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La Cimbali Junior - WHO KNOWS's Review
Posted: December 11, 2007, 10:30pm
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
La Cimbali Junior Grinder
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Arrow The La Cimbali Junior has 12 Reviews
Arrow The La Cimbali Junior has been rated 9.42 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow La Cimbali Junior reviews have been viewed 85,441 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Ethan Dole 8.33
Gary Henderson 7.50
Pat Thayer 7.00
Jody Garber 7.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: La Cimbali Quality: 9
Average Price: $550.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $550.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Caffe Tech Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 3 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: PC Precision Burr Coffee Grinder
Bottom Line: The last grinder that I'll likely own
Positive Product Points

Easy to use
Easy to adjust
Easy to clean
Easy on the eyes
Relatively quiet

Negative Product Points

Doser tends to scatter grounds a little
Built in tamper gets in the way
Chute doesn't keep all beans directed to the burrs

Detailed Commentary

This is my first high-end grinder - previously I was using a small President's Choice burr grinder (I think it's a re-branded Black & Decker model).  The PC burr grinder served me well when I was making drip coffee... but I knew it wasn't up the task of grinding for the new espresso machine that I was planning on purchasing as well.  Of course I had to follow the advice repeated over and over again on CoffeeGeek, I had to get the best grinder that my budget would allow.

The grinder was easy to get set up right from the start -while you have to turn the adjustment knob a fair bit, it was still easy to get the grind set correctly.  Depending upon the beans, it's typically only a couple turns of the knob one way or the other to get the grind dialed in.

I'm the first one up in the morning, and don't like to disturb the rest of the family while I'm making my coffee. This grinder while certainly not silent, makes a lower pitched growling noise, compared to the high pitched grating noise that my previous grinder made.  Definitely easier on my ears, and it doesn't wake the rest of the house up.

The tray catches most of the stray grounds dispensed by the doser, but it doesn't catch them all.  A little bit larger tray would be nice.  As it is though, there's enough clearance beneath the tray to slide a wider one under... might add one someday. For the time being I just tip the grinder back a little and sweep things up.

The two biggest annoyances are the tamper sticking out the front, and the fact that there are always a couple stray beans that don't find their way to the burrs.  The tamper was easy to remove - one screw.  Still trying to find a small black cap to plug the hole left behind, but that's not a big deal.

To deal with the stray bean, I occasionally have to remove 3 screws to remove the hopper, and get the stray beans out, and give the top of the burrs a brushing... partially ground beans tend to collect on a ring just above the burrs. The whole process, including putting the hopper back on, only takes a couple minutes.  

There's a mod page out there that describes a pretty straightforward mod using a plastic plumbing fitting to provide a cleaner feed from the hopper into the burrs... eventually I plan on doing this.  

The only other modification I made was to remove the finger guard from inside the doser.  This makes it easier to clear out the chute from the burrs - a couple of the coffees I've been using a little on the oily side, and the grounds don't completely clear the chute.

I decided on the La Cimbali Junior based on reviews,  the lower height compared to the other grinders in its price range, and the overall aesthetics of the machine.  Aside from the couple annoyances, I have no regrets in purchasing it, and would recommend it to anyone looking for a high quality grinder.

Buying Experience

Being in Canada, there are some limited choices for us in the market for these kinds of machines.  I wasn't prepared to lay out a lot of money without being able to see what I'm buying in person, and I didn't want to have to deal with brokerage fee's, duties, exchange rates (the CDN dollar was around 75 or 80 cents when I bought), etc...

Fortunately I discovered CaffeTech - and as an added bonus, the store wasn't too far away from home.  Joe was very patient in showing me the different machines - he showed me the Macap's and the Mazzers, as well as some Bezzera and Quick Mill grinders  - the La Cimbali wasn't out on display, but he had some new ones in his warehouse, and brought one up to unpack and show it to me.  I definitely appreciated his time, patience, and the education I received prior to making my choice.  Two thumbs up for CaffeTech.

Three Month Followup

I do find that on the odd occasion I want to grind coarser, but don't like changing the settings from espresso - so I just pull out the old grinder. But the Cimbali is used 99.9% of the time!

One Year Followup

The grinder is still doing its job just fine, and looking as good as the day I first brought it home.

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: December 11, 2007, 10:30pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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