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Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Rancilio rocky...  
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Lady_Croft
Senior Member
Lady_Croft
Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 182
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None :(
Grinder: Baratza virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tabletop
Drip: Mellita ceramic pourover
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 10:47am
Subject: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Hi guys -
I just wanted to get some feedback on a couple possible grinders I'm thinking of suggesting to my friend who is just recently thinking about upgrading her "espresso" machine. It's a Mr. Coffee type thing, so not even real espresso. She visited me and my sister and experienced some new exciting things in the way of coffee and now wants to get a real machine - but nothing fancy and a budget of around $800.

So I suggested the Rancilio Silvia for the machine, and I was thinking the Rocky for the grinder.. however she is also going to be looking into getting maybe a siphon brewer or pourovers and get into fresh brewed coffee. Does the Rocky do well as a multi-purpose grinder?

So I'm thinking maybe the Baratza Preciso (which Mark Prince's review said knocks the pants off a rocky or mazzer mini).  But I only hesitate because I have had a lot of problems with my Baratza grinders. I know, you get what you pay for and they're not that expensive..
But what I'm wondering is if the Rocky has more quality durable inner parts and won't need repairs like a Baratza (I have had to replace the main drive gear in every one of mine, and usually the burr holder breaks too at some point!)
But if the Rocky is basicall going to have the same issues, then I think maybe a Preciso would just be easier to use for her for coffee and espresso.
Whaty'a think?  Her future coffee and espresso experience is in my hands - i don't want to lead her astray!!
thank you!! :)
~Jessie
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Lady_Croft
Senior Member
Lady_Croft
Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 182
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None :(
Grinder: Baratza virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tabletop
Drip: Mellita ceramic pourover
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 11:06am
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Oh - and also, what about the Vario? I see that there's a refurbished one for sale on baratza's website for $360 - not bad deal if my friend is willing to spend around that amount anyway, which she would probably to get a Rocky. There's a refurb Preciso for $260 though too... even cheaper.
Is it WAY worth it to go with the Vario? Are those internal parts much better?
Keep in mind, she has been using a whirly blade grinder up to this point.... so not sure if she's really that picky...

~Jessie
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,962
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 7:54pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Rocky is very well built and rarely breaks. It's also quite versatile. However, I think the steps are too wide to make it a good choice for espresso...but like you said, your friend may not notice. My recommendation would still be to get one of the Baratzas.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,981
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sun Oct 27, 2013, 8:18pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Gaggia Classic new or refurb at WLL, and Baratza refurb.  Silvia is over priced a bit for what you get.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
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 Mon Oct 28, 2013, 7:21am
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

You may want to go with this machine and up the grinder a bit. This machine has proven to be every bit as good as Sylvia and is reasonably priced.
Click Here (www.1st-line.com)
If you could help her find a used SJ, that would be a KILLER starter setup!

 
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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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
Location: USA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Pasquini Livia 90 auto
Grinder: Super Jolly - Forte BG -...
Vac Pot: Cona - Santos
Drip: Bodum - Chemex - Hario -...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828-B
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 8:50am
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

I've never used a Rocky so no help for you there I am afraid.

I have both the Vario-W and Preciso and I would have to say unequivocally that of the two I own the Vario is a far better espresso grinder.  The Vario and Preciso are completely different animals (flat vs conical burrs, gear vs belt drive)

The Preciso is a killer pour over and press grinder but the Vario just does not get coarse enough with the consistency I want for french press brewing.

If your friend wants 1 grinder that will handle everything from espresso grind to french press, the Preciso might be the better choice (yea I fell the Vario just does not cut it enough in the coarser grind settings to be a one size fits all grinder).   If they are not going to grind coarser than a med coarse (Kalita type pour over) and want an exceptional fine turkish/espresso grinder then the vario will be the one.

I guess the grinder killer question for your friend would be whether they ever expect to grind very coarse and use a french press.

Don't be afraid of the Baratza refurbs.  I got my Vario-W as a refurb and it was a shipment refusal.  The shipping box had another label on the box that was marked delivery refused and the box had never been open so it was a new machine, not a refurb.  I went out and bought a lotto ticket but I guess I had used all my luck for the day as the only winner that day was the Baratza :)

moosepucky: vario-preciso.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,070
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 1:39pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Really there are no grinders that can consistently go back and forth from espresso to brew grind.
The issue is mostly getting back to exactly the right espresso grind. (the one you had before moving to brew grind...)  If brew grind is only once a week or month, ok, maybe can be worked. ....But daily back and forth will be only frustration to always dial in the espresso grind.

The Rocky is 'has been' around here. I think the biggest problem ( besides clumping) is the burr alignment issues when play develops in the adjustment thread. If the burrs are not perfectly co-planar and solid adjusted, grind quality quickly drops off a cliff.

Below the price of a Vario, I would skip the Priciso for burr carrier reasons as well.  Though not a popular opinion around here, I think the 38mm trespade conical burr grinders  (Le'lit PL53 is one I have for 6 years) still is the one to beat. Fluffy clump free and consistent grind by day, week and month.  But again, not one to switch from espresso to other grinds.  

For a brew only grinder, take your pick of many Baratza grinder options. They all do quite well in price/performance.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 2:05pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Though the Preciso can be adjusted pretty easily for different grind types but don't recommend doing so, i.e. espresso to press daily back and forth. That puts a ton of wear on the alignment ring and she'll either be breaking or replacing it frequently. Much better of doing something like an Baratza Encore for other coffee needs, and the Preciso for espresso only if that works for the budget.... obviously can switch that up (Vario.. whatever). Preciso is good for espresso, but the Vario is far better.
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Lady_Croft
Senior Member
Lady_Croft
Joined: 27 Jan 2008
Posts: 182
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: None :(
Grinder: Baratza virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama tabletop
Drip: Mellita ceramic pourover
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 2:56pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Thanks for all the valuable input!!
Ok, I'm fairly certain she won't be doing French presses - she simply hasn't expressed any interest in that.
2 grinders is probably going too far for her - as I said she's had a mr. coffee up to this point (and usually makes one or two soy lattes every morning). I talked to her last night and discussed
some of these options, and she definitely has budget concerns however she wants to be able to make really good espresso and have better lattes, and she also wants to maybe get into making
pour-overs or vacuum pot coffee (because that's what she experienced drinking when she visited my sister & I and she LOVED it)

So I'm torn now. The guy who suggested the Gaggia classic: I think she would like that price point, the refurb one was like $300. Awesome deal!
Then I looked at that Lelit, which sounded like it had better performance than the Silvia or the Gaggia... (but then that's one opinion) and it's around the same price new as a used Silvia I was thinking
of suggesting her to get.
So maybe we should be narrowing it down to either the Lelit or the Gaggia - depending on how much she wants to spend. ..? What is the difference in espresso quality/ user friendliness, etc?

Also, just to throw another wrench in there: what is the Ascaso steel uno PID professional like?? Cuz there's a refurbished one for $400 at 1st-line, when usually it's $700... seems like a good deal! Cheaper than the Lelit and the Silvia I was looking at...

As far as the grinders, I'm still totally undecided now!

~Jessie
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Oct 28, 2013, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: Rancilio rocky vs. baratza preciso for espresso newbie
 

Don't know much about the Ascaso, but a PID controls temp otherwise on a single boiler machine like mentioned in this thread she'll have to learn temp surfing, some PIDs though have more features some are just basic (my CC1 PID is built in and offers full control and adjustment for basically anything from temp to preinfusion to dwell etc).

Grinder, she could get an espresso grinder like the Preciso, and then a hand grinder like the Hario Skerton which is cheap and do the bearing mod from Orphan to it (stabilizes the shaft) and use that hand grinder for her other needs like Pour Over etc.
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