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HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > HELP - Best...  
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David_Batson
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Breville BCG800XL Smart...
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:02am
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

klund Said:

I started out with a Smart Grinder, and I too was "happy" with it. I upgraded to the Baratza Vario-W. If I was "happy" with the Smart Grinder, I'm "happier than a cow in a Chik-Fil-A" with the Vario-W.

For espresso, the Smart Grinder is a starter grinder. If you are at all serious about your coffee, you will upgrade.

Posted February 22, 2013 link

At almost 3 times the cost ($549 vs $199), I would hope the cash layed out was justified. ;>)
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klund
Senior Member
klund
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Southern MN, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Fri Feb 22, 2013, 11:22am
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

David_Batson Said:

At almost 3 times the cost ($549 vs $199), I would hope the cash layed out was justified. ;>)

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I don't have a moment's doubt that I made the right choice in upgrading. My preparation is quicker and less messy, I don't need to WDT, I find the grind more consistent, micro adjustments actually work.

I buy 5 pound bags of coffee and freeze it in mason jars. The espresso at the end of the batch is far superior with the Vario than it was with the Smart Grinder.

Of course, YMMV.

 
-- klund

Well then, you should see me without coffee.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 8:34pm
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

David_Batson Said:

At almost 3 times the cost ($549 vs $199), I would hope the cash layed out was justified. ;>)

Posted February 22, 2013 link

I have the regular vario. Cost me 370. At less than double cost its 10 times better. After you upgrade from the smart grinder youll be way over that.
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David_Batson
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Breville BCG800XL Smart...
Posted Sat Feb 23, 2013, 8:54pm
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

brianl Said:

I have the regular vario. Cost me 370. At less than double cost its 10 times better. After you upgrade from the smart grinder youll be way over that.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

Have you owned "The Smart Grinder"?  Ten times better?  I seriously doubt it.  It may be better, but not ten times better.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:32am
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

David_Batson Said:

Have you owned "The Smart Grinder"?  Ten times better?  I seriously doubt it.  It may be better, but not ten times better.

Posted February 23, 2013 link

As you can tell I am not a fan of the smart grinder. I have not owned it because it wasn't that great when i used it. Have you used a vario? You realize this is an espresso topic, right? Its that area the vario shines

You're right, vario is 11 times better ;)
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,050
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 1:14am
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

You ask for the best grinder for a Rancilio Silvia. Well, generally spoken the best possible grinder is always the best grinder you can afford. I know it would be odd to pair a consumer SBDU like the Silvia with a commercial grinder like the Mahlkönig K30 Vario, the Compak K10 fresh or the Mazzer Robur E, but you couldn't do much better, and you wouldn't have to worry about upgrading ever, no matter what espresso machine you might get sometime in the future. After all, our mantra at CoffeeGeek is that the grinder is more important than the machine. You can brew better espresso with a top-grade grinder and an entry level machine than with a crap grinder and a commercial machine. So don't skimp on it.

Don't get me wrong. My advise isn't to get a commercial grinder unless you can afford it or get a used one within your budget. But think about your maximum budget for a grinder (save some money for it if you have to), and get the best capable grinder you can. The Baratza Preciso is usually considerd to be the entry level electric grinder for espresso.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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BLrdFX
Senior Member
BLrdFX
Joined: 29 May 2012
Posts: 231
Location: Seattle Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: L-I
Grinder: HG-One, Kony-E, VL, Lido2
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Quest
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 7:22am
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

For the $$$ the Pharos, using the RDT method with the beans, you will get the best grind for the money.  For an inexpensive powered grinder get the best Baratza you can afford.
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David_Batson
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jan 2013
Posts: 12
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Breville BCG800XL Smart...
Posted Sun Feb 24, 2013, 7:03pm
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

brianl Said:

As you can tell I am not a fan of the smart grinder. I have not owned it because it wasn't that great when i used it.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

Breville has made some tweaks since "The Smart Grinder" was first released.  Initially some said it wouldn't grind fine enough for espresso.  I have mine set on the coarser side of the middle (setting *5*) for espresso, and pull 30+ second shots at that setting with my  Gaggia Classic (using the conventional portafilter basket - not the pressurized portafilter basket and pin).  At the *4* setting the shots can be around 20 seconds.  I can adjust pull times by tweaking the quantity dispensed and tamping pressure.  Whatever settings I choose, I find the Breville to be very consistent.  

I am using Pete's "Espresso Forte" beans bought from a nearby Pete's Coffee & Tea shop.  Tons of crema.  Very little mess, and easy to pour any grinding spillage by pulling out the removable tray and pouring the spilled grounds back into the portafilter.

No doubt the Vario-W is a better grinder, built to last longer than the Breville.  But I can't justify the price difference for myself at this point in time.  If the Breville craps out in the next 1, 2 or 3 years, I may feel different then...

FWIW, I initially started to buy the Gaggia MDF, but changed my mind primarily because of some dosing issues I read about in the reviews regarding the MDF.  At the time, the Gaggia MDF and Breville Smart Grinder were available for the same price.  So far, I'm glad I chose the Breville.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Mon Feb 25, 2013, 1:24pm
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

David_Batson Said:

Breville has made some tweaks since "The Smart Grinder" was first released.  Initially some said it wouldn't grind fine enough for espresso.  I have mine set on the coarser side of the middle (setting *5*) for espresso, and pull 30+ second shots at that setting with my  Gaggia Classic (using the conventional portafilter basket - not the pressurized portafilter basket and pin).  At the *4* setting the shots can be around 20 seconds.  I can adjust pull times by tweaking the quantity dispensed and tamping pressure.  Whatever settings I choose, I find the Breville to be very consistent.  

I am using Pete's "Espresso Forte" beans bought from a nearby Pete's Coffee & Tea shop.  Tons of crema.  Very little mess, and easy to pour any grinding spillage by pulling out the removable tray and pouring the spilled grounds back into the portafilter.

No doubt the Vario-W is a better grinder, built to last longer than the Breville.  But I can't justify the price difference for myself at this point in time.  If the Breville craps out in the next 1, 2 or 3 years, I may feel different then...

FWIW, I initially started to buy the Gaggia MDF, but changed my mind primarily because of some dosing issues I read about in the reviews regarding the MDF.  At the time, the Gaggia MDF and Breville Smart Grinder were available for the same price.  So far, I'm glad I chose the Breville.

Posted February 24, 2013 link

I looked into it around December, Not sure if they changed it up after that. I mean, with most grinders I can get 20-30 seconds but that doesn't mean you're pulling a good shot (subjective, i know). Until I used the Vario, I never tasted anything that good.

I am not a huge fan of pete's as even in their coffee shop I found the beans to be stale. This isn't really part of the grinder suggestion so I wont go into detail over the qualities of petes.

I understand you not being able to justify the price difference, we have all been in those shoes. However, I think you will find on these forums that the smart grinder isn't even in the same stratosphere as the Vario. If I was able to pick any grinder I wanted without a budget, the Vario would still be up there due to its grind quality and low grind retention (based on my usuage).

I'm glad you are happy with your choice but unless you have used the Vario, you just cant appreciate the difference. The gaggia MDF does have a lousy doser and thats ultimately why I picked up a Vario. The Gaggia MDF had much better grinds than the smart grinder (especially after making it stepless) in my opinion. I tried to make it doserless but at the end of the day it just took too much effort every morning.
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xaderrick
Senior Member
xaderrick
Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Posts: 52
Location: Nacogdoches, TX
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Le'Lit PL041
Grinder: Breville Smart Grinder
Drip: Mr. Coffee
Posted Thu Nov 21, 2013, 3:04pm
Subject: Re: HELP - Best Grinder for Rancilio Silvia V3?
 

If you would like a Breville Smart Grinder they have em over at Woot for $120 for a refurbished one.    woot.com/offers/breville-the-smart-grinder

I don't have a refurbished one but I do really like my Smart Grinder, works very well for going back and forth for my drip and espresso!
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