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Best Doserless Grinder
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Bman
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jan 2004
Posts: 258
Location: Johnstown, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Anita
Grinder: Mazzer Super Jolly
Vac Pot: Nope, Bodum Press
Drip: Not any more
Roaster: I-Roast, Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Feb 21, 2014, 9:59am
Subject: Best Doserless Grinder
 

Hi ALl, I am thinking of getting a new Doserless grinder.  I have a Mazzer Super Jolly which works well, but I am getting tired of dosing and then cleaning out the grinds.  I have been researching the Vario, Compak K3, Macap Doserless, and the Mazzer Doserless (which is a little more than I would like to pay).  I would like to keep the same quality that my SJ gets.  I have also seen some of the mods for the Mazzers and may consider this as well.  I appreciate all feedback as I only have experience with my SJ.

Thanks much
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moosepucky
Senior Member
moosepucky
Joined: 6 Jun 2009
Posts: 153
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 Fri Feb 21, 2014, 10:33am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

I've had the Vario-W ceramic burr (espresso) grinder and it was a decent machine for home use.  I was very pleased with how it performed.

I no longer have the Vario-W as I modified my SJ to be doserless.  I replaced the empty spot on the counter left by the Vario-W with a Forte Brew Grinder (steel burr NON espresso, pour over grinder)

Post on HB about what I used for the conversion to doserless

moosepucky: grinders_2-21-2014.jpg
(Click for larger image)
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,947
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 Fri Feb 21, 2014, 10:51am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

the mods for the SJ doser are super easy to do. Besides that, it might mean you don't have to spend any money to get what you really want.

First, try the CBSJ mod for the doser vanes to make them sweep better.  That in and of itself will make you a lot happier and possibly even solve all of your problems.  Like Wayne describes it'll take you maybe a half hour to do the whole thing, from cutting out the tabs needed to having the doser back on your machine ready to go...just make sure you have all your materials before you start.  I just did my Major doser and found I needed a 4.5mm wrench to get the doser off.

I also recommend doing Andy Schecter's schnozzola mod for clean dispensing into the pf basket.  It's super easy, especially if you stick to heavy paper or card stock (I made mine from a sheet of thin brass and used solder to close the loop).

btw, which Macap gridner are you considering, they make several?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,670
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 Tue Feb 25, 2014, 7:12am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

If you have the itch to spend money on a new grinder, go right ahead but there are easy things you can do to make the doser sweep clean with very VERY little retained grounds, seriously, a flick of the doser handle and the doser is clean.

I did a pictorial thread showing how to do it. Total cost if you have a sharp knife and a ruler already is for a little double sided poster tape and the plastic from a gallon milk jug or the remains of the packing of anything in a plastic see through blister pack.

http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machinemods/562237

Or spend money on a new grinder if you wish. YMMV!

 
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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joco
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: VA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Mar 18, 2014, 3:34pm
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

Be very careful with what you ask for.  I was in the same boat as you.  I had a SJ and liked it, but wanted to move to doserless so I wouldn't have the Mazzer mess from shooting grounds to the left... and the Elvinator just created more problems.

So I figured I liked the SJ lets go with the SJ-E. Boy was that a wrong decision.  The SJ-E is a clump monster and unless you're committed to going WDT distribution you may not be happy with the resulting extraction.

So now, back my SJ-E goes and onto something else... most likely a Compak K10 P/B or Fresh, Macap M7, Mahlkonig K30 or Versalab.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,070
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 Tue Mar 18, 2014, 6:17pm
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

joco Said:

Be very careful with what you ask for...  So now, back my SJ-E goes and onto something else... most likely a Compak K10 P/B or Fresh, Macap M7, Mahlkonig K30 or Versalab.

Posted March 18, 2014 link

I said it on H-B and I'll say it again here.  

Ceado E92, Compak K10, Mazzer Robur
I know you and Mazzer broke up, but I'm going to use the Robur as a benchmark because... because... well... because it is.  But I promise, no Kony.

If you prefer the mouthfeel and other "in the cup" characteristics of the Robur to the Compak, which includes an obvious superiority in mouthfeel, you should consider the Ceado E92.  

The only thing the E92 gives up to the Robur is speed; and not much of that.  A Robur does 18g in around 3.9sec; my Ceado does it in 5.0sec.

If there ever were issues with the Ceado's electronics being affected by grinds they have long since been resolved.  However, after months of very careful research I only found one person who had anything to say about it, and consequently am disposed to believe the problem only ever existed in his grinder.  

The Compak K10 Fresh and PB equipped with a mini hopper is pretty short.  I forget the exact height, I think it's 19".  The Ceado is 16" to the top of the collar; even with a mini hopper it's not fitting underneath a wall cabinet.  The Robur is TALL.

You'll need a timer of some sort for the Compak K10 PB.  Hardly an insurmountable obstacle.  Great doser, by the way.  

The Ceado is the same price as the Compak K10 Fresh; and overall is about as user friendly -- which is to say that it's a great deal friendlier and more pleasant to use than the Robur (or any big Mazzer for that matter).  

The only puck building technique I'm throwing at the E92 is a finger wipe and a weird tamper.  It's not espresso porn every pour, but the results are consistently good.  

If you're eliminating the Ceado because it's too tall -- that makes sense.  If you have other issues or questions, do yourself a favor and at least talk to me about them.  Don't worry.  While I'm enthusiastic about how well it works for me, I'm not trying to sell you one.  

Macap M7D
The Macap M7D is -- I'm told by people whom I respect -- an excellent grinder and a legitimate member of the Titan Conical group. I can't comment on its "in the cup" or "use" characteristics because I've never used it.  I've heard some grumbling about "grind retention" from non-owners -- but my experience is that the phenomenon is overrated as a problem.  The biggest issue with the M7D that I can see is that no one sells it in the US.  

Mahlkonig K30 Vario Pro B
The Mahlkonig K30 Vario is a joy to use, but I greatly prefer the "in the cup" results of the big conicals, which are overall "livelier" and with an altogether better top-end.  

FWIW, the Mahlkonig is no quieter than the E92.  

Versalab
If you're interested in the Versalab you should take some time (a lot of it) and work your way through the owner thread on H-B.  There are, shall we say, issues.  Having lived with a Junior Max Hybrid for more than three years, and spent quality time with both a DRM and a Versalab, I'm about as familiar with hybrid burr sets as anyone who doesn't work for David Schomer.  

Single dosing aside, the three big-hybrids grind indistinguishably.  Compared to the Ceado, Compak and Mazzer Robur, you give up an awful lot in terms of top end sparkle, nuance, and separation without making it up on the low end or in clarity.  In other words, the hybrids -- including the Versalab -- aren't as good.  It's also idiosyncratic and something of a pain in the ass to use unless you're a single-doser.

On the other hand, the Versalab grinds pretty damn well and is one hell of a design statement to boot.      

Rich
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 733
Location: Tacoma Wa.
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 12:51am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

Actually Chris' sells the M7D for $1500. I was looking long and hard at it for a while on Sunday. Think I was in love for a bit. In the beat the Robur thread on HB it rated right up with the Robur, in two tests he couldn't tell the difference! In the end I decided not to cut a hole in the bottom of my kitchen cabinet- was seriously considering it for a bit- Open cabinet, fill hopper, no problem right?
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,050
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 5:23am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Actually Chris' sells the M7D for $1500. I was looking long and hard at it for a while on Sunday. Think I was in love for a bit. In the beat the Robur thread on HB it rated right up with the Robur, in two tests he couldn't tell the difference! In the end I decided not to cut a hole in the bottom of my kitchen cabinet- was seriously considering it for a bit- Open cabinet, fill hopper, no problem right?

Posted March 19, 2014 link

The hopper size isn't a reason not to get it :p I'm sure you can buy a smaller hopper that will fit or use it for single dosing. I found a blank 58mm portafilter fits perfect on top of the grinder
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,070
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 Wed Mar 19, 2014, 8:11am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

Burner0000 Said:

The hopper size isn't a reason not to get it :p I'm sure you can buy a smaller hopper that will fit or use it for single dosing. I found a blank 58mm portafilter fits perfect on top of the grinder

Posted March 19, 2014 link

Even with mini hoppers a lot of Titan sized grinders won't fit beneath wall cabinets.  Presumably, Joe (joco) has done the research.

Joe already said (on H-B) he neither single doses nor wants to, so single-dose solutions won't work.    

We darn near had to enlarge the door to get the Ceado in.  It's 16" tall without a hopper.  I gather the Macap is about the same size.  The Robur is even taller.  Great grinders all, but not a good choice for some locations.  You can't just grind with them, you have to live with them too.

I'm glad to hear that Chris is carrying the M7D.  I know a few people were going to some lengths to find parts.    

FWIW, I like the Compak K10s better than the Mahlkonig or the Versalab for what the K10s do in the cup.  Both the Fresh and the PB do a really nice job of putting the dose in the basket.  Which is a huge part of what this is about for Joe.

The Mahlkonig is a great grinder.  

The Versalab is the eccentric's La Cimbali Jr. Max Hybrid.  Each is a huge PITA (although in different ways), and each is an extremely good grinder.  However, neither is as good as the very best big conicals.  

The Cimbali, DRM and Versalab use the same burrs (pretty much).  I think Cimbali (starting around ten years ago) reduced the diameter of theirs slightly by cutting down some of the outer non-grinding surfaces.  But otherwise...  

The idea is that the conicals start the process by pre-grinding the beans, which the planar burrs finish with a very even particle size and shape distribution.   Revolutionary when it was first developed, it's a "best of both worlds" idea which has been superseded to some extent by the excellence and (cough) competitive pricing of Titan conicals.  A positive aspect of hybrid burr sets is that they last a VERY long time.  Probably decades in a home setting.

The Versalab was conceived as a single doser.  The hopper is an afterthought.  I don't know how well it functions in real life, compared to a scale or timer.  My impression from reading owner's experience threads is that the Versalabs have serious use and reliability issues.  I've known and used Bicht designs going back to his (audio) turntable, and am predisposed to believe in those issues.

Three years ago, I bought my Cimbali grinder partly on the strength of how well it did in the "Beat the Robur" thread and have lived with a couple of others which also did well.  Once I put in some time with a Robur it became abundantly clear that none of them were really close, and -- believe me -- that wasn't what I wanted to believe.  

Threads like the Titan Grinder Project and Beat the Robur are very helpful but were not written in stone with a fiery finger.  Evaluating grinders is not an easy thing to do, even for oneself.  Being right about which would work best for someone else is probably impossible.      

If you want to try a hybrid grinder which will fit under your cabinets (but is far from a champion in putting perfectly distributed grinds in the basket), I'll sell you my Cimbali Jr. Max along with its Gralab timer.  

Rich
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joco
Senior Member


Joined: 23 Jan 2013
Posts: 5
Location: VA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 8:31am
Subject: Re: Best Doserless Grinder
 

Rich as usual thanks for the thoughtful replies.

You are correct the the Macap is probably going to be too large for me. As you mentioned I don't single dose so a hopper is a must (plus I really do think these large conicals need the "weight" of the beans).

The Versalab is quite interesting.... actually I have been PM'ing Frank (Terranova) a bunch and it seems that with his upgrades all of the issues people have can be fixed.  But at this point the Versalab is sounding more like a project that I will take on some day, just not as my primary grinder for now.  I think at this point I want something out of the box that works.

So at this point, its really looking like the Compak is going to win out.  Its got the size (and small hopper) I need.  The Macap is too tall. The Ceado is interesting but I can pick up a K10 for a few bucks less.  I really wonder if there is much a difference between these grinders anyway.

But If you really want to be confused, at the recommendation of Frank, I watched Ben Kaminsky's "Espresso: Why You hate it and how to fix it" video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-YI50dUC7g).  And he talks about how bad the Robur is.  And I would imagine that the same holds true for the other large conicals.  Someone on HB suggested I take a look Matt Perger's article on the EK43 (http://mattperger.com/The-EK43-Part-Two) which includes analysis of the Robur and K30 and you get much better extraction with the K30... actually according to Perger and Kaminsky the Robur doesn't really do a good job at maximizing extractions.

I just wish we had the type of detailed analysis on all these new grinders. Im thinking a refractometer is going to be in my future.
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