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Looking for a budget espresso grinder
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xmalachi
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: St. Louis
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

I'm looking to spend $150 max on a grinder that can be pretty versatile. I like to make espresso and FP every so often but I mostly do drip. I've been looking at the Capresso Infinity but that doesn't seem like it will suit me for espresso. What kind of options do I have at this point? I'd like a couple suggestions so I can begin the research game. Thanks in advance!
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

Not possible with your budget (for nonpressurized espresso at least). The cheapest one most recommend for espresso is the baratza preciso.

Now if youre doing a pressurized portafilter (not real espresso around these parts), a baratza encore would be your best bet for that price.
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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 Wed Dec 18, 2013, 9:46am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

Not a lot of versatility at that price point I am afraid.

Hario Skerton with OE/PFP mod and a Hario Mini for espresso "might" stay within your budget but these are hand grinders.

You are going to have to at least double your budget to get a grinder that might even "think" about espresso and press in the same housing (Baratza Preciso) and even that would not come with a solid recommendation from me even though I own one.

Other members may come up with better suggestions so....  say tuned :)
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,051
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 Dec 18, 2013, 9:52am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

If your willing to hand grind your coffee you have 2 options.

  1. Hario Skerton + OE PFP mod + Posilock nut.  $85

  2. OE Lido (Not sure if they are in stock at the moment)  $165

I have only read about the Lido.  A Lido owner may be able to chime in here.  Sturdy built and as far as I know capable of all grind types. The Skerton I own with the mods.  It turned it into a stepless hand grinder that is capable of any grind type.  I have used it for Press, drip and espresso.  The install of both mods are easy.  just remove a few nuts. Orphanespresso has Youtube video's showing how to install easily.  The Posilock nut just replaced the grind adjustment gear and you use a small wrench to dial in the grind.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,958
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 Wed Dec 18, 2013, 10:52am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

The OE Lido grinder has been redesigned with some new features and improvements (otherwise essentially the same), but is not yet available.  The new price has not yet been released.  I suspect there will be a number of Lido 1s available on the used market after the 2 comes out.

Lido 1 is particularly good for press pot...and I've read for drip and pour over as well. It's said to perform on par with the Mazzer Mini class of grinders for espresso, but I personally don't like using it for espresso, as I switch back to press too often to get it dialed in just right for use with the MyPressi Twist I have in my office.  So, my Twist is waiting for me to purchase a titan commercial grinder for my home - at which point I'll bring one of my Macap M4s to work (but that's beside the point - sorry).

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


Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 290
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 11:22am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

I find it interesting that "specs" are so little used in grinder selection.  Or even well controlled taste tests.
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xmalachi
Senior Member


Joined: 18 Dec 2013
Posts: 3
Location: St. Louis
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 11:36am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

jonr Said:

I find it interesting that "specs" are so little used in grinder selection.  Or even well controlled taste tests.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

Well, I'm coming from el cheapo bottom of the barrel grinder so anything is going to be better for me.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,958
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 Wed Dec 18, 2013, 11:40am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

jonr Said:

I find it interesting that "specs" are so little used in grinder selection.  Or even well controlled taste tests.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

I think what happens for a lot of us...at least for me...is that the specs and taste tests are read, and then general information is gathered as a "take home message", from which we (I) make recommendations.  I don't quote them for a couple of reasons...it's more typing (especially cumbersome when posting from my iPhone), most inquirers don't care about the specs (at least that's my take on it), I'm not confident my memory of the specs will be exactly correct and don't want to misinform, and the taste tests can sometimes be difficult to find to refer people to them.  So instead, I post what I've learned through reading and/or exprerience.  when it's only through reading, I try to make it clear I have no 1st hand experience.

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


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 1:20pm
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

Burner0000 Said:

If your willing to hand grind your coffee you have 2 options.

Hario Skerton + OE PFP mod + Posilock nut.  $85

OE Lido (Not sure if they are in stock at the moment)  $165

I have only read about the Lido.  A Lido owner may be able to chime in here.  Sturdy built and as far as I know capable of all grind types. The Skerton I own with the mods.  It turned it into a stepless hand grinder that is capable of any grind type.  I have used it for Press, drip and espresso.  The install of both mods are easy.  just remove a few nuts. Orphanespresso has Youtube video's showing how to install easily.  The Posilock nut just replaced the grind adjustment gear and you use a small wrench to dial in the grind.

Posted December 18, 2013 link

LIDO is engineered mainly as a coarse grinder, is touted as a "passable" espresso grinder, but I would not use it for an espresso grinder on a regular basis as your main grinder.  For press and drip, sure.

There are hand grinders that can make a decent espresso grind, better than the LIDO.  Other than that, I agree with the sentiment here, if you are looking for an electric espresso grinder to make QUALITY espresso... well, you may want to spend more.  (other than a deal on used, see below).  At the end of the day, you CAN use anything - and there are people using Infinity's for espresso out there, trust me - but if you are on CG asking for a recommendation, not many would put their name on that as a recommendation.  Our standards here are way too lofty!! (and rightfully so).

If I had to make one recommendation with a gun to my head UNDER $200 it would be the Breville Smart Grinder - but I don't like them either.... LOL.  (so again, I would say used as an option, see below).

One final option, and the one IMHO that gets you the most "bang for the buck" (I am not alone in this recommendation) - If you stretched your budget by $100, and don't mind hand grinding, many would agree the OE Pharos for $250 gets you a $1000 grind with its 68mm burrs.  Anyone that wants quality espresso grind on a budget I point there as a starting point - but there is a price to pay.... crank, crank... but then again, it takes 30-40 seconds of cranking.  And when I say it gives $1000 grind, that is just not a slogan - do your own diligence, it has been matched side by side in tests with Titan grinders and came out neck and neck.  I own one, and plan on keeping it, regardless of what $$$ espresso machine I end up with!!

People will find all the reasons why the Pharos is not acceptable - oh, it's manual... oh, the ergonomics... oh, you have to tap it to extract the grinds.  And those arguments hold water if that is important to you.  But if you are on a budget, and care most about what comes out in your cup, the price to value combination slaughters all the alternatives IMHO. YMMV.  There is not a right or wrong answer here, budget dictates all!

OK, now for my "see below" option - Other than that, MANY folks can be patient and find a used grinder on Ebay or Craigslist for a song... and less so on sites like this - most folks who sell here know what things are worth and you are less likely to get that "steal deal".  Ebay you can...

Cheers and bottoms up!
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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 Fri Dec 20, 2013, 7:16am
Subject: Re: Looking for a budget espresso grinder
 

SpaceTime Said:

OK, now for my "see below" option - Other than that, MANY folks can be patient and find a used grinder on Ebay or Craigslist for a song... and less so on sites like this - most folks who sell here know what things are worth and you are less likely to get that "steal deal".  Ebay you can...

Cheers and bottoms up!

Posted December 18, 2013 link

Uh, Ebay for a deal? Not in what I have seen but you MAY get lucky, lightning can strike the same place twice and it is possible to win the lotto LOL!

Craigs list is likely one of the best options. If your town is big enough, there are restaurant supply firms and you might have an auction house that deals in used restaurant equipment from failed shops. That is likely the best place to get a "deal" as you are bidding against people who want to resell the stuff they buy.

 
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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