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Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Pre-ground beans...  
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ULawrence
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 10:40am
Subject: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

That question is probably offensive here but it I really don't know much about espresso as I've always just used k-cups (is that sacrilegious around here?) which is why I'm asking people who know more than me. My girlfriend always uses pre-ground beans in her Breville Duo-Temp but it's not always consistent so I was thinking about getting her a grinder for christmas. She makes 1 cup every morning, (two if I'm there) so on average around 10 cups a week so and never more than 20.

It would have to be something that she can just turn on and have the right amount of grounds come out without having to hold anything or watch it too closely or she just won't use it, at first I was thinking of the Bodum Electric Coffee Grinder as it's about $140 CAD and in my budget but everything I see on here says that's it's no good for espresso and that I need to spend at least $300 for an automatic electric grinder which just isn't going to happen this year, something like the Breville smart grinder might be in my budget for her birthday in the spring, if that's worth waiting for or are those grinders just so bad that it's better to stick to the locally roaster pre-ground beans?
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Oct 8, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

The Baratza Encore?  It's a $130 grinder.  I have had hands on with it and it's a great grinder for the price.  Although It's not aimed for hardcore espresso, I have pulled good shots with it on my Silvia.  If I remember correctly the BES800XL "Breville Duo" has pressurized baskets as well as unpressurized so this should be a good fit.  If no unpressurized (single wall baskets) I know you can get unpressurized after market baskets if your girlfriend ever wants to get better pulls out of her machine.  You can dose right into the portafilter.  

For coffee yes! Go fresh.  If you have a local roaster then buy whole bean. You can always find good coffee online too. :)
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ULawrence
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Oct 9, 2013, 3:40am
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

Thanks, the Baratza Encore looks perfect for our needs right now. She always uses her double walled basket so I'll have to look into if she has a single walled basket (I know she has other baskets she doesn't use), if not it could make a good stocking stuffer. I assume single walled are just less forgiving but makes better espresso once you figure out what you're doing and can adjust your grinds?

We're very lucky that despite living in a smaller city (Halifax, NS) there are a number of local roasters to choose from so that's what we always buy and after christmas we'll switch to the whole bean instead of getting them to grind it.
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calblacksmith
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calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,942
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 Oct 9, 2013, 5:09am
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

Yes, as long as the pressurized porta filter is used, that grinder will give you something to drink.

When you remember that ground coffee goes stale in about 15 minutes from the time you grind it. Would you ask a grocery store to cut an apple into hundreds of pieces for you before you left the store? This is what you are doing when you grind coffee at the shop. The O2 in the air oxidizes the huge surface area of the coffee grounds and they are stale.

Just grinding yourself before brewing will make a HUGE difference in the quality of the coffee. A normal coffee basket and porta filter and an espresso grade grinder will go even further to making espresso.

Just because coffee is roasted close to you, it does not mean that it is fresh. Look for a ROASTED ON date, not a best by or use before date. Only with a ROASTED ON date can you see how old the coffee is, two weeks and it is starting to dramatically go down hill in quality for espresso.

 
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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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Oct 9, 2013, 5:24am
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

ULawrence Said:

Thanks, the Baratza Encore looks perfect for our needs right now. She always uses her double walled basket so I'll have to look into if she has a single walled basket (I know she has other baskets she doesn't use), if not it could make a good stocking stuffer. I assume single walled are just less forgiving but makes better espresso once you figure out what you're doing and can adjust your grinds?

We're very lucky that despite living in a smaller city (Halifax, NS) there are a number of local roasters to choose from so that's what we always buy and after christmas we'll switch to the whole bean instead of getting them to grind it.

Posted October 9, 2013 link

Good to hear. Cal is right.  Freshness is everything!  I almost never grind and store the few times I've done it were only because I knew I wouldn't have time later to grind and I stored the coffee in a sealed ziplock bag draining all oxygen overnight. Even then I noticed the coffee was pretty stale.   The Encore with her double baskets will make an espresso that is leaps from what she is currently drinking.  If she's thinking of getting into single wall brewing the Encore will do but something a bit better will be needed like the Baratza Preciso or a stepless grinder.
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ULawrence
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Oct 2013
Posts: 3
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Oct 9, 2013, 5:55am
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

Thanks for the tips. I knew getting the roastery to grind them was not very good but I wanted to make sure any grinder I got wasn't going to be so bad that it would be making things worse. This set up might not get us a great espresso but with this grinder and paying closer attention to the roasted on date it sounds like it'll be a big improvement relative to the money and effort and will be a great start for us.
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Angman
Senior Member
Angman
Joined: 7 Apr 2012
Posts: 239
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 Thu Oct 10, 2013, 1:28pm
Subject: Re: Pre-ground beans or cheap (sub $200) electric grinder
 

The Baratzas are probably your best choice for the price. If simplicity and aesthetics is also important (seems like it will be for your gf) the smart grinder in my opinion is pretty darn good as well.  Some people have had problems with theirs (for espresso) but I have had pretty good luck with mine.  If you take the time there are deals to be had on them.  I just hope that you get one of the "good ones".  I strictly use mine for drip/press coffee but every morning I am amazed by the quality of the grind considering I paid $100 used for it.  My K10 and HG One is well over 3K CAD and its only "a little" better for my espresso needs.
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