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Baratza Preciso or Iberital Challenge (or Breville Smartgrinder)

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  • Baratza Preciso or Iberital Challenge (or Breville Smartgrinder)

    After lots of googling I believe that these grinders are more or less equal in price, and for getting a good consistent grind (as long as they work ok).
    I have currently a Cunill Tranquilo which retains way too much grounds, and is very difficult to dial in - and cleaning it is something to be avoided. So since its burrs have started to get dull, I want a new grinder without those problems.

    When comparing the Baratza, (Breville) and Iberital - which would best eliminate my problems with the Cunill?

  • #2
    The Baratza grinds more consistently than all of them. Is faster than all of them, and retains less grinds inside than all of them. It's only a fraction more in price than the Breville. You want the Precisio model.

    My comments are based on only what I've heard from owners and read online from reputable sources. I don't own any, but wish I had a Precisio!


    • #3
      Well done and thank you James for the disclosure. I wish more respondents in all these forums would follow your lead. "Transparency in Response"?

      Occam. Playing the Devils Advocate, and perhaps saving you some money, from a coffee industry perspective.

      There is not much wrong with the Cafe Tranquilo grinder especially for the price that it can be had. I tend however to favour the older model over the revamped newer one.

      If you bought yours new, and you are using it in home use, its most likely the burrs wont be anywhere near "dull" and I dont know how that conclusion is reached (that the burrs are "dull" - presumably nearing the time when they need to be replaced). These are commercial 58mm (from memory) grinding plates (same quality as the likes of mazzer mini, macap m4, and compak K3T) and will give hundreds of kilos of good use. In home use where most people dont use much more than say 250 to 300 grams per week = roughly 12 to 14 kilos per year throughput, and if we say the burrs should be good for say 300 kilos, that will give you roughly say 20 years of good service from the same set of grinding plates. This is a far cry from the misinformation that is often found in web sites concerning "worn" burrs and the "need" to change them.....but I will admit its good for the spare parts industry.

      Secondly, in my experience, the Cafe Tranquilo is very easily "dialled in" and there is also a lot of misinformation in websites concerning grinders with "stepped" adjustment, where members of the general public (and others in the cafe industry that should know better) lament the size of the steps, saying they cant get to the "exact" grind setting. That however simply shows they havent understood the simple principles of espresso equipment management and barista technique. If an operator thinks that on one "step" the grind setting is too coarse, but on the next "step" the setting is too fine, then his brief is to change his barista technique ever so slightly to change the rate of pour and extraction. How else do operators deal with all the other little variables in the coffee making process? Operator technique has to be changed to suit the conditions of the is not a situation of "one technique suits all", there is no "exact" grind setting, fresh coffee changes quickly over time, and note how two different baristas will often set the same eqiupment differently and use different techniques from eachother, when using the same beans to get a similar result.

      In any case if you have simply tired of the grinder and want to buy a new one and can budget the money, well that is a perfectly legitimate legitimate reason to change.

      Otherwise, I am afraid you may simply be wasting your money to in reality, take a step sideways. Because when alls said and done, the character and quality in the cup will not change to any significant degree on your palate, within this group of grinders, and you may simply be changing from one set of "use, management and ergonomics" paramaters, to another.

      You already have a perfectly good if simple, older (traditional?) style grinder, dont rush into this, and make sure you are making the right decision for you.

      Hope that helps.
      Last edited by Fresh_Coffee; 21 November 2012, 10:33 AM.


      • #4
        not sure if serious...

        Sorry if my response was vague. I didn't even think to further discuss the Tranquilo.

        anyone would think I sell Baratza grinders with my recent statements/comments/thoughts. hah!


        • #5
          "burrs are dull" - actually, feeling with fingertips I can identify a couple of places on both upper and lower burrs that are noticeably dull. My wife checked, and found the same dull places.
          Cleaning IS a chore, which makes a new grinder an attractive option. Actually, we clean it so seldom that there is a noticeable improvement in taste afterwards.
          But I must say - your reply, >Fresh Coffee>, was good common sense advice. If only there was a place in Melbourne I could go to and get advice on changing burrs - or not bothering.. I have tried, in vain, to unscrew the nut holding the lower burr so I would need help there too..


          • #6
            Originally posted by Occam View Post
            . If only there was a place in Melbourne I could go to and get advice on changing burrs - or not bothering.. I have tried, in vain, to unscrew the nut holding the lower burr so I would need help there too..
            DANGER ! ... you know that if you take your m/c into a shop that deals with grinders, will simply weaken..... and come out with a shiny new toy !!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Occam View Post
              I have tried, in vain, to unscrew the nut holding the lower burr so I would need help there too..
              Try going the other way, it's possibly a left hand thread.


              • #8
                I'll give one more example, in case it helps anyone that may be trying to "fix something that may not be broke".

                Example from above pertaining to a new small comercial type grinder where you are starting off with brand new grinding plates.
                @ 250 to 300 grams per week home use = an easy 20 years life span for the grinding plates.

                Second example pertaining to a similiar grinder in say, small office use @ say 2 kilos per week through put = 100 kilos per year = an easy 3 years lifespan for the grinding plates.

                You can use this as a general rule of thumb, and if you are not within the useage rate / time intervals exemplified, you are probably fixing something that aint broke.

                On the other hand, anyone that bought a used grinder of unknown history should rely on the "performance" of the grinder as an indication of whether the grinding plates should be changed out. There is pretty much no other *easy* way to tell when grinding plates are worn, and grind inconsistency is at its worst with worn plates (and therefore is not a fair and reasonable or realistic test of the ability of competing grinders of various types and age to produce "consistent" grinds.....they would all need to be new or having all had the same throughput of beans, and the only true test is to brew the coffee from the competing grinders at the same time using the same beans, operator and machine, and cup the result on your palate. Otherwise, any discussion re "grind consistency" and what grinder is "better", is just academics.

                Dont let your enthusiastic reading of the abundance of information in these forums, make you insecure about your equipment.

                Hope that helps.


                • #9
                  Our mainstream grinder range starts with Compak K3P in the $400+ range (my bang for buck choice) and planar grinders go through to the Mazzer Major-E which is over 4x the price...

                  When describing the differences, I frequently use the term "sunroof and leather seats". All you are purchasing is speed and different features, not a discernable difference in the cup.

                  As Attilio has mentioned, by all means upgrade and choose something different- because you want something different. We are of course happy help you to keep the wheels of business turning.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Fresh_Coffee View Post
                    @ 250 to 300 grams per week home use = an easy 20 years life span for the grinding plates.
                    ..always assuming you dont have a rock or some other foreign body get in there and trash the burr set !


                    • #11
                      Yes thanks for that.

                      It never used to be much of a problem, but with the current weedy proliferation of 3rd wave, new age, retro chic, master roasters out there, professing to the general public to be artesans who hand craft their coffee beans, the reality behind the marketing is they are entry level roasting contractors using inexpensive and not fully set up gear, meaning many of them dont have destoners and even fewer have anti pollution gear to stop the crap going into our atmosphere.....

                      We live in interestng times, and as a consequence we have more possibility of you having more stones run through your grinders than ever before....meaning that in many instances and despite all the modern hype, some aspects of quality have actually gone backwards......


                      • #12
                        I'm looking forward to fourth wave- which will in fact be 2.5th wave. I'm keeping all the lemons for uses other than in coffee.