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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 1:46am
Subject: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

Hello Everyone.

For the last two years I've been pulling shots on my Mazzer Mini Electronic. It's a great grinder, but it has its shortcomings. It's considerably quieter than my old Rocky and grinds a double in about 17-20 seconds.

Sometimes I only pull one shot a day, so the coffee grounds have been sitting in the grinder for roughly a day. This ends up making the first shot taste very different from the second one. It's hard to describe, but for example, pulling a shot made from SO Yergacheffe, the chocolate and almond flavors are muted in the first shot but are much more prevalent in the second shot, probably because of grind retention...

Also, strangely enough, even though the grind fineness and time is exactly the same, the first shot always has a lower weight than the second shot and the second shot always pulls slightly faster. However, the third and forth shots always weigh the same and pull the same way.

So, while I admit that I like my Mazzer Mini, I'm wondering what the next step up is where I'd notice a considerable difference? There's a whole debate over Conical vs Flat, but there also seems to be a big price difference between them.
I made a post regarding this ages ago and some new grinders have come out since, so I'm curious as to what people think. I think that the Mazzer Kony and Mazzer Major grinders are off the table because I've heard that grind retention is even worse with those grinders than with the Mini Electronic. I'm not really interested in any Dosered models.

I'm willing to live with the shortcomings of the Mazzer grinder for a bit longer, so I'm in no rush to replace it.. but I'm wondering how the current classes of Titan grinders stack up against one another and how they would surpass what I have...

First, a list of grinders I'm looking at:
- Compak K10 Fresh (With Short Hopper)  (Looks to use 68 mm conical burrs w/ 1 HP motor.. massive overkill?!)
- Mahlkonig K30 Vario (WBC)
- Compak K8 Fresh (Looks to use 83 mm flat burrs w/ 1/2 HP motor)
- Rancilio Cryo 65 OD
- Suggestions?

After reading this board for a while, it seems that people rave and love their K30 Vario's. I get the impression that this is _THE_ grinder to by for the prosumer looking for the God shot. So, I'm now curious to know how the rest of the grinders on this list stack up to it and if they're still worth considering. Especially considering that I'd also want to consider a grinder with an easy grind and time adjustment...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,070
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 Thu Mar 13, 2014, 5:09am
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

qualin Said:

Hello Everyone.

For the last two years I've been pulling shots on my Mazzer Mini Electronic. It's a great grinder, but it has its shortcomings. It's considerably quieter than my old Rocky and grinds a double in about 17-20 seconds.

Sometimes I only pull one shot a day, so the coffee grounds have been sitting in the grinder for roughly a day. This ends up making the first shot taste very different from the second one. It's hard to describe, but for example, pulling a shot made from SO Yergacheffe, the chocolate and almond flavors are muted in the first shot but are much more prevalent in the second shot, probably because of grind retention...

Also, strangely enough, even though the grind fineness and time is exactly the same, the first shot always has a lower weight than the second shot and the second shot always pulls slightly faster. However, the third and forth shots always weigh the same and pull the same way.

So, while I admit that I like my Mazzer Mini, I'm wondering what the next step up is where I'd notice a considerable difference? There's a whole debate over Conical vs Flat, but there also seems to be a big price difference between them.
I made a post regarding this ages ago and some new grinders have come out since, so I'm curious as to what people think. I think that the Mazzer Kony and Mazzer Major grinders are off the table because I've heard that grind retention is even worse with those grinders than with the Mini Electronic. I'm not really interested in any Dosered models.

I'm willing to live with the shortcomings of the Mazzer grinder for a bit longer, so I'm in no rush to replace it.. but I'm wondering how the current classes of Titan grinders stack up against one another and how they would surpass what I have...

First, a list of grinders I'm looking at:
- Compak K10 Fresh (With Short Hopper)  (Looks to use 68 mm conical burrs w/ 1 HP motor.. massive overkill?!)
- Mahlkonig K30 Vario (WBC)
- Compak K8 Fresh (Looks to use 83 mm flat burrs w/ 1/2 HP motor)
- Rancilio Cryo 65 OD
- Suggestions?

After reading this board for a while, it seems that people rave and love their K30 Vario's. I get the impression that this is _THE_ grinder to by for the prosumer looking for the God shot. So, I'm now curious to know how the rest of the grinders on this list stack up to it and if they're still worth considering. Especially considering that I'd also want to consider a grinder with an easy grind and time adjustment...

Posted March 13, 2014 link

I don't have hands on with your grinder or any you posted above but I can tell you from experience that with any flat burr grinder your gonna have some grind retention.  Once the burrs stop spinning some of the grinds shooting into the hopper or funnel in your case just doesn't shoot out of the burrs far enough when the burrs stop spinning.  I've eliminated 80%-90% of grind retention in my Macap by brushing out excess grounds before dosing into my portafilter.  For my next shot I only need to purge coffee for maybe 2 seconds for fresh coffee. I do believe a conical will eliminate grind retention all together is your single dosing with it.  My Hario Skerton is a conical hand grinder and at best I would only lose maybe a tenth of a gram after grinding because some of the grounds like to stick to the ceramic burrs.  I'd think about sticking with the Mini E and single dosing instead if your worried about grind retention.  Then you can use a brush like I do to be able to use that excess coffee. Unless your using it around the clock your gonna end up with stale beans inside the burrs anyways regardless of grinder type/
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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 Thu Mar 13, 2014, 6:43am
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

Just about every grinder is going to retain in the chute.  Even single dosing will not eliminate this so unless you go to a hand grinder you will live with the same short comings you are now experiencing.  You can grind and toss out the first portafilter of grounds or using a vacuum cleaner to suck out the grinding chamber and grounds chute before you start (way too much time involved for the benefit)

There is a taste difference between flat burr grinders and conical burr grinders.  Better is too subjective so I will only say that the taste is "different"  What is "better" to one person may not be better to someone else but everyone can agree on "different".

Best thing to do is to do a side by side comparison between your current flat burr and a conical burr grinder (which means buying another grinder just to "test" which type of taste you prefer.

I can't help you with your list as no electric grinder I know of will eliminate the stale grounds in the first pull.

Cleaning out or grinding and throwing away the first shot is about the only solution to this issue you are having no matter what grinder you come across.
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canuckcoffeeguy
Senior Member
canuckcoffeeguy
Joined: 22 Aug 2013
Posts: 190
Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Magica, Mypressi...
Grinder: K10PB, Vario, Hario Slim
Vac Pot: I have a Dyson vacuum, but,...
Drip: Bialetti Brikka, Bodum...
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 6:53am
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

To the OP, here's an HB thread that addresses some of your questions, such as what grinders are good for low retention:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,039
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 7:27am
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

Most of the time, I have to readjust my grinder daily in order to get extraction parameters right, and experience has taught me which way to go, coarser or finer. It doesn't always work out, of course, but at least most of the time. Because of the grounds retention I usually dump the first dose of the day, which helps to get rid of the stale grounds and change the setting at the same time.

Apart from that, my personal favourite would be the Mahlkönig K30 Vario.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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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 Mar 13, 2014, 11:01am
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

I would say best of both worlds, and better price to boot - Compak K10 Pro Barista.

Sure it has a doser, but the negatives on dosers CAN be overrated depending on the machine... with a little maintenance after every grind, the retention is very minimal on this machine.  Look in the archives, there are a few methods for minimizing retention.

K10 Fresh just has too much retention for my liking, and the K8 with flat burrs would not be a top pick for ME, but YMMV.  I like conicals... everyone's needs are different.

PS - have never personally owned any of the machines - almost pulled the trigger on the K10 PB recently.  I HAVE had the pleasure of seeing all in action, and used two of them on a few occasions.  I was very impressed with the Pro Barista - seems to be a popular choice also for many in "the know".

As far as 68mm burrs - I have a Pharos, and although manual, it grinds similarly to other 68mm burrs.  Having owned 58mm burrs and under my answer is NO - 68mm burrs NOT massive overkill - if you have the space / real estate to put most 68mm machines, as you know they are boat anchors.  The Pharos is quirky and hard to get the grinds out of but it makes one hell of a cup.  Period.

Ever think about the HG One?  83mm burrs..... under $1000, and kinda cool looking.  Less weight than a Titan also.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,025
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 Thu Mar 13, 2014, 1:06pm
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

Bud,

Having just upgraded my grinder to a Major, I can sympathize with your dilemma.  Choosing a very expensive grinder is difficult to say the least...coming from where we both are/did. In part, this is because it takes the kind of money you're about to spend to really find out if you want a flat or conical burr set.  I can offer this buit of advice...

- read as much as you can from people who've owned what you're looking at
- look at what mods are available for the titans.  since they're all designed to be used in cafes, you're going to have to do something to many of them to get them to perfrom well in the home.
- figure out whose opinions you really want and send them emails asking if they'd mind answering some pointed questions.  I got a couple of extremely helpful replies to my questions when I did this, and I have to say it was the most helpful step I took - after narrowing down my list.

Good luck!

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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sharky
Senior Member
sharky
Joined: 9 Jan 2013
Posts: 182
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Vetrano 2B
Grinder: Compak K3 Touch
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 2:42pm
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

Qualin, did you get a bigger kitchen with counter space?  LOL!  Those grinders are HUGE!!
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 653
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Thu Mar 13, 2014, 7:37pm
Subject: Re: Grinder questions and possible replacement?
 

sharky Said:

Qualin, did you get a bigger kitchen with counter space?  LOL!  Those grinders are HUGE!!

Posted March 13, 2014 link

I briefly looked at an Elektra Nino, until I saw the price. If I saw one used I'd consider one. Now that's a huge grinder!

Size isn't really a problem, but practicality is. I thought about an HG ONE. It seems to be a good way to get into conical grinding
without too much expense, but I guess I'd have to see. One upside is, there wouldn't be much that could go wrong with it.
Worst case scenario, if I felt I didn't really like it, I could always sell it with a small loss. I'd like to try one out first though.

I admit that I've never really single dosed a grinder, I always just grind on demand with a full hopper...

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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