I have the K30 Vario and love it. Very consistent in the grind and mass produced. Very easy to adjust coarseness. Minimal mess on the countertop. You can buy the small hopper for $100+. I'm working with a guy at work to cut my large hopper down to size for free, though.
I don't have any experience with other grinders in this price range, unfortunately.
Prior to this, I had the Mazzer Mini-E for a couple months, and I had a lot of complaints about that machine. The K30 Vario solved all those problems. I haven't wanted for another grinder since.
I wrote a number of more detailed posts about it a few months ago. If you click on my name and search through older posts you can find them (I don't have too many posts, so it's not that bad).
In short, though, my complaints were: inconsistent amount (will I get 21.2g or will I get 23.0? You'll never know...), clumpiness, static, sloooowwww and noisy. The clumping had me doing WDT every time, and the inconsistent dose had me measuring mass for every shot.
I'm in a similar situation although I am willing to spend more if it means I won't want to upgrade.
These are some of the choices I've found.
Mahlkoenig Vario K30 (~$1450) Used Mazzer (most likely a Major ~$1100), but Robur E is "the best"... which I might go for because it will mean I won't need to ever upgrade for maybe 10 years or more Compak K10 Fresh (~$2000) Compak K10 Pro Barista (~$1500) Wega 6.8? (~$1500) Anfim Super Caimano (haven't looked much into this one) They all seem to have pros and cons.
The K30 is convenient but it's a flat burr. Apparently gets hot. Mazzers are expensive. Conical with electronic dosing is Robur I believe. K10s are conical burrs but retain too much grounds and seems like incredible pain in the ass for home use with single dosing.
I wouldn't worry about your coffee getting too hot unless you are planning on opening a cafe with heavy traffic. You are mixing commerical issues with home issues.
Just buy what you want because it sounds like your budget isn't a contraint beyond the mental and if you don't get the grinder you want now most likely you will have a nagging feeling you are missing something and you will sell the grinder you 'settled' on even though it's the more pratical decision.
ECM Senior Member Joined: 11 Oct 2003 Posts: 476 Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano 2B Grinder: Mazzer Robour E Vac Pot: French Press Drip: no Roaster: Fresh Roast+8, i-roast and...
Posted Tue Oct 1, 2013, 5:29pm Subject: Re: Grinder upgrade sometime next year...
Macap M7D Grinder ... that's on sale right now at CCS.
It's a conical 68mm electronic dosing. $1499 now on for 1325! That's a hell of a deal for a 68mm conical. I don't have one of my own but It's a lot cheaper then a Robour or a K10 fresh which is the grinder I'm thinking about.
The specs look good but again, I have no experience with it. I wish someone could compare it to another similar grinder.
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