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Cunill Tranquilo

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  • Cunill Tranquilo

    A few critical comments on the Cunill Tranquilo. However, let me preface this by saying that I still think it is an excellent value entry level grinder for quality espresso. It complements my Vibiemme well. As a result of finding some variation that I’m sure is beyond just my dosing technique, albeit amateurish, I decided to prod around a bit.

    1. This is a stepped grinder. It has 55 steps to one full revolution. The burr carrier has a 1mm thread. So each step amounts to an 18 micron change in grind. This doesnt sound much and initially I though that anything finer was just being silly. However, each step results in about a 5 to 10 sec difference in a shot. I can see that the aficionados might want something finer and I’m already thinking of an upgrade myself.
    2. The burr carrier thread is well machined showing no sign of play. Nevertheless I thought I’d try the tweak of applying Teflon tape to the thread. The thread has 3 keyways cut into it. This is presumably to keep the thread clear of any gunk. Unfortunately or fortunately, it does this so well that it completely removes the Teflon tape. So that tweak doesn’t work. Never mind, it’s not needed anyway.
    3. Each time I screw in the top burr carrier after cleaning the machine, I invariably forget to put in the step locking pin first. This time I went one better. The plastic motor mount base place has 5 holes in the top. Four are for ventilation and one to house the locking pin. The locking pin is spring loaded. I dropped the spring into the hole. Wrong hole. The spring disappeared into the guts of the machine. No amount of shaking could get it out. I had to pull off the base plate with the motor to get at the spring. That led to another more serious issue.
    4. To get the motor out of the case one has to undo 2 nuts located under the machine. Theses screw onto 2 long bolts that screw up into the plastic motor mount base plate. I noticed that these nuts were only finger tight. I took this to be a manufacturing oversight. I retrieved the spring and reassembled the machine. I tightened the nuts with a 10mm tube spanner using only my wrists as leverage for fear of stripping the plastic thread. On trying to reinstall the top burr carrier I found that there was no way I could screw it in more than 1 or 2 turns. Had I damager the thread? No, it was perfect. The only other thing it could be is that the flanged burr carried housing had warped. I thought this unlikely because it seemed to be a fairly sold piece of cast metal. I loosened the 2 nuts under the machine. The burr carrier screwed in like a dream. What this means is that tightening the motor holding down nuts anything more than finger tight, warps the burr carrier housing. This can’t be a good thing. This can’t be good for the integrity of the machine and certainly can’t be good for consistence of grind. This is quite a surprise since in all other respects the machine is quite rugged.
    5. The dose timer is just that, a timer. However, the rate of flow of grinds is directly related to the fineness, that is, the gap between the burrs. So any change in fineness, changes the dose. With the timer so hard to adjust, it is simply a pain. One needs to insert a small flat head instrument screwdriver into a small hole and then find the slot. The slightest nudge makes a significant difference. With fineness adjustments often required through the day, there is really no point in having a timer. I’m thinking of converting mine to a push and hold operation. I wonder if the other high end electronic grinders have the same issue.


  • #2
    Re: Cunill Tranquilo

    I remembered reading point 4 before I took apart my grinder and put it back together again (Im an electrical engineer - cant help myself), so I did things in a slightly different order.

    If the metal burr carrier is not already screwed in then the bottom nuts can be tightened quite suitably. The burr carrier then screws in fine, and everything fits back together again. I didnt get any warping at all.



    • #3
      Re: Cunill Tranquilo

      Hi Freney,

      Has this grinder come good , I recall you initially had some problems with it ??



      • #4
        Re: Cunill Tranquilo


        The grinder has come good... sort of.

        I had a bit of a crazy run - my first one had a dodgy electronic switch, so back for a replacement it went.

        The replacement arrived a few days later... but turns out it had been stored badly, and it had rusted up all over the place. So, contact the seller for another replacement.

        He was very apologetic, sent a new one, and told me to keep the rusty one to salvage spare parts if I could. So, I took it apart, cleaned it up, WD-40d it, and got it to work, even if it fails soon from rusting out the motor.

        But, it turns out, it ground better than the replacement. Ive tried everything I can think of to get the other to a similar place, but the top new burr just simply will not get as fine as the rusty top burr. I think I can detect a slightly different machining pattern on the top burrs when eyeballing them side-by-side.

        So, Ive now got a system that works pretty well, even though Im using one of the burrs from the grinder that was pretty badly corroded. Slightly sub-optimal, but then again I only paid $200 for the machine.