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Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Upgrade Path...  
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espressonewb1
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Posts: 97
Location: NY metro
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Maximatic
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli Mdx, HG-1
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:15am
Subject: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Hello All

This is officially my first thread on coffeegeek. I have been a long time reader of coffeegeek.com and purchased a gently used mini vivaldi as well as a nuova simonelli mdx from this community. I am seeking an opinion as to what grinder I could move up to from the nuova simonelli mdx. I'm happy with my espresso machine although I do receive complaints that it should take  up less counter space but that's another issue altogether. I also have an anfim best grinder that eventually I will get rid of since I haven't used it since I picked up the mdx.

I was thinking of perhaps a Mahlkonig K30 or a versalab but they are out of my price range for now. I was hoping to spend something in the $500-$600 range and that leaves me with maybe a used mazzer super jolly.  From what I've been reading it seems unlikely that will improve the taste in the cup but I welcome the input.

I started out drinking black cat but have recently been picking up blue bottle (hayes valley espresso and retro fit) and have found that I prefer a brighter cup (retrofit over the hayes valley) so maybe something with a flat and conical burr would be ideal but then again it would be out of my price range for now.

Thanks in advance.
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frcn
Senior Member
frcn
Joined: 23 Dec 2001
Posts: 3,456
Location: Northern California
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Vibiemme Domobar Double
Grinder: Mazzer Kony, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Hario, 2 Cory pots, 1 Cory...
Drip: Behmor Brazen, Bunn A10 mod...
Roaster: computer controlled Hottop,...
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 3:55pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

espressonewb1 Said:

.I'm happy with my espresso machine although I do receive complaints that it should take up less counter space...

Posted October 8, 2012 link

Let's start there. From over 40 years of marriage to the same woman I can offer some advice. DO NOT SAY ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
- I don't complain about how much space you take up in bed.
- If you stand next to it it will look a lot smaller.
- Don't worry. Your mother can always sleep in the garage when she visits.
- Too big? Have You looked in the mirror lately?
- At least my espresso machine doesn't sit around the house.

OK... enough from the Borscht Belt...

To step up from the MDX, and assuming that it will be used exclusively for espresso, you will likely want:
- very fine or stepless adjustment
- doserless or close to it (although that is a matter of personal preference. I use a doser)
- possibly conical or hybrid conical/flat burrset

While the Mahlkonig is well-received, that is in the cost range of conical burr grinders and about the same price as the Mazzer Kony. If I had not gotten a deal on a used Kony,  I would have had a hard time deciding between the two.

Ahh.. But space issues... What about, for the short term if nothing else,  one of the better Baratza grinders? Hybrid burrs, good reviews, very affordable, and takes up less space. You can sell the two grinders you have and cover most of the cost as well.

Or....

One of these and get whatever grinder you like!  Can you say "Robur"?  ;-)

 
Visit My Website
www.EspressoMyEspresso.com
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espressonewb1
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Posts: 97
Location: NY metro
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Maximatic
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli Mdx, HG-1
Posted Tue Oct 9, 2012, 11:01am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Thanks for the tips! Yeah I wouldn't even think about saying those things since my espresso machine would be in my shed instead of the counter or better yet in bits and pieces on the floor.

I thought about the baratza vario and it is very appealing. For some reason I just can't get past the fact that it's not built like a tank but from all that I've read it is a fabulous grinder and it solves the space issue nicely. The vario is certainly a grinder I will consider in the interim.

By the way if you are the creator of espresso my espresso web site. Nice work and very informative.
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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 Thu Oct 11, 2012, 7:22am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the MDX. I own one (as well as SJs, Majors and other grinders) and it is every bit the equal of a SJ and I like the adjustment system better.

To move to a Vario, uh, that, in my opinion, is a step down. You are going from a $1K commercial grinder to a home grinder at half of that. YMMV!

 
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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espressonewb1
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Mar 2012
Posts: 97
Location: NY metro
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Olympia Cremina, Maximatic
Grinder: Nuova Simonelli Mdx, HG-1
Posted Thu Oct 11, 2012, 10:53am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

calblacksmith Said:

Honestly, there is nothing wrong with the MDX. I own one (as well as SJs, Majors and other grinders) and it is every bit the equal of a SJ and I like the adjustment system better.

To move to a Vario, uh, that, in my opinion, is a step down. You are going from a $1K commercial grinder to a home grinder at half of that. YMMV!

Posted October 11, 2012 link

Wayne thanks for the comment. I do like the MDX and was wondering if I stepped up to a Mahlkonig K30 if that would be a move in the right direction or perhaps a Mazzer Major when I eventually have some spare coffee $'s to go that route.  The only reason I would go with a vario is I could use it for both drip and espresso and only have one grinder but I think I am going to keep the MDX as a dedicated espresso grinder and continue to use the capreso infinity burr grinder for drip and get rid of the anfim best. Appreciate your input.
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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 Oct 12, 2012, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Your welcome.
There is ALWAYS a better (insert object of desire here) but for me, I have found that once I am at a level with any item, that fills my needs and I am happy with, for me, I MUST STOP LOOKING! If I don't, then I can talk myself into more and more expensive things.

I was quite happy with SJs until I got a Major. I used to be happy single dose grinding until I got a autodosing grinder. I could go on and on, with many different topics but the point is, the MDX is a good grinder, there is no urgent need to upgrade from it. I think the idea of two grinders such as the MDX and the Infinity is a happy road to travel for many, many people.

My problem is that if I keep looking, I can find "deals" on equipment and then I am just spending money on things that I don't need (that does not stop the want though!)

I have a grinder for just about every process I use to brew coffee and in some brewing methods, I have several grinders! OVERKILL .... FOR SURE!

 
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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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,477
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Ernie,

Welcome to CG.  I have a Mahlkönig K30 Vario as my "main" espresso grinder at home, along with a Baratza VARIO as my "single origin" grinder (see pic below).  I also have a Nuova Simonelli MCF in my office.  

As Wayne points out, you're getting into the realm of conicals.  Now, I am extremely pleased with my Mahlkönig and have zero desire to upgrade that grinder.  (If anything, my desire is to replace the NS with a second Baratza VARIO.  Indeed, I actually bought one, but ended up giving it to someone as a wedding present and never got one for myself.)  Now, there IS a difference between the "titan" conical grinders and the large flat burr sets (let's say that's anything 64mm and above), but the more I taste, the less I'm convinced that one is "better" than the other.  Different, yes?  Better, no.  Each set emphasizes a different flavor profile, and thus what's "best" is what's best to you, to your taste buds, rather than an automatic "this over that."

But in the end, of course, it's your $$$$ . . .

JasonBrandtLewis: IMG_0899.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CraigA
Moderator
CraigA
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 11,273
Location: Rexdale, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: PID/PressureMod 2001...
Grinder: BUNN FPG-2 DBC, Baratza...
Vac Pot: Bodum Santos manual, Yama 5...
Drip: Behmor BraZen, BUNN VPR-APS,...
Roaster: Refurb Behmor 1600, BBQ...
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 11:50am
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Mod note: moved thread from Coffee: Machines and Brewing Methods to Espresso: Grinders - Espresso.

 
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 669
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 8:30pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

]Well, I don't really think I'm qualified to say anything here but I will anyway. Take everything I say with a grain of salt because this is educational as well for me. :-)

I've read a few threads about Conical vs Flat. Some people say that Conicals do produce a much more even grind, but realistically what matters more is the size of the burrs, not so much their shape.
At least, that's the impression I got from reading those threads. There are a few people who say that they can't tell the difference in the cup.

You already have a pretty good grinder. If I were you, the only reason why I'd consider spending money on a new grinder would be for more convenience and moving to a doserless from a dosered grinder.

For example, my Mazzer Mini Electronic is pretty much on par with your grinder when it comes to the burr set. I love being able to set a timed grind though, it's such a timesaver once everything is dialed in.
I wasn't even going to entertain the concept of buying a dosered grinder, only because I didn't like the idea of cleaning the doser.

I could have saved my pennies, spent $500 more and considered a Mahlkonig ProM grinder, but I really didn't see the value. Heck, I could have considered a Baratza Vario-W to replace my Rocky, but I decided to
skip a step and go for a light commercial grade grinder which is pretty much on par with the Super Jolly.

For me, the whole point of buying a better grinder was that it would be the last one I'd buy for a long time. :-) I don't think there isn't that much further you can go after that.

Now, in saying that, the Versalab grinders are absolutely beautiful.. They remind me a bit of those $25,000 turntables you see in Audiophile shops. The sad part is, I can't tell the difference between listening
to a record on a $200 Stanton turntable as opposed to one of those ultra-expensive monstrosities. They both sound the same to me. There is a point in time where there are diminishing returns when it comes to spending
money on higher end things. After a certainly point, spending that extra money only yields a perceived mental state that you are getting something better, but you are, in practice, not really getting anything additional.

I think in some ways, this hobby of coffee suffers from that, but not to the extent they do in the audiophile world. Let me use a perfect example... The $500 wooden volume knob:
Click Here (www.museumofhoaxes.com) .. Yes, it did exist and you could buy them.. There really are audiophiles which are that obsessive about their equipment that they think that the change from a metal to a
wooden volume knob will make a difference in the quality of their sound. Of course, I'm not saying that moving from flat to conical burrs is like that, but I'm just using that as an extreme example.

My advice? Perhaps you should hook up with a fellow coffee geek or go to a coffee lab which has your dream grinder and bring over a container of your favorite coffee as well as your MDX. Then, grind with yours and their grinder
and compare the two cups and see how different they taste. Then perhaps you may realize that spending the extra money on a higher end grinder really isn't worth it.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 464
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Sun Oct 14, 2012, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: Upgrade Path from Nuova Simonelli MDX grinder
 

Currently you grinder provides:

steppless adjustment
good doser
64mm flat burrs (correct size?)

There is no reason to spend a lot of money upgrading the fineness and ergonomics of your grind range and adjustment.  In your price range you can only really hope to upgrade either the dosing mechanism or the burrs.  You options are:
  1. Move to larger burrset.   You could picking up a used Major, K8, or some other large burr grinder.  You would get more speed, and I guess some improvement in the cup assuming that you have maxed out your barista skills.  If you can find a 68mm conical in your price range you will see a big change.  The 68mm conical burrs produce a different kind of grind than the big flats.  It is way more forgiving, making it very easy to make decent espresso.  Making great espresso is the same and is still a function more of your skills and palate.  Nevertheless, going from 6xmm flat to 68mm conical will be very noticeable change.
  2. Upgrade your dosing mechanism.  I've owned and used a lot of grinders, and I can say unequivocally that a grinder with a digital timer and a pulse grinding switch is better than the manual/auto/timer equivalent.  So, I would be happy with a Super Jolly E or Major E or Kony E or Robur E, but I have no interest whatsoever in their auto/manual/timer siblings.  

It's possible to do both on your budget, but you have to take a side step into increased coffee geekery.  You could track down whatever large burr auto/manual grinder suits you and then add a timer to it.  Like a Major on a GraLab timer or a Delta-in-a-project-box DIY deal.  This way you upgrade to both adjustable/repeatable dosing and larger/conic burrs.  I happen to think that everyone with an auto/manual/timer grinder who doesn't single dose should be doing this; it improves your consistency dose to dose and costs less than $100.
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