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Thread: Want to buy my last grinder

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    Want to buy my last grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im presently using my old Rocky with a Bezzera BZ40E and want to upgrade the grinder. While its certainly NOT a case of "money is no object" by the same token I never want to be in the market for a grinder again. Its for home use but I take my coffee pretty seriously. I had been considering either a Mazzer SJ or mini and wonder if, for home use, theres really much difference in the end product between the two? Other alternatives of equal quality would obviously be considered however I dont want it to overwhelm our small kitchen so something like a Robur isnt going to happen Im afraid ;D Im in Sydney and need good availability of parts should I need them.

    Cheers

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I dont reckon theres much of a difference(if any) in grind quality between the SJ and Mini. Speed is the biggest difference. I dont reckon youd be looking to upgrade it anytime soon.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    An SJ will definitely take up more space than a mini. You could consider the best of both worlds and go for a mini electronic - SJ burrs in a mini body (but no doser),

    charlie

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/0#2 date=1228274870
    An SJ will definitely take up more space than a mini. You could consider the best of both worlds and go for a mini electronic - SJ burrs in a mini body (but no doser),

    charlie
    Yeah I dont I want to go much larger than a SJ. I checked out a Robur the other day and cant imagine what something like that would be like in the kitchen ;D Even at the espresso bar, 2 Roburs side by side took a fair chunk of counter space!!

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/0#2 date=1228274870
    mini electronic - SJ burrs in a mini body
    Im not sure thats right. I know the Mini-E burrs are the same size as on the SJ, but I believe they have a less aggressive angle on the teeth so as to not overload the smaller Mini motor. Ive read some disscussion on this over on Home barista. Are you able to confirm or deny whether this is in fact the case?

  6. #6
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Also consider the Macap and the Compak.

    Speak to Di Bartoli, Cuppacoffee or Jetblack Espresso?

    Did I forget any other Sydney sponsor that sells grinders?

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    The Mini-E definitely doesnt seem to be as quick as a SJ...

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1228273572/0#5 date=1228282483
    Also consider the Macap and the Compak.

    Speak to Di Bartoli, Cuppacoffee or Jetblack Espresso?

    Did I forget any other Sydney sponsor that sells grinders?
    Yes they are 2 brands I want to find out more about, Ill head off to Jetblack when my wife and I can co-ordinate being in the same place at the same time ;D As it happened I was on their site and was about to order some cups so it will work out well.

    As for speed, thats really not a huge consideration (well within reason I guess) as Im only grinding on demand. I guess if something was unusually slow or fast it would factor though.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I wonder if the mini-E is intentionally designed slower to allow increased accuracy of timed doses? slower=accurate?

    Wioth the super jolly I got a short hopper so it doesnt look massibve. The origibnal hopper is way to big for home I think.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I was interested in the SJ mainly because, well theyre good, but also because they come up on auctions from time to time used. Having said that Ive often found the used ones go for what I consider way too much considering the fact that they ARE second hand and so often a couple of people get hold of an auction and let their egos get in the way of their brain cells. By the same token IF I ever did decide to sell it for some reason theyre easy to get rid of.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    exactly my thoughts with a SJ - I was looking for one secondhand for months, but couldnt find anything good - and when something did come up it was trashed and went for way too much.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Gday Pete,

    Dont get too hung up on having to own a used Mazzer commercial grinder. There are plenty of very high quality grinders that come up from time to time that dont happen to have the "Mazzer" badge riveted on them and are at least the equal of them and sometimes maybe of even better build quality. When considering used commercial grinders, try to see the grinder in action if possible, while listening for any untoward sounds that may spell additional cost and work down the track. If you cant view the grinder personally, try to enlist the help of someone whose knowledge and experience you trust.

    Sure, Mazzer grinders are great, but so are many others.... 8-)

    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Hey Mal, oh no not getting hung up on that idea at all, far from it. Its just the commercial grinder Im most familiar with and so I know precisely what it is (if as described). The only reason I dont already own one is due reasons I gave above. In my books if something is used it needs to come at a significant discount to new and so often with this model it doesnt seem to be the case. When guying used I try to figure theres bound to be SOMETHING wrong with it that will cost be additional money to fix. In the case of my BZ40E it was 3 weeks worth of rebuilding, in the case of a grinder maybe just a set of burrs. Maybe nothing at all, but thats just luck and not something I count on.
    Pete

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Yeah, I think its more to do with the Mazzer name being the name that has propagated throughout the web than anything to do with them being supposedly far superior to anything else around.

    Actually, I think far more commercial equipment becomes available on the used market due to failed businesses having to "fire sale" off all of their assets. Some are no doubt due to shop refits, contract changes and a whole heap of other reasons. Anyway, you seem to know what to look out for and dont have the rose coloured "Mazzer" glasses on when looking around, so thats the main thing.... ;)

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I think the second hand market is largely driven by the look of a grinder - anything modern and nice looking you will pay lots (mazzer, compak, etc), and anything old or industrial looking and you get a bargain no matter how well it does the job.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1228273572/0#13 date=1228296841
    Actually, I think far more commercial equipment becomes available on the used market due to failed businesses having to "fire sale" off all of their assets. Some are no doubt due to shop refits, contract changes and a whole heap of other reasons. Anyway, you seem to know what to look out for and dont have the rose coloured "Mazzer" glasses on when looking around, so thats the main thing.... ;)

    Cheers,
    Mal.
    Exactly what keeps my son employed in the auction business.

    A lot of failed cafe equipment comes through their doors.

    BTW, he says theyre selling up a chocolate factory in about 2 weeks.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Pete
    I recommend a good test drive of several grinders
    You say that you will visit Jatblack Espresso soon
    What an opportune time for you to test out a few brands

    One thing no one has commented on is a demonstrator model
    Its not new it[ch8217]s not old but comes with a warranty and is in reality a new machine

    Good luck checking them out
    I love the aroma of fresh coffee grinding

    P.S dont let all that ground coffee go to waste? you may as well pull a few shots of coffee while you are at it ;)

    KK

  18. #18
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1228273572/0#15 date=1228298839
    BTW, he says theyre selling up a chocolate factory in about 2 weeks.
    I had a laugh...

    Dont let Dennis find out TG ;D

    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Shhhhhhhhhhh

  20. #20
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Nahhhhh

    Have you son send him a catalogue and watch him go nuts ;)

    KK

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by damian1 link=1228273572/0#14 date=1228298286
    I think the second hand market is largely driven by the look of a grinder - anything modern and nice looking you will pay lots (mazzer, compak, etc), and anything old or industrial looking and you get a bargain no matter how well it does the job.
    You think a Mazzer SJ looks "nice" ;D

    Given the number of cafes etc that go belly up each year I had thought it much easier to source a second hand grinder however have been surprised that its not as easy as I expected. Ive been watching Grays/ebay and in the past few months a few Mazzers have gone through for sure but not "that" many. Im wondering if its because so many grinders are tied to contracts? Many other brands were/are available but to me theyre a bit of an unknown as far as quality, or I simply know theyre not as good.

    Anyway, the point is the SJ is just ONE option and Im keen to explore others, but its about the level Im looking at. The next step up from that is a big one (price wise) and Im not sure would provide a massive improvement in quality given the cost. As I said at the top, I dont want to change again, and if I did Id probably look at machining my own up from scratch however at the moment I simply dont have time for a project like that.

    A demo sounds like a great compromise.

  22. #22
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Hi again Pete,

    I think far more of the assets from defunct coffee shops are auctioned from "real" auction houses like the one that TGs son works at. There are also a few Espresso Tech premises who attend these auctions, buy up whats worth reconditioning and then on-sell. Id look through the Yellow Pages to see if you cant locate such a business in your area, or maybe attend a couple of auctions here and there and see what turns up....

    EvilBay is ok for what it is but probably not the best place to turn around equipment fast enough to suit creditors looking for some of their money back,

    Cheers, :)
    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Thanks Mal, Ive had a bit of look at the Mazzer mini E and will certainly be looking carefully at that now, seems more suited to home than the SJ. Its not a "cheap" grinder thats for sure but once I get my Bezzera BZ-40E plumbed in I have a PID Silvia that I may offer the guys here and fund the grinder that way. Will be sad to see Miss S go, I provided feedback for the development of the PID kit for the new model Silvia and the install is sweet (if I can say that myself ;D), very neat. However it seems too good a machine to have laying around "just in case" when I could use the money for a really good grinder, so will see.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1228273572/0#4 date=1228281932
    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/0#2 date=1228274870
    mini electronic - SJ burrs in a mini body
    Im not sure thats right. I know the Mini-E burrs are the same size as on the SJ, but I believe they have a less aggressive angle on the teeth so as to not overload the smaller Mini motor. Ive read some disscussion on this over on Home barista. Are you able to confirm or deny whether this is in fact the case?
    Sure can - theyre the same. Ill schedule a grinder cleaning session for later this afternoon and post a comparison pic. Deb will probably hate me, but its nearly time for a grinder clean anyway ... ::)

    charlie

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/20#23 date=1228443100
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1228273572/0#4 date=1228281932
    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/0#2 date=1228274870
    mini electronic - SJ burrs in a mini body
    Im not sure thats right. I know the Mini-E burrs are the same size as on the SJ, but I believe they have a less aggressive angle on the teeth so as to not overload the smaller Mini motor. Ive read some disscussion on this over on Home barista. Are you able to confirm or deny whether this is in fact the case?
    Sure can - theyre the same. Ill schedule a grinder cleaning session for later this afternoon and post a comparison pic. Deb will probably hate me, but its nearly time for a grinder clean anyway ... ::)

    charlie
    Cool. Im interested to see those pics.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/20#23 date=1228443100
    Sure can - theyre the same. Ill schedule a grinder cleaning session for later this afternoon and post a comparison pic. Deb will probably hate me, but its nearly time for a grinder clean anyway ... ::)

    charlie
    Well thats interesting that you say they are the same, because I just did some research on Home Barista and they have photos comparing both burr sets, and they are obviously completely different going by those photos! The replacement burrs for the SJ and Mini-E have different part numbers too (33D vs 189D), which would be odd if they were identical.

    Refer: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/difference-between-mazzer-mini-e-burrs-and-super-jolly-burrs-t6883.html

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Dont believe everything you read on the internet :o (unless its CS of course ;D)

    charlie

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Charlie, as a matter if interest, do you take (in my case a Rocky) grinder trade-ins? Im away a lot so mine has only seen about 15-20kg since new. Hmm, maybe even less now I start thinking about it, too busy critiquing others coffee. I wont be able to make it there this weekend but wifey is keen to check out the cups so I better run with that excuse while I can ;D

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Hi Pete,

    have PMd you,

    charlie

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/20#26 date=1228447990
    Dont believe everything you read on the internet *:o (unless its CS of course *;D)

    charlie
    I dont. Id just be good to know for certain, as I have a Mini-E myself. Are you able to verify those part numbers? What part numbers do you have listed for the Mini-E and SJ?

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Bill, have you been happy with that grinder? Anything you could comment on or I should particularly look out for. What one person may consider a pain, another may not even notice, but its nice to have opinions from others who use something every day.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Hmm...
    Checking the Mazzer site, the Mini-E has the same sized burrs as the SJ, runs at 1400rpm, but only the 250w motor. The SJ is a 350w motor. The Mini has smaller burrs, and runs at 250w.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    SJ and Mini E burr comparison photos: (mini e on right)








    charlie

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteF link=1228273572/20#30 date=1228452162
    Bill, have you been happy with that grinder? Anything you could comment on or I should particularly look out for. What one person may consider a pain, another may not even notice, but its nice to have opinions from others who use something every day.
    Yeah, Ive been pretty happy with it. Ive read about clumping with this grinder, but I havent had much of that. Mine seems pretty clump-free to me, although I havent used anything else to compare it with. The grinder is very clean - I hear of other doserless grinders that spray coffee all over the place, but you dont get that with the Mini-E, it just makes a nice mound of coffee in the filter basket - no mess.

    One issue that Ive had with it though is that a few times now its jammed and refused to grind. This seems to only happen if Ive made some fairly large grind adjustments (yes I had the motor running at the time, as youre supposed to, in case anyone asks). This is an easy fix though - it seems to be caused by the coffee grounds becoming packed quite solidly in the exit chute, blocking more coffee from coming out - just take the cone off and clean out the exit chute and itll be good to go again. This hasnt happened all that often though, but just something to be aware of if it happens to you - the grinder isnt broken, as I first thought when it happened to me the first time. I dont know if anyone else has had this issue with their Mini-E, as Ive never read of this before.

    The timer works quite well, but as with all timed grinders the grind weight will vary depending on what grind setting you use and what beans youre grinding. ie. if you adjust the grind finer, less coffee will be dispensed at that timer setting. I set mine to dispense a little less coffee than I want, and then just top it up to the required amount in the basket.

  35. #35
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I guess if youre thinking in terms of the Mini-E Pete, you should also look at the Macap M4D. Its in the same class of grinders as the Mini-E at a similar price point and has plenty of very satisfied owners here on CS....

    Need to evaluate all the options.... ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by JetBlack Espresso link=1228273572/20#32 date=1228455282
    SJ and Mini E burr comparison photos: (mini e on right)


    charlie
    Thanks for posting that. Well they do appear to be the same going by those photos. So if the burrs are the same, you would expect the grind quality be the same too, wouldnt you?


    Bill

  37. #37
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1228273572/20#35 date=1228457140
    Thanks for posting that. Well they do appear to be the same going by those photos. So if the burrs are the same, you would expect the grind quality be the same too, wouldnt you?
    If the burr peripheral speed is the same, then yes. Otherwise, there would no doubt be some slight variation....

    Mal.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1228273572/20#34 date=1228456921
    I guess if youre thinking in terms of the Mini-E Pete, you should also look at the Macap M4D. Its in the same class of grinders as the Mini-E at a similar price point and has plenty of very satisfied owners here on CS.... Mal.
    Oh yeah, not sold on an "E" yet, not by a long shot. Just happened that I saw a couple last night and was able to compare next to the SJ.

    One thing I wonder, since I know a lot of guys home roast here. At the moment, as I mentioned, Im away often. So basically how I handle that is to buy 2kg of (roasted) beans at a time, stick them in the freezer in their original bags (yes I know the debate about freezing), take out what I need for a day or two and keep that in a preserving jar and just scoop out what I need to dose on demand. Overall Im happy that considering my circumstances Im keeping the beans as fresh as I can.

    However Im keen to give roasting at home a go, lashed out on a 10 buck popper from the op-shop, and will give it a go once I ran out of my current beans. Since Im roasting far less than 2kg at a go, I thought I may just be able to roast, leave them to do their funky thing for a couple of days, then just dump them in the grinders hopper for the few days it takes to go through each batch. What do most people here do? I can imagine that the type if commercial grinders Im looking at arent really designed for my "scoop n poop" method of dosing. ie scooping only enough beans into the hopper for what will be ground, then running it empty.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteF link=1228273572/20#37 date=1228465633
    What do most people here do? I can imagine that the type if commercial grinders Im looking at arent really designed for my "scoop n poop" method of dosing. ie scooping only enough beans into the hopper for what will be ground, then running it empty.
    Pete,

    I have a La Cimbal/DRM conical / flat grinder designed for quite heavy cafe use....

    And it normally grinds just enough for each dose.... I just "dose through" the doser into the PF. Very few grinds remain in either the body of the grinder or the doser.

    The exception is when we have 20-30 people over..... then the hopper gets filled (but not to capacity!) and the doser is used normally as well for dispensing into the basket...

    Works perfectly for me.

  40. #40
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteF link=1228273572/20#37 date=1228465633
    What do most people here do? I can imagine that the type if commercial grinders Im looking at arent really designed for my "scoop n poop" method of dosing. ie scooping only enough beans into the hopper for what will be ground, then running it empty.
    Thats the way I do it most of the time.
    And just like JavaBs, my grinder has the capacity to do a lot more when needed.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteF link=1228273572/20#37 date=1228465633
    What do most people here do? I can imagine that the type if commercial grinders Im looking at arent really designed for my "scoop n poop" method of dosing. ie scooping only enough beans into the hopper for what will be ground, then running it empty.
    I fill the hopper about a third full, then after using what I need in that session, close the gate on the hopper, lift the hopper off the grinder and empty the remaining beans back in to the valved bag.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Good idea, I had completely forgotten about the gate on the hopper. That would work well for me also, just dump them back into my little preserving jar. Presumably there would be some beans left below the hopper doing it this way, and they would be used on the next session. Do all the grinders in this class have a gate or is there some where its not fitted? I can see it could be a useful feature I dont currently have on the Rocky.

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    The gate is pretty standard at that level of grinder

    charlie

  44. #44
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I have a very small hopper I made for my M4D, and I just dump in one espresso worth of beans and grind until the machine is empty.

    I understand this might not give me 100% best results, but 98% works for me--and there is no waste, no leftovers, and no stale beans that sat overnight or longer.

    Greg

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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1228273572/40#43 date=1228527464
    I have a very small hopper I made for my M4D, and I just dump in one espresso worth of beans and grind until the machine is empty.
    Im not sure how significant it is, but Id been "warned" by a few people that some of the commercial grinders have a tendency to "popcorn" a bit if used in this way. I guess the details will become evident once I actually have the new grinder in my hot little hand, but sometimes its nice to know what to expect.

  46. #46
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Im not sure how significant it is, but Id been "warned" by a few people that some of the commercial grinders have a tendency to "popcorn" a bit if used in this way. I guess the details will become evident once I actually have the new grinder in my hot little hand, but sometimes its nice to know what to expect.
    I have an easy fix for this
    Fill a balloon with rice or coffee beans to a suitable size for your hopper tie it off and drop it on top of the beans
    It stops jumping beans and provides a weight to assist the beans to feed in the grinder burrs.

    KK

  47. #47
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    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    I like KKs idea but just havent tried it yet.
    Ive been shutting the hopper gate after feeding in my double shots worth of beans.
    That stops them jumping too far!

  48. #48
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    158

    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    To finish the story, I finished up buying a Mazzer Mini Electronic. Its early days with this grinder so Ill see how it goes. I still have to get it fully dialled in, and I also just changed beans so it will be a while before I have come to a conclusion.

    There are loads of reviews out there to read, however many clearly from people who are getting carried away in the moment; bought a new grinder so it MUST be good. Im less easily impressed so thought Id give my first impressions, for what theyre worth, for somebody who may be considering the same purchase.

    Well what can I say, its built like a tank, definitely a piece of commercial equipment in that regard. However that same quality means things like the location of the power cord could be inconvenient in a domestic situation. As it turned out it wouldnt fit where we had hoped so sits next to the machine, as the designer intended.

    My previous grinder was a Rocky. Like much my gear I consider a new piece of equipment a kit to be completed at home, the cheaper the price, the more its a kit, and so it was with the Rocky. Stock standard the Rocky is "ok" but can very easily be improved to a very good standard. When I last pulled it apart for cleaning I checked just how accurately the burrs were seated and intended to re-machine the necessary parts. After accurately torquing down the burs there was no need to remachine anything, both objectively measuring and checking on the "zero" setting indicated the burrs were tracking very accurately indeed. The burr carrier was fitted with pink plumbers tape to take out the slop and overall it worked very effectively as a domestic machine. Having said that, most people may not be as anal ... errr I mean, "fussy" as myself to take the time with DTIs/micrometers/etc just to check how good/bad their grinder is!! Maybe I just got a particularly good one from the factory?

    From this standard I knew the Mazzer would have a difficult job to improve upon. My Rocky is a doser model, which I intentionally chose, mainly due to the clumping issues which the doser definitely deals with very effectively. The Mazzer is, of course, doserless, however clumping seems to be a non-issue so far. Unlike the Rocky, the Mazzer has a stepless grind adjustment, and so far Im disappointed with that. Its seems to be quite difficult to accurately dial in the last teeny bit of the setting, and I will probably look at some sort of worm drive mod for that. The consistency of the grind seems very good, but I am really looking forward to having a "grind off" between the Rocky and the Mini E once it is properly dialled in. Under no load, even with a MUCH tighter grind than espresso (ooops, too heavy handed on the adjustment) there was no hint of the burrs running at anything other than perfectly parallel. Having said that, the demo in the store clearly had issues in that regard, even at a normal "espresso setting", and I would have wanted to investigate that if it were mine.

    The bottom line? Well as mentioned, its early days so I guess it should be the "middle line" *;) I can only reiterate once again that the grind setting isnt as close as I would like as yet, but its not THAT far off. Using the Rocky I was consistently getting very good to excellent shots from my Bezzera BZ-40E. Using the new Mazzer Im getting very good to excellent shots ie there hasnt been a quantum leap in quality right from plugging it in. Whether the Mazzers quality continues to improve remains to be seen, however I expect it will. Ill keep the Snobs posted in that regard.

    Pete

  49. #49
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    2,335

    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Visit a local roastery. Ask them for some really shitty old coffee that you can have. Run 2 kilos or so through the grinder. This will get the burrs worn in.

  50. #50
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    158

    Re: Want to buy my last grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1228273572/40#48 date=1230023083
    Visit a local roastery. Ask them for some really shitty old coffee that you can have.
    Sometimes I wondered if a roaster in Neutral Bay I tried didnt supply this sort of coffee from standard. Mind you, the only thing that came for free was the attitude *;D

    So youre saying new burrs will need to be broken in? I can imagine how the manufacturing process may leave very minor imperfections that will be knocked off during a "run in" period. Im not sure how I will go getting some beans over Christmas (as it is my "low bean warning" light is flashing red. Its a BIG light too!) but will see how I go.

    Im just finding Im going backwards and forwards past my ideal grind point and its SUPER sensitive, so I certainly hope it gets better or I find a good work around. The grinder will only be used for espresso so will be doing some research on modifying with a worm drive if anyone knows of that being done before?

    Pete



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