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  • Manual or Electric for Specialty Micro Cafe?

    Hey there,

    What would be a suitable grinder for a mobile micro cafe? I've tried to come to a decision but I really don't know what would be best. We have not opened yet and do not know what our sales will be like, so I want to be prepared in either case. We want to get it right from the start, as well as we reasonably can.

    We will be doing specialty coffee and will also have the ROK espresso maker, so need a grinder that can handle those, not just espresso.

    Would a manual grinder such as the ROK Grinder be okay? Or would it be worth investing in something such as the HG1 by Lyn Weber? We really want to keep it around $1K if we can, but obviously if cheaper still has value, we would opt for that. We are thinking about the amount of time it will add to our service, and if we are grinding on demand all day with a manual grinder, how that will affect us. Any experience in this? Has anyone used either grinder in a commercial setting?

    Or, it might be best to find a really good storage container and pregrind at home with an electric grinder?
    If electric, it would preferably have low wattage to keep as sustainable as possible.

    Looking forward to any advice!

    T

  • #2
    Originally posted by tarajs View Post

    We will be doing specialty coffee and will also have the ROK espresso maker, so need a grinder that can handle those, not just espresso.

    Would a manual grinder such as the ROK Grinder be okay ? Looking forward to any advice ! T
    The ROK grinder might be OK for the ROK Presso, but it may not grind fine enough for most espresso machines.

    It's a good design, but is let down by the burrs. They seem to be of variable quality. Some users report that they can grind fine enough for their espresso machines, but many others (including me) found that they would not. Seems to be a lucky dip whether you get a good one or a lemon.

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    • #3
      Welcome tarajs

      I don't think you'd want to be considering any sort of hand grinder for commercial type usage - even very low volume. 2 or three doubles and you'd be done in!
      However, for a very low volume situation (and how micro are we talking?) where you are hoping to do a few different brew methods, there is no reason why developing a good single-dosing workflow with a good quality and reasonable speed grinder like a Macap M4D shouldn't be possible. That way you can adjust grind between shots / style if need be. A little bit slower, and would require you to weigh your beans, but more than possible. And grinders should draw too much power…

      Cheers Matt

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      • #4
        Deegee - If you're just talking about espresso machines - that's okay. We won't have a machine. But that's a very good point, and we may in the future, so thank you It sucks that quality is variable. I wish products were more consistent.. doesn't everyone.

        Matt - that's what I'm worried about. I was pretty sure a manual grinder wouldn't stand up to commercial use from what I've read - we have limited options so I'm just making sure I guess. Our cafe will be a Wheelys (www.wheelyscafe.com). Many Wheelers are saying an electric grinder cannot be used on site as we use a car battery to power everything. I will have to talk to them more about it.. maybe someone has found a solution. This is where I start thinking I may need to pregrind at home. But then I read about pregrind vs grind on demand and I don't want to sacrifice quality.. it's a bit of a situation. Lucky we have time to plan for it!

        Thanks for your rec too.

        T

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        • #5
          Ahhh that all makes more sense now seeing what you're planning
          If you are not using a machine at all only manual brew methods, then maybe some beans ground that morning would be ok. And possibly a pourover style filter coffee would be better - how would you go with a presso with no way to steam milk?
          A handgrinder like a Lido would work well for that sort of setup - but you still wouldn't want to be doing more than 10-15 per day without some serious gym work leading up to it!

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          • #6
            Are you on a bicycle? If so, I see mad visions of a hand grinder rigged to the crank...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tarajs View Post
              .. maybe someone has found a solution...
              They have. Solar + inverter.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                Are you on a bicycle? If so, I see mad visions of a hand grinder rigged to the crank...

                Maybe, not so mad after all!

                http://www.velopresso.cc/

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MrJack View Post
                  Maybe, not so mad after all!

                  Velopresso | The Pedal-powered Coffee Trike
                  That is an absolute classic!
                  I guess if you got caught in a shower of rain you wouldn't have to worry about too much static in the grinder

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                  • #10
                    Terrific Mr.Jack...

                    Mal.

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