March 20, 2006

Review: Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System

Review from Single Serve Coffee.com - Coffee Pod Reviews Gpod LargeIt's been over a year since we last learned of the fabled Grindmaster Consumer PrecisionBrew single serve coffee maker. We had thought back then it would be only a few months before it came out, but like some consumer products, you just have to wait and the product will come out when it wants to not when you'd like it to.

We're pretty excited to say - the wait was worth it. The Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System has a small footprint, easy to use features, and can make a mild or strong cup of single serve coffee using coffee pods with ease. The machine is both attractive and is one of the best mid-ranged priced coffee pod brewers we've tested over the past two years.

Img 2283Grindmaster GPOD Pod Brewer Product Features:

  • Pour over single cup coffee brewing system
  • EasyPod accepts a wide variety of pods
  • Allows you to choose your favorite coffee or tea
  • BrewControl Flavor Selector 4-position adjustable brewer straight control, 3 positions for coffee & 1 for tea
  • AccuBrew Brewing Interface- five LED display. A low water alert notifies when it is time to fill the reservoir.
  • Stylish high performance design looks great on the counter
  • High Performance Design minimal counter design
  • Extra large water reservoir-always ready to brew multiple cups anytime
  • Electric: 110Volts, 1300Watts, 12Amps, 60Hz
  • Water reservoir capacity 38 fl. oz.
  • Hot water tank capacity 17 fl. oz.
  • Minimum brewing water temperature 195 Degree F.
  • Maximum brewing water temperature 200 Degree F.
  • Brewing volume 8 fl. oz.
  • Dimensions: 12-1/2"H x 6-5/8"W x 10-5/8"D

Img 2286Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System Feature Details

  • PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System – A non-proprietary pod-based brewing system combines commercial infusion technology with digitally controlled brew sequencing to ensure a great tasting cup of coffee every time, in less than one minute.
  • EasyPod™ Brew Basket – Our exclusive design accepts a wide variety of pods, allowing you to choose your favorite coffee or tea. Plus, the brew basket is dishwasher safe.
  • BrewControl™ Flavor Selector – 4-position adjustable brew strength control allows you to easily fine tune the strength of each cup to match your personal preference. It includes three positions for coffee and one position for tea.
  • AccuBrew™ Brewing Interface – An easy-to-follow, five-color LED display makes brewing simple. A low-water alert notifies you when it’s time to refill the reservoir.
  • Energy Savings Feature – The unit features an automatic shut-off that is activated after 36 hours of inactivity.

Img 2290Unlike the commercial Grindmaster single serve coffee maker, the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System has the consumer really in mind due to the smaller footprint, easy to use controls, and a large reservoir that's much easier to fill. It also features easy to dial brew strength controls along with a simple system of led lights to tell you what's happening with the brewer and doesn't require as much power as the older commercial brewer.

Img 2293-1The Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System uses coffee pods to make a cup of single serve coffee. It can take up to a 14 gram coffee pod (a tight fit) but is really designed with a 10 gram coffee pod in mind. Unlike other single serve brewers we've tested, the Grindmaster comes with just one single pod holder that is large and capable of holding 2 - 7 gram coffee pods.

It can turn Green for ready to brew, Aqua flashes for - "Hey I need WATER", Red light for warming up, Purple light for first priming the machine, and Yellow when the coffee pod brew chamber is not closed properly. Good stuff and easy to remember after a couple of attempts at brewing.


Making a Cup of Coffee with the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System

Img 2302The machine comes preset at 197 degrees F and the coffee produced is piping hot and when tested at this temperature. We tended to get a more reasonable 184-185 degrees at the brew head which isn't surprising given how wet the coffee pods get when brewing and there has to be some heat loss before it gets into the cup.

Because the Grindmaster doesn't just use a straight brew with no pre-wetting of the pod, you get a great cup of coffee each time. Depending on what brew strength you use - Mild, Medium, Strong, or even TEA, the brewer will pulse and brew, pulse and brew, and then finish up your cup. This creates a cycle of pre-wetting, pulse brewing, and then a final brewing that can produce a very strong or very mild cup of coffee.

Img 2312-1We tested the machine with Senseo coffee pod, Baronet 9.5-10 gram pods, and monster pods from CafePods in the 14 gram range and the Grindmaster made a great cup of coffee with all of them. What was nothing short of astonishing was on STRONG how STRONG you could get the coffee to come out. We used a 62 mm - 14 gram double pod from CafePods in Italian Roast and got perhaps one of the strongest cups of single serve coffee produced from a single serve coffee pod brewer yet.

Img 2316The cup volume is a solid 7-7.5 ounces depending on the size of the pod we've used. The machine itself is set to brew only at 8 oz, but the coffee pod will eat up a good ounce of water when producing a cup of coffee. Grindmaster does tell you this in the manual, but be prepared for there to be less coffee produced the larger you go in coffee pod size.

We did find by opening and shutting the pod chamber we could get the majority of the rest of the coffee out of the pod and into the cup from the very wet pod large pod. We think this inability to get all the coffee out of the coffee pod is the one downfall of the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System but it's by no means a show stopper. In order to make a really good cup of coffee from a coffee pod you need a very very wet saturated pod and the brewer does this with ease.

Grindmaster Commercial, Bunn My Cafe and the Grindmaster Consumer Brewer Comparison

Gpod-2The coffee produced from both Grindmaster brewers is quite good. We do think the commercial brewer does make a little better cup of coffee, but also is over twice the price. With the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System being only $149.99 versus the Grindmaster commercial brewer being over $300+ dollar - you do the math. Everyone here at Single Serve Coffee.com would much rather get a set of the commercial brewer features over paying twice as much for a similar cup of coffee.

That also brings us to look at the only other coffee pod brewer like the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System - the Bunn My Cafe. We like the Bunn My Cafe - we like it alot. It has one big strength over the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System - you can dial up and down the amount of water you want for each cup of single serve coffee you brew.

Because the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System is fixed at 8 oz of coffee this may not be the brewer for everyone, but we found it quite easy to brew up two cups of coffee with it for a travel mug size and the accuracy of the amount of water you get versus the Bunn is also quite good.

We've had issues with the Bunn My Cafe and water volume from time to time, but the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System seems to be very accurate in the amount of water it dispenses. The Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System is also on average $50 dollars less than the Bunn, but we can tell you right now - we will still be using the Bunn and the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System moving forward - we like them both.

How does the coffee compare with the Bunn My Cafe and the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System? We think they are about the same. We believe we can get a much stronger brew using the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System, but you can achieve similar results using less water and the tea setting on the Bunn. So in the end - it's a toss up between them both.

Conclusions

We really like the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System. Overall it's a very solid, well designed single serve coffee maker that can brew up a very good cup of single serve coffee.

Pros

  • Small Footprint
  • 3 Brew Strength Settings
  • Large Reservoir
  • Pause Brew Feature
  • Uses a Variety of Pod Sizes


Cons

  • Only brews 8 oz cups or less

We're going to give the Grindmaster GPOD PrecisionBrew™ Single Cup Brewing System a solid 4 out of 5 stars like it's big brother. Besides the in-ability to brew different cup sizes (which we don't think is much of a con) the coffee produced from this machine is excellent. For $149.99 this machine is $50 dollars less than the Bunn My Cafe and less than half the cost of the Grindmaster Commercial brewer with many of the same features.

Grindmaster-Gpod-Precisionb

At Amazon.com

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Posted by Jay Brewer at March 20, 2006 8:20 AM

Recent Comments

I am on my 3rd Grindmaster. Customer service is great at sending me replacement machines, but it is getting old dealing with this problem. If this continues, I might have to try K-cups.


Posted by: Dominique at May 30, 2008 1:10 PM

I have the Grind Master. It has developed a problem! When I turn it on it goes from red, green, purple to orange, but now when I close the lid it will not brew. It stays orange. I have had the Gring Master 6 months.


Posted by: Bonnie Gneiser at April 18, 2008 4:17 PM

How do you prime the Grindmaster GPOD Precision Brew Single Cup Brewing System from Single Serve Coffee.com. I have a new one, but no manual.

Thanks


Posted by: Kit at January 8, 2008 4:20 PM

We are doing a revisiting the Senseo soon to give better comparison.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at September 11, 2006 12:45 PM

First, let me start by saying how much I enjoy singleservecoffee.com. While I only recently found the site, I do have a couple of questions regarding the reviews of the Bunn and Grindmaster machines. The Bunn My Cafe received 3.5 out of 5 rating. Both the Grindmaster GPOD and OPOD received a 4 out of 5 rating. The reviews indicate that these commercial machines do make a better cup of coffee. If you go back and look at the original reviews of the Philps Senseo, this machine received a 5 out of 5 rating. Am I missing something here? Or is the review of the Senseo too old to make a fair comparison? I'd really like to know how the Philips currently stacks up against the big boy machines. Thanks, Tom


Posted by: Tom Zukowski at September 11, 2006 12:17 PM

Thank you for the Great Review. I ordered one today from Coffeewiz. I have a bunn and though the cup size setting is nice....its rare that a pod can make more then 8oz. without it being too weak. I will use the interupt brewing feature to make larger stronger cups. Thanks again fopr the indepth review.


Posted by: Michael at March 21, 2006 3:33 PM

I found the strong setting to be even stronger. Since the pod holder on the GPOD can hold the coffee pod in a very very wet and saturated state - the coffee produced was even stronger.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at March 21, 2006 8:37 AM

If the same pods were brewed in the Bunn on the tea setting, would it be comparable to the stronger setting on the GPod?


Posted by: Mary at March 21, 2006 8:33 AM

It depends on your taste - it gets stronger and a little more bitter you could say but given the set of people who tried the darker roast on the strong setting - none said it was "bitter".


Posted by: Jay Brewer at March 21, 2006 7:17 AM

But does the bitterness increase on the stronger settings?


Posted by: joe at March 20, 2006 10:45 PM

You can truly notice the difference with a darker roast with the three different settings.


Posted by: Jay Brewer at March 20, 2006 1:20 PM

As you dial up the extraction process of this machine, how much more bitter is the coffee becoming? How much difference is there between the three brewing settings?


Posted by: joe at March 20, 2006 1:16 PM
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