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Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 7:02am
Subject: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

I've recently upgraded my espresso machine from an Ascaso UNO with the integrated I-2 grinder to an ECM Techika IV (LOVE IT!!!)

The gotcha is that the Ascaso had the integrated grinder, now I have nothing :-(

I sort of blew the bank on the machine, and so I have to be somewhat careful on how I spend on the grinder.  My initial thought is the Ascaso I-1 (~320 from Morala)  However, I have an opportunity to pick up a Mazzer Mini used but in excellent condition for 450 (it has just been stripped down, cleaned and refurbed)

Thoughts or alternate suggestions?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
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 Tue Aug 13, 2013, 8:04am
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

Congrats on the new machine.
The grinder is as or more important than the espresso machine, the quality of your brew is directionally related to the quality of the grind.

The mini would be the lowest grinder I would advise to get with that machine, good grinders come up used here often, if your lead on the mini falls through, there is a SJ (the next grade up from the mini) in our BST board for only $25 more than the mini.

 
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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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 8:35am
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

I saw the SJ.  One of my considerations (read: my wife's considerations) is that the grinder must fit beneath our kitchen cabinets (happy wife, happy life) which imposes a limit of 18.5" height.
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EndTwo
Senior Member


Joined: 13 Mar 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denmark
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Apscaso uno steel prof
Grinder: Mazzer Major DR + Mahlkönig...
Drip: french press, ceramic v60...
Roaster: skillet
Posted Tue Aug 13, 2013, 12:44pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

I've heard quite well of a mini with sj burrs... saves room and upgrades the mini...
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,722
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 Tue Aug 13, 2013, 1:44pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

My kitchen does not have a height limit where I have my coffee equipment so it has been a while since I measured but I think a SJ without the hopper will fit. A lot of members use them this way and single dose beans into the grind chamber and use something like a 58 mm tamper to prevent popcorning of the beans. I will go home and measure one of my SJ grinders for a height for you.

 
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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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 5:31am
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

So the Mazzer Mini option fell through.  

I'm determined not to skimp on this part of my set up.  I'll make do without until i) something used worthwhile pops up or ii) My bank balance recovers sufficiently to purchase something new worthwhile.  

I've noticed the SJ is now sold (bad timing that), but there is a Baratz Vario-W listed.  Thoughts?
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MikeReilly
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Oct 2007
Posts: 304
Location: Vancouver Island
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Cimbali Junior Gaggia...
Grinder: Pharos CC45 Mazzer Mini
Drip: Cuisinart
Roaster: Behmor, I-Roast 2, Popper
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

If you don't mind hand grinding then the Pharos is a great option.  Titan grinder performance at a very reasonable price.
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Thu Aug 15, 2013, 3:01pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

Actually I did manage to line up another Mazzer Mini from a board member.  Just picked it up and I'll start pulling fresh shots tomorrow morning :-)
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 8 Apr 2012
Posts: 236
Location: Vancouver BC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Strega, MCal, Cimbali M20L
Grinder: K10 Fresh, HG One 83mm,...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Technivorm, Hario Woodneck,...
Roaster: Hottop 8828P
Posted Fri Aug 16, 2013, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

Glad you found something.  Hope upgraditis does not kick in too soon.  As mentioned above the grinder is more important than the machine.  I have switched grinders nonstop for two years.  I picked up an HG One and i am almost positive the upgrading stops here.  Now I just need to decide on what backup grinder I want/keep. FYI

Vario - Good but clumpy sometimes with darker roasts and motor seems weak
Mazzer Mini Doser - Good but not good enough
Mazzer Major Doser - Very good titan and still being used (current back up)
Pharos - Pain in the *** to use
Voodoodaddy Pharos - still a pain in the *** to use but much easier to get grounds out
Fiorenzato Electronic - Very nice but too much retention for me
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fozzybear
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Aug 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: ECM Manufacture Technika IV
Grinder: Mazzer mini
Posted Fri Aug 16, 2013, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a grinder - opinions sought
 

I hope not either!  My current plan is to settle in to the new rig.  After that I'm kinda thinking of experimenting with home roasting........ Could be interesting.
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