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Thread: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

  1. #1
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    Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,
    Been checking this site out for some time now & decided now is a good time to drop in and say hello as I am looking to upgrade my kit in the next month– woohoo! *Wasn’t much point jumping on any earlier as my current setup is way too embarrassing to discuss here – I had a laugh. However, with a new coffee machine & grinder on my mind, there is a very high chance I will have a thousand questions before too long – I would definitely say it’s going to be like learning to crawl again!
    Anyway, I am looking at the Vibiemme Levetta but the grinder I am having a really tough time on picking. Maybe either the Compaq K3T or the Mini Mazzer, the latter could be outside my budget though?
    NB: I’m the only drinker in the house, maybe 5-8 coffees a week - Definitely more when I get a new machine *;D.
    Really hoping Chris or someone could give me an idea on prices and their recommendations on a grinder for my needs. i.e. doser or doserless
    Is there any shops in Adelaide that has this setup on display or for trying?

    Thanks all

    Richard

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregWormald's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Hi Richard--
    I have the VBM and a Macap M4D, and it is a great combo.
    Do not short-change yourself on a grinder--it is as important, if not more important, than the machine.
    That said, the MM or the K3T are good grinders, it all depends on your budget as well.
    Most of the sponsors have prices on their web-sites.
    I can recommend talking to Chris at Talk Coffee, he was most helpful to me.
    I havent found a place in Adelaide with a good selection of grinders on-hand, although The Coffee Barun will order in almost anything you want.
    Greg

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks Greg,
    Budgets are a bummer! Must say that the M4D does really look sweet though. If I was only looking for a grinder it would definitely be on the cards but as I am after both - its a bit of hit on the old bank acoount.
    Just really after a good all-round package where both parts compliment each other nicely, but on saying that I dont want to go too cheap & then regret it.....
    Is the quality of the grind bewteen the M4D and the K3T/Mini Mazzer that much better to justify the higher price? Couldnt actually find the price on Chriss site for the M4D but got the feeling it was $1k+

    Have been to Rios, they did have some grinders there....might need to go back & have a better look.

    Richard




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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ link=1225004802/0#2 date=1225006646
    Thanks Greg,
    Budgets are a bummer! Must say that the M4D does really look sweet though. If I was only looking for a grinder it would definitely be on the cards but as I am after both - its a bit of hit on the old bank acoount.
    Just really after a good all-round package where both parts compliment each other nicely, but on saying that I dont want to go too cheap & then regret it.....
    Is the quality of the grind bewteen the M4D and the K3T/Mini Mazzer that much better to justify the higher price? Couldnt actually find the price on Chriss site for the M4D but got the feeling it was $1k+

    Have been to Rios, they did have some grinders there....might need to go back & have a better look.

    Richard
    Hi Richard,

    You are correct that the M4D is exxy- $1190 in chrome micrometric form and less $100 for silver. Supply is also a touch tight at present.

    Id be delighted to run you through some pros and cons of some grinders and to assist with your setup.

    To save on a thesis, it might be worth having a chat?

    VBM is also in very short supply with new stocks not due until late November. We have a couple of Levetta and then we wait ::)

    Chris

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    As an Adelaidean I also lament the lack of coffee specialists at the level of Talk Coffee, Di Bartoli et al. I bought my first machine from Rio, a few years when they were more specialist (Giotto/Millenium/Wega etc) whereas nowadays they seem more mass-market - the showroom is full of superautomatics. Likewise they usually had an excellent barista each Saturday for pre- and post-sales training and support. Sadly this no longer happens.

    I can highly recommend Chris at Talk Coffee as his advice was invaluable and service was second-to-none. As noted above Mark at The Coffee Barun is offering an increasingly wide selection of both machines and grinders and often has group buys running.

    There are other Adelaide retailers but none really match Talk Coffee and Di Bartoli.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks Chris.
    Will have a chat with you next week.
    Not in a rush, but looking at a purchase sometime before xmas would be a winner - on holidays then, plenty of time to practice!

    David,
    Know what you mean about Rio, went in there a while back looking at coffee machines & asked about the VBM - had not heard of it....sigh...good ol Adelaide. Must pop in to the Coffee Barun at some point. After living in Melbourne for a couple of years, I really lament the lack of any specialty shops in Adelaide! *:(

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Gentlemen.

    If you are looking for M4D I have good stock....that would be chrome body and micrometric adjustment.

    Regardz,
    Attilio

    first / original CS site sponsor.

    Oh and I also have very good stocks of
    Diadema Junior Extra and
    Diadema Regal.

    Compare them to the look and finish of the VBM!

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/0#6 date=1225087878
    Oh and I also have very good stocks of
    Diadema Junior Extra and
    Diadema Regal.
    Gday Attilio,

    Where can I find some info (and photos) of the Diadema Regal mate? Cant locate it on the BFC website... :-?

    Mal.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    *snip*
    Just really after a good all-round package where both parts compliment each other nicely, but on saying that I dont want to go too cheap & then regret it.....
    Is the quality of the grind bewteen the M4D and the K3T/Mini Mazzer that much better to justify the higher price?
    *snip*

    Richard
    I cant say very much about that--I bought the M4D for convenience and other reasons over the Mini. In addition, I wanted a doserless, and the price difference to the Mazzer E was not great. I was actually counting on the basic grind to be very similar.

    I havent tried the K3T although it has a lot of followers, and is seen as a value for money grinder.

    In basic quality terms you will be able to beat all but the best cafe coffee easily with either of your choices.

    Greg

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by GregWormald link=1225004802/0#8 date=1225096116
    In basic quality terms you will be able to beat all but the best cafe coffee easily with either of your choices.

    Greg
    Thats good to know....Coming from a 15bar $139 machine and a coffee/spice grinder - I am starting at a very low base. Sadly though, I still consider some of my brews as good as some of the local coffee shops, I had a laugh.
    Still, its been good to cut my teeth on it, although very frustrating - especially inconsistent grinds/brew - drives me nuts.
    If the upgrade goes ahead, Ill have a hell of a learning curve ahead of me but looking forward to it - just yearning for a bloody good cuppa!

    Richard

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ link=1225004802/0#9 date=1225100522
    Ill have a hell of a learning curve ahead of me but looking forward to it - just yearning for a bloody good cuppa!
    I went from whoa to go.
    No earlier machines.
    No upgrades.
    The learning curve shouldnt be too steep for you.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Richard,
    Like you I am still learning. Did my research here and then talked to Chris at Talk Coffee. Hes very helpful.
    Now the proud owner of a Mini Mazzer. Yes, not the cheapest nor most expensive option, but a very good one!
    One aspect that hooked me is that if you look after your MM you have more chance of re-selling it and upgrading if you have out grown it.
    Cheers,
    Stewart

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Here you go, in response to Mal the one on the left is the Junior Extra and on the right the Regal, and 2 really really really good matching grinders the one on the right being a chrome micrometric M4 and the one on the left being a chrome micrometric MD4.

    Enjoy...but bear in mind....I am not a fotografeur!

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    first / original CS site sponsor

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks mate,

    Much appreciated [smiley=thumbsup.gif]

    Mal.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Sorry to steer this thread a bit more off topic, Richard, but..

    WOW!!! Beautiful gear, Attilio! One of each please. ::)

    (And obviously you dont need to be a fotografeur with subjects like that!)

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks for your comments.

    Ive removed the above photo and am inserting another here for relevancy to the topic re the grinders. Ive included the conical M7K macap for a comparison on relative size between full size cafe grinders and the small commercial types that match up with machines destined for office and home use as in this topic. *I think it will help put things in perspective for all. The M4s depicted are virtually exactly the same size as mazzer mini but are fitted with the "short" bean hopper.

    Once you wade through all the on forum discussion and the fear it seems to very often generate of not wanting to purchase any less than the very very very very "best available" piece of eqiupment to make your 2 cuppas with, I doubt whether anyone could realistically tell the difference between any of the grinders mentioned in this topic and it comes down to individual likes. *Also please note there are not many (understatement) in the forum that could give you an honest comparison between one grinder and the other because they only own one of em...if that.....and the rest is taken from stuff that people have read and rewritten that was very possibly already plagiarised by others round and round in circles on the net...... The same goes for the endless discussions on machines in here......

    Above there was a question "...Is the QUALITY OF THE GRIND beTween the M4D and the K3T/Mini Mazzer that much better to justify the higher price? Couldnt actually find the price on Chriss site for the M4D but got the feeling it was $1k+....."

    I will stick my neck out and simply say NO and if there was......none of us here including those of us that have been in the industry for yonks, could honestly say that we could OR that it even matters....... At that level, you simply need to decide which grinder you like, for whatever features it has that appeal to you, for the price you can afford to allocate to this special interest, and hand over the money!

    And with regard to recommendations on a vendor with whom you should deal........Chris from Talk Coffee is an agent of mine, he has a lovely manner with people, knows his stuff and gives a lot of help in this forum etc etc etc. and I have nothing bad to say about him but.............why on earth would participants in this forum recommend to others to buy equipment from him from Melbourne when the client lives in Adelaide and there are other site sponsors (eg The Coffee Barun) already in Adelaide, where they can actually see and touch the equipment in the flesh, and get local service................??????????????? *The same goes for the scenario with the rest of the site sponsors...some of us give a lot of help in these forums and are rewarded by continued "on forum" recommendations for people in our own areas, to buy from others who are out of area ie to take their business elsewhere. Even where a site sponsor is not active on forum, they are contributing (by way of their sponsorship money) to the continuation of this forum in which you may participate.

    Support your local sponsors so they can support you.

    Apologies for the directness of this reply but you have to call a spade a spade occasionally.

    Regardz,
    Attilio.


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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Agreed Attilio,

    The great flat burr grinders are just that. They are all great!

    It comes down to nuances and what personally does it for you. FWIW, I believe that the M4D is the best home doserless grinder bar none- but it comes at a cost.

    There is a difference IMHO when you go to the big conicals but they come at much more expense and with a substantially bigger footprint.

    I have the M4D and a K10WBC on my home bench at present and love them both- for different reasons.

    (Richard ultimately chose the M4D after much deliberation 8-))

    Chris

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/0#15 date=1225232849
    Above there was a question "...Is the QUALITY OF THE GRIND beTween the M4D and the K3T/Mini Mazzer that much better to justify the higher price? Couldnt actually find the price on Chriss site for the M4D but got the feeling it was $1k+....."

    I will stick my neck out and simply say NO and if there was......none of us here including those of us that have been in the industry for yonks, could honestly say that we could OR that it even matters....... At that level, you simply need to decide which grinder you like, for whatever features it has that appeal to you, for the price you can afford to allocate to this special interest, and hand over the money!
    Hi Attilio,

    Glad to see someone bring a level of sanity to that question.

    As you say, the choice comes down to factors other than grind quality.

    Youve got to say that the compak K3 touch continues to represent outstanding value for money. It has its faults, but it seems to be a few hundred bucks cheaper than anything similar and half the price of the M4D/Mini-E.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Im back on the forums after spending some time away seriously deliberating on the grinder.
    It was down to the Mini Mazzer & the M4D, initially I was going to go for the Mazzer but gut instinct kept pulling me back to the M4D.
    The reason I chose it really came down to one thing - usability. Given I am the only one who drinks coffee in our household and not on a regular daily basis - I just felt having a doser would be a bit wasteful & a bit more messing around. The ability to grind an exact amount of grounds with minimal messing around for one cup of coffee appealed to me. (not trying to provoke doser/doserless wars here!)
    Maybe I am wrong in my assumptions - only time will tell....

    Attilio,
    Serious "bling" there mate!
    In regards to supporting the local guy, Im guilty as charged given i purchased my equipment through Chris. Being pretty new to the forums I am still finding out whos who & what they do. I have however, been reading various forums & I suppose one thing did stand out & that was the frequency of Chriss name being mentioned (in regards to purchases) and the satisfaction they received. Mind you - I havent seen any negative feedback from people in regards to any of the other dealers.

    I think its fantastic that these forums are a mesh of dealers and users. The user providing support by buying the dealers equipment, the dealer providing support through their recommendations and guidance. Apart from wanting to acheive coffee nirvana, this network was a big part in my decision in following down this path and not buying from a faceless large retailer like HNorman etc etc.
    I suppose it would be nice though if all contributing dealers achieved a balanced sales environment.

    Anyway, my gear is ordered...now Im impatiently awaiting the damn TNT Truck ;D. I cant wait, I have wanted this for a long time and I know there will be plenty of frustrations & enjoyment ahead.

    I will be moving in to the next phase now....help! *:o


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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thank you for your kind words Richard,

    We aim to provide the best service possible, regardless of where you might live.

    Fact is that the world is a whole heap smaller these days and we all shop more widely.

    I trust that you will be thrilled with your purchase and guarantee that well be here if you need us.

    Many pleasurable shots! ;)

    Chris

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Back again, both the Levetta & M4D have arrived & am absolutely stoked! Thanks Chris.
    Wow, what a learning curve....been practising all morning - head spins & twitching occuring to the old body - time for a rest from the caffeine to reflect. * :o

    Quick clarification in regards to the M4D:
    When adjusting for a finer grind, going by the manual I turn the small knob (micrometric version) in a clockwise direction (away from me) with the motor running?
    Also concerned that if Im adjusting the settings too far I might start grinding the teeth away. Is there any warning signs (apart from fine coffee grounds) that its time to back off?
    Possibly the numbers on the adjustment ring could give me an idea when to start being cautious?
    What number do other M4D users have their settings on? I realise that this wont provide me with an accurate grind but might help to get me in the range so I can fine tune from there.

    Probably dumb questions, but given Im a bit of a green-horn in this area - dont want to do the newbie thing & stuff up my grinder in the first week! *:-[

    Thanks
    Richard

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Hi Richard,

    Glad that all arrived safely!

    Your (demo) grinder has been used with the same batch of beans supplied and was dialled in for them.

    I suggest that you use a traditional dose and collapse routine on continuous grind and make only small adjustments (as required) to grind size.

    Once youre locked in, then you can experiment.

    Go easy on the caffeine. Small sips (and optional spits) will be enough to see how youre progressing ;)

    Enjoy...

    Chris

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks Chris,
    So to clarify the direction for finer grounds:
    Is 1 courser and 9 finer grounds on the adjustment ring? This is they way it looks to me going by the symbols on the ring.
    But if I follow the instructions (which isnt actually for this model) I turn the knob at the back clockwise for a finer grind. If I do this, the adjustment ring moves towards a lower number - which would mean a courser grind?

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ link=1225004802/20#22 date=1225500860
    Thanks Chris,
    So to clarify the direction for finer grounds:
    Is 1 courser and 9 finer grounds on the adjustment ring? This is they way it looks to me going by the symbols on the ring.
    But if I follow the instructions (which isnt actually for this model) I turn the knob at the back clockwise for a finer grind. If I do this, the adjustment ring moves towards a lower number - which would mean a courser grind?
    When the grinder collar moves anti-clockwise, you get a finer grind Richard...(as indicated by the arrows on the collar ;))

    Chris

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    ahhh......gotcha! :)

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    I cant work out what the numbers and arrows and such mean--they seem to contradict one another. Its as confusing as the adjustments on my Italian motorcycle! What I can say, and what I use myself is to remember:

    "Clockwise is coarser."

    Also, since the numbered ring comes off easily and can be re-positioned, the numbers are meaningless except as a relative change on your individual machine.

    Enjoy the coffee, my M4D and Levetta now give me better coffee than all but one or two places in Adelaide.

    Greg


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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks Greg,
    Must say my first shots are already miles ahead of my previous setup (wouldnt be hard, mind you), and without a doubt they are only going to improve substantially from here on!


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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Chris,

    How fine is the adjustment on the micrometric? ie is it easy to adjust from normal to decaf (and back) or are we talking cordless drill required?

    Cheers

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilMac link=1225004802/20#27 date=1225514533
    Chris,

    How fine is the adjustment on the micrometric? ie is it easy to adjust from normal to decaf (and back) or are we talking cordless drill required?

    Cheers
    All decaf requires a much finer grind and in addition kills burrs...When last in cafes, we found that we were changing burrs every 200-300 kg prior to instaling conicals. For decaf, it was more like 50kg....

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by RichardJ link=1225004802/20#20 date=1225499444
    .......When adjusting for a finer grind, going by the manual I turn the small knob (micrometric version) in a clockwise direction (away from me) with the motor running?

    Just curious - what happens if you adjust the grind by the micrometic knob without the motor running? Does it not adjust the grind?

  31. #31
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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    The instruction to have the motor running is so that if you adjust finer, any left over beans do not jam in the burrs and stall the motor when you turn it on.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1225004802/20#30 date=1225521719
    The instruction to have the motor running is so that if you adjust finer, any left over beans do not jam in the burrs and stall the motor when you turn it on.
    Cheers 8-)

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1225004802/0#7 date=1225095413
    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/0#6 date=1225087878
    Oh and I also have very good stocks of
    Diadema Junior Extra and
    Diadema Regal.
    Gday Attilio,

    Where can I find some info (and photos) of the Diadema Regal mate? Cant locate it on the BFC website... :-?

    Mal.
    You cant find info on BFC site because BFC is not the real* manufacturer. Splendor Unico & Regal are manufactured by Royal First. (and not that Diadema thing. IMO Diadema is not a manufacturer)

    *However, as far as I know Royal is the same company as BFC. You can see that the 2 companies have the same address

    CBC ROYAL FIRST srl Via Martiri delle Foibe, 28 - 31020 Scomigo di Conegliano (TV)
    BFC srl via Martiri Delle Foibe, 26 - 31020 Scomigo di Conegliano TV

    And you can see that the companies photos are in reality the same factory:

    By the way, Is the Regale the replacement for Splendor!??? Royal has removed Splendor pic & info from his website to put the Regale!


  34. #34
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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Thanks oton [smiley=thumbsup.gif].....

    Mal.

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    BFC srl is the name of the manufacturing company. *The two first letters are those of the husband and wifes surnames, and the C stands for "constructions". They do not sell machines called "BFC" ie there is no BFC model range, but the name cant help appear on the compliance plates because it is the name of the manufacturing company.

    They manufacture different brand names and models depending on how much the clients wish to spend and what style of machine is required for whatever market.

    DIADEMA is BFCs own "generic" brand name, which they use for their high quality machines. They use the best parts and materials in these ie they cost more to build.

    Royal is another of their brand names, and the Royal "model range" is recognized by its much simpler body styling (compared to the Diadema model range).

    Royal or Royal First is technically a separate company. It used to be owned by others before it was acquired by BFC.....whereas the other model names used by BFC are simply that...brand / model names not company names. Sometimes they use the name Royal instead of BFC on the compilance plates of various models because......they can...because Royal is a separate company, even though it is wholly owned by BFC.

    If you want to check out the website of BFC srl (translated as BFC Pty Limted in this country) look up www.bfcsrl.it.

    Is any of this really really really important?

    Regardz,
    Attilio
    first / original CS site sponsor.

    PS if anyone is offended by my use of the words "husband and wife" in the second sentance of this post, please cover your eyes or feel free to substitute the words "partner and partner" into the sentence for your own peace of mind, take a couple of vincents, and call your doctor in the morning! *;)

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/20#34 date=1225789858

    Is any of this really really really important?
    Important to make a good coffee? No.
    Important to get info when you are not sure what to buy and where? For me, yes.
    And well... you can never learn too much. Its funny, at least for me. :)


    2MCM deleted the links for bfc and royal in my post... post company urls is against the rules?. Sorry then, im not sure about the rules. *:-[

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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/20#34 date=1225789858

    PS if anyone is offended by my use of the words "husband and wife" in the second sentance of this post, please cover your eyes or feel free to substitute the words "partner and partner" into the sentence for your own peace of mind, take a couple of vincents, and call your doctor in the morning! *;)

    Im calling the locum GP right now Attilio... *:D

  38. #38
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Re: Quick hello & help on selecting a grinder

    Quote Originally Posted by Fresh_Coffee link=1225004802/20#34 date=1225789858
    PS if anyone is offended by my use of the words "husband and wife" in the second sentance of this post, please cover your eyes or feel free to substitute the words "partner and partner" into the sentence for your own peace of mind, take a couple of vincents, and call your doctor in the morning! ;)
    Cack ;D ;D ;D



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