Is The TimeMore Chestnut C2 Worth The Money?


The Timemore Chestnut C2 is a very popular hand coffee grinder. You might be wondering why that is and if they are really worth the money you have to pay for them? Here’s what you want to know. 

The TimeMore Chestnut C2 and variants are well worth the money. You get a grind quality, build quality and experience that is far beyond what you get from the traditional entry-level coffee grinders for the same or slightly more money. The value for money is very good with the C2.

Let’s get a little deeper into what you can expect for your money when buying the Timemore Chestnut C2. 

What Do You Get For Your Money?

To see if the C2 is worth the money we have to look at what you actually get first.

When you receive your Chestnut grinder, inside the box you’ll find the grinder body, catch cup, handle, a carrying pouch, user manual and a brush. The outside of the grinder body and catch cup are made from CNC machined aluminum and looks great. You can get it in different colors but grey is the most common. 

The grinder body and catch cup screw together with the thread machined into both parts. The handle is made from metal but the attachments (knob and cover) are made from reasonably high quality plastic. The brush is to clean the different parts of the grinder since it’s not advised to clean the TimeMore C2 with water. The brush is of OK quality although I’m not too sure on the longevity. Some hairs already fell out after a few months and I don’t use the brush after every use. However, a brush is not hard to replace. 

The user manual is OK but not great. I found the grind recommendations to be completely off and I had to figure out the correct grind settings by myself. Not a deal breaker but also not optimal. However, you can expect to do some dialing in with every grinder you get. 

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When you get a grinder, the most important thing is how it grinds. And this is where the C2 really starts to shine. The stainless steel burrs do their work very fast and produces good results. The speed of grinding is up there with the most expensive hand grinders in the world. You can grind 20 grams in less than a minute without even trying. 

Without any coffee in the grinder, the handle spins smoothly on the bearings. With coffee in the grinder, the grinder is easy to hold because it’s quite slim and because of the textured surface. 

But speed isn’t everything. You want the results to be good. And here is another great benefit of the Chestnut C2. The grind quality is good and consistent. There are some fines but significantly less than other entry level grinders. Is the grind quality as good as grinders like the 1Zpresso JX or Commandante C40? No it isn’t but those examples also cost significantly more than the C2. 

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Let’s look at the pros and cons of this coffee grinder in a little more detail.

Pros and Cons

Let’s quickly go over the pros and cons of the TimeMore Chestnut C2.

Pros

  • Looks great: The design is simple but good. It looks clean and doesn’t look out of place almost anywhere. 
  • Stainless steel burrs: Stainless steel burrs is something that used to be reserved for much more high end grinders. Stainless steel lasts longer and is sharper than ceramic burrs and they produce less fines as a result. 
  • Feel: Holding it feels great. Most parts you touch are aluminum and it has a quality feel to it. The knob on the lever is plastic but doesn’t feel like a low quality part.  
  • Grinds quickly and smoothly: Once of the biggest pros is its speed. Grinding 20 grams in +-45 seconds is easy. This is another result of the stainless steel burrs. 
  • Good grind quality: You’ll get a pretty uniform grind size with little fines. It’s not on the same level as really high end grinders but it’s closer to those than to entry level grinders. 
  • A lot of adjustability: There are plenty of grind settings to really dial in the size you need except for espresso. 
  • Reasonably good for travel: it’s metal construction and relatively slim build means it’s a decent grinder to put in your bag and travel with, especially with the included carrying pouch. 
  • Easy to hold: The texture on the outside of the grinder body combined with the slim build means it’s easy to hold. This results in a faster and smoother grind because the grinder doesn’t slip in your hands when you get stuck. And getting stuck doesn’t happen very quickly because of the sharp burrs anyways. 
  • Provides a good grinding experience: All the things above combine into an experience that’s just good and pleasurable. 

All these pros don’t mean there aren’t any cons to the Timemore C2 though. There are a few cons you should know about.

Cons

  • Catch cup threading: The catch cup threads onto the main body with threads that are machined into the metal. They tend to cross thread so you have to be careful. 
  • Plastic parts: There are some plastic parts in the grinder that are not quite of the same quality as the metal parts. They are still of reasonably high quality though. 
  • Not for espresso: While it can grind sort of finely enough for ‘real’ espresso, there isn’t quite enough adjustability in that range to really dial in your shot. 
  • Adjustment mechanism: There is no indiction which grind setting you’re on. Also, sometimes it doesn’t want to adjust finer, the solution for this is going a few steps coarser first to loosen up the mechanism. 
  • Retention: Some grounds get stuck between the burrs and little ring they sit in. These grounds can be a pain to get out, even with the included brush (although not impossible). 
  • Capacity: The normal C2 has a 20 gram capacity although you can get about 23 grams in there. For some people this might not be enough but if that’s the case for you, there is the C2 MAX which has a 30 grams capacity. 
  • Beans bouncing out: For me personally, the biggest issue with the C2 is that the beans tend to bounce off the bracing inside the grinder body and bounce out of the grinder. This happens regularly and nobody likes to lose beans when filling their grinder. 

Read more about the downsides of the TimeMore C2 here.

Is The TimeMore C2 Worth The Price?

Of course if the TimeMore C2 is worth the price completely depends on how much you pay for it. And how much you pay for it largely depends on where you live in the world. I managed to get one for only about $40 which makes it an absolute bargain. In the US you’ll likely pay a bit more than that for it. 

The typical entry level hand coffee grinder is the Hario Slim/Skerton, Javapresse or Porlex Mini. The prices of those differ a little, some of them are about half the price of the C2 (on amazon) while some cost about the same. However, it blows all of those entry level grinders out of the water in grind quality, speed and feel of quality. 

It’s really not a competition between those entry level grinders and the TimeMore Chestnut C2. This is why the C2 has become such a popular grinder. It’s still within the price range of starter hand grinders while providing a much better experience and grind quality. 

For most casual coffee drinkers, the C2 occupies a price/quality sweet spot. For anything from a moka pot to cold brew, the C2 is perfectly capable, quick and feels good while doing grinding. That means the Chestnut C2 is absolutely worth the money you’re paying for it. 

Should you buy it? That’s a different question that largely depends on your requirements and budget. If you want to grind espresso for a good machine with open baskets, you’re better off with a different grinder. Also, if you want the absolute best you can get your hands on and have a budget that allows for a better grinder (think 2-3x the money), there are better options. I’m a believer in buying the best/highest quality item you can afford so it’ll last a long time and you don’t have to upgrade later wasting money and resources. 

If you’re looking for a first grinder, I’d absolutely recommend going for the Timemore C2. If it’s your first grinder, you probably don’t want to spend $100+ on something you’re not sure you’ll use for a long time. The C2 is a bit more than the traditional entry level grinders but it’s so much better than those, it’s absolutely worth it. With the C2, you’ll have a grinder you can use for a long time without having the need to upgrade within a few months. 

Also, the experience of using the Hario Skerton like grinders is just not very good. They don’t grind very quick or smoothly, the grind quality isn’t great with a lot of size variation and fines and they don’t feel like quality items like the C2 does. Buying the C2 as a first grinder will make you enjoy grinding coffee more which results in you enjoying making coffee more. Many coffee aficionados actually enjoy the process of making coffee just as much as drinking it so that experience is worth something. 

The feel of the TimeMore C2 is closer towards that of the high end grinders while the price is closer to the entry level grinders. That’s why it’s such a popular grinder.

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