Release Spotlight: DF54 Espresso Grinder

Written by
Chris Caruso
(we're on a mission)

DF54 Espresso Grinder


Nearly three years after the breakout success of the DF64 single-dose grinder, a newer and more compact DF54 has been announced, and it hopes to become king of the entry-level grinder market.

The DF54, a compact, 54mm flat burr grinder, is a functional little brother of the DF64. With full grind range, stepless adjustment, and an eye-watering price tag, the DF54 is set to disrupt the market and step into the spotlight.

In this release spotlight, we will look at the recently announced DF54 grinder, highlight its standout features, and compare the to-be DF54 to the current king of entry-level grinders, the Baratza Encore ESP.

Let's get brewing!

Table of Contents

What is the DF54?

DF54 vs DF64 Features 2024

Entry Level Adaptation of DF64

In 2021, the DF64 was released as a value-oriented single-dose grinder. Deemed the "Niche Killer," the DF64 quickly rose to fame as a go-to grinder for home baristas. With its subsequent success, a variety of spinoff models were created, including a hopper-style version ( DF64E ), a variable speed version (DF64V), and a larger flat burr version (DF83).

The DF54 is an evolution of the DF64 and seeks to take the best parts of the DF64 and put them in a more affordable, entry-level package. 54, of course, refers to the burr diameter of the grinder. While the DF64 has the famed swappable 64mm flat burrs, the DF54 will use a more compact and cost-effective 54mm flat burrset.

Made in China, Sold Worldwide

To date, the vast majority of DF grinders have been designed and built by China-based Ningbo Frigga, an appliance company focused on commercial and residential espresso equipment.

Ningbo Firgga works with companies like Turin and MiiCoffee to private label the DF style grinders for worldwide distribution. Although, as of Jan 25, 2024, Ningbo Frigga has not listed the DF54 on their website, there is speculation that they will have had a hand in the design and production of the DF54.

Standout Features of the DF54

DF54 Features 2024

Custom Made 54mm Flat Burrs

Of course, the most identifiable piece of the DF54 is the use of custom-made 54 mm stainless steel flat burrs. This smaller burrset gives the DF54 a smaller overall footprint, a lower power draw, and a lower price tag.

Full Range Grind

The DF54 mirrors its larger 64mm sibling in its ability to grind for a full range of coffee - from pour-over coarse to espresso fine. Turning the adjustment dial will move the burrs closer or further apart, allowing for a wide range of grind sizes on a stepless scale.

Stepless Adjustment

The DF54 comes with a redesigned chrome-wrapped dial to control a stepless adjustment mechanism.The three-seated upper burr carrier uses wave springs to stabilize the grinding chamber, similar to the later models of DF64.

Plasma Generator

The DF54 also comes with one of the newer features that were added to the DF64 Gen 2, a static-reducing plasma generator. A plasma generator, otherwise referred to as an ionizer, reduces the static electricity between the grounds in order to minimize overall retention and clumping.


Similar to the newer models of the DF64 Gen 2, the DF54 will feature a built-in anti-popcorn device to stop beans from jumping out of the single-dose hopper, increasing grind speed.

58mm Design

Although the DF54 is optimized for a more entry-level setup and compact spaces, it is designed for commercial-style 58mm portafilters.

The DF54 will come with a 58mm transparent plastic dosing cup as well as a 58mm portafilter holder for home baristas looking for direct-grind functionality.

Zero Retention

The initial reports of the DF54 advertise the grinder as zero retention - that is, less than 0.1 grams.

Bean Hopper

The DF54 will feature a standard single-dose 20-gram capacity, with a 50-gram capacity with the optional bellows.

Powder Coated Finish

The DF54 is designed out of sturdy aluminum, weighing in at a solid yet modest 10lbs. It is currently hinted to be available in a powder-coated black or white, but as of Jan 25, 2024, the only renderings on the web are in black.

Comparison: DF54 vs. Baratza Encore ESP

Although the DF54 has yet to be released, the initial conversation puts the DF54 retailing near the $200 Baratza Encore ESP. If that is the case, the Encore ESP could have a run for its money.

DF54 vs. Baratza Encore ESP

Burrset & Productivity

Right out of the gate, these two grinders diverge when it comes to their internal burrset and productivity. While the Encore uses smaller 40mm conical burrs, the DF54 is designed with much larger 54mm flat burrs. If the flavor of the DF64 is any indication, the hardened steel burrs on the DF54 will prove to extract flavors out of the coffee that the Encore ESP cannot compete with.

In addition, the DF54 is powered by a 150W motor, more than double the smaller 70W motor in the Baratza Encore ESP. Combine the burr size and overall power, and the DF54 is likely to grind much faster than the relatively slow Encore ESP.

Adjustment & Dosing

These two grinders continue to diverge when looking at their adjustment mechanism. While both grinders can grind across brew ranges, the Baratza Encore ESP uses pre-determined stepped adjustment, while the DF54 has true stepless adjustment functionality.

Stepless adjustment dramatically improves the overall workflow when dialing in espresso, and until now, there have been no options for an electric stepless grinder under $299. If the DF54 can deliver on the adjustment mechanism, it will force the Encore ESP or Fellow Opus to respond with overall product improvements.

Dosing & Design

Upon first glance, the overall design of the Baratza Encore ESP and DF54 are noticeably different. The Encore ESP uses a traditional hopper-style dosing mechanism, while the DF54 was designed for single dosing one shot of espresso at a time.

In addition, the DF54 is built of sturdy aluminum, compared to the less premium feel of the Encore ESP plastic body.

Pricing and Availability

As of late February 2024, the DF54 has become available to pre-order in the United States. While the two primary vendors of the DF64, Turin and MiiCoffe, have announced the DF54, there has yet to be an initial shipment range more specific than March to April 2024. The DF54 is has launched for $229, only ~$30 more than the Baratza Encore ESP, Fellow Opus, or Breville Smart Grinder Pro.

The Final Sip

The DF54 is set to disrupt the home espresso market as significantly as its larger relative, the DF64, did in 2021. If the DF54 can deliver quality 54mm flat burrs, low retention, and stepless adjust across a full brew range, it could easily mark its place as the go-to entry-level espresso grinder in 2024 and beyond.

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