I have about $200 to spend (or so) on a coffee grinder. I own the Gaggia Classic and want a grinder that will produce the best espresso. Can anyone help?? I am torn!!
I have about $200 to spend (or so) on a coffee grinder. I own the Gaggia Classic and want a grinder that will produce the best espresso. Can anyone help?? I am torn!!
Youll probably get a few people telling you to save a bit more, and then youll have a choice of the LUX or the Ibertal Challenge. Both will be excellent for the classic, and not set you back a truckload. Theres a good review on the Ibertal just below this post, and Im sure there are tons on the LUX (it comes well recommended).
I think the LUX is about $250 and the Ibertal about $300 but check around. $200 is just under the mark for a good new machine.
Another option is eBay, and getting a badboy 2nd hand number, but make sure you can replace the burrs on one you buy secondhand.
Let us know how you go either way, and good luck!
Good point!! Ok, so Ive convinced my wife we should spend more. The Ibertal sounds brilliant and the reviews on MDF are not all flash on coffeegeek.com The Rancilio ROcky does sound impressive though.
I guess it comes down to - does spending $450 really make much difference? I guess the machines I am interested in are the Gaggia MDF, Ibertal, Innova, Lux and Rancilio Rocky (the doserless and doser styles). I know there are a few brands here but I need opinions!!
Jeez! I wish it was that easy to convince my other half to spend more money on coffee stuff!! Shes haslting me about spending $50 on my latest roasting setup! 50 freaking bucks! I told her the HotTop costs $1000 and that shut her up pretty quick!
If youve got the choice of all those models, then youll be laughing. Plenty of reviews out there on all those models.
Doser vs. doserless probably boils down to how much coffee you drink - my friend has the Rocky doserless one, and so far hes pretty happy with it (hes also got a Gaggia Classic). Think you have to mod the doser with fins so its more efficent at getting all the grinds out??
.... but if youre going to spend $450... well, why not stretch your wife that LITTLE bit MORE, and then youll be in sight of the Mini Mazzer...... and then youll need a new espresso machine to go with your grinder (HX Im guessing)... and then youll need an EVEN better grinder... and an even better machine.... and then... THEN... (etc, etc)
I had a laugh...nope...$450 is the absolute limit.
So what do people recommend?
Rocky for sure.
Reviewed and loved by coffee geeks worldwide, great grinder, great resale value, will still grind fine enough if you upgrade to a Silvia or HX.
If youve got $450, then youde best spend $450.
Rocky Doserless is very nice.
Go doserless if you dont make larger volumes of coffee. Otherwise you spend quite a lot of time continuously cleaning out the doser. Not to mention stale grounds destroying that perfect cup.
Regardless of what machine you buy I would recommend you first consider the following.
1. How serious are you about Coffee etc.
2. How long do you want to use this machine for?
3. Do you want cheap or are you willing to pay a little more for greater life expectancy.
4. Do you want to continue replacing the grinder you have until you find the one you want?
Until you answer these questions I’d be keeping the coppers in the bank and keep on saving.
This is why we still have our Cunill Grinder, Im saving for a better quality grider, however with the modifications Ive made to my grinder it is now not a bad little grinder at all.
Good advice Guys....
and like FB says, its not a bad idea to examine more closely just what you desire from your coffee equipment. Something else to consider in addition to the points raised by FB is...
What is/will be the preferred type of coffee drink consumed? If the answer is heavily in favour of Espresso based drinks, then a grinder like the Ibertal Andy referred to is ideal, or the Cunhill. Lux grinders are a great little grinder but the built-in step adjustments are pretty coarse and sometimes make it difficult to isolate the "right" grind.
New burr-sets, if and when needed (rarely), can be obtained for these and other grinders like the Rocky. The Rocky is a great grinder, more like a cut-down commercial grinder than a pumped-up domestic one and if looked after properly, would probably last a lifetime of use. The Cunhill falls into this category too you know. Lots of respected coffee connoisseurs prefer to use a Conical Burr grinder rather than a Flat Burr type, citing the lower cutting speed of the Conical system when compared to an equivalently rated Flat Burr system. The Conical system is also supposed to be more stable and accurate than a Flat Burr system because of the cone within a cone system that is essentially self centring. Personally, Ive owned both types of grinders and my palate isnt discriminating enough to tell the difference, but yours might be.
Decisions, decisions.... what a bugger to have so many to choose from. Another idea thats worth the effort is to contact one of our professionals who kindly sponsor the CS forum and seek their advice. Wont cost you a cent and the advice will be straight to the point and worth listening to.
Let us know which way you decide to go.... which ever way you do go, there will be plenty of experienced owners here on CS who will be able to help you get the best of your machine. All the best, and
mazzer mini? Why bother?
might as well save some more and go for a mazzer robur ... only a couple of grand more!
oh ... did I just say that?
Being a maz mini owner, I can recommend it - but in my mind, having a healthy relationship with the wife is more important than having the best grinder in the universe. If youve got a limit, stick to it.
All this great advice!
I intend to keep the machine a while as Ive just upgraded to the apparently great gaggia Classic! Until I have a few thousands itll have to do!
I prefer a doserless type of grinder and the Rocky seems to be highly commended but so are the Ibertal and Cunhill i might add. The latter are a bit cheaper?
I hate being torn and having a budget...i appreciate further comments
I guess it will come down to what youre grinding for now. Just espresso, or a bit of espresso, a bit of plunger, a bit of drip ... ?
I get the impression that most grinders in this bracket produce the same grind quality, and it will just come down to build quality, and grind adjustability. I think most of the grinders youve mentioned are stepped adjustments - they use clicks, or steps to adjust the grind.
However, a stepped grinder may cause you grief if you just grind for espresso ... for instance the shot time difference between one click and the next may be a 5 second difference in the shot pull (at the same dose, tamp and shot volume). It simply means compensating by adjusting the dose to fill in the gaps. I mean, if you get a 20 second, 30ml shot, and you want a 22 second, 30ml shot, rather than grinding one click finer, you might have to keep the grind the same, and just use a bit more coffee in the basket.
That said, there are many people here, at coffeegeek, at home-barista.com and all around that use, and swear by stepped grinders. Its a matter of personal preferrence and it will all come down to learning how any certain grinder works, and adjusting your technique to suit it. My technique with the mazzer mini is vastly different to my technique with my old delonghi kg100.
If you grind for lots of different brewing styles, it will come down to how easy it is to adjust between the different settings. A mazz mini is great for all the different types of grind, but can be a pain when you want to grind for a plunger, then pull another shot, because you have to dial it back in. The benefit is that if I want a shot to pull for 2 seconds longer, I know that I can adjust it just the tiniest bit.
In theory, a grinder with stepped adjustments will allow you to set it to a certain click for espresso, then go out a few clicks for plunger, then go back to the original espresso click for the same espresso grind as before. Some of the cheaper grinders will have a bit of drift as you adjust up and down, but most should be fine.
If you cant go $450 for the Rocky then the Cunhill Tranquilo I think it is looks good to me.
It is a bit industrial looking but is built like a tank and will do a good job.
I think my buddy FC(Fresh_Coffee) at Cosmorex stocks these and the Rocky.
Thank you everyone!!
I got a recommendation for the Ibertal Gran. Anyone have an opinion?
The grinder is purely for making espresso..I cant go back to that plunger stuff...eek!
For around the $400 mark Im a real fan of the Cunill Tranquillo doserless model. These are small volume commercial grinders with 60 mm flat grinding burrs. The grind from either the Rocky, Gaggia MDF, Cunill Tranquilo, Lux, Iberital Challenge etc, will be good enough for espresso.
I have a Gaggia MDF, which cost me $250 new. It does a great job. When I upgrade it wont be because it couldnt do the job, it will be because it is VERY LOUD, VERY SLOW and not easy to clean. Also the grind settings are too coarse and I find myself often using fractional settings.
One problem with the Cunill Tranquilo is that it is not a pretty grinder. Okay, its down right ugly.... But function over form, I try to tell my wife...
Best place to have a quick read about grinders is Alan Frews web site.
The Ibertal seems like a great grinder, stepless, doserless, and cheaper than the Rocky. Could need a small mod for marking the stepless part (http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1126757055).
This is a small thing, and every grinder you get will have small pitfalls that youll find out about as you use it (the Rocky has some too!) But overall, a grinder in the $300 - $450 mark will last a lifetime and produce wonderfull shots...
its always upgrade fever that gets you in the end!
Hi there, just adding my 2 cents worth...Id agree with either the Rocky or Tranquilo choices, the Tranquilo can be had for $370 or so (with or without doser), possibly below $350 with bargaining, and the Rocky is so well considered that as long as you look after it well you will always be able to get back most of the purchase price on resale (ebay, etc). The big third option is to take $300 or so and buy a used commercial grinder (check catering suppliers), put in new burrs for $60 or so, and possibly end up with a grinder you will never need to upgrade. Only you know whether you have the bench space / time / level of obsession to take this path.
Also, are you sure you wont want to experiment with vacuum brewing, turkish, drip, etc etc in addition to espresso? Theres lots of fun to be had there...
Go for the Lux, mate, if you are budget conscious. *I have one and is great. *It grinds as well as any other and for only $250. *I can get the shot how I want it, even with the stepped adjuster. *30 mills in 25 seconds is no problem.
ha! Ive actually been rediscovering plunger coffee at work - when theres only 8-9g of coffee left in the jar, or if the current batch is getting a bit past it, I take it to work, grind it up on my old grinder, do the plunger thing, and enjoy my coffee differently!Quote:
Originally Posted by jchiha link=1127033839/0#14 date=1127099864
After really getting into espresso, its a nice change. Its also a pleasant way to enjoy coffees that have gone past espresso freshness.
Does it taste cheap?
I mean it doesnt require thousands of dollars worth of equipment so surely it cant taste as good? ;)
Ive found that having the odd Plunger Brew now and again to be quite worth while. Dont always reserve it for "old" beans though, just when I want something different. :)
When I want something different I do the Americano.
You know the hot water from the machine (or a jug) with just a touch of cold water so it doesnt burn the coffee then do the espresso on the top.
Sounds like a plan Grant - Ill have to give that a shot sometime soon.
Definatly sounds the go if youre looking for a lighter cup than the espresso I usually have.
I used to do the plunger thing at work, till Jen brought a Bodum Santos Mini Electric vac pot! Ive gotta say - this was well and truly worth $150. If anyone cant stretch to a full espresso setup they should definatly outlay on one of these. The brew is crystal clear, and the brewing itself wtih all its bubbles and girgling is wonderfull stuff. Oh, and you only need a cheap grinder for it, nothing flash!
Buy a doserless Rocky and you wont spend any time wondering whether you should have spent just a little more money and you will be joining a very large community of Rocky users.
It will have good resale value if you decide you prefer tea, because everyone knows what it is. It will also fit in better with that spanky HX machine you are day-dreaming about. ;)
Good advice Wired,
Im planning on keeping my Rocky D/L for many years, certainly through as many iterations of upgrade-itis as I can afford anyway ;),
So... what did you get in the end.... the suspence is killing me?!
Now Andy. Patience is a virtue. I am now down to two.
The Gino Rossi cc45 and Rancilio Rocky. They both cost the same.
Does anyone have a preference?
If you are in any way budget conscious, I have noticed that over the last six or seven weeks there has always been at least one Gino Rossi cc45 on eBay second hand. Not quite sure what the reason for this is, but there you are. I think they are pretty huge things, so you may need to raise the ceiling on your kitchen. Theyve been going for around the $300 mark.Quote:
Originally Posted by jchiha link=1127033839/15#27 date=1127971562
Might be the same one being bought/sold/bought/sold !Quote:
... at least one Gino Rossi cc45 on eBay
Actually, I was reading a beginners guide to cupping, and was surprised at how similar the brewing methods are ... plunger and brewing for cupping. I posted a question about this on coffeegeek, and the consensus (from some of the gurus there who know heaps) was that plunger and cupping produces an identical brew in terms of taste. So really, plunger is kind of easy way into cupping your roasts and blends!Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal link=1127033839/15#21 date=1127308318
Re: "...The Gino Rossi cc45 and Rancilio Rocky. *They both cost the same.....Does anyone have a preference?..."
Ahh, sorry but....
The RRP on the G/R if it were to be bought new would be somewhere around 900ish dollars, the RRP on a new Rocky is $439.00....so you are either comparing a good used G/R bought at half price to a new rocky, or a really really cheap (or possibly clapped) used G/R to a used rocky....
In its intended use as a cafe grinder the G/R is a very good unit.
But in home use the G/R is just another overly large automatic doser cafe grinder and has the large unwieldy (for home use) volumetric dosing unit on the front which is of no use whatsoever and is quite inconvenient to "flick" the grounds through.
When I use such a cafe grinder with doser unit fitted, in a situation of domestic type use, *I like to remove the lid of the doser unit so I can see what I am doing...The lid on the G/R has a stretch cable connecting it to the body of the grinder (because the auto on/off switch is contained in the lid). Lids on grinders of this type cant therefore be easily pulled out of the way & are therefore left dangling over the RHS of the doser unit where they foul the dosing lever while you are trying to flick it to get the grinds out of the doser....
This is not satisfactory...but it must be remembererd that in a situation like this the grinder is not being used in the commercial manner intended...
In home use it is (take my word for it) unacceptably noisy.
On the other hand the rocky is an excellent if not "high end" grinder intended for home use. It is far less noisy than the G/R, can be bought in the more convenient "doserless" form, is a good size...
and simply does the job...as do some other excellent home use grinders that may cost even less brand new.....
choice of models being dependant on the individual circumstance and budget.
When looking at any used CAFE grinders on evilbay irrespective of brand and model, always be suspicious that it may actually belong to a coffee company and should not be being offered there for private sale....so always clarify proper title with the vendor before bidding and ask specific questions about ownership such as, is there a compliance plate affixed indicating ownership by a coffee company, OR is the grinder engraved with an assett number from a coffee company etc. If these marks are present on the grinder (and even if there arent) ask if the vendor has a bill of sale from the coffee company (or whoever sold it to him) indicating he really does own it and is therefore legally entitled to dispose of it.
My preference is to buy a good quality grinder intended for the job at hand, new.
Hope this helps.
Originally Posted by jchiha link=1127033839/15#27 date=1127971562
Thought about this one.... http://tinyurl.com/abyox ? The design and manufacture of this unit seems to have paid a lot of attention to the shortcomings of other designs and had them engineered out. Might be worth a look,
The Rocky Doserless is robust, compact and easy to use. Ive had mine for about four months or so and I love it. Just one of those things that does what it is supposed to do without fuss.
Whatever one you get, IMHO get a doserless grinder. About 98% of the time, doserless is best and if you host a cafe day for CSers get one of them to bring their Mazzer Mini along!
If you havnt already youde have to check this out...
Originally Posted by AndyCJ link=1127033839/30#34 date=1128038900
Ive followed these sales as they progress along and so far, Ive yet to see one that goes cheap. Always very close to the normal retail price. When you take into account that this seller offers no after sales support and service [smiley=thumbdown.gif], you really have to ask yourself if it is really worth it.
For my money and for a great deal, Id always recommend sticking with our site sponsors and the terrific after sales service and support that you receive from them [smiley=thumbsup.gif]. All the best,
Mal, re. the Kitchenaid grinder:Quote:
Originally Posted by Mal link=1127033839/30#32 date=1128001633
Do you happen to know how you would you use the grinder with a portafilter? *I cant see that it has a portafilter holder.*:-? * Would you have to just hold the portafilter under the grinder, or would you have to grind into the glass receptacle and then spoon into the portafilter (seems cumbersome)? *:-/
PS - Grant, thanks for the advice re. the Rancilio Rocky. *Im very close to deciding that its my best option for the price. *:D
Youre right about sticking with someone you can trust. eBay can be a real trap sometimes if youre not watching and waiting. Ive seen a lot of "reconditioned" Gaggias go for near what youde get a new one for at Myer!
If I was getting a Rocky, Id want it from a place I could return it, and get good advice about it. (spares in the future etc.)
Originally Posted by Yulia link=1127033839/30#36 date=1128229611
I kind of just threw this one into the mix of possible options because it is quite a bit different than the norm and seems to have been designed from the ground up, not just copied from existing designs. KitchenAid also have an excellent name for quality and support but I dont know who the distributors are here in Oz.
The review on CoffeeGeek goes into the pros and cons quite a bit and since I have never seen one of these in the flesh, Id recommend perusing this if you havent already done so. The points you have raised are legitimate and maybe if you join the CoffeeGeek Forum, you could throw those questions on the table there, and see what responses you get back.
When it comes right down to it though, its very hard to go past the Rancilio Rocky for all the reasons outlined by all the contributors above. Its a down-sized commercial quality grinder intended for use by the discriminating Coffee Snob and I guess thats all that really needs to be said. All the best,
We end up with the same dilemma :o
I just bought Gaggia Classic and now have to get a grinder ::)
What did you end up with?
I am having a second thought seeing all the “big boys” with Silvia
And it will take time to learn to make an ESPRESSO :-[
So, haw are you travelling?
Hi cjvs! :)
Im collecting my new Rancilio Rocky today from Barazi in Sydney (Grant, I finally decided on the Rocky). *I just recently purchased a second-hand ECM Giotto, after much deliberation and soul searching (can I really afford an HX machine...???). *I was lucky enough to pick it up for a very good price, otherwise I might have decided on something in a lower price bracket. *I cant wait to try it out with the Rocky, although Im a little daunted... the Giotto looks so big and shiny in my little kitchen! :o What if I cant master the beast???!!!
Im going for the Rocky for the following reasons: 1) its doserless; 2) its smaller and more compact than most of the other grinders; 3) its got a great reputation; and 4) Im not sure that I would be able to taste the difference between a coffee made with beans ground by the Rocky and one made with beans ground by an ECM Best or a Mini Mazzer (I may be wrong there, but Im not going to spend the extra three hundred and fifty odd dollars to find out!). *As I have no experience yet with either of my pieces of equipment, I cannot speak with any authority, but for me, the Rocky seemed like the best option for the price, and a cut above the Lux etc.
Good luck with your decision, cjvs!
Yulia * :D
PS - by "most of the other grinders" I mean the other grinders in its class and price range, or higher.
Cjvs, dont get caught up in whether or not you have whatever equipment the big boys have. Not everyone has the same resources, and not everyone is willing to outlay a ton of cash to get the dream machine. That doesnt stop you from making what your taste tells you as the best espresso youve ever had. Variety is the spice of life, and if we all had the same skills, equipment, and coffee, what fun would it be?
Its funny, my wife made all the choices for our coffee equipment. I have simply taken what shes gotten and work with it. Our package isnt cheap by any means, but its not the top either. My only contribution is the popper. I produce roasted coffee at a fraction of the price of wholesale. We both really enjoy the coffee I make. The missus hardly gets to touch the equipment nowadays.
Remember, were all individuals who have individual preferences. If you are always trying to keep up with the Joneses, youre going to be always dissapointed.
Well said, nunu!
Theres a very interesting book called Affluenza which deals, in part, with the endless vicious circle of keeping up with the Joneses. *Makes me feel a bit embarrassed about my recent Giotto purchase. *:-[
Dont get me wrong, I love the machine, but I realise could have easily done with a less flamboyant machine.
Post spending depression is quite normal but the good news is that it does pass.
You will soon realise that the Giotto is a necessary part of your life, possibly more important and less trouble than many other aspects of your life. ie. job, partner etc etc.
Thanks Grant, I can feel my post-purchase blues disappearing already. *Particularly when I think about the smell of freshly ground coffee that will be permeating my kitchen tomorrow morning. *Is there a better smell in all the world? *I think not. :)
See it doesnt take long!
The worst feeling is when you spend a lot of money and you realise that you have made a mistake.
With the Giotto, it is a pretty well known quantity so you cant go too far wrong. It is also second hand which is another plus point so if you get another bout of Affluenza sometime in the future, you shouldnt lose anything on it.
I bought my Bezzera for $800 so I did regret spending the money initially but Im well pleased now and it is worth more than that if I sell it.
Hi again Yulia,
Boy, have you got yourself some great equipment there. I guess the best way now, to learn how to get the best out of it all, is to try and find an experienced fellow CS member who would be willing to "show you the ropes" or a respected professional. Depending on your proximity to some of our sponsors, you might even be able to attend a basic Barista course.
Anyway, once you have the rudimentry knowledge under your belt you will be well on your way. All the best and Onward and Upward ;D,
Thanks Grant and Mal, good advice. *I do think I need some sort of guidance at this point, I feel like Im trying to run before I can walk. :-?
Im gonna go to Koffeeone (where I got the machine) to get a bit of training. *Maybe I will even do a short Barista course.
Good one Yulia [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
rYou will also appreciate its simplicity and aesthetics every day of your life. *I think youve probably made the right choice with the Rocky - if only because it is doserless. *There are obviously better "looking" grinders, but really, the doser on a grinder doing half a dozen or so shots a day is ridiculous. *You can work with it - but its just an inefficient way of doing things. *Just so happens that most high end grinders have dosers - I guess because they are really commercial/semi commecial items.*The MM E seems to be an exception and in a practical sense would be the smart buy - reliability in the long term might be an issue, but maybe not. *Wired seems to be happy with his. *Another thing is that now youve got your set up, just get over the technology bit. *Even though you love it, its about coffee, not coffee equipment - but Ill admit Im a foolish tech head and love thinking and talking and reding about this kind of stuff - so call me a hypocrite, I guess. *The only downside is that you no longer have the luxury of being able to blame bad tools.Quote:
Originally Posted by wattgn link=1127033839/45#45 date=1129285444