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Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 range

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  • Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 range

    Hi,

    I am new to Coffee Snobs and would like some advice on grinders. I am retiring my Krups 4100 and have a Bezzera BZ02S arriving soon. We drink about 4 to 6 cups of Expresso a day. With a bit of reading I have narrowed my choice to the following doserless models:

    Iberital Challenger
    Rancillio Rocky
    Ascaso i1
    Compak K3 Touch

    Is the more expensive K3 Touch better or are the others quite adequate. Can anybody suggest different grinders. Should I look at doser models as well.

    Regards, Peter

  • #2
    Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

    Originally posted by PeterR link=1183257508/0#0 date=1183257507
    Hi,

    I am new to Coffee Snobs and would like some advice on grinders. I am retiring my Krups 4100 and have a Bezzera BZ02S arriving soon. We drink about 4 to 6 cups of Expresso a day. With a bit of reading I have narrowed my choice to the following doserless models:

    Iberital Challenger
    Rancillio Rocky
    Ascaso i1
    Compak K3 Touch

    Is the more expensive K3 Touch better or are the others quite adequate. Can anybody suggest different grinders. Should I look at doser models as well.

    Regards, Peter
    Hi Peter and welcome to CS..

    In brief, the answer is yes:

    1. Buy the best grinder you can possibly afford
    2. You gets what you pays for!

    I personally prefer a doser because if used to grind your coffee to order, you will create less mess and be more consistent in your dose.

    In addition, with a machine in your price range, you should match it to a comparable grinder...

    Some suggestions:

    Doser: Mazzer mini manual, Macap M5, Compak K3E, ECM Best (all above $600)
    Doserless: Compak K3T, ECM KS

    Stepless grinders are great, but a stepped grinder with small increments will be fine as well...More info can be found here: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163235531.

    You have got yourself a Ferrari- now dont park an old clunker next to it in the garage

    Feel free to give me a buzz if I can assist...


    2mcm

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

      Hi Peter,
      Welcome to Coffee Snobs.

      I agree with 2mcm:

      1. Buy the best grinder you can possibly afford
      2. You gets what you pays for!
      If you buy an "adequate" grinder you may just end up replacing it with a better one.
      In my mind thats a waste of money.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

        Thanks for the Link on grinders. Ok, so I will have to budget for a really good grinder.

        2mcm says "I personally prefer a doser because if used to grind your coffee to order, you will create less mess and be more consistent in your dose". How do you use a doser in a domestic situation. I thought the doser chamber needs a fair amount of ground coffee to dose correctly. What do you do with the excess ground coffee in the doser after dosing two filter baskets.

        Regards, Peter

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

          Originally posted by PeterR link=1183257508/0#3 date=1183263910
          Thanks for the Link on grinders. Ok, so I will have to budget for a really good grinder.

          2mcm says "I personally prefer a doser because if used to grind your coffee to order, you will create less mess and be more consistent in your dose". How do you use a doser in a domestic situation. I thought the doser chamber needs a fair amount of ground coffee to dose correctly. What do you do with the excess ground coffee in the doser after dosing two filter baskets.

          Regards, Peter
          Hi Peter,

          Check out a great cafe in your town. If they are doing it well, you will hear the rapid thwack thwack as your barista grinds your coffee through the doser, but freshly- just for you.

          When I use a doser grinder there is no (or very little) excess coffee left over. Im quicker than the grinder 8-). The bonus is that static is eliminated and that clumping will also tend to get broken up.

          In addition, if I have to make coffee for a few people, I can leave the grinder running whilst Im doing something else. This makes me a whole heap more efficient...

          regards

          Chris

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

            HI Chris,

            Yes I have seen this done. Now it is making sense. A small measured amount of beans are placed in the hopper and the doser is purged of all ground coffee, plus any spills are contained by the doser.

            I have also read the Doser Vs Doseless Poll.

            Now you have me thinking.

            Regards, Peter

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

              PeterR,

              Hi and welcome to CoffeeSnobs

              Id certainly agree with Chris. a doser version (used properly) causes far less mess and also produces a better grind in the basket (far less clumping).

              And always budget as much as you can for a good grinder..... other than quality fresh beans, it is the most important thing when aiming for quality espresso.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                Ive only ever had a grinder with a doser domestically and couldnt imagine it any other way. After awhile you get a feel for the quantity of beans to pour into the hopper for the desired number of shots (as well as knowing the length of time to grind for per shot).

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                  I weigh my beans before putting them in the grinder, I also weigh and grind for each basket so the ground coffee is at its optimal freshness as it goes stale so quickly once ground.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                    Originally posted by lucinda link=1183257508/0#8 date=1183341709
                    I weigh my beans before putting them in the grinder, I also weigh and grind for each basket so the ground coffee is at its optimal freshness as it goes stale so quickly once ground.
                    I cant recommend this practice, Lucinda...

                    Chances youll get popcorning as the beans bounce around on the blades trying to grind themselves. This can lead to inconsistencies in grind as well as overheating.

                    I suggest that ita a good idea to have at least 4cm of beans in your hopper prior to grinding.

                    2mcm

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                      Hi Peter ..

                      I upgraded from a Rocky to a Compak K3 Elite - which has a doser, and have been very happy with this upgrade.

                      Going from a stepped grinder to stepless was a huge step for me - as with the Rocky I found my ideal grind was somewhere between steps. The increments were too large. I like the control I have with the K3 elite.

                      Myrtle

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                        Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1183257508/0#9 date=1183341971
                        Originally posted by lucinda link=1183257508/0#8 date=1183341709
                        I weigh my beans before putting them in the grinder, I also weigh and grind for each basket so the ground coffee is at its optimal freshness as it goes stale so quickly once ground.
                        I cant recommend this practice, Lucinda...

                        Chances youll get popcorning as the beans bounce around on the blades trying to grind themselves. This can lead to inconsistencies in grind as well as overheating.

                        I suggest that ita a good idea to have at least 4cm of beans in your hopper prior to grinding.

                        2mcm
                        Okayyy....

                        So why has this advice been given so many times? I only have two to three coffees a day and prefer not to leave beans in the hopper. Also I have a MDF grinder which has a small hopper too.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                          Hi Lucinda,

                          You may well get a CSer or CG suggesting that, but its unlikely that you would get a barista or barista trainer recommending weighing of beans as they would be aware of the risk of popcorning.

                          In my case, the issue is that my beans are always too fresh- so I can afford to let some degas in the hopper

                          regards

                          2mcm

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                            Originally posted by 2muchcoffeeman link=1183257508/0#9 date=1183341971
                            Originally posted by lucinda link=1183257508/0#8 date=1183341709
                            I weigh my beans before putting them in the grinder, I also weigh and grind for each basket so the ground coffee is at its optimal freshness as it goes stale so quickly once ground.
                            I cant recommend this practice, Lucinda...

                            Chances youll get popcorning as the beans bounce around on the blades trying to grind themselves. This can lead to inconsistencies in grind as well as overheating.

                            I suggest that ita a good idea to have at least 4cm of beans in your hopper prior to grinding.

                            2mcm
                            I also weigh out my beans for each shot. I found that a cheapo alum tamper fits in the throat of my grinder perfectly holding the beans down with only the last few doing the popcorning thing. I have no problem maintaining consistency shot too shot.


                            Java "Fresh beans please!" phile
                            Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Choice of grinders in the the $300 - $600 rang

                              Ive found the same a javaphile. I swap between decaf and regular coffee regularly so using more then I need at any one time will lead to wastage. whilst I get a small amount of pop corning at the end of a grind I have found that shot to shot times are consistent exept for user error in tamping/dosing.

                              Chris what do you mean by overheating? I cant imagine it would be a big problem if grinding one double shot at a time. Also re cafe environment you will get grind inconsistencies when down to the last few shots worth in the hopper because the grind is set for a full hopper. when you refill your back to normal. in a home environment I cant see the problem if your doing the same thing all the time and getting repeatable results.

                              Comment

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