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Espresso: Grinders - Espresso
Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Time to get a...  
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Gallansio
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Jun 2013
Posts: 33
Location: Seattle
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 3:02pm
Subject: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

I have a Starbucks Barista machine and a $20 blade grinder.

I'm comfortable spending around $200 for a new grinder.

Seattle Coffee Gear recommends the Baratza Preciso. I know I can get a refurb for $239.

Some of you guys don't recommend Baratza - but I'm not sure if there is anything comparable to the Precsio in the $200 range.

I will eventually upgrade to a different/better espresso machine so I don't want to limit myself too much. i.e. Encore.

Thoughts?
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CoffeeNark
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Joined: 30 Dec 2013
Posts: 34
Location: Nashville, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 3:06pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

I just received it today so it is too early to recommend but you might want to keep an eye on Woot.  They often list factory reconditioned Breville Smart Grinders.  They usually retail new for $200 but I got the reconditioned one for $110 + $5 shipping.
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rebthor
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Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 3:21pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

I have a Breville Smart Grinder and it's OK, better than a blade grinder for certain but you are never going to get a consistent great shot out of it.  Mine was relegated to french press duty as soon as I picked up a Rocky Rancilio as part of a combo deal on Craigslist.
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StanleySpadowski
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Gaggia MDF, Kyocera CM-50
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 4:56pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

I think you'd do very well with a stepless Hario Skerton for under $40.  Set aside the remaining $160 and use it toward a better grinder and/or machine sometime in the future.
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SpaceTime
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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 Thu Jan 2, 2014, 5:28pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

Deleted by author

Cheers.
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,320
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 Thu Jan 2, 2014, 5:46pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

At its new, retail price of ~$300, the Preciso is -- as far as I know -- the least expensive, motor driven grinder which is adequate (not good, adequate) for espresso use.  

For slightly less money, if you're willing to co-exist with the inconvenience that is hand grinding a hand-held grinder, the OE Pharos is frikkin' superb; competing with high-value motorized grinders like the Fiorenzato Doge Conico and Quamar T48 which cost over $800.  

The Breville Smart doesn't offer enough adjustment at espresso fineness levels to be adequate for espresso.  Same too for the Baratza Virtuoso.  Both grinders are good for non-espresso though; and if you have one I suggest keeping it for "brew," rather than selling it off.  

The Hario Skerton without the stepless mod isn't up to the task.  With it, it's okay, but very inconsistent as a result of wobble.  I think it's fair to say the same thing about any unmodified hand grinder less expensive than the Pharos or OE's other hand grinder, the Lido (better for brew than espresso).  Single bearings and tiny burrs don't cut it; but if you must... The Skerton and Porlex are the two best.      

Used and Refurb -- case by case.  If you're specifically asking about the Preciso refurb -- it's good enough to get you started, gets Baratza's excellent support in case there's anything wrong with it, and it's less expensive than retail.  Does that make it a great grinder?  No.  A good deal?  It's a great deal if you want a new Preciso.  Otherwise, it depends on what you do want.  

No matter how good a grinder you buy, the quality of your espresso will be limited by your machine.  That said, even with barely adequate equipment, using good beans you can beat the hell out of Starbucks, and most other coffee shops too.  Unfortunately, they set a low hurdle.  

BDL
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moosepucky
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moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 154
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 Thu Jan 2, 2014, 5:59pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

Gallansio Said:

I have a Starbucks Barista machine and a $20 blade grinder.

I'm comfortable spending around $200 for a new grinder.

Seattle Coffee Gear recommends the Baratza Preciso. I know I can get a refurb for $239.

Some of you guys don't recommend Baratza - but I'm not sure if there is anything comparable to the Precsio in the $200 range.

I will eventually upgrade to a different/better espresso machine so I don't want to limit myself too much. i.e. Encore.

Thoughts?

Posted January 2, 2014 link

Although I have never used my Preciso to grind espresso I am sure that it would be capable of doing a decent job (not perfect, but decent).

If you can stretch to a Vario (referb) you would be better off doing this or waiting until you had another $100 to put into a Vario model.
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StanleySpadowski
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Feb 2013
Posts: 11
Location: New Hampshire
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic
Grinder: Gaggia MDF, Kyocera CM-50
Posted Thu Jan 2, 2014, 6:06pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

boar_d_laze Said:

The Hario Skerton, even with the "stepless" mod is too inconsistent for espresso.  I think it's fair to say the same thing about any unmodified hand grinder less expensive than the Pharos or OE's other hand grinder, the Lido.

Posted January 2, 2014 link

I wouldn't say that the Skerton grinds too inconsistently for espresso.  Maybe it doesn't do a perfect job, but he's currently using a blade grinder -- the Skerton will make a huge difference for a very small price.  If he's willing to go up to $250, then I agree with the Pharos/Lido recommendation (I've never used them, but I've been researching the heck out of 'em for quite a while).
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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 Thu Jan 2, 2014, 6:07pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

boar_d_laze Said:

For slightly less money, if you're willing to put with the inconvenience of hand grinding, the OE Pharos is frikkin' superb; competing with high-value motorized grinders like the Fiorenzato Doge Conico and Quamar T48 which cost over $800.  

BDL

Posted January 2, 2014 link

So the knock on hand grinding is inconvenience... ?  It has to have a plug and use electricity to be convenient?  With all the doser-dancing, chute-brushing, 3-4 second ground retention rituals with most electric grinders, I am not sure there is any convenience factor over some of the better manual grinders out there.  If we are going for "convenience", require electricity, and you are pushing him to $300 and want quality, I would say go $350 and get a refurb'd Vario.

Cheers Boar.
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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 Thu Jan 2, 2014, 6:08pm
Subject: Re: Time to get a new grinder. Looking for something around $200.
 

StanleySpadowski Said:

I wouldn't say that the Skerton grinds too inconsistently for espresso.  Maybe it doesn't do a perfect job, but he's currently using a blade grinder -- the Skerton will make a huge difference for a very small price.  If he's willing to go up to $250, then I agree with the Pharos/Lido recommendation (I've never used them, but I've been researching the heck out of 'em for quite a while).

Posted January 2, 2014 link

A+ on your research assignment!  :-)
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