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jgaepi
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 9:30am
Subject: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

I am new to this site and new to hands on espresso. My background is that my wife and I lived in Sicily for 3 years and got the cappuccino bug. We bought a Delonghi Magnifica when we got back for an easy solution - but it never tasted right. For regular coffee, we use a small technovorm and the Breville smart grinder.

We are in the process of moving up. We have a La Spaziale mini vivaldi on order. Clive Coffee tells me I can use the Breville for both espresso and drip but I like things simple (I don't want to keep changing the settings) and would be willing to spend $$$ on a standalone grinder.

I would like to buy a future proof espresso grinder but one that will have an easy learning curve for a beginner. I wouldn't be opposed to buying a Mahlkonig if the consensus says that it will be worth it long term.

I roast my own beans and occasionally do a french roast with a little oil sheen. Typically though, I roast at city/city+.

I don't want any regrets with the grinder and I don't want to have to constantly do maintenance. I want a best of all worlds grinder that will be future proof and allow me to easily learn on it.

Any suggestions for me? Thanks.
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 9:59am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

Hi jgaepi,

From what I have read in the past few months, I believe the consensus from HB and CG on the best *electric* home grinder these days is the Compak k10 doser.

If you want a manual grinder, you have 2 good options: the pharos (cheaper but requires a few modifications) and the hg-one.

All those grinders are well reviewed on both coffeegeek and home-barista. This should give you a good starting point on your research!

Cheers

MatP
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jgaepi
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 10:17am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

Sorry, probably should give this disclaimer. I don't want a grinder that is 20in tall. Up to 17in max. Thank you.
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MatP
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Mar 2013
Posts: 42
Location: Southern California
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Macap MXP
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 10:21am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

Yes most of the grinders in this category are pretty tall, especially with the hopper. But if you single dose, the hopper can be removed, which makes the grinder not as tall.

Still on the electric grinder category, a lot of people like the Baratza Vario. I tried it at a friend's, and I did not like the feel of it, but the grind quality is there.

Cheers

MatP
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RoyceRuiz
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 116
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

jgaepi Said:

I am new to this site and new to hands on espresso. My background is that my wife and I lived in Sicily for 3 years and got the cappuccino bug. We bought a Delonghi Magnifica when we got back for an easy solution - but it never tasted right. For regular coffee, we use a small technovorm and the Breville smart grinder.

We are in the process of moving up. We have a La Spaziale mini vivaldi on order. Clive Coffee tells me I can use the Breville for both espresso and drip but I like things simple (I don't want to keep changing the settings) and would be willing to spend $$$ on a standalone grinder.

I would like to buy a future proof espresso grinder but one that will have an easy learning curve for a beginner. I wouldn't be opposed to buying a Mahlkonig if the consensus says that it will be worth it long term.

I roast my own beans and occasionally do a french roast with a little oil sheen. Typically though, I roast at city/city+.

I don't want any regrets with the grinder and I don't want to have to constantly do maintenance. I want a best of all worlds grinder that will be future proof and allow me to easily learn on it.

Any suggestions for me? Thanks.

Posted June 4, 2013 link

I'm not going to recommend any specific grinder at this point but may mention some as examples.  The first thing is that there is a learning curve especially on all grinders.  You will have to "dial in" the right coarseness to get an approximately 25 second 1.5 oz double shot at 9 bar pressure.  The fineness of the grind is your variable to adjust.  Learning this process is important because each bean will require a different starting point and minor adjustments will need to be made as the beans continue to age and gas out.  Because of this dialing in process a stepless or essentially stepless grinder is necessary for proper espresso.  An example of a nearly stepless grinder would be the Baratza Vario which changes grind size like a bicycle with macro and micro adjustments.  Because of these micro adjustments you can more easily repeat grinds and seek guidance from others but you don't have the full control that you would have on a stepless grinder like a mazzer.  Another issue that you may face is a choice between a dosered grinder or doserless.  Which is better is a debated topic that you need to research.  I will tell you that I prefer doserless but many dissagree.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 935
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 11:38am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

jgaepi Said:

I want a best of all worlds grinder that will be future proof and allow me to easily learn on it.

Posted June 4, 2013 link

Everybody wants something that is best of all worlds but we all have to compromise.  What's your budget?  Any other restrictions other than size?  Doser?  Doserless?  Built in weighing?

RoyceRuiz Said:

The first thing is that there is a learning curve especially on all grinders.

Posted June 4, 2013 link

^ This.  I don't see any standing out from the pack.

RoyceRuiz Said:

I will tell you that I prefer doserless but many dissagree.

Posted June 4, 2013 link

Many disagree that you prefer doserless?  Seems like you should know best on that item... ;-)
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jgaepi
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Jun 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Davis, CA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Jun 4, 2013, 11:43am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

I would be ok spending above $1k but it has to be a solid all around grinder that I won't regret.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,474
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 Jun 6, 2013, 6:05am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

Honestly, there is no BEST of anything. What works great for you may not work for someone else.

You can get a grinder that you will not regret for a lot less than $1K and if you add in to the mix, used grinders then there is a huge choice list.

Commercial grinders will be large, they are not designed to be used in a home with limited over head space.

Honestly when you get into that price range, it is very hard to get a "bad" grinder and it is more about personal preferences. Flat/conical, doser/doserless, hopper/no hopper, auto weigh/single dose and the list goes on.

 
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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OttoMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2013
Posts: 78
Location: Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Brewtus IV-R
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario,...
Drip: Capresso MT500+
Roaster: Cast iron dutch oven
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013, 7:31am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

I'll go out on a limb and suggest the Mahlkonig K30 Vario.  I love mine.  It's super easy to work with (not finicky, easy to dial in), grinds precisely based on its timers, and the output is very consistent.  Search around for some of my other comments here and at H-B.  I'm sure there are many other options out there, but if you're willing to spend >$1K, you should at least consider the K30.
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 208
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Thu Jun 6, 2013, 7:36am
Subject: Re: Best Espresso Grinder for a Beginner
 

It is very difficult to find an "all around" grinder period. The closest is probably the Baratza Vario (my personal fav), but even it will only do a good espresso to drip. Your Breville Smart Grinder is more than sufficient to be a non-espresso grinder (Aeropress <------> French Press). If I had over 1K to spend on an espresso grinder, I'd go for the K30 Vario or the Compak K10 (currently a Buyer's Remorse version on Chris' Coffee website).
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