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Thread: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    This thread is for the posting of basic information/reviews of grinders and is intended to be used as a starting point for those looking at acquiring a new machine.

    For ease of reading posts should be made using the following format:

    Machine Name:
    Price Range:
    Features (Stepless, Auto-grind etc):

    This thread is not for any discussion, only informational posts in the above format. Any posts made not of this type will be deleted.

    Unless you have some additional information about a machine that has already been covered please do not make an additional post.

    Please use the regular forum for any discussion or questions.

    For further information on a particular machine use the search button at the top of the page, or alternatively use your favorite search engine and add the string to limit the returns to only this site.

    Java "Data! We must have more data!!" phile

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    This is my first grinder so take this with a grain of salt. This is only my experience of the grinder so far.

    Grinder Name: Iberital Challenge (doserless) *
    Price Range: *$330 (at time of writing)
    Espresso ability: 4-5 *
    Notes: First impression is that it is quite noisey but not unbearable. It is stepless and is great when dialled into to a single application. So if you switch between espresso and plunger grind you may not like this. But for single function of espresso grind it is great. A heap of range and adjustment via a knob on the side of the grinder. Great bang for buck for this grinder. There is also a doser version available. Great entry level grinder. *
    Grinder is available from site sponsors. *

  3. #3
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    Jul 2006

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Cimbali Cadet
    Price Range: $850+
    Features (Stepless, Auto-grind etc): Stepless (but with step-like measures for easy reference in 1/25 mm increments), Doser and auto-grind after 6 taps of the lever.
    Notes: Not really sure what is considered "quiet" but it doesnt appear overly loud, and given that the 64mm grinder-set make pretty short work of the beans, it isnt on for very long.
    1kg hopper capacity
    Height x Depth x Width (mm) = 470x360x225

    Is built like a tank and weighs approx 12kg.

  4. #4
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    Nov 2006

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: COMPAK K10 Konic WBC spec
    Price: $2095

    Sponsor suppliers: Talk Coffee


    Stepless grind adjustment, 300RPM conical burrs. Competition Dosing chamber.

    Power 490 w
    Grinding burrs 68 mm
    Burr speed * *300 rpm (50 Hz)
    Hopper capacity 1700 g
    Doser capacity 300 g
    Dose Adjustment 5.5ó9.0 g
    Weight 17.0 kg
    Dimensions: (w x d x h) 210 x 365 x 635

    Colour: K10 is Platinum K10 WBC is Black

    Fantastic grinder. This is the WBC spec grinder meaning it spins at lower RPM as stated above and also has a competition dosing chamber (ie-no tamper on the front of the doser etc).

    It has SUPERB grind quality there is no clumpiness at all! The doser is great it actually doses straight down into the pf instead of flinging grinds to the left..... It sweeps pretty clean.

    Bad things are there is quite alot of grinds that get kept in the collar so they dont get flung out into the dosing chamber......which means stale grinds so you have to always grind of abit before you start getting rid of all the old stuff. The distance from the grinding collar and dosing chamber exit is quite long so once again you must grind abit of prior to using it. Id say there would be close to 20g or excess grinds sitting in the collar and exit path to the dosing chamber. I guess this could be easily fixed perhaps in future models....
    The hopper is abit fragile in my view. It has this knob that you tighten to hold it in place and i think the 1st day i used it i cracked the bottom of the hopper due to overtightening and not being aware of how easy it cracks....
    The stepless adjustment is easy to adjust. Its firm but you dont have to put your whole body into it when moving adjustments.
    The lid to the dosing chamber basically is a big feature to make this grinder look smoothe and sexy. If you take it off though it looks extremely naked and abit weird and perhaps vulnerable. In saying that though it still looks good.

    As i mentioned before it really is just so easy to dose with this grinder. It doses straight down into the basket which is such a joy to use. Beautiful grinds dosing directly into your pf makes it so much easier and controlable.

    The forks you stick your pf on while dosing are a solid plastic design. I dont really like it i definatly would rather some sort of metal design so you can manouvre the pf around abit more while dosing and also when you knock the pf down it tends to bounce of the plasic where as metal it feels alot more solid.

    In conclusion i love this grinder i think it really is fantastic. Its definitely made me happy and has givin me great extractions and i put this down to its supurb grind quality !

  5. #5
    Senior Member javabeen's Avatar
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    Oct 2006

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Heres my 2 cents worth...

    Machine Name: Sunbeam EM0480
    Price Range: <$200 (Got mine for $155)
    Features: Stepped grind adjustment (i.e it is NOT stepless), Conical burrs

    Notes: Excellent quality entry level grinder. Bought this as I was on a very tight budget <$200. After a few weeks of use Im finding it to be an excellent grinder and the shots are great for the money paid. Its a huge step up from having your freshly roasted beans ground for you which is what I had to do before I bought the grinder.

    The limitation Im finding (and remember Im no expert) is that it is not a stepless grinder so I cant make micro fine adjustments to accommodate changes in other variables that affect the espresso shot.

    It produces a little static in the ground coffee so it can get a little messy.

    Im also finding it to be reliable in grind consistency when dialling in back to my espresso setting after switching to grind for plunger.

    To conclude, I love the grinder as I dont have lots of $$$ to spend on my coffee hobby. So I would recommend it if youre first starting out down the path of considering a grinder for your espresso machine and want to spend as little as possible.
    rossross likes this.

  6. #6
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    Nov 2006

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Sunbeam EM0480
    Price Range: <$200
    Features: Stepped grind adjustment, value for money, Conical burrs
    Seems a good machine and Sunbeam offers good service. I have had to replace my grinder after 3 months as the contact to allow the motor to start had become faulty. Had to wiggle the hopper to get it to work.
    All is good now though

  7. #7
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Compak K3 Touch
    Price Range: RRP: $600

    Sponsor suppliers: Talk Coffee/DiBartoli

    Features: *

    Motor Power (watt): *93 (this is output)
    R.p.m. : 300
    Blade set (mm): 58 mm
    Espresso Area: Standard
    Stepless micrometrical grinding adjustment:
    Standard Production (Kg/h / Lb/h)*: 3.5-4.5 / 6-10
    Operation cycles*: 20í + 10í stop
    Voltage (V): 240
    Hopper capacity (g): 800
    Net weight (kg.): 5.5
    Height-width-depth (mm): 495/165/305
    Available colours: Champagne (Feb 07 onwards)

    Notes: This grinder is looking really nice and undercuts the Mazzer mini-e by a huge margin ($400+). It doses very cleanly into the PF with minimal static. Some clumping evident- as with all doserless grinders in addition to retention of some grinds in the throat- as all grinders do.

    You simply adjust grind time for a single and then in theory, its a matter of one or two timed touches. Keep in mind that you will most likely have to pulse the grinder (you switch to permanent on using the power switch) to achieve your perfect dose- especially if you like to updose. I find this a tad fiddly as its a 2 handed operation.

    Coffee is a volatile product and changes from day to day. No grinder is ever set and forget ;).

    Nevertheless, this is the category killer doserless grinder.

  8. #8
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Compak K3 Elite
    Price Range: RRP: $790ish

    Sponsor suppliers: Talk Coffee/DiBartoli

    Motor Power (watt): Input 250, output 93
    R.p.m. :1300
    Burr set (mm): 58 mm
    Espresso Area: Standard
    Stepless micrometrical grinding adjustment: Standard
    Automatic Stop: Standard in Aust
    Production (Kg/h */ *Lb/h)*: 5-7 / 11-15
    Operation cycles*: 20í + 10í stop
    Voltage (V): 240
    Hopper capacity (g): 800
    Capacity ground coffee (g): 200
    Dispenser ring: Aluminium
    Dispenser material: Polished aluminium
    Dispenser lever position: Right
    Net weight (kg.): 8,5
    Height-width-depth (mm): 495/165/305
    Available colours: Champagne

    Notes: I really am impressed with this grinder. I have been testing one at home for the past couple of weeks and it is a definite competitor to the Mazzer-mini timer but substantially cheaper. Grind adjustment is quick, accurate and easy. The dosing action is terrific (I prefer it to the mazzer) and the dosing chamber is a piece of art. It sweeps at least as clean as the mazzer. I would happily lose the tamper and a lip on the dregs tray would be nice but these are very minor gripes.

  9. #9
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: ECM Best
    Price Range: RRP: $high 700s

    Sponsor suppliers: Coffeehit?, DiBartoli, Talk Coffee

    Chrome plated stainless steel finish as per Giotto
    Stepped adjustment (the steps are small and no problem)
    54 mm burr set
    May have the same motor as the Mazzers- yet to be confirmed
    Inbuilt tamping device- which I remove
    Weight 7.5 kg

    Notes- Internals of the doser contain a fair amount of plastic but this has no affect on operation. This doser sweeps very clean- possibly the best I have seen so far. This is a good option if space is tight but the unit is pricey *;)

  10. #10
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Macap MC4. The M4C is the deli grinder- doserless version of the M5
    Price Range: RRP: $800+

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex, Talk Coffee
    * *
    Features: *
    Grinding capacity: per hour *3+ kg
    Coffee-bean hopper capacity *0.6 Kg *
    Manual on/off switch located on right side
    Stepless adjustment
    Power: 250 watts 240 volts 50/60 hertz
    Grinding blades ō *58 mm
    Grinding blades rpm *1400 (50Hz) *
    Colour- Silver or Chrome (Feb 07 stock is silver)
    Net weight *9 Kg *
    Dimensions (Width x Depth x Height) in mm. 190x310x470 **

  11. #11
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Macap M4/M5.
    Price Range: RRP: $ low 800s (NB shown here as M4 with short hopper. M5 has tall hopper)

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex, Talk Coffee
    * *

    Grinding capacity: per hour *3+ kg
    Coffee-bean hopper capacity *0.8 Kg *
    Manual on/off switch located on right side
    Stepped adjustment on grind on present Aust versions... *
    Body: Chrome plating over steel or Silver powdercoat
    Ground coffee doser capacity: 0.2 Kilograms
    Dose adjustment range: 5-9 grams
    Power: 250 watts 240 volts 50/60 hertz
    Grinding blades ō *58 mm *
    Grinding blades rpm *1400 (50Hz) *
    Net weight *9 Kg *
    Dimensions (Width x Depth x Height) in mm. 190x310x470

    Notes- nice grinder and a good alternative to the Mazzer mini. Very favourable reviews on CG.

  12. #12
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Rancilio Rocky
    Price Range: RRP: $495 doserless, $510 doser

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex, DiBartoli, Talk Coffee

    Grinder burrs: diameter 50 mm *
    Bean hopper: capacity *300 grams *
    Doser version: approx. 6 grams dosage (NB Doser is NOT adjustable)
    Doserless version: grind on demand *
    Semi-automatic *
    Output of 2.5 - 3.5 kg per hour *
    Dimensions: 128mm (W) x 359mm (H) x 256mm (D)

    Notes: Very good mid-range grinder. Adjustment is stepped and therefore easily adjustable between plunger grind and espresso grind. Blue tinted hopper claimed to slow deterioration of beans. The doserless version suffers from the usual static and clumping issues which irritate some and there is no dregs tray as such. The dosing chamber on the doser version overcomes the problems of stating and clumping when used to sweep coffee into the portafilter but is not adjustable for drop which is around 6 grams if the dosing chamber is allowed to fill. This drop is matched to the small double basket supplied with the Silvia. Many owners preform mods in the doser to achieve a better sweep of coffee grounds.

    Luca adds the following:
    +easy adjustability between "espresso" and other brewing methods *
    +metal parts seem very beefy *
    +on the doserless, the pf holder holds the rancilio PF very nicely *
    * *
    +/-better adjustability than the sunbeam, but will not satisfy someone *
    who wants to dial the grind in 100% to a specific, standard dose (I have a small whiteboard so that I can record how much I need to dose up or down, because otherwise I usually have to throw the first shot away ... but, then again, Im picky!) *
    * *
    -plastic parts (the sweepers in the dosered model dont even seem to touch the bottom of the chamber!) *
    -fit and finish *
    -the way to tell that youre in the ballpark for espresso grind is that there are clumps coming out *
    -exit chute retains a fair bit of coffee *
    -standard wiring on the doserless means that you have to hold down a *
    spring-loaded momentary switch for it to grind, so if you want to walk *
    away, you need to rewire the grinder yourself *

  13. #13
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Iberital Challenge
    Price Range: RRP: Grey $275 upwards (model dependent) Chrome model shown- $320+

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex, DiBartoli, Veneziano

    Features: *

    600 RPM grinder with conical grinder blades.
    Manual model has on-off switch operation with traditional ground coffee dispenser. Automatic model grinds the coffee fresh and has a volume adjustment for amount of ground coffee required.

    Luca adds the following:
    +trespade burr set (?) *
    +stepless adjustment (but note that it is very fine, so you have to *
    twirl that knob a lot) *
    * *
    -burr carrier is nowhere near as sturdy as the more expensive grinders *
    -loud, high-pitched *
    -no switching between espresso and french press *
    -doserless is messy *
    -doser looks fragile (risk of spring breakage) *
    * *
    Note that the Lux, Sunbeam and Iberital all have the same burrs probably made by the same manufacturer

  14. #14
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Nemox
    Price Range: RRP: $approx 300

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex?


    Stainless steel body.
    The grinding mechanism is conical, hardened, tempered steel
    800 RPM.
    bean hopper holds 150gms.

    Luca adds:
    * *
    +trespade conical burr set *
    +very small (I have borrowed greg kaans a few times when travelling *
    to grind for french press; I squeeze it inbetween all of my socks and *
    stuff in my luggage) *
    * *
    -basically identical to the sunbeam, but more expensive

  15. #15
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Mazzer mini manual/mini-timer
    Price Range: RRP: $820

    Sponsor suppliers: Coffeehit, DiBartoli, Talk Coffee, Veneziano


    Doser refill: Manual
    Doser adjustment: 5.5 grams to 9 grams
    Doser capacity: 200 grams
    Hopper capacity: 600 grams
    Grinding blades: 58mm diameter
    Power: 0.20hp
    Colour: Black or Silver (Polished Aluminium +$120)
    Dimensions: 158mm (W) x 188mm (D) x 460mm (H) *

    Luca adds
    +grind quality sets the bar *
    +grind adjustability is very good (although the collar can be stiff at first) *
    +I am aware of almost no complaints about durability *
    +does espresso/french press very well *
    +springs holding burr carrier under tension *
    * *
    -doser leaves behind a bit of coffee on the floor (mod: duct tape on the sweepers) *
    -coffee sits on the centre of the dosing star (mod: tube over star to force coffee to fall into dosing segments) *
    -doser throws coffee to the left (mod: heaps of guys have made metal *
    bits for the coffee to whack into to fall straight down, or you can just thwack really fast

    kahawa likes this.

  16. #16
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Mazzer mini-e (Model A&B) NB Model B not usually available in Australia.
    Price Range: RRP: $1190 / $1300+

    Sponsor Suppliers: Coffeehit, DiBartoli, Talk Coffee, Veneziano

    Doser refill: Electronic *
    Doser adjustment: 4 grams to 16 grams *
    Doser capacity: 200 grams *
    Hopper capacity: 600 grams *
    Grinding blades: 64?mm diameter *
    Power: 0.20hp *
    Colour: Black or Silver (Polished Aluminium +$120)
    Dimensions: 158mm (W) x 188mm (D) x 460mm (H)

    I found this grinder to be a challenge to dial in. It will take some time.... It suffers somewhat from the usual clumping and static issues. Buyers will need to take some time and kilos adjusting to have the grinder actually deliver the required dose into the portafilter by setting the pre-set timer buttons. I needed to pulse the grinder to top up and this can lead to dose inconsistency. The Compak K3 is also a good alternative and at a substantially lower price.

    Luca wrote:-There was some static that caused some grounds to bounce on to the tray, but it was otherwise more or less entirely clean. *Im not sure, but I suspect that the difference between your experiences and mine might be level of roast of the beans that we were using.

    -The grind timer will not grind out the full amount for a double shot if you use decent sized baskets. *The timers are really not very accurate at all and go completely out of whack when you adjust the grind. *Hence, usual operation is to purge a tiny bit (I do this on any grinder) then hit the double button and walk off. *When you come back, you can level the resultant pyramid, rap to settle, then top up manually.

    -A good walk-through of the mini Es pros and cons can be found on Teemus blog *Teemu upgraded from a rocky doserless to a dosered mini to a mini E and has easily accessible sections on his blog that step through all three grinders.

  17. #17
    TC is offline
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    Oct 2004

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: ECM KS Doserless
    Price Range: RRP: $650

    Sponsor suppliers: Talk Coffee, DiBartoli

    Chrome plated stainless steel finish as per Giotto
    Stepped adjustment (the steps are small and no problem)
    50 mm burr set
    Weight: about 5 kg

    Notes- I am impressed with the performance of this unit. As per the ECM Best, the steps are small and almost infinite grind adjustment is possible.

    Dosing is a one hand operation- turn the grinder on with the rocker switch on the side and then simply push against the grinder lever to dose on demand.

    Grind consistency is excellent with a little clumping evident at Silvia fine grind. No evidence of static.

    Bonuses are that the fork is adjustable for distance from the chute (undo 2 Phillips head screws and reposition)- this will suit those with fat pressurised portafilters. Also, the spout is quite close to the p/f- leading to very clean operation. Its quieter than a Rocky...

    After a couple of weeks, I am happy with the grinder and feel that the range of adjustment is tighter than the Rocky. A flat tray (not shown) as per the Best grinder is supplied to catch grinds- this could be better engineered.

    For those looking for a well constructed grinder to offer stainless steel bling but on a smaller footprint than semi commercial grinders, this may be the answer....

    Talk Coffee will offer complimentary shipping of this grinder around Australia until the end of May 07

  18. #18
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    Mar 2006

    Ascaso I2 Conical

    Machine Name: Ascaso i2/i-home
    Price Range: $475-$450
    Sponsor Suppliers: Veneziano Coffee/Talk Coffee- discontinued in Australia

    Low stock of Iberital Challenge grinders has forced us to look to other alternatives in that price bracket. *And boy are we glad that it did!

    Ascaso is a rather large Spanish company that has many sub-brands. *Last year, they decided to start selling their "Innova" line of domestic equipment under their own brand name. *Since the 1950s, Ascaso have also manufactured many components that find their way into a variety of commercial and domestic espresso machines and grinders. *Peters Ascaso spare parts catalogue looks like a phone book! *More information about the company is available on their webpage.

    The Ascaso i2 is a conical burr grinder with stepless adjustment through a worm drive mechanism. *We have been testing them out over the last few weeks and they have already proved to be quite popular.

    As a twist of the knob makes only a relatively small change to grind size, which makes it possible to dial in your grind perfectly, like on a stepless mazzer. *In fact, using a Makin Espresso domestic machine or a La Marzocco FB80 commercial machine, we found the espresso that the i2 produced to be almost indistinguishable from the mazzer super jolly that we tested it against. *(Although, to be fair, the super jollys burrs had seen quite a bit more use.)

    Unlike a mazzer, the i2s worm drive adjustment makes switching between french press and espresso quite a chore. *This is really an espresso-only grinder. *Be sure to ask your vendor to do the initial dial-in for you on one of their espresso machines, to save yourself a lot of turning!

    Fit and finish are exceptional. *These grinders were clearly designed to look good in a kitchen environment, rather than to sit next to an espresso machine in a cafe.

    Build quality is very good, however we note that after rather a lot of testing some of the chrome on the button that the portafilter pushes against to grind had flaked off. *We felt that the doser on the dosered version of the i2 was a bit flimsy and, so, will not be carrying that model. *The i2s burr carrier is made of plastic, rather than the aluminium used in mazzers.

    It is a testament to this machine that on grind quality it compares with a commercial machine costing many times the price. *We are very happy to add it to our range.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    M4/5 MACAP

    Hwere is a gaggle of newly arrived Macap grinders.

    They are a mixture of M4 and M5 (short / tall hopper but same grinder), micrometric (stepless) and regular commercial stepped, chrome and regular commercial silver, and doser and doserless.

    Check them out.

    Note we are coffee and equipment merchants, not photographeurs !!!!


  20. #20
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2007

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: *ASCASO I3 Mini
    Price Range: *circa $300 black plastic body, $330 polished Aluminium body
    Features: Micrometric Regulation System
    Suppliers- DiBartoli/Talk Coffee
    Notes: *

    This is my first grinder so read my commentry in light of that fact.

    I have now had this for 2 weeks, bought from DIBartoli who, by the way, provided excellent advice and a very easy over the phone transaction.

    I was looking for a small footprint grinder that would give me sufficient performance for 4-5 cups per day without being imposing in an open plan kitchen. *Following some great advice via CS discusison and over the phone (thanks to those who contributed) I settled on this one - and I love it.

    It looks great, its compact (31cm (H) x 12.4cm (W) x 23 (D) ), neat, and Ive achived great results with very little mucking around.

    In response to some common queries in relation to this machine:

    - Yes the hopper (250g capacity) is made of cheap plastic but it looks fine.
    - Being doserless I do get a small amount of residue after grinding but bumping the unit lightly brings the vast majority of it out
    - It is noisy in my opinion (not sure how this compares to other brands) but for comparison for those who are experienced in these things its no more noisy than but no more so than the other Asacsos Ive seen trialed.

    Finally, I LOVE the MRS for grind quality and ease of use. *As Veneziano Coffee point out in their review of the ASCASO i2: since "a twist of the knob makes only a relatively small change to grind size ... its possible to dial in your grind perfectly". *I dont have a lot of experience to compare it against but Im now getting fantastic creme and great taste on the palate (after not too much experimentation or wasted coffee beans). * If any other newbies are apprehensive about stepless (as I wasa at first), having used it for two weeks Im not at all worried about not have a step counter to know where Im at and change between beans etc. (though admittedly both the users of my machine use the same beans and we dont really have any need to swap to decaf).* The benefits in relation to being able to "get it right" are fantastic.

    All in all this appears to be a great unit and I highly recommend it at this end of the market - great value for money!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Feb 2007

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: DITTING KR804
    Retail Price: $2700+GST

    Grinding capacity: 420gm per minute
    Coffee-bean hopper capacity 0.5 Kg (designed for less than 15kg per day)
    Magnet for hopper
    Manual on/off switch located on right side
    Stepped adjustment
    Manual bag holding device
    Integrated bag shaker
    Power: 240 volts 60 hertz
    Motor Output: 0.5kw
    Grinding blades ō 80 mm (milled, and can be resharpened 2 to 3 times)
    Colour: Black
    Net weight 22.5 Kg
    Dimensions (Width x Depth x Height) in mm. 240x280x635

    Expensive machine though comes with impeccable reputation for quality. Consistent grind with inbuilt motor cooling system. Simple to operate, easy to use and very few grinds left in the chute. Cutting edge!

  22. #22
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    Jan 2008

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine Name: Macap M5D/M4D
    Price Range: $1200.
    Features: Doserless, electronically-timed 0.1 second steps for single and double doses. Stepped.
    Notes: *

    1. *Using the same bean, grind and time I have found consistency between doses of +/- 0.1g (for a single dose of 8g). *I could elaborate statistically, but IMHO thereís little point in the context of a quick review. *It works, in the sense that you can use this grinder to get consistent dosage mass.
    2. *Not surprisingly, you have to re-calibrate between beans. *eg on a 4.2 second cycle I go from 7.9g to *8.4g with two different beans. *It follows that you need digital scales to get the best results.
    3. *There are ~ 0.3g of grinds left in the chute, so if you choose to brush them out as a once-off, youll be short changing the next cycle, typically by 0.1 second.
    4. *Some clumping, which disappears with fresh beans.
    5. *Using the electronic menu is easy Ė easier than, for example, changing settings on a printer. *
    6. *The manual supplied was poor - it was for the ďordinaryĒ m4/m5 models, with a one page insert for this electronic model in Italian. *There was nothing meaningful about maintenance or cleaning. *Not my first Italian appliance with a poor manual. *No practical effect, as I dont read manuals anyway, and Chris at Talkcoffee was ready (even at midnight via email) to answer questions. *

    Conclusion: *I never thought Id be fussed about 0.5 g or less of grinds in a dose. *I now know that consistent dosage size is essential to getting consistent results out the other end, at least with my Elektra MCAL. *Add a few tenths of a gram and you can see the difference in the PF, in the pour and in the cup. *With this grinder you can certainly achieve consistency, which in turn leaves you to concentrate on other variables. *

  23. #23

    Re: Information/Reviews of Grinders

    Machine name: Cunill Tranquilo (black pressed metal) & unico Splendor (Stainless Steel model)
    Price Range: $395-$440.
    Features: Doser (manual) and Doserless (electronic) models
    Very large doser
    Doser is adjustable.
    Doserless is time adjustable
    Plastic ring/flange under doser fits into filter basket (virtually no mess)
    500g (standard), 1kg and 2kg hoppers (optional)
    60mm hardened flat burrs
    58mm tamper + smaller one built on doser (select by rotating)
    Sliding shutoff on hopper for removing without emptying
    Whole unit very strongly built

    275W motor RPM 1,300, 1.5Amps Motor equipped with Thermal Protection.
    estimated useage/life of grinding Discs 500 - 800Kg
    H380mm, L280mm, W140mm.

    Notes: As quite as a Rocky doser IMO
    Grinds absolutely beautifully.
    Around 10 kg in weight and sits nicely on bench.
    I tried out the tamper for curiosity sake as so many times on CS these style of tamper get rubbished. I was gobsmacked. The results were better than with my wizzbang stainless steel tamper. I just put one hand on top, pushed up, no great amount of pressure, slight twist and the result was a beautiful, flat, even tamp.
    This tamp worked fine with my Gaggia Classic. I dont know if that is the case with other machines.
    It looks absolutely beautiful next to my Gaggia Classic. The Stainless Steel Cunill blends in nicely
    and would do so with any Espresso machine.

  24. #24
    Junior Member proftournesol's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Machine Name: Versalab M3
    Price Range: expensive ++ ($1500 but depends on exchange rate)
    Doserless grinder
    No hopper (although optional)
    useful portafilter holder
    low grind speed (<500rpm)
    flat and conical burrs
    straight coffee path with no accumulation of old coffee grounds
    very very quiet
    25kg weight, built to survive nuclear attack!
    just arrived yesterday but ordered and paid for in July last year. Little communication from Versalab. Arrived without the ordered (and paid for) hopper but very well packaged. 2 page instruction manual.
    Still dialing it in and Ill post a more detailed report in time but already (3 hours) better crema and taste than my Rocky grinder. No scale makes remembering where you were when adjusting the grind more difficult. No stale grounds remain in the machine but it still makes a mess! Grinds delivered into the filter basket in a donut shape that will require more experimentation leveling the coffee prior to tamping but clearly delivers a more uniform fluffy grind with no clumping.
    20 seconds for a single shot dose

    An update to my Versalab M3 grinder review - 17-04-2010 at 13:44:50

    Ive now used this grinder for 15 months. Ive added a hopper (from a Mazzer I belive but supplied by Versalab) and a manual doser as well as the supplied portafilter holder. This is a simple manually operated sliding block with a hole in it. The hole can be sleeved to change the volume, hence the coffee dose and slides forward from the hopper to a chute that feeds the beans into the grinder. This gives very consistent dosing which complements the very consistent grinding and zero stale grounds residue from the straight path that the beans take. There is a portafilter holder that is spring loaded and holds the basket in place just below the grinder so that the coffee drops directly into the basket but also frees up both hands for other tasks whilst grinding. The coffee quality is consistent and fantastic: flavours are revealed that just werent there with the rocky I had before, and there are very few shops that can produce better coffee than this. It has been 100% reliable although with the caveat that this machine is used at home and wouldnt make more than 6-8 coffees a day.

    Negatives: there isnt enough space between the portafilter holder and the base of the machine. Any grounds spillage drops onto the base and unless I clean it up regularly, the spouts drag through the coffee grounds as I remove the portafilter from the holder. This grinder results in an extremely fluffy and loose mountain of coffee that packs down into the basket but has to be carefully removed from the doser or it spills grounds. In practice, these are just things that I need to be aware of and dont interfere too much in use and dont really slow me down.

    This grinder comes with a strong recommendation, especially with the current exchange rate, just dont expect to get it in the advertised 6 weeks

  25. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Port Fairy

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Kyocera Hand Grinder.

    Price currently $99 including postage.
    Availability is from CS Member AuD2 (Mark) at the time of this mini review

    I have been using this grinder for a few weeks in tandem with a Zassenhaus Grinder as a comparison. Grind consistancy at Syphon, Drip or Plunger size is every bit as good.

    Where this grinder comes into its own is one the fine end of the spectrum. At its finest settings it will totally clog an espresso machine and grinds more than fine enough for Turkish Coffee. Consistency is excellent and far better than any other Hand operated Grinder I have used and better than the Ibiteral Challenge or Ascaso I Mini electrics.

    All in all versitile transportable and tough enough for day to day use or for those on a budget.

    Pics to follow

  26. #26
    Senior Member Coffee2Di4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Ipswich, QLD

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Machine Name: Macap M4/M5
    Price Range: RRP: $ low 800s

    Sponsor suppliers: Cosmorex, Talk Coffee

    Grinding capacity: per hour 3+ kg
    Coffee-bean hopper capacity 0.8 Kg
    Manual on/off switch located on right side
    Micrometric Stepless
    A little mechanism that allows you only to drop enough beans for one basket at a time (dont you love my tech speak!)

    Body: Chrome plating over steel or Silver powdercoat
    Ground coffee doser capacity: 0.2 Kilograms
    Dose adjustment range: 5-9 grams
    Power: 250 watts 240 volts 50/60 hertz
    Grinding blades ō 58 mm
    Grinding blades rpm 1400 (50Hz)
    Net weight 9 Kg
    Dimensions (Width x Depth x Height) in mm. 190x310x470

    A review from a users perspective:

    A great grinder with very little mess.

    Doser sweeps very clean, although the coffee chute needs a quick brush out each time you grind with a paint brush otherwise the grinds have a habit of clumping up at the outlet.

    Probably my only beef about it is that, to remove the bean hopper for cleaning or to change beans, you have to unscrew it so you tend to put this off as long as possible. There is a finger guard so you cant just scoop beans out manually. This is a safety mechanism, I guess, but most of us would know to not have it switched on if you are going into the hopper! I could probably remove this with a screwdriver but havent been bothered so far - a job for a rainy day...

    Clumps into the basket are very minimal and very easily broken up with a quick tap on the bench to settle.

    Very quiet to operate in comparison to the SB0480.

    Because the hopper is smoky brown, you can leave your beans in the hopper and they dont get damaged by sunlight, especially if you have it in a dark corner like I have. It is also great because you can age the beans a little bit faster without losing quality, if this makes sense. Quite often I only remember to roast beans about when I just about need them immediately, so I can put the freshly roasted beans in the hopper and age them a bit quicker than if they were in a one way valve bag. This is probably a bad practise but its the norm with me, unfortunately!

    Overall, a brilliant grinder and HUGE step up from the 0480 - which you would expect for the extra money, I guess - but I am over the moon about it and would recommend it to anyone in a flash.


  27. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Name: Obel/ Bregent Junior grinder
    Burrs: 50 mm flat burrs
    Burrs adjustment : stepped
    Dosing: Adjustable
    Motor: 100watt

    Height: 360mm
    Depth: 260mm
    Width: 148mm

    This is my first professional grinder. I have had for about 2 months and bought it second hand. Yes some of the body is plastic but it does the job well. Dosing is prety accurate and sweeps clean. The doser does have a cheap feel to it but doesnt concern me as i only make 1 coffee a day. It is relatively quiet. The same if not quieter than my previous blade grinder. :o

    I would diffenately recommend this grinder for a domestic environment. It wont win any design awards but it does the job quite well.

  28. #28
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    Mar 2008

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Machine Name: Mazzer Kony Doser (non-electronic)
    Price Range: +/- $1300 USD
    Features : Stepless Conical Burr

    This monster is rarely seen in the home environment. it is very large- it weighs 20Kg (44 lbs.) and with its hopper it is 65CM (25.5") tall! The 350 watt motor spins the 63mm (2.5") conical burrs at 420rpm (50Hz) or 500rpm (60Hz). the burrs alone cost around $165 USD.

    The grinder it replaced was a Rocky doser model, and right from the start I could tell a difference. The Kony exposed more high notes and varietal flavors- so much so that I have changed my blend for espresso, using less African or similar beans in the blend.

    I recommend Mazzer grinders to anyone who asks. Their upper burr mount/stepless adjustment allows for no movement or wobble during grinding, and it is easy to remove the upper carrier for cleaning, and returning to the same setting is very easy and produces the same grind as before the burr carrier was removed.

    I had to modify the grinder by removing the hopper switch so that it could grind per dose and still give access to the exit chute. For home user I would recommend the doserless model for most.

  29. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Hario MSS1B Hand Grinder.

    Price: at time of writing, $89.95.

    A great portable grinder with small overall dimensions but big on quality and consistency. Appears to have the same burr set as the well-respected Kyocera units (except theyre grey not white but I dont think the coffee will notice the difference Wink) but with a more rigid outer burr carrier assembly which should provide more consistent particle sizes. I found the crank handle also stays on more readily than the Kyocera but that may have been because the Kyocera I evaluated was a used demo model.

    Capable of grinding literally from dust up to plunger and beyond with plenty of range of adjustability. Like any hand grinder it takes a bit of cranking to get enough coffee ground for a cup but theres a certain amount of zen in all this if youre using it in combo with a manual brewer. 8-)

    Really looks the part with its combination of black and stainless steel and is a great unit for a portable grinder or for a snob starting out.

    Available through

  30. #30
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    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    The Smart Grinder!


    Earlier this week we had the opportunity to evaluate a new coffee grinder designed by Breville, the BCG800 Smart Grinder. *We put it through some rigorous testing and were astounded by the results.

    The Smart Grinder employs conical burrs and a 165 watt motor to produce a double shot in 15 seconds, and the grinds are uniform in consistency, cool to touch, with minimal clumping.

    In addition, the Breville Smart Grinder is relatively quiet, and has more useful features and in my opinion is a far better grinder than a Lelit PL043, Iberital Challenge, Isomac Granmacinino, or Rocky Doserless. *All of which are more expensive than the Smart Grinder.

    The Breville Smart grinder has a RRP of $299.95 and its operation and features are more akin to the Mahlkonig Vario which retails for $680.00.

    Weve been so impressed with the evaluation model that it now resides next to our BNZ Grinders, and has taken up the role of decaf grinder from the K3T we previously used!

    As a result, Cuppacoffee has become the first specialty coffee house in Australia to range, demonstrate, and retail the Smart Grinder.

    So, if you are in the market for your first grinder, or thinking of purchasing a second grinder for filter, work, or even for decaf duty in a cafe, then you really should consider the Smart Grinder.

    The features:
    • Price: $299.00
    • 165 watt motor
    • Automatic dosing system calibrates each dose every time you adjust the grind size
    • Manual dose adjust feature allows you to manually adjust the preset amount to suit personal taste
    • Hardened conical burrs minimise grinding heat to protect the essential oils in the coffee bean
    • Hands free grinding to grind directly into portafilter, grind container or drip filter basket
    • Large capacity 450g bean hopper with air tight lid and locking system for easy removal and transfer of beans
    • Backlit LCD screen displays grind settings, number of cups or shots and customized grind amount
    • 25 grind settings from the finest espresso to the coarsest plunger grind
    • Two portafilter cradles (50/54mm and 58mm size)
    • Grinds Container
    • Conical burr cleaning brush
    • Removable grinds catch tray
    • Designed in Australia by Breville Design
    • 12 month replacement guarantee


    Den and Chris :)

  31. #31
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    South Coast NSW

    BCG800 Smart Grinder

    Breville BCG800 Smart Grinder

    Gday all, time for some thoughts on this grinder.

    I know its been nearly a week since Ive had it, but a 2 year old and a newborn seem to divert my attention these days* ;).

    The packaging of the grinder is top notch and protects the grinder, and assorted bits and pieces very nicely. Although you shouldnt judge a book by its cover, the first impressions always count and this one is certainly good.

    One slight whinge at this stage involves the hopper. The instructions state to wash the hopper and the ground coffee container prior to use, which I did.* The design of the hopper is such that it has an inner and outer portion, having a locking mechanism and gates. This creates space which retains some water after washing and takes a long time to air dry.

    The grinder only requires a minimal amount of construction to get it up and running, with the instructions being very easy to follow. It certainly looks impressive and surprisingly, isnít much smaller than the Macap M4 being only 70mm shorter, although itís not nearly as heavy.

    It comes with 2 group handle/porta filter holders, one for 50-54mm and one for 58mm.* The standard La Spazial 53mm g-handles donít fit into either of these holders, as theyre too deep and the spouts touch on the base plate. The naked g-handle fits in, but you still have to hold it whilst grinding, as it wonít latch properly. I canít comment on the retention of a 58mm g-handle, as I donít have one available to test.

    Now to the purpose of this machine, coffee grinding of course. I loaded up a double shots worth into the hopper and adjusted the grind to near the finest setting (2 or 3 from the end I think), then hit the start button.

    I didnt time the grind (Ill explain why a bit later), but it seemed quite quick, possibly on par with the Macap (which I havent timed either BTW ::)).

    It didnt seem overly noisy or quiet either. Its probably comparable in volume to the Macap, but its a different sort/frequency of noise. One has flat burrs with higher RPM and the other has conical burrs with lower RPM. Neither of them is super noisy or whisper quiet, which I wouldnt expect from any grinder BTW ;).

    The grinds seemed to clump a lot, leading me to think that the grind was too fine. I removed the g-handle twice during grinding to distribute, tap and settle the grinds in the basket (which is why I didnt bother timing the grind). I levelled off and tamped, then attempted to pull a shot. No joy on the first activation of the pump or the second, with the third activation rewarding me with a super restricted ristretto of approx. 10ml* :o.

    After tweaking the grind size, I ended up on the coarsest espresso setting, which is adjacent to the percolator setting, which still gave me a very fine grind and choked the La Spaz.* I ended up taking out 2 shims (all 4 shims in this grinder are 0.3mm) and trying again. Whilst I was able to pour some decent shots, I found that the grinding range is still a long way from the finest setting.

    EDIT - I just pulled out a third shim, but I havenít tested it as itís getting a bit late in the arvo and everyone else in the house is having a siesta. Iíll have another go tomorrow morning and see how that goes.

    Iíll list some of (my) proís and cons thus far.

    -Itís a good-looking unit.
    -Good build quality, it feels solid as well.
    -It has some nice features such as multi-sized g-handle holders + a substantial seal-able ground coffee container, easy to read LCD display, a Ďsleep modeí which turns itself off after 5 minutes of inactivity
    -It has a magnetic ground coffee waste tray, which makes it super easy to remove and clean.
    -Very easy burr dis assembly for cleaning.
    -The grind size and dose are easy to adjust, especially if you need to go from espresso to plunger regularly.

    -Bean hopper retains a fair bit of water after washing (only a problem if you have to wash it).
    -The holders donít hold La Spaziale g-handles.
    -The distribution of grinds into the basket isnít very good (although this could simply be due to the fact that my g-handles donít fit correctly).

    Please donít take this as any form of recommendation or product bashing; theyíre just my limited observations over a couple of days, which someone might find useful. No doubt therell be more things to be found as I get to know the grinder a bit better.

    All the best,
    badbudgie likes this.

  32. #32
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2009

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Mahlkonig Vario

    Machine Name: Mahlkonig Vario purchased in 2011 from E61.
    Price Range: $680 inc postage
    Features (Stepless, Auto-grind etc): Macro/Micro Adj, zero grind retention, compact, suitable for other brewing methods


    Well boxed on arrival from E61, the grinder comes tested from the factory and I used the supplied packet of grindz to clean the grinder before use as per the instructions.* A nice touch and amazingly I dialled the grinder in first time for the lusso.* Excellent.

    The grinder is very compact, feels well built and itís nice and heavy for itís size, and even though itís body is predominately plastic itís nice to have a bit of shiney stainless steel on the front for a bit of bling.* Everything fits nice and snug and fits as it should.* The buttons and levers are all self explanatory so I found it easy to use.

    I was itching to take a look at the ceramic burrs so I pulled the top burr carrier out before I even assembled it (typical eh).

    The top burr carrier was very stiff to pull out, but repeating it was easier because I knew how it worked etc.* It all felt well built and well constructed.
    The hopper has to be attached for the grinder to work and clips in with a solid feel.* The front control panel has 3 buttons for espresso, filter and press which effects the duration of the grind (this can be adjusted to your personal preference).* There is also a manual button for manual timing, and the start button which starts and stops operation.* To the right in the macro grind adjustment that from espresso to press, and on the left is the micro lever that makes fine adjustments in the macro settling.* A display counts down in espresso, filter and press settings, and counts up when set to manual.

    It comes with a container for other brewing methods, and a portafilter holder for espresso machines.

    With some minor adjustments to the height and my tiny Ponte Vecchio Lusso handle fitted, which considering itís size is amazing.* I did find it rather messy because of the size of the baskets, so I made a slightly longer clip from a picture hook to hold the handle in ;)* Still a bit messy because a fine spray would coat the worktop when the basket was full so I flogged a OE funnel off Sniff_coffee and tried that.* Less mess and Iím happy.

    Iíve found that my bags of coffee are lasting slighty longer which I think is due to the reduce wastage compared to the K6.* The Vario has no grind retention where the K6 had to be purged for old grinds before every show or it would effect my first pour (there are usually hours or a whole day between coffees).
    Taste wise Iím put it up against my stepped K6 which Iíve had for a year, and I have to say I canít taste a difference in the cup (mostly milk based but I did also compare a long black).* *I brewed a syphon and it was very good from the Vario.

    Small, Compak, Quiet (compared to the K6), itís the same height as the PV Lusso with the hopper on.
    Zero Grind retention
    Quality Construction and a nice heavy feel
    Group handle attachment that would accept any size handle
    The basket is great for other brewing methods

    Canít see the timer display well from my height but my table is a little low at only 800mm rather than normal kitchen bench height.

    Ive only had this grinder for a few months so far, but itís easily the best Iíve owned for the purposes of making coffee in a home environment.

    I would recommend the vario if you are looking for a compact grinder with zero grind retention that in my opinion has great results in the cup compared with other larger cafť sized grinders.* It also works straight out of the box, no shims required and itís easy to use.

    I have modified the clip that holds the portafilter to let my small Ponte Vecchio Lusso portafilters sit under the chute.* Amazingly the small portafilters fit this grinder due to the excelled portafilter holder design.* AM also put a small chute on the grinder too which I might do later.

    The Vario is sometimes judged as being too expensive when compared to other grinders and some review when it was released where less than favourable.* *Some of the newer reviews have come back very positive which suggests to me that Mahlkonig have ironed out some small issues with the early models.* I personally found that it ticked all the boxes for me, itís quiet, compact, can be used for lots of different brewing methods and there is no retention of grinds like other grinders Iíve owned.* The best thing of all is that the coffee in the cup is just as good as ever.* I seriously donít miss my Compak K6. [ch61514]

    Here is a piccy of the Lusso, Vario and Compak K6 all together.

    My grinder was purchased from E61 and I would like to thank Matt for the great service and support that I receive during my purchase.* *I was always kept up to date, he answered all my questions and followed up post purchase to make sure that I was happy.

    badbudgie likes this.

  33. #33
    ajf is offline
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    Sep 2011
    Central Coast NSW

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Versalab M3

    To add my recent experience to the excellent review (above, post 23) of the Versalab M3 by Mal - Proftournesol: I purchased this grinder in July 2011. Elapsed time between order placement and delivery to me was 10 days* ::)* (most of which was spent with FedEx).

    The grinder arrived exactly as specified - 240v, 50 Hz, with portafilter holder attched and well-packaged. An adhesive grinder scale was supplied, but needed to be affixed by me. However, the spare set of burr grinders I ordered were not included. A quick email had this sorted in short order, but I am still awaiting their delivery (Sept 11).

    Communication with Laura from Versalab was first rate - an absolute pleasure.

    I took advantage of the unusually favourable exchange rate of the then 1.10 to the USD and the USD 1,700 cost of the grinder became AUD 1,525. Good value for money IMHO, as the grinder does everything the home user requires to perfection (I will defer to Mals excellent review for the finer detail) in a comparitively small and very attractive package.


  34. #34
    jur is offline
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    Nov 2011

    Re: Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    Kyocera longer term usage

    I have been using a Kyocera hand mill for about 6 months; lately I have been disappointed with the coffee, and decided to try a new grinder (same burr set as the Kyocera but stainless body). The difference in taste is remarkable.

    So I looked closely at the older ceramic burr set and noticed areas where the edges are smoothed off, obviously from wear and grinding against itself.

    I was using the Kyocera with a battery drill on slow speed. Not sure if this has a impact on the burr set. The Kyocera grinder has some play in the axle on which all the works are mounted, as well as other areas of play. Overall, I dont think this or other grinders built around the same central mechanism is good for long term usage, due to the play in the working parts. The other issue which bothers me, is the ceramic outer burr seems just a tad off being perfectly round, resulting in spots where the inner burr seems almost touching and other places where there is a noticeable larger gap. Both the Kyocera as well as the newer stainless grinder with the same inner works show this. I am not sure if this is by design, to give a range of grind particle sizes for any given setting.
    badbudgie likes this.

  35. #35
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    Jul 2014
    Breville Smart Grinder Pro (BCG820)
    Price Range: $199 - $299
    * 450g hopper
    * Conical burrs (stainless steel)
    * 165W motor
    * Timed dosing (0.2sec increments)
    * Programmable shot or cup volumes *Not sure how this is supposed to work
    * 2 year replacement warranty

    Notes: Having 'downgraded' to this grinder from my Elektra MSC due to space restrictions, my initial reaction on un-boxing the BCG820 was very positive. The grinder takes up much less real estate on my already crowded coffee workspace. In the box with the grinder was an airtight coffee storage cannister, a small cleaning brush, and two grinding cradles for 50-54mm & 58mm portafilters. I fitted the smaller of the two cradles, which fitted my Elektra MCAL standard and bottomless PF's pretty nicely.

    Initial adjustment was pretty straightforward. The large grind size knob on the side provides incremental adjustment from plunger (coarse) to espresso (fine), and everything in between. Dose volume is then adjusted using the timing control knob on the front of the machine. Using a set of scales for reference, I was easily able to dial in the required dose for my MCAL and produce a fairly decent espresso shot. One of the features of this grinder is Breville's so-called 'Dosing IQ'. This is supposed to intelligently adjust the dose timing to ensure dose consistency when making adjustments to the grind size. I'm yet to fully explore this setting, as I was pretty happy with my first efforts. I'll give it a try once I'm confident the burrs are worn in and seasoned, and I have a little more time. The main thing for me was that the grind consistency was great - the grounds were fluffy and uniform in size (to my naked eye at least). I have no doubt that this will continue to produce grinds sufficient for the MCAL, my first efforts still leaving a lot of room for adjustment towards the fine end of the scale.

    Being an avid maker and drinker of filter coffee (V60, french press, syphon, Aeropress & Toddy) I was also interested to see how this grinder would perform at the opposite end of the scale. I wasn't disappointed. This machine was able to produce consistent doses of very coarsely ground beans, suitable for french press. There were minimal fines left in the press after brewing, which is a problem I tend to get with my hand grinder for instance (apples and pears, I know). I also brewed a double V60 with minimal effort. The only thing will be to manage the consistency and dose as the beans age, and as I change roasts or suppliers - but this would be the case with any grinder.

    * Seems to be good build quality, with stainless steel used throughout and sturdy plastics where necessary
    * Easy disassembly for cleaning (e.g. burrs can be removed quickly, as can the magnetic tray at the base of the unit)
    * Great range of adjustments from chunky to powder
    * 2 year warranty (in this age of throwaway appliances, I think this is a pretty nice touch from Breville)
    * Activation switches on front panel and also in the doser bay for PF activation
    * Auto power-off
    * Hopper can be removed even when filled with beans

    * Seems to lack a programming function (or it doesn't work as I expect it to). You can program the dose time for a particular grind setting, but this doesn't seem to 'stick' if you try and program another at the other end of the coarseness scale

    So those are my first impressions after a few days with the BCG820. Hope you found it useful.
    badbudgie likes this.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Sunbeam EM0430 review

    Machine Name: Sunbeam EM0430 Burr Grinder
    Price Range: $70+ new - I paid $26 via evilbay
    Features (Stepless, Auto-grind etc): Stepped in 17 increments

    Preface: I've now owned 4 grinders, this one being the 4th. First was a Sunbeam EM0480, then my K3 Touch. I then sold the sunbeam to fund Porlex mini for pour over and now this Sunbeam to add some pace to the same brewing method.

    There were 2 reasons for buying this grinder, which was 2nd hand off Gumtree. The first was I got it for $26, the second being grinding for cold press can get a little tiring, and throwing my K3 out of tune was a little annoying, so naturally I started looking for a little burr to try and ease the pain in the rear.

    When I got it home, the first thing I did was pull it apart, naturally. I found the internals to be as I expected - cheap. The grinder seemed to be well used, so the burrs aren't in great condition - but all they should suffice.

    When I ground some beans for testing, I put a few through my Porlex as comparison, and we all know they aren't the king of consistency so I was hoping for similar results. What I found when I turned on the grinder was a few interesting things:
    1. It has what seems to be a very low torque, high RPM motor. Crap.
    2. It spits the coffee out like a jet ski throws a rooster tail.
    3. It doesn't seem to have huge grinder retention, the high RPM motor is to thank for that..
    4. It's pretty much worth $26 in terms of consistency, but that's OK, it's not a conical burr grinder so I wasn't expecting TOO much.

    Here's a few images as I couldn't find any of the burrs when looking prior to the auction and just in case anyone else in the same boat and wants a cheap little burr grinder for cold press/pour over.

    As it should be:

    As I'll use it, luckily the lid fits snugly over the bottom of the bowl/hopper which can't be removed.

    Bottom of the bowl, bottom grinder and top removable burr.

    This is the high-speed exit chute.

    Apparently the newer model of the EM0430 has conical burrs, which would do a much better job (like the 0450/480 would).
    Last edited by Nickgb; 30th November 2014 at 06:34 PM.

  37. #37
    Wega Mininova Classic Seeya_Latte's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Article : Coffee grinders put to the test (The Age 2 Dec 2014)

    Good Food - Coffee grinders put to the test

    found this article in the Age, pretty light weight but it may be useful to anyone just starting out - it's a review of the following grinders:

    1) Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill Skerton
    2) Bodum Bistro blade grinder
    3) Bodum Bistro
    4) Breville Smart Grinder
    5) Sunbeam Precision Conical Burr Grinder
    6) K3 Push
    7) Baratza Forte

  38. #38
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015

    Info/Reviews of Grinders - NO Discussions

    I’ve just received this grinder from the ever excellent JetBlack espresso - had it about a week, so I thought I’d post up my impressions. There’s not many reviews out there on the internet about these grinders.

    The Profitec grinder is based on the ECM S-Automatik 64 (I think.. the ECM was on the market first), but has some significant differences:
    - Profitec has the dose buttons on top (a la Mazzer Mini type A) / ECM has a portafilter button (a la Mazzer Mini type B, Macap M4D)
    - Profitec utilises a portafilter holder / ECM has a pair of forks that will rest the portafilter, but not hold it.
    - Profitec has an anti-static funnel (a la Mazzer) / ECM has a narrower chute (a la Macap M4D).
    - Some other minor differences

    Keeping with the Mazzer Mini comparison for a moment, the dose buttons are on top, on the body of the grinder, rather than how Mazzer have put theirs on the lid of the anti-static funnel. This is great because the buttons can be firmly depressed and aren’t the plastic coated buttons you find on a mazzer. They won’t be wearing down. Ever.
    Also, because the travel of the button is deep, you have far more feedback about whether you’ve pressed or released the button.

    The display and time adjustment are below the portafilter. Having the timer low is good, because it means you can watch the grinds into the portafilter and also the time ticking down at the same time. Why you’d want to is entirely up to you, but at least you can. It’s not so good because you can’t necessarily take a cursory glance while doing other things, but that entirely depends on the placement of your grinder.

    The display has a button either side of it for adjusting the grind times on the grinder, and these are the soft plastic coated style buttons. However, I expect you’ll be pressing these buttons less than the dosage buttons. If however they do stop working - it’s a full replacement of the whole digital display as both buttons are required to open the adjustment menu, so must be fully operational. I have absolutely no concerns about build quality, it’s just an observation.

    The current hopper that comes with the Profitec is a clear coloured ~500g hopper, it is secured by a rubber seal and safety screw. Formerly it was tinted, not sure why they changed - the current advertising spiel says it now allows you to see beans in the hopper, but that seems reactionary to the current shipment IMO. It’s a shame it’s not an optional thing. However, I do like being able to see my beans so it’s not that bad - but for people who like to fill their hopper and might make only one coffee a day - this is a downside in my opinion. The hopper also has the standard tab that you can slide close to remove the hopper containing beans when necessary.

    The hopper lid is firmly fitting which is great. It is easily removed when intended, but doesn’t move or spin. This could change as the grinder gets older. The lid on the anti-static funnel is similarly tight fitting, and fits against the screws that hold the anti-static grid in place. A little odd, but you just need to be a little specific about the way you fit the lid back onto the funnel. Maybe they can make that 1mm clearance for future revisions, but it’s not actually problematic.

    The grinder has a power switch at the back with an indicator light which is great for me, as I can see from my lounge room when the grinder has been left on. If it faces a wall, you probably won’t care about this minor feature.

    The chassis of this grinder is steel - with highlights of quality polished black plastic. The grinds tray is also plastic. I was initially bummed about this, but being a highly polished finish, it matches the grinder perfectly, as the side aluminium panels are attached to similarly polished material. Also as it's plastic, the grinds tray can’t get dinged or scratched up in the same way a stainless one will, so it’ll keep looking premium for some time. It’s also easily washed up in the sink if necessary. The catcher is held in place by hooking under the two front grinder feet, so you need to rock the grinder back to move it out.

    The portafilter holder in pictures on the internet looked a little ‘light on’ compared to the ECM, but it’s absolutely not - it’ll hold your portafilter just fine with no risk of bending (unless intentionally abused). Also, as a small bonus, you can hang a Pullman Barista tamper upside-down from it if you don’t have a tamper stand. The portafilter holder is adjustable - I haven't tried to change it as it fits my ECM portafilters just fine out of the box.

    The grinder runs very well and very quietly in comparison to my previous Sunbeam EM0480 grinder. I can’t compare the noise to other home grinders except the Mazzer Mini and Sunbeam. The Profitec is definitely quieter than both.

    Operating the grind time panel is not intuitive at all, however the manual is clear about how to do so, and actually the process is very simple requiring 2 or 3 presses before you are then able to make the preferred adjustment. The timer is digital (obviously..) and allows adjustment to .1 of a second. There are two values for the two buttons.

    Starting the grinder is a simple case of pressing one of the two dosing buttons. The screen will then count down from your specified time until the grind is finished.
    You can also manually dose by holding down either of the two dosing buttons and releasing once you’re happy with the amount of grinds. This is good for a purge of the grinder, or for topping up an underdosed portafilter.
    I’ve set my first button to 1.8s for purging (and adjusting - see below), and my second button to my preferred time for my daily used stock basket. Obviously, you can do whatever you feel like though.

    Adjusting the grinds is via a worm drive. The worm spins very smoothly and the knob has 3 nice rubber rings on it for a firm grip. This is a design evolution over the ECM grinder that is an all stainless steel knob. The adjustment wheel/cog is plastic, but is so large (1cm thick, 10cm round) that damage would only occur by misuse, not overuse. The grinder should be adjusted finer while operating, and so having programmed my first dose button to just shy of two seconds, it allows me to make the adjustment without needing to hold my finger on the front of the grinder. I think I would waste less coffee this way than if I manually operated the grinder while adjusting. Obviously if you single dose and run the grinder to empty each time, this is not an issue for you and you can adjust to your hearts content.

    The portafilter holder works very well, and again is a design evolution over the ECM, and what mandates the top buttons over the portafilter button variant on the ECM. You can’t just thrust the portafilter onto it, you need to make sure that it’s properly hooked, but it takes all of .25 of a second more care to do so. The one time I didn’t take care, I had grinds all over my bench. Hasn’t happened since, it’s just muscle memory.

    The motor in this grinder is very powerful - you’ll see it in the body of the grinder, as when it turns on as there is just a tiny little jolt in it. The grinder is heavy however, and doesn’t move position.

    Grinding and dosing:
    The grinds pass through an antistatic grid and into the antistatic funnel. I’ve found that the grinds will fall down into my portafilter nicely, and don’t spray everywhere like they did on my Sunbeam.
    Taking off the funnel lid you can see the grounds that didn’t make it through the grid - for people who are single dosers, this might be a pain, but if you single dose maybe your preference is to go about making modifications to things anyway. I don’t know. I don’t recommend making modifications as the quality of the grinds coming from this grinder are fantastic. Purge a little instead if you’re worried about freshness (drop in 2g of beans, run the grinder, drop in your ~18g of beans and run the grinder again).
    I haven’t tested single dosing - I can’t tell you how accurate the timer is when single dosing, but “pop corning” is an issue with this grinder (as it is with most other grinders), so a solution that removes the hopper will likely be something you’d want to implement. You might say ‘why would you want to use the timer when single dosing?’ - for the same reason you’d want a portafilter holder, so you can be detached from the grinder to do something else (like fill your milk jug). It’s a workflow thing.

    Because of either the fact that the funnel is sloped or just the force of the thrust grinds - it will dose a very slight amount toward the portafilter handle, but across the time of the grind it ends up mounding almost perfectly in the middle. I like this as it makes distribution easier. I use a horizontal tapping technique for distribution and have had no trouble distributing perfectly fine. Even if you are the type that just vertically taps the portafilter, I doubt distribution will be a problem at all.

    Rarely do I actually get coffee on my grinds tray, but when I do, it’s about 10 stray grinds. I used a Compak F8 in a cafe over summer and (despite loving what it was putting out) the amount of times I had to clean up my grounds tray I was astounded. Likewise the Sunbeam makes a mess beyond it’s rubber mat, the Profitec no such issue.

    Grinds experience:
    The other day it was remarkably humid here in Sydney. I went to a mates place who also uses a Sunbeam and we tried to make some coffees but his grinder was clumping far too badly to actually pull good shots. In fact, the grinder backed up and we had to give up until he had a chance to vacuum out his grinder. I came back home frustrated about wasting a lot of coffee but not actually drinking any, so made my own at home.
    Out of the Profitec, in the same weather conditions, my grinds were fluffy and well separated, no channeling, lovely pour.
    Obviously, your grind performance will depend on not just relative humidity but how dark/oily your beans are, the age of your beans, how recently you cleaned out your grinder etc. so your mileage may vary.
    This grinder must present a much more suitable particle distribution for espresso than my sunbeam. I say this not because I ground both onto a piece of paper and had a look under a magnifying glass, but because my pours blonde later, my crema is much richer, the texture of my espresso is miles ahead, and the taste is much more delicious. Just an in-the-cup observation, no pseudo-science here.
    I’m not yet at the point where I am a “pro” at dialling in espresso, so I’m still learning how much adjustment a grinder requires for hitting the sweet spot, but I like the subtle changes that are possible with this infinitely adjustable grinder.

    General thoughts:
    It’s really well built and looks fantastic alongside my chrome-box ECM Technika. It’s rectangle look sort of enhances the look of the ECM from a stainless steel cube, to a commanding serious piece of machinery. I dunno. That probably sounds wankerish - but in contrast to a round, poorly finished grinder beside it, everything looks (and so feels) much nicer to have in my home.

    At the moment, given it’s had about 750g through it, my grind time for a 20g double is 7.1s. My hunch is that in a kg more of bedding in, that will drop marginally more. Last week, the equivalent grind time was 8.x seconds, so don’t be dismayed if purchasing this grinder and it’s not super fast out of the box.

    My first experience of the grinder was while my ECM was in for adjustment, so I was making coffee in a Moka Pot. The first cup from the stovetop (for about 18 months) had a metallic taste to it. I couldn’t work out if it was the pot or the new grinder, but the subsequent cups (after a thorough clean of the pot) were perfectly fine. My recommendation (which isn’t in the manual) is to run and purge about 100g through of older coffee, just in case there is any residual metal dust etc. in the grinder. Again, I suspect it might have been the Moka Pot, not the grinder - but just to be sure that’s what I recommend.

    Another down-side is that although it’s got a lovely stainless steel chassis and side panels - they attract fingerprints far more readily than my ECM does. This might be because you’re likely to grip one side of the grinder when making a grind adjustment. Well I do.

    For people who like custom wood parts on their coffee machine - the two lids are able to be swapped out. Maybe the grind adjustment nob could be swapped out for a custom one as well, but I haven’t looked into doing so. Certainly, the worm gear is a separate part, but I don’t know how they’re connected internally. If you're ambitious, maybe even the plastic panelling. Who knows. That's probably a job for Specht Design once you get to that point...

    The size of this thing I was worried about before I got it home, but for it’s footprint, it’s within 2cm in every dimension of the Sunbeam EM0480. It literally takes up as much space as the Sunbeam did. For a 64mm grinder, this is awesome. The grinder is also HEAVY. It’s not going to move. It’s not going to be knocked over. It’s a solid serious piece of machinery. All that metal is also an excellent heat sink, so it’s not going to be changing your grinds temperature any time soon from heavy home use.

    Final thoughts:
    Would I buy this again? 100x over. It's a home workhorse, and craps all over my Sunbeam, and my experience of the Mazzer Mini in the cafe over summer.
    I was also considering a Compak E6 (slightly more $$, nicer electronic features, much larger), and the Macap M4D (slightly less $$ and a little larger footprint). I have no regrets whatsoever - and although I haven't had much experience with those grinders - I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this grinder over them.

    My subjective reasons:
    - It's smaller.
    - It doesn't look like a Dalek like the M4D.
    - You don't have to pay more for the premium metal finish.
    - It's just as fast as the Compak, and it's faster than the Macap
    - It offers the antistatic funnel (or if you don't like that funnel - then just look at the ECM for a funnel-less variant)
    - I like it more, so you should like it more.

    The Macap and Compak are nothing to sneeze at, if they're on your list, keep them on your list and see them in the flesh:
    - Both have 3 grind time settings options, not two
    - The Macap is adjustable to .05s not just .1s
    - The Compak has a much more suited to cafe operation cycle

    Even with these, the size and the look and the user experience, I'd take the Profitec.

  39. #39
    kbc is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Rancilio KRYO 65 OD

    Rancilio KRYO 65 OD

    RRP: $1599

    I saw this as MICE 2016. It's impressive. It uses clever passive cooling design to get conical grinder speed with 64mm planar burrs

    64 mm planar burrs
    3.5 g/second.
    Quality materials
    Precise dosing
    Intuitive interface

    The Rancilio rep gave me a unit to try out.

    I'm impressed.
    3.5 g/s - YES.
    Solid build quality and quiet - YES
    Fluffy grind - YES

    At $1599 I think this could be a game changer for commercial grinders. Time will tell.

    Could also suit the prosumer.

    dodgy x Coffee Link:
    Attached Images Attached Images

  40. #40
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Macap M4D

    I replaced my 11 year old Rocky with the Chrome M4D and have had the grinder now for about one month. It was purchased from dodgy x a site sponsor. It took about 10 days from the time of order to get the grinder here in Perth.

    I wanted to replace the Rocky probably for no good reason really although I did like the idea of a timer. Do I use the timer? Yes, actually even though yes time of grind varies with the bean. It is still very handy.

    The Rocky is an underrated grinder. A very good grinder, solid and well built, it never missed a beat in 11 years and still has the original burrs.

    Is the M4D producing a better coffee? No. I'm not saying I think it should be either. I would be surprised if it matters that much about the grinder provided it does a decent job grinding. Sure, I wouldn't rule out there being minor differences but it would be one among many variables. You often hear about how fantastic the coffee tastes after getting a new, expensive grinder. Call me skeptical just don't call me late for dinner.

    I do enjoy the looks of the M4D in Chrome. I think it well matches just about any machine you are likely to own as the Chrome matches the Stainless Steel. It also doesn't have the cone like the Profitec or Mazzer but just a chromed chute. This looks much better to my eye than either the Profitec or Mazzer doserless.

    The grinder is reasonably quiet and also quite quick to produce a double shot at about 10 seconds although the time varies from 9.5 to 10.3 seconds to produce a 20g double shot. I dose on volume rather than weight as I think it is a better way to do things so that your head space in the basket is reproducible. I think that this is more important than weight.

    The adjustment for timing is first rate and very easy to use and adjust. I can't suggest any improvements here.

    The adjustment mechanism for grind uses a worm drive and is fantastically precise. It is probably way more precise than you need. The downside to this adjustment mechanism is that you do tend to adjust in half or full turn steps. A stepped adjustment mechanism has the advantage of being able to change the grind a large amount, easily. This grinder is really for someone who does just espresso. If you do just espresso, the adjustment mechanism and the fine control is next to none.

    The build quality of the grinder is somewhere between excellent and outstanding. It is hard to see how much better it could be. I expect it will last decades. It weighs 8.5kg, nice and heavy and solid with nice 58mm burrs.

    The tray at the base is easy to remove and clean but is a bit on the small side. It isn't a big issue as I suppose even if it were bigger, it still would require cleaning of the bench.

    The size of the hopper is just about right. This is clearly a home machine so the smaller hopper size makes sense and it still huge for most uses. It is however smaller than say the Mazzer Super Jolly which is too big (you can however get smaller hoppers for it).

    Clumping and retention are two contentious areas that I don't really think are that important. I think any direct into the basket path will occasionally give some clumping especially if the beans are oily but this depends on the bean and the roast. If you roast beans into second crack then clumping is just a natural behaviour. I find in normal use with my roasts that I get very little clumping. I did notice though when I ground too fine once, like way too fine to go through the portafilter that clumping does increase somewhat.

    Retention is hard to measure but I've never had an issue with it and without doing a lot of work to measure it, I have to say it isn't important or noticeably significant. I would say though that every grinder will retain a small amount of grinds. The bigger the grinder and chamber, the likely the more will be retained.

    Finally it is a very polite grinder. It says 'Welcome' when you turn it on. It is important to see this message in this Godless, cruel world we live in. This genuine display of machine affection to the owner is very important. I would like to see it display 'Have a Happy Day' when you turn if off though...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    zeezaw likes this.

  41. #41
    Site Sponsor
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Machine Name: Rocket Fausto
    Price Range: RRP $1,449 (matt black) - $1,499 (polished chrome)

    Digital Display with shot counter
    Micrometric adjustment / stepless
    2 automatic portions or manual continuous grinding option
    Ability to pause dose mid-way through delivery to keep a level distribution
    65 mm flat burr tempered steel blades
    500 Watt motor
    600 gram bean hopper

    We’re really pleased with this grinder’s performance since introducing into the Australian market at the start of 2016.

    The micrometric grind adjustment knob is smooth with a speedy response to the new grind setting to minimise coffee wastage. The spout delivers directly into the centre of the filter basket and you can pause the grind delivery at any time to evenly distribute the grind particles.

    There is immediate adjustment available for increasing or decreasing grind time on selected portion by 0.1 second increments and the displays interface is simple to navigate.

    The Fausto produces a nice, fluffy, even particle size grind. Due to the 65mm burrs and 500 watt motor we have even heard of some cafťs using the Fausto as a secondary grinder or for their single origin beans.

    An easy to use grinder, practical features and a high build quality have the Fausto placed in the high end of domestic grinders.
    Grinder Black Front 3_4_5063.jpgMacinatore_FAUSTO_Grind_Adjust.jpg
    Last edited by ECA; 13th February 2017 at 02:25 PM. Reason: corrected the size of blades
    2muchcoffeeman likes this.

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