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Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

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  • Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

    Greetings

    About to take the plunge! We (my son and I) are looking at starting up a mobile coffee cart business aimed at sports grounds and markets. Weve got most of the gear lined up but are a bit hesitant about a grinder. Given our massive amount of capital (yeah, right) were looking at a grinder that is somewhere between top of the range home and entry level commercial to get us out of the box. I know all the arguments about buying the best grinder that you can afford and if money were no option then I would. As it is I have an absolute maximum budget of $1,000 and would ideally like to get change from this.

    Weve looked so far at the Rocky, the Bezzera BB004, the Mazzer Mini and the Compak K3. If we can use one of these then well certainly look at a Super Jolly or something of that ilk next year.

    Anyone care to drop a few pearls of wisdom in front of us? Either comments on the machines weve mentioned or alternatives. Obviously Id prefer real experience but would also be happy with hearsay backed up by reviews.

    Thanks and Regards

    Nigel.

  • #2
    Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

    Hi Nigel,

    I think you need to go at least to Super Jolly level. Put 5 people in a queue and they will go grey waiting for their coffee should you choose any of the others. In addition, those who understand grinders will also gain an opinion of your level of professionalism and commitment.

    I honestly believe that if the few hundred extra bucks required is the difference, then youre not adequately capitalised to consider this type of business at this stage.

    Its important you get it right as there is plenty of bad coffee out there and customers are much easier to lose than to keep

    Good luck!

    Chris

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

      Thanks Chris,

      Yes - I suppose Im just trying to get confirmation of what I already suspected.

      It just s**ts me to tears that the Super Jolly here in Oz is $1100+ while I can buy ex USA for US$675.00 - maybe I should just import one!

      Nigel.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

        Weve been there and done that Nigel. A 110V unit wont be much use to you.  :-?

        Grab me a $70k Porsche while youre at it!  ;D

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

          Actually I saw some nice 2nd hand convertible Porsches (70-80k) when I was in Sydney recently... Mmmmmm

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

            Have to agree with Chris...

            If you did buy one of the grinders in your list, you could almost guarantee that within a few (or less) weeks, youd be junking it and looking for a Super Jolly or equivalent.

            Why not do a search around for a used SJ from a reputable retailer/user. Reconditioned ones often show up and sometimes from our fellow CSers.... http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1314496540/14

            Put a new set of Burrs in it, then at least youll be making money and well on the road to being able to purchase a new Grinder of your choice later on. Punters will definitely not appreciate being told "Just hang on mate, the grinders a bit slow."

            Mal.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

              Welcome to CS Nigel.

              Let me place another perspective on the table.....

              It depends on your total set up and the volume your set up will handle, and also the number of operators you have working with you or whether you are alone. If you are running a 3 group machine and therefore have the capacity to go large volumes then by all means go a larger volume grinder.

              If on the other hand you are running a 2 group machine, that capps the throughput or volume at a lower lever than what you can do with a 3 group machine, & then you should be able to run with a good quality 64 mm cafe sized grinder without getting into trouble...."trouble"....is where the volume of coffees produced over a certain period of time is such that the grinding burrs in the grinder overheat through simple friction to the point where the thermal cut out trips out and stops you for 20 minutes or so until it cools down enough to restart...by which stage you have lost 20 minutes of trade.

              You will find that people will wait quietly in line and there is no need to try & break speed records brewing the coffee where you will not just reduce the quality of your product due to rushing but also run the risk of overheating the grinder.

              Certainly, it will always be "better" to go with a grinder with larger grinding burrs because there is less likelihood of overheating in large volume throughput, but as you set a budget of $1000.00 then you are pretty much looking at quality new 64 mm grinders only.

              Ive sent you a PM.

              Rgdz,
              Attilio
              very first CS site sponsor.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                I think for the first time, I disagree with you Attilio.

                Ive tried using a Mazzer Mini on a coffee cart and it just wont work. Even if people will wait, they wont be happy, and even if they are happy, whoever is pulling the shots on the machine waiting for the portafliter to fill, will not be happy.

                As far as Im concerned a sub $1k grinder also means a loss of sales. I thought the whole idea of attending various venues was to serve coffee, then move on to the next venue. The slower you serve, the less sales you make.

                I havent sent a pm.

                Cheers
                Den

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                  I think that were all in agreement Dennis and Attilio. Everyone reckons 64mm or better. This would be super jolly, k6 or equivalent in the other brands.

                  Chris

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                    You should be able to find a service company that can set you up with a refurbed Super Jolly within your budget. They dont generally need much in the way of new parts other than burrs to get them 100%, and a good tech should be able to strip one down, clean, check, reassemble, lube and adjust everything within 2 hours. About the only thing that ever breaks on them are the return spring on the doser handle, and even thats not that common. I just see a few like that due to the sheer number of Super Jollys grinding away out there!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                      Hi Nigel

                      Chris makes a really good point about a super jolly being your minimum, I do markets,festivals etc like you are planning on doing.I use a super jolly every weekend for our markets,one person pulling shots,one person doing milk we usually do around 250-300 coffees over 5 hours.In the last two years the super jolly has never had a problem in keeping up with demand.I would be hesitant in going with any thing smaller IMHO,(nobody likes waiting I can speak from experience) if 1k is your budget ebay is your best bet I think I paid approx $700 plus new burrs good luck with it all.
                      Mick.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                        Hi Dennis,

                        yes as Chris said,  actually we are in agreement  ...the mazzer mini is a 58 mm grinder and certainly is inadequate to the task.

                        My son owned and operated a van we built, full time for 2 years doing weekend events regularly as well as office clients through the week and never had a problem with the grinder. It was  a 64 mm Macap MXA, and I believe 64mm is the minimum. He was using a 2 group machine

                        I wouldnt put 58 mm grinders like mini mazzer, Macap M4, compak K3 or whatever, into those situations.

                        Trying not to break our record of agreement  ;D

                        For the rest of it, I have never been a fan of people in business trying to set up with used equipment on a shoestring budget as in my opinion, it is a false economy....except of course if it comes from a reputable workshop and they are guaranteeing it is good to go at the asking price with nothing more to spend, and is late model stuff. To buy privately and try and refurb personally is not an option. Not many people know how to strip and rebuild coffee equipment and even when a grinder only needs a set of plates and a strip down and clean it is not cost effective unless they picked up the grinder for a song.

                        EG Cost of used grinder of good quality....is subject to whatever it goes for on sundry so called auction sites at any given time, could be up and could be down, how much time do you have to wait for something to come up at whatever figure you budget to spend?????? Budget for new plates and a strip and clean (if nothing else).  Add freight to get the grinder to your door. Hope they dont damage the plastic hopper at the collar during shippping or you will be up for a new hopper not cheap. Grinding Plates cost what they cost and dont forget to add the cost of postage to your door. Add 2 hours labour in a workshop. Add it all up.

                        Always compare the cost of DIY or buying used ready to go equipment from a shop, to new equivalent equipment of good name. Check the price of a new 64mm Macap MXA (from moi) or a Compak K6 and if at all possible,  buy new equipment for your business venture. It will save you a lot of time and unnecessary chasing your tail, and time is money.

                        Just my opinion for you to select whatever you think may be useful to you, and of course feel free to ignore the rest

                        Rgdz,
                        A.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                          Originally posted by 7A4E594F54637F535A5A59593C0 link=1317362512/11#11 date=1317419547
                          Hi Dennis,

                          yes as Chris said, actually we are in agreement

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                            Originally posted by 586C7B6D76415D7178787B7B1E0 link=1317362512/11#11 date=1317419547
                            I have never been a fan of people in business trying to set up with used equipment on a shoestring budget as in my opinion, it is a false economy...
                            I was waiting for you Attilio... ;D

                            Mal.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Entry Level Semi-Commercial Grinder

                              Ive done a part of a shift using a mazzer mini when the main grinder broke.   Probably only did 2kg through it, but it was not very fun. 

                              Agree with the other guys, if you are serious about the business -  you go into it with the proper tools.  Resale on these things is pretty good, its a good investment. 

                              Have you either of you guys worked with coffee before?

                              Comment

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