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Help me decide on a grinder...
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Help me decide...  
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peterkub
Senior Member
peterkub
Joined: 1 Aug 2011
Posts: 22
Location: Granger, Indiana, USA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 8:20am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

Yeah, didn't notice the error in quotation :p
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 1,015
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 12:50pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

peterkub Said:

As you see all are within $300 range and I'd prefer to keep it like this ;) I know there are much better grinders to be had but it'd be at least twice the price.

Posted January 16, 2014 link

Even at full retail a Vario isn't $600.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,116
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

I don't know how many have used or compared these Trespade grinders to others side by side. Just order the Lelit, easily dial it in, don't feed it any rocks and you are good to go. It will easily keep up with your Gaggia class machine. I certainly would not diss a great deal on a high quality used grinder either, but prefer this burr set over the higher speed flat burrs in this price class.  Very little if any daily adjustment is required, and produces a fluffy clump free grind. Someday I'll get one of the titan conical grinders, but until then I'm not inclined towards anything else.
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Skylar
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Apr 2004
Posts: 137
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: lelit espresso
Grinder: lelit grinder
Vac Pot: B. D. Electric
Drip: chemex
Roaster: wok roast and popper, heat...
Posted Fri Jan 17, 2014, 4:23pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

+1

I am in the 4th year with the lelit. Obviously only used for espresso, my other grinder is for all else. No trouble with this grinder. It does what it needs to with easy adjustment. I have had 2 baratzas - low end ones. They break. I know they are fixable and cheap to do so but why bother? Never a problem with the pl53.

Sky
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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 Mon Jan 20, 2014, 6:33pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

CIMBALI JR. GRINDER is awesome had it for last 6 years with no problems.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,479
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 Mon Jan 20, 2014, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

Bohun Said:

CIMBALI JR. GRINDER is awesome had it for last 6 years with no problems.

Posted January 20, 2014 link

More than twice OP's stated price limit, and a grinder which far exceeds the capabilities of his espresso machine, but wotthehell wotthehell we might as well talk about it.

64mm flat burrs, which turn at a relatively slow rate.  "In the cup" performance and taste signature comparable to a Mazzer SJ which has the same size burrs spinning at the same RPM.

Quite a bit better in those respects than dosered Minis or Macap M4s.  Priced between the SJ and the Mini... if you can find one.  La Cimbali's US distribution network for grinders has pretty much dried up. There are a few Canadian online retailers, though.  About 800CDN new.  

Good doser which sweeps very clean, but puts some English on the grinds.  

Grinds look exactly like grinds from an SJ.  I.e., fairly fluffy with visible but harmless clumping.    

The adjustment knob and stepless worm gear, make it an incredibly easy grinder to dial in precisely within the narrow espresso range.  Nothing better in that respect.  The burr carrier is quite robust, and settings don't wander.  

No timer.  You'll have to add an Auber or a Gralab.  

I've read posts of yours in which you talk about your Cimbali's ease of maintenance, but... But... BUT... Compared to what?

Compared to anything else I've used it's a huge PITA when it comes to ordinary maintenance. Whole beans get trapped between the deck and hopper, and whole and partially ground beans get caught in the throat's collar -- where they can and do go rancid, ruining the grind.  Consequently, the hopper must be removed frequently (once a week) and the deck and throat checked.  Unfortunately, the hopper is screwed to the deck, and must be nearly emptied (by scooping it out or turning the grinder over) in order to back out the screws and remove the hopper.  It gets seriously old.
 
I own a Jr. Max Hybrid (same body, better burrs), which I used for the past three years.  A good performer, but a nuisance I felt compelled to recently replace.      

My feeling about the Junior is that it's as good a grinder as the SJ in most respects, easier to dial-in, much less convenient, costs about $100 more, and has little if any US support.  Given that it requires so much to keep it from ruining your morning with a rancid cup, I don't see the rationale unless you're willing to put up with an awful lot of BS to get an SJ quality grinder that fits under standard cabinets.

BDL
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sherpasteve
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Sep 2010
Posts: 13
Location: san francisco
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Tue Jan 28, 2014, 1:37pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

I'd agree with Bohun on the Cimbali grinders.  I've had a Cadet (Junior) and currently have a Max (original).  I like them a lot.  The issue with beans getting stuck on the way to the burrs can be fixed in a few minutes with a mod that's described in various places.  All that's involved is cutting a small tube to fit in the throat above the burrs.  It will prevent beans from going anywhere but where they belong.  I used a top off a small can of Edge shaving cream which is exactly the right diameter for this project.  I trimmed it to create a tube of the correct length with three little notches along the bottom edge.  IIRC, those are for the bolts on the upper burr carrier.  Used my trusty Swiss army knife scissors.  Take off the hopper, drop it in place, and you still have time for coffee. Took about ten minutes including digging around in the medicine cabinet for a lid of the right diameter.  Also, parts can be ordered from various sources. I use Pasquini Imports in Los Angeles.
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gbastiani1952
Senior Member
gbastiani1952
Joined: 18 Dec 2008
Posts: 279
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Cimbali Junior
Drip: Crusinart
Posted Wed Jan 29, 2014, 5:38pm
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

I have a Cimbali Junior now for 4 yrs and the only mod I've done to it was to use a pvc male adapter to fit into the throat above the burrs so the beans go straight into the burrs, haven't had any problems with it and clean it every 4 months. Still have the original burrs in it and I grind around 3 pounds a month, may look into getting a new set from Chris who I got the grinder from. But I've been trying to find a grinder that has the same size burrs as the Junior but is a stepless, doserless model since I just grind for a double shot at a time.

 
Gery Bastiani
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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 Fri Feb 14, 2014, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Help me decide on a grinder...
 

I will have to test pvc mod :)  I clean it every 6 months to ensure proper operation.
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