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Thread: Grinder Suggestions?

  1. #1
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    Grinder Suggestions?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    To all you experts/snobs out there...

    I am looking to replace a very crappy burr grinder. *We currently have a Technivorm Mokka Master drip machine which we use during the week and also enjoy French Press and a pot of espresso occasionally. *We looking for an all purpose grinder and I have my eyes on the Rocky Rancillio Doserless. *I am somewhat of a neat freak but think that I need to have a doserless model if I want to make drip coffee (or can you remove the doser and dump the whole contents into the filter holder?) but am a bit afraid of the mess.
    Any and all suggestions welcome.
    Many Thanks.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoupRQT link=1180626907/0#0 date=1180626907
    To all you experts/snobs out there...

    I am looking to replace a very crappy burr grinder. *We currently have a Technivorm Mokka Master drip machine which we use during the week and also enjoy French Press and a pot of espresso occasionally. *We looking for an all purpose grinder and I have my eyes on the Rocky Rancillio Doserless. *I am somewhat of a neat freak but think that I need to have a doserless model if I want to make drip coffee (or can you remove the doser and dump the whole contents into the filter holder?) but am a bit afraid of the mess.
    Any and all suggestions welcome.
    Many Thanks.
    Hi Soup,

    The rocky doserless will do the job really well. In your situation, remove the group handle rest from the grinder and grind straight into the french press....You will find that you have very little mess whatsoever. We can supply you with a Rocky. That stated, its probably overkill unless youre intending to get an espresso machine some day. A Sunbeam will do the job for you as well...I guess it comes down to the $$$ v quality and longevity issues...

    regards

    2mcm

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    The sunbeam em0450 would be more than suitable for the coffee that you will be producing.

    Is about half the price of the rocky as well

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Souprqt

    Given you have DRIP, French Press & Mokka-pot you certainly need to go for a STEPPED grinder which will allow you to adjust and return to different grind settings much more easily than a stepless.

    The Rocky and the Sunbeam are both stepped.

    Personally, having owned a sunbeam, I wouldnt recommend it, sure its cheap, but there are some build quality issues [ie slipping burr] that will effect the quality and consistancy of your coffee.

    If you are looking for a longer term acquisition, and may also consider purchasing an espresso machine down the track, the Rocky would be a much better [albeit more expensive] way to go.

    For what its worth, the Rocky is a lot quieter than the Sunbeam.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Howdy hey!
    I use the sunbeam grinder at work everyday.. man is it messy. Heh.. my crappy grinder finally died at home lastnight, so Im wondering what Im going to buy to replace it - even though the sunbeam price is awesome and it DOES do a great job, I prefer something much cleaner, and Im sure that youd freak if you saw how messy it is by the sound of it.. hehe.
    Rolley

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    How did it die? What happened to it? How old is it?
    Wondering how much longer mine has to go:P

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    HAHA.. Im serious when I said "my crappy grinder" - it was the Sunbeam coffee/spice grinder - you know the little hand held ones, pop the lid on and it smashes your beans to crap, turn the bottom around to wind the cord back in, and voila, theres your grind... it just died of old age and misuse (dropped it a few times over the years)
    Anyway I had it for 4 years.. cuz I use the sunbeam at work I never needed anything better at home - but now that I have nothing at home.. mwahaha ;D Ill "have to" buy something that.. "lasts longer"...!!
    R

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Soup,

    Are you in the northern hemisphere? The reason that I ask is that I didnt think that the Technivorms were available in Australia ... and this is an Australian site. On the chance that you are in the USA, the grinders that keep on getting mentioned for non-espresso use are the baratza virtuoso, et al, and the kitchenaid proline. Both of these have a container to catch the ground coffee.

    If youre in Australia, the sunbeam EM0450 is probably the go. There are also some delonghi conical burr grinders that might be OK; not sure, thouh; I havent used them.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by reubster link=1180626907/0#3 date=1180682442
    Given you have DRIP, French Press & Mokka-pot you certainly need to go for a STEPPED grinder which will allow you to adjust and return to different grind settings much more easily than a stepless.
    Unless you go for major over kill like a Mazzer...you can move quite quickly to different settings....its mainly the worm gear adjustment mechanisms that are a pain and really make those grinders espresso only...eg. La Cimbali, Ascaso etc.


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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    I have a Rocky for my Silvia but I have heard that it is not necessarily the best choice for coarser grinds such as for French Press.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    There is a Gaggia MDF going cheap in the for sale forum. That should suit you for the drip filter, although it is a doser, it grinds pretty fast and is not very messy. You should be able to put your grinds straight into the filter paper or into a small container and transfer them from there.

    Its also small and compact and will not take up too much bench space.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by D-Caffa-nite link=1180626907/0#9 date=1192011390
    I have a Rocky for my Silvia but I have heard that it is not necessarily the best choice for coarser grinds such as for French Press.
    Forgive me asking, but where did you hear that nonsense?

    Mal.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    With regards to the neat freak in you, I solved that problem quite easily with my Rocky doserless by constructing a small paper funnel that fits just nicely into my PF. Barely a grind wasted and no cleaning up necessary! Im sure you could McGyver up a similar tool for your needs, a piece of paper an some stickytape is all you need....

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Ive been using the Sunbeam with my Silvia and getting good results so far, how long it lasts who knows, Im saving up for a Rocky, hopefully Sunbeam will last until then. It is a messy grinder and grinds build up inside chute and burrs, I take it out the garage and blast it with my air compressor every now and then. Cost me $130 at Good Guys so cant complain about the price. If you are going to buy an espresso machine down the track, get a better grinder, if not Sunbeam should be suffice for your needs!!

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi all. I too am looking for a new grinder for my ECM Botticelli.
    I like the sound of the rocky doserless as I dont have heaps to spend.
    Anything else I should be looking at in that price bracket - or preferably cheaper?
    Thanks

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Gday Guthers,
    will the grinder be used only for espresso, or will it have other uses, ie plunger, drip, etc?
    This can have an effect on what grinder/s will be suggested.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Lovey,
    Its just for the espresso. I have a plunger but it is only used very,very rarely so regular adjustment of the settings is not an issue at all.
    Since I posted this Ive also looked at the Iberital Challenge and the Ascaso I2 Conical.
    Any additional thoughts on these for my situation?
    I make 2 coffees every morning and maybe 2-4 a day on weekends - if that helps.

    Cheers

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Guthers,

    Both the Ascaso I2 and the Iberital Challenge are great grinders, provided that you appreciate that:

    (a) they have a worm gear adjustment;
    (b) they make a fair bit of noise; and
    (c) unlike the mazzers, et al, they are not built to last, although you should still get a pretty decent run out of them

    The Ascasos have, IMHO, a much nicer fit and finish than the Iberital Challenge, but now that the I-mini is out, I dont think that the I2 is a good enough deal for us to continue stocking it. The I-mini seems to be very similar in build quality and performance, but it is a fair bit smaller and a fair bit cheaper. We havent gotten any in yet, but Renzo at Di Bartoli, who put us on to them, has them in stock.

    Cheers,

    Luca

    PS. Thanks again for letting me check out your I-mini, Renzo!

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Thanks Luca,

    The worm gear adjustment just means you need to turn the dial lots of times to make any major adjustments right?
    I guess I will need to investigate the noise situation for myself. My current grinder is pretty loud, but bearable.
    We are hopefully going to Di Bartoli this afternoon to check them out.

    Thanks again,
    Guthers

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    You could try the Lux that I have and produces no mess at all or the Iberital Challenge. They both grind well and are a lot cheaper then the Rocky. But like always, most here will tell you that if you make heaps of coffees, want a quieter machine, and one that will last you longer then get a Rocky. Ive had my Lux for around 2 years and it is till working and looking like new though.

    The Lux is very small (much smaller than the Challenge) and a very clean grinder with stepped adjustments. Often I have nothing to wipe or clean after grinding. It has a 250 grm hopper.

    The Challenge is much larger, but still considered to be small-ish grinder, and has stepless adjustments. It has a 500 grm hopper (2x the size of the Lux).


    If I were you, for your situation I would buy a Lux. If you are going to upgrade to an espresso machine then I would get the Challenge.

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    Cheap grinder that does the job!

    Hi there

    I love my coffee, but am only a student meaning I dont have the *best* machine out there (have a Sunbeam Cafe Crema). I am after a cheapish grinder that will grind for my little espresso machine...I want something fairly easy to clean, something that will get the grind right, and something that wont make a mess EVERYWHERE.

    I had a grinder from target a few years ago which I found to be awful! Not sure of the brand, but I would rather not go back there (hence why I am here asking you guys).

    It would be good if I could get this grinder online. I look forward to your recommendations - Im really sick of buying ground coffee and not having it as fresh as it could be.

    Charlotte.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Charlotte and welcome to CoffeeSnobs

    Have a look at Gregs post:

    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1192610696/11#11

    That pretty much says it all.... minimum (and that is absolute minimum) for good espresso is the $200 Sunbeam....

    Anything less..... and you are probably just as well off (better off if you are looking at $100 - or less - grinders) using stale preground....

    The grinder is FAR more important than the actual coffee machine.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Charlotte, welcome to Coffee Snobs.

    I believe the internals of the EM0450 are the same as the 0480.
    The difference between the supposedly being the metal body on the 0480 for an extra $50.

    I bought an EM0450 recently to use at work and it grinds OK.
    It is a little messier than my Macap but you quickly get used to minimising the stray grinds.

    For that price, its good. *

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    What about the EM0450? I really cant afford $200

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by drovers-sunrise link=1180626907/15#23 date=1192913189
    What about the EM0450? I really cant afford $200
    I suggest you put up with what youve got or use at the moment and save up; try not to be tempted to buy something that is just OK, cause you will probably end up being dissatisfied with it and want to upgrade again in the not too distant future.

    I know of a young man who is a member here, that has taken out a substantial loan to buy a fantastic set-up that should last more than a decade and probably a lifetime. IMO, thats actually one hell of a wise choice! ;)

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    I cant agree more with Dennis, since joining CS in April 07 Ive gone thru a breville thingy, gaggia mm, em0480, rocky doserless and now satisfied with a cunill tranquilo.
    Save ya dollars and wait.... Seriously!
    And I want another grinder now so I have two one for daily blend and one for "just roasted testing" and another to grind for friends who annoy me for my coffee but are too stingy to buy their own grinder! :)
    Sullos

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hmm yes good point. It will take me an age to save up though! Oh well, its not like preground coffee is that bad, is it?

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    everytime you make a coffee at home put $2.50 in a jar, youll have it in no time..
    Well that works for me at least :D

  29. #29
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by drovers-sunrise link=1180626907/15#23 date=1192913189
    What about the EM0450? I really cant afford $200
    The EM0450 is only $150.

    But if it was me Id wait and save.

    Not everyone has the luxury of being able to afford a MAcap first up like I did.
    Even then I didnt want to spend too much on a second grinder for work, hence the EM0450.

    Im using an MDF at work now. A much better grinder, but again more expensive.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Righto, Ive decided on a Lux grinder. I have put a wanted post in the hardware for sale section in an attempt to get a second hand one. If all else fails Ill just have to get a new one in six or so months.

    Will the Lux go well with the Sunbeam Cafe Crema? I havent got real baskets for it yet, is that the only modification I need to make? and where can i get these from online???

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Charlotte,

    Ive got a Lux grinder within my Lelit Combi machine - doing a very good job for me so far.

    Also keep an eye out for Iberital Challenge (should be about same price range).

    As to your Cafe Crema machine, I have no experience with them. I certainly wouldnt invest much money in it, but converting the PF to non-pressurised is a must (if you want to make a decent brew). I dont know if anyones had success converting the PFs - anyone? Check back through old threads.

    I think theyre a 53mm. Probably not easy to match up. Check with Sunbeam if they can supply a non-pressurised PF (and, I would think, new double basket).

    Maybe also try Pedro at Coffee Parts (CS sponsor and great service).

    Good luck.

    Greg.

    PS. Are you getting any study done? :-?

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Surely you can get a Sunbeam EM0450 for less then $150 if you bargain a bit.

    The Lux will go well with your machine but if you cannot afford one the Sunbeam will do just as well but messier.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Everyone is telling me different things, so its hard to make a decision. Some CSs tell me to get a good grinder and not waste my money on sunbeams grinders, others are telling me to just get the sunbeam. I imagine that most people agree with my choice to get a Lux. Wont it be better in the long run? It s also much cleaner (which I need because I have a severe vision impairment)

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi again Charlotte,

    It is confusing when different people tell you what their preferences would be. Take it all with a grain of salt and go with your intuition.

    Basically, as with most things, you get what you pay for. Im no expert (by any means) but, as I understand it, a Sunbeam EMO450 (which is a built down EMO480) will give a decent grind, but with some mess / fluff, and for a short term only (depends on use) - possibility of QA problems in medium term, although it appears Sunbeam are good on warranty matters. Probably value for money if you enter into one with this knowledge.

    Check out Alan Frews website (who IS an expert):

    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/september2002.html
    http://www.coffeeco.com.au/articles/sunbeamgrinder.html

    With a limited budget you obviously have to make compromises and do the best with what youve got, while putting off serious satisfaction for down the track when circumstances change.

    Chin up and good luck.

    Greg :D

  35. #35
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Charlotte, at the end of the day we are all biaised and have personal favourites. *Like cars that have different engines, styles, etc. grinders are no different and some certainly perform better than others.

    Ultimately it does come down to your personal choice, which can be influenced by so many variables eg. price, size, colour, research, etc. and even vision impairment!

    Consider it a journey that is meant to be pleasurable - if you go with your instinct, and what you feel most comfortable with, it is likely to be a better choice than what someone else may tell you is best!

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Thanks for the advice.

    While the sunbeam grinder did appeal in the beginning, I could use the money I was to spend on that for the lux grinder. I mean obviously I will have to save some $ still (unless i can source a 2nd hand one) but I can put up with ground coffee from roasters til such time as I can afford one. I think I would rather save my pennies than invest in something short term only to upgrade later.


  37. #37
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Charlotte, the hand grinders Lucinda suggested are a good intermediate solution...
    #hand-ground fresher grinds for a bargain basement price,
    #pennies in the piggy-bank for a Lux,

    and later on, once you are fully addicted to fresh coffee, * the hand grinder can become part of the travel outfit", together with the plunger and a bag of freshly roasted beans ;)

    but, ultimately:
    Consider it a journey that is meant to be pleasurable - if you go with your instinct, and what you feel most comfortable with, it is likely to be a better choice than what someone else may tell you is best!
    L :)

    edit: was re-reading my post and saw i was trying to tell you what was best :P :P

  38. #38
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Has no won heard of the consumer report on grinders?
    Just because it is expensive does not mean it is good.
    The Starbucks Grinder had good score and is only $150.

  39. #39
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi Aqua and welcome.

    Ive only heard mixed reviews on the starbucks grinder, though there is one thing said in regard to this that is consistent....unmodified, it is incapable of grinding fine enough for a real espresso.

    If you were referring to a Choice consumer report, that doesnt score well around her either ;)

  40. #40
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Charlotte I mentioned the Sunbeam because you said you had a limited budget.
    I have a Macap which was my first grinder and hopefully will be my last.
    I agree that upgrading can be a waste of money which is why I paid out the big $ for the Macap.

    If you can wait a little and save up for something better than the Sunbeam then go for it.

    The Sunbeam really is a bit too messy for my liking and I dont have a vision impairment.
    I am deaf in one ear though but that doesnt help with the noise compared to my quiet Macap. *;D

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Yeah, vision impairment sucks when making coffee at times! But Ill get over it, as you do. Id just like to minimise on mess so that I dont have to struggle with the cleaning of both the grinder and my kitchen (mostly the grinder).


    The grinder that Lucinda recommended - how do they work? I mean I know I hand grind, but do I then tip the ground coffee into my filter basket, or does it grind straight into it, or what?

  42. #42
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Have added a pic here for you. Beans go in the top and grounds fall into the drawer below. That then slides out and you tip the contents into your filter basket and hey, presto!




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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    I use both, a Sunbeam EM04800 and the Lux. They both grind great but the Lux is not messy at all, while the Sunbeam is very messy if used as per normal.

    When I use the Sunbeam I get a sheet of those rolled up paper towels and place it on the base of the grinder where the coffee grinds would fall. I removed the fork that you would rest your portafilter on. This way I can slide that paper towel right up to and behind the spout where the coffee grinds come out. I know, the paper towel now hides the button that you press to start grinding, but it is OK. Then I hold the portafilter as high up and close to the spout as possible and I use my finger to press the button to start grinding. Every few seconds I take the portafiler away and tap it and redistribute the grinds in it to make it even and then keep grinding until needed.

    This way, once I am finished I just scrunch up the paper towel and chuck it in the bin. I barely have any mess to clean up if I do it that way. My brother is not as careful as I am and he makes an enormous mess with the same grinder. ::)

    Another thing with the Sunbeam is that it comes with a small plastic container that you can just hold up to the spout and grind straight into it without any mess what so ever. Then you can just pour the grinds into the portafilter over the sink and so you have no mess at all.
    This little container has a lid too.

    So, the Lux has bugger all mess even if you grind straight into it.
    The Sunbeam is very messy but you can make it work by using a paper towel like I do, or by just grinding into the container that it comes with and then just pour the coffee grinds into your protafilter over the sink. Using the container you dont even need the paper towel as you will have ZERO MESS.

    Sorry, I didnt realise that you are vision impaired. Now that I know, I better understand what you need. So, I hope that I was more helpful this time around.



    Oh, and one more thing. The Sunbeam EM0450 is different and I dont have one of those. So, I dont know if that one comes with a container and the base seems different too, so I dont know how easy it is to clean that one up.

  44. #44
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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by drovers-sunrise link=1180626907/30#35 date=1193108148
    Thanks for the advice.

    While the sunbeam grinder did appeal in the beginning, I could use the money I was to spend on that for the lux grinder. I mean obviously I will have to save some $ still (unless i can source a 2nd hand one) but I can put up with ground coffee from roasters til such time as I can afford one. I think I would rather save my pennies than invest in something short term only to upgrade later.
    Good decision IMO.

    There seem to be two main issues with the Sunbeam grinders - mess and longevity. It appears that the burrs can loosen up over time, meaning that you may have to disassemble and adjust the burr carriers, change grind settings etc to maintain a consistent grind. Im not anti-Sunbeam at all - I have this grinder in fact - but combined with the mess factor Id say its worth your while to save up a while longer and get a better grinder!

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    The hand grinder I mentioned - the turkish one just grinds straight into the bottom tube.

    Then you just pull it apart and tip into the basket.

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Can I ask, what is the difference between the Lux, the Solis Maestro Plus, and Iberital Challenge? All are around the same price range...just wondering which of the three is the best? (am pretty stuck on the lux - need something smallish/non-messy)

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    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Hi,

    The Solis Maestro Plus is a slightly "improved" version of the Solis 166 (AKA Delonghi KG100)...

    The burr assembly on the Solis 166 isnt held firmly enough to produce a consistent grind.... and I suspect the same would be true of the Maestro as I believe it is the same burr set and construction in that area.

    The other two are almost identical in grind quality.... both are, in my view, good "entry level" espresso grinders. (They both have the same burr set )

  48. #48
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    47

    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    The Challenge is without a doubt the best of the 3 and if I were buying *that would be the one for me.


  49. #49
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    160

    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Curmudgeon link=1180626907/45#47 date=1193400800
    The Challenge is without a doubt the best of the 3 and if I were buying that would be the one for me.
    Why do you say that? And how does it compare in size to the Lux? Ive heard the lux is pretty smallish

  50. #50
    .
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    2,312

    Re: Grinder Suggestions?

    Gday *drovers-sunrise,

    I agree with that sentiment (ie challenge is "best of the 3") and am happy to elaborate as I have sold & serviced all three over the years.

    The Solis Maestro Plus has proven over time to have a problem with the design of the burr carriers & aduster mechanism causing them to jam up. Clients that belong to the "gung ho" school of technical service, force and break the mechanism, further damaging the grinder.

    If the manufacturer has addressed this issue in the last *12 months or so, then I believe it is an excellent domestic grinder. If they have not, then......................

    The Lux is very basic by comparison but quite strong, but with such a small adjusting ring the steps between each step are large. *It works but is not my personal choice of "best" domestic grinder for the money.

    The Iberital Challenge employs the same generic motor/burr assembly as is also fitted to the lux ( and several others) BUT the similarity ends there. CS forum participants should note that the fitment of generic assemblies to different brand / model equipment does not make them the same or even similar.

    In the end what really counts is whether the "total package" works well or not. *The challenge is streets ahead of the lux. It is heavier and more sturdy so doesnt move around on the bench like the lux when you push the group handle onto the actuating button...in fact the lux doesnt just move back, it will fall over backwards when you push the actuating button......

    The adjusting method on the challenge is superior in the extreme, offering infinitesimal incremental adjustment to any position for whatever coffee or equipment you are using. *You can call it micrometric, or worm drive or stepless its all the same.

    I should note however that the down side to worm driven micrometric stepless adjustment is you can basically forget making quick adjustments for vastly different grinds to different types of equipment eg, moving from an espresso setting to a plunger setting. These types of grinders are more for people that only use one method of brewing, while stepped adjustment grinders can be moved in a flash to different settings then moved back again.....

    And lastly, of the three, I dont believe we have ever had a challenge returned for service of any kind so this means an extremely high reliability factor.

    Yes the challenge is taller / bigger / heavier....but what I am saying...is it is a much better grinder overall. Of course after all that you have to make the right choice for you.

    I think that about covers it. Of the three grinders my company only sells the challenge now and if we can help with your purchase, please do not hesitate to make contact off list.

    Hope this helps.

    Regardz,
    FC.
    *



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