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Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
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mkraft
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Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 78
Location: U.S.A.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bialetti Caffetiera stovetop...
Grinder: KitchenAid Pro Line...
Posted Mon Jan 15, 2007, 10:19pm
Subject: Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
 

I see Zassenhaus mill grinders frequently recommended.  Do these lack anything that the machine burr grinders have or otherwise have any disadvantages other than having to crank them by hand?

If not, why pay so much more for the machines?
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BlueMoon
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Joined: 3 Jan 2007
Posts: 80
Location: Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None
Grinder: Baratza Virtuouso
Vac Pot: None
Drip: Hario v60, Chemex, Clever...
Roaster: UFO/CO
Posted Tue Jan 16, 2007, 8:23am
Subject: Re: Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
 

I have had a hand mill for 8 months now and while I really like it, there are days that I wished I had a machine.  It can be a PitA to grind two pots' worth of coffee in an hour when you have a lot of guests.  If I were to get an electric mill, I would be paying for the convenience, but to get the electric mill I would want would cost more than double the cost of my $70 Peugeot mill.
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kbuzbee
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kbuzbee
Joined: 2 Feb 2006
Posts: 568
Location: Mentor, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: I don't drip
Posted Tue Jan 16, 2007, 11:15am
Subject: Re: Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
 

BlueMoon Said:

I have had a hand mill for 8 months now and while I really like it, there are days that I wished I had a machine.  It can be a PitA to grind two pots' worth of coffee in an hour when you have a lot of guests.  If I were to get an electric mill, I would be paying for the convenience, but to get the electric mill I would want would cost more than double the cost of my $70 Peugeot mill.

Posted January 16, 2007 link

I agree 100%. MOST of the time I actually enjoy the process of hand grinding ( I own 4 Zass grinders!) but there are those days, you're tired, you're short of time.... whatever - I wish I could turn one of them into a nice power unit for a day. The quality of the coffee I get from my Zass's is great. I can do powder for Turkish, fine for espresso, med-fine for Brikka/Moka and med-coarse for Cona Pot, all very well. An added benefit for me, the Zass's are pretty quiet. If the wife is still sleeping (too rare for her) I surely don't want to wake her just because I want a cup of coffee. So I can whole heartedly recommend a Zass (never tried the Peu but I hear they are good).

Ken
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passionateone
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passionateone
Joined: 27 Dec 2006
Posts: 198
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ02S
Grinder: macap M4 step/doserless,Old...
Vac Pot: cona D
Drip: chemex
Roaster: Gene
Posted Wed Jan 17, 2007, 12:44pm
Subject: Re: Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
 

I've got an old Zass.  It was a gift purchased on ebay.  I think it's so old it may be an antique.  It still grinds both quickly and quietly.  It can grind fine or course, but the end result is inconsistant.  It is a great mill for car camping and other times that I'm brewing a press pot.  I haven't had great luck with it for my vacuum pot.  I'm sure that the old thing is feeling it's age and the burrs are dull.  

I should emphasize that if you are grinding on the course side it only takes a little over a minute to grind a couple of ounces- including the time it takes to fill the hopper a second time.

Me thinks I'm ready for a new one.
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derevaun
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derevaun
Joined: 25 Sep 2006
Posts: 112
Location: Olympia, WA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Shoes and wallet
Grinder: Hario Mini, Baratza Maestro
Vac Pot: Yama 5c
Drip: Clever, BCM4
Roaster: My neighbor's Diedrich
Posted Wed Jan 17, 2007, 2:45pm
Subject: Re: Hand-cranked grinders (Zassenhaus) v. Machine grinders
 

Older grinders are liable to be dull and/or caked up, causing a lot of fines. It's nearly impossible to discern from most Ebay listings how much use a grinder has had. An electric grinder doesn't carry that risk, because the motor will fail long before the burrs are dull :-) But a hand grinder is great for quiet operation and does a good job if it's relatively young.
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