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Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Which Grinder...  
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 233
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 12:03pm
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

If you can splurge for the extra $60 over the Preciso, I'd recommend a Refurbished Vario direct from Baratza. I ended up trading up from a Preciso to Vario because I had issues with the adjustment ring. Reports are that my new Vario won't do as well for french press, but I like the construction and proven quality of it. Its consistency is amazing at the espresso level and the timer is a nice feature.
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klund
Senior Member
klund
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Southern MN, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 12:35pm
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

microb Said:

I don't know if I am yet ready for the weighing - this would require a bit more  experience from me.

Posted May 27, 2012 link

I am a total noob, and I don't think I could have gotten to the level that I'm currently at without weighing. My first week with my new grinder/machine I didn't have a scale, and I was all over the place. Once I started weighing I was able to understand that there is a difference between 18.0 gram and 18.3 gram doses.

I found this a bit difficult to grasp at first, because I'm the kind of cook who pulls stuff out of the fridge and whips up a stir-fry without measuring anything. My cooking mantra is "it seems like the right amount". That didn't fly with espresso.

As I am learning, I try and dose 18.0 gram shots every time. If I can have my dose/tamp consistent, I can explore grind/temperature/pressure variables to get a better shot.

Just one noob's thoughts.

 
-- klund

Well then, you should see me without coffee.
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 233
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Tue May 29, 2012, 1:49pm
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

One thing to consider about weighing is that if you see it in your future, you can get a Preciso now, and then the Esatto add-on for $115 refurb/$150 new at a later date. If you get a Vario, you can't upgrade to weight based without selling and buying a Vario-W.
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 6:11am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Thanks everyone for your suggestions and input.

I have settled for the Vario-W, but unfortunately, we had a major water issue in the house so I'll need to spend the money elsewhere. :(

But, the "good" news, is that I found out there was an easy mod that could be done to the Breville that yields "ok" espresso. Basically, you open the machine up, and remove (using a good knife) a small plastic notch and you can grind a quite finer than the stock grind.

I still can't pull 20+ seconds shots, but it does pull "better" shots.

It's not excellent, but as a temporary patch, it will have to do! It's going to be a couple of months before I can upgrade...

Meanwhile - in the price range of the Vario-W (new), should I start considering anything else? Just looking for the best bang for the $.

Thanks,

Michel
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 6:24am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Well, at that price, you are solidly in the zone of used commercial grinders, easily in the zone of a SJ with new burrs. You need to weigh for yourself as commercial grinders in this price range (under 1K new) do not have timers or scales built in. However, a dark room timer controlling the grinder will give you very consistent dosing with the push of a button, YMMV.

There is a reason we say GRINDER FIRST, it was hard for me to grasp too when first starting, now I have several nice grinders (it is a sickness I treat with collecting!)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 7:10am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Yes, I figured used commercial was the main contender in that range.

My problem is I live in Canada. There "are" used commercial grinders here too, but for some reasons they're harder to get, and shipping / customs are prohibitives. What's "SJ"?

Thanks,

Michel

P.S. It took me some time to grasp the concept of "Grinder first", but even though I haven't experimented it, I believe it. I can see the difference between my Breville before and after mod, and I'm still below the 20+ seconds pull, and I am convinced the grinder is the main culprit in this. Tamper/machine/beans are good AFAIK - ruling out the grinder is the first step.
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Hi!

I stumbled upon the Ceado E6 grinder, marked as a Commercial grinder... Anyone has any experience and feedback with this grinder? How good is it for the price?

Thanks!

Michel
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Fri Jun 1, 2012, 7:51am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

SJ is mazzer super Jolly.  If you have the room look for a commercial grinder.  I did not have the room and I love the Vario W weighing the beans for me because "My cooking mantra is "it seems like the right amount". That didn't fly with espresso." is 100% correct.  The more you are consistent the better you can figure out what you are doing wrong.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

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Click Here (maps.google.com)

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GlennM
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Sep 2010
Posts: 18
Location: Toronto
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Hi Michel,

I have a Saeco Aroma espresso machine with the modification to remove the pressurized portafilter feature.  Iím using a Baratza Preciso grinder and all seems good.  Iíve never used a more expensive grinder, so I donít have anything to compare the Preciso to, however the Aroma Ė Preciso combination seems to work very well.

Iím not sure exactly where you live, but if itís in Ontario and near Mississauga, I highly recommend visiting Espresso Planet.  They sell a ton of stuff to do with coffee and in particular, espresso.  They have about 15 espresso machines/grinders all ďliveĒ as they call them.  Basically, these live machines are plugged in and filled with water just waiting to be tried.  They will let you grind and pull your own shots.  Itís amazing.  You can get pretty buzzed up trying all the machines!  : )  

I got to talking about my current Aroma Ė Presciso set up and mused about upgrading one day to a Rocky Rancilo and grinder with a doser.  Surprisingly, the sales guy talked me out of an upgrade on both the espresso machine and grinder.  

Regarding the espresso machine, his reasoning was that since I donít use the steam wand on my machine (I drink only espresso and/or Americano) then upgrading to a more expensive machine is not that necessary since most of the improvement in the more costly machines is in the steaming capabilities (yes, there are other improved features such as boiler, construction, etc, but the big difference is steaming).  

Regarding an upgrade to a grinder with a doser, the salesperson was against the doser unless you do a lot of grinding at one time (i.e. make lots of espresso).  If you make espresso for just yourself or a couple of people, he recommends sticking with a non doser machine since for the doser to work properly, the hopper has to be full of beans.  With a hopper full of beans, they go stale quicker particularly when only brewing a few espressos each day.  He did suggest that if I did want to upgrade, he would go the route of an add on scale rather than buying another grinder with doser.

Anyways, they seemed to think that with my espresso making needs, Iíd made about as good a purchase as I could make and he did not see any reason to upgrade.  Although just his opinion, this salesperson sure knew a lot about coffee.

Good luck with you grinder purchase and have fun with your Aroma.

Glenn
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microb
Senior Member


Joined: 13 May 2010
Posts: 35
Location: canada
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Saeco Aroma w/ Naked...
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 5, 2012, 7:27am
Subject: Re: Which Grinder upgrade for my Saeco Aroma?
 

Hi Glenn,

Thanks for the suggestions and comments. I live in Quebec, and too far from Mississauga to drive there and try grinders :)

I understand about not upgrading the machine - that has been made clear a couple of time already. But the salesperson you spoke to is implying that the grind quality of the Preciso is on par with the grind quality of the Vario.

From what I've read, the Preciso is good, but not "as good" as the Vario - in a comparison of one shot to one shot.

Can anyone comment on this? I think we don't have a lot of data about the Preciso, and I think throwing in the extra 100$ to go to Vario vs Preciso is not prohibitive anyway...

Thanks!

Michel
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