Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Better machine or better grinder?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Better machine or better grinder?

    So, most of what I have read on this site emphasises the importance of the grinder.
    Since looking into the pros and cons of machines (and taking into account the advice I have been given here), I am looking at either the breville dual boiler or the sunbeam 7000.
    My question is, will the better machine outweigh a better grinder? With my budget, the bdb would be paired wih a smart grinder, but the lower cost of the sunbeam would leave enough money for a rocky, or maybe even a compak.
    Will the better grinder give better results, or would the better machine be more important?
    Thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    I'd go the SB and the better grinder. I haven't used the BDB but from the threads I've read there doesn't seem to be much of a difference in what is produced to what you get from the SB. Maybe check out the Mahlkonig Vario Gen 2 grinder? After reading what TampIt is getting from his it's on my upgrade list.

    IMO the machine itself DOES matter, up to a point - it needs to be able to deliver water and steam at correct tmep and pressure to produce good coffee and milk, but once you have that the rest comes down to the grind/dose/tamp production and a quality grinder capable of producing consistent grind and with good adjustment to cater for different beans will bring out the best in the machine.

    Comment


    • #3
      I bought a little over a year ago, after doing much research. After a year it becomes blatantly obvious the grinder is the star. Let me repeat, the grinder is the star. Rule of the thumb is spend 40% on the grinder vs. m/c or more depending on far in the future you want go, continue with it. Rocky is really good as a rugged, reliable good investment-which is important-good choice. I however went with a vario, as I was willing to risk the less solid construction ofit for more finer grind options, get a bit better grind out of it. The grinder drives the m/c in terms of taste, flow rate, basically everything. I went with Ms. Silvia for a m/c, but sunbeam good choice-I'm in Canada so only heard about it, is it heat x/c..? Good deal if so. Comes in rally handy when making more than one drink. Rocky/Sunbeam check.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Journeyman View Post
        Maybe check out the Mahlkonig Vario Gen 2 grinder? After reading what TampIt is getting from his it's on my upgrade list. IMO the machine itself DOES matter, up to a point - it needs to be able to deliver water and steam at correct tmep and pressure to produce good coffee and milk, but once you have that the rest comes down to the grind/dose/tamp production and a quality grinder capable of producing consistent grind and with good adjustment to cater for different beans will bring out the best in the machine.
        Has anyone temp profiled a PID thermoblock like the EM7000?

        Also, a vario is almost 2x the price of a compak (as in, more than the price difference between a k3p and a BSG).

        At typical retail prices... I would try really hard to stretch for a k3p and a BDB.

        Comment


        • #5
          @Hildy - you might be looking at old prices. JetBlack has the Touch at $539 and I've seen the Vario at $649, so the difference isn't that much. The quality spread across 7 coffees (as much as I have done at one time) in the 6910 is so small I don't think profiling would show much - or maybe I misunderstand what profiling is? My impression it is to show how much variation you get in temp/pressure when pouring a shot? I went for thermoblock initially because of what I saw about boiler machines (even twin ones) dropping performance across multiple coffees.

          @Delish007 - the SB EM6910 and EM7000 are both Twin Thermoblock and Twin Pump. Steam and water have separate pumps and paths. Ideal for doing multiple coffees without much difference between first and last.

          Comment


          • #6
            $680 vs $439 at DiBartoli.

            Have you seen Greg Pullman's temp profile comparison of Silvia vs EM6910?

            Perhaps your impressions are wrong. There is data, after all, and the plural of anecdote is not data.

            Comment


            • #7
              I read the comparison during my research phase. I would assume the 7000 would be fairly similar to the 6910, maybe a little better. However for my untutored tastebuds, I suspect I would be hard pressed to taste the difference (also, I almost always have milk based coffee).
              From what I have found, the price difference between the breville and sunbeam is over $500, even taking haggling into account. That would allow for a much better grinder, which would stay with me after the machine has been upgraded. I am happy to lurk for a while, maybe grab something second hand if it comes up.
              Thanks for the opinions so far, keep them coming. And feel free to suggest something entirely different if I have missed something obvious.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Hildy View Post
                Has anyone temp profiled a PID thermoblock like the EM7000?

                Also, a vario is almost 2x the price of a compak (as in, more than the price difference between a k3p and a BSG).

                At typical retail prices... I would try really hard to stretch for a k3p and a BDB.
                Hi Hildy

                Firstly, k3p vs Vario: not even close. My k3p did not even outperform my calibrated EM480 in a white paper test at a standard espresso grind. I use VST's, so a 20% finer grind is needed and by then it was embarrassingly poor (EM480 whipped it). Disclosure: I have just ordered a second Mahlkonig Vario as I would be devastated to have to go back to any of the other grinders relegated to my shed (17 of the most common high end domestic / low end commercial grinders until I did a major & overdue "cash converter cull" last week). Compak and Mazzer were the main offloads.

                Secondly, using the same "medical grade stainless engineering workshop" where I calibrated my EM480 (which made only a small difference anyway), I tested quite a few domestic espresso machines. My older 6910 manages well over 100ml of water before the pressure / temp dropped enough to worry. Recovery time: for 60ml doubles, well under a minute (hard to measure accurately). Until you get to oversized commercial boiler machines like my 2 group (plumbed in 15Amp) La Pavoni P/TRE none of the domestic boiler ones we tested came close to that kind of performance and recovery time. Adding a PID may help some of the boiler machines, however it made no difference worth noting on the 6910 (I took it back out). My limited experience with a 7000 was that it had a lot more "shot grunt" but a hopeless milk frother (auto frother runs on time, not temp: i.e. misleading advertising and is useless to boot).

                A note on consistency: My newer 6910 has never been as good, even after I reset the temp & pressure on the mainboard. I finally cracked and took it to "CC" Hilton, where they discovered it had a restriction via an incorrectly bent pipe. Now it is as good as my older 6910. Evidently it was a faulty batch... Good one SB...

                Now back to the original poster: Consider the coffee chain. The roaster is earlier than the grinder which is before the machine. A brilliant grinder cannot retrieve a poor roast, and a brilliant machine cannot do much about a poor grinder. Personally, I would start by finding / becoming a good roaster, then I would spend the money on a really good grinder rather than a good machine. I have previously owned two GS3's (a 110V and a modified to US 3-phase 220V one, both still in the US) and the Vario / 6910 makes better coffee than any of my earlier grinders (some twice as dear as the Vario) into my GS3s. Now post divorce, I may end up getting another GS3 eventually (unless someone comes up with a better semi domestic beast) and I will be curious to see how much difference it makes nowadays.

                Hope this helps


                TampIt

                Comment


                • #9
                  What does the white paper taste like through a VST?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I ran my VST through my grinder. The shot was metallic and now the grinder is broke. Only half of the VST came out the other end. Bloody retention...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                      \Only half of the VST came out the other end. Bloody retention...
                      When you pay that much for a VST it's pretty annoying to not get all of it.

                      TampIt - are you really saying that a Vario/6910 combo made better coffee than Mazzer/GS3 (not sure what mazzer - flat or conical?)? Have you tried the Vario/GS3 combo? is that as good as the 6910 in your opinion?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        How did it taste?

                        Barry

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Given that the mazzer/gs3 combo is a bit above my price range, are there any other machine/grinder suggestions? I did get advised that single boiler machines wouldn't really suit my situation (small child in the house), would something like the simonelli oscar suit? It's more in bdb price, so would hsve to stretch the budget a little. Or are the concerns on single boiler machines overzealous, given my routine now is to purge the steam wand with water and flush the groupmsfter coffee is made (something I have been doing to see if I can maintain it in case I do get ansingle boiler). So far I have not forgotten or been distracted by more than about 5 minutes.
                          Last edited by erinkate84; 20 March 2014, 09:39 AM. Reason: typo fixed

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Somewhere on here there is a description of how to use a single boiler machine, I forget which, maybe a Silvia? It seemed to involve everything except standing on one leg in a westerly wind while praying to the steam god. Personally I wouldn't buy anything that requires waiting/purging/refilling and repeat cycles to get a coffee and if you're doing mainly milk coffees you really want separate paths for water and steam.

                            I'm not sure why you got the 'clever' comments about VST's etc - apart from being information-free they would seem to have nothing to do with your question. The white paper test is simple - pour grounds on white paper and spread them out then look at them with a magnifying glass - you're looking to check evenness of grind.

                            But once you get the system you want and start producing regular good coffee, naked PF and VST's are a good way to take the next step in quality coffee. But I'd make sure you know what you're doing with the standard equipment first.

                            A point re PID's - it's an added cost to the machine. You could do it yourself but check whether modding your machine voids the warranty. Getting it done in-house will add considerably to the bottom line so check first. I've been running my 6910 for well over a year (it was 2nd hand to begin with) and I can pour great coffees within 10 minutes of turning it on and, as above, have poured 7 in a row with no degradation in quality. You don't need to pay a fortune for the machine to get really good (sometimes great) coffee.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bames View Post
                              When you pay that much for a VST it's pretty annoying to not get all of it.

                              TampIt - are you really saying that a Vario/6910 combo made better coffee than Mazzer/GS3 (not sure what mazzer - flat or conical?)? Have you tried the Vario/GS3 combo? is that as good as the 6910 in your opinion?
                              Hi Bames

                              No, thanks to a brutal adversarial divorce, my 220V GS3 is still in Colorado, probably sitting unused in a cupboard. FWIW, I am 90% sure the Vario / GS3 would be better coffee again, however I doubt I will ever have the pleasure of pairing them up (certainly not my ex-GS3!). Would have to move house to fit it in the kitchen, it is not just the GS3 price alone...

                              What I am saying is that a big grinder upgrade is worth more than a big machine upgrade. Simply put, improving the earlier part of the chain makes a bigger difference than the later part (that includes farmers and the plant itself for that matter). Once something is amiss, the best machine in the world cannot correct it.

                              TampIt

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X