The DF64 espresso grinder caused a considerable stir when it arrived on the domestic brewing market. Now, there is an upgraded version – the DF64V, with a range of impressive features.
Those include an adjustable RPM, which you would normally find in significantly more expensive espresso grinders. On that subject, the price tag is only around $600.
I purchased the DF64V and tested it, examining its features, performance, and downsides. I also compare it against the previous model DF64 and the Lagom P64. By the end, you should have a sound idea as to whether DF64V is worthy of your investment.
Also, here is my detailed walkthrough video, check it out on YouTube.
- Offers adjustable RPM control (600-1800 RPMs)
- Easy-to-clean removable chute
- 0.1g low retention
- A quiet brushless motor
- Coated 64mm burrs, fast grinding speed
- Very attractive price for the features it provides
- Need to use the included RTD bottle for static control
- Lack of a portafilter holder
- Easy to jam at lower RPMs when grinding denser light roast beans
Great Design Elements Of The DF64V Coffee Grinder
When I removed the machine from the box, I first noticed its smaller size compared to the older model DF64. That’s despite the burr set being the same size. Overall, the DF64V is much slimmer, while the matt black finish and wooden lid top pair beautifully together.
Here is an unboxing video of the DF64V coffee grinder to give you a better idea of what you get:
The build quality has greatly improved as well. I can’t imagine it is a grinder at this affordable price since it looks as premium as the much more expensive Lagom P64.
The power button is on the right-hand side, and the adjustable RPM dial with a clear LCD display is on the left. That makes it far more convenient to use the grinder.
The DF64V also has an RTD spray bottle, which is a useful addition because most espresso grinders suffer from static. Spraying some water before grinding can reduce that problem considerably.
Here are some other great designs that can significantly improve the user experience.
Grind Size Adjustment
You can change the grind adjustment by twisting the beans hopper. The grind setting dial is static, but the ring can be adjusted independently for calibration.
With the DF64, the dial must be turned while the indicator is hard to read. That led to many complaints from users, including me. I even had to buy a 3D-printed dial indicator to track the grind size.
This improved design suggests the manufacturers are receptive to user feedback. Because of that small change, the user experience has dramatically improved.
Grinder Operation Controls
A smooth push button on the side controls the grinder. Meanwhile, on the other side is a rotary knob that allows you to choose between a variable speed for the burrs. That ranges from 600RPM to 1800RPM.
In my opinion, that is the biggest selling point of the grinder because it opens up new opportunities for professional coffee enthusiasts to experiment with different coffee brewing methods and techniques.
In-Built Anti-Popcorn Funnel
The DF64V has an inbuilt anti-popcorn funnel that resides inside the hopper. That means you can use the grinder with or without the bellows and the coffee beans won’t bounce as much during grinding. In turn, this will give you more even and consistent grounds.
Removable Grinder Chute
The grinder chute is a two-piece set and connects to the grinder’s body with a strong magnet.
That design makes it extremely easy and quick to clean out the chute and works as a knocker when evacuating any retention. This ensures a clean grinding process.
Motor And Noise Level
One thing I couldn’t help but notice while using the grinder is how extremely quiet it is.
The grinder operates on a 300-watt brushless motor, which helps reduce the noise output by a great deal. I also noticed minimal vibration penetrating the grinder’s base, which was equally impressive.
Grinds Cup And Riser
The grinds catch cup sits independently from the grinder on a wooden base. Meanwhile, there is a pure metal CNC cup rather than the plastic one of the earlier DF64.
As for the cup, it’s a 58mm dosing cup, which transfers grinds hassle-free into any filter basket. That makes the dosing process more convenient.
Despite that, I still prefer the portafilter holder of the DF64 because I’m not a fan of the extra step needed to transfer the grinds from the catch cup to the portafilter.
The DF64V grinder has Diamond Light Coating (DLC) 64-millimeter flat burrs, which are standard. The burrs are known for their durability, sharpness, and consistency, which all contribute to the overall performance of the grinder.
With 64mm flat burrs, numerous styles are available, allowing you to swap in and change out the burrs depending on your brewing preferences.
Grind Quality Of DF64V – Impact Of RPMs On Coffee Taste
In my testing, I discovered that different RPMs lead to different flavor profiles in the same coffee. Therefore, I recommend tweaking the RPM settings until you find your sweet spot.
Slower speeds create fewer fines, which offers a more uniform particle size distribution. That ensures consistent, uniform grind sizes. This is particularly important for filter coffee.
Conversely, the quicker speeds create more fines, which add to the complexity and balance to the beverage. This is best suited to espresso, and we need the fine grinds to produce enough resistance of the coffee puck while pulling your shot.
I only use the DF64 for espresso grinding because it produces more fines for filter coffee. However, the upgraded model is an all-purpose grinder for many brewing methods. Aside from the fine grinds needed for Turkish coffee, espresso or Moka pot, you can get extremely consistent grinds for brewing methods in the coarser range, including pour-over, French press and cold brew.
In addition, the lower RPMs generate less heat and static during the grinding process. In my opinion, the 600RPM speed is fast enough thanks to the 64mm flat burrs.
Espresso Comparison At Different RPMs
I wanted to research the impact of RPMs further, so I dialed in espresso using 1100RPMs, then repeated the process with 600RPMs and 1800RPMs.
Surprisingly, each espresso had a distinct flavor profile. My least favorite was the one made at 600 RPMs, as it had broken-up flavors and was less balanced.
My favorite was the one I made with 1100 RPMs. I sought a middle ground between clarity, complexity, and texture. The drink was full and balanced yet retained the subtle, bright, fruity notes I enjoy.
Here you can see my workflow with the DF64V and the espresso quality.
Filter Coffee Comparison
With filter coffee, clarity is my top priority. I would grind at 600RPM for bright cups with intense clarity and nuance to attain that.
However, a drawback to using an RPM of 800 or lower is that the grinder jams more easily. It is essential to use a hot start with burrs already spinning and dose the coffee slowly to avoid that outcome.
Overall, the main takeaway is that different RPMs create different flavor profiles, adding another layer of complexity to the process.
Limitations And Drawbacks
The DF64V has several impressive features, but there are some issues.
Stalling At Low RPM
As I mentioned in the previous section, a bigger issue is that the grinder can jam at a lower RPM. This is especially the case if you grind the denser light roast beans.
To avoid this, it is important to use a hot start with the burrs spinning before you dose the coffee.
Dosing the coffee slowly is also recommended. The grinder can stutter on lighter roasts, particularly when grinding finer.
Static And RTD Bottle Usage
The grinder generates some static, especially when using a higher RPM. You can push air with the rubber bellow to minimal retention, but some find coffee grounds will still drop on the countertop.
To prevent coffee grinder static, I used the provided RTD bottle. If you don’t, the grinding experience will be less pleasant.
Lack Of Portafilter Rest
Another limitation is the lack of a portafilter holder. That meant I had to transfer coffee grounds into the provided cup before moving them to the intended brewing device, which was not particularly convenient.
DF64V Coffee Grinder Alternatives
Comparing the DF64V to the Lagom P64 is inevitable, given their striking similarities and the significant difference in price between the two.
Each uses a 64mm flat burr and variable speed single dose grinder with stepless adjustments. Both are also very low retention and use 300-watt brushless DC motors. However, the Lagom P64 offers a few SSP choices,
However, the Lagom P64 is $1,600 compared to the DF64V’s $600 (That’s the standard burr version, you need to add about $200 if you choose SSP burrs for DF64V.)
The differences are subtle and come down to build quality, finish, feel and motor performance. The P64 has been designed and engineered to be a more robust device. I’ve tested the P64 in my friend’s cafe, and it didn’t require a hot start for lower RPMs or lighter roasts.
However, the P64 is harder to get hold of and considerably more expensive, making the DF64V a viable alternative. Also, DF grinders show a clear connection and understanding of what coffee enthusiasts want.
DF64 vs DF64V
The most important difference between the older and newer model is the variable speed motor, hence the name DF64V. Because of this, the DF64V is more suitable for all brewing methods, while the DF64 is mainly designed for espresso.
Check our DF64 espresso grinder review here.
The DF64V is much slimmer and more premium than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the burrs are the same size but with a different coating.
Both retentions are as low as 0.1g thanks to the bellow system.
Overall, there are many upgraded designs in the new DF64V, such as the higher quality metal catch cup, more user-friendly grind adjusting mechanism, and removable grounds chute.
The DF64V checks many of the right boxes for what a domestic brewer could want from a grinder. Its new features also show a clear understanding of what customers want and where its previous grinders may have fallen short. This improvement is a rarity in the coffee gear industry and beyond.
However, there are concerns about the motor and its propensity to stall. When you consider variable speed grinding, it’s a question of whether the potential issues with RPM control grinders outweigh the benefits of the feature.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed using the DF64V, and I’m pleased with its coffee quality. It’s hard to find alternatives that offer the same performance and features at its low price range.