Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: WHICH GRINDER?

  1. #1
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    WHICH GRINDER?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Fellow members, it seems appropriate to bring this up here, now:

    Because of a direct question from a client, myself and the client ran a side by side test between 2 opposing grinders yesterday.

    The question posed by the client was something to the effect of………..”I have read widely and am concerned by reports that if I buy the "cheaper" grinder, that my coffee will suffer from using a grinder that may give me a lesser “grind consistency” than the more expensive grinder”….and…”will I (the client) be able to tell the difference” (between the coffees made with grinds from each different grinder).

    Having some time up my sleeve I pulled a brand new “cheaper” grinder from the showroom, set it up and made ristrettos with the 2 group training machine.

    I then emptied all traces of other coffee from the commercial training grinder, filled it with the same batch of beans that had been used in the cheaper grinder, set it up and made ristrettos with this.

    We went from the "cheaper", to the more expensive grinder, one on one, several times, and tasted.

    For the record,
    the "cheaper" grinder was one of the many clones that uses the exact same motor and conical burrs, and similar STEPPED adjusting ring as the Lux, and

    the more expensive grinder was a Mazzer Super Jolly with STEPLESS adjustment and (lest this be a cause for discussion), fitted with relatively new grinding plates.

    On visual inspection both grinders produced nice gritty grind particles with very little if any “dust” present, although the commercial grinder seemed to produce marginally less (dust).

    We tried using slightly less and slightly bigger doses, & packed / tamped more or less hard etc. to see what differences we might pick.

    It is possible that the stronger, harder packed larger dosed brews might have been “better” when brewed with the coffee ground by the commercial grinder, but it must be remembered this was deliberately brewed outside regular parameters.

    The outcome was that there could be no measurable difference in the character of the resulting ristrettos that could be attributed to having used grinds (be they more, or less “consistent”) from one or other grinder, particularly as there were other variables at work…eg close, but not *exactly* the same dose and tamp for each separate brew, resulting in slightly different flow rates.

    The cheaper grinder was brand new, the other had relatively new plates, and I am not making any extrapolation to what the outcome might be if we were comparing used or older grinders. A commercial espresso machine was used, and I am not extrapolating any of the above to what the outcome might have been if a domestic machine had been used.

    In view of the above the client in this case opted for the "cheaper" grinder. It is being mated to one of the usual 2500 dollar semi-commercials.

    Much is said in special interest forums about various brand names and available options (for example the availability of “stepless” adjustment) being so much better than others, and all the above information is simply given from the point of view of wanting to make sure discussions on grinders are kept to realistic and practical levels for participants seeking genuine information and comparisons on quality, price & suitability for them as individuals, before buying.

    Regardz,
    FC.

  2. #2
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    2,710

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    A very good test, FC, which ought to dispell *the myths perpetuating about "venerable" grinders.

    Once you get to a certain price, its not the quality of the grind.... but the quantity that counts.

    From that price threshold, theyll all grind to the quality demanded of them.... except that the pricier ones are built for commercial application in excess of domestic requirement. And THAT is whats being paid for, not the quality of their output.

    Somewhat akin to needing a utility to cart around a wheelbarrow ....but going out and buying a 10-tonne truck to do the same job with the mistaken belief the truck will handle the load *much better.

    Robusto




  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,530

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    In the end, its whatever floats your boat. Some will like stepless, with its infinite control over the grind (which is great if youre into fine tuning everything), while others will like stepped adjustments, because it takes the guesswork as to exactly which notch or line you were on with the stepless.

    A good analogy would be shoes (athletic ofc). Some will choose Nike because of the big brand exposure. However, those in the know might choose Saucony or New Balance. This choice is due in part to them knowing more about their foot shape, arch height, etc. Nike might be alright as a brand, but they tend to favour feet with higher arches. Saucony and New Balance favour a more general foot shape, and also have wider sizes for increased comfort. Nike = Mazzer, Saucony & New Balance = Inexpensive alternatives.

    Your choice also has a lot to do with your allotted budget. Those with large disposable incomes will want bigger/better/more expensive equipment, while the more "frugal" will go for the less expensive options. In the end, both parties will have a coffee machine and grinder. Each can blab on day after day that theres is better because of this or this, but if the end result is of comparable quality, then both are just as good.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    70

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    Hi All!

    A great, fair comparisson FC - one I think many prospective grinder buyers will find useful. I have a number of friends getting into coffee...something to do with my influence ::)...that have machines - Sunbeams, Brevilles etc and want to go the next step into fresh beans and grinders. They love my Macap, as do I but they dont want to spend the $$$ required to purchase such a unit - not because they dont have the money, more due to the fact that they think it is poor ecomony to buy a grinder worth 2-3 times what they paid for their machine!

    A cheaper option grinder such as what FC was testing will be the ideal and final option for many people in this category - They brew 2-3 times a week and appreciate a great coffee. Their Lux, Solis, Rocky will last them forever.

    I brew twice a day, 7 days a week and will get the milage out of the Macap, they wont.

    Also good to see the stepless adjustment examined. Horses for courses. The Macap has a stepped adjustment, the Mazzer at my roasters place is stepless. I use both frequently and cant really pick the difference. Then again you could say the same between a C Class Benz and a 3 Series BMW.. Enough said! But good to see that comparitavely equal results were obtained from using the different systems.

    Once again, great review FC.

    Regards,

    James



  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    306

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    Just as a matter of interest, what was the "cheaper grinder" and how much does it go for?

  6. #6
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    Its the $399.00 "Unico" grinder.

    The frame & body of this grinder are entirely different to that of the lux and it is a much better quality and heavier build (it weighs approx. 1.4 kilos more) which ultimately makes it a lot easier / nicer to use, better performing & better looking but from the point of view of grind consistency-quality VS "is this realistically noticeable in the brew" VS price point, it is the same motor-burrs-adjuster grinder mechanism that is also inside the much lower priced (in $ & %) $275.00 Lux & others.

    The comparison was supposed to be with the Macap M5 / Mazzer Mini grinders at $689.00, but so as not to unnecessarily dirty up another new grinder we compared it to the 900dollarish Super Jolly already on the bench instead.

    Regardz,
    FC.


  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    That UNICO grinder looks suspiciously like my Isomac Gran Macinino. *http://www.isomac.it/ *Undoubtedly made by the same company.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    441

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1131062628/0#5 date=1131075074
    it is the same motor-burrs...
    which is also the same burr set as the new sunbeam, which comes in at rrp$199, but can be had for as little as $175.

    sweet!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    439

    Re: WHICH GRINDER?

    Thanks for verifying this FC - it is EXACTLY what we found at the old Maltitude with my Lux and their Mazzers (plus Rocky) .

    As mattyj said, the new Sunbeam EM0480 with the same burr set, much more solid construction and sub $200 price SHOULD clean up the lower end of the market (if people can overcome brand snobbery). Its too bad that only the Lux seems to be easily microstepped for finer grinding adjustment.

    Greg



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 33
    Last Post: 29th January 2013, 11:46 PM
  2. Replies: 35
    Last Post: 16th November 2012, 12:33 PM
  3. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 7th May 2011, 07:00 AM
  4. Eureka Mignon Grinder or Brevilles Smart Grinder
    By Golden_Brew in forum Grinders
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 6th May 2011, 10:59 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •