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Thread: Coarse grinders

  1. #1
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    Coarse grinders

    I recognise that the universal advice is 'go talk to a sponsor', but most don't stock all options so I'm looking to pre-filter (ho ho) for which grinders I should look at.

    Been using a hario skerton hand grinder with a french press. Don't intend to change my brewing method in the foreseeable future - more likely to buy a roaster - so I need a grinder that handles coarse settings well.

    All the reviews I find on the net invariably focus on espresso grind quality & any comment on coarse grind consistency is rare.

    Priorities:
    - 'Good' coarse grinding
    - Something that'll still work in 10 years
    - Low grind retention (I tend to swap between 2+ types of beans depending on mood)

    My price range is fairly flexible - cheap is good, but consumer stuff that burns out in 2-3 years is a false economy imo. Call it a flexible 300-800ish?
    I lack experience & therefore would be dubious about non-reputable dealer 2nd hand stuff.
    I don't care even slightly about espresso grind quality - if I ever buy an espresso machine, I'll worry about grinders for it then.

    My current impressions:
    - The OE Lido 2 (or 3?) sounds like it would tick all my boxes, but the hand grinding is a definite turn-off.
    - I've heard the Macap M2's primary weakness is a lack of consistency on coarse grinds (?) so it'd be no good?
    - Sette sounded great but too appliance quality for the price - I could be reluctantly convinced that a $100-200 appliance might be a good idea, but not a $500+ one.
    - I haven't had much success finding reliable looking comments on the other usual entry-level prosumer/small commercial suspects.

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    If you like the Lidos, but are put off by hand grinding, you could consider using a small battery drill with an adapter nut available by 3D printing in ABS using a file available at http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:962778
    As long as you use a low speed drill with variable speed, and keep the speed down to replicate a hand grinding speed, you should not heat the coffee, or do any damage to the grinder. Haven't used this yet but it's on the agenda should arthritis become an issue in the future.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by pache View Post
    I recognise that the universal advice is 'go talk to a sponsor', but most don't stock all options so I'm looking to pre-filter (ho ho) for which grinders I should look at.

    Been using a hario skerton hand grinder with a french press. Don't intend to change my brewing method in the foreseeable future - more likely to buy a roaster - so I need a grinder that handles coarse settings well.

    All the reviews I find on the net invariably focus on espresso grind quality & any comment on coarse grind consistency is rare.

    Priorities:
    - 'Good' coarse grinding
    - Something that'll still work in 10 years
    - Low grind retention (I tend to swap between 2+ types of beans depending on mood)

    My price range is fairly flexible - cheap is good, but consumer stuff that burns out in 2-3 years is a false economy imo. Call it a flexible 300-800ish?
    I lack experience & therefore would be dubious about non-reputable dealer 2nd hand stuff.
    I don't care even slightly about espresso grind quality - if I ever buy an espresso machine, I'll worry about grinders for it then.

    My current impressions:
    - The OE Lido 2 (or 3?) sounds like it would tick all my boxes, but the hand grinding is a definite turn-off.
    - I've heard the Macap M2's primary weakness is a lack of consistency on coarse grinds (?) so it'd be no good?
    - Sette sounded great but too appliance quality for the price - I could be reluctantly convinced that a $100-200 appliance might be a good idea, but not a $500+ one.
    - I haven't had much success finding reliable looking comments on the other usual entry-level prosumer/small commercial suspects.

    Thanks in advance
    The Macap M2 is a terrific entry level grinder for espresso. I have also used it for filter brewing on a few occasions. Its main drawback I found was not so much the overall consistency at coarse setting, but the number of fines produced that migrate downward during the brewing and clog the filter. It does have the adjustment range for FP however and I am not sure If the fines significantly affect the taste.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Hand-grinding on the Lido 3 series is not an onerous task. It is a) much faster than the Skerton, and b) much more of a pleasant experience while you are grinding (the ergonomics are great). And the grind quality is fantastic.
    Magic_Matt and Otago like this.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    +1 Barry, I use my Comandante daily and quite enjoy it. If the OP wants something bombproof and finely engineered, a hand grinder is the way to go. Grinding for French press will take less than a minute...

    Took the old Porlex camping and by comparison it was a total PITA.

  6. #6
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    I have a Lido E for espresso duty, and a Helor 101 for dripper/aeropress. Both are relatively easy to use and much faster than Porlex/Rhinowares. If you still want a grinder to fit in the Aeropress, the Aergrind, just about to be finalised on Kickstarter, should give a similar performance edge over the Porlex. Not available till August but Made by Knock have demonstrated their competence through the Hausgrind and Feldgrind.

  7. #7
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    Hrm.. possibly I was too quick to discount hand grinders then. The fact I'd have enough of my potential spend left over to buy a Behmor roaster definitely adds appeal.

    And going to places which stock Lidos trims my list of retailers to talk to down into a much more concise group.

    Thanks folks, appreciate the input.

    Still curious about coarse settings on prosumer-ish electric grinders if anyone's got more to add tho.

    I find it slightly odd how little discussion coarser settings get in reviews. Espresso is great & yes, sure, it's the dominant obsession - but there are so many coarse brewing methods...

  8. #8
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    At the risk of confusing the issue any more, the replies have not mentioned some of the side crank hand grinders such as the ROK and Handground. The ergonomics on these can reduce the perceived effort of hand grinding. Also, I don't think you have mentioned the volume you are brewing for in the French press. If it is for more than one then hand grinding would become more challenging as the number increases. However, you have mentioned using the Hario Skerton and, all things being equal, a Lido/Comandante/Helor will ease the task appreciably.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pache View Post
    Hrm.. possibly I was too quick to discount hand grinders then. The fact I'd have enough of my potential spend left over to buy a Behmor roaster definitely adds appeal.

    And going to places which stock Lidos trims my list of retailers to talk to down into a much more concise group.

    Thanks folks, appreciate the input.

    Still curious about coarse settings on prosumer-ish electric grinders if anyone's got more to add tho.

    I find it slightly odd how little discussion coarser settings get in reviews. Espresso is great & yes, sure, it's the dominant obsession - but there are so many coarse brewing methods...
    You are right about the emphasis that grinding for espresso usually gets. But then again, espresso is the brew method where margins of error are smallest, so one that sets the higher demands regarding consistency and adjustability. With filter and/or FP brewing, you have more degrees of freedom like speed of pour or.streep time that you can play with to more or less compensate for a "lesser" grinder performance.
    kbc and pache like this.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pache View Post
    Still curious about coarse settings on prosumer-ish electric grinders if anyone's got more to add tho.
    I can't say I've ever tried to adjust any of my espresso grinders for manual methods... My feeling is that even if a semi-commercial conical went fine enough for manual brew methods the particle profile would be unsuitable. Amongst the small "appliance" conicals, the Breville smart grinder gets a good wrap. I bought a different model (apparently same internals but without the clutch mechanism) as a gift and wasn't very impressed during the few test grinds... For roughly the same coin, the Comandante blows it completely out of the water.
    kbc likes this.

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