Comandante or Timemore, Timemore or Comandante… Every coffee geek will probably tell you that Comandante is the greatest manual grinder in the whole world. But is it necessarily true? Will this huge price difference equal to around 90 euro really provide you with a better quality and grinding? Let’s find out!
I’ve had a Timemore Chestnut grinder for around 6 months. It has never let me down and I’ve always been happy with the quality that it represented. Despite it all, I had gone with the flow and got myself an iconic Comandante. Here are my thoughts and observations regarding these two grinders.
Quality – similarities and differences
First visible difference is the difference in size. Timemore is much smaller and thinner, which results in a smaller volume – in case of Timemore it’s around 28-32 grams of beans and in Comandante it’s 40-44 grams, keeping in mind that beans might differ in size (those from Southern America are usually bigger than the African ones).
The quality of both grinders is at a very high level. The body of Timemore is made from nice and cooling aluminium, it has either a plastic or wooden container for ground coffee, a wooden handle and most importantly – conical burrs made of hardened stainless steel. Comandante is made from stainless steel and coated with a thin layer of bamboo veneer, which is available in a lot of different colors. It has a glass jar that serves as a container for ground coffee and a wooden handle. Its burrs are made of stainless steel and they are reinforced with nitrogen. It also happens to have more plastic elements than the Timemore grinder, like the knob, which is responsible for grinding adjustments or the axle bush.
From what I’ve heard, Timemore shouldn’t be washed with water – there’s a risk that after several months this type of cleaning will cause the bearing to rust, so if you’re an owner of this grinder, don’t risk it!
Comandante’s handle can be attached with a magnet, while in case of Timemore the handle can be attached by simply pressing it against the separated part of the grinder. The rotation of the handle is easier in case of Comandante, which was a drawback for me. The handle of Timemore sits still and is very stable, but from what I’ve heard from other users it might loosen after several uses. It is in fact true, but it’s not that big of a problem since all you have to do in such case is just simply adjust it.
When it comes to the stability of grinding, which is by far one of the most important features while choosing a proper grinder, there’s absolutely nothing negative that I could possibly say about either of the grinders. The burrs are stable and don’t seem like they are willing to dislocate in none of the grinders. They’re both really good, but at first glance those in Comandante are slightly bigger, more precisely made and seem to look like they are going to produce less dust during the grinding process. My assumptions turned out to be true, but the differences were hardly noticeable.
The quality of grinding
During the comparative testing I’ve noticed that the grinding results seemed visually the same. I’ve conducted only one test during which I’ve brewed three separate coffees and I had given the finished product to semi-advanced coffee enthusiasts. They had all agreed upon the fact that there were hardly any differences at all, apart from the fact that the coffee which was ground with Timemore seemed to be a little bit over extracted. Anyway, both manual grinders did their job – they were able to provide us with a good and enjoyable cup of black filter coffee.
How many clicks for an espresso, V60 and chemex?
Comandante: 11–13 clicks
Timemore: 11 clicks
V60 and other manual brewing methods
Comandante: 22–25 clicks
Timemore: 22 clicks
Comandante: 32–34 clicks
Timemore: 28 clicks
Which grinder for whom?
Timemore – for whom exactly?
Timemore is for those who are just starting their adventure with coffee and are aware that in order to prepare a good cup of coffee you need good, solid equipment. It’s also for those who already have some experience with coffee and would like to upgrade their ceramic burr manual grinder to a whole new level – stainless steel burrs, that will provide them with good grinding and most importantly good brew. I’ve personally spent several delightful months with this grinder, throughout which it provided me with numerous successful coffee adventures, so if you’re planning on buying one of these, I can recommend it to you with all my heart!
Comandante – for whom exactly?
Comandante is definitely for those who are more familiar with speciality coffee and want to have a good grinder for the rest of their lives. It’s also for those who don’t just drink coffee to kick off their day, but for those who are willing to get a bit more creative and are looking for a grinder that will let them experiment while preparing their perfectly balanced brew.
Both grinders work and look great and they will definitely serve you as a good investment. Now it’s up to you to decide which one meet your expectations to a greater extent!