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  • Macap M2M Grinder

    Hi All, I am looking at replacing my old Sunbeam EM0480 with a new grinder and had shortlisted on the Mahlkonig Vario, Macap M2M and Eureka Mignon. I had largely ruled out the Eureka on lack of representation locally and only one very favourable review by Bella Barista, which left the Vario and Macap.

    There are lots of favourable comments on the Vario but next to nothing on the Macap M2M. The most I have been able to glean is that it has 50mm burrs, has stepped adjustment and not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4.

    Does anyone own or has anyone had a good look at the Macap M2M and have some feedback?

  • #2
    Hi GBH
    My BIL has an M2 (I used to have an M4) non-doser. Nice grinder. Had some great coffees out of his Silvia/M2 combo. A little messy to use, but does a nice, rich grind for espresso
    Matt

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    • #3
      Yes its a nice home use / office grinder (M2M).

      The model has only been on the market a couple of years, from a very well respected manufacturer.

      Some random thoughts:

      My feeling on "reviews" is they are mostly on larger grinders, because that is what is mostly talked up in the forums. In the forums, smaller diameter grinders are shall we say..."frowned upon".

      I have personally done a direct "side by side" between for example, a Eureka Mignon (50mm) and Macap M7 (75mm). Why? Because I wanted to see if I could pick a discernible difference between an office/home use sized commercial design grinder, and a full size cafe sized grinder...that could be attributed only to the diameter of the grinding plates.

      Myself and one other (an experienced barista) could find no real discernible difference in the coffees we compared using the same beans and machine, once the grinders had both been dialed in to produce the best possible espreso that we could obtain. If some differences can be found in a run of coffees....how does anyone know it was only just down to the size of grinding plates? And if there is a difference, what does it mean? Were there any bad coffees produced? No.

      Larger diameter grinding plates are designed for volume production. Any difference in "quality" in the cup, that anyone can realistically find.....is purely accidental, for similar cut grinding plates, that have not been run hot (which is not going to happen in low volume home use).

      There is a thread in here somewhere, where someone in the last two or three weeks posted that he has both a Mignon and an M2M and has also run side by side comparisons. In that case the OP preferred the Macap M2 for quality in the cup and "the mess factor".

      With regard to " not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4...." I couldn't imagine why (and what does that mean anyway?).... the difference is 50 VS 58 mm plates. And....?????? The M4 is a higher volume grinder. Has anyone done a comparative side by side test of *in the cup coffee quality*, between an M2 and an M4? Were any differences significant and obvious? My view would be, we are not always privvy to the reviewers personal agenda, and until I've done the comparison myself I tend not to worry too much about that (" not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4"). Maybe the reviewer wasnt comparing apples to apples (M2M to M4M OR...M2D to M4D...they need to be comparable models to take all the other things into consideration besides perceived quality of coffee in the cup, eg ease of use, overall owner satisfaction, mess factor, bells and whistles etc).

      Have you spoken to your supplier to get their experienced take?

      At the moment, the Vario is the most expensive of the three, the Mignon is in the middle, and the M2 is the most cost effective. Does it lose out in any way to the Migjon...I think not. Does it lose out in any way to the Vario? The Vario has more bells and whistles. Its also a very good grinder. It looks like an appliance. The others look like small commercial grinders. The Vario in the end, will over a period theoretically have much more to go wrong with it due to its more complicated nature, while the other two will give years of faithfull service with virtually nothing to go wrong, except if you drop them...so....virtually no more to pay after the first investment.

      So it comes down to what you as an individual want in a grinder, what it looks like, the price, the servicability aspect over time etc.

      Oh I should also have said:
      The stepped M2 is fantastic for quick changes / large changes in grind for different brewing methods. Its a KISS principle grinder. The steps are very small and not a problem. There is nothing wrong with modern small commercial grinders using small steps in their adjuster. Its the domestic offerings with large steps and sloppy adjusters that present a problem...

      And after all that said...All three are excellent coffee grinders.


      Conclusion: Interpret "reviews" with a grain of salt, take professional advice, and make a choice that is right for you.

      Going back for the ultimate short answer to your question:
      M2. Great little grinder.

      Hope all that helps.

      Comment


      • #4
        And in fact - sometimes smaller grinders can do a better job

        Depends on how you like your coffee, and who's been roasting.
        I took my first bag of home roast SO Cuban down and BIL and I went through a substantial amount on said setup above. Took a bit to dial in for the bean, but then lovely, rich, thick, dark (if still interesting) espresso. Not bitter or sour.
        I had a bag of the same Cuban at home waiting - almost undrinkable on the big conical as espresso. Wild and smokey, dry mouth feel - just too clean and sharp to drink! The M2 actual tamed the bean, added some body & chocolate that wasn't present through the conical.

        Horses for courses. It's a lovely grinder

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        • #5
          Thanks for the detailed responses TOK and DBC. I am trying not to over think the whole thing but there is lots of discussion over burr sizes being better being 50mm+ and it makes sense that if you are grinding a large quantity you need to have the hardware to meet the volume. Interestingly the person selling Macap said to me that there was imperceptible difference between the M2 and M4.

          As you may know there are lots of very favourable reviews on the Vario which was swaying me against some negativity on the long term reliability of the grinder, although I hear that the Vario 2 fixes the publicized problems (sliders moving, brittle hopper connection etc).

          TOK, thanks for comments about the history of the company and the comments about the stepped mechanism too , the grinder is heavy and looks very well made and although cheaper than the Vario the price differential is not significant at around $150-200 and I want to get the best grinder for the job. Speaking of which, I am only going to use it for espresso. You are right on the Appliance vs a smaller commercial grinder look too!

          What is view on the best grinder?

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm afraid I'm out of personal experience there GBH.

            Having owned an M4 for 5+ years without an issue and used the M2 - all I can say confidently is that the Macap's are great grinders and built to last - and they have a good rep overall here on CS's.

            If you have a local supplier with a range of grinders (try one of the sponsors) - go down for the poke and rattle test! You'll soon know if the hoppers feel lighter or similar (not that any sponsors are likely to sell you a dud!). The weight and the sound of the empty grinder running will be a good indicator of the internal quality in general.

            While you won't find a lot of reviews on the M2 here, being a fairly new grinder, there is lot on the others in their range that have been written about in terms of quality & use etc. And there should be lots of reviews about the others you have mentioned too. The Compak's get great reviews here too - they are in a similar price/size/usage range.

            But in the end - nothing beats the hands-on test!
            Good luck

            Comment


            • #7
              all 3 are good grinders, so it comes down to what u like best.

              If your supplier has all three on display or on demo, that is excellent and you can ask more questions and maybe take a look at the "mess factor", which will be best on the Vario because it has the container (in addition to the group handle fork....remove one, fit the other and vice versa), where the other two only have the fork.

              Regardless, any grinder that doses on demand into an open group handle located by a fork, will have the mess factor issue. You will learn how to minimise this through your modus operandi as developed over time, but you cant help making some mess when making fresh coffee its part of the deal (and I know enough clients that cant handle that but I say again...its part of the deal).

              Also the Vario has a lot of "bells and whistles" and programability that the other two don't. Is it necessary? The other two don't have that. AQ're they any the lesser for not having that?

              And...While in commercial use I wouldn't think twice about the look of the grinder because you are more interested in what it does for you, in home use the look of the equipment takes on an importance of its own which is quite legitimate, you and partner have to be able to live with it long term in your kitchen.

              As DBC rightly wrote above...horses for courses.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re the comment on the quality I have spoken to a few people that service grinders and espresso machines and while they all agree that Vario produces a good quality grind they are fairly negative about the quality of the materials in the Vario and its likely longevity.

                One point that I'd be interested to know is what the grind retention is like in the Macap M2 - there doesn't appear to be any retention with the shop model but long term things tend to be different. Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by GBH View Post
                  Re the comment on the quality I have spoken to a few people that service grinders and espresso machines and while they all agree that Vario produces a good quality grind they are fairly negative about the quality of the materials in the Vario and its likely longevity.

                  One point that I'd be interested to know is what the grind retention is like in the Macap M2 - there doesn't appear to be any retention with the shop model but long term things tend to be different. Thanks!
                  The grind retention depends on how you look at it. For starters you really need a bare minimum of 1/4 full hopper for the grinder to perform well. I usually fill 1/3 and if I know whats left at the end is not going to get used by end of day, I shut the hopper door and remove, releasing beans back into bag.

                  I will then fish out the loose beans on top of throat. Whats left tends to be about 5 to 7grams when run through.
                  After cleaning the grinder for the first time, then loading up with beans there was about 3.5g of retention.
                  So when in use and enough time has gone by that the grinds are stale, I just purge around 4g and all is well.

                  Overall these are an incredibly solid grinder for its very small size. I grind into a cup / weigh dose and I find it very quick and clean to use. In this regards compared to Rocky or Compak K3 it wins and also for my tastes kicks their butts in the cup. It does not get hot at all, I think the grounds started to get a little warm only after i knocked out about 20 shots in quick succession on BDB, but for day to day use for a few shots it grinds quick, clean and cool. Its a keeper.

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                  • #10
                    Thanks everyone for the very helpful and detailed responses.

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                    • #11
                      Hi All, sorry to resurrect an old thread, I bought a Macap M2M grinder yesterday and I'm experimenting with grind settings. Which number do you all have it set on for espresso? Also, do you take the grinder reading from the front little silver arrow or the side locking mechanism? Thanks for your help.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Around half way between 5 and 6, but depends on beans/roast depth. Darker beans more like 5.75. YMMV.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Flaminuggboot View Post
                          Hi All, sorry to resurrect an old thread, I bought a Macap M2M grinder yesterday and I'm experimenting with grind settings. Which number do you all have it set on for espresso? Also, do you take the grinder reading from the front little silver arrow or the side locking mechanism? Thanks for your help.
                          With the grinder off, set it to its finest setting, then move 3 or 4 clicks coarser for espresso.
                          Trying to go by the numbers on the dial is pretty useless.

                          Enjoy

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Flaminuggboot View Post
                            Hi All, sorry to resurrect an old thread, I bought a Macap M2M grinder yesterday and I'm experimenting with grind settings. Which number do you all have it set on for espresso? Also, do you take the grinder reading from the front little silver arrow or the side locking mechanism? Thanks for your help.
                            The numbers on the M2 are there only for a reference of adjustment, the numbers themselves don't correspond to any grind setting.
                            I find the easiest point for reference is from the side with the locking mechanism.

                            Enjoy your grinder, the Macap M2M is a great little unit

                            Cheers
                            Antony

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                            • #15
                              What is the range of this grinder and how many 'steps' are there in the espresso range?
                              Many thanks,
                              m

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