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Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
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PaulTNH
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2009
Posts: 27
Location: NH
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Saeco Italia Super Auto
Grinder: hearthware. virtuosa coming
Drip: Ge drip
Roaster: hearthware gourmet
Posted Sun Oct 4, 2009, 4:30pm
Subject: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?

Sorry If this is a dumb question, but I have been reading the boards all day, I have thought that If I roasted my own beans I could grind them for drip coffee but could also use the grinder for espresso If I went that way down the road. SO are there any grinders that can be changed from drip to espresso relatively easy?

Suggestions welcomed,, and sorry I dont know all the terms you guys are using yet.
Thanks

Paul
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,373
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Oct 4, 2009, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

Paul,

This question has been asked many times before, and the basic answer is that grinders are at their best when they are used for what they are intended.  That is, espresso grinders are best when used to grind coffee beans for espresso; "regular" grinders are better when grinding for drip, siphon, or press.

See:
This is why there is so much discussion about the Baratza Vario -- so far, it is the one grinder that seems to do BOTH tasks quite well.
Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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PaulTNH
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2009
Posts: 27
Location: NH
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Saeco Italia Super Auto
Grinder: hearthware. virtuosa coming
Drip: Ge drip
Roaster: hearthware gourmet
Posted Sun Oct 4, 2009, 7:22pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

Thank you so much for the effort you put into the reply, helps a lot.
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pilgrim5
Senior Member
pilgrim5
Joined: 11 Jan 2008
Posts: 412
Location: Saint Paul Park Minnesota
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Salivatore
Grinder: Bunn/LPG & Macap M4
Vac Pot: Yamer/aeropress
Drip: Bunn VPR series
Roaster: Bred mach /heat gun and stir...
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 10:34am
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

I would recommend a Rocky doserless grinder it is built tank tough and fast to adjust from espresso to drip.  You have to have it running to go from drip back to espresso or you will jam the grinder blades. <true for most grinders< of any quality.
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cappuccinoboy
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 1:35pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

PaulTNH Said:

Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?

Sorry If this is a dumb question, but I have been reading the boards all day, I have thought that If I roasted my own beans I could grind them for drip coffee but could also use the grinder for espresso If I went that way down the road. SO are there any grinders that can be changed from drip to espresso relatively easy?

Suggestions welcomed,, and sorry I dont know all the terms you guys are using yet.
Thanks

Paul

Posted October 4, 2009 link

you will hear all kind of urban legends, fact is that manufacturers do manufacture grinders that are better or poorer quality, always intended to grind coffee at the coarseness set by the customer : so a good grinder will grind consistently uniform, finer for espresso and coarser for other type of brew: Fines are an unavoidable by-product of grinding, better grinders will produce a little less, others a little more and that has to do with burrs shape, bean size, type of roasting and a number of other variables: better grinders will have micrometric adjustement mostly driven by a worm screw, others will be stepped so the end user may find the stepped not really suitable for espresso, which is also not entirely true, because....
better grinders will have an adjusting thread (upper burr carrier) of just 1mm, others will have a normal M-thread that could be 1,5-1,75mm and again just speaking of better ones with 1mm thread the classic upper burr carrier (in case of stepless grinders) will have ideally 72 gear teeth and every full rotation  of knob-worm gear will close-open the burrs by 14 micron (half rotation 7 micron), if same grinder is stepped, say 40 locations, every step will increase-decrease grind size by 25 micron and cleraly adjustement will not be as precise as stepless, but this can be easily compensated grinding a little more, a little less (quantity) to get the same best shot
(NEVER do the mistake of removing the ball spring retainer of Capresso Infinity to make a stepped grinder stepless, because clearly that ball spring is a safety device, and I am surprised that the forum lets circulate information on how to actually modify the grinder, without advising of risk involved : see "Capresso Infinity - stuck burr"  ) but that is another story.....
The fact that Baratza Vario seems to do both type of grinding well, while probably due to psycology and the fact that it is easily repositionable, is a further demonstration that any good grinder can do it: I see nothing magic in the ceramic burrs and I see no special features in BVario to justify that while grinding fine for espresso to the point that it is basically impossible to detect brew from Mazzer Super Jolly (which means that grinding size-consistency-fines amount, etc. is very similar) and grinding coarser the quality of grinding is far different from SJ to the point that some will go out to say that SJ while exceptional for espresso is not up to the task of grinding for say drip or French press: SJ is just the ref. point for any well built and espresso suitable grinder.
Mine is a voice out of the choir but beeing somehow involved with grinders manufacturing I can only believe in what I do......
Anyway grinders are born to be dedicated, also a geek posting regularly, in some other thread claimed of getting eventually sick of continuous shifting brew setting in his Baratza Vario and having bought a second grinder for his coarser grinding.....
Still I have to appreciate that other posters do base their posting on personal experience, and while I have utmost respect for their opinions I like to add that as they say things and opinions must be taken with a grain of salt.......
Of course it is up to you now to choose from the enormous amount of information that will be downloaded on you, and make your choice...
Ciao, Pietro
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Oct 5, 2009, 2:52pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

cappuccinoboy Said:

...if same grinder is stepped, say 40 locations, every step will increase-decrease grind size by 25 micron and cleraly adjustement will not be as precise as stepless, but this can be easily compensated grinding a little more, a little less (quantity) to get the same best shot...

Posted October 5, 2009 link

Of course the shot will not actually be the same, even if it pours the same volume in the same time.  This is because changing the grind rather than the dose will change the flavor balance of the shot in a different way than changing the dose without changing the grind.  

IMO there is no substitue for stepless grinding for making espresso and it is an even bigger advantage to be able to change the dose along with that stepless grind adjustment.


cappuccinoboy Said:

...some will go out to say that SJ while exceptional for espresso is not up to the task of grinding for say drip or French press: SJ is just the ref. point for any well built and espresso suitable grinder.

Posted October 5, 2009 link

You might want to see this person's experience posted at H-B:  
Espresso Grinders: No Good for Other Brew Methods?

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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cappuccinoboy
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Jun 2009
Posts: 798
Location: MILANO
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Milano pod, Milano fully...
Grinder: grind on demand
Posted Tue Oct 6, 2009, 1:08pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

JonR10 Said:

best shot...

Posted October 5, 2009 link

Of course the shot will not actually be the same, even if it pours the same volume in the same time.  This is because changing the grind rather than the dose will change the flavor balance of the shot in a different way than changing the dose without changing the grind.  

IMO there is no substitue for stepless grinding for making espresso and it is an even bigger advantage to be able to change the dose along with that stepless grind adjustment.



You might want to see this person's experience posted at H-B:  
Espresso Grinders: No Good for Other Brew Methods?
agree, the shot will not be the same but a very good compromise given the minimum micron difference...., I said that stepless is ideal and for stepped not beeing suitable I said "not quite"...
.........
By SHADOWFAX in your HB link

Glass rod vs. cloth filter is a subject for another thread, but I will say on that that I enjoy cloth filter a lot more, despite truly wanting to like the glass rod. My experience was with the Baratza Vario, which is a solid espresso grinder, though it's billed for all grind methods, so of course YMMV. My experience is that it's heavy on fines like an espresso grinder, so I'm hoping that this will be true for you as well.
.......
While more people praised the Major for good result with drip-press, this Shadowfax post surpirsed me: wasn't BVario good at both ???
You see my friend, opinions are different, I just think that an industrial drum grinder will produce significantly less fines....(kind of digressing....)
By the way, what did you think as moderator at that modification to make Capresso Infinity stepless ????
Ciao, Pietro
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JonR10
Senior Member
JonR10
Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 10,376
Location: Houston, Texas
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: E61 Legend, Livietta,...
Grinder: Robur, B-Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario Tabletop, Yama...
Drip: Technivorm
Roaster: 1-lb US Roaster, Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Oct 6, 2009, 3:40pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

cappuccinoboy Said:

While more people praised the Major for good result with drip-press, this Shadowfax post surpirsed me: wasn't BVario good at both ???
You see my friend, opinions are different, I just think that an industrial drum grinder will produce significantly less fines....(kind of digressing....)

Posted October 6, 2009 link

In fact I have posted numerous times that I have no experience with the Baratza Vario for presspot grinding.  I have no direct knowledge about that grinder's suitability for presspot grinding (and frankly speaking, neither do you).  


The point of this thread is to investigate the question :

Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?

You claim more people praised the Mazzer Major for grinding for presspot, but that's not accurrate at all.  

Maybe go back and re-read that thread and noticve that only ONE person relates a positive experience with the espresso grinder (even while still mentioning fines making sludge).  The point of the thread is clear in the first post.

.

 
Jon Rosenthal
Houston, TX
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PaulTNH
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Oct 2009
Posts: 27
Location: NH
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Saeco Italia Super Auto
Grinder: hearthware. virtuosa coming
Drip: Ge drip
Roaster: hearthware gourmet
Posted Tue Oct 6, 2009, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

Thanks everyone for your replys.
I think I know what I am going to do for the near term.

I am going to let my wife drink folgers until it runs out.
I have ordered green beans, and will roast my own. And grind them and use for drip with my low end grinder.
If that grnder doesnt grind well enuf (i.e. bitter) then I will look for a new used grinder for drip, which just about any will do.
I enjoy my Kona thru my SA as a cup of coffee, will tweek the  settings.
Eventually seek out a decent local shop to have expresso's and see if I am interested in them. I do enjoy my coffee and Latte I make currently,
If no progression from there I am all set until something breaks and then get a replacment.

But I am sure I will have many more questions as I progress thru the world of coffee's.

I am leaning towards a few  SO roasted for drip or my Super auto as time goes by.

THanks
Paul
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,373
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Tue Oct 6, 2009, 4:52pm
Subject: Re: Can a good grinder for espresso also grind drip without much difficulty?
 

PaulTNH Said:

I am leaning towards a few  SO roasted for drip or my Super auto as time goes by.

Posted October 6, 2009 link

I'm curious . . . what is the difference in taste between an eight-ounce cup of SO made with your super-auto, and an eight-ounce mug via drip?

PaulTNH Said:

Eventually seek out a decent local shop to have expresso's and see if I am interested in them. I do enjoy my coffee and Latte I make currently.

Posted October 6, 2009 link

First, it's espresso, Paul, not expresso -- a common mistake.

Second, a true lattè is made with espresso, not with coffee.  Now, one definition has espresso defined as:   A single espresso is a 22-30ml (.75-1.0 ounce) extract that is prepared from 7-10 grams-- a double espresso being a 47-62.5 mL (1.5-2 ounce) extract prepared from 14-17 grams -- of coffee through which purified water of 88-95°C has been forced at 8-10 atmospheres of pressure for a brew time of 22-28 seconds.  The espresso should drip out of the portafilter like warm honey, have a deep reddish-brown color, and a crema that makes up 10-30% of the beverage.  

Keep in mind that all the numbers herein are guidelines and not etched in stone.  But a lattè is typically a double espresso blended with steamed milk -- in the US, this typically is two ounces of espresso combined with 10 ounces (or more!) of steamed milk and some foam on top.  This differs from a cappuccino, which is often described as 1/3 each: espresso, steamed milk, foam.  It seems to me you are drinking eight ounces of brewed coffee, with a lot of milk -- or am I misunderstanding?

Cheers,
Jason

 
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