that could be with you for every single coffee trend to come.
Stacked up against cheaper grinders that may not even make it past next year, its higher price point (bearing in mind that you can pick up several decent burr grinders for under $70/£60) could be well worth the investment. Ultimately, whether it’s a good fit for your kitchen comes down to how often you plan to use it, and how much you prize coffee consistency and minimal mess in your daily grind.
Rachel Ogden specialises in reviews of home appliances, from kitchen gadgets to smart home tech.