I am looking to purchase a grinder in the near future. I am using a non-pressurised portafilter on a pos Breville; suprisingly, the shots that are being pulled are adequate. Currently I have an Infinity that is doing double-duty - press and espresso, and I'm getting tired of the regular emptying, cleaning, brushing. The new grinder will be for strictly espresso, and the Infinity strictly for coarse grinds.
Hi Is size an issue? You should be able to get a used commercial grinder in your budget. But, you need to remember to allocate around $50 to replace the burrs if you go this route. This is also some risk this way.
Baratza makes nice home grinders, but the Preciso is the lowest end espresso capable grinder they have, and it's out of your budget.
Lelit (and some others who I don't remember their names) make some grinders in your range. I would go with the pl53 because its stepless, but its is pushing your budget.
I suggest you seek out a Cunill El Tranquilo Cafe. They can be had new for around $270, so finding one used within your budget should be possible. It will be more compact than a used commercial grinder and, perhaps, fit better esthetically in a home environment.
But, as another poster said, you should be able to pick up an excellent used commercial grinder within your budget.
Either craigslist or ebay for used, the normal places.
Mazzer super jolly used to be the standard recommendation. It is rather large and heavy, but will also last forever. It would be hard to find in your budget though.
There are many other good used grinders out there, but you would have to worry about height. Mazzer sells a short hopper, which should get it to fit under cabinets, and I have seen people do "creative" approaches to get commecial grinders to fit under cabinets. They usually involve replacing the hopper with something, since the hoppers are usually what makes them too tall.
I had forgotten about the cunil, but that was supposed to be a good grinder for the price.
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