Many coffee lovers think that a manual coffee grinder is the only option if you want to grind coffee beans freshly on the move. However, that’s no longer the case. This review takes a detailed look at a handy battery-powered electric coffee grinder that still packs a considerable punch.
We’ve used and reviewed several Timemore hand grinders, and we’ve never failed to be impressed by their build quality and consistent performance.
However, grinding coffee manually can put some coffee drinkers off because of the effort required. Because of this, Timemore has released two portable battery-powered coffee grinders, the Grinder Go and the 123Go.
Let’s delve deeper and see if they’re as efficient as Timemore’s hand grinders.
Timemore Grinder Go vs Timemore 123Go
The main difference between these two grinders is the Timemore Grinder Go is dedicated to grinding. However, in addition to the grinder, the 123Go has a filter into which you can grind beans directly. Then, you just need to pour over hot water to brew coffee, rendering the need for a separate coffee maker superfluous. However, the grinder sections of each device are identical.
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In this review, our focus is the Grinder Go. However, we’ll also refer to the 123Go as we progress, then examine the different uses of the 123Go towards the end.
Timemore Grinder Go Portable Electric Coffee Grinder Review
Like other Timemore products, the Grinder Go has a minimalist design. The top of the device is plastic with a matte black finish. Meanwhile, the front has one golden button for turning the machine on and off, while beneath that is a type-c USB port for recharging.
The machine has a large bean hopper on top with a 60g capacity, which is ample for around four cups of coffee – an impressive number for a grinder that’s built for portability. The hopper’s opening also has a fairly large diameter of 3.4in (86mm), so placing the coffee beans in the hopper should be a mess-free task.
There is a grind adjustment dial knob under the conical burr grinder if you unscrew the glass container. This is where you’ll find marks for setting suggestions, making tweaking for the ideal grind size easy.
The 123Go has all the attributes of the Timemore Grinder Go, but with an additional permanent mesh filter of fine nylon, and a dripper. The filter stands on top of a heat-resistant borosilicate glass cup. Meanwhile, each element fits into a beautiful carrying case, which isn’t available with the Grinder Go.
Overall, both machines look gorgeous. However, they lack the premium feel because of the predominance of plastic.
Because the Grinder Go is battery-powered, it doesn’t need a cord, so you can use it without a power source. Meanwhile, as we mentioned earlier, the device is largely plastic, which stops it from being too heavy. The Grinder Go weighs 1.45lbs (660g), which is light enough to lift with one hand.
The machine is 8.6in (220mm) tall, which is a tad taller than the Timemore Slim manual grinder. Meanwhile, the 123Go has an identical diameter but is a little heavier (1.9lbs or 860g) and taller (11.6in or 295mm).
One thing that surprised us about both machines is that the 86mm diameter makes them considerably larger than expected. It is still portable, but both machines are larger than most hand grinders. This is because of the storage space needed for the motor.
Overall, we consider the Grinder Go a great option for taking from your home to your office or a hotel room, or from your kitchen to your yard. However, it’s not as convenient for taking with you when you’re enjoying outdoor pursuits like cycling, hiking, or camping as it’ll take up too much room in your backpack.
Burr And Motor Quality
The Grinder Go uses Timemore’s patented E&B (espresso and brewing) burr set, which has some teeth on the breaker of the inner burr. The teeth crush the coffee beans into tiny particles before reaching the lower blades.
This is a particularly efficient design for consistent grinding and is well-suited to grinders with lower RPMs like battery-operated coffee grinders and manual grinders. In addition, this design means you can get fine grinds in approximately one minute.
However, it’s not all good news, as you’ll have more fines in medium grind sizes for pour-over or drip coffee.
The 38mm E&B stainless steel conical burr set is identical to the one used in the Timemore Slim Plus, Nano Plus, and G1. The burrs are sharp, with dual bearings and high-precision CNC cutting. Because of this, the Grinder Go has a superior grind quality to similar entry-level grinders. Indeed, it performs better than a handful of electric burr grinders.
The motor has a nice design with auto-swing technology that attempts to dislodge any coffee beans stuck in the burrs by rotating back and forth three times. After that point, it stops to avoid damage to the motor.
Of course, because the grinder is battery-powered, it’s unreasonable to expect it to run as rapidly as a traditional electric grinder. Indeed, it has only 80RPM compared to around 350RPM of most electric grinders. However, thanks to the E&B burrs, it doesn’t take long to get the job done, while the grinding process is quieter than you’d expect.
Of course, what will either make or break any battery-operated coffee grinder is the battery’s performance. The Timemore Grinder Go uses two build-in 800mAh Lithium-ion batteries to ensure longer battery life. Meanwhile, the type-c USB charger is handy for easy recharging using a laptop or power bank with USB-C compatibility. It also comes with a USB cable.
Completing a full charge of the grinder takes around two hours, and it grinds around 400g of coffee beans in a medium grind size between charges. This equates to over 25 cups of coffee, which is impressive.
The burr set uses premium-quality materials and has an excellent geometrical design. As a result, you can expect a similar grind quality to the Timemore Nano, Chestnut C, or Slim at a medium grind setting. As we mentioned earlier, the only area it suffers in comparison to those grinders is the finer grounds that can get through. However, this isn’t a significant enough issue to spoil the quality of the coffee if you’re using an electric drip maker or making pour-over coffee.
As the name indicates, the E&B burr set is intended to grind for espresso and filter coffee, and you can definitely grind fine enough or Moka pot or AeroPress. However, the Grinder Go and 123Go have only 10 grind settings, so you’ll struggle to grind fine enough for espresso, particularly if you’re using a non-pressurized filter basket.
The limited number of grind settings is one of the major disadvantages of Timemore’s battery-powered coffee grinders. Nevertheless, it’s not a significant issue if you intend to use it for regular brewing like pour-over or drip coffee. The machines use a click adjustment system, and you can turn the dial below the burr to find your ideal grind size.
Here’s a general guide of settings for each brewing method:
- Espresso and Moka pot: 2 to 5 clicks
- Drip coffee and pour-over: 6 to 10 clicks
- French press and cold brew: 9 to 10 clicks
The finest grind size is insufficient for pulling espresso using a non-pressurized filter basket because there’s too fast a flow rate. However, you may have more success with a pressurized filter basket. However, we don’t consider battery-operated coffee grinders are meant for espresso grinding. We recommend choosing a dedicated espresso grinder if you’re looking for a grinder for espresso.
Operating either the Grinder Go or the 123Go is easy because there’s only one button on each machine. First, pour in your beans, then choose your grind setting. Finally, press the button, and the grinder will do the rest.
Because the bean hopper has such a wide opening, adding the beans is straightforward and should be mess-free. Meanwhile, the machine grinds rapidly even with its relatively slow RPM and reliance on batteries. We experimented with a grind setting of seven, which is ideal for drip coffee. The machine ground 15g of beans in just 28 seconds, which is quicker than manual grinders and other battery-operated coffee grinders we’ve used.
Also, the bean hopper’s lid allows you to store coffee beans in the grinder. Meanwhile, after grinding, you can use it as the lid of the grounds container, which is useful. However, it’s not easy to share freshly ground coffee with the grounds container.
Value For Money
The Grinder Go battery-operated grinder is in a similar price range to the Timemore Nano and G1. However, it’s more expensive than the Slim Plus or Chestnut C2.
Meanwhile, you can buy a high-quality electric grinder, such as the Baratza Encore, for just a bit more money. However, if you’re specifically in the market for a battery-operated coffee grinder, alternatives to the Grinder Go and 123Go are limited.
If you’re willing to consider buying a manual grinder instead of a battery-powered grinder, the Timemore Nano or 1Zpresso Q2 are less bulky and offer better-quality grinds for manual brewing. However, if you’re put off by grinding manually and want to grind larger batches at the touch of a button, the Grinder Go is a good option. Nevertheless, you will pay extra because of the batteries and motor.
About The Timemore 123Go
As we mentioned earlier, the grinder in the 123Go is identical to the one in the Grinder Go. However, there is one significant difference between them – the addition of a built-in dripper in the 123Go.
The presence of a dripper means that you can grind directly into the filter with the 123Go. Then you can pour water over the dripper, and the coffee will brew. This sounds perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Still, there are some details you need to consider:
The capacity of the grinder is large, allowing you to grind 60g of beans per batch. However, you can only brew 15g of coffee in one go using the filter and dripper. If you add too many grounds or too much water, water will leak out and create a mess.
Another drawback is that there isn’t a spout on the 123Go’s glass container, so it’s not easy to pour the coffee into your cup without spillage. Of course, you can drink the coffee directly from the container to get around this issue. However, doing this isn’t as pleasant as drinking from a cup.
Also, the machine uses a nylon filter, which is fine enough to block most smaller particles. However, it is white and will become stained over time.
How Good Is The Coffee?
The 123Go’s built-in dripper makes excellent full-bodied coffee with greater clarity than the Hario V60. Meanwhile, there are 13 holes in the dripper, so you don’t need to worry about the water flow. Finally, you don’t need a pouring technique – you simply pour the water. In other words, it’s a very beginner-friendly brewer.
Is The 123Go Worth Buying?
The Timemore 123Go costs more than the Grinder Go because of the additional dripper, and there’s no doubt that having a coffee maker with a grinder is convenient. However, it’s also larger and heavier, so it’s not as portable as the Grinder Go. Nevertheless, it’s still worth considering if you want to brew quick, hassle-free coffee in, say, an office or hotel room. It’s also suitable for making coffee in an RV on the road trip. Unfortunately, its size and weight make it more difficult to take on outdoor pursuits.
The Timemore Grinder Go and the 123Go are two of the best battery-operated coffee grinders around, with plenty to recommend in each machine.
For example, they have beautiful, minimalist designs, are easy to use, grind rapidly, and don’t need a power source.
The machines are useful for taking to a place away from your home, such as an office. However, the 123Go, in particular, is not as convenient for taking with you on outdoor pursuits because it’s a bit too bulky and heavy for a backpack. Another drawback is that neither machine is particularly adept at grinding for espresso.
Nevertheless, if you want to grind for alternative brewing methods at the touch of a button without needing a power source, both the Grinder Go and 123 Go are excellent options to consider.