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Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder...  
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 1:16pm
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

I'll add though the OP wants an all around, save for the Forte which is out of budget, there's really not a good all around grinder for espresso - coarse. Stepless commercial grinders will drive you nutz trying to dial back and forth lol, and their really not suited for coarse like a Bunn etc is b/c of the burr design. The Baratzas though they "can", not recommended as that will put a ton of wear and tear on them, that's where people had issues with the Vario losing previous settings, or the Preciso breaking/wearing down adjustment rings etc. Their best left to a single use, espresso, or coarse. The Forte has a stronger/beefier design though fixing the flaws of the Vario for all purpose use.

Unless you meant that you'd use them for coarse now, and then down the road if you get an espresso machine switch them to espresso duty only. And get something separate for coarse. Really if you want to do espresso and various coarse needs, two grinders is the best and less of a headache lol, one for espresso, one for press/drip/pour over etc
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,979
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 Feb 12, 2014, 2:07pm
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

CMIN Said:

...two grinders is the best and less of a headache lol, one for espresso, one for press/drip/pour over etc

Posted February 12, 2014 link

or three...one for regular espresso, one for decaf espresso and one for coarse :)

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Goldensncoffee
Senior Member
Goldensncoffee
Joined: 9 Feb 2014
Posts: 73
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart, Skerton
Posted Wed Feb 12, 2014, 4:17pm
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

Alright I'm sold. I'm gonna go get a Breville tonight. 2 grinders is probably the best option. At least this one wont kill me $$ wise and I can start saving for the espresso setup while having a nice grinder to do my press and drip. I'll let ya know tomorrow how I like it.
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eastbaysanfranman
Senior Member
eastbaysanfranman
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 186
Location: east bay area san francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nueva Simmoneli Oscar
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm/Chemex/Espro...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 3:10am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

Hey now,

Don't have a lot of time right now (2am on Coffeegeek, super ocd coffee freak over here) but I just wanted to catch you before you purchase in case you haven't already, if you have a Bed Bath and Beyond nearby you can use one of their 20% off coupons and get it for $160. I'm going to try and jump on this post tomorrow and keep it going. I'm gonna need some ammo when I have to try and explain to the wife why exactly I need a Bunzilla!
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Goldensncoffee
Senior Member
Goldensncoffee
Joined: 9 Feb 2014
Posts: 73
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart, Skerton
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 8:43am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

eastbaysanfranman Said:

Hey now,

Don't have a lot of time right now (2am on Coffeegeek, super ocd coffee freak over here) but I just wanted to catch you before you purchase in case you haven't already, if you have a Bed Bath and Beyond nearby you can use one of their 20% off coupons and get it for $160. I'm going to try and jump on this post tomorrow and keep it going. I'm gonna need some ammo when I have to try and explain to the wife why exactly I need a Bunzilla!

Posted February 13, 2014 link

YES the 20% off coupon. I had one of them and my wife also had a $25 gift card. So I ended up paying 135 out of pocket for it. I am soo happy with this thing so far. I set it up last night and did some test grinding with some slightly older beans I had. At the finest setting it produced basically powder. On the coarsest settings I was really surprised at the consistency of the grind. It's not perfect but is a HUGE improvement over my Skerton.

The grind by cup feature is great. Right now I've been doing 580g water/34g beans for french press, weighing each time before I would grind. I kind thought it would be a pain calibrating the Breville but this am I set it for 4 cups and out comes 34g of grinds. WOW! The coffee was fantastic too. I don't know if it was all in my head or because of the consistency of the grind. I had it dialed back 6 clicks off the coarsest setting which gave me a nice fine drip grind.

I'm very happy with it.
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Goldensncoffee
Senior Member
Goldensncoffee
Joined: 9 Feb 2014
Posts: 73
Location: Pennsylvania
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Breville Smart, Skerton
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 9:45am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

One more thing I'm thinking of....Should I be storing beans in the hopper and even using the grind by cup function. Am I better off still weighing my desired amount of beans, tossing them in, and grinding?
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eastbaysanfranman
Senior Member
eastbaysanfranman
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 186
Location: east bay area san francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nueva Simmoneli Oscar
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm/Chemex/Espro...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Thu Feb 13, 2014, 3:52pm
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

From what I've read I think that depends on the grinder. From what I've read there can be a "popcorn" effect when you single dose which potentially increases the fines. On the other hand (this is my theory and would like to hear more experienced opinions) when you leave beans in the hopper it exposes them to more air/light which could potentially make them go bad faster. I have always single dosed in my Rocky but now I don't know if this is the best way.

I was going to post soon the same question as your original post as I have the same predicament. I'm going to go ahead and post my questions here as I believe that it's too easy for the forums to become clogged with too many posts and that it's really nice to have one thread with a lot of info to help people like us out. (Minus the over 100 posts thread such as the vario owners thread which is so intimidating I haven't even touched it)

I have my first legitimate espresso machine on the way (a barely used and well taken care of Oscar) so getting a good espresso grinder is of utmost importance to me. It seems important to dose by weight for espesso for consistencies sake (true?- how important?) so the Vario W with the ceramic burrs is extremely appealing. (I hate any extra step it takes to make coffee and any step taken out of the process such as getting out a scale is very valuable to me). I like the idea of getting one now and then upgrading to an espresso only later with the option of switching the burrs to steel if I do not like the Vario for espresso. That is until boar_d_laze here introduced me to the Bunzilla. Dang you!

Bunzilla- I did some research and have some questions about the Bunzilla and perhaps others could elaborate. 1) You can single dose all day long as the beans are fed by an auger eliminating the "popcorn" effect? 2) Even though not as airtight as keeping the beans in a bag it makes more sense to store the beans in the hopper of the zilla as no light will get to them? 3) Do the Ditting burrs cost $320 alone? 4) I read that the Bunzilla is great as long as you do a step less mod as the steps are too large. I also read that you can now buy a new plate giving it over 20 steps for cheap including a new sticker. Can anyone elaborate? (scratch that I just saw that boar had that mod) 5)It seems grind waste on the Bunzilla is relatively small, can anyone concur? 6)I also heard that the burrs are extremely easy to remove to clean, true?

Vario W w/steel burrs- I have read an opinion that the bottom burr rides up (top burr down?) a little on the Vario which is what produces some of the fines. This opinion also concluded that the Vario would be as suited for french press as the Bunn if anyone could fix this. He had received an email from Kyle at Baratza saying that this is normal operation. The convenience of having the Vario, the negative footprint and the option to weigh my grinds is difficult to compete with. I need to know if I really NEED the Bunzilla.

I do use an espro press which has made a HUGE difference over my Bodum when paired with my Rocky. It simply produces a cleaner cup as less of the solids come through. The really cool thing I noticed is that you can let the brewed coffee sit for WAY longer than the Bodum. My opinion is that when you have too many fine solids in your cup it continues to extract itself if that makes any sense. In my opinion the coffee from my Bodum needed to be consumed within 10 or 20 minutes. With the Espro it seems like it can sit out for hours (due to the finer filter- I'm done with my Bodum FP). (Boar- when you did your test with your friends did you use an Espro by any chance?) Perhaps with the Espro I do not need a Bunzilla and would love the Vario W. Decisions, decisions.

I won't overload by getting too much into what dedicated espresso grinder I would get if I did not like the Vario-W with ceramic for press but  I would like to hear about the forgiveness factor between the Vario and higher end dedicated Titans, Compak-3, Mazzer mini or whatever. I think forgiveness with my limited skills is going to be something I may need. =) Thanks!
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sgreen
Senior Member
sgreen
Joined: 4 Apr 2011
Posts: 94
Location: Minneapolis
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Viblemme Replica E-61
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 6:18am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

Weighed dosing important for espresso?

Yes. Mostly for consistency while you are learning your espresso machine. It removes one variable that will affect taste. Not strictly necessary, but an exceedingly fine idea.

Vario-W?

Nearly perfect starter grinder. Your next step up is double the price, minimum. Possible triple.

Bunzilla?

Nearly perfect single dosing grinder. Purge old grind with 3-4 grams, grind weighed espresso dose (10-22 grams) and weigh again to dose into portafilter (probably 7 -21 grams). At least for awhile. Until you get the hang of it. Initially, and potentially, lots of weighing. Waste? Small, but you'll need to develop a system. Not a big deal and you get used to it and it can be worth it. I did this with several other espresso grinders and ended up sacrificing some quality for the convenience of a timed Super Jolly at home.

Beans in hopper? Vario: maybe for short time. Bunnzilla: no.

Vario w/ steel? I have one for drip coffee at home. I'm not weighing anything manually (at home) ever again.

Ditting burrs? $336 delivered. Press fit ring? About $50. (I'll offer the rings and probably the burrs with a press fit ring assembled on our website next month (-we made several out of aluminum yesterday) By comparison, Bunn Burrs? About $230 delivered.

Need a Bunzilla? No. Want one? I did and put one together as soon as I could justify needing one.

Vario burr rides up? Who knows? Big difference from Rocky? Yes.

Forgiveness factor? Probably minimal. Dosing precision is perhaps slightly more important than grind precision in terms of creating a good espresso puck. Grind precision will probably affect flavors from a good puck in the cup slightly more. You'll pull good shots with the Vario. You'll spend double or triple to pull better shots.

Incidentally, there is no "perfect" grinder. There is only the grinder that is perfect for you today. You may very well outgrow whatever you purchase. Life is change. More free advice: enjoy the journey.
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eastbaysanfranman
Senior Member
eastbaysanfranman
Joined: 29 Oct 2007
Posts: 186
Location: east bay area san francisco
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Nueva Simmoneli Oscar
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky doserless
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Technivorm/Chemex/Espro...
Roaster: Behmor
Posted Fri Feb 14, 2014, 9:30am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

Does that price on the Ditting burrs and press ring for a grand total of $386 include machining the burrs? Also, a little confused about your Bunzilla, you use it for espresso? I thought the appeal was for drip/press?

Really appreciate everyone on this site. I dream about swimming in specialty coffee. Freakin nuts man. Feeling encouraged to really think about getting a Vario W with ceramic burrs. Do the refurbished ones have issues? Problem is that I'm going to need a press/drip grinder soon as my Rockys seen better days. The press grind was fairly ok I guess (except for all of the fines) until I ran a rock through it not long ago. I decided to change the burrs out to an older set I had and ever since then I can no longer get gravel of any sort. One thing, sure enough, is that there is wobble from burr to burr. We'll see when my Oscar shows up today what it can do.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,681
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 Feb 14, 2014, 10:18am
Subject: Re: Grinder recommendation. No espresso...yet
 

sgreen Said:

Incidentally, there is no "perfect" grinder. There is only the grinder that is perfect for you today. You may very well outgrow whatever you purchase. Life is change. More free advice: enjoy the journey.

Posted February 14, 2014 link

LOL, well sort of, I perhaps would slightly change it from "perfect for you today" to BETTER FOR YOU TODAY. A small point but perfection is never a settled state, rather a GOAL to aim for  :D

You are quite correct though, it is ever changing. Either you can "settle" where you are at as the point of diminishing returns for you has been found or you are not at that point yet and more grinders (or whatever) are in your future!

FOR NOW, I am at that point. Sure I would like to play with other grinder and if I did, I likely would find a NEW fav grinder so if I don't play with them, my ignorance is a temporary bliss that can let me live with what I have .... for a while longer :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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