It’s one of the quietest espresso focused grinders available, incredibly easy to use, has timed dosing accuracy which matches more expensive grinders and produces fluffy—clump free grinds which distribute evenly and cleanly into a portafilter.
A First Look
Hey espresso lovers, Marc here from Whole Latte Love. Today an in-depth look at the ultra-quiet and easy to use Atom grinder from Eureka. I’ll take you on tour of the Atom including a close look at internal components, I’ll have test results for timed dosing weight consistency and grind speed—plus I’ll cover the stuff you’ll love and things to be aware of with this grinder.
Eureka has been making grinders for a long time. The company was founded in Italy in 1920. With the Atom, they’ve put commercial level performance into a smaller package than something like their high speed Zenith grinder.
Under the Microscope
So the basics. The Atom is available in chrome, black or white finishes. It spins 60 millimeter flat steel burrs at 1350 RPMs using a powerful and very quiet 450 watt motor, the case is aluminum, a short hopper has a 1.3 pound bean capacity and total height is 17.32 inches.
Grind adjustment is stepless via a micro-metric adjustment knob. A rather unique setup that I’ll get into more in a minute. For dosing there are two programmable presets as well as manual on demand grinding which can be started via a portafilter activated switch or from a button below the display. The Atom has an adjustable portafilter fork for hands free grinding and comes with a bin for grinding for other brew methods.
I really like the display and programming controls on the Atom. Really among the best I’ve reviewed. The display has a slight up angle so it’s easy to read. It shows the current programmed time for single and double grind cycles. Then above each it has counters for the number of cycles run. Grind time is adjusted using minus and plus buttons in tenth of a second increments. And I’ve got to say of all the many grinders I’ve reviewed programming the Atom is about as easy as it gets. No menus, no waiting to exit a programming mode. Just push the plus or minus buttons to change the time and that’s it. Very intuitive.
While programmed grinding can only be started via the portafilter switch, you can start manual grinding using that switch or the button on the control panel. When manual grinding the display shows the elapsed grind time and holds the time on completion. A nice feature because you can get an approximate fill of a portafilter then use that time to program a preset and make slight adjustments as needed.
To check timed dosing weight accuracy I first dialed in the grinder to produce a standard 60 milliliter double shot at about 25 to 30 seconds from first drip using a 19 gram coffee dose. In the course of dialing in I zeroed in on a grind time of 8 seconds to get my 19 gram dose. Following that, I ground ten times at 8 seconds each and carefully weighed the results from each cycle. Here’s a graph with those results. As you can see, the Atom was remarkably consistent. Through the ten grind cycles the average weight dispensed was 18.99 grams. The average dose variation was only 0.2 grams with the largest variation of 0.48 grams visible there in the seventh grind cycle. Grinding speed averaged 2.374 grams per second over the ten test cycles.
So, that’s really incredible consistency in dosing weight. Right up there with higher priced grinders I’ve tested like the Ceado E37S. That consistency is likely the result of the impeller here. It’s spinning during grinding and helps feed beans to the burrs. Couple of minor trade-offs with that. First, you’ve got have sufficient beans in the hopper to avoid popcorning. You need some weight from beans on top to prevent them from just popping off the impeller. Second, the impeller setup makes single dose grinding—that is just putting the beans for one grind cycle in the hopper impractical. Try that, and some beans will be bouncing of the impeller for a very long time.
Grind size is adjusted with this knob. Now in most grinders when you make a grind size adjustment it’s the top burr that’s changing position. In the Atom, it’s the bottom burr moving up and down and the top burr is stationary. And, there are some clear benefits with this setup. First, the grinding chamber can be opened without losing your grind setting. And second, grind size adjustment is always smooth. On many grinders coffee dust and oils can gum up the fine threads of the mechanism which adjusts the top burr. With the Atom, the adjustment mechanism is nowhere near the grinding chamber so that’s not a problem.
Now I should note the Atom like most grinders of this style is not what I’d classify as a zero retention grinder. There will always be some ground coffee or a bean or two left when you open up the grinding chamber at espresso grind sizes - even if you try to grind it dry.
Looking inside, ground coffee is delivered through a long chute that’s easy to access if needed. In my testing grounds came out fluffy, static free and distributed evenly into a portafilter. Unless you seriously overfill there’s very little if any spill. So the Atom is both very quiet and clean. The portafilter fork is adjustable to hold most portafilters for hands free grinding. and, the fork removes completely to accommodate the included grounds bin when grinding for other brew methods.
Some general usage notes. It’s about one and a half to three complete revolutions of the adjustment knob to go from espresso size up to medium and coarser grinds for drip, pour over or press. If you want to use this grinder for multiple brew methods expect to be dialing in a bit when returning to espresso grind size. If changing brew methods everyday, these re-adjustments may get annoying. Also, if you are used to using a grinder with a larger adjustment collar you’ll need to get used to making much smaller turns of the adjustment knob on the Atom to get equivalent changes in grind size. But not a big deal as the adjustment always stays nice and smooth.
What do we think?
So, final thoughts. You have to love the weight accuracy of timed dosing. It’s as good as grinders which are much more expensive. Also love the ease of programming. No menus. no waiting, no extra button pushes. Just plus or minus to change in 1/10th of a second steps. The Atom has a powerful motor, 450 watts—that’s more than most in its class. And, Its very quiet. If you’re grinding early morning you’re not waking anyone up with this grinder. It really is the quietest grinder of this type I’ve ever used.
That’s the Eureka Atom grinder. It comes in chrome, black, or white finishes and is available now from Whole Latte Love. If you have any questions about this grinder or anything coffee, use those comments and I’ll get you the answers. I’m Marc, thanks for reading.