Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Grinders - Espresso
Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
mcaruana
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Central New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali Jr.
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 10:32am
Subject: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

For the last 7-8 years I have been using a Saeco Classico paired with a Solis Maestro Plus.  A month ago, the Saeco died and I replaced it with a used Rancilio Silvia (v. 2) purchased on Ebay.  After a major descaling and backflushing, replacing the dispersion screen, group head gasket, and frothing wand, I am very pleased with the Silvia's performance.  However, I have also discovered the Solis Maestro is barely able to provide the precisely ground coffee the Silvia requires.  So, I am now looking to replace the grinder.  

I will keep the Solis Maestro for the occasional pot of drip coffee.  I am looking to purchase a dedicated espresso grinder in $300-350 price range.  The grinder will see light use --- I pull a couple of double shots daily.  From my research, it appears a stepless machine would be an advantage.

The top two grinders I am considering at the Rancilio Rocky doserless and Ascaso I-1 Steel.  Both machines seem to enjoy generally good reviews.  The Ascaso is stepless, the Rocky is not.  I also wonder if the Pasquini Lux is worth considering.  

Any feedback or suggestions you can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,
Mark C.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 12:29pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

if you have the space and the patience to single dose, a used super jolly would be great for you.  you should be able to pick one up at about 350(although you may need to replace the burrs at an additional ~40 bucks).

if you want something smaller maybe a used or refurb Baratza Vario or Preciso.   Only thing that concerns me about these is that i constantly read from people that have had to have something fixed or machine swapped.  Being on these forums probably magnifies this and likely the majority of machines are fine, though.   Good thing is that Baratza definitely stands behind their machines.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
mcaruana
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Apr 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Central New York
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali Jr.
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 3:22pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

Thanks for the quick reply.  I should have mentioned that I am working with a relatively small kitchen.  The space between the counter and upper cabinets is only about 18 inches.  Most of the commercial machines, like the super jolly, are up 24 inches tall.  The Mazzer Mini might just fit.  However, I will take another look at the Vario or Preciso.  Thanks again!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
frank828
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Feb 2011
Posts: 581
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: GS3
Grinder: RoburE, Kenia
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Brazen, CCD, Aeropress, V60,...
Roaster: Behmor, Air Crazy
Posted Sat May 19, 2012, 3:51pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

i believe the height of the super jolly is about 14" without the hopper.  might still be a bit tight to use comfortably.  

you can use it like this if you are single dosing like many home users do.  


The mini should definitely fit with the hopper in 18" (16.5" with  hopper Click Here (www.chriscoffee.com) )
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,119
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

Standard kitchen cabinet height is, I'm pretty sure, 17 3/4 inches.  There are many grinders that "fit" under there, but most of those require you to slide it out a bit to open the top and add beans - making them horrible for single dosing, if you're going to keep them under the cabinets.  The Mazzer Mini is low enough to fit under the cabinets with the hopper in place.  If you don't plan to single dose, it's not too inconvenient (IMO) to slide it out, fill the hopper with a few days or a week's worth of beans and then slide it back into position.  The Macap M4, what I own, is about the same height and that's exactly how I use it.

Like you, I once had a Maestro Plus paired with the Silvia and found it inadequate.  I limped along that way for a couple of years, in fact.  This was mainly due to my ignorance, but eventually I learned enough about the process that I realized I needed a much better grinder.  I upgraded to the Rocky, I thought since it was designed by Rancilio and got great reviews for being built like a tank (and many people even said it was a great grinder), it must be just what I needed.  Also, it looked cool sitting there on the base next to the Silvia.  I eventually upgraded and although I know there are much better grinders than what I now own (mainly commercial ones), I am very, very happy with my setup.

Here's my take on the Rocky...It's a pretty good grinder, but isn't in the same class as the Mazzer Mini or the Macap - not even close (IMO).  The wide steps of the Rocky sometimes leave you with the incorrect grind setting, no matter what you do (one step is too fine, while the next step over is too coarse).  You have to compensate by adjusting dose.  This is something you would get used to, but you don't have to - so why do it?  For the money, there are better grinders out there.  Have you considered the Baratza Preciso?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,045
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 Mon May 21, 2012, 8:42am
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

Even though it can grind fine enough, the Rancillo Rocky is not be the best grinder for espresso.

What you need to know is that the steps of this grinder are pretty wide, so when you dial in your grinder it might happen that from time to time you get stuck in between two steps for proper extraction, which can be pretty frustrating. The only way to work around that problem is to modify your dose accordingly by updosing. That might not be a perfect solution, because a difference of 0.2 g can change taste significantly, but a lot of people have to live with this trick.

I'd still prefer a stepless grinder.

 
***
"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)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 976
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 8:45am
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

mcaruana Said:

The top two grinders I am considering at the Rancilio Rocky doserless and Ascaso I-1 Steel.

Posted May 19, 2012 link

Definitely not the Rocky.  Feel free to browse recent threads and you'll find similar comments any time the Rocky is mentioned.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
tracerbullet
Senior Member
tracerbullet
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 12:05pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

I'm no expert but my Rocky is fine. The beans I'm currently working with can be run on more than one setting. 8 works with a hard tamp or fuller basket, 7 is about perfect, and 6 is do-able if I barely tamp it at all or use a gram or so less. I get nearish to 2 oz in nearish to 25 seconds at each of these, and while the best setting is in fact best the others are still OK and don't give me bitter or watery or any other kind of espresso. I do have a triple basket so I am free to change my coffee weight easily.

I have recently used a rebuilt Mazzer Super Jolly and aside from it not fitting under the overhead cabinets and the doser being a PITA, I just don't think it did a better job in the end. Yes it's "nicer", yes it's likely more consistent, yes it's stepless, yes it has lots of plusses. But the end result, with the same bean and everything else, is the same fine espresso. Also, I use a bottomless portafilter and I get a pour worthy of a youtube video, once I figured out what I was doing I don't have any jets of water shooting through or any other issues I normally think of as being grind / distribution related.

Maybe I have to put a little more thought into it using my Rocky but I have no complaints with it at all. The lack of being stepless is just not a big deal, and in my experience over several months of daily use the steps aren't as wide as I perceive people to think. I see it get universally knocked and I'm not sure why. I'm sure some have upgraded and were happy, but I'm willing to bet the majority haven't ever owned one. And you'll find some people, me included, that are quite happy with it.

(I'm also quite happy it's not a monster in the kitchen that has to be brushed / blown out and the doser fiddled with every time I want an espresso)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,119
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 12:21pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

tracerbullet Said:

...with a hard tamp or fuller basket...

Posted May 21, 2012 link

this is exactly what we're talking about...making adjustments to compensate for not being able to adjust the grind closer to what we want -although most would recommend you adjust the dose, not the tamp pressure.

tracerbullet Said:

...8...7 is about perfect, and 6...

Posted May 21, 2012 link

this doesn't vary for you when you change beans?  or do you always use the same beans?

tracerbullet Said:

Maybe I have to put a little more thought into it using my Rocky but I have no complaints with it at all

Posted May 21, 2012 link

again, exactly what we're talking about...making adjustments to compensate.

tracerbullet Said:

I see it get universally knocked and I'm not sure why

Posted May 21, 2012 link

I had one and I was very happy with it most of the time, but I did have to make the adjustments in dose you have to make, and I am much happier with the grinder(s) I now own.

tracerbullet Said:

I'm sure some have upgraded and were happy, but I'm willing to bet the majority haven't ever owned one. And you'll find some people, me included, that are quite happy with it.

Posted May 21, 2012 link

yeah, I'm one who upgraded...for the reasons above.  I can't speak for anyone else, and for those who love Rocky or are deadset on purchasing one...I agree you can get really great shots once you learn how to compensate.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
tracerbullet
Senior Member
tracerbullet
Joined: 13 Feb 2012
Posts: 168
Location: Saint Paul
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 21, 2012, 3:41pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Recommendations for Rancilio Silvia
 

Agreed w/ all the above. Didn't mean for my reply to look like it centered on your post, BTW.

Just meant that the Rocky isn't as bad as people seem to read and repeat over and over without (many / most) of them ever owning one. As you mentioned it is capable of grinding for great shots. I agree it needs a little more work than others. In my opinion however the compensation needs aren't very difficult, aren't always needed, and at 1/2 - 1/3 the price of a Mazzer, the rocky is fantastic.

(I suppose someone could state a case for a Capresso or even a Krups... but even I have to draw a line somewhere!)

Anyhow in answer to the question there, yes my # range changes with the bean used. I've never gone out of the 6-9 range overall, but I tend to slide up or down the scale with the bean used. What I have right now seems more forgiving than others, sometimes I have 2 quite acceptable choices, sometimes 3 work.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Commercial Equipment
Nuova Simonelli, La Marzocco, Rancilio. Nationwide installation. Instant financing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.31943821907)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+