Recently, I bought a new coffee grinder: the Timemore Chestnut X. The latter was designed by a Chinese company which is not at its first attempt. Indeed, Timemore has created in recent years a whole range of coffee grinders (Chestnut X, Chestnut G1, Chestnut Slim, Chestnut C / C2 and Chestnut NANO). Their latest addition, the Model X, is the brand’s most upscale mill. What is it worth? We will see him. It presents several interesting innovations.
Items supplied in the box
The Timemore Chestnut X is very well packed in a box with very dense foam. In this box are provided a small cleaning brush, a small bag and instructions for use.
Features and general design of the Timemore Chestnut X
The first thing that I find really positive is that the mill is made from a single piece of aluminum. In fact, it was cut in the mass using a CNC machine. We are therefore dealing with a durable object over time because there are no plastic parts that support, for example, the central axis as on the El Commandante C40 or the Kinu M47 Phoenix.
The other thing I like about this coffee grinder is its overall design. It is sober, smooth, modern. Note that the body of the Chestnut X is not round but slightly square. This helps to improve its grip during use.
Regarding the colors, this coffee grinder is available in black and dark green. However, it seems that the color green is a limited edition (in any case it is indicated on the Kickstarter project that made it possible to finance this mill). Personally, I bought this mill on Aliexpress. It is the only place where there are still green mills.
The handle of the crank is also of good quality. It is mounted on a ball bearing, has an ideal shape to take it well in hand when in use. The crank itself is retractable. I must say that at the beginning I was skeptical about this innovation. But in the end I think it’s a very good idea: the system is solid, retracts by itself and is practical. In addition there is almost no play in the crank during use.
The crank can be removed and is attached to a metal plug. A good point when we know that the competition (1Zpresso, El Commandante C40) make plastic lids.
The Timemore Chestnut X adjustment system
The system for adjusting the fineness of the grinding is done by means of a double wheel at the level of the burr. This double adjustment system allows you to have 5 additional adjustment levels per notches of the main dial. Thus, the Chestnut X allows a very precise adjustment of the grinding. As precise as on the Apollo or Kinu M47 that I previously tested.
In total, with this small secondary wheel, the mill has 120 levels of possible adjustments. The adjustment obtained is precise and reliable. Much more precise than other mills which are adjusted from below. I am thinking in particular of the El Commandante C40 which was obliged to offer the “Red clix” as an option, a setting wheel a little more precise than what was originally installed.
The Timemore Chestnut X reservoir
Made from a single piece of aluminum, the Timemore Chestnut X tank is screwed onto the body of the mill. I liked several details about the said tank:
- To begin with, inside the reservoir there is a small ramp that allows the coffee to flow more easily into the filter holder when transferring the ground coffee (there are no rims that block the flow of coffee. ). This is a detail that seems logical but that not all manufacturers of coffee grinders have incorporated into the design of their products.
- Then the tank is screwed onto the body of the mill. And the design is smart because you don’t have to make 50 turns to screw or unscrew the tank. In addition, there is a system of small stops (see photos) which allows to block the rotation of the tank when screwing. The reservoir locks up once it is properly aligned with the body of the mill. This stop (made up of two balls) has another advantage: it secures the tank by preventing it from unscrewing during use.
The only point where I can quibble a bit is that I find the weight of the tank relatively light. Therefore, the center of gravity of the mill is not at its base but a little above. However, the mill holds up well and does not risk tipping over on its own. In any case, the Timemore is more stable than the Kinu M47 phoenix which has a plastic tank.
The Chestnut X uses a burr of their design that has a kind of little “blade” at the top. On the Kickstarter (which Timemore had started to finance their mill), they explain that this wheel is a great innovation because it cuts the coffee beans before grinding them. According to them and their tests, this is beneficial (see video from the manufacturer below).
I cannot confirm or discredit what Timemore has announced regarding the benefits of their innovation. However, I can tell you that this burr grinds well. I get very good espressos with this grinder.
Answering the question of whether it grinds better than the other grinders I have tested for the site is really difficult. Among the mills I have tested, the Apollo, 1Zpresso and Kinu m47 all use the same burrs: a burr designed by itamile. The El Commandante C40 and Chestnut X each use a burr of their own design. Regarding its diameter, the Chestnut X burr is 42mm.
For me, by the precision of the setting and the coffees obtained, the Timemore has a wheel really comparable to other brands. Faced with the El Comandante C40, the Timemore has a more precise adjustment, I would say it is above the C40.
Time required to grind a coffee
Temps nécessaire pour moudre un café
When it comes to usage time (the time it takes to grind a given amount of coffee), the Chestnut X isn’t the fastest. It’s slower than the Apollo (which is the champion of all the mills I’ve tested), but is comparable to the El Commandante C40 or kinu m47. So, to grind 16g of coffee I put about 1 minute to 1 minute 20.
This has an advantage over faster mills: there is much less torque with the Timemore. That is to say that there is no need to tighten the body of the mill too much to prevent it from turning on itself during its use. To give you an idea, I had to install silicone bracelets to better hold the Apollo. This maneuver is not necessary on the Timemore Chestnut X. I use it by holding it directly on the aluminum, it does not slip.
Disassembly and cleaning of the coffee grinder
You could say that the design of the Timemore Chestnut X is similar to that of BPlus’ Apollo. As you can see, it is not difficult to access the interior of the mill to clean it. Then, after reassembling it, it is easy to find its setting. Very good point for the Timemore.
In conclusion, I find the Timemore Chestnut X to be a very good coffee grinder. It will meet the requirements of the most discerning coffee lovers.