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  • Looking for my ultimate grinder

    I currently have a dosser Mazer mini with a La Marzocco GS3. I am keen to change the grinder. What I want (if it is out there) is a programmable electronic grinder with minimal grind retention. I want one that is not as messy as the mazer. I am also looking to find one that I can easily and accurately go from one grind setting to another and back again.

    I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions of a grinder that might fit the bill. I have checked out the online sites and have come across the Baratza Forte that may be pretty close to what I want. However, I don't think it is available in Australia.
    Any suggestions?
    cNc

  • #2
    What price range cNc?

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    • #3
      Besides retention and mess any other positive criteria? How about space considerations?

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      • #4
        Price range fairly large $750 - $1.4k

        Space consideration - about same as Mazer mini or maybe a little larger
        cNc

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        • #5
          Then you are looking squarely at the Macap M4D with stepped adjuster.

          With all the endless hoohaa in the stepped VS step-less discussion, not sure if any importers are currently bringing in the stepped version, despite that it is a great package. You will then need to specify the colour, with most being either chrome or the commercial silver colour despite other colours being available from the manufacturer.

          Suggest you ask around for availability of the M4D Stepped.

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          • #6
            +1 for the Macap M4D ....... stepless micrometric or just stepped, doesn't really matter; given that both versions have the same innards ..... this is your grinder.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TOK View Post
              Then you are looking squarely at the Macap M4D with stepped adjuster.

              With all the endless hoohaa in the stepped VS step-less discussion, not sure if any importers are currently bringing in the stepped version, despite that it is a great package.
              Hear, hear! I love my stepless Macap M4D, but do on occasions miss the stepped adjustment of its predecessor.

              Best wishes, Russell

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              • #8
                I like my stepped Macap M5.

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                • #9
                  Is the Macap M4D with the stepped adjustor still available? Also what is the grind retention like with this grinder.
                  Finally has anyone heard if the Baratza Forte will be coming to Australia?
                  cNc

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                  • #10
                    Great think about the macap M4 stepless is the incremental adjustment winder.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by coffeeNcake View Post
                      I currently have a dosser Mazer mini with a La Marzocco GS3. I am keen to change the grinder. What I want (if it is out there) is a programmable electronic grinder with minimal grind retention. I want one that is not as messy as the mazer. I am also looking to find one that I can easily and accurately go from one grind setting to another and back again.

                      I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions of a grinder that might fit the bill. I have checked out the online sites and have come across the Baratza Forte that may be pretty close to what I want. However, I don't think it is available in Australia.
                      Any suggestions?
                      cNc
                      Hi coffeeNcake

                      Having owned both a 110V & a 240V GS3, I share your grinder pain. I have also owned a Mahlkonig (the actual maker, the Baratza is only sold in Oz indirectly as a "grey import") Vario "Gen 1" (not the official title) and a Vario Gen2. I also directly compared the Gen1 with the Baratza Forte.

                      If you look up some of my other posts on this you can get the longer version.
                      http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...tml#post517003 & http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...tml#post516769 have more info.

                      Short version: Gen1 has less retention and slightly wider particle spread than the Forte. The Forte is essentially a bigger / heavier / commercial version of the Vario gen1. I kinda think of it as a "gen 1.5" with a much heavier frame and worse grind retention. The Gen2 has even less grind retention than the gen1, and mine has a narrower particle spread than the Forte or my earlier gen1 (as does the Mahlkonig 30, which I directly compared with my gen2).

                      As you would have worked out in the first week with your GS3, 2g of stale grinds in a 15g double = sink shot, so grind retention is "uber critical", as is water quality. Nowhere to hide... The Vario has well below 0.5g retention (gen1 coffee geek test), as does the gen2 (by eye). The Forte has close to double that (also by eye).

                      The Vario leaves NO mess on the bench if you go direct into the p/f (not a single ground after about 6 or 7 months between the two of them). That is a welcome first for me. The Vario does not popcorn (right down to the last bean), have any static clumping or any other bad habits: also impressive. My gen2 is made in Switzerland, presumably by the Ditting tentacle of the Mahlkonig octopus, as it has long life Ditting ceramic burrs. From memory, the gen1 has different burrs from the gen2, whilst the Forte is at least similar to the gen2. The gen2 is noticeably stronger than the gen1. Vario's are small in terms of bench space and very, very quiet compared to any other grinder I have used (including the Forte).

                      Originally posted by coffeeNcake View Post
                      Is the Macap M4D with the stepped adjustor still available? Also what is the grind retention like with this grinder.
                      Finally has anyone heard if the Baratza Forte will be coming to Australia?
                      cNc
                      I doubt any Baratza will be officially available here. Having played with the Mahlkonig 30, it is another step up anyway.

                      For home use, I would rather have 2 * Vario gen2's instead of one Forte / 30 anyway: quieter, smaller, less grind retention and it is possible to have a decaf one on standby (and a spare if anything breaks). FYI, I just ordered my second Vario gen2 last week, for precisely that reason. One quick comparison using the decaf and SWMBO decided my Vario was to stay on decaf... I still have a Bo-ema RR45 (among others) for plunger grinds, even though it is banned from the house (noise!).

                      Hope this helps


                      TampIt

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TampIt View Post
                        As you would have worked out in the first week with your GS3, 2g of stale grinds in a 15g double = sink shot, so grind retention is "uber critical", as is water quality. Nowhere to hide...
                        The old retention = the only solution is Baratzkonig again?

                        As always, the question is how long have they been there and what percentage of retained grounds is actually transferred to the next shot? Secondly, can the transferred retained grinds be tasted blind?

                        Beware marketing hype...

                        cNc, another option is to learn how to use your grinder efficiently and effectively. You may well find that there is a whole heap less mess if you do.

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                        • #13
                          The old "Grind Retention" cods-wallop again...

                          Sheesh, give us a break...

                          Mal.

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                          • #14
                            I think that grind retention is important... but not if you (a) use the same coffee every day and (b) don't change your filter basket.

                            Being a home roaster, I tend to have quite a few different roasts available at any one time and I regularly change between 7 g, 15 g and 22 g baskets. Each time I need to change the grind and if there were retention this would be pretty troublesome for me especially as my roaster has fairly low capacity.

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                            • #15
                              Grind retention is commonly associated with a coffee disorder known as AR (Anal Retentiveness, also Anally Retentive).

                              The OP has a LM GS3. Big dollars. They seek a $1k or so grinder. As mentioned the Macap M4D is an excellent choice. I can vouch for it as I use one daily. It has minimal grind retention.
                              Purging 2-3 grams of coffee to ensure freshness, equates to 10cents a purge.
                              Given the amount of money already spent on coffee equipment by the OP, worrying about purging a dollar's worth of coffee every week really needs to be put into context.
                              If it does worry you, what about the coffee wasted when you get the dose and grind wrong?

                              If I forget, and I usually do, to purge the grinder, it really makes no difference. I use 18g to make a coffee, and the first one is always drowned with milk for my lovely wife. I doubt there is a noticeable difference when the resulting drink is milk based.

                              Concentrating on dose and grind to ensure perfect espresso extraction is more important than worrying about the retention of a few cents worth of coffee.

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