It had to happen.
After the overwhelming success of the DF64, it was just a matter of time before somebody would make an even larger version of one of last year’s most popular grinders.
And now it looks like it’s almost here.
In this post, I’ll take a closer look at the DF83 coffee grinder. What is it? Who is it for? When can you get your hands on it?
The DF83 grinder at a glance
There had been some rumors in online coffee communities, but in late August, it became official.
There will be a DF83, and it will be available quite soon – most likely in late November/early December 2022.
Espresso Outlet, one of the first companies to import and sell the DF64, is again the frontrunner. The company is already doing pre-orders at $699 and selling the grinder under the name Turin DF83.
However, it’s only a matter of time before this grinder will show up in different parts of the world, rebranded under various names. So expect to see it as G-iOTA, The Solo, Zentis, etc., at your local coffee equipment dealer soon.
Judging from the early pictures, the grinder will look like a supersized version of the DF64.
However, there are some minor cosmetical improvements:
- The chute/spout looks like it has been extended, so it’s closer to the dosing cup.
- It comes with an aluminum dosing ring/funnel as an accessory. An optional hopper is also included if you, for some reason, don’t want to single dose.
- The hideous “bean” dial indicator located just above the chute is gone. Thank god.
- The power button has been moved to the right bottom of the grinder. The same goes for the power cord.
- New painted finish instead of the vinyl wrap
- Wood accent bellows cap
It also appears that there are some internal improvements to the grinder.
First, the grinder comes with a completely new declumper design. This seems like a significant improvement.
There’s also a brand new alignment system to stabilize the top burr carrier. The DF64 uses three basic springs to keep alignment. The DF83 uses wave spring washers.
The main selling point of the DF83 is still the same as the smaller sibling: Low retention and single dosing.
Being affordable is, of course, also part of the appeal. However, I don’t think you can call this grinder “budget” with a straight face anymore.
The good things
Judging from all the minor tweaks and updates we already know about, the DF83 seems promising.
When the DF64 was released in early 2021, it felt like a half-baked product. Especially the overly rigid declumper caused a lot of issues.
Also, to this day, I still think it’s a messy grinder. Even though you have many 3rd party accessories, the distance between the catch cup and the chute seems too big.
If the DF83 solves these issues, it will already be a step ahead.
When I look at the list of updates, it indicates to me that the Chinese company that produces the grinder is listening to feedback. As such, this gives me confidence that the DF83 will work well straight out of the box. Most likely, there won’t be the same need to tinker and tweak as there has been (and still is) with the DF64.
Of course, the most apparent difference between the two DF grinders is that the new one is bigger and more powerful.
It has 83 mm burrs, a 550-watt motor, and weighs in at 23.8 lbs / 10.8 kg.
On the other hand, the DF64 comes with a 250-watt motor and is significantly lighter at 15 lbs / 6.8 kg.
However, even though the DF83 is more beefy and substantial, it’s only a tiny bit taller (about 2 inches), so assuming that you use it without the hopper, it should still fit on the kitchen counter under any cabinets. It should probably be considered a medium-sized espresso grinder.
The big questions
The big and looming question with the DF83 is, of course, about the burr size.
In coffee, we usually think that “bigger is better” when it comes to burrs. This is because bigger burrs are faster and usually more uniform.
The other side of the coin is that they tend to be more unforgiving regarding alignment. We still don’t know how well the DF83 is attaining and maintaining proper alignment.
Also, 83 mm is not the most common burr size.
While there’s a vast range of appropriate burrs available for the 64 mm platform, currently, we don’t have that many to choose from in size 83.
At the moment of writing, two models are available from SSP.
There are also four different burrs available from Mazzer. Two of these burrs have a more brew-focused geometry:
- 151A for espresso
- 151B for espresso
- 151F for filter (Full bodied, more fines)
- 151G for filter (Lower fines, higher clarity)
The good news about these Mazzer burrs is that they are much more affordable than those from SSP. However, the other side of the coin is that they don’t seem to have that many fans in the coffee community compared to SSP burrs.
But if the DF83 lives up to just a little bit of the success of its younger sibling, I’m pretty sure we’ll see some new SSP geometries dedicated to this grinder.
Should you get a DF83?
It’s still early to say whether the DF83 is worth it.
If you already have a DF64 and are happy with the performance, I doubt you will get a significant (if any) upgrade in the cup.
Also, there’s the price point to consider. Aftermarket 83 mm burrs will be much more expensive than the corresponding 64 mm burrs. The DF83 is selling for an early bird price of $699 at Espresso Outlet vs. $440 for the DF64.
Assuming that 83 mm SSP burrs will cost around $350, the total package for an upgraded DF83 will be over $1000.
While this should still be considered affordable for a commercial-sized flat burr grinder, it’s hard to argue that it’s a budget grinder that everybody should rush out to get.
With the DF83 you get the bigger motor and burr set, but you will probably have to live with some quirks in UX and design.
- For instance, one of my pet peeves with the DF64 is that there’s no dedicated power switch, only a back-lit on/off button. It seems that the DF83 will have the same annoying system. There could be more weird design decisions of that kind.
- Also, I wonder why they haven’t redesigned the catch cup from the ground up. Now it will ship with an aluminum funnel to minimize the gap between the cup and the chute. Why not just design a new and taller cup so this additional accessory isn’t necessary?
I can see why a faster and more powerful grinder would be attractive in a coffee shop where you need an extra single-dose grinder. But in a domestic setting, that speed and power most likely won’t make much of a difference to most people.
The DF83 looks promising in many ways, but there are also a lot of questions.
It will be available in a few months, and I’m sure the hype will be massive.
But that doesn’t mean that you should get it.
I will, of course, update this article with my first impression when I get the grinder in hand and try to answer the questions I have raised in this article.