I've never used a K3 but I have used a Rocky, Super Jolly and Baratza Vario. The Vario stands head and shoulders above the Rocky and is toe-for-toe with my Super Jolly in the cup, but being much easier to use I find my Super Jolly collecting dust.
Hey Jason, thanks for your write-up... You're making me feel better about my choice to buy the K30 Vario... I also bought the Baratza Vario (package deal with espresso machine), but after researching a lot thought the K30 Vario might be a better long-term "investment"...
Thanks for the input. Given enough kitchen space and an unlimited budget I'd go for a Mahlkönig K30 Vario. Unfortunately I lack both (the budget being limited by matrimonial decree, LOL). I think the Eureka I have in mind and the Nuova Simonelli MCI are indeed identical in construction. What intrigues me about the Eureka is that it's stepless.
I got a pretty smoking deal on the K30 Vario I purchased directly from Mahlkonig... it was a demo unit with about 1400 shots pulled (which is less than 5% of the recommended burr life). They put new panels on it and even switched the bean hopper to the smaller unit (per my request). The price was SIGNIFICANTLY less that the best online price, plus the give you a full warranty.
You may want to consider a direct-buy unit as an option...
NobbyR Senior Member Joined: 10 Jul 2011 Posts: 2,071 Location: Germany Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo Vac Pot: N/A Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Oct 9, 2011, 1:12am Subject: Re: New grinder needed
Unfortunately the Eureka Mignon Istantaneo (aka Nuova Simonelli MCI) isn't in the CoffeeGeek database so far. That's why I have to write my preliminary review here:
The first thing you notice about it is that this stepless grinder is very compact. But don't let size fool you! It heavy and soldid with a nice, shining, chromium-plated steel body and shoot and a 250g cubic plastic bean hopper (a 500g hopper is available). I got the version with a switch for manual or timer controlled grinding which is located on the side of the grinder. It's activated by a micro switch as soon as you place the portafilter underneath the shoot. Unfortunately the dial for setting the timer is on the bottom side which I find unpractical. There's a simple mod, however, by attaching a cogwheel (see picture below).
The next thing you notice is that it's very quiet. Conversation doesn't have to stop when the grinder is working.
The Eureka MCI grinds very consistently and without any static. At it's finest setting a floury powder comes out that will probably choke any espresso machine. The dial for changing coarseness setting is located on top of the casing and easily accessable. However, if you have to change between corase grinding for French Press and fine grinding for espresso, for example, it might be hard to find your settings again, because the scale has no real reference point. For me that's no problem, because I only use the grinder for espresso. The finer the grounds are, the more they tend to come out in little clumps that have to be redistributed.
There are two negative product points: the grinder tends to make a little mess (but then again which doserless grinder doesn't?), and there's about 2g of residual grounds left in the grinding gear and shoot, which you have to remove it by tilting the grinder when you change the settings or don't need it anymore.
All in all, it's a great espresso grinder that doesn't have to hide behind commercial grinders as far as excellent built quality and grinding performance is concerned.
It's not the Vario I was hoping for, but I'm highly satisfied with it.
(Click for larger image)
*** "This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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