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nova_vo1
Senior Member


Joined: 25 Apr 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Apr 25, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Hey everyone, I'm new to coffeegeek but have been perusing the forums a lot in hopes to find a good/decent grinder for making pourover/french press and possibly siphon coffee in the near future. There's been a lot out there, a lot of it has to do with espressos too, but I don't think I'm ready to step into those grounds yet haha. My mind is about to blow up from thinking about grinders, so I decided to just make a post about it.

Simply put I'm willing to spend 150-200 for the grinder, preferably lower.
I'm trying to find a baratza virtuouso refurbished (since this grinder appears all over the forums) but am seeing if there are other viable alternatives. Also am looking at the bodum conical burr grinder right now too.

Thanks in advance!
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PhillyRick
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Dec 2012
Posts: 26
Location: Philadelphia
Posted Fri Apr 26, 2013, 7:28am
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

I've had a Breville burr grinder (about $100) for a couple of months.  It beats the pants off my Krups whirly grinder, but I have no idea how it compares to more expensive machines.

Rick
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,314
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Fri Apr 26, 2013, 10:31pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

A good French press grinder is not as trivial as it may seem. Most good espresso grinders will do a decent job but they are a pain to use for this application.

You want a consistent ground size and a minimum of dust. You won't go wrong with a Baratza Virtuoso.  Many years ago I bought and returned a Bodum conical burr machine. It had the same burr set as the Solis 166 which was contemporary with it.  I would say its grind quality was on a par with the Solis however it was obnoxious noisy. My wife said take it back and spend the extra money for the Solis. The Solis 166 and the *$ branded equivalent which I ended up with had the burr supported at two points. This permitted the burr to rock giving less consistency in the grind size.  Baratza has refined those machines and now I believe all their machines have the burr supported in three spots.  If the current Bodum machines have the three point burr carrier and don't require ear protection they may be a cost effective alternative.  Do look at the burr carrier and give it a listen first.

Phil

nova_vo1 Said:

Hey everyone, I'm new to coffeegeek but have been perusing the forums a lot in hopes to find a good/decent grinder for making pourover/french press and possibly siphon coffee in the near future. There's been a lot out there, a lot of it has to do with espressos too, but I don't think I'm ready to step into those grounds yet haha. My mind is about to blow up from thinking about grinders, so I decided to just make a post about it.

Simply put I'm willing to spend 150-200 for the grinder, preferably lower.
I'm trying to find a baratza virtuouso refurbished (since this grinder appears all over the forums) but am seeing if there are other viable alternatives. Also am looking at the bodum conical burr grinder right now too.

Thanks in advance!

Posted April 25, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Apr 27, 2013, 9:47am
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

PhillyRick Said:

I've had a Breville burr grinder (about $100) for a couple of months.  It beats the pants off my Krups whirly grinder, but I have no idea how it compares to more expensive machines.

Rick

Posted April 26, 2013 link

ANY burr grinder is going to "beat the pants off" a whilrybird bean hacker.  On the other hand, the whirlybirds are great for milling spices in the kitchen.

FWIW, I like using a manual grinder with my press pot. I don't really know why for sure. Maybe it's the "back to basics" experience aka "hands-on" approach, or maybe it's just serenity and wanting to make the whole experience relaxing?  There are a lot of good option for manual grinders which will produce excellent results with press pot brews.  Hario Skerton with an OE bearing mod will run you about $60, and the OE Lido is about $165 (I have both of these).  1st line is also now carrying new Zassenhaus grinders, which are not only beautiful, but are reported (I've never used one) to do an excellent job as well.  Those are going for about $100.  Anyhow, I find that I can grind my beans in about the same time that it takes to get my water to the right temperature, so I'm not wasting any time (even taking a chill approach to it all), and the effort is not bad at all (though you can feel a difference between lighter and darker roasts).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Dooglas
Senior Member
Dooglas
Joined: 12 Mar 2005
Posts: 690
Location: Portland, OR
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar HX, La Pavoni lever
Grinder: Ascaso, Baratza
Drip: Bonavita, Bodum press
Roaster: GeneCafe, Behmor
Posted Sat Apr 27, 2013, 5:47pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Baratza makes an excellent line of grinders and you can't really go wrong with the Virtuoso for press. Equally important, they have about the best customer service in the business.  A reason all by itself to go with their grinder.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 5:47am
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Dooglas Said:

Baratza makes an excellent line of grinders and you can't really go wrong with the Virtuoso for press. Equally important, they have about the best customer service in the business.  A reason all by itself to go with their grinder.

Posted April 27, 2013 link

I second that! Great grind quality, great service! but a manual grinder is a cheaper option (just in case).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,314
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 5:27pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Hi Emradguy,

If you said any REAL burr grinder, I would agree with you, however there is a lot of that pseudo-burr cr*p out there. The only thing they will beat a whirly-blade on is static generation and the ability to spread coffee grounds all over your kitchen. You may see the virtues of burr grinders printed on the box, but to call the contents of the box a burr grinder is fraud in my view.

A whirley blade typically has a metal cup into which the beans to be brutalized into some sort of grounds are placed. At least what passes for grounds is static discharged and therefore doesn't go flying all over the kitchen.

To identify a pseudo-burr look at the "burrs".  If they are some sort of pot-metal with the cosmetic "burrs" cast in with raised nubs to beat the beans apart it is a pseudo-burr. Leave it on the shelf.  Beware, I think there is a formerly reputable food processer company with a French sounding name which makes these things.

Phil

PS: I located Alan Frew's grinder article. Some of the models he describes may be out of production however the information is still good.  The first group of machines which he discusses are the pseudo-burrs.  He shows pictures of the "burrs".  

http://coffeegeek.com/opinions/alanfrew/08-30-2002

Now there is no excuse for being tricked into buying one of those things.


emradguy Said:

ANY burr grinder is going to "beat the pants off" a whilrybird bean hacker.  On the other hand, the whirlybirds are great for milling spices in the kitchen.

FWIW, I like using a manual grinder with my press pot. I don't really know why for sure. Maybe it's the "back to basics" experience aka "hands-on" approach, or maybe it's just serenity and wanting to make the whole experience relaxing?  There are a lot of good option for manual grinders which will produce excellent results with press pot brews.  Hario Skerton with an OE bearing mod will run you about $60, and the OE Lido is about $165 (I have both of these).  1st line is also now carrying new Zassenhaus grinders, which are not only beautiful, but are reported (I've never used one) to do an excellent job as well.  Those are going for about $100.  Anyhow, I find that I can grind my beans in about the same time that it takes to get my water to the right temperature, so I'm not wasting any time (even taking a chill approach to it all), and the effort is not bad at all (though you can feel a difference between lighter and darker roasts).

Posted April 27, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 7:42pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Thanks Phil! I knew there were some crappy burr grinders out there, but I didn't know they were that bad.  Fortunately, I won't ever be in the market for a crappy burr grinder, so I won't have to worry about it...but it's good to know if someone ever asks me which one to look at (and they don't want to spring for the low end Baratzas)

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,011
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 7:53pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

nova_vo1 Said:

Hey everyone, I'm new to coffeegeek but have been perusing the forums a lot in hopes to find a good/decent grinder for making pourover/french press and possibly siphon coffee in the near future. There's been a lot out there, a lot of it has to do with espressos too, but I don't think I'm ready to step into those grounds yet haha. My mind is about to blow up from thinking about grinders, so I decided to just make a post about it.

Simply put I'm willing to spend 150-200 for the grinder, preferably lower.
I'm trying to find a baratza virtuouso refurbished (since this grinder appears all over the forums) but am seeing if there are other viable alternatives. Also am looking at the bodum conical burr grinder right now too.

Thanks in advance!

Posted April 25, 2013 link

Check out Seattle coffee gear. They have some good deals. Vids for each product will ease your mind.
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PJK
Senior Member
PJK
Joined: 21 Jan 2002
Posts: 2,314
Location: Shingle Springs CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancillo Silvia, Tonic...
Grinder: Modified Rocky, Elma side...
Vac Pot: Old Silex
Drip: Melitta BCM 4  +Some old...
Roaster: Hottop, Modified Z&D,...
Posted Sun Apr 28, 2013, 9:39pm
Subject: Re: Coffee Grinder Help!
 

Hi Emradguy,

You really don't want one. The reason I get passionate about this is that I once had a Braun KMM30.  This came from a store which I at the time considered the authority on all things about coffee. (higher than  *$ on the food chain).  I also had a Melitta POC which came from Costco for next to nothing. This resided at my daughters house. Once on these forums a discussion came up about static and the mess it could cause.  The subject was about real grinders from Baratza.  At the time they were apparently playing with the plastic of their grounds boxes to control static. I think they must have it right now since I haven't seen complaints of their machines for some time.
At any rate I figured If I could civilize the Melitta POC the fix would surely work on real grinders.  The result of the experiment is on pages three and four of this string: "What a mess..."?LastView=1367194032&Page=3
The machine is still an ear busting POC which can produce the full range of grounds sizes at the same time but with the fix static and mess is no longer an issue.

Phil


emradguy Said:

Thanks Phil! I knew there were some crappy burr grinders out there, but I didn't know they were that bad.  Fortunately, I won't ever be in the market for a crappy burr grinder, so I won't have to worry about it...but it's good to know if someone ever asks me which one to look at (and they don't want to spring for the low end Baratzas)

Posted April 28, 2013 link


 
Philip J. Keleshian
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