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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder Help  
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jdrake
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 10:23am
Subject: Grinder Help
 

I'm looking to buy a new grinder and was hoping to get some opinions. I think I've narrowed it down to the Compak K3 Touch vs Mazzer mini E Type B but I am open to suggestions.  

I'm primarily an espresso drinker and I like that both can be calibrated to dose singles and doubles electronically. I also read that the Mazzer is fairly clean which appeals to me too.

I know whatever I buy is going to be a serious upgrade from my Baratza Encore (which I was told would be 'fine' for espresso when I bought it) I don't mind paying more for the Mazzer if it will produce a better shot but at 1-2 shots a day in a home environment it seems like it could be overkill however I already wish I had put the $150 I spent on the Baratza towards something better and don't want that to happen again.

Any thoughts or opinions?
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 989
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

jdrake Said:

I already wish I had put the $150 I spent on the Baratza towards something better and don't want that to happen again.

Posted March 19, 2014 link

It's impossible to guarantee that won't happen again but the Compak K3 and Mazzer Mini are both good grinders whereas the Encore isn't generally recommended here for espresso.  It's certainly possible that you may find yourself wanting to upgrade again down the road.  The K3 and the Mini aren't always final grinders for everyone.

jdrake Said:

1-2 shots a day in a home environment it seems like it could be overkill

Posted March 19, 2014 link

As a Super Jolly owner (occasionally eyeballing Mazzer conicals) I'd say there's no such thing.
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jdrake
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 11:33am
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

takeshi Said:

It's impossible to guarantee that won't happen again but the Compak K3 and Mazzer Mini are both good grinders whereas the Encore isn't generally recommended here for espresso.  It's certainly possible that you may find yourself wanting to upgrade again down the road.  The K3 and the Mini aren't always final grinders for everyone.

Posted March 19, 2014 link

I realize that, just looking for others opinions based on their experience.


takeshi Said:

As a Super Jolly owner (occasionally eyeballing Mazzer conicals) I'd say there's no such thing.

Posted March 19, 2014 link

Hahahaha thanks!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


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 Wed Mar 19, 2014, 4:24pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

The K3 and Mini E are espresso "good," but not quite "very good."  You can bump the Mini E up to "very good" by switching out the stock burrs for Super Jolly burrs -- a drop in replacement.  

Stock, the K3 and Mini E are equaled "in the cup," by the Baratza Vario and Forte.  The Vario and Forte are friendlier, neater, less retentive, and less expensive, but the Vario is not as well built.  With normal maintenance, the K3 and Mini E could last a lifetime.  The Vario not so much.  The Forte hasn't been on the market long enough to draw conclusions about its longevity but seems to be about as well built as anything else.    

There are probably some other walk-up style grinders in the same class, but they're not leaping to mind.  

If it were my choice -- and it isn't -- I'd choose between the Mini with SJ burrs and the Forte; and probably go for the Forte because it's so neat, doses into the pf so well, and because I hate adjusting Mazzers.

Hope this helps,
Rich
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jdrake
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Mar 19, 2014, 5:35pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

boar_d_laze Said:

The K3 and Mini E are espresso "good," but not quite "very good."  You can bump the Mini E up to "very good" by switching out the stock burrs for Super Jolly burrs -- a drop in replacement.  

Stock, the K3 and Mini E are equaled "in the cup," by the Baratza Vario and Forte.  The Vario and Forte are friendlier, neater, less retentive, and less expensive, but the Vario is not as well built.  With normal maintenance, the K3 and Mini E could last a lifetime.  The Vario not so much.  The Forte hasn't been on the market long enough to draw conclusions about its longevity but seems to be about as well built as anything else.    

There are probably some other walk-up style grinders in the same class, but they're not leaping to mind.  

If it were my choice -- and it isn't -- I'd choose between the Mini with SJ burrs and the Forte; and probably go for the Forte because it's so neat, doses into the pf so well, and because I hate adjusting Mazzers.

Hope this helps,
Rich

Posted March 19, 2014 link

I sort of wrote off the forte because of the touch screen. Seems like something that will break in time and either not replaceable or cost a fortune to do so. I like the idea of buying something that would last a lifetime so perhaps the Mini E with SJ burrs is for me.

Thanks Rich, very helpful.
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celejalde
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Oct 2009
Posts: 4
Location: Ann Arbor
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Andreja Premium
Grinder: TBD
Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 6:00am
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

jdrake, perfect timing.

I am contemplating exactly those two grinders (well actually the Type A version of the Mini).  After spending a lot of time reading reviews, anecdotally, I would be inclined to say that reviewers believe the mini e produces slightly better grinds. Now, is that slight advantage worth $450 extra? I have not been able to make my mind up. When comparing them, I was not planning on spending additional money to get the SJ burrs; I guess I can "justify" the $450 premium if down the line when I replace the worn stock burrs can net me a "very good" grinder.

A week ago I was set on the MACAP M4 stepless doser, price was right on the spot and Chris Coffee thought it would be a really good option for me. However, the more I read, I realized that I fall in the low volume user category and dosers, with the cleaning and potential for stale grinds (or waste) was not something I wanted.

I do not want to part with the $450 extra if I am not going to notice any significant improvement, that being said, if the Mini E stock for the next year or so, and the upgraded SJ burrs would set me for the next several years, I won't mind spending the additional money.

Please help me - if you do not have a direct recommendation one over the other, feel free to point out what characteristics (specs) I should weigh more heavily when comparing them (quality of grind, speed, clumpiness, etc). Thank you very much!!
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jdrake
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Thu Mar 20, 2014, 10:36am
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

celejalde Said:

I guess I can "justify" the $450 premium if down the line when I replace the worn stock burrs can net me a "very good" grinder.

Posted March 20, 2014 link

This is what I was thinking.
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jdrake
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Nov 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Mar 22, 2014, 5:10pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

celejalde Said:

jdrake, perfect timing.

I am contemplating exactly those two grinders (well actually the Type A version of the Mini).  After spending a lot of time reading reviews, anecdotally, I would be inclined to say that reviewers believe the mini e produces slightly better grinds. Now, is that slight advantage worth $450 extra? I have not been able to make my mind up. When comparing them, I was not planning on spending additional money to get the SJ burrs; I guess I can "justify" the $450 premium if down the line when I replace the worn stock burrs can net me a "very good" grinder.

A week ago I was set on the MACAP M4 stepless doser, price was right on the spot and Chris Coffee thought it would be a really good option for me. However, the more I read, I realized that I fall in the low volume user category and dosers, with the cleaning and potential for stale grinds (or waste) was not something I wanted.

I do not want to part with the $450 extra if I am not going to notice any significant improvement, that being said, if the Mini E stock for the next year or so, and the upgraded SJ burrs would set me for the next several years, I won't mind spending the additional money.

Please help me - if you do not have a direct recommendation one over the other, feel free to point out what characteristics (specs) I should weigh more heavily when comparing them (quality of grind, speed, clumpiness, etc). Thank you very much!!

Posted March 20, 2014 link

I pulled the trigger on the Mini E Type B today. I'm still learning how to get it dialed in but I've already pulled some great shots from it!
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Headphase
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Location: New Jersey
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014, 9:50am
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

Hi Everyone!  New member here, but figured I would jump on this post since I too am in the market for a grinder.  My GF and I have gone back to French Press and I want to surprise her with a new grinder in her Easter basket.  

I am between a Breville Smart Brew or a Virtuoso.  I make espresso occasionally with grandfather's 45-yr old flip-pot, so I am not too worried about grinding great espresso.  Might be sacrilege here, but I usually just stick with Medaglia D'Oro, since I usually drink my espresso out and only make it when we have the family over for holidays.

So--my question is what grinder would you recommend for an avid French Presser?  Looking to spend up to $250.

Thanks and look forward to becoming more active in this community!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


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 Fri Mar 28, 2014, 12:17pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Help
 

Headphase Said:

So--my question is what grinder would you recommend for an avid French Presser?  Looking to spend up to $250.

Posted March 28, 2014 link

Good:
  • Baratza Virtuoso
  • Breville Smart

The "in the cup," "use," and "build" qualities are about equal.  Choose by looks and price.

Better:
  • Hausgrind by Knock
  • Lido 2

Both of these are hand-cranked, "manual" grinders.  To be honest, I only know them by reputation -- and they have GREAT reps.  From what I understand, choose by looks and price.  

We used a Smart for a few years; my daughter uses a Virtuoso; I have a fair amount of experience with both and no hesitation recommending either.  Understand that although they are "good" and substantially better than "adequate," they are not "very good," "extremely good" or "ultimate.  

While neither the Baratza nor the Breville is adequate for espresso, both or each is probably better for a flip-top than pre-ground.

From what I understand both manuals fall somewhere in the very/extremely good range for press; but, sadly, they're manuals.  Based on the buzz, either would be better for espresso than what you're using, the Baratza, or the Breville.  

Good luck,
Rich
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