I replaced a Rocky doserless with the MACAP M7AC10, since these M7s as of this writing have recently been available for the price of an M4, and allowed me to go from a 50mm flat burr to a 75mm flat burr. My review will reflect in part the performance contrast between these burr sets, as well as the experience of preparing espresso doses on a doserless vs. a dosered machine.
This particular M7 model has the automatic doser filler, which I removed. The doser sweep is very effective. I grind per individual dose and sweep the grinds out of the chute before dosing. While this is more time consuming than the doserless Rocky routine, it is cleaner and not hard to do. The chute is as wide as it is deep, and easy to brush out. Without sweeping, the grinder retains about 2.5 to 3 grams of coffee. With a sweep, only 0.2 grams are retained.
I had two issues with the doser action. The return lever action features a loud clack, which I fixed with a strategically placed self-adhesive felt pad. The doser released coffee now-slightly-to-the-left and now-slightly-to-the-right making it a little tricky to hit the basket. I fixed this by installing a Macapmatic schnozz.
Filling the basket is thus a little more time consuming, but neater, than the doserless. The thick wire basket holder allows unrestricted positioning when filling.
Grind speed is very quick, with a 15g double ground in just 5 seconds. This is at least twice as fast, and quieter to boot, than the already fairly quiet Rocky. It has been said that the MACAPs do not have a ”motor on” indicator light, but they do: the power switch lights up when on.
I installed a small funnel cap in place of the hopper, which is capped by a spare tamper. The burrs suck the beans out of the grinding chamber quickly and completely, leaving far less bean residue compared to the Rocky. There is minimal popcorning – I’ve felt no need to maintain a bean supply at the in feed to help out the grind quality.
The doser introduces an extra task I did not live with before – a regular vacuuming out to keep it clear of buildup. Otherwise, the M7 needs the usual periodic cleaning the Rocky got.
Adjustment and Stepless Modding
The heavy upper burr assembly which rotates to adjust the grind requires 16 full revolutions to remove it. The threads are liberally greased from the factory. There is no slop in these threads – the burr set turns in the hand with a heavy, precise action. This model is stepped. There is a spring loaded tab and pin assembly that constitutes the step adjustment control. Each step seems to correspond to about 4-5 seconds of pour correction.
If you can’t live with these steps, a thick rubber faucet washer or the like positioned around the pin will both compress the spring a little more and keep the pin from engaging. This provides plenty of friction for an effective brake, making a super cheap and easy stepless mod. The fine threading (remember those 16 turns) means that fine adjustments are possible, only one hand needed. I used a similar mod on the Rocky, and I find this works great.
The quality of the grinds is dramatically different from the Rocky to the M7. I grind and dose with a weight target in mind. Whereas 14g of Rocky coffee would fall far short of filling a double basket before any grooming or compression, the same 14g of the fluffy grinds from the M7 will fill the same basket almost level. The grinds are very even, no need for the WDT. It was actually easier to groom a Rocky low dose fill, with all that room in the basket. I have to be careful with M7 grinds if I don’t want to spill too much.
It is very easy to achieve a consistent pour with these grinds. I find that the flavor of up dosed shots can be quite good with this grinder, something the Rocky was not able to do. This grind quality seems to open up a wider range of dose options and corresponding taste effects than the smaller grinder allowed me to play with.
In sum, this is a big, fast, quiet grinder producing even and consistent grinds in a neat manner, and can be used as a stepped or a stepless grinder, either way with easy full range grind adjustment. The widely reviewed Mazzer Super Jolly is considered a world class grinder with its 64mm burrs, comparable to the best there is if less consistent than its more expensive brethren, like the Major, or the Robur and other big conicals. I would speculate that since the M7 has a longer grind path than the SJ, that might allow it to equal its performance and exceed it somewhat in consistency.