This is the brand new Comandante C60 Baracuda hand grinder - and it’s $600. Effectively in the same price range as grinders like the DF83, Eureka Mignon Specialita, several other Eureka Mignon Grinders, and the Timemore Sculptors. All of which are very capable, and very popular electric home coffee grinders.
The original Comandante C40 has been practically the gold standard of the hand grinder market for as long as I can remember, which granted, isn’t that long, but it’s been a very, very popular grinder.
With the impeccable German build quality and 40mm conical burrs, the C40 had become something of a benchmark for great performance and even commonly used for measuring grind size with the Comandante Click system.
And recently, Comandante has dropped the C60 Baracuda. A hand grinder that features new, massive 60mm conical burrs in an all steel, impressively constructed body, that feels as premium as its price point might convey.
So - how does this grinder perform, is it worth the money, and is it for you? That’s what I’m hoping to help you find out in this video.
Huge thanks to Specialty Turkish Coffee for loaning me this unit. They are not influencing this review in any way, no money exchanged hands, and no other agreement was made other than “hey have some fun with it and send it back when you’re done”. Review my ethics policy here.
This is the embodiment of the phrase 'German Engineering at its finest'. This all steel construction grinder exudes quality. Every component feels intentional. Every element of the design of this grinder feels like it has a purpose. No wasted parts, no unnecessary gimmicks, just a solid hand grinder that feels like it could double as a weapon.
The sheer density of this grinder is just crazy. Picking it up for the first time I was shocked by how heavy it was. I was also shocked by how much it didn’t appear to be that much bigger in size compared to the C40 despite having a conical burr set that is 50% larger in diameter.
In the hand, the grinder feels ever so slightly larger but certainly not to the point of it being unusable - and I have relatively small hands (there’s a joke hidden in there somewhere isn’t there?).
The body of the grinder is made of solid stainless steel with beautiful machining work done to create these gentle design curves around the grinder. This appears to act as both a nice design element while simultaneously giving you a little extra grip on the grinder. Something I did find to be sometimes an issue with the C40.
The catch cup appears to be the same as the one used in the C40 and are interchangeable.
This grinder [C60] came with the Big Joe knob compared to the standard smaller handle that comes with the C40. For my size hands, I do prefer the smaller handle on the C40.
The grind adjustment mechanism of the C60 more or less is the same as the C40 but with a new solid brass dial which adds to the premium feel of the grinder and suits the new grind adjustment mechanism name, GX50 Gold Clix.
Whether it’s due to new design or simply a larger burr set, it was much easier to find the exact 0 point of the C60. From there, adjusting for grind size is super easy to do if you remember the rough ranges for this grinder by counting your clicks as you turn the adjustment dial.
I have heard that with some people it's a love-hate relationship with not being able to actually read your grind size adjustment anywhere on the grinder, while simultaneously being super easy to zero out and repeat the clicks needed.
Now I wasn’t actually sure if the larger burrs would lead to having a harder, or easier time grinding through beans. In testing, I found it more or less the same effort compared to the C40, but it did seem to grind much faster/more efficiently.
The C60 absolutely chews through beans and to prove it, you can find a quick side by side test to the C40 in my video review.
If anything, the only fatigue I felt while grinding was from the sheer weight of this grinder, and that’s what made it harder to grind with, versus the C40. The stainless steel body also didn’t help with anything because if your hands are a little too dry, the grinder can become slippery to grip.
You will still develop quite a bit of chaff with this, so I would do just a little bit of RDT prior to dosing your beans just to help reduce that chaff and mess.
FILTER BREW PERFORMANCE
So how does it actually taste in the cup? Well, it’s great. It’s everything you’d expect to get out of a Comandante hand grinder. But that might also be the problem?
I found cups brewed on the C60 very comparable to cups brewed on the C40. I’m no burr expert, but the burrs on the C60 are essentially the same, but bigger. This led to a very similar cup to what I’m used to on the C40, having used this grinder for a couple years now.
When my brews had cooled down, I found that maybe, just maybe, the brews on the C60 were a little bit cleaner compared to the C40 overall [placebo?].
Now maybe someone with far more expertise like Lance Hedrick may get around to reviewing this grinder for a more detailed and experienced head to head, but in my personal testing period, I really found the cups to be similar.
ESPRESSO BREW PERFORMANCE
Unfortunately, I don’t think this grinder has enough steps for dialing espresso. The Comandante C40 combined with the Red Clix modification effectively doubled the steps and was suitable for espresso, but here it was much more limiting.
I think this grinder may need something like the Red Clix mod equivalent for the C60 to get more adjustability for espresso.
So, I’ve gushed over the build quality. I’ve talked about how I found this grinder performed. And now let’s talk about if I think it's worth it and more importantly, who this is for.
There is not a lot to dislike about this grinder. Honestly, my biggest one is surprisingly one of its most advertised features - the hefty weight and premium build.
In my experience, buying a hand grinder is primarily for one of three purposes.
It’s usually a lot cheaper than an electric grinder.
It’s great for traveling.
It’ll save you the countertop space.
The Comandante C60 is neither cheap nor particularly great for traveling. Now don’t get me wrong, it’s still relatively small and lighter than an electric grinder, but not the most travel friendly grinder when you’re trying to pack in as much density and weight as you can into this small device.
There’s one other really small thing I’d mention that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, just an odd thing to nitpick at.
You know how if you hold a bunch of coins your hand gets this kinda old musty metallic coin smell afterwards?
I’ve noticed that that same aroma occurs after using this grinder for a bit. Again, not a bad thing, just an odd thing I thought I’d mention.
So, finally, is this grinder worth it?
This hand grinder is $600. Let that sink in a little, that is a lot of money. It certainly feels as though you pay a premium here for that German Engineering and Comandante name.
With the steady trend of this 'race to the bottom' with the cheapest and best performing grinder, it’s an interesting breath of fresh air to see Comandante come out with something on the ultra high end range of hand grinders.
From the premium materials and build to touches like the solid brass dial, it’s just nice to see a product that isn’t trying to be a “best budget” winner these days.
This is an undoubtedly great grinder, but I think today’s market isn’t ready for it. There are just so many options out there that have great value, getting you great cups of coffee at an all time low price point.
The C60 feels like a testament to Comandante as a company with the German Engineering and longstanding Comandante brand. But for less than half the price of the C60, my recommendation for a hand grinder is still going to be the original Comandante C40.
For performance that is extremely comparable, quality that is still top notch, and a price point that doesn’t hurt nearly as much, the C40 is the way to go.
So who is the C60 really for? The C60 is a top of the line hand grinder. It’s Comandante at its best with a premium price tag to match.
The C60 is for the brewing enthusiast that already has the best of everything. It’s not necessarily going to be a grinder that you pick for its value in price to performance.
Or maybe you get it to flex on your nerdy coffee friends with.
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