A few months ago I participated in a contest organized by BPlus: a company that I have presented several times during my articles. The object of the competition was to create a short video of their Apollo coffee grinder and put it on Youtube. In this way, the most liked video chose the winner. Lucky, I won first prize in the contest: a $ 300 voucher from BPlus.
Since I live in Europe, the director of the company offered to take over an almost new electric coffee grinder. He only used it during the world coffee in Milan: the BZF64 normally sold much more expensive.
Youtube presentation of the BZF64 coffee grinder
General characteristics of the BZF64 coffee grinder
The BZF64 is a coffee grinder that has been designed for coffee professionals.
- Flat grinding wheel with 64mm diameter titanium treatment
- Weight: 12.5 kg
- Available in 110v or 220v
- Dimensions: L26 * W16 * H54cm
- Tank with a capacity of 1Kg
- 1Kg tank that can be replaced by a vacuum system for a dose (I’ll come back to this)
- A very complete menu (more details below)
General design of the coffee grinder
My BZF64 is made up of a combination of chrome and white. I did not have a choice of color since I got it back after the manufacturer’s participation in the coffee world in Milan. However, I really like this color because (as you can see in the photo below), the white used contains a little damage. This feature adds a lot to the general design of the BZF64 coffee grinder. The chrome part is of good quality. You can in passing discover on the photo how the support of the portafilter was designed which completely fulfills its role.
The grinding is adjusted using two metal elements:
- A “lock button” that locks the adjustment wheel.
- A large adjustment wheel which contains the graduations.
To adjust the grind, you must first press on the locking button to unlock the adjustment wheel, make the adjustment and then release the locking button. This system makes it possible to be absolutely certain that the setting of a grind will not change over time.
Two coffee tanks
This coffee grinder is offered for sale with a 1kg mat tank and a rubber vacuum system.
The tank, with a capacity of 1kg, is made of thick plastic. We have an impression of solidity. It is magnetized when placed on the coffee grinder. This magnetism which makes it possible to secure the reservoir to the coffee grinder is also a security. Indeed, if the magnet is not placed in the dedicated place, the coffee grinder will refuse to grind and it will beep. Here is an ingenious system that allows easy replacement of the tank while ensuring user safety (if we detach the tank it would actually be possible to touch the grinding wheel).
The second tank delivered with the coffee grinder: the rubber vacuum system is designed so that when it is pressed, air is injected into the coffee grinder so as to be sure to recover all the ground coffee. I invite you to watch the video below which reveals both the effectiveness of this system and the low retention of coffee from BZF64.
The menu is comprehensive, intuitive and easy to use.
- A: “Sum” button, it allows resetting the number of coffee grinder usage cycles to “H”, “I” and “J”.
- B: Allows you to select the “one cup” mode.
- C: Activates manual mode. To start it, press the button on the support with the portafilter. Same thing to stop it. The mill displays the usage time on the timer / stopwatch in “G”.
- D: ON / OFF button.
- E: Reset the number of hours of engine use displayed in “O”.
- F: Allows you to select the “two cups” mode.
- G: Timer for one cup / two cup modes. Stopwatch for manual mode
- H: Counter for the number of “a cup” (flashes when the mode is selected).
- I: Counts the number of “two cups” (flashes when the mode is selected).
- J: Total sum of counts.
- K: Temperature of the environment (of the room).
- L: Humidity of the coffee.
- M: Manual mode selection indicator (flashes when the mode is selected).
- N: Coffee temperature (when ground)
- O: number of hours of engine use.
To set the timer for “one cup” mode, for example, press the “B” button for a few seconds and then press “B” to reduce the time or “F” to increase it. Once the value is reached, press “C” to confirm. It may be clearer on the video below.
The portafilter support
The support that houses the portafilter when using the BZF64 is well thought out. It is adjustable in height by screwing / unscrewing two small screws on the side. Once in place, the portafilter holds well and is ideally positioned in front of the spout from where ground coffee falls. In this way, when using a 57 or 58mm portafilter, it is not necessary to use a funnel. The coffee does not fall next. For a smaller portafilter (51mm for example for my La Pavoni), the portafilter is well maintained even using a funnel.
By the way, you will notice that the ground coffee dropped into the portafilter has no lumps. This “detail” is one of a multitude of small elements that make this coffee grinder pleasant to use.
As you may have noticed, not all coffee grinders have the same noise level when in use. I was able to compare the noise generated by BPlus ‘BZF64 to that of my parents’ Eureka Mignon.
In my opinion, the BZF64 makes much less noise than the Eureka Mignon. The Eureka makes a slightly sharper noise than that of BZF64. It’s simple, when we use it, when the Eureka grinds, we have to stop talking to resume the discussion after using the coffee grinder. With the BZF64, you can keep talking while using it.
That said, the easiest way is to corroborate my say with a small video. I downloaded an app to my phone that allows you to measure decibels. Of course, the measurement, being carried out on a telephone, will be much less precise than with equipment dedicated to this task. As we say: it’s better than nothing and it gives you a good idea.
BZF64 retains very little ground coffee. To demonstrate this, I made two videos in which I use the two tanks and I weigh the coffee before and after. More precisely, I test the retention with and without the vacuum system and I also test the regularity of the timer.
In the first video (above), I test the vacuum tank which allows by injecting air into the coffee grinder to recover a maximum of ground coffee (a retention of coffee practically zero). After using the vacuum system, I ground a given amount of coffee using the 1kg container. By reading the measurements below, you can see that the vacuum system has its uses. The differences in measurements are so small that one can even wonder if it would not be an error of my balance.
Measuring table with weighed coffee + vacuum system
|Weighed coffee (grain in g)||Weighed coffee (ground in g)||Difference (g)|
Measuring table with weighed coffee + 1kg tank
|Weighed coffee (grain in g)||Weighed coffee (ground in g)||Difference (g)|
In the second video I wanted to measure the regularity of the timer. After having set it for a given time (5s) I weighed the ground coffee obtained. We discover that the result is very regular, there is a difference of 0.2g between the lowest and the highest values.
Please note that there must be a certain amount of coffee in the tank in order to avoid sautéing the coffee beans in all directions when they come into contact with the grindstone.
Timer regularity measurement table
|Time (s)||Weighed coffee (ground in g)|
To conclude, the BZF64 is a very good coffee grinder. It fully fulfills its role by quickly, precisely and without retention grinding the coffee beans from your favorite roaster.
Although originally dedicated to professionals in the world of coffee, an individual will be completely satisfied.
The only two things I will have to criticize are: the absence of a general switch (to cut the entire machine from all power) but it is possible to plug it into an outlet with such a switch. The second thing is the absence of a small notch to facilitate the handling of the vacuum tank cap. The rest of the mill is in my opinion perfect and I can only recommend this product.
For the moment, it is sold for $ 650 instead of $ 850 on the manufacturer’s website. Attention, if you order it from Europe you have to add shipping costs and probably taxes. That is to say that if you buy it on promotion, you should have it in the end at around 800 to 850 €.