brianl Senior Member Joined: 1 Dec 2012 Posts: 410 Location: Chicago IL Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID) Grinder: Baratza Vario Drip: chemex
Posted Fri Jan 18, 2013, 5:38pm Subject: Grind Flavor Profiles, Recommendations(<$500), and Other
I have done various research on grinders and the like but you can only do so much before one of these topics is necessary. haha
I have currently narrowed it down to a Vario or Preciso (i have read comments about these two but wanted to personalize it a bit). I am also open to other grinders but keep in mind that I will use it for approximately 80% espresso and 20% Chemex/kalita wave. Therefore, a step-less grind may not be the best option. My girlfriend currently has a Bodum Bistro but I highly doubt that would even be a suitable pour over/drip grinder. I also use a Hario Mill slim for the Chemex but that seems to be lousy at the coarser settings.
I have seen that the Flat Burrs give you a more chocolate and nutty flavor while the Conical Burrs give you a more bright/fruity flavor. I currently use a Gaggia MDF (Flat burr) and it seems to grind fine enough for the machine that I use, a Gaggia Classic, and get the typical 20-30 range for 2ozs. However, using intelligentsia beans, or any of Chicago's home roasters a few days after roast, I am never able to fully get that 'chocolate' bomb. Now, would that be mostly an issue with the grinder and something that the Vario would help with? I have the pressure set to 9 bars in my Gaggia classic and have a thermister 'attached' to the boiler (it may not give me the exact brew temperature but it gives me something to measure to taste and get consistency). I mostly dose to around 16g (15g basket) but I also have a triple basket that I have not experimented on that much. I would expect the triple to be best for the fruity flavors and the lower for the chocolaty.
My original train of thought was to get a Preciso so I would be able to get the bright flavors with it and get the chocolaty flavors with the Gaggia MDF (In both espresso and pour over). However, I have the issue above and that's why the Vario comes into the picture. Now, I understand that the Preciso might not give the chocolate bomb, but hopefully it wouldn't completely neglect it.
I invite you to please help me decide between the Vario/Preciso/Other(<500). I would also appreciate any corrections in my logic above or additional insight. I'm just a simple man that wants to stop thinking about this and get some sleep. haha
On a side note, I've been considering ways to make my Gaggia mdf doser-less. I have taken out the plastic compartment (the doser) that sits on the plastic 'arms'. Currently I have a two funnel system that leads to a glass on a scale. One funnel near the chute that leads to one sitting in the portafilter holder. Now they are both plastic and the dust tends to settle on them, albeit in small amounts. Would getting a stainless steel or other material funnel help with this? What would be the surface the fine grinds would not stick to the most?
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