First off, thanks for contributing to a great resource that has already answered a number of my questions, led me down an interesting path and will no doubt provide lots of discussion, thought, and amazing coffee experiences.
I have been making my way through your site as I research an upgraded espresso grinders and machine, which of course has lead to a few questions for those more experienced than myself. I currently own a Puegot Bresil hand grinders and a Saeco Via Venezia machine, as well as an Aeropress for backcountry ski trips and travelling. Like many, I have learned to appreciate a higher quality espresso product over the years and now find my equipment unsatisfactory.
I am currently looking at purchasing either a Rancillo Rocky or Makap espresso grinders (horseless seems appropriate) and a La Pavoni Professional. I have also looked at the Elektra Micro Casa, but have shied away from the slightly higher price tag. I'm open to other suggestions in terms of equipment, with the criteria that I'm a process guy who enjoys the journey, would like equipment with considerable longevity, and find the lever machines really sexy on the counter.
I chose the Professional over the Europiccola based on occasional and future needs for higher production, the desire for a pressure gauge, and the bigger tank. I am currently looking at the grinders based on recommendations from the sales guy at Espressotec in Richmond, BC, whom I hope to deal with based on selection, service, proximity and price.
So after a little background, here are my questions:
Are there other models of grinders I should be considering?
Are there other models of machines you think I should consider?
Any additional equipment or information you would like to point me towards?
Thanks for your responses, I appreciate all feedback and value personal opinion based on experience and theory. Really I'm just a particular nerd who wants great coffee at a digestible price point, with the beauty and art of the lever being icing on the cake.
Rocky has seen better days. When reading, do pay attention to the date of the discussion. Things change fast and more so in the last couple of years so a discussion from 5 years ago, while it can be fun to read, it will have little equipment advice that is valid today.
A budget is very helpful. The Grinder is more important than the machine, really it is. I know everyone likes the machine to be the star but without a good grinder, all you have is a hot water dispenser.
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!
it's very hard to give you specific machine advice with such little information on your needs/wants. There's a sticky on the Espresso Machines forum (though it seems to keep getting "unstuck" lately). It lists some things you need to consider and asks several questions, the answers which help people here give you more tailored advice.
Regarding the Macap grinder. I own 2 M4s (dosered). They also make an MC4 (doserless), and those are perhps closest to the prices you mentioned, but the M2/MC2 is also close to that ballpark cost. What model are you referring to? The "4" is a stepless grinder with infinite adjustability, while the "2" is stepped and, thus, has the same limitation as the Rocky. The M4/MC4 is a very good grinder. It's quiet, easy to adjust, extremely studry build quality, and produces very good results in the cup. However, depending on whether you're willing to get something used or want brand new only, you may want something even better. btw, I had a Rocky before I got my first M4 and the difference in the cup was dramatic (improved when I upgraded - just to be clear)! On home-barista, there's a comparison review of 6 of the "Mazzer Mini class" grinders. It's worth a read for sure, as that's the class you're probably looking at (the M4 is in that class). How do you feel about grinding by hand? Particularly, given you've done this before...if you're not going definitely no way I'm doing that again, then take a look at the OE Pharos too.
. Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
Dear Squish, Definitely respond to this thread to help us help you: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/620441 Then read my (ahem) grinder guide for the Europiccola: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/662122 It seems that you can do better than the more modest of the mentioned collection of grinders. I would suggest you consider the better Barzatas. Finally, I tried to lay out the learning curve for the Europiccola in a post this morning: http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/664731 If you are a process guy, the La Pavoni's ought to be right up your alley; there is a LOT of process there. But if the only reason you are considering a Pro is the manometer, please be advised that you can buy one reasonably from Orphan Espresso and install it into the top bolt hole of the sight glass housing on the Europiccola 8. If you use a magnifying glass you can see the pressure gauge on my Europiccola8 in the pix below. And, yes, the boiler and group are wired with thermocouples and a two-channel readout. If there are children in the house please do not ignore the fact that these look like shiny toys to them as well as to us and they are HOT. Children do not scar well because their scars get bigger as they get bigger.
If you liked the Aeropress you might love the Mypressi. Aeropress=moka::Mypressi=true espresso.
Those are great responses that are helping me figure out what I want/need, and narrow the choices. I especially appreciate the La Pavoni specific info, this will help a lot.
I'm going to do some more reading, take a look at some different grinders and see where that gets me. I'm eager to get rid of my current setup, but time spent researching mow will hopefully pay off over the long run.
I would look at the Compak K3 touch. There is a review on this site somewhere comparing it to the Mazzer Mini - one is here http://coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/grinders/652347 there are others where there is a direct head to head. I have it and I can say it works great - though not having tried at home an SJ or Mahlkonig anything so in that respect it is hard to compare. If you check out z-cafe in Kelowna, they have a bunch open box. Brand new, but marked down about $100. They were also good to deal with when my hopper came clearly used. Gave me 10% back and replaced the hopper for free.
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