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Upgradeitis Part 1: The Grinder!

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  • Upgradeitis Part 1: The Grinder!

    Well where do I begin!

    I've owned a Breville DB and smart grinder for 28 months now and feel the need to step up! Why I hear you ask? Well I've enjoyed using both but I have always had a niggling feeling that the coffee I produce has never been as good as that first cup that I tried from the CS sponsor who sold me the rig in the first place! Admittedly he has far more experience than I but I would like to think that after attending a Barista course and over the past 2 years hands on experience at home my ability has improved somewhat

    So hence the need to upgrade to seek nirvana in a coffee cup Why am I doing it in stages? Well frankly every post I read talks of the importance of a great grinder so I thought I would upgrade that first to see how that improves my coffee on the BDB and also the CS sponsor who sold me the rig was using a far better grinder in his place when I tried that one great shot

    So to business, what grinder to buy!

    I prefer doserless so that's locked in. We only drink espresso at home so therefore I'm leaning towards stepless micrometrical adjustment to get the best espresso possible. I also think the missus would convert easier with volumetric shot measures so thats a preference too. My budget is around $1,500. I'm leaning towards a Macap or Mazzer as frankly I think the compak's are ugly but where I get lost is the difference between say a Mazzer super jolly v Mazzer mini. Is it worth the extra $'s? Would I even notice the difference? Is there much difference between the Macap and Mazzer anyway?

    I know a lot of this is personal preference but I'm keen to hear from those who've owned one/both or even switched from one to the other?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback/advice

  • #2
    Are you considering second hand conical grinders? There is plenty of discussion of the pro and contra of conical grinder ... Good luck!


    • #3
      Thanks, I would prefer to go with a new grinder.


      • #4
        Hi eaglemick.

        I have owned a Macap M4D (doserless) and currently have a Mazzer Robur.

        For home use I would narrow my choice to either the Macap M4D (flat burr) or the Mazzer Kony-e (conical burr).

        I don't think that a Super Jolly would provide enough difference to the Macap, to warrant the extra money; the SJ planar burrs are only 6mm larger.
        If you wanted to step up into a big flat, then I'd go from the Macap to a Mazzer Major, but that's overkill and over budget.

        The Macap also draws less power than the SJ.

        The Macap is really a delight to use and look at, (as aesthetics are important to you). With the standard hopper it's also a tad shorter than the SJ
        and very well proportioned.

        As far as planar vs conical goes .......that is up to you and your personal taste. They are different.

        Have a read of Matt's posts here:

        read from post #188.

        Matt really sums the situation up nicely; he has practically achieved, with relatively few words, what the Titan Grinder thingy (another forum)
        tried to do with 30 something pages of posts!!

        For my money, you couldn't go past the Macap!! :-D


        • #5
          Hi EM. I vote for the M4D. Have had one for I guess 3 years. Have considered a large conical but I don't need "an elephant in the room" I love my coffee but my equipment must live with me not the other way around. My other half is ok with my current gear but if I came home with a Kony or the like..................well I think I would require another mailing address :-)


          Doubt you would be diasappointed with the Macap. 9~11 seconds per double dose, orphan espresso funnel, no mess :-)


          • #6
            Are you happy to use a manual grinder? If so I can't recommend highly enough an HG one. Robur-sized conical burrs, retention-free single dosing, small footprint, beautiful design and in budget. As long as you don't have to grind a whole heap of shots in one session it has a lot going for it.


            • #7
              Thanks guys for all the feedback. I'm leaning towards the M4D as that ticks all the boxes and won't completely take over the kitchen. I've already warned the missus that a replacement for the Breville will be larger but need to try and keep it within reason

              Chokkidog, thanks for the info. Saw another post of yours on a Mazzer v Macap discussion at lunchtime which swung me



              • #8
                If it happens, post up a photo!! ..... 'Stage 1 Complete' :-D

                Always love to see different cures for the same affliction!!


                • #9
                  The grinder has arrived

                  Big thanks to Coffee Parts for a great deal on the M4D

                  This is how it looks on the bench! Need to buy some cheap coffee today so I can bed it down over the weekend
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Looks nice! How does the coffee taste compared to the SG?



                    • #11
                      Nice work Mick
                      Look forward to hear your cupping comparisons. Have fun dialling it in!



                      • #12
                        G'day all!

                        Ran a kg of old beans from Aldi through it this morning to bed it in and then dialled in some Costa Rica Terrazu La Guaria. Wow, what a difference the grinder makes! So much better in the cup and the first time I've really got that nice syrupy espresso after taste! I was planning to do a side by side comparison but I don't have enough beans to dial in the SG too. Just roasted up 450g for n Italian style espresso blend that I like so next weekend I will run a side by side to really check out the difference.

                        Safe to say I shan't be upgrading the Breville Dual Boiler just yet as the coffee has definitely improved. Mind you the grinder cost almost as much as the BDB so it should make a difference


                        • #13
                          Congrats Mick. Firing on all six! Shows how important the grinder is.

                          Have fun.


                          • #14
                            Would be great to see a side by side comparison with the two, sounds like its a significant improvement already.

                            Would also be great to hear your comments in regard to messyness, the SG I find essentially mess free, which is nice.

                            I love the look of the M4D.



                            • #15
                              Perhaps you should also add the new eureka zenith club e onto your short list. It's same pricing as the m4d in Europe. But it's advantage over the macap and mezzar is the easy grind change screw type button on the side. I'm using the mignon and are considering upgrade to this as well.