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A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
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slurpy
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: Professional

Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 7:00pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Thank, you, everyone, for your time and thoughtfulness in answering this question! I encourage you all to keep going, because I believe this to be a very common question and one that will hopefully be read and benefited from many times over my own needs.

It seems there is some consensus on the Orphan Espresso Lido hand grinder. I've looked into that grinder before, and everything about it points to it being an excellent device - probably the Cadillac of manual grinders at the moment, given its burr set and the very convincing combination of technical analysis and personal experiences that produce such favorable reviews. All things considered, I'm convinced that this is the best answer.

I see that no one has mentioned the Lido's bigger, better, sexier cousin, the Pharos, which if internet forums are to serve as the standard for evaluation, absolutely takes first prize against even the top model of Baratza electric grinder, plus any other consumer grade electric grinder (Breville, Bunn, etc) I've seen it pitted against. Unfortunately, I've never known anyone personally who can vouch for these rave reviews across message boards far and wide, but I suspect that there is some truth to these claims due to the unbelievable consistency with which both are championed.

The only problem I can see with the Lido is that its body is constructed in such a way that it appears rather difficult to clean oils from the main body of the machine. A rod runs down the center of the device which one must work around, and the opening to the body is rather tight. Compared to cleaning out the body of a hopper, or the body of Hario's Mini Mill, this looks damn near impossible! Where there's a will, there's a way, I suppose, but I thought it pertinent to offer this up as a counterbalance to the relative fawning over its grind consistency. If I can't clean my machine properly, that does indeed limit the degree to which I can make excellent coffee, and certainly how readily I can switch between multipul coffees in a given day.


There's also Lido's competition to consider. I've spoken to many friends who own Baratzas, from the top model (Vario) down to the bottom, and no absolutely one is terribly enthusiastic. I have also had some personal experiences at the homes of trusted coffee professionals before who were using top Batatza models, and I've yet to have a standout cup. Going purely from photographs of the Lido's grind consistency and the various Baratzas as reviewed very nicely by this website, I must say that the Lido seems to best each one of them. Fines also seem to be a problem for Baratza in general. Said review indicates that the fines that show up at V60, chemex, and aeropress level are basically just not very good at 3/5 points. This is consistent with what I've seen in person.

Final nail in the coffin for Baratza seems to be their construction quality: my good friends who own a high-end kitchen supply store sell dozens of Baratzas every year, and find that a ridiculous percentage of them (about 25-30%) are returned due to shoddy construction. Baratza then coughs up a new one, or refurbishes the old one, and everything works out in the end. But if you ask me, that is an inexcusable misstep for a big ticket item that once it does work, may not even be much to write home about. For perspective's sake, Varios go for $550 clams. Yowch.

Unfortunately, having reached the exciting conclusion, I've never seen the Lido or the Pharos available for sale! I've checked the website a half dozen times over the last couple of years and it's chronically out of stock. Maybe I have poor timing - totally possible. This certainly doesn't disqualify it, but obviously that's a deterrent. If I can't actually buy the damn thing, what does it matter!! But I assume that one can contact OE and get the details on its next release, which I will do and report back in time.

Thank you, everyone, for contributing your thoughts. I really appreciate your input and will hopefully be picking up a Lido soon. Grind on!!


I will leave you with this hearbreakingly adorable video of the couple who owns Orphan Espresso demonstrating the virtues of the Lido.

THE OE LIDO! "A NIBBLER"


yours,
Slurpy.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 607
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 7:05pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Sam21 Said:

Of course it isn't but when it's housed in an excellent grinder body - it's definitely important.

I have no evidence to claim that one grinder is better than the other. That said, I enjoy using the Mini more and find its maintenance to be a piece of cake. A single screw holds the burr seated and dissassembly takes 30 seconds. The Mini is built to last generations (aside from the catch cup) and it is very compact. The grind setting markers run in .05 increments as well, so it is very way to measure grinds. The LIDO is easy as well but just a tad more fidgety. The solid metal body of the mini, the easy intuitive grind adjustment, and the ease of use make it an incredible piece of machinery. That said, it only grinds 26-30g at a time and is meant for single servings in that sense. It's not for everybody but as an office grinder and travel grinder I could not be happier. I even use it at home when I have it with me. That said, yes, it's $360 plus shipping.

Posted May 24, 2013 link

I was just interested in your opinion. And it confirms what I suspected about the two grinders.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 607
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Slurpy, check out the thread on home-barista about the PHAROS, LIDO and Rosco hand grinder (non-mini).

Part II (halfway down page 2) of the thread is about drip grind:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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slurpy
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: Professional

Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 7:34pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

jpender Said:

Slurpy, check out the thread on home-barista about the PHAROS, LIDO and Rosco hand grinder (non-mini).

Part II (halfway down page 2) of the thread is about drip grind:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Posted May 24, 2013 link

Thank you for this! This seems to make a great case for the Lido again, considering that the Rosco is given only a "slight edge" over its cup performance at about twice the price. I suspect that this edge has to do with the all-metal construction of the Rosco VS the plastic and metal combo of the Lido, and the nice things that does for fines.

Of course, that durability found with a metal construction is nice as well, but I really question whether or not one's need for durability would surpass the polycarbonate used in on the Lido's main body. Riot gear is made of polycarbonate! Is anyone really going to subject their beautiful to grinder to worse!?

It's interesting that the Pharos came out on bottom. I would love to know of more personal experiences with this grinder.

In any case, the linked review was a little too quick n' dirty to have had the capacity to reorient my position, but as it helps to corroborate a body of evidence that gives the Lido first prize from a wide variety of perspectives, I'm grateful to have read it. Thank you again!
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 8:14pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

The Baratza Virtuoso is a fantastic brew grinder, but naturally a manual grinder will last longer. I absolutely love my Virtuoso and find the grind to be excellent - the LIDO's grind is also fantastic but I find that a manual and electric grinder will produce different amounts of fines.

Can't go wrong either way!
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 607
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 10:47am
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

slurpy Said:

Thank you for this! This seems to make a great case for the Lido again, considering that the Rosco is given only a "slight edge" over its cup performance at about twice the price. I suspect that this edge has to do with the all-metal construction of the Rosco VS the plastic and metal combo of the Lido, and the nice things that does for fines.

Of course, that durability found with a metal construction is nice as well, but I really question whether or not one's need for durability would surpass the polycarbonate used in on the Lido's main body. Riot gear is made of polycarbonate! Is anyone really going to subject their beautiful to grinder to worse!?

It's interesting that the Pharos came out on bottom. I would love to know of more personal experiences with this grinder.

In any case, the linked review was a little too quick n' dirty to have had the capacity to reorient my position, but as it helps to corroborate a body of evidence that gives the Lido first prize from a wide variety of perspectives, I'm grateful to have read it. Thank you again!

Posted May 24, 2013 link

I believe the PHAROS was designed primarily as an espresso grinder.

I'd personally rather have metal construction, grind by number instead of relative turns of a screw, less static cling of grounds, a smaller, easier to hold size, and the greater portability of a Rosco Mini over the LIDO. I'm also a bit taken aback by reports that one can knock the burr set out of alignment in the LIDO by giving it a sharp rap on its side. That said, my preference is based solely on what I've read as I have no experience using either grinder.

And it's hard to overlook that for the cost of a Rosco Mini you could buy two LIDO grinders and still have some pocket change. But if money were not an issue...
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slurpy
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 4:03pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

jpender Said:

I believe the PHAROS was designed primarily as an espresso grinder.

I'd personally rather have metal construction, grind by number instead of relative turns of a screw, less static cling of grounds, a smaller, easier to hold size, and the greater portability of a Rosco Mini over the LIDO. I'm also a bit taken aback by reports that one can knock the burr set out of alignment in the LIDO by giving it a sharp rap on its side. That said, my preference is based solely on what I've read as I have no experience using either grinder.

And it's hard to overlook that for the cost of a Rosco Mini you could buy two LIDO grinders and still have some pocket change. But if money were not an issue...

Posted May 25, 2013 link

I will absolutely concede every point you just made in favor of the Rosco Mini. The inability to have numbers associated with the grind is by far my biggest critique of the Lido, and next up would be the static cling factor of the plastic. Rosco ameliorates both. Still, this discussion began with the question being about both value and about performance, and I think this context neatly disqualifies a shiny golden object like the Rosco where the differences in performance indeed exist, but do not offer twice the performance of the grinder in step with its doubling of the cost. Essentially, I wanted to frame this discussion in practical terms, so that we could be as inclusive as possible and our discussion could benefit the greatest number of people. There are very few people for whom money is no object, and in my personal experience, far fewer still in the world of coffee appreciation.

Finally, I was not aware that the Lido's burr set can be knocked out of alignment from getting knocked around. If this were true, it would be a huge problem, and cause for considering another device simply for this major flaw. Can anyone verify this from personal experience?

thanks again,
Slurpy
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,907
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 4:09pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Isn't speed a consideration when cupping? You will be grinding several samples, and don't want your samples staling while you're busy hand cranking the next sample, right? I have a hard time imagining anyone serious about cupping considering a hand grinder.

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,907
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 4:33pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

dana_leighton Said:

Isn't speed a consideration when cupping? You will be grinding several samples, and don't want your samples staling while you're busy hand cranking the next sample, right? I have a hard time imagining anyone serious about cupping considering a hand grinder.

Posted May 25, 2013 link

I found the answer to my own question from a post by Jim Schulman on H-B:

When doing three to five cups of three to twelve different coffees, grinding one cup at a time; the requirements for the grinder are speed, absolutely repeatable grind settings, and consistent grinding with only one cup's worth of beans, about 8 grams, rather than a hopper full of beans.


 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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slurpy
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sat May 25, 2013, 4:37pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

dana_leighton Said:

Isn't speed a consideration when cupping? You will be grinding several samples, and don't want your samples staling while you're busy hand cranking the next sample, right? I have a hard time imagining anyone serious about cupping considering a hand grinder.

Posted May 25, 2013 link

Speed is a consideration in cupping, absolutely! By that token, serious formal cupping cannot to my mind be done without a Ditting, Marco, Malkonig, or other high-end commercial grade electric grinder, an equally excellent water tower, a good scale, and uniform bowls and spoons. However, I've found that in the absence of this finery in my own home but with the willingness to explore and experiment, much can still be learned and accomplished.

I feel that the belief that one must have the best of everything before they begin is a common attitude that holds back many a potentially great mind, regardless of the disciplin. Since no one has presented a convincing case for an electric grinder that can perform as well as the Lido for the same price range, I'm deciding to sacrifice speed for quality. As a coffee professional, I can "dial in" a new coffee at home on my grinder, take a sample of my grounds back to the shop, and easily find the same setting on our professional grade grinder to achieve the same result. Since all grinders are calibrated differently, not just every model or make but quite literally every grinder on earth, relying on numbers is not useful. What is useful is consistency of grind, since as long is there is that constant, I can match it with the more predictable numerical constants of time and temperature to ensure that my experiment at home is being duplicated in the shop. Hence my focus on consistency over speed.

Cupping is used in many ways. Sometimes, when we are tying to evaluate several coffees at once in order to establish our favorite amongst the bunch, we must use an excellent electric grinder for the sake of speed so that the grounds do not oxidize at radically different rates and confuse the evaluation. Other times, we are simply trying to get a coffee to taste the best that it can. For that, we need only a single manual grinder, a preferred brew method, and a taste memory. The latter can and must be developed in a professional setting. Finally, I find that in order to evaluate whether a given coffee is worth purchasing, formal cupping triangulation can be useful and does indeed require speed, but equally useful to me is preparing the coffee as a pour-over cup with standard perimeters, doing a little tweaking, and going from there. I very rarely find that process to be misleading.

So, in brief, speed can be a factor in certain types of cupping, but fortunately for us, there are many ways to evaluate a coffee, and only one of them relies on speed.

This exhausts the time I have to spend on this particular discussion, but please carry it on fruitfully without me! Thank you all again for your thoughtfulness.

over and out,
Slurpy.
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