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Competitive alternative to Rocky doserless
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Competitive...  
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Senior Member

Joined: 14 Sep 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Bozeman MT
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 7:18pm
Subject: Competitive alternative to Rocky doserless

First off I would like to introduce myself to everybody as this is my first posting on the site, though I have been lurking for a while.

My name is Corey, I'm a grad student and I'm on a relatively tight budget.  Now that we all know each other, I would like to explain my situation....

I have been wanting to upgrade to a real espresso machine for quite a while.  I have been making due with a (**quiet whisper**)........ Mr. Coffee steam espresso thing and a blade grinder............ and after a significant amount of trial and error, I can once in a while make a pretty respectable latte drink.  I'm not even really sure that I know what a "real" espresso should taste like, but I have made some very satisfying drinks (the odds of which have been ever increasing as I attempt to overcome the idiosyncrasies and incredible shortcomings of such a machine combo).  Now I have been saving up, and am almost ready to make a purchase.  I initially budgeted myself for about $300 for a new espresso machine, and had not anticipated on buying a grinder....... After considerable research I have adjusted my budget, deciding I would spend about $300 or so on a grinder and another 300 or so on a espresso machine.  I understand this is still a relatively lower end budget for a grinder/espresso combo, but Like I said though, my budget is kind of tight.

After trolling forum posts concerning grinders, I have found a factory returned (refurbed?) Rancilio Rocky doserless for only $250 +free sipping with 6months of warranty after purchase.  This price point hits a sweet spot with regards to my budget since it is nearly $100 cheaper than most other online deals for a new unit.  The other unit I have been eying is the Baratza Preciso, which can easily be had new for $300.  I know everybody has their pets when it comes to this kind of stuff, but I was hoping maybe someone would have some input into either of these options, or even some other unit (< $300).  My main reason for choosing either the baratza or rancilio stems from their reasonably acceptable resale values (in case of future upgrade).  I don't mind eating a bit of the cost when it comes to reselling for an upgrade, since I plan to soon have a decent disposable income soon (year or so).

After I get this figured out I will work out the bugs in my espresso machine purchase.  I have a prospect on that too, but one thing at a time.  

Also....I have been looking for used equipment locally, but sadly it's slim pickin's.  If there are any other CG members around Bozeman/Butte MT that might be looking to offload some decent equipment I might be very interested.

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Senior Member

Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 2,086
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 8:04pm
Subject: Re: Competitive alternative to Rocky doserless

Welcome to CG.  You probably have already ready some of the threads on the Rocky and the Preciso. The Rocky has too large steps to be a great grinder today. since there is better in the same price range. The Rocky can get fine enough and too fine, but you may be between those steps for your needs.  The Preciso offers a better step selection and a great price.  Look at the Baratza.com site under refurbs. Preciso refurb has been $239 plus about $10 shipping.  You need to check on Thursday am as they do not last long and theyu post newly available on Thursdays.

For equipment, not local, but from the forum.


D4F also at
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Senior Member
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 6,147
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 9:23pm
Subject: Re: Competitive alternative to Rocky doserless

Corey, to be fair (as I'm a Baratza grinder owner) there are a couple of mods that in essence make the Rocky stepless. They are cheap and i gather relatively easy.
That said, the more consistent results (IMO, as I also owned a Rocky DL) may be obtained with the Preciso, especially when aided by the Esatto attachment, which gives you grinding by weight capability. You'll lose the ability to grind directly into the PF. No problem, just dump the grind into the basket directly from the grinds bin.

That said, you mention you've never really had a "real" espresso?

I think you should drive (an espresso road trip) to Red Bird Coffee Roasters, located in Helena Montana.
Tell them you were directed by me(!) to make a pilgrimage to one of espresso's new holy shrines. (LOL)
You want to purchase coffee, and have him pull you some shots on his GS3.
Or you can try this: Places that serve espresso, specifically from Red Bird.

Wild Joe's Coffee
18 W Main St
Bozeman, MT 59715 406-586-1212

Great Harvest Bread Co. & Coffee Shop is on the corner of 7th and Main in the heart of Bozeman.  406-582-8369

MoJava is located on Highway 191 a half mile south of Four Corners  406-581-5473

EDIT: BTW Corey, "trolling" has a negative connotation. I believe you were "lurking." perhaps a bit creepy sounding, but far less negative! LOL
Welcome to CG.

Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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Senior Member

Joined: 14 Sep 2012
Posts: 10
Location: Bozeman MT
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Sun Sep 16, 2012, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Competitive alternative to Rocky doserless

D4F, Thank you for the suggestions, I will look into that.

Lurking...... that's the word I was looking for. Ha ha, thanks IMA for the correction.

I have actually just recently this week found out that Red Bird is located in my locale  (I believe it's actually located in Bozeman rather than Helena though...  Correct?). Funny you should mention that.   Was actually hoping to maybe make a few rounds this next week if I have time.  I was very (delightfully) surprised to find that such a renowned roaster was located right here in Bozeman.  The town continually surprises me.

Thanks for the recommendations, much appreciated.
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