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B...errr? Which grinder?
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Jcm800
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, uk
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Sep 5, 2010, 7:29am
Subject: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Hi. I am looking to start trying to make decent amaricanos and cappuccinos mainly with the occasional espresso. All in all about 20 shots a day for me and mine. I am thinking about the Mazzer mini or Mahlkonig vario. Both units sell for about £350 ($550). I want something quiet and durable. Any advice or other machines I should consider in this price range? The grinder is to go with a silvia or isomac something - still looking.

Bob Bradley for Aston Villa!
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jimpennington
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Mar 2010
Posts: 34
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Silvano
Grinder: Super Jolly
Posted Sun Sep 5, 2010, 9:12am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

You can't go wrong with a Mazzer. The mini is nice, or a used Super Jolly for around $100 less.

  I've been thrilled with life since I switched to the SJ.
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Jcm800
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Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, uk
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Sep 5, 2010, 9:30am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Many thanks Jim. The SJ sounds a bit big for me. I just read a review that compared a vario and a eureka mignon to a mini and said that the grind from the vario looked similar to the mini but for some reason coloured the taste detrimentally.
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DavecUK
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Joined: 21 Sep 2005
Posts: 1,326
Location: UK
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Sep 5, 2010, 10:16am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Jcm800 Said:

Many thanks Jim. The SJ sounds a bit big for me. I just read a review that compared a vario and a eureka mignon to a mini and said that the grind from the vario looked similar to the mini but for some reason coloured the taste detrimentally.

Posted September 5, 2010 link

Mini E not Mini....big difference!
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,278
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 Sep 5, 2010, 9:29pm
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

I am EXTREMELY happy with my Baratza Vario -- sold within the EU as the Mahlkönig VARIO Home (not to be confused with the Mahlkönig K30 Vario).  The grind quality is on par with a Mazzer Super Jolly, which is significantly better than the Mazzer Mini.

You won't go wrong with wither the Mahlkönig VARIO Home or the Eureka . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Jcm800
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Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, uk
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Mon Sep 6, 2010, 5:12pm
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Thanks for the advice Dave.
Thanks Jason. I have only been geeking for the last four days. I decided I couldn't stand the queues in Starbucks et al. anymore and got tired of freeze dried. I was mainly a tea drinker. I had a Krups in a cupboard for two years, and a month ago, I whipped it out. I thought I had killed it after about 5 shots when I nearly choked it with my first grind which I tamped with a teaspoon. It now squeals when delivering the shot, so decided to get a new one. Last week I started looking and found this site and after a day decided on a Gaggia Classic 2. Then I discovered the aluminium boiler and decided against it. Four days later the prospective budget is spiralling into the ionosphere.
I already had become a big fan of your postings before you advised on the grinders. I am well honoured.
I am interested in the Vario and Eureka for different reasons and even though I thought I might up the budget a bit and am still researching, I haven't seen anything else that interests me except for maybe the Pro M. I'll be off to surf up on that. There isn't a prosumer machine to look at in person for a 100 miles.
Being new to all of this, all I can say is that getting one of these stainless steel italian espresso machine beauties in your hands may just turn out to be one of the most viscerally-wrenching satisfactions of twenty million years of evolution from apeman/caveman. Especially if you can get a decent shot out of it.

Cheers.
John
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ryguy
Senior Member


Joined: 2 Aug 2009
Posts: 288
Location: Indiana
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ02S
Grinder: Pharos, B. Vario
Posted Tue Sep 7, 2010, 11:26am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Jcm800 Said:

...Then I discovered the aluminium boiler and decided against it...

Posted September 6, 2010 link

What about the aluminum boiler turned you off? If it's a health thing, aluminum boilers form an insoluble layer of aluminum oxide on their inner surface that keeps the aluminum from leaching into the brew water. That gets scrubbed off when you descale, so you'll probably want run a tank of water or two through it before using it to brew again.

 
Ryan D
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Sep 7, 2010, 11:46am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Jcm800 Said:

I decided I couldn't stand the queues in Starbucks

Posted September 6, 2010 link

There are certainly far better benefits to be had than just avoiding the queues at Starbucks (namely, avoiding the coffee). :D
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Jcm800
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Location: Devon, uk
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Sep 10, 2010, 5:23am
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Thanks ryguy. I dont use aluminium pots or pans in the kitchen. I think I would just like a copper tank.
Thanks takeshi. No kidding. I go to meetings there after work, twice a week - not my choice, but usually pop into a nearby sandwich shop for a capuccino first, and end up late to bypass the starbucks stuff, although it is hard to keep coming up with an excuse for being late.

As for the grinder, the wife occassionally does french press and drip. Some reviews suggest that the Vario can produce grinds that brew up muddy coffee for these types. Something about more angular grinds? This is mentioned in the Bella Barista UK grinder comparison. It seems also that some Varios are - or were shipping with slightly different set ups on the burrs which needed to be adjusted.

So not having seen much else I like, apart from the Pro M which is still pretty new, the Eureka with its build quality and simplicity might be a good place to start. I might then add another grinder later. I will be making a trip soon to look at these machines first hand and also espresso machines, due to the lack of any prosumer gear here.

I was thinking of just mail ordering the Eureka but just want to see the Vario first. From a youtube comparison, the Vario makes a slightly more pleasing sound... But I digress. I'm beginning to fall asleep with espresso machines swirling around my nut... vibiemme junior, izzo vivi and duetto, s1 mini, cellini, amici, bz02, giata, etc... I digress again. Thats why I need to clock some of these things first hand. They all seem to be nice machines... But that is for another forum topic when I can narrow down the list.

Cheers, J.
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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 Sun Sep 12, 2010, 8:27pm
Subject: Re: B...errr? Which grinder?
 

Jcm800 Said:

Then I discovered the aluminium boiler and decided against it.

Posted September 6, 2010 link

You may want to do a bit more research. Several of the recent Gaggias have a stainless steel boiler instead of the aluminum boiler Gaggia used in so many of their home machines.
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