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Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
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espressowell
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Tyne and Wear
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012, 2:21am
Subject: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

Hello

I am new to coffee and have been lurking around for a couple of weeks on the site reading reviews, articles and forums.

I think I am fairly set on buying a Gaggia Classic within the next month.  However, whilst I will get good use from the machine once I have learned to make espresso and hopefully latte, I think I will still be using the stove top / french press for plain coffee about half the time.

I was quite impressed by the article on Coffee Geek about the Baratza Virtuoso Precisio and it seems to be what I am looking for.  However in the UK the cheapest I can find it for is about 310 and I'm wondering if it would be a bit daft to be spending 200 on a machine and 300 on a grinder. Space is also a bit premium so two grinders are out of the question (I imagine the budget as well).

So coming to the point, is there anything similar to the Precisio that is  cheaper but as easy to use changing between grinding requirements for different coffees? I can't find anything on reviews, on all the reviews and forum discussion I have seen it seems to be problematic, or time consuming at least to change between requirements.

My overall budget is about 500 , but I was hoping to get some semi decent cups and saucers and tamper in for that too.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 29, 2012, 5:08am
Subject: Re: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

espressowell Said:

Hello

I am new to coffee and have been lurking around for a couple of weeks on the site reading reviews, articles and forums.

Posted June 29, 2012 link

Hi and welcome.

espressowell Said:

I think I am fairly set on buying a Gaggia Classic within the next month.  However, whilst I will get good use from the machine once I have learned to make espresso and hopefully latte, I think I will still be using the stove top / french press for plain coffee about half the time.

I was quite impressed by the article on Coffee Geek about the Baratza Virtuoso Precisio and it seems to be what I am looking for.  However in the UK the cheapest I can find it for is about 310 and I'm wondering if it would be a bit daft to be spending 200 on a machine and 300 on a grinder.

Posted June 29, 2012 link


No

espressowell Said:

Space is also a bit premium so two grinders are out of the question (I imagine the budget as well).

So coming to the point, is there anything similar to the Precisio that is  cheaper but as easy to use changing between grinding requirements for different coffees? I can't find anything on reviews, on all the reviews and forum discussion I have seen it seems to be problematic, or time consuming at least to change between requirements.

My overall budget is about 500 , but I was hoping to get some semi decent cups and saucers and tamper in for that too.

Posted June 29, 2012 link

No, that was the driving factor in why the Preccisio was developed.
You do need to think about all the other stuff too.

Have you looked at our how to buy an espresso machine FAQ? It answers a lot of questions you have not even thought of yet.
http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

 
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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espressowell
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Tyne and Wear
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012, 6:32am
Subject: Re: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

calblacksmith Said:

Hi and welcome.


Have you looked at our how to buy an espresso machine FAQ? It answers a lot of questions you have not even thought of yet.
http://coffeegeek.com/guides/howtobuyanespressomachine

Posted June 29, 2012 link

Yes, I did read it and it is a nice guide to read.  I did just notice on clicking the link that there is a link to forum comments on the guide so will take a look at those also.  I will probably have to read it all over again as well as all the reviews of grinders/machines.  I know that there is a learning process ahead and that I will be making poor coffee at first. Maybe I should just save a little more cash first too.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,042
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 29, 2012, 7:39am
Subject: Re: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

A fairly good starter setup can be had for 500 pounds I would imagine. At this price range, expect to spend 250 on the grinder and 250 on the machine. If you need to, spend more on the grinder than the machine. In coffee and much more so with espresso, the grinder is king. It is all about the size of the grounds being consistent and the better your grinder, the more consistent it is when grinding the beans.

If you have a range of grounds from dust to large rocks, the dust will give up it's flavor long before the rocks even start to give anything. Then the dust will taste over extracted and bitter when the bigger pieces do not add anything to the coffee. Espresso is about the most radical way to make coffee and consistent ground size is very VERY important.

It is hard to say what you need to spend where you are as my reference is in the U.S. but Nobby is over there with you and he likely will be able to add a lot in the way of places to look for equipment.

 
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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idale
Senior Member


Joined: 27 May 2012
Posts: 1
Location: Pflugerville, TX
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Le'Lit PL041
Grinder: Vario-W
Posted Fri Jun 29, 2012, 5:07pm
Subject: Re: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

espressowell Said:

I know that there is a learning process ahead and that I will be making poor coffee at first.

Posted June 29, 2012 link

I've just started out recently myself, with a machine in a similar class as the Gaggia Classic (Le'Lit PL041). While getting used to the machine I used preground espresso from a local roaster, and even though the grinds weren't consistent and were way too coarse (I was getting at least double volume) what came out was still rather tasty, about on par with espressos (more at lungos) in a local cafe and way better than the Starbucks next to the office (which definitely had a normal espresso, though who knows what beans they use there).

Just got my grinder in today (refurbished Vario-W) and while I'm still working on dialing it in, it's already vastly improved my shots and I'm getting a pretty close to normal doppio coming out from the same coffee blend I had preground before. Hardly started playing with the thing and I'm already loving it. The Preciso sounds very much like a little brother to the Vario and a capable machine which should give you rather consistent grinds and able to grind fine enough for espresso (and go coarse enough for regular coffee). I don't specifically need to switch beans or grind levels, though, so can't comment on the ease of handling espresso and drip/whatever.

Just wanted to share my experience as a newbie. The Classic should be more than capable of giving you good espresso given good espresso grounds (and, as with my PL041, likely capable of giving a good cup of coffee with bad grounds). A good grinder you should be able to keep with you even if you upgrade your machine down the line, whereas a weak grinder will limit your results. Doesn't mean you need to go crazy, but the Preciso seems to be pretty well-regarded as a good starting grinder, so I would expect it would serve you well and be worth the price.
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espressowell
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 3
Location: Tyne and Wear
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Jun 30, 2012, 2:46am
Subject: Re: Multi-purpose grinder for Gaggia Classic?
 

calblacksmith Said:

At this price range, expect to spend 250 on the grinder and 250 on the machine. If you need to, spend more on the grinder than the machine. In coffee and much more so with espresso, the grinder is king.

Posted June 29, 2012 link

Thanks for that, just think I needed to see it written for me to be honest, I probably took the 50/50 ratio in the guide a bit too literally and I have made some horribly informed purchases of other items in the past so am far more wary these days.

calblacksmith Said:

It is hard to say what you need to spend where you are as my reference is in the U.S. but Nobby is over there with you and he likely will be able to add a lot in the way of places to look for equipment.

Posted June 29, 2012 link

Disappointingly, it seems to be about a pound/dollar 1/1 ratio on the sites I have seen so far.  I know the US is always cheaper, but given that the pound is currently doing very well against the Euro, I was hoping for a little better, especially given the lack of import tariff and cheaper transport costs.

Thanks for the advice too Idale, seems like it should be a reasonably interesting and tasty learning process too.
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