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murphem
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Montreal
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Aug 3, 2013, 6:22pm
Subject: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

I'm just starting out and I'd like to upgrade from my Hario hand grinder. The Hario has a fine grind, but my shoulder would sure appreciate something electric. I realize my budget only puts me in the range for a lower-level used grinder (grad student life), but I was hoping I might be able to find something like a used Virtuoso in my price range. Perhaps someone around here might have an old grinder collecting dust that they're willing to part with to help a neophyte. I could meet in Montreal to pick-up (anywhere accessible by STM since I don't have a car) or I am willing to pay for shipping (granted that the total is still around $200 including shipping). I'm also happy to receive any suggestions or advice. Thanks!

EDIT for more info: I'm looking specifically for an espresso grinder (I also use my moka pot, but I've found the Hario is fine for that) for use in a single-boiler with a non-pressurized portafilter. My machine is basically a refurbished 80s version of this (long story): Click here (www.lecafecreme.ca).

Eric

Listing Details
Asking / Suggested Price: 200
Seller Name: Eric Murphy
Seller Location: Montreal, Quebec
Sale Type: Wanted to Buy
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
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 Sun Aug 4, 2013, 9:48am
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

I know a friend that has the Baratza Encore.  IMO it's a great starter grinder.  Has room for Espresso up to French Press.  It doesn't have a ton of room to maneuver in espresso range but I have choked out my Silvia with it.   has it for $149.  New I think this is the best electric you are gonna get.  Used you may find something better.
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murphem
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Montreal
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 12:51pm
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

Thanks for the input! My first thought was actually to go for the Encore, but after seeing a pretty poor performance on one of the Seattle Coffee Gear videos and being warned by my local beanery and equipment folks that it wasn't great (they carry the entire Baratza line except for the Encore), I had second thoughts. I would definitely be interested in hearing about other experiences with the Encore… good or bad.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,450
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 2:43pm
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

Encore or even a $50 cheap "burr masher" can choke any machine. But just b/c it can choke doesn't mean it'll be good for espresso. Capresso Infinity could choke my machine but was awful for eapresso as an example.. Problem with the Encore is theres no espresso range really. One click can be way off and a click further can be too tight,  so you may have to play with dose. Then the problem is as beans age they need to generally be dialed in a smidge finer maybe every day or other day, which the Encore you can't do and then find yourself playing with dose like crazy to keep extractions good, can work, just will waste a ton of beans.

Vs something like the Preciso which has a better burr set and acts basically stepless, but thats out of your budget. Maybe a refurb Preciso if you can stretch your budget?. Or could buy a Lido hand grinder etc.

Encore is awesome for coarse use, and pressurized portafilter machines though, which is basically what Baratza meant when saying it could grind for espresso (pressurized pf machines) since theres no room reall or dialing ability for real machines.
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PeterWWbeagle
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 70
Location: Denver
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Anita,CMA...
Grinder: Super Jolly, Mini, Macap
Vac Pot: Aeropress
Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 3:37pm
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

murphem Said:

... and being warned by my local beanery and equipment folks that it wasn't great (they carry the entire Baratza line except for the Encore), I had second thoughts. .

Posted August 4, 2013 link

I have given up on Baratza, looking for a grinder for a cabin.    I tried three times to order an encore or virtuoso and each time they came DOA or glaring defects, like missing the on switch.  people hear rave about Baratzas CS but that's because it seems almost all have had issues.  many have had several machines .  they really respond fast to issues but I would prefer no issues to start with

IMHO,  I would never consider a baratza other than new from an authorized dealer and with warranty.

my other opinion is, for the money, to find a good used machine.  it's not easy and can take time. but there are great finds out there and lots of good people on this forum to help you.
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timmangan
Senior Member


Joined: 17 Nov 2012
Posts: 44
Location: Michigan
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 4:07pm
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

I Currently have a Baratza Vario, with a Vario-W in the mail headed my way.

Prior to the Vario, I had a Lelit PL-53. The thing was around the $200 and i found it just as good as the Vario.

I would strongly recommend that machine.

But at the same time, there are probably a lot of people out there with a lot more wisdom and knowledge than me.

Cheers
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murphem
Senior Member


Joined: 5 Jan 2013
Posts: 6
Location: Montreal
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun Aug 4, 2013, 5:45pm
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

Thanks all for the feedback and suggestions! I think you all have solidified my conviction that I shouldn't settle for an Encore or equivalent. I'm thinking I should at least shoot for a Virtuoso with Preciso burrs, either the Lelit PL53 or PL43, or even a well-priced Rocky (all used, of course). I could consider one of the OE grinders… but probably only if I had some confirmation that they take less elbow grease than the Hario (which is one of the reasons I would like to upgrade—just too annoying to grind more than one shot).
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beerANDmathematics
Senior Member
beerANDmathematics
Joined: 18 Mar 2012
Posts: 153
Location: NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Sama Export, La Peppina,...
Grinder: OE Pharos+VDD, Lido2,...
Vac Pot: Cona B + CoffeeBoS Brew...
Drip: hario woodneck, kalita wave...
Roaster: popcorn popper but rather...
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 8:38am
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

You didn't mention what you plan to use the grinder for. Only espresso or do you need it to 'do it all'?

I had an Encore and it can do espresso but I found only 2 usable settings--so like someone said above, you need to play with dose/tamp like crazy. However, it is easy to make it 'step-less' or 'infinite' with some simple mods. I found out about the mods too late and had sold my Encore already. The Encore from SCG is usually less than 119 since they have 5 or 10 dollar coupons regularly (and free shipping).

I would skip the Virtuoso entirely since it has the same problems as the Encore. If you can find a Preciso that would be a good place to start, but unlikely to be found for $200. I tried looking for a while to no avail. If you are willing to roll the dice (both ebay dice since this is cheap for a new one and also the baratza dice since they might not offer warranty from ebay resellers): Click Here (www.ebay.com)

I had a similar start to you with a Hario hand grinder. Then Encore (mostly for pour overs for a year before I got an espresso machine). Then Grinta (didn't like this at all, even after heavy mods). Now, Pharos. Taste wise, the Pharos blows my previous grinders out of the water. It is fast too. Usually 15 turns (!) to grind for 15g double. Others report 30 turns for a double. On my Hario mini it took about 5 minutes to grind 15g for espresso. There is a trade-off for the speed--you need to use some serious strength on the holding hand. With a Pharos you wont need to upgrade for taste, but maybe for ergonomic reasons (I'd like an HG-1 one day...)
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,450
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 10:37am
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

murphem Said:

Thanks all for the feedback and suggestions! I think you all have solidified my conviction that I shouldn't settle for an Encore or equivalent. I'm thinking I should at least shoot for a Virtuoso with Preciso burrs, either the Lelit PL53 or PL43, or even a well-priced Rocky (all used, of course). I could consider one of the OE grinders… but probably only if I had some confirmation that they take less elbow grease than the Hario (which is one of the reasons I would like to upgrade—just too annoying to grind more than one shot).

Posted August 4, 2013 link

From Baratza in that range, Preciso, Viruoso is still stepped, the Preciso has micro adjustment so it basically works like a stepless grinder. I wouldn't bother with a Rocky, unless your like the lucky dude on here other week that found one at a garage sale for $5 lol, I've used a Rocky bunch of times and would take my Preciso hands down any day over it even though the Rocky will pry last a lifetime. The LeLits I don't know much about, but from what I understand the PL53 is a pretty good espresso only grinder, there isn't much talk about them for whatever reason, same for their espresso machines when I considered a PID'd LeLit.. not as much info or user reviews as others.

You didn't mention what type of machine your using though? The Pharos is obviously awesome for the $, you get titan class burrs. But it is a pain/cumbersome to use w/o the VooDoo Daddy mods, but no doubt it'll kill any of the grinders mentioned in this thread as far as taste in cup.

beerANDmathematics Said:

I had a similar start to you with a Hario hand grinder. Then Encore (mostly for pour overs for a year before I got an espresso machine). Then Grinta (didn't like this at all, even after heavy mods). Now, Pharos. Taste wise, the Pharos blows my previous grinders out of the water. It is fast too. Usually 15 turns (!) to grind for 15g double. Others report 30 turns for a double. On my Hario mini it took about 5 minutes to grind 15g for espresso. There is a trade-off for the speed--you need to use some serious strength on the holding hand. With a Pharos you wont need to upgrade for taste, but maybe for ergonomic reasons (I'd like an HG-1 one day...)

Posted August 5, 2013 link

Yeh the Mini Slim is awesome for traveling when I use it for drip if were staying at a hotel or renting a vacay place etc, grab some fresh beans and good to go. But slow as balls for espresso grinding lol.
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rebthor
Senior Member


Joined: 29 Jul 2013
Posts: 6
Location: NYC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon Aug 5, 2013, 11:42am
Subject: Re: WTB: "starter" espresso grinder for $200 or less (Canada)
 

If you have a friend in Toronto that can get it to you, you may want to get in touch with this guy: Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

Caveat emptor and all that, but seems like it might fit your needs.
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