The Timemore Chestnut C2 has garnered a reputation as both the best value hand grinder and the top entry-level option on the market. It’s a title that doesn’t come lightly, especially in a field crowded with contenders.
Timemore hasn’t rested on its laurels, either; the C2 has seen several tweaks and upgrades to keep it at the forefront of affordable coffee grinding technology.
I got my hands on the latest version to put it through its paces and see if it still holds up as a worthwhile investment in 2023.
Summary: Timemore Chestnut C2 Hand Grinder
- High quality 38mm stainless steel conical burrs
- Spring-loaded inner burr for consistent grind sizes
- 25-gram hopper capacity perfect for one to two cups
- Comes with carry bag and cleaning brush for easy maintenance
- Exceptional filter coffee performance at an entry-level price
Timemore Chestnut C2 Design, Build Quality And Aesthetics
The Timemore C2 hand grinder is a sleek, well-engineered piece of equipment immediately catches the eye with its knurling design. This isn’t just for aesthetics; the design offers a solid grip while cranking, making the grinding process feel controlled and effortless. Weighing in at 465 grams, the grinder feels substantial in hand but not cumbersome, striking a well-balanced profile that’s easy to handle.
Material-wise, the grinder boasts a mostly metal construction, including aluminum parts and stainless steel burrs, while the pommel, lid, and adjustment knob are made of durable plastic. This blend of materials gives the C2 a premium feel that belies its entry-level price point.
Out of the box, the grinder comes with just the essentials: a carry bag and a cleaning brush, both of which enhance its usability and maintenance.
Adding a touch of personal flair, the C2 is available in several colors, including a classic black, white and gray. The hopper has a 25-gram capacity, making it perfect for brewing one to two cups of coffee.
Timemore C2 Burrs
The burrs in the Timemore coffee grinder are one of it’s defining features. These are 38mm stainless steel conical burrs designed by Timemore themselves. The material and design contribute to quick and efficient grinding across a wide range of sizes.
What’s particularly impressive is the spring-loaded inner burr, which ensures consistent grind sizes and repeatability of those grind settings. This is crucial when you’re experimenting with different brew methods that require specific particle sizes for optimal extraction. The burrs are also easy to clean, and their stainless steel construction means they’re built to last.
I have not encountered a better burr set in a grinder that retails at the price of the C2 or lower.
Timemore C2 Grind Adjustment
The Timemore grinder uses an internal grind adjustment mechanism that sits just above the catch cup. The 2022 update introduced an aluminum metal clicker and adjustment piece, replacing the previous plastic components. The tactile feedback from the solid clicks is more precise, making it easier to dial in the grind size.
The C2 adjustment wheel located under the body of the grinder, has 14 clicks per full rotation. This range is surprisingly wide for a grinder at this price point, allowing for a versatile grind size from espresso to cold brew. The dual ball bearings ensure a smooth operation, crucial for achieving a consistent particle size, especially when you’re aiming for more complex brews that require a precise grind.
I much prefer the upgraded dial in the newer C2 models. However, in my opinion, the workflow with external grind adjustment systems is a lot better.
Timemore C2 Grind Settings
I’ve tested various Timemore C2 grind settings including those recommended by the manufacturer in the user manual. Their guidelines were ok, but I had better results with very different settings.
- Espresso: 8 clicks
- AeroPress: 15 – 19 clicks
- V60 (15g recipe): 16 – 22 clicks
- Clever Dripper: 16 – 20 clicks
- French Press (2 cups): 24 clicks
- Chemex (4 cups): 28 – 32 clicks
When using lighter roasts, I like to grind finer as my results are better. For medium and dark roasts, I recommend using the coarser end of the ranges.
It’s important to note that the Timemore C2 grinder is not built for espresso. It can do an ok job, but it is slow and cumbersome. Timemore also warn against using a grind setting below 10 clicks as this can wear out the burrs quicker.
If you do want to try it, I recommend using a pressurized basket. These are more forgiving with less evenly sized grounds and in my testing, I actually pulled some tasty shots with the C2.
Timemore C2 Grinder Coffee Taste and Cup Profile
When it comes to the final cup, the Timemore Chestnut C2 delivers in spades.
For espresso, the fine grind setting allows for a shot with a bit less body and flavor, though still with well-defined tasting notes. Whether it’s fruity, floral, or nutty, each note comes through cleanly, without too much muddling.
The clarity is ok, but nowhere near that you would find on a more expensive hand grinder more suited to espresso like the Kinu M47.
For filter coffee, the C2’s versatility shines. The coarser grind settings produce a cup with a lighter body but no less complexity. The tasting notes are crisp and clean, whether you’re brewing a bright, acidic African coffee or a more balanced, nutty South American blend. The clarity remains medium to high, making it easy to discern the different flavor components in the cup.
The C2 also handles acidity well, allowing for a bright cup without tipping into sourness. This is particularly noticeable in lighter roasts, where the grinder’s consistency ensures that the acidity complements rather than overwhelms the other flavors.
Is The Timemore C2 Grinder Worth It?
Absolutely, the Timemore Chestnut C2 is worth it, especially if your focus is on filter coffee. If you want a hand grinder primarily for espresso, you should not buy the C2.
For the price point, the performance of the C2 is exceptional. The precision of the burrs and the consistency of the grind contribute to a complex and clear cup that rivals some of the best hand grinders at much higher price points. Whether you’re into pour-overs, Aeropress, or French press, this grinder delivers in terms of body, clarity, and complexity.
Overall, the C2 coffee grinder is fantastic value for money and highly recommended as an entry level option, a travel companion or as a dedicated filter coffee grinder.
Coffee expert and industry insider, I’ve dedicated years to mastering the art and science of coffee making. From scrutinizing particle fineness to evaluating burr shapes, I delve into the minutiae that elevate coffee from good to exceptional. Whether it’s a complex pour-over or a robust espresso, my insights cater to those who don’t just drink coffee, but experience it.