skymoo Senior Member Joined: 12 Nov 2012 Posts: 4 Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 2:21pm Subject: Is my grinder good enough...
My old espresso machine died a week or so ago and I treated myself to a new machine, I went for the Rancilio Silvia. My grinder, a Capresso Burr Grinder #585, was good enough for the last machine but I'm starting to think it's not good enough for the Ranchilio. Shots are coming out too quickly and there's not much creme, I believe I'm tamping correctly so the next obvious issue is the grinder.
From my research this is a possibility but I'd like to see what others think before I go out and buy another grinder?
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 2:35pm Subject: Re: Is my grinder good enough...
I would venture a guess that your old espresso machine had a pressurized portafilter to make fake "crema", as the Capresso is in no way capable of grinding properly for espresso (I know, as Ii used to have one). It's not even truly a burr grinder, as it using large knobs on the burrs to crush the beans rather than grind them. With the Silvia, it's going to be completely hopeless.
frank828 Senior Member Joined: 23 Feb 2011 Posts: 581 Location: Los Angeles Expertise: Professional
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 2:53pm Subject: Re: Is my grinder good enough...
there are no "good matches" really. I'd get the best grinder you can afford(or maybe look used or save up a bit). Typically, to a point, the better the grinder, the better the espresso. Keep in mind that an entry level "good" espresso grinder will probably be at least 250 and the high end can go as high as 2000+.
if you have a dollar amount, we can probably steer you towards something.
Posted Mon Nov 12, 2012, 2:58pm Subject: Re: Is my grinder good enough...
My personal recommendation would be to stay away from the Rocky, as its stepped adjustments tend to be somewhat larger than makes for consistently good espresso across a variety of beans.
Used commercial grinders are an excellent way to go if you have the patience to look for a deal and aren't shy about swapping out a burr set (usually the only thing a used commercial grinder needs). I have a Gaggia MD-85, with exceptionally fast and consistent 84mm flat burrs. I don't expect to ever have to buy another espresso grinder (though upgrade-itis can strike without warning, it won't be because the grinder I have is not capable of doing what I need).
For new grinders under $350, my bare minimum recommendation is the LeLit PL53, for espresso only and a second grinder for drip and press, or the Baratza Vario if you're needing to grind for multiple brewing methods with a single grinder.
Lots of folks will probably be along to tell you what they have and are happy with. There are a lot of possibilities out there, so don't rush and see if you can find locals with some of the recommendations so you can check things out first hand. There's no substitute for hands-on.
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012, 6:46am Subject: Re: Is my grinder good enough...
I have the Baratza Preciso and Esatto weight based doser (and an Ascaso I-1), and if I was stuck on a budget below $300 I'd get a refurb Preciso again for espresso and drip use, despite the bit of unreliability I've had (broken burr carrier, stripped gearbox) - cheap parts means that I'm OK with that. Below $400 I'd be looking at a refurb Vario or Preciso + Esatto for mixed espresso and drip/vac pot/french press use.
The used commercial options are all a bit too big for my kitchen, and would fail the SO test, as I'd need a second grinder alongside one for drip use, which is why I'm staying away from them for now (and I guess your Capresso can do that OK, although not brilliantly). With a bigger kitchen...
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