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Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
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jsmini
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Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

There is someone selling 4 new in box Visacrem 90 grinders for $275 each locally. I've searched everywhere and can't find anything about them whatsoever. People say the Visacrem is made by Canill but can't find any similar models/pictures. The seller claims it's a Gaggia, but none of their models look like it. He's offered zero info.  It looks somewhat old, design/cosmetic wise.

is it worth taking a chance? yes i know...parts availability. The other option I'm leaning to is the Preciso. The visacrem is apparently a commercial unit. Would it possibly be a step up from a Preciso which ends up being a similar price. It would get low home usage and starts life new, so worn burrs won't be an issue. I offered $175 due to the mystery around it and the guy ignored me!!

jsmini: visacrem 90 1.JPG
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jsmini
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Here is another pic

jsmini: visacrem 90 2.JPG
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jsmini
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Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:57am
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Here is a bigger picture of the first post

jsmini: visacrem 90 1.JPG
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 Wed Sep 18, 2013, 2:24pm
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Well...... hard to say.
Off hand, I know nothing about them and I don't have time to look. For parts, there may be a manual in the boxes with some clue as to where to go. Burrs will be the biggest thing you will need to think about, the rest of it likely will be just fine for a long time.

It looks to be a stepped grinder in the second picture, that is fine if the steps are close. If not you might need to adjust the dose up or down a little to get in between the steps for your shots. Not a big deal but something to think about.

As I am a commercial kind of guy, I would go for it but I will not tell you to do that. You need to think about things like are you able to work on it yourself ect. Commercial machines in a home environment are a lot of overkill and will last a long time. That is my preference but other things may be important to 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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jsmini
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Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 3:23pm
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Sure it would be nice to have parts available but it's less of a concern because it would be new and would be used in the home. You would expect a commercial unit to be able to handle the ultra low load! I'm a techie repair guy during the day and fix medical equipment so no worries on the repair front. I'd do my best to find parts and fix it myself.

I guess my main question would be regarding the grind quality and consistency mostly. I'm too much of a newb to tell how good the grind is in person if I got a test run. As mentioned....is it "likely" to be better than a Preciso? Obviously hard to say but in peoples experience, will a commercial unit that looks the part and has some pedigree like this one(Gaggia....and even Visacrem makes big commercial espresso machines) likely outperform a home unit like the Preciso? Or does the stepped grinder style give it away and move it into it being a debatable high quality grinder or actually mark it more definitively as a much lower end commercial unit....prosumer?

Yep it's all opinions and guesses at this point. The 4  have been for sale for a while so I'd likely be stuck with it if it didn't turn out to be a great performer.....he'd still be trying to sell his other 3 new ones!

And would you go for it at $275? I think he started at $325 last month.....

John
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fluke
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fluke
Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 26
Location: Santa Cruz CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Expobar Elegance 2 group,...
Grinder: SJ, RR45, Zip
Vac Pot: aeropress
Drip: toddy
Roaster: KKTO inspired
Posted Wed Sep 18, 2013, 9:09pm
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Looks more like a Rossi rr45 stepped variant. The only parts you might be concerned about is the availability of the burr set. As you noted, for a new commercial going into a home, you're not going to see much appreciable wear on the burrs, motor or anything else in your lifetime. Now if you want to resell it in a few years, the new buyer might have valid concerns about its lineage, and respective parts availability, and you may not get much for it -  but if you get this for a good price, and it looks good next to your espresso machine - go for it.

That being said, for around that that price, a used Super Jolly will hold its resale value, and is very much a known quantity. Stepless, as well.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 Sep 19, 2013, 12:30pm
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

See if he will go $225 to $250, every penny you can save is money saved.

You seem to be able to work with your hands, get out your yellow pages, look for used restaurant equipment dealers, the further away from presentable sale looking the better at these places. You can get some good deals if you take your time and do the foot work. Also keep an eye out on Craigs list and any local advert paper that people sell to.

 
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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jsmini
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Joined: 18 Sep 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Ottawa
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Sep 24, 2013, 6:04am
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

I ended up getting it for $225 with an extra set of new burrs!! This thing has 60mm burrs. He was a retired guy who owned a coffee roasting business and he said he used to bring these in, they were made in Spain and he still claimed it was built by Gaggia. As I drove home I was sort of freaking out, OMG what did I just do?!?!?.....this thing is waaaayyyyy bigger than the picture implies. It' 21" tall with the hopper and is very heavy. Also it's really really ugly....I was hoping the brown colour was actually sort of a metallic bronze. But it's coffee coloured....but more accurately it's baby poo brown and a hammer finish. I think removal of the rough finish and a shiny paint job is in it's future.

The best part is that it's completely switcheable from stepped to stepless. There is a chrome spring loaded pin that you push down to go to different steps...or take of the threaded piece(sorry don't know the name) and simply lift out the spring loaded pin...voila stepless! It looks like it has something like 48 steps/holes or more, so lots of granularity it seems. about 3 steps between printed numbers.

Now, being a newbie I hadn't used a doser before.....seems to be a really messy undertaking. I may take it right off and make up something like a tray to go in the hole in front as I don't need lots of volume. Gotta play with it.

One newbie grinder question....I know how to go about tuning for the espresso grind. But how do I determine what a typical "paper filter" and coarse french press grind is? It looks like it will go way too course if you keep turning the dial. I've got another cheap grinder still around...do I simply try and get the paper filter setting to grind similar to mid setting on my cheap grinder and match the coarsest setting as well?

I'll post some close up pics soon, in case someone can identify it as a brother to some other grinder......not that I can see ever needing parts, it's a tank. Surprisingly it's very quiet.

Thanks for all the advice so far.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,786
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 Sep 24, 2013, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Visacrem 90 grinder.....what is it really?? Any good?
 

Congrats, and with a new set of burrs, nice.

Commercial grinders are large, too large for a lot of homes but if you have the room they are a good way to go.

Don't think of the doser in the way it was designed. Use it for a holding bin for your dosed shot then drop what is in the doser into the PF. Actually most dosers are cleaner than doserless to use as well as having less static charge in the grounds and less clumps. Only using it will teach you the best way to control it. Depending on how it is made, there are mods out there to make them sweep cleanly with very little left over grounds to clean.

If the plan is to use with other coffee methods too..... that is not the ideal situation. You will find that remarkably small changes in the adjustment ring will make large changes in the espresso so nearly everyone that has one of these monsters, use it for espresso only and have a second grinder for other methods, A other use grinder can be picked up for under $100 and will perfectly fine. Espresso is the most sensitive to grind thus the grinders are rather specialized for only espresso. Sure they can go larger but the grind for espresso is not only smaller, it is different than other methods too. I have a feeling that in not a lot of time, you will be looking for an "other" grinder :D

Gaggia may in fact have made it but having a parts manual is best, manufacturers often rebadge equipment or may make it specifically for a client and not offer it in other places. The extra set of burrs will go a long way for you. It is unlikely that you will ever "wear the grinder out" due to the light nature of home use VS in a coffee shop. Burrs are going to be likely the only part you will need to change for as long as you own it.

The adjustment sounds a lot like a Rossi RR45, and while on that grinder, you can also remove the locking pin, there normally isn't enough friction to hold the upper carrier from moving. I am not saying that this is the case with your grinder but it is something to watch out for.

 
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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