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Thread: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

  1. #1
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    Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    Ive been lurking for a while and have picked up much help and knowledge from everyone out here and am greatly appreciative.

    Now I need some help from fellow coffee snobs (which i now count myself as one)

    I have a SB 6910 machine (good for now) and a SB 0480 grinder with added shim that I need to upgrade (more like want over need *;) )

    I have a budget of around $700 but not a huge amount of space (height and depth). Im not overly fussed whether I get brand new or 2nd hand.

    I make 1/2 doubles per work day and 2/3 on days off. (espressos mainly)

    Ive been looking at the Mahlkonig Vario Grinder,( but havent been able to find too much on them) I did read a while back that Anger Management was looking at getting one (?? did you get it), *Mazzer Mini and K3 touch. so many to choose so little time.

    The better half likes the Vario, but I end up making her coffees, so realistically its up to me ( I hope she doesnt read this )

    Ive read reviews on the K3 and Mazzer but not much on the Vario, maybe some Snobs who have one could recommend it???

    Also I"ll be needing ( wanting ) to upgrade my machine in the next 6-12 mths ( Mmmm Giotto ), so I want to make sure the grinder will be good enough for that *as well

    Thanks for any help

    wonder



  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    It would be good if you could go try some (side by side if possible).

    So where are you so we can recommend a nearby sponsor?

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Sorry about that, Im in Adelaide

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Macap gets my money. Similar to Mazzer, but at your price point you will be looking at the doser model rather than the digital which adds $$.
    Before you consider the machine.....research the idea of a twin boiler. Expobar probably best value for money in this segment. ;D

  5. #5
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    I love my Mazzer mini-E. I suggest that you contact the sponsors - theres a way of sending a group email. Maybe somebody can sell you one at around that price-point.

    Good luck

  6. #6
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 41444B54250 link=1294723275/4#4 date=1294747496
    I love my Mazzer mini-E. I suggest that you contact the sponsors - theres a way of sending a group email. Maybe somebody can sell you one at around that price-point.

    Good luck
    A mini-e at circa $500 discount on RRP? Not likely. Id be happy to buy some at $700 as well *:D

    I think the K3T, Macap M4 and Mazzer mini manual are the picks around this price point.

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Talk_coffee I was thinking about those machines but have no experience or hands on knowledge with any of them.

    I was hoping some css could persuade me one way or the other ;D

    Oh, and Im not sure where in Adelaide I could see these units side by side to compare :(

  8. #8
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    I have a SB 6910 and a Vario. I think they make a good pair, although Ive only been making coffee for 3 months I believe Im just about getting the best out of the 6910. Im also planning on upgrading my machine one day, but only when I deserve it :) - need to stretch the 6910 as far as it can go and learn before I make the jump. How else will I appreciate the difference??

    Impressions of Vario (bearing in mind its my first grinder so cant compare):

    Good Points:
    -Ample grind adjustments
    -Minimal static / clumping
    -Quiet
    -Small
    -Fast grinding
    -Very little mess (especially if you use a sleeve)
    -Virtually ZERO wastage, retains very little amount of grinds

    Bad Points:
    -Lever grind adjustment an absolute PAIN IN THE ASS. They are flimsey, the markings dont line up properly and they even move off position sometimes during the grind. I only ever us it for espresso so the macro adjustments are of little benefit.
    -Dosing control via timed grind is not as accurate as Id hoped. Ive had up to 1 gram descrepancies for a 22 gram grind. This is probably mainly due to differing weights of beans in the hopper, but still. I havent done proper tests with the same amount of beans in hopper.
    -Doesnt look as professional as some of the other $700ish grinders (looks a bit too much like an appliance - like the 6910 :&#124; )

    Overall, Im happy with my choice. I love the low mess and wastage. However since one of the main reasons I bought it was the timed-dose feature, and I no longer use this (I now use the weight beans before grinding technique), in retrospect I may have gone for a more traditional grinder like the much loved Mazzer Mini or more likely the cheaper Eureka Mignon. *As long as it was doserless.

    p.s. Im also not sure how the Vario fares with fines production. It may produce a few more then optimal, but thats just my hunch and I have no benchmark to compare against...

    Good luck.

  9. #9
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    I have a Macap.
    Its been great and is a solid unit that should last a lifetime.


    Good Points:
    -More than ample grind adjustments
    -Minimal static / clumping
    -Quiet
    -Fast enough grinding (for home)
    -Little mess
    -Minimal wastage (retains a little amount of grinds in the chute but I quickly brush that into the doser)

    Bad Points:
    -Not small


    P.S. Have a look at the Grinder Reviews thread.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1163235531

  10. #10
    TC
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Maybe Im missing something, but I honestly cant see how the Vario at 2.5x the price on a BCG800 offers anything that the Breville doesnt? *:-?

    Neither grinder competes with the small commercial grinders.

    Chris

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    I suppose the most important thing is the quality of the ground coffee. And the German engineered Vario apparently produces quality grinds (many reviews say comparable with much more expensive grinders). The ceramic burrs and low vibration may have something to do with this??
    I believe the Breville doesnt have that many grind adjustments and produces grind quality similar to the Sunbeam 0480 level grinders...I could be wrong?

  12. #12
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 2B33213A3B3C3E33263B34520 link=1294723275/10#10 date=1294786871
    I believe the Breville doesnt have that many grind adjustments and produces grind quality similar to the Sunbeam 0480 level grinders...I could be wrong?
    I think you may well be wrong ;)

    See http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1288871951/80#80

  13. #13
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    ill put a vote in for the mazzer mini

    have had mine for 6 years with no issues apart from replacing one little spring.

    the only think i dont like is the fork where the portafilter sits is a litle low from the shute, so you do get some stray grinds about theplace

  14. #14
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 153037311E5F0 link=1294723275/12#12 date=1294795609
    ill put a vote in for the mazzer mini

    ..the only think i dont like is the fork where the portafilter sits is a litle low from the shute
    The Mini retails for much more than $700 these days - closer to $800 or more.

    To overcome the spillage problem, I now hold the group handle close to the doser chute. Others use the nozzle mod to help direct the grounds.

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Thanks for the tips. I do have the spillage under control just letting the op know of the small issue which is easily fixed.
    As for price, I have seen them advertised for around 750 so may be able to squeeze it into budget

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    OK guys, Ive been looking around and so far Ive found these prices...

    Mazzer mini....$790 with free postage

    Compak 3 touch.....$595 with free postage

    Still need to make some calls, but what do you think??

    (oh and not fussed about a dosser or not)

    Thanks ;)

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Ah, my search is finally over ;D

    Picked up a 2nd hand ( never used ) Mazzer mini for $620.... :o *If it doesnt fit (height depth wise) ill make it, by hook or by crook ill make it fit somewhere. *

    Im sure the financial controller ( aka gf ) will not be overly happy, until i finally get it dialled in and hopefully make her some sweet sweet nectar..

    Thanks to everyone who offered advice, I do appreciated it very much..

    I just hope its exactly as advertised *:-X

    Cheers
    wonder

  18. #18
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Youre welcome ;)

  19. #19
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    I was watching that one.... ;)

  20. #20
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    If you could streach another $100 (with a little are twisting) the Mazzer Mini is brilliant.

    BUT and its a big one the MM is kinda large.
    You could always sooth you conscience knowing the Mazzer Super Jolly is Way to big. ;)

  21. #21
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 243C3D373621530 link=1294723275/18#18 date=1294833123
    I was watching that one....Wink
    you werent alone... :)

  22. #22
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 706978781D0 link=1294723275/20#20 date=1294901267
    you werent alone... Smiley

    Phew, lucky i was at my limit for what i wanted to pay *[smiley=thumbsup.gif]

  23. #23
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Congrats on the purchase.
    You will like it and it will be with you for a very long time.

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    If height is a problem you could purchase a mini hopper for your MM. It looks great with a mini hopper.

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 6E6361766D716764706767616376020 link=1294723275/23#23 date=1294919037
    If height is a problem you could purchase a mini hopper for your MM.It looks great with a mini hopper.
    Thanks for that, I did notice them on the Compak, but not on the mazzer

    Cheers

  26. #26
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    To reduce the height even further, consider making a "micro-hopper" which can be less than 4 inches tall.

    Such hoppers have been made from yoghurt containers, plastic pill bottles, stainless cocktail shakers, and more.

    Greg

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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Have really appreciated this discussion as Ill be upgrading from an EM0480 one day.

  28. #28
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    The Mazzer............Oh my God......I cant believe its actually allowing me to get amazing coffees out of the Sunbeam 6910..

    I cant believe how good it is.... (maybe my previous coffees where "CRAP" but no one every complained ;)....) Its the best purchase Ive made and my espresso making has gone forward in leaps and bounds.. :)

    Ive only had the Mazzer for about 2-3 weeks and im still working out how to get the best out of it (2-3kg of beans through it) Im always offering to make people coffee so I can practice with it. And watching the syrup occasionally pouring into the cup amazes and astounds me....



  29. #29
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    Re: Grinder to Buy?? <$700

    Quote Originally Posted by 312928222334460 link=1294723275/27#27 date=1295943822
    Im always offering to make people coffee......... And watching the syrup occasionally pouring into the cup amazes and astounds me....
    I still do this mate and thats after many years of trying to continuously improve the quality of what ends up in the cup. I never get sick of brewing excellent coffee, even if I dont drink any at the same time.... theres always later on ;) ;D

    Mal.



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