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  • New grinder up to $500

    Hello,
    I currently have a sunbeam em0480 grinder which is teamed up with the em6910. I would like to upgrade the grinder (around the $500 mark) and I’m after opinions on my best options.


    I make approximately 2 flat white per day. I generally grind my beans on demand so it would be ideal if the grinder could work well with a minimal amount of beans in the hopper. I have limited bench space so size is important as well. When I can afford it I hope to team the new grinder up with the Lelit PL60T v2 or similar.

    From the research I have done on this site so far it looks like the macap m2m or compak k3 push may be good options. What do you all think?

    Amanda

  • #2
    Yep, they would be about your best options. This is an interesting read on the topic Buying guide- coffee grinders | Talk Coffee.i moved from an em480 to the compak and was totally blown away with the resultant shift up in quality. A mate thinks I'm just selling it to myself but I know what better espresso tastes like.

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    • #3
      I recently upgraded from a nemox lux to a compak k3 - it has made a significant difference in the quality of espresso I have been producing - so I would recommend it. The two grinders I had come down to were also the M2M and the k3. I really don't think there is much to separate the two. As far as I could discern they will both provide reasonably consistent grind size and allow you to make the required adjustments in grind size. I think the main differences are probably cosmetic and the fact that the k3 is stepless, whereas the M2M is stepped.

      Since upgrading I've really enjoyed the stepless control over the grind size on the k3. It makes dialing in good shots easy if you have nailed down a constant dose and yield. Sometimes it was not possible to hit the sweetspot with the nemox lux just by adjusting the grind because of the size of the steps, so you had to play with the dose or yield a bit to get your shots right once you had found a grind size that was nearly where you wanted it. However, from what I have read I don't think the steps on the M2M will put you in any worse a position than the k3 because of its steps - they seem to be sufficiently small. Also, I only grind for espresso with the k3, but if you intend to grind for filter or french press etc. as well as espresso you might prefer the stepped adjustment because I understand it is easier to remember where your settings for each application are.

      Hope that helps in some way

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      • #4
        I have a eureka mignon and love it. should be close to your price range and meet your wish list

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        • #5
          Some day I will have to try an M2M to see what difference it makes to my shot.
          And even if I can taste the difference between that and a grind done on my EM 480.

          I suspect if bought one I would have to tell eveyone it makes such a difference, so as to justify my purchase!

          One thing for sure, plenty of cafes do not make a coffee that tastes the way I like it.

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          • #6
            I have been using a Quamar q50 for around 9 months and have found it great. It's a doserless grind on demand style, just shoots the grinds into the portafilter. I generally only have a small amount of beans in the hopper and it works well. I paid $600 for mine. Looks pretty smart too.

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            • #7
              Hello Amanda, One maker that gets very little mention here on CS is Bezzera. I have had a BB005 for a couple of years now, and I'm very pleased with it.

              It ticks all your boxes - it is small and neat, grinds well with few beans in the hopper, has low retention, low maintenance and is within your budget. The importer is located in Brisbane and according to their website they have a retailer in Noosaville.
              It has a very fine step-less adjustment, so it is not good for switching from espresso to plunger and back, but it is great for dialing in the best grind for a good extraction, and tweaking it when you change beans, or as they age.

              Unlike a couple of other grinders I have had in the past, I have no regrets about my Bezzera.

              I have not used an M2M or a K3, though the M2M was on my short list at the time, so I can't compare them with the BB005 or with one another.

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              • #8
                thank you all for your feedback. I really appreciate it.

                I'm now leaning towards the compak.

                tobeanornottobean and mrsakata, did you get the push or touch option? Any tips you could provide when learning how to use the compak k3?

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                • #9
                  Hi amea26

                  I ended up opting for the touch version of the k3 (which costs more than the push). As far as I am aware it is exactly the same as the push but with the addition of the ability to use time controlled dosing. When using the touch feature you can leave the portafilter sitting resting on the forks and held by the small hook on the tongue of the grinder after pressing the tongue and the grinder will dispense a timed shot. I use that feature frequently, however, it is not as useful as I had hoped. The problem is that controlling dose with time assumes that the grinder will grind the same amount of grams per second every time you grind - but in reality the time it takes to grind a gram of coffee seems to change slightly with a change in the amount of beans in the hopper pushing the beans into the burrs and the type of coffee you are grinding, and more significantly with the size of the grind. The upshot of all that is that you need to set the timer up to give you the amount of coffee you want per dose after you have a grind size you are happy with for the bean and dose you are using to get consistent dosing. I don't mind taking some time to do that - so I would still recommend the touch version of the k3, but unless you think you will make use of the timed dosing it certainly isn't a necessary feature.

                  Hope that helps!

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                  • #10
                    Cant go wrong with the k3 push. No fancy bits. Just a great grinder. Push portafilter in and coffee comes out. Very happy with mine. I had a breville smart grinder before this and that had all the dose and time features. Dont miss them one bit.

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                    • #11
                      I have had several grinders. The k3 touch was great in most ways expect for grind retention. There's a small plastic flap that ensures several grams of stale grind at the start of each day. The m2m is a beauty. The m4d is better but that's over $1000

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                      • #12
                        Hi. Same situation as the TS, and I'm also an EM6910 user. I used to pair it with a BCG800 until it stalled recently.
                        Without any knowledge of how to open it, looks like I have to give up on it.

                        So 3 brands are now in my consideration - Macap, Compak and Baratza. While the first two are already discussed in this thread, any inputs on the Baratza? Would be very useful if anyone can share if Baratza Vario is better than the K3 and M2M.
                        Also, is grind retention an issue in K3 Push, or is it only in the Touch?
                        Thanks

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                        • #13
                          The only difference between the touch and push K3 is the times operation. The retention isn't huge. If it's a concern run the grinder for a couple of seconds to clear the stale grinds.

                          Cheers

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                          • #14
                            agree. grind retention doesn't seem to be much of an issue in the k3. re the Vario, there is a member here goes by the name of TampIt. He's got Varios and swears by them. He's written a bunch of stuff in different threads about his love.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by artman View Post
                              The only difference between the touch and push K3 is the times operation. The retention isn't huge. If it's a concern run the grinder for a couple of seconds to clear the stale grinds.

                              Cheers
                              You can try other way to clear the stale grinds on K3 push, just lift chute (it’s spring loaded) and release it. It’ll run a motor for a fraction of second and dump stales. One time should be enough but can repeat it if required.

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