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Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
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KyleW
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 7:02am
Subject: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Hi, I'm new here and it appears that my level of coffee sophistication is a little under the group norm  :-) That said, I am looking for a grinder.

I am kicking my Starbuck's Verismo to the curb and going back to real coffee. I intend to use my grinder 85% of the time for drip/pour-over/aeropress. The remaining 15% will be espresso like coffee from either the aeropress or a moka pot.

My budget for the grinder is somewhere in the $100 - $300 range. My initial investigation leads me to believe I want an electric conical burr grinder. The degree of fineness control should accommodate the usage I mentioned above. The other two items on my list of things I'd like are relative quiet and the absence of coffee grounds all over the counter and grinder.

My initial investigation has two candidates; the Breville Smart Grinder  and the Capresso Infinity Die Cast Conical Burr Grinder. Are either of these grinders likely to meet my needs? Are there others I should consider?

Thanks in advance for your insight.

Kyle
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,219
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 7:43am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Owned an Infinity, it's a poor grinder, inconsistent, produces a lot of fines/dust, huge retention for such a small thing (what you grind will included a bunch of stale grinds), and forget about espresso it's not near capable. Had a Smart Grinder as well, it is a pretty good coarse grinder, kinda useless for espresso as it has a very narrow window to dial in and a weak motor. Really it depends on what your "espresso" machine is, if your using an a lower end pressurized portafilter machine any of those grinders will work but don't expect espresso. If your using or going to buy a normal espresso machine, your going to have to step up to at least 300 range for either a Baratza Preciso or Le'Lit. However there's no grinder that will do all, yeh the Baratzas are capable of being good all around, however if used that way it puts a ton of tear and wear on the adjustment ring/collar and you'll keep replacing that part fairly regularly. Grinders are best left to a single purpose, either coarse or espresso etc.

If your espresso machine is a pressurized portafilter, your best bet is a Baratza Virtuoso, as it has the Preciso burr set which is much better than the Smart Grinder and others below that price range and let's it have excellent consistency and fines control for coarse grinding, and the motor is stronger.

Or you could get an espresso grinder, and then a hand grinder like the Skerton and do the bearing mod from Orphan Espresso, so that way you'll have an espresso grinder and a coarse grinder. Lot's of options, what espresso machine do you have as that will be the deciding factor on which way you should go?
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KyleW
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 8:53am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Hi CMIN

I do not have a dedicated espresso machine. For those times when I want an "espresso like" beverage I intend to use either an aeropress or a moka pot.

I understand that some grinders are not suited for varying the grind settings. The one I'm looking for would need to be a little flexible.

Thanks for responding!

Kyle
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Eastsideloco
Senior Member
Eastsideloco
Joined: 7 Jan 2012
Posts: 27
Location: Austin
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: '74 Cremina, '91 Livietta...
Grinder: Vario-W, mid-century...
Vac Pot: Cona C, Kono PR 3, Hellem...
Drip: Kalita Wave, V60, Chemex,...
Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 9:21am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Baratza. Check out their refurbs. New refurbished grinders are posted weekly (on Thursday?):

https://www.baratza.com/cgi-bin/commerce.cgi?search=action&category=RFRB

You'd probably be perfectly happy with a Virtuoso w/ Preciso burrs:

Click Here (www.baratza.com)

Here's the comparison chart:

Click Here (www.baratza.com)
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KyleW
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 9:27am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

From the Baratza point of view, the Preciso is about $70 more than the Virtuoso, and $100 more than the Smart Grinder. I can live with $300 for a Preciso. Is it $70 better than a Virtuoso and $100 better than the Smart Grinder? Are noise and mess comparable among the 3? The main difference appears to be in the degree of fineness control.

Thanks!

Kyle
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,219
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Preciso and Virtuoso are the same except the preciso adds the micro adjustment to act stepless. Since your not doing espresso, the Virtuoso is an excellent grinder for your needs and budget. It has the same burr set as the Preciso which is excellent for coarse use. If you check Baratzas site on Thursdays they update it with refurbs for sales so may save even more money.
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weebit_nutty
Senior Member
weebit_nutty
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 234
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cremina 67 Lever,  LCM HX
Grinder: HG One, Forte BG
Drip: Mellita #2 cone
Roaster: jiffy pop
Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

What is a "semi-serious" coffee drinker?  Are you talking about quantity or quality?  

When it comes to choosing a grinder, the question you need to be ask yourself is "what is good coffee to me?"

No one has your palate but you.  My wife loves coffee but to her, coffee is coffee.  She is not a coffee snob and can go perfectly fine with a crappy grinder.   She has drank some of the worse coffee I've ever had and shrugs it off and enjoys it.   Make pour-overs for her with my HG One and she enjoys it just the same..

No one here should be dictating how much you spend on a grinder (grinder model) but you.

If you can get away with a $20 whirley, I say go for it.  No need to spend hundreds (or thousands) on grinders if your palate can't appreciate it anyway.  There is no technical definition in terms of "cup quality" what a semi-serious coffee is...

Buy a grinder for $100. Ask yourself do you like this coffee? If so stick with it.  If it sucks, return it and buy yourself a $200 grinder.  Keep repeating until you find the one that fits the bill.  

You can always sell your grinder and upgrade it to something better as your palate develops.
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 237
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 10:25am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

Welcome to the forums, KyleW....  the Virtuoso and Preciso are the same EXCEPT for the Micro adjustment on the Preciso. These two grinders have the same burrs and gear box. I have no experience using a Moka pot so Preciso owners here would know if that model might serve you better or not.

I choose the Virtuoso due to the same burrs and gearbox as on the Preciso.  The Preciso Micro adjustment just wasn't necessary for my needs (BV auto-drip, FP and AeroPress).  Many here have the Encore which would have suited my needs as well BUT I also wanted the timer switch (Encore has push button only).

For the money you can't beat Baratza---grind consistency, easy to maintain AND the least grind retention.  I have a Capresso Infinity for backup ONLY---it retains a lot of grounds, requiring cleaning after every grind!

HEY has anyone here read where the Encore now has the same burrs as Virtuoso and Preciso???
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KyleW
Junior Member


Joined: 3 Feb 2014
Posts: 7
Location: United States
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

msboo Said:

Welcome to the forums, KyleW....

HEY has anyone here read where the Encore now has the same burrs as Virtuoso and Preciso???

Posted February 4, 2014 link

Thanks for the welcome msboo.

I just read this on the Baratza web site. It doesn't say that they all use the same 32mm conical burrs made in Liechtenstein, but...

"The current conical lineup includes the Encore, Virtuoso, and Preciso. These grinders all have 32mm conical burrs made in Liechtenstein."

I think I'm starting to lean towards the Virtuoso. I'm not sure my palate would understand the nuances available through the micro levels provided by the Preciso. The vast majority of the time it will be used for drip/pour-over/aeropress.

Kyle
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CoffeeNark
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Feb 4, 2014, 11:23am
Subject: Re: Grinder For a Semi-Serious Coffee Drinker
 

I picked up a factory reconditioned Breville Smart Grinder off Woot for $109 + $5 shipping.  I know it is not adequate for espressos but for my Chemex, it does a great job.  It also is very clean.  Very little mess from it's grinding and it is pretty quiet..  Woot has these fairly often so if interested, just keep an eye open.
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