Say, what do you have against flat burrs, like those on the Rocky or Gaggia MDF?
2 major things for this argument, especially in a commercial sense is...
Main issue in say chain stores like gloria jeans, starbucks......whatever even in most restaurants and cafes, is that insufficient knowledge about coffee means people grind too much and leave it there. It takes a very watchful and tireless manager to tell a casual staff member over and over to do something they care nothing about and that is one point for doser-less grinders
Next issue is speed, anyone having worked in a high intensity situation will definitely realise that speed is the major factor in the argument, with a doser model you are very rarely out of ground coffee, in busy times its all getting used anyway! So that rules out freshness, and once the chamber is full creates simple consistency. Doser-less models would really really have to be on their game to keep up with a barista eg ball park figure of my own performance, hitting a double basket every 7 seconds! so that means it has to grind at least 20g of coffee in about 5 seconds! Pretty fast, not impossible but does it stress the beans too much or is it a very high quality low stress conical setup..... very important with all espresso grinders is that they are conical, if you want quality and burrs to love the bean then go conical!!!! DO IT!!!
Grinders are a vital part as Mal said, they should be in espresso situations micro-metrical stepless adjustment meaning infinite adjustment meaning perfect control. Both would come with this feature, however most commercial grade doser-less models are designed eg gloria jeans and starbucks...grinders coffee etc are designed to grind straight into say a 500g bag for a customer.. not every 5seconds neatly into a PF and thus are usually just step adjustment.
Our company is working on moving all 9 of our cafes across to doser-less, im skeptical but i can see the potential if grinder manufacturers are up to it, as i havent seen many espresso oriented versions. Nor ever worked with any.
Suffice to say with good quality staff and high volume cafes then doser is going to be the best choice.
Home use can fluctuate either way depening on cost and mess, the doser or not really makes little difference, just make sure u get stepless adjustment, conical burrs (not necessary but preferable)
Chain stores, stepless is the way of the future. Have you every tried teaching a barista who has been making average coffee for 6 years how to free dose consistently? or a 16 year old who doesnt give a shit?? not the easiest task, not impossible but replicate that scenario 10 times per shop for a new shop every month...... pain pain pain hahaha
Comes down to the needs of the buyer and the budget
PS go conical!!
Say, what do you have against flat burrs, like those on the Rocky or Gaggia MDF?
I might add that Id put my flat burred, doser Macap up against most conicals Joshymo and see if you can taste the difference.
I also have a Sunbeam EM0450 doserless with conical burrs; I know which is the better grinder. *::)
There are plenty of flat-burr grinders available for way under the $3000 cost of a commercial conical. They are more than adequate for domestic use. They grind well. They are highly durable. Their performance can be slow or fast -- its not too great an issue when you are grinding for one or two shots every few hours.
I daresay the same argument (sans speed component) holds for the commercial enviroment. Pointless getting a state of the art conical burr grinder when the 18-year-old untrained baristaux is going to make crap coffee regardless. :(
Youre not comparing apples with apples TG... We all know the Macap is better... look at the price difference... 2 different Markets...Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1197961695/0#2 date=1197971123
Im sure Mal will argue that his Commerical Conical is better than his Rocky...
I know my Mazzer SJ eats my EM0480.. but for what its worth, Im sure the EM0480 will old its own in grind quality compared to a Rocky or Gaggia MDF... As far as build quality, thats another thing...
Spot on !!Originally Posted by robusto link=1197961695/0#3 date=1197971891
I know what I said Marc and why.Originally Posted by MarcS link=1197961695/0#4 date=1198104311
It was to point out the absurd comment about conicals being better.
That is not an absolute truth.
Oh and as for my 0450 v my Gaggia MDF Id say the MDF wins.
[smiley=grin.gif] [smiley=2vrolijk_08.gif] [smiley=vrolijk_26.gif] [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1197961695/0#6 date=1198131822
Settle down missie.
While I dont subscribe to Joshymo viewpoint from our volume of grinding that we do... in fact, Im edging to agree with you TG. Im only saying that you need to compare Apples with Apples...
Mazzers bigger grinder is what? Conical??? Compak?? Conical...Gino Rossi?? Conical... I think the biggest common denominator is Conical...sure, at the high end of the market...
EM450 verse the MDF?? Theres no data to suggest what has the better.. All I did say was it would hold its own... I made no mention it was better... Im just making the suggestion that the EM0480 from a grind quality point of view, would hold its own. The MDF is also almost twice the price - but does have better build quality - but thats not what is being compared here...
I believe both have there place in the market... Lower volume grinding, flat burrsets are just fine... higher end... Conicals... But Conicals arent the be and end all... all depends on the application...
IMHO flat vs conical is only part of the story....
Its about quality of burrs set, robustness of construction and speed of grinding regardless of whether they are flat or conical.
For years I was using a La Cimbali Jnr - flat burr grinder and a quality grinder at that.... and it produced very good espresso shots.... burrs were getting a bit dull so I replaced them with generic burrs (looked the same but quality dropped).... replaced with genuine DRM/La Cimbali burrs and the quality returned.
I recently purchased a DRM flat/conical grinder (looks almost the same and same build quality as the LC Jnr).... but the quality of the espresso is sooooooo much better than from the Jnr. Why? Its not the conical burrs - they only do bean breaking (reducing the size of the beans a bit) but the real grinding is still done by flat burrs....
The flat burrs are larger diameter and without the breaking zone on the burrs they have a larger medium/fine grinding zone....... and they rotate slower (360 rpm)..... and most conical high end grinders also rotate slower.
So, IMHO, it is about the quality of the burr set, the distance the beans travel through the burr set and the speed of rotation of the burr set. The actual shape (conical or flat) making little difference - other than how it affects the above.
the big bad boys of the grinder world are almost always conical burrs.
Why? Because the bigger grinders have more throughput....and do it at a lower motor speed....less heating up.
There are places that would struggle with a Mazzer Major and need to step up to a Robur....they grind at roughly the same speed...yet there is a major difference between the two and the grind.
I notice on David Makins BNZ conical that there is often a big mixture of big grainy looking grinds, medium sized ones and small fines....which is great. Pull some coffees on the BNZ and a Mazzer....big difference in pours and taste.
Im waiting for my Compak WBC K10 to arrive early next year...same shipment as Chris. It will be interesting to see the difference between the K10, Robur and BNZ.
I dont disagree with anything youre saying Marc.Originally Posted by MarcS link=1197961695/0#9 date=1198188934
The 0450/0480 does an OK job and you do have to consider it is cheap.
The MDF certainly is solid and does grind well. The only thing I dont like about is the PF holder (too high).
My Macap - a different level again.
I wasnt saying they are not good, I was saying that a generalisation that conicals are better was wrong.
I dont have the need for a large conical.
But if you have a spare looking for a good home I wont knock it back.
Agreed TG... Good post. :-)
A few random observations:
(a) A robur and a sunbeam are obviously very different types of conical burr grinders. Though I agree with you, TG, in saying that there are many flat-burr grinders that are better than some conical grinders, Im sure that the OP is talking about the robur et al.
(b) There has been speculation that the conical burr "advantage" is that the zone that does the finer slicing is many times larger than the equivalent zone on flat burrs. Im really not the person to talk much about this, but I would point out that if it is true it might go some way towards explaining why the little conical burr grinders only produce a marginally better to identical cup when compared with your 58mm flat burr grinders, instead of completely blowing them away, as some people seem to expect.
(c) With domestic grinders, at least, I think that the burr carrier design can be a bit of an issue. My sunbeam grinders burr carrier doesnt inspire much confidence. It would be interesting to compare a sunbeam against one of the rockys with a bit of play in its burr carriers.
(d) When asked what grinders Andrew should get for Maling Room when it opened, I suggested Roburs. He went with Majors (big flat burrs). Since then, he has bought several thousand dollars worth of grinders and seems to have settled on some Compak K10 WBCs at the moment. His observations are the same as many others; compared with flat burr grinders (even the huge majors), the big conicals are producing shots that have a more even flow rate and a larger extraction time and volume. I havent timed it, but Nim rates the difference at about five seconds; ie. the K10 can extract for 5 seconds longer than the major could. The big conicals also seem to strike a lot of people as relatively easy to dial in. These differences arent subtle; theyre a smack in the face. You can see them without getting out your stopwatch. The difference is much bigger than the difference between a good commercial HX machine and a good commercial DB machine, for example.
(e) Interestingly, the Kony seems to produce a very different cup profile from the Robur et al.
(f) The differences need to be put in perspective. Someone with NFI or with bad coffee is still going to produce a bad cup. But someone who knows what they are doing and has decent coffee is probably going to produce a better cup with a conical. Whether that cup is so much better as to justify the price difference will obviously vary for different people and different scenarios. I dont think that I will have a nice big conical on my bench any time soon, but that doesnt mean that Im going to try to fool myself that it wouldnt produce a better cup. Instead, I take the point of view that the grinders that I sensibly have access to dont do a bad job and that the ultimate determinant of whats in the cup is the coffee that one uses. Putting better coffee into my grinder isnt anywhere near as financially daunting as putting a robur on my bench!
I hope thats interesting for someone,
I think the only real comparison can be done at the top end. Where most of us sit with prosumer grinders, there isnt really a comparable conical in the same price bracket as the flats. At the bottom end, you do have a conical that can compare favourably with the other flats, but its suspect construction is a handicap.
When price is a contributing factor, and there is a significant price difference between flat and conical, theres an implicit quality difference.
Well said Nunu.
And I honestly believe that is possibly the most significant factor.... not the actual shape of the burrs....Originally Posted by nunu link=1197961695/15#15 date=1198478824
My LC Jnr had genuine DRM flat burrs... which were getting a little tired...
Replaced them with "aftermarket" burrs (which looked identical) but cost 1/3 of the price of the genuine article.... flavour in the cup dropped drastically....
Went and spent $125 on genuine burrs.... and flavour returned - even better than with the tired old burrs!!
The DRM conical/flat grinder which Ive just bought does a great job.... which is why Schomer used them in his cafes... The main grinding is done by 68mm flat burrs with large fine and medium grinding areas.... no bean breaking area as that is done by the conical burr..... And the coffee does taste fantastic.... but the LCJnr is a $1200 grinder... so my guess is the DRM with its belt drive and combined burr set was probably in the price bracket of the WBC and Robur when new.... and like them it has the best quality burrs and fantastically robust construction.... no play anywhere!!
The same DRM burr set is used in the Versalab M3.... where it also does a remarkable job by all accounts.... but costs something like US$1500 without a doser or even a bean hopper.... and that is a flat burred grinder (with conical bean breaker)....
On the conical side, there are also significant quality differences within the cheaper end of the price range.... for example the KG100 burrset (conical) has only bean breaking and fine grinding portions... there is no medium grinding area like all other conicals (including the Sunbeam)..... it is obviously cheaper to produce a conical burr with only 2 zones...
So cost affects the quality of the bits... especially the burr quality.... and that affects the flavour in the cup - more so I believe - than the actual conical vs flat issue.
Dont forget you need to break in your burrs with like 20kg of coffee.
That will be the first thing Ill do on my WBC Compak when I get it...run 20kg of rubbish coffee through it.
That sounds like a wives tale David.
Do please explain.
Yep, Im with you....Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1197961695/15#19 date=1198485725
I put through about a kilo of cr@p coffee to clean and season the burrs etc..... but thats about it.
If they have been properly formed during the grinding process, I dont believe there is any need to "wear them in".....
First Ive ever heard of "breaking in" burrs. I would have thought that by their nature they do their best work when sharp.
Twenty kilos of beans is in excess of a years use for many people.
I think he got grinders mixed up with roasters - probably too much egg nog
Well - it is Christmas ;) ;D ;D ;D ;DOriginally Posted by Dennis link=1197961695/15#22 date=1198494474
I use the cr@p beans to remove any oily film or other preservatives which might be on the burrs following manufacture. I suppose you could use some detergent and a scrubbing brush of some sort - but that just doesnt appeal to me.....
Ive always got some garbage beans lying around.... so I figure sacrificial beans is the go! (Probably not even a kilo when I think about it).
Right....the main reason why one would want to do this is to season the grinder. Has anyone seen brand new burrs before? Theyre not very nice. Burrs can go through hundreds of kilos of coffee before needing to be changed.
The main reason why Ill be doing it....the grinder Im getting is for barista training...and I dont want "out of box" problems when its most crucial.
So I was exaggerating...20kg is excessive....I just wanted to see the reaction...its more like a couple of kilos.
What sort of problems David?
I was thinking the same as Robusto.
New burrs = sharp
Old burrs = dull (need replacing)
By definition, the more use they get the blunter they get.
So what sort of problems do you get from a new set of burrs when they wont ever be any sharper?
(I must have been very lucky or missed seeing all the problems my Macap must have had out of the box.)
First of, if you look at new burrs, youll see lots of loose metal crapolla everywhere. We need to get rid of this stuff. Secondly, you cant pull consistent shots on an espresso bar with new burrs. Home baristas tend to make a few coffees at a time and dont spend enough time to notice it. Once you loose all the metal and break in the burrs a little, the barista job becomes a little easier.
I borrowed a Makin Espresso machine and Mazzer Mini for Xmas as I am machine-less...the Mini just came out of the box can do with a proper seasoning to break the burrs in.
OK, I can understand the cleaning out bit, as also mentioned by JavaB, but I dont think youve yet explained what you mean by seasoning breaks the burrs in.
What does the seasomning do?
What is the difference before and after?
I would think the best way to "season" burrs is to run through some dried chillies, a handful of rock salt and a dozen peppercorns.
I worked a shift a week at the Maling Room for +/- 3 months... so Im far from being an expert on conicals in a commercial world. More like a joker with half a clue!!! ;D ... But I did notice the pours from the Compak K10 were superior to the Mazor Major. Longer duration of extraction, more consistent colour throughout the shot. And frigging fast to grind a double shot worth of beans (5-7secs as opposed to 18+ secs at home with my Mini-E).Originally Posted by luca link=1197961695/0#14 date=1198475333
Dont know if others feel the same, but I prefer the softness of the Compaks dosing lever to the stiff Mazer. Makes it easier to work on all day. Prob more a personal preference.
side note: the champion in lenght of pour is the LM Swift. Its like the energiser bunny... the pours just keep going and going!
I would love to have a decent conical grinder for home.
p.s. with regards to conicals being easier to dial in... dont know about that. Last week at a dinner at the Maling Room, it took me 4 attempts and I still couldnt dial in the shot. Greg (kaanage) was watching and I almost died of embarrassment. Sorry Greg, I blame da wine!!!
Ive also heard about blades needing to be run in or seasoned?Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1197961695/15#27 date=1198501218
Following on from Nims post, the blades in one of the K10s were changed last week and it took a day or two - 30kg or so for those trying to figure out our usage ;) for the grind to become consistent.
Id pull a decent shot and the next was terrible - same dose, tamp etc and only a few seconds apart and it was like that all day.
;D ;D ;D ;DOriginally Posted by robusto link=1197961695/15#28 date=1198551172
Must try that! - NOT!!!
But I do believe "seasoning" the burrs is valid..... just like after you have chemically back flushed the group..... you have coffee passing over bare metal (assuming you have scrubbed the burr set with detergent to remove the protective oils etc)....
During the "seasoning" the burrs are coated with a layer of coffee oils and some of the grinds lodge in gaps in the burrs (for example around the fixing screws)..... yep, both will become stale quickly but both are a fact of life...... and need to be stabilised.
The oils on the burrs probably make the beans move more easily through the burr set, and once the "retention" of grinds has stabilised - the yield of grinds from a measured dose of whole beans will be consistent.... Also if you have completely cleaned your grinder (and why wouldnt you when replacing the burr set)..... the metallic smell is replaced by the glorious aroma of coffee after "seasoning"..... does this actually make a difference in the cup? I dont really know.... but for the cost of about a kilo of junk beans I feel it is worthwhile......
So in my case the beans remove the protective oils left on the burrs from manufacture and replace them with coffee oils.... hence "seasoning" the burrs..... establishing the surface which will be used to grind many, many kilos of beans ;) :) :) :)
Producing quality coffee is all about consistency - in EVERY step of the process...... and making the grinder operation consistent by vertue of "seasoning" is part of that process.
And I would think commercial conical burrs (with larger surface area and much slower speed rotation - about the same speed as my DRM conical/flat) - would take longer to season.
The DRM produces much "fluffier" grinds than the LC jnr.... requiring a heaped dose in the basket for correct tamping..... (the basket actually taking 1-2 grams more)..... and the adjustment seems easier but the size of the required adjustment between beans or with ageing of the beans is larger..... Does that agree with the commercial conicals?
OK JavaB, your explanation makes more sense than anything else so far.
However, you are still talking 1kg of sacrificial beans and some othera are talking 20 - 30kg.
Hence my still calling it a wives tale without some kind of empirical proof.
Could it be that any new piece of equipment takes some getting used too?
Even if its the same make/model or even the same machine with new burrs?
I recently acquired an EM6910 for work and it took 3 shots to get a decent pour out of it first go.
After using the 6900 for a few months that was unexpected.
At the Aroma Festival when I was changed to the VBM from the Expobar I did worse than day one with brand new equipment a year ago; and at that time Id never fired a shot in anger before (except at my barista course).
I couldnt dial in the grinder, I couldnt find the right level of coffee in the basket.
I think some of its psychological.
And maybe some is a conspiracy to sell more beans.
You must have gone after me at Aroma. I spent most of the time trying to dial the grinder in for a "tight" shot. I also had a tough time volume-wise dosing for the VBM.
I think were getting a bit away from the original topic.
Both flat and conical grinders have their place. Not everyone can have a combi oven in their kitchen, so they have to make due with a conventional. Both produce a similar result. Some prefer one over the other.
I dont think weve gone off topic.
Ive added more ideas both for and against.
I did go after you, I was in the final remember, and you werent. *:P
Too much eggnog TG, who would go after a Guinea pig wearing a pancake for a hat?
I always thouight it was a guinea pig sandwich.
I had a quick browse through and havent seen H-Bs Titan Grinder Project mentioned... its a big conical vs. flat burr pros, cons, and general shootout of a bunch of big conicals. 13 odd pages of worthwhile reading I thought: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/t...ect-t4126.html
Jon have a look at this...
a $300 grinder comes very close to a $5000 grinder in shot quality. *Conical burr set I guess.
For Sale- 2 x Mazzer Robur-e. Will swap for 2 x Lux ...or maybe not ::) *;DOriginally Posted by 2B3A3D322D3A480 link=1197961695/38#38 date=1266700095
I Might consider swapping one of my secondhand DRMs for a Robur E ;) But nah I am a happy user of a conical flat burr set but I wouldnt say no to a Robur :)
For Syphon and manual brewing however I reckon the little Ascaso is a more consistant on course grind. Sometimes high tech and high performance is not best.
[sic]Originally Posted by 564F595B3A0 link=1197961695/14#14 date=1198475333
Haha. Runfast, thats cruel! (I once stumbled upon a post from Chris saying that he wouldnt be stocking the [then newly imported] Compak K3T. Didnt trust Spanish manufacturing, apparently! :P)
To be fair, Luca didnt rule it out, and I doubt hed disagree with anything he said (I certainly dont).
Hmm...I do recall saying that I thought it was just as good as the Mazzer mini-e but at 1/2 the price? I do also recall saying that I thought it was the category killer in the price bracket. I dont recall saying I didnt like them and wouldnt stock them and in fact we have stocked them since the very first small air freight shipment into Australia.Originally Posted by 2324253122243722313E24500 link=1197961695/42#42 date=1266783364
The then importer, Diamond services was on us to sell their Italia machine and we refused. I always thought it was a Chinalian machine and at that point it was rubbish in my opinion.
I still believe that the K3T is far superior to the Rocky and have no doubt that it is well worth the small extra spend over the price of a Rocky...
Cruel? I quoted this to point out that:Originally Posted by 3B3C3D293A3C2F3A29263C480 link=1197961695/42#42 date=1266783364
a) Large conical grinders probably will produce a better cup.1
b) They are out of reach for many at the present time.
c) Make the most of what you have with the best coffee you can afford - if you can afford a Kony/Robur then problem solved.
1 Anfim Super Caimano v 2.0 excluded ;)
Can the currently available conical grinders grind fine for Turkish coffee (talcum)
Or are the burrs designed primarily for pour-over to espresso
If you havent already read it, flat vs conical under the microscope, literally here
The test at HB was AMAZING! I know, because I now own the very Mazzer Kony that was used in that test. The Kony was an upgrade from a Rancilo Rocky which is a poorly-designed toy in comparison. The upper burr mounting and adjustment system that Mazzer uses is simple and brilliant. it makes adjustments fast and easy, allows tiny changes is grind, and is very repeatable. Even after removing the upper burr (which can be easily done without tools), it is a simple matter of returning it to the same setting.
From the first pull, with no other changes than the grinder, I could taste the difference with the Kony. It was so distinct that I had to adjust my house blend to my taste. The Kony brought out a number of flavors that were not present when using the Rocky.
Now, whether the change in taste profile was from the use of a better grinder or the switch from flat to conical burrs, I do not know... Probably never will.
Its an amazing phenomenon isnt it Randy.... 8-)Originally Posted by 596A656F72544C250B0 link=1197961695/47#47 date=1267031756
I havent been able to find any scientific research anywhere that adequately describes why this difference should even be there - but it is definitely there. I think the HB test series is the closest there is to a scientific study to attempt to discover what is going on but nothing that you can fix in concrete...
Viva la difference! ;D
If anyone its interested here it is a Battle of Titans from ristretto.fi
Robur vs. K30 vs. Super Caimano vs. Versalab.
Some Temes thoughts about the grinders in the last post of page 6
Nice pics in page 7
Some graphs in page 8
Excel results in page 9
Id like to paste a comment made by Teme in his blog (http://temesblog.blogspot.com) about K30 and Robur as I think too that not all is "just taste", ergonomics and wastage are important too in a home environment. (This guy owned a Rocky, Mazzer Mini, Cassadio, Compak K10, Mahl K30, Robur and now a Mahl ProM)
Now that the K30 has seen the clumping sorted, Id say that for home use I actually think Id rather have the K30.
Why? Well, mainly because the Robur wastes a lot of coffee (200-300 euros worth per year more than the K30 in my estimation). I also think the K30 is even better built, looks better, has a better grind adjustment mechanism as well as better ergonomics.
Taste? We did a comparo between the Robur, K30, Versalab and Super Caimano and although the test itself was inconclusive, it was clear that the taste differences really were tiny (even though the extraction did appear slightly smoother with the Robur).
I think that with the small volume in home use the Robur just does not get in its stride. You need a commercial environment for it really start shining. This is of course just my humble opinion (and in espresso-only use).