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Thread: Conical vs burr grinders - a sceptic no more

  1. #201
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    I think the main problems are, apart from the issues that Chris outlined - There are a wider range of categories for planar burr grinders and as such, you have to first nail down the categories and the grinders that fall within each. There are also a wider range of burr sizes that, as a result, create very different peripheral burr speeds that must, in some way, effect the resulting output in a number of ways. This is what my comparing Apples with Apples comment was referring to. It just isn't as straight forward as one may think it is, at first consideration.

    Then there are burr cutting profiles of various sizes to consider.... To do all this properly would be a hell of an exercise and then there's all the variation to take into account when the espresso shots are pulled.

    I agree with Chris, buy a decent quality planar burr grinder if that's your preference and learn to get the best from it, the beans and the brewing system you use, what ever that may be...

    Mal.
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  2. #202
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    I think a key question in this discussion is what sort of grinder would you advise a home user to buy if money was no object. Would it be a matter of buying the top of the range or would you try to match the grinder with the customer's coffee preferences? Is there a situation where you would recommend a planar grinder over a conical?
    Yes, I know if money was no object the customer could buy two grinders but if they only wanted one due to, say, space restrictions...

  3. #203
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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post
    I think a key question in this discussion is what sort of grinder would you advise a home user to buy if money was no object. ...
    Money always is an object...Just 2 weeks ago a bloke called me on Sunday morning 10am when we were closed (gotta learn to switch that phone to silent), looking for a leva machine and grinder- no budget whatsoever....Took me 10 minutes of questioning and descriptions as well as the Spanish inquisition from him ("but why won't you sell brand x?") to find out that he didn't want to spend more than about $1k or so....$1k budget, $8k desires...

    Grinders? You purchase the best match to your desires and budget...
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  4. #204
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    I suspect it would be easyer to select grinders with comparable burr dia , cost, colour ,etc....than it would be to find an impartial experienced "coffee jockey" to do the setting up.....ie adjust the grind, shot weight, extraction , etc etc ...to get the BEST from each grinder, before the results are judged.
    just keep the same batch of beans and the same espresso machine ..?

  5. #205
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    Still too many variables even for a double blind...
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  6. #206
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    Let the "independant Coffee Jockey" use all the variables ( except beans and machine) , to get the very best shot he can .
    ..He/she could even change their hat ,...if they wanted !
    ..isnt that what most of us do to get a good cup ?

  7. #207
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    Hi all,

    I have been following this thread for a while and wonder if the debate here is somewhat over complicated.

    Planar burrs (Flat??) , conical, high notes, flat notes.... makes me think we are tuning a piano.

    Any true taste comparison needs a criteria and base to measure against. As a basis when the judges at Golden Bean rate coffees we work on a number of criteria including acidity, sweetness, body, balance etc. No mention of high or low notes... or subjective opinions

    I have been judging at The Golden Bean for five years now and each year every judge is required to calibrate their palate on the first day so that we are all on the "same page" with our ratings. Even our own Andy takes part in this first day palate calibration.

    IMO The basis for the comparison here between flat burr (planar) and conical seems to have no recognised tasting note comparisons and seems to vary on the day or by what is the "hot" selling grinder at the moment.


    Cheers

    Antony
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  8. #208
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    IMO The basis for the comparison here between flat burr (planar) and conical seems to have no recognised tasting note comparisons
    Probably because this is primarily a home coffee forum and not that many of us have been trained in cupping or are likely to be. I don't think it is that difficult to work out what is intended with descriptions such as, high or bass notes as such, so long as that is qualified with other descriptors.

    For sure, if any of the Pro's with the appropriate accredited cupping credentials want to enlighten us all, go for it I reckon...

    Mal.
    Last edited by Dimal; 16th August 2016 at 06:17 PM.
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  9. #209
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    For sure, if any of the Pro's with the appropriate accredited cupping credentials want to enlighten us all, go for it I reckon...
    This is best work I've seen on the subject from a source I am happy to rely on: http://www.home-barista.com/grinders...bur-t4499.html

  10. #210
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    This is best work I've seen on the subject from a source I am happy to rely on: http://www.home-barista.com/grinders...bur-t4499.html
    Yes, I read that at the time I was deciding on my next grinder purchase back in 2010 as the grinder I was considering was among the contenders. One problem is that the range of grinders available in 2016 is much different to then, and some models are not available or have been upgraded. Also,the trials were conducted over 8 days so there was no way that the blend used on Day 1 on the Nemox Lux would have been a valid comparison to the same blend on Day 8 using the Cimbali Max.
    Yes, it was an interesting test with an effort to be methodical and objective but not one I found completely dependable. As Jim Schulman admitted
    Most importantly, on its own, this is not a thorough test of any of the grinders (except perhaps the Robur itself). It is one small part of the review process.
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  11. #211
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Ok, yep, I concur. Big conicals do give a different flavour profile. I'm not sure I like it better, but it's definitely different.
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  12. #212
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    For the way I roast my beans, I very much prefer the brews produced with my Kony-E.
    Carried out a side-by-side comparison with a Macap planar burr grinder I owned at the time and the broadening out of the flavour spectrum of the floral, fruity and tangy aspects of the bean really suits me... Love it actually.

    Mal.
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  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    Hi all,

    After 10 years and several flat burr grinders I finally decided to pull the trigger on a big conical burr grinder.

    Why so late? I have been sceptical of the benefits of a conical. I read "The Titan Grinder" project many times and read many reviews from users who talked about the brightness and depth a that a conical can bring. I just wasn't sure if the difference would really be noticeable to me.

    I just spent a week pulling shots using from a Mazzer Super Jolly. It's an awesome grinder and very consistent.

    Yesterday I changed to a Compak K10 Fresh. I have pulled 20+ shots
    With the same beans the Change in flavour was HUGE and consistently better that the flavour off of the burr grinder.

    This is how I would explain the differences.

    Flat burr grinder - muted high notes, big low notes.
    Conical burr grinder - big sweet high notes with the low notes still there !!!

    Conicals are pricey so not for everyone. But if you're on the fence like I was, jump over to the other side !
    I had the same experience going to the Mahlkonig Vario with ceramic conical burrs!

    How have you found the K10 grinding one or two baskets-worth at a time? Or does it need a fuller hopper to work well?

  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryw9 View Post
    I had the same experience going to the Mahlkonig Vario with ceramic conical burrs!

    How have you found the K10 grinding one or two baskets-worth at a time? Or does it need a fuller hopper to work well?
    Ironically I just posted this on Best sub 1k aud espresso grinder.

    "G'day gregoryw9

    A minor correction - the Vario has flat burrs. Conical burrs always* have twin peaks in their particle spread, and I avoid them for "almost certainly related" taste reasons.

    Reliability: Considering a Vario has a Swiss made Ditting commercial "plug in" module under the bonnet, I do not expect any major problems unless some hamfisted idiot** misuses one. My older Vario is getting close to / over the 200Kg mark whilst my newer Vario would be barely over 10Kg to date. There is no sign of wear on the older one yet. Impressively, the ceramic burrs are impossible to distinguish between the two to the point that I have marked them (texta) so I do not mix them up. Mahlkonig reckon their ceramic burrs outlasts their own tool steel burrs by a factor of three - I am starting to believe it.

    The rest is plastic so the average person can lift and the standard kitchen bench can support them. They also compromised the tuning pegs (their term, grind adjusters to the rest of us) by making them much smaller and lighter weight than their bigger cousins - which is why the manual states you must always have the motor running when moving them to grind finer. Two of my friends failed to read the manual and have popped their adjusters out of whack - no big deal, however an unnecessary 5 minute job is needed to reinsert them properly.

    The Varios are the first home grinder I am 90% happy with, next would be my Major at about 60% (90+% for cafe use). The perfect home grinder is hopefully on someone's drawing board - until then my Varios stay...


    TampIt

    Conical burrs:* I know of no exceptions, but I will state "virtually always" just in case there is some weird conical out there which doesn't do a "dual peak" spread. The more conical, the more pronounced and also the more spaced out the peaks are. I reckon that is why they have a reputation for a distinctive taste - one I do not share in an espresso (obvious as an ex Major owner).

    **On the destructive note: I have seen a "mostly wrecked" Major (which would have to be one of the most solid flat burr grinders around) when one of Conan's relative got hold of it. I bought it "non functional" a long time ago for either $20 or $50 and then fixed it for about $30 if I remember correctly. Many trouble free years followed (as one would expect). Nothing is truly idiot proof.
    "

    You can get plenty of graphs showing conicals have a dual spread (David Walsh's work springs to mind, as does Max(?) Kaminsky). The high notes some rave about are just the extra fines conicals generate. Considering any barista worth their salt will optimise the gear in front of them anyway, a balanced shot is easily possible with either flat or conical burrs. My take: The conicals tend more to bitterness, so their owners tend to prefer darker roasts. I Don't. TampIt
    Last edited by TampIt; 8th April 2017 at 08:57 PM.

  15. #215
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    My take: The conicals tend more to bitterness, so their owners tend to prefer darker roasts. I Don't. TampIt
    Bitterness? I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion with conicals unless you over-extract. I roast mainly to medium depths and rarely (if at all) do I pull a bitter shot. Perhaps "bitterness" is better stated as "flavour depth and clarity"?

    PS- I loved my Major too. If I had the bench space I'd still have it sitting there for the ultimate in variety.

  16. #216
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Second the above.
    I don't think I've ever pulled a bitter shot with my conical - and I've run 1.5 minute + pours occasionally! Couldn't do that with my flat burr before.
    However - I do find my conical shots lack a little body and richness compared to the flat before (which was better in milk) - but make up in aroma and clarity (better for espresso).
    Horses for courses!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    Bitterness? I'm not sure how you reach that conclusion with conicals unless you over-extract. I roast mainly to medium depths and rarely (if at all) do I pull a bitter shot. Perhaps "bitterness" is better stated as "flavour depth and clarity"?

    PS- I loved my Major too. If I had the bench space I'd still have it sitting there for the ultimate in variety.
    My complete statement in context was "Considering any barista worth their salt will optimise the gear in front of them anyway, a balanced shot is easily possible with either flat or conical burrs. My take: The conicals tend more to bitterness...".

    Getting the most out of whatever gear is in front of you means that despite any limitations, you work around them as best as you can. Give me a reasonable conical over a poor flat burr grinder any day... and as for those whirling blade things... whoever thought they were a good idea?

    If you regard more high notes as more bitter by themselves, I would disagree. Most conicals I have tried do need a little "bitterness curbing" compared to flat burrs when balancing a shot, however that is why (hopefully) all CS'r's take the trouble to optimise their shots in the first place.

    TampIt

  18. #218
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    Based on quite a few years experience in this wonderful pursuit, I believe the quality of the roast has much more effect on the balance of the result in the cup than the differences between a large conical or planar burr grinder. To my palate at least, a large conical grinder expands the flavour spectrum, if I can put it that way, and makes it much easier to detect and differentiate the floral and fruit aspects that may or may not be present.

    Have never noticed any appreciable loss of any of the bass notes, as referred to above, always plenty of cocoa, caramel, leather, or other such qualities coupled with excellent mouth-feel, if they are present in the beans...

    Mal.

  19. #219
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Bean_Coffee View Post
    This is an interesting thread for people considering the Baratza Sette.
    With the Sette we have conical burr notes for a planar burr price
    .....and appliance level performance by the look of it.
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  20. #220
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    I suppose it is fun to debate this kind of stuff, pointless but fun.

    I think it was an overseas coffee site that did a huge study on conical versus planar grinders. It took ages to get a result in favour of conical. It may well be that there is a difference but it is small, hard to detect (it took them months) and it would vary with each grinder and burr set probably anyway.

    A number of contributors have pointed out that many other factors influence the cup. The main one is the coffee itself, the bean, how it is roasted and then of course grinding and extraction.

    It is I suppose no different to arguing over temperature and pressure profiles in brewing and it is fine. The downside is people focus on stuff that is unlikely to make much difference. The other thing is even if there is a difference, it isn't necessarily a positive difference just as a different temperature or pressure profile for brewing is going to yield a different result every time, but not necessarily a positive one (as judges subjectively by the end consumer).

  21. #221
    Site Sponsor Casa Espresso's Avatar
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    100% agreed Wattgn. The difference between conical and flat burr grinders has been overstated in this thread (IMO).

    I think i did read in this or another thread that one CS was going to buy a Lido so he could compare conical flavours with his flat burr electric; guided buy misinformation posted here.

    Small conical grinders have conical burrs as they are able to give the same area of blade area with larger flat burr grinders but with the same overall diameter. Think of a line at 45degrees compared to a flat line of the same distance.

    Flavour profile differences due to grind particle profile, distribution etc are all very subjective.

    I am glad some sense seems to have come into the conical V Flat debate

    Regards

    Antony
    www.casaespresso.com.au
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  22. #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    The difference between conical and flat burr grinders has been overstated in this thread (IMO).
    I'd say the differences have been overstated on the Internet just about everywhere.

    Mal's post is a good summary.

    That said, I wouldn't let it get in the way of an "upgrade" to a conical some time in my future (or may be a larger flat burr).

  23. #223
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yep, total agreement here. I think what Grant and Antony have said pretty much sums it up. I love my K10 conical and I guess I did notice a bit of a difference over my old K8. But I'd be lying if I said it was better. Different for sure, but not necessarily better.
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  24. #224
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    I agree with the others above.
    I have upgraded from a Macap M4D which was great to a Compak F10 which I love. I drink milk based coffees and think the taste is better, but probably marginally. Friends who drink espresso have noticed the difference. However the noticeable difference is in speed, consistency, lack of clumping and build quality
    Cheers
    Dave
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  25. #225
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Yep, these subjective arguments seem to take on a life of their own after a while, and a short time circulating the Net after that, become lore. Happens with everything it seems, not just matters related to coffee...

    Mal.

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    I'd also like to take a moment to reflect on our treatment of the Mazzer Mini.

    This poor fellow was once on a pedestal and worshipped by both the low and the mighty. Song were sung and poems penned. The people's machine it could do no wrong.

    No it's name is shite, on paper a mere bottom wipe.

    I ask you all who among us is next, who is so mighty that they cannot fall, flat or conical, we have sins all.

  27. #227
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I'd also like to take a moment to reflect on our treatment of the Mazzer Mini.

    This poor fellow was once on a pedestal and worshipped by both the low and the mighty. Song were sung and poems penned. The people's machine it could do no wrong.

    No it's name is shite, on paper a mere bottom wipe.

    I ask you all who among us is next, who is so mighty that they cannot fall, flat or conical, we have sins all.
    Haha! Yes yet another debate where people have let emotions get in the way.

  28. #228
    Senior Member trentski's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I'd also like to take a moment to reflect on our treatment of the Mazzer Mini.

    This poor fellow was once on a pedestal and worshipped by both the low and the mighty. Song were sung and poems penned. The people's machine it could do no wrong.
    To be fair, that was ten years ago. Lots have changed, but the mini hasn't. It's been left behind

  29. #229
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    Quote Originally Posted by trentski View Post
    To be fair, that was ten years ago. Lots have changed, but the mini hasn't. It's been left behind
    Still the best looking domestic commercial quality grinder after 10 years (in the eye of the beholder of course).
    Rock solid build quality that's withstood the test of time.
    Loses nothing to its competition in its ability to grind coffee.
    Classic infinite adjustment for grind fineness (stepped mechanisms completely pointless in my view).

    Loses something in the delivery mechanism, especially via doser, but those things are easily remedied with a brush and dosing tool of some sort.
    Pricing not so sharp either.

  30. #230
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    Still the best looking domestic commercial quality grinder after 10 years (in the eye of the beholder of course).
    Rock solid build quality that's withstood the test of time.
    Loses nothing to its competition in its ability to grind coffee.
    Classic infinite adjustment for grind fineness (stepped mechanisms completely pointless in my view).

    Loses something in the delivery mechanism, especially via doser, but those things are easily remedied with a brush and dosing tool of some sort.
    Pricing not so sharp either.
    I agree. I still think the Mazzer Mini is as good as it ever was and I don't see much has changed. If you want the ultimate conical and hence it seems to some, the ultimate coffee nirvana then it is almost compulsory to have a huge 20 - 30 kg grinder whose height, fit, looks (and cost) are probably somewhat out of place in a kitchen (a garage might be the place).

    These commercial conical grinders have also been around since the beginning of time so you could say nothing much has changed. There are the cheap conicals too, which are interesting but all too cheap and flimsy IMHO.

    I also get tired of hearing how a new grinder revolutionises the shot. I have been around for a long time on the forum and I once again roll my eyes as I have heard it a thousand times before.

    The speed of the shot is not that important in a home setting either whereas in a commercial setting it is critical. The commercial conical grinders are there to produce product quickly and without getting too hot so size and heat dissipation and throughput are essential requirements. The conical burrs are also designed to last a full year or two with putting through dozens of coffees if not more, every single day.

    The Mazzer Mini putting through a shot in 35 seconds instead of 5 seconds is really not a big issue but in these arguments all of a sudden it becomes a big deal. In terms of the overall time it takes to produce a shot it is nothing and also you work it in to your routine. so the extra time it takes really amounts to zero.

    Mazzer also has big burrs and it could potentially grind a lot faster. It doesn't and I suspect it is because slower is somewhat better as the heat load is distributed over a longer period of time imparting less heat to the coffee which is generally a good thing.

    It is still a top machine but people just get bored and move on.

    This is like watching a Parisian fashion parade. It seems big conical boobs are in this year...
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  31. #231
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    The speed of the shot is not that important in a home setting either whereas in a commercial setting it is critical. The commercial conical grinders are there to produce product quickly and without getting too hot so size and heat dissipation and throughput are essential requirements. The conical burrs are also designed to last a full year or two with putting through dozens of coffees if not more, every single day.
    It is for me mate...

    I am unable to stand unassisted for more than a few minutes at a time and the speed of a fast grinder is important, as well as the quality of the output, regardless of what type of burr-set is fitted...

    We're all different and have different needs.

    Mal.

  32. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    It is for me mate...

    I am unable to stand unassisted for more than a few minutes at a time and the speed of a fast grinder is important, as well as the quality of the output, regardless of what type of burr-set is fitted...

    We're all different and have different needs.

    Mal.
    Why not just buy a stool?

    A good well formed one?...

    Seriously if it is an issue there are grinders that will do quick shots without paying $2000 - $4000 for the unit. My point though is for most people it is a minor issue. I came close to buying the Mazzer Mini myself.

  33. #233
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    You are really a smart-arse aren't you mate...
    Sitting is just as painful for me as standing, as it happens....

    Mal.
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  34. #234
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    In my experience, the best grinders are the ones you love to use and the ones that make like easier. I've had a few grinders in my life and let me tell you the worst one I've ever owned was the Mazzer Mini-E (early version), this was as slow as a wet week and never produced anything special, I sold it before I even ran it in.

    The biggest improvement I've had in a grinder is the Mazzer Kony E and now the Mythos 1 the reason I love the Mythos so much is how it places the beans into the portafilter, it is so clean never loses a ground ever(the Mazzer is messy). I think it's the distribution that makes the grinder work so well in the cup. I still love my Kony it's fast and makes great coffee, but the Mythos is almost perfect from a user perspective, a great all rounder that's top of my list.
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  35. #235
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    I agree Jono but lots of people love their Mazzer Minis, Macaps, Super Jollys. I had a RancilioRocky for 12 years and it produced great espresso and I sold it for 60% of what I paid originally. Not everyone has the room or budget to spend 2k+ on a grinder but if you do that is fine. The most important thing is just a well engineered burr set that will produce a good grind and that covers most grinders except for some of the really cheap ones.

    I suspect a lot of the magic is in the construction of the burrs themselves rather than the machine and whether it is conical or flat burrs. And again speed shouldn't be a big issue for the average home users. I mean sure if it took several minutes to produce a double shot that would be a problem...

  36. #236
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Oh right, so we're starting the argument again. I thought we were saying the argument is stupid.
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  37. #237
    Senior Member Jono_Willmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I agree Jono but lots of people love their Mazzer Minis, Macaps, Super Jollys. I had a RancilioRocky for 12 years and it produced great espresso and I sold it for 60% of what I paid originally. Not everyone has the room or budget to spend 2k+ on a grinder but if you do that is fine. The most important thing is just a well engineered burr set that will produce a good grind and that covers most grinders except for some of the really cheap ones.

    I suspect a lot of the magic is in the construction of the burrs themselves rather than the machine and whether it is conical or flat burrs. And again speed shouldn't be a big issue for the average home users. I mean sure if it took several minutes to produce a double shot that would be a problem...
    Two of my favourite grinders were a Rocky and a Macap M4, I agree with you about budget there is no need to spend huge money, my dad uses a Eureka Atom, it's fantastic(once bedded in).

    For me it's more about the function and usability than the type of grinder or the cost.
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  38. #238
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    And again speed shouldn't be a big issue for the average home users.
    You're in the minority here. Slow grinders suck.

  39. #239
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodhouse View Post
    You're in the minority here. Slow grinders suck.
    I find it funny that people have such busy lives that an extra 20 seconds in the morning is important to them...

    My case on the Mini is simply that the grind time is a deliberate feature and is probably one of the reasons that there is virtually no clumping at all. The coffee is treated very gently by grinding slowly, applying less heat.

    I know one CSer who just bought a brand new Mini this week. I think for people who appreciate the quality of these devices, they are still selling and Mazzer are still making.

    This isn't to detract from a conical although the issues of size and cost are issues for many people.

    My stand is really just looking at what I see as changes in fashion, very superficial. A short skirts long skirts type of progression then back again. If you look at the Mahlkonig K30 and others flat burr grinders are still popular even in top cafes around the world and for good reason. Ditto grinders like the SJ and Major are hugely respected by most baristas.

    I have the Macap M4D which does grind fast but when I see some of the comments even from some sponsors about the Mini, it offends the techie in me as I see them as a pretty amazing device and perfectly suited for home use where 20 seconds extra isn't going to ruin my day. Heck, I might even just leave it to grind while I warm the cups or something...

  40. #240
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    I find it funny that people have such busy lives that an extra 20 seconds in the morning is important to them...

    My case on the Mini is simply that the grind time is a deliberate feature and is probably one of the reasons that there is virtually no clumping at all. The coffee is treated very gently by grinding slowly, applying less heat.

    I know one CSer who just bought a brand new Mini this week. I think for people who appreciate the quality of these devices, they are still selling and Mazzer are still making.

    This isn't to detract from a conical although the issues of size and cost are issues for many people.

    My stand is really just looking at what I see as changes in fashion, very superficial. A short skirts long skirts type of progression then back again. If you look at the Mahlkonig K30 and others flat burr grinders are still popular even in top cafes around the world and for good reason. Ditto grinders like the SJ and Major are hugely respected by most baristas.

    I have the Macap M4D which does grind fast but when I see some of the comments even from some sponsors about the Mini, it offends the techie in me as I see them as a pretty amazing device and perfectly suited for home use where 20 seconds extra isn't going to ruin my day. Heck, I might even just leave it to grind while I warm the cups or something...
    I'm with you on this one Wattgn, fast grind time (within reason) is certainly not high on my list of requirements for a grinder, as you say, the Mazzer treats the beans gently and as a result doesn't clump or heat the coffee during the grind process, both negatives in my mind

    As you say, 20 seconds in the AM is neither here nor there, having said that, I always have been a person who prefers to rise a little early and have a leisurely breakfast before starting the day, never have been a member of the breakfast on the run brigade.

    The biggest gripe I have with the Mini is the doser, not ideal for single dosing, in a home situation it's a bit of a pain, can be managed with a brush, however not ideal, I'm currently doing something about this, will post more on the subject in a dedicated thread.

    As you say, the Mazzer name is highly regarded in the industry, I suspect the lack of love for them on this forum is pretty much a result of aggressive marketing of other makes over the past couple of years.
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  41. #241
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casa Espresso View Post
    100% agreed Wattgn. The difference between conical and flat burr grinders has been overstated in this thread (IMO).

    I think i did read in this or another thread that one CS was going to buy a Lido so he could compare conical flavours with his flat burr electric; guided buy misinformation posted here.


    Flavour profile differences due to grind particle profile, distribution etc are all very subjective.


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    Sorry Antony
    That was most likely my misinformation

    I guess my back-to-back testing between the Lido and Robur on my own bench only to find very little difference in flavour profile was the culprit. And earlier testing between M4 and Robur, and finding some noticable differences.

    Hence my conclusions – based on taste rather than microscopic particle research research – that if you would like to experience Robur style flavour without a hugely impractical $3K Robur – buy a Lido!

    My bad!
    Matt
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  42. #242
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    To be honest, I find the whole idea of telling other people whether they should or shouldn't prioritise grinding speed a little odd. Clearly, it's important to some and not a big deal to others.
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  43. #243
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    There's always a "grass is greener" aspect to CoffeeSnobbery. It is called upgraditis. Many of us aren't happy with the knowledge that others have equipment better than our own and read their posts with envy while reflecting sadly that the price is out of our reach.
    I can speak from experience: I acquired a conical (Macap MXK) about 6 years ago at a good price. I found you can detect more flavours and it took less than half the time of my old Mazzer Mini. But in the end, as I make now mostly milk-based coffees one shot at a time, there is very little advantage other than the extra 10 or seconds I gain (but it is small enough to fit under my kitchen cupboards and grind retention is very low).
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  44. #244
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    Flynnaus, thank you, I have been reading and saying to myself, will I or won't I. Will I dare to confess my grinder is an EM 480, or even worse, in my campervan an EM 440! I can't find a way to make my decision, so will I or won't I. I will just have to ponder and pluck up courage!
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  45. #245
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    It isn't just a matter of penis envy. It is curiosity also as well as the normal male focus on tools and getting the best ones, almost regardless of cost, if it is a favourite interest or hobby.

    The Mazzer Robur is the real deal, raw, male and completely uncircumcised and way too big for most women to handle. It is way too big to fit into most places we would like to stick it. It makes a mess and it is anally retentive in terms of grind retention. It is however a powerful symbol of virility and if I had one I would call it Thor, God of Thunder. I would top it with a nuclear warhead of some sort and threaten my neighbours with destruction if they park on my lawn.

    I am curious about conical grinders, I suspect the differences between a flat and conical burrs is difficult to detect for most people in terms of taste.

    The only way to find out of course is to get one and test it which I may do. A second hand one.

  46. #246
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wattgn View Post
    ... I suspect the differences between a flat and conical burrs is difficult to detect for most people in terms of taste
    Possibly, if comparing a good conical with a good flat but even with my somewhat poor sense of taste, the differences were detectable.
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  47. #247
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    I saw a good Robur in gumtree and got it for $650.

    His name is Thor, God of Thunder, and is two years old, well loved but left out in the cold by a new Mazzer Kold costing $3800. The cafe owner serviced it every three months, last time in April when the springs and hopper blades were replaced.

    It fitted in better than I thought so I will probably use it for a few days to get used to it and then do some comparisons with the M4D. Most likely it will get then sold again on gumtree but we'll see.

    I have a picture there with the M4D in the picture to give you an idea of the difference in size which of course is huge.

    It is very fast of course and gives a completely clump free grind.

    I'm surprised it fitted in but it did so that is a good start. Of course, a hopper model isn't ideal but I'm sure I will cope...
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  48. #248
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    It was quick and easy to dial in got it right second time and wasted only two shots.

    First observations:

    1. Big and Ugly
    2. Light and Fluffy
    3. Nice pucks
    4. First shot, a long black tastes great but no comparisons possible yet.

    The grounds definitely do have a different look to them. First of all light and fluffy and not even a trace of clumping although I never saw clumping as an issue.

    The pour subjectively did seem creamier but really need to waste a bit of coffee to work this out along with taste comparisons to the M4D.

    Wife hates it. She said the other one looks nice and shiny and beautiful.

    It also amazingly fast, of course...I quite like the hopper actually. It is easy enough to work out times and that, not difficult.

    Grant
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  49. #249
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    To be fair to upgrades at the pointy end, it is hard enough to get the last 20% (80/20 rule), much less the last few % that we are all looking for in this space.

    The fantastic thing these days is that there is sooo much good product out there that you can make a choice across a wide range and get on with belting out kick-arse coffee in your home.

  50. #250
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlMac View Post
    To be fair to upgrades at the pointy end, it is hard enough to get the last 20% (80/20 rule), much less the last few % that we are all looking for in this space.

    The fantastic thing these days is that there is sooo much good product out there that you can make a choice across a wide range and get on with belting out kick-arse coffee in your home.
    I'm more impressed than I thought with the sheer ease of use of this beast. It is all the wrong things, big, ugly, 28kg and with a hopper which is so yesterday. Yet it is amazingly easy to use and I'm not sure that the hopper is an issue for me either. It does have some advantages with guests over. It is also very fast and I'm starting to suspect it does offer an improvement over my current grinder, if not in flavour then certainly the grind appears to be more fluffy with no clumping. It is likely that this would translate into a better flavour although the differences may or may not be detectable to my palate. The first and only shot tasted really good but then this coffee tastes excellent too coming out of the Macap M4D.

    I will use it a few days, get used to it then do some comparisons. If the differences are small then it may be challenging to compare one pour with another given there is always some variation in the pour which affects the flavour.

    It is great getting something like this second hand for a good price. $650 is a good price so I should be able to resell this. The issue with this grinder is my wife is very house proud and she tolerates my coffee equipment because it looks good and nice and shiny. I too think appearances are important for something that spends it's whole life on the bench.
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