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Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
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cprice88
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Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 38
Location: TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 9:44am
Subject: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

For the past 6 years we've had a Laranzato HC-600 (I gather this is a commercial grinder comparable to a Super Jolly, but I am by no means an expert on grinders). We have been totally pleased with the performance of it and it has been maintenance free. Also, I got a great deal on it originally b/c it was a floor sample.

However, we moved recently and it does not fit well anymore in our kitchen. I already switched the hopper for a stainless canning funnel b/c there was no other way to get it to fit under our cabinets. The canning funnel is kinda messy; beans pop out all the time when grinding.

Now I'm debating whether to get a shorter/smaller grinder or if I should actually remove an upper cabinet to fit the espresso setup.

Is there anything smaller that would compare in quality?

We also have a plumbed-in Astra Gourmet (which does barely fit under the cabinets). They have made a nice pair thus far. Astra has been to the shop twice, but both times less than $100 repairs and we bought it used.

On a related note, do I ever need to replace the burrs on this grinder? All I've done so far is clean them a few times (with the minute rice method).
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 10:41am
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

I remember I chatted with that company, there are some users of that grinder on here and HB and people seem to like it. If space is an issue really the only grinder with a hopper that can fit in tight clearances I would say is the Baratza Vario which compares well against the Super Jolley and others in that class for grind quality and taste in cup. It's not going to be a grinder that feels like it was carved out of a bank vault, but their still solid, can add parts to it from the Forte to make it better.
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uscfroadie
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uscfroadie
Joined: 2 Aug 2008
Posts: 396
Location: San Antonio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: GS/3 Strada MP, BDB; owned...
Grinder: Forte, Zass and PeDe hand...
Vac Pot: Nope
Drip: Nope
Roaster: owned Behmor
Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 11:04am
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

+1 to what CMIN wrote...or you could just get a Forte.  They can be had for $700 shipped, which is just a tad more than the Vario-W.  Email me and I'll give you details.

The Forte is far more robust on the outside than my old Vario; haven't peaked inside, but it is supposed to be beefier there too.  Also, of note is that I never had a single problem with my Vario for the 3 years I owned it.
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johnboddie
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Joined: 28 Nov 2008
Posts: 205
Location: Virginia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: MCAL, Brasilia Mini Classic,...
Grinder: Rossi RR45a,Rocky,...
Drip: Cuisinart (non-grinding)
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 6:15pm
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

Do you have space to rest a saucer on top of the canning funnel when you grind?

Not elegant, but if you are getting good results from your grinder, why not try it?

JB
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cprice88
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Joined: 16 Jun 2007
Posts: 38
Location: TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Dec 19, 2013, 6:44am
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm not too jazzed about either of those Baratza models. There are a fair share of negative reviews and all the added electronic buttons and features just look like fussy things that are bound to malfunction at some point.

The Laranzato just has the burrs and a dial so there's not much that can go wrong as long as the motor is working. It seems solid, reliable, long lasting, repairable. That's more my speed.

Perhaps I'm walking into the classic trap of trying to fix what's not broken. Ha!

More and more I'm leaning toward removing the upper cabinet when we renovate the kitchen, hopefully in another year or two.

Nice idea about the saucer, why didn't I think of that? :) That seems like a decent, simple solution in the meantime.
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calblacksmith
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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, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

If it fits, even just barely my personal view is to stay with it. I personally do not like the plastic on the smaller grinders but it is supposed to grind well, I can not say one way or the other but when I held a Vario, (I am used to heavy commercial gear) it felt like a toy.

A 58mm tamper fits in the throat of a SJ so it may work for you, you can single dose into the throat and use the tamper to keep everything tidy. I did this for a while, it works well and in addition, it is a place to keep your tamper when not in use :D

 
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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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,094
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Fri Dec 20, 2013, 7:41am
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

Three other low-profile grounders to think about (and reject):

La Cimbali Junior (Max Hybrid):  
Grinds at the "Titan" level, for sure.  Very accurate adjustment.  Industry best doser.  Doesn't provide the fluffy grind quality of a Compak K-10, but delivers all the nuances which the beans offer.  Similar taste signature to a Robur -- all the fruits and florals and damn near all the chocolate and nuts; slightly less clumpy -- but let's be real, it's not quite a Robur.  

Well built; fantastic burr set which should last forever in a residential setting; compact, attractive package; excellent ergonomics; monster value.

However.  HOWEVER.

Designed in such a way that beans and bean fragments can get stuck on the deck underneath the hopper, and in the collar at the throat.  Because the hopper is secured to the grinder by screws, it must be emptied in order to remove it from the grinder.  Huge pain in the butt to keep clean, and needs more frequent cleaning than just about anything else around.  

I have one, love it, am in no hurry to get rid of it, but recommend you don't buy one for yourself.  

Mazzer Mini E with SJ burrs:
If you like the SJ, you'll like the Mini E conversion (burrs just drop in).  There's a whisper on the grape vine that the Mini's motor doesn't really have the power to turn the SJ burrs and is prone to stalling; but every time it comes up here and on HB, all the owners jump in to say "tain't so."  I'm not sure what to believe, but thought you'd want to know.

Otherwise, for good and ill, it's a  built-to-high-standards, pain-to-adjust, 61mm flat-burr Mazzer.  I wouldn't.  

Compak K-10 with Short Hopper Option:
Whether PB (doser) or Fresh (doserless + electronic control), it's one of the very best available.  The short hopper makes it looks stupid, but so what?  Unfortunately, even with the short hopper it's still 20" tall and probably won't fit under your cabinets.  

Bottom Line:
GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER
The grinder is the key part of the equipment chain.  Even slight steps up or down the quality ladder are changes you WILL taste.  Stick with what you have until you can shoehorn something better still into your space.  

BDL
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jonr
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Joined: 25 Jun 2013
Posts: 290
Location: Americas
Expertise: I like coffee
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 1:09pm
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

For a contrary opinion from someone with quite a bit of experience, see here for:

"But all the espresso capable grinders I've compared at home (...) have not shown clear differences, not even going from big commercial conicals to the small home grinders. ".

So perhaps "quality" in grinders isn't well defined.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,094
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 21, 2013, 3:35pm
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

jonr Said:

For a contrary opinion from someone with quite a bit of experience...  "But all the espresso capable grinders I've compared at home (...) have not shown clear differences, not even going from big commercial conicals to the small home grinders. "  So perhaps "quality" in grinders isn't well defined.

Posted December 21, 2013 link

Jon,

Jim's comment at HB regarded using "espresso capable grinders" grinding for non-espresso only, particularly within the context of particle distribution size.  It is inapplicable to the conversation here.

BDL
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,841
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sun Dec 22, 2013, 10:48pm
Subject: Re: Is there a smaller grinder we'd be happy with? Have a Laranzato HC-600
 

calblacksmith Said:

If it fits, even just barely my personal view is to stay with it. I personally do not like the plastic on the smaller grinders but it is supposed to grind well, I can not say one way or the other but when I held a Vario, (I am used to heavy commercial gear) it felt like a toy.

Posted December 20, 2013 link

Respectfully, I'll say neither the Vario or Forte GRIND like a toy, and the customer service makes owning one a no pressure experience.
I've owned 2 SJ, and neither (IMO) is as fit for the home as is the Vario or especially the Forte. Same grind and similar taste profile, more consistent shots, no need for a scale, little to no waste, etc.
As some might say, "you can't judge a book by the cover." Or something like that.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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