Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:25am Subject: Re: Advice for my first grinder
I know someone with more experience and expertise will come along, but I think within your budget you should be able to afford a Baratza Vario which is unanimously considered a more capable espresso grinder than the Preciso. You should see a large improvement in the cup with your own grinder and freshly roasted beans compared to the supermarket coffee you have been using.
Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 11:31am Subject: Re: Advice for my first grinder
Baratza Preciso is a good bet but for optimal espresso I would also look at getting a stepless grinder. I only say this because I own a Silvia as well and even with a stepped commercial espresso only grinder I got 100 times better results once I went stepless. Here is a macap MC4 stepless, doserless grinder. The M4 series grinders are built for light commercial use. 320£.
This model is my next buy. Click :) I currently own an MX model
None the less I strongly recommend going stepless for truly good espresso.
Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:34pm Subject: Re: Advice for my first grinder
The Baratza Preciso is no slouch as an entry level espresso grinder. But Baratza's Vario is a much better grinder. I know you can find it in the UK as the "Mahlkonig Baratza Vario" for 479GBP. Because they're (cough) "only" $450USD here, I expect you can find it at a better price than Bella Barista's.
Compared to the Preciso, the Vario is easier to "dial in," produces "fluffier" grinds, does better separation of flavors, does high notes (fruits and florals) better, and does low notes (chocolate and nuts), much better. I can't think of anything the Preciso does better. The difference in quality makes the Vario well worth the price difference.
Neither grinder is perfect, especially in terms of build quality.
The Quamar/Fiorenzato M80 is as good an espresso grinder in terms of grinding as the Vario, possibly better; it's much better built; but lacks the friendliness of the Vario's built-in timer. Quamars are popular in the UK which means competitive pricing. You can get the dosered version of the M80 for under 400GBP.
As long as we're talking about Quamar, if I were busting a 400GBP grinder budget in the UK, I'd go for their 500GBP M1. Much better than the Vario. The 600GBP T48 is better still.
The Vario and Preciso are "electronic, on demand" grinders. That is, they have built in timers which measure the output to fair accuracy. If you buy a "dosered" grinder like the M80 or M1, but not an on-demand grinder like the M80e or M1e, you'll either have to "single dose" (which means weighing each dose individually before grinding), or plug the doser in through an external, "switching timer." Since photography's gone entirely digital, timers accurate to 0.1sec are easy to find used and in good condition. Reasonably priced or not, they still cost money.
If you're going to stretch your budget, pound of pound, money spent on the grinder is the best investment.
dwRK Senior Member Joined: 14 Sep 2013 Posts: 90 Location: Houston Expertise: Just starting
Posted Mon Dec 30, 2013, 12:52pm Subject: Re: Advice for my first grinder
if you're not averse to going used...eBay UK has some of the greatest looking/condition grinders at or below your price range.
right now there are two super jollys for a buy it now price between 280-350 pounds...don't use the hopper/doser, do a puff and brush and not much is left behind...
i've seen many nice grinders pop up so often i wish i was in the uk :)
the macap mc4 would be my pick for basic entry new grinder...but i would jump directly to a small 64mm burr sized grinder and stop there...the quarmar m80 i've been eyeing but i can never find it used...
Bohun Senior Member Joined: 30 Dec 2013 Posts: 11 Location: Canada Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Vibiemme Domobar Super Grinder: La cimbali junior Roaster: Boehmer 1600
Posted Tue Dec 31, 2013, 12:03pm Subject: Re: Advice for my first grinder
Cimbali CIMBALI JR. GRINDER is fantastic. It is built like a tank, give you wide range of adjustment settings. Easy to clean and maintain. It is also fairly short and can fit under cabinets (at least in Canada :) )
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