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.
And now it’s already here.
I have only had the DF83 on my countertop for a short period, but due to the overwhelming interest in the grinder, I’ll share my thoughts here in an early review.
Expect this review to get updated in a few months when I have had a longer span to familiarize myself with the device.
Heads up: I did receive a free review unit from MiiCoffee, one of the retailers of DF83 in the US, but the shop has had no influence on my editorial process.
The DF83 grinder at a glance
There had been some rumors in online coffee communities, but in late August of 2022, it became official: The new DF83 was on its way.
MiiCoffee and Espresso Outlet, which have both been offering the various DF64 models for a while, are some of the first companies to take preorders on the grinder.
Currently, it’s available for $699, and delivery is expected around the 28th of November, although some of the first orders have already been fulfilled.
It’s only a matter of time before this coffee grinder will show up in different corners of the globe, rebranded under obscure names, as was the case with its predecessor.
So expect to see a 83 mm version of the G-iOTA, The Solo, Zentis, etc., at your local coffee equipment dealer soon.
The DF83 comes in a nice box with more branding than its predecessor. You could also say it’s looks a bit more professional.
My first impression when unboxing the DF83 was that it seemed as if the Chinese company behind the grinder had actually been listening to their core customers.
(This is splendid, because it’s not always the case in the coffee world 🤔)
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.
- 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.
This time around, there are a lot of accessories included in the box. Some of them are nice to have, while others are more unexpected.
- For example, there’s a hopper included in the box. Not something you need for a single-dose grinder, but still nice to have.
I believe in burr-seasoning right away with rice and botched roasts, which is a lot more expedient with an optional hopper.
- A brush, extra rubber sleeves for the portafilter holder, and a small RDT water spray bottle are also included.
- The most essential upgrades, however, are the dial adjustment indicator and the aluminum dosing ring/funnel.
Most people end up buying/3D-printing these accessories, so it’s convenient to have it included.
- The silicone bellows are also included, as with the DF64.
This time around,, they have been redesigned to minimize popcorning.
- The lid for the belows/hopper is made out of wood this time. It looks lovely, but a bit out of character when considering the plastic catch cup and aluminum dosing ring.
The biggest difference between the DF64 and the new DF83, however, is the finish of the grinder.
Instead of the cheap-feeling vinyl wrap the whole grinder now has a painted finish in either slightly glossy white or matte black.
I have the matte black version, which I adore. It goes well with my general coffee bar aesthetic and matches other matte black products from brands such as Timemore and Fellow.
The old DF64 could probably be described as being an eyesore. However, the new one, while not exactly pretty, is presentable.
The redesigned chute and the removal of the plastic panel in the middle of the grinder also accentuate the more noble and polished appearance.
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.
Overall, the grinder is, of course, a good deal bigger and heavier than the DF64. But it doesn’t look boxy.
Overall, I will say that the DF83 is an improvement in almost every department regarding looks and UX.
The only downside I can think of is that the cable now comes out to the right side instead of the back. I believe this was a necessary design compromise to avoid making the chassis unnecessarily bulky.
The DF83 In Daily Use
In daily use, the grinder has been working well so far.
Perhaps the most striking thing about the new model is its fast pace. Whether you’re grinding coarse or espresso-fine, the dose is done in a matter of seconds. An 18 g dose probably takes around 5-6 seconds, which is incredibly fast; also compared to the DF64.
The grinder also has a new declumper design, significantly improving the user experience. In practice, you can use the bellows less forcefully, and the overall retention is lower.
Of course, this is a grinder aimed at the single-dosing/zero-retention market. The grinder performs well in this regard. Exchange and retention are generally pretty minimal. From what I have seen, you can generally expect your dose to be within 0.1-0.4 g of your input, which is perfectly fine for me.
One nice thing is that it feels like you don’t have to rely on the bellows. Most of your dose comes out by itself. This is because the grinding chamber, impellers, chute, and declumper have a vastly improved design compared to the DF64. With the old version, it felt like you had to pound the bellows to get every last milligram out. Not so anymore.
A brand new alignment system also stabilizes the top burr carrier. The DF64 uses three basic springs to keep alignment. The DF83 uses a wave spring washer.
I’m still not sure if this is better or worse for alignment. However, it makes it a lot more straightforward to remove and reinstall the top burr carrier, since you don’t have to apply any pressure in order to catch the thread.
The good things
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 documented both by coffee reviewers as well as regular users.
Also, to this day, I still think the DF64 is a messy grinder.
Even though you have many third-party accessories, the distance between the catch cup and the chute seems too big.
The DF83 has fixed all these things. It’s just way better. The chute is closer to the catch cup, the declumper is better at focusing the output into a single narrow stream.
The big questions
The big and looming question with the DF83 is, of course, about the burr size.
With the DF64, you already have access to a wide range of suitable options; most notable are, of course, the versions from renowned Korean burr manufacturer SSP.
At the moment of writing, you only have an espresso burr available from SSP in size 83 mm.
According to Hansung from SSP, they will have an 83 mm “lab sweet” type cast burr ready for sale next year, but so far, there’s no news about a unimodal multipurpose burr set.
The MP burrs were perhaps the most popular of all burrs designed for the DF64.
Mazzer has also produced a range of burrs that fits the DF83.
However, in practice, it’s hard to locate most versions in online shops.
I managed to get my hands on the filter burr set called 151F. While being a lot cheaper than a comparable SSP burr set (I only paid around $80), I have not been overly impressed by the quality during my limited testing period. This might change with even more use and seasoning, but as it stands the cups are not better than what you’d get from brew-focused flat burr grinders such as the Fellow Ode or Eureka Filtro.
If I had to choose between the 83 mm Mazzer 151F burrs and the 64 mm SSP Multipurpose burrs, I would also choose the latter.
However, if the DF83 lives up to just a little bit of the success of its younger sibling, I’m pretty sure we’ll see more new SSP geometries dedicated to this grinder. And maybe some other options as well. I have heard great things about an 83 mm burr from Mazzer called 151G, but believe that it’s been discontinued.
How about the stock burrs?
I have only tested them briefly, but they offer a bit more clarity than the original DF64 burrs at the pour over range.
The espresso also tasted sweet and balanced from it.
I would say that they are a pretty good set of all-around burrs that don’t excel in any particular arena.
Should you get a DF83?
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. Especially not if you already have installed low-fines burrs, such as the ones from SSP.
However, the new grinder will vastly improve the workflow and user experience.
And you’ll, of course, also get a way faster grinder with a stronger motor.
On the other hand, it doesn’t make much difference for a home user whether it takes 5 or 20 seconds to grind a dose.
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, I can’t see how speed and power justify spending a serious wad of cash.
Also, the aftermarket 83 mm SSP burrs will be much more expensive than the same ones in size 64. This is only natural since 83 mm burrs are almost double the weight.
The DF83 sells for an early bird price of $699 at MiiCoffee 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.
If you’re in the market for a single dose espresso grinder that is well-rounded in all arenas, however, then this one makes a lot of sense compared to both the Niche Zero and DF64.
The workflow is great, and IF you ever want to get into more “modern” third wave coffee and light roasts, then you’ll have upgrade options in the future.
The DF83 proves that the difficult number two can be easy if you listen to your customers. Almost every single complaint about the DF64 has been addressed with this grinder.
It’s already available to order, and I’m sure the hype will be massive.
But that doesn’t mean that you should get it yet.
If you already have a DF64 with SSP burrs, there’s no improvement in the cup. So until you have more enticing burr options, it’s hard to say exactly who the DF83 is for.
While my first impression of the grinder overall is excellent, I will, of course, update this article with new observations as I use the grinder on a daily basis.