I have an M4D and dont see myself upgrading anytime.
Ive been wrong before.
ps-In my tests the M4D ground as well as, albeit slower, than a Jolly.
Ive sold my Rocky and searching for a grinder to see me through to old age and hand down to the kids.
Ive done so much research my head is spinning.
I was keen on Mazzer SJ but it sounds like its a bit hard to keep clean?
The Compak K6, Macap MX sounds really robust with large burrs and good reputations.
The Macap M4D sounds impressive in that it can be set to regulate dose and grind time and has super fine adjustments.
The K3WBC coming onto the market sounds interesting!
Any feedback from owners of the above machines or others you think may suit my needs would be welcomed.
I have an M4D and dont see myself upgrading anytime.
Ive been wrong before.
ps-In my tests the M4D ground as well as, albeit slower, than a Jolly.
And the fact that the M4D is so easy to use, it grinds well & its well built goes a long way to its attraction as a great grinder.Originally Posted by 05302725152D302F232E26420 link=1235257647/1#1 date=1235262801
If you decide on M4D and can hold off until mid March Ill be selling mine. Its 2 months old - not sure about warranty transfer - maybe Chris can chime in.
My experience with the M4D has been mixed. Grind adjustment is superb, dose control is a breeze with the timer. Where Ive run into problems is distribution. The grinds dont come out as "fluffy" as from (for example) a mini. My dosage always ends up with the grinds below the rim of the pf and makes distribution a PITA.
Maybe my kitchen is humid - I dont know. A lot of people are incredibly happy with these, I just happen to think that this grinder is not right for my location/me.
Hey greeman man,
Just from another view that you should take at a grain of salt.
From the few times Ive used the M4D, one whole day behind a machine, plus a few times playing; I would never get one. It has clumped everytime I have used it. A whole days worth of humidity shifts and different coffees. Im not gonna get out a toothpick or pin and break up the HEAP of clumps that it produced in a little cup. I have never used a grinder that clumps so much. I dont know if this is a characteristic of doserless grinders in general, but after using the M4D Id never pay the money for one. Even if it were half the price Id think twice. There are features on it that a cool, the timed dose for one. But renders it useless when its dosing into the PF with balls of clumped coffee rolling off the edge. That was my experience anyway.
Obviously there are plenty of owners of this grinder that are very satisfied and have either not experienced the deficiencies I had or have learnt methods to deal with them.
I use my SJ most days of the week for the past 18 months. Its a good home grinder. It clumps, yeah, most do, but not as much as the M4D I used. The SJ has a doser to break those. It probably wont be my final grinder. There are probably other things to consider other than clumping. Clumps arent the end of the world.
Try them all. Thats my advice. I reckon rather than resting a purchase of a grinder on other peoples reviews, that, lets face it, are more often than not, biast - go and play with them.
(Sorry if it sounds like Im M4D bashing here, I just havent had a good experience of them, although they do have many positives that are mentioned in other threads... hence the grain of salt cover ;))
For grind quality it looks like the commercial conicals are the go, maybe a Kony for home use.searching for a grinder to see me through to old age and hand down to the kids
I couldnt afford one, so I refurbed a ex commercial SJ, with its powerful motor able to spin the aggressive cut 64 mil plates, solid heavy build for stability on the bench(grinder doesnt want to move with motor torque), spring loaded adjustment collar eliminating thread slop for consistent grinds. *It gives a more consistent grind than Rocky, a cleaner taste
plus better crema.[/edit] Fix up required new plates, bearings, respray and a short hopper.
Doser is very sturdy I cant see it wearing out, but does require mods for domestic use, I havent gotten around to that yet but even then I will need to brush out the chute with each use.
Overall I am happy with it and it will do until a Kony comes my way.
Hope all this helps.
Im happy with my Macap M5 doser model.
But like vicroamer says, try some out.
As others have alluded to above....
Whatever you choose - get the doser version.... or a grinder with a doser....
Maybe marginally less messy..... very handy when you have a lot of coffees to make..... it is easy to "grind on demand" through the doser.... and
DOSERS BREAK UP CLUMPS!!!!
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the Mazzer SJ
If I did not have the M4D I would probably choose a Mazzer
If price is no object go with a conical burr set
I think the Macap MX K conical model is competitively priced ? but you will need to check
Yeppers KK,Originally Posted by 60444D4D4E4E7460445846442B0 link=1235257647/8#8 date=1235273780
the MXK is terrific like the others and the numbers are better as well...Perhaps not quite as sexy though.
I currently have an old Kony on my bench and I have to say that I dont believe that it really is in the same league as the Robur. It is quite slow and it doesnt seem to offer that same easy-to-nail, rich, full pour that the Robur does. In fact, I think that the super jolly that I had before it usually produced marginally better shots. This may not be true of the new Kony, which has an auger/blade thingy on top of the burrs to feed coffee into it - if nothing else, I expect that it would increase grind speed.Originally Posted by 504F455449474B4354260 link=1235257647/5#5 date=1235267971
If you want the best grind quality, I think that you have to go for something like a K10 or a Robur. Whilst the K10 may be a bit cheaper, the professional baristi who I have talked to have noted that it seems to hold a lot of coffee in the exit chute and it doesnt seem to be all that well put together. In fact, I know one barista who abandoned trying to use the K10 at competitions because he felt that it couldnt produce a repeatable dose with the timer that he wanted to use because of the large exit chute from the burrs. Funnily enough, I went to Maling Room yesterday and Andrews grinder upgrade saga parallels my own. He has had minis, super jollys, majors, a swift and a few K10s, but has finally gone all robur, including an old robur for decaf! So if what you are looking for is absolutely and totally the best of the best and price and size are no object - which they always are - theres a compelling argument to take a look at a Robur Electronic, IMHO. Particularly if you have a small business that you can buy it through to get the 10% back from the government!
This is wrong, wrong, wrong as a generalisation. The MAZZER doserless grinders have very little clumping because they have a specially designed - and, IIRC, patented - screen over the exit chute that breaks up the clumps. Mazzer must have spent years experimenting on getting their doserless grinders right and I dont think that its really fair to include them in some generalisation that seems to have been prompted by the deficiencies of the newest and - apparently - coolest kid on the block, the M4D. The Mazzer Mini-E might be expensive and it might not have super accurate digital timers, but it does a pretty good job with respect to clumps, it holds the portafilter and it is by far the cleanest domestic grinder that I have used. Of course, it is lovely that the M4D has what appears to be a better timer; this creates a competitive market in which consumers are usually able to do better.Originally Posted by 6C47504764260 link=1235257647/7#7 date=1235272846
Luca,Originally Posted by 455C4A48290 link=1235257647/10#10 date=1235276317
There is no disputing (well in my mind at least) that dosers do break up any clumping---- but it may not always be present.
I havent used a doserless MAZZER so cant comment on those grinders.... but I havent been that impressed by any other doserless Ive tried.... there are generally clumps.... and dosers DO break these up.....
I guess the best method when purchasing a new grinder is to try the grinder and see if it meets your requirements..... but as greenman is located here in WA (as I am).... the chance to try out grinders just doesnt exist..... We have to rely on buying on spec from site sponsors over East...... so with a significant purchase like a grinder.... Id view the extra cost in purchasing a doser model as cheap insurance.... If the chosen grinder does produce clumps - they wont be dumped into the basket.
.....and just like insurance, it might not really be needed...... but comes in very handy if it is!!!
Wow, Im overwhelmed with the response to my post, thank you for all the input and keep it coming.
The reason I posted now is that I will be in Melbourne from March 6-9 and plan to check out some grinders and probably purchase while there.
Thats the joy of being a CS member, ask for help or info and it is forthcoming
Sure. That much makes sense to me.Originally Posted by 466D7A6D4E0C0 link=1235257647/11#11 date=1235277943
OK, this bit I kind of cant follow. The first problem is that we are now talking about clumps, we are not talking about the quality of whats in the cup. Surely the aim of purchasing a grinder is to get a high quality result in the cup, not to get ground coffee with a minimum of clumps. So the relevance of clumps depends on a connection between clumps and poor quality shots. To my mind, thats not necessarily a foregone conclusion. Recall that James Hoffman won the 2007 WBC with a Mahlkoenig K30 grinder, which produces a spectacular amount of clumps. The second problem is that just as doserless grinders can produce unwanted results, so, too, can dosered grinders. For example, the Rocky doser is legendary for not actually sweeping out clean. So it strikes me that generalisations about dosers and doserless grinders arent necessarily helpful. Its much more helpful to identify the candidate grinders and then work out what their particular plusses and minuses are.Id view the extra cost in purchasing a doser model as cheap insurance.... If the chosen grinder does produce clumps - they wont be dumped into the basket.
.....and just like insurance, it might not really be needed...... but comes in very handy if it is!!!
Agreed.....Originally Posted by 342D3B39580 link=1235257647/13#13 date=1235280130
The problem is that it is hard to establish that without testing in person (comments from others on the internet are often.... "interesting" but frequently also "coloured"... ::) )
But as greenman is going to Melbourne.... Im sure Chris or some other site sponsor will do the right thing and let him have a play.....
That way he can decide on what he finds produces the best "in the cup" results -with his technique for distribution and tamping etc - which is how it should be ;)
Luca,Originally Posted by 20392F2D4C0 link=1235257647/13#13 date=1235280130
I sometimes think the clumping is indicative of what Im seeing with my M4D - the grinds are (for lack of a better description) stuck together more densely, and hence for a standard dose Im below the top of the pf. This makes distribution a pain, and although it can be overcome Id really rather not have to add extra steps to my routine.
FWIW the M5 at work is a great machine, though its not really apples/apples comparison as they are in a different location.
Im moving to a doserless Mazzer next, so Ill be able to give some feedback (though not in time to help with your purchase sorry Greenman).
After reading Lucas post
the SJ will do me until a Robur comes into my life. :)I currently have an old Kony on my bench and I have to say that I dont believe that it really is in the same league as the Robur. It is quite slow and it doesnt seem to offer that same easy-to-nail, rich, full pour that the Robur does. In fact, I think that the super jolly that I had before it usually produced marginally better shots. This may not be true of the new Kony, which has an auger/blade thingy on top of the burrs to feed coffee into it - if nothing else, I expect that it would increase grind speed.
Can I recommend seeing if Chris from Talk Coffee is getting any more discounted SJs in...at $750 odd they were the bargain of the decade in my view. *My SJ consistently produces great results and is built like a tank. *For me, given what I produce with it on my commercial machine, I will never upgrade...it really is my grinder for life. *I really dont hanker for a K10 WBC or a Robur, but I guess some do. *If I found that my home shots were consistently getting outgunned when I was out, then perhaps I could justify the Robur, but given that that is not happening I guess my bank balance is safe :)
I find that looking in the doser the SJ is not clumping, but the Rocky doserless does. *I agree with JavaB that the doser is nice, either as insurance, or just to add another level of breaking into the equation. *I love the doser. *I would never go back to doserless. BTW there is a big jump from even a modded Rocky to the Super Jolly - sweetness, consistency and crema.
PS. *Look over at Homebarista.com for the titan grinder challenge and the SJ outgunning the Robur with some varieties of coffee. *This wont just be an SJ thing but rather an indication that perhaps no single good commercial grinder will be the best for every bean type and roast.
If only, Scott...Originally Posted by 76636A7A766D6D190 link=1235257647/17#17 date=1235282819
Wholesale price on the SJ is now way more than that...In fact, Id be wrapped to buy at $750!
I regret that unless something massive happens against the Euro, not a hope :(
Its been a while since I read it but I do remember the Mini even getting out one godshot that beat the Robur.Originally Posted by 27323B2B273C3C480 link=1235257647/17#17 date=1235282819
The thing I took away from the article/thread was that you dont get better quality shots for more dollars, however you do get greater consistency.
As Oz has alluded to above, I think there is a lot more going on with the design of a grinder other than whether it has or doesnt have a Doser. Ive owned and used a number of primarily domestic grinders, including a Rocky and yes, it did clump a bit but nothing that couldnt be easily overcome with a very simple dosing/tamping technique.
My current grinder though, a La San Marco SM-90A, while not all bright and shiny and yes, even a bit noisy while grinding, does NOT clump one little bit. All the grinds exiting the discharge chute into the Doser chamber are loose and fluffy in appearance and if this was a indeed a Doserless grinder, there would be no need for any kind of mechanism or system, to break up clumps once the coffee is in the PF Basket. Quite clearly, there is more to designing and manufacturing a quality grinder than immediately meets the eye. Best thing "greenman" is to try and get a hands on demo with your short-listed range of preferences and see for yourself. Only you know what youre prepared to compromise on and live with, for the rest of your life..... :-?
Thanks Mal and all who have helped with their valued and informed opinions. Chris Ill be giving you a call and coming in to test drive some grinders, probably on the 6th, being able to compare them in the flesh should help me make a final decision.
I believe Hoffman was interviewed and the subject about the grinders and clumping came up. I believe when he was quized, he said something like "I had no such issues" or something to that effect. Perhaps he had his grinder modified somehow?
While we are on the topic of Mazzer, do all their machines throw left? Or is it just the Mini? With all the discussion on modifications, why on earth does Mazzer not correct the design? Seems crazy to have customers having to do their own adjustments with duct tape on a machine that costs as mush as it does! Your thoughts please.
I have a SJ, for me the whole deal with it throwing left isnt an issue. Thwack it with enough force and it drops pretty close to straight down. I was gonna do that mod forever, but I cant be stuffed as I havent had a big enough reason to do it.
I agree with Yeeza
ALL doser grinders will throw left (or right in the case of reversed Euro Compak).Originally Posted by 555E57540C030F3B0 link=1235257647/23#23 date=1235301328
Left throw is inherent in a doser chamber with internals pushing the grounds clockwise and the further the distance between doser and fork, the further the throw. This is overcome by using them more agressively. Some use bits of plastic or other materials to overcome this but I dont find these mods neccessary.
Put simply, there is a small learning curve with a doser after which left throw will not be an issue.
bnz conicals dump coffee pretty straight down in my experience, but otherwise i cant think of a dosered grinder that ive used that doesnt throw left.
and on that note, i have to say that i LOVE the robur doserless at work - simply AWESOME
the alternative to Yeezas speedy method is to slow the dosing action right down and move the lever slower - same result - less rsi
Mazzer Robur-E doserless will and does clump. Its not an issue in my experience.
As Roknee said, the BNZs are the cleanest dropping grinders out there...I have yet to find one on par. The next cleanest I would have to say would be the Compak K10. Ive dosed 50 plus handles just for kicks, and weighed only 2 grams of mess in the tray and surrounds.
Thats something Im working on after talking to Carl Sara. I believe its something more to do with the controller than the grinder itself.Originally Posted by 5A435557360 link=1235257647/10#10 date=1235276317
see the following postings:
I have the 2nd revision of the 2nd or 3rd generation K10 WBC. It is even newer than the one that the baristas in the 2008 state championships won. These ones have a free floating collar instead of adjustment locking pin to hold the collar in place and faux hopper locking pin. The throat of the grinder is a lot smaller than the old K10 I used to own. In fact, Ive done a lot of testing after talks with Carl Sara who modified his grinder to be like Dave Makins which I modified to be electronically timed to 9.999 s accurate (although this is not the case).
After adding 20 grams of coffee to the grinder, fully grinding it it out and dosing it, I lost 0.1 grams. Carl has managed to get his grinder to be accurate to 0.3 grams. My grinder is probably accurate to an average of 0.5 grams...sometimes 1 gram every 15 plus shots.
But in recent testing I was even able to achieve the figures Carl posted on his blog.
The only difference is that I have to groom my handles to get the required accuracy whereas Carl Saras timer is so accurate that all he has to do is dose and tamp. Im happy to groom my handles still as I believe a timer shouldnt be perfect. Even if I didnt have a timer, Id be able to dose and tamp my handles to within 0.2 to 0.3 grams of each other.Since this point we have refined the system even more, getting better, more consistent results, but even at this stage, the varience for 70%of the shots was 0.3gms, about 1.5% (I know that is not exact for all you geeks but it close enough for here!
To this point I am looking at other controllers for my grinder and test them head to head at some point with say the Robur-E or a BNZ conical.
Mazzers and all other grinders (bar doserless grinders) were designed for a set dosed drop of coffee. i.e. grind coffee until each one of the dosing chambers is filled, pull dosing lever 2 or 3 times for desired dose. These grinders were not designed for the new school barista super stars who dose fresh coffee for each handle. Mazzer has finally listened and released a doserless electronic Robur for us hardcore aficionados. Its so easy to use and is usually spot on. After every 10 or so handles you always get one handle over dosed and one handle under dosed....but thats just a limitation in the design because of the way I use it. I basically allow the Robur doserless to grind the whole dose and tamp that bad boy down without any distribution or tamping. If I was to set the robur to overdose the handle slightly and then groom the handle, I would be at near perfection for each handle and hence, no problems.Originally Posted by 202B222179767A4E0 link=1235257647/23#23 date=1235301328
Great points David,
I maintain that for non competition purposes, the K10 is fantastic and a when paired with a K3 hopper, can be a great way of doing top end conical at home on without being ridiculously big.
Would I use Roburs? You betcha- in a crazy busy cafe as Andrew has. In a moderate cafe or at home, its massive overkill IMHO....
The Robur Electronic is terrific, but Im not sold on doserless in cafes and I personally wouldnt have one over a K10 for home....
Im still gonna use it for competition until I can afford a Robur doserless....all these other baristas are whingers! hahaha :POriginally Posted by 7C494443776B474E4E4D4D280 link=1235257647/29#29 date=1235370475
Even with the current limitations of the timer and the grinder itself, when competing in the 2008 victorians (heats and finals) and Grand Barista Championship Sydney (heats and finals) I was able to achieve technical scores in the areas of "acceptable spill/waste when dosing/grinding", "consistent dosing and tamping" and "understands grinder" of 5 and 5.5 out of a possible 6 points. 6 is an almost unassailable score in competition, although possible, is as rare as hens teeth.
Im actually excited that I may even to be able to better these technical scores with better technique, a new controller and other bits and bobs Ive learnt over the last year.
What, youre implying youre the only one whos not a sooky lala?Originally Posted by 1D3F3922252F394A0 link=1235257647/30#30 date=1235370760
I think its a shame that dosing skills are in danger of disappearing...No reason not to use one if you know how to dose.
Funny though- the machine is mandated and even though big bucks are paid for grinder rights, it can still be BYO.
I reckon grinder should be a great one, but same for all as well...Maybe we should open a hornets nest and mandate coffee as well :o [smiley=evil.gif]
Just my 7g (or was that 10 :-?)....
;D ;DOriginally Posted by 005F47515A515D545457575F535C320 link=1235257647/31#31 date=1235371165
Aw, cmon! Thats like saying a Faema 2 group is overkill ;)Originally Posted by 5A6F6265514D6168686B6B0E0 link=1235257647/29#29 date=1235370475
Has anyone asked Greenman if he wants or can afford a K10 or Robur
Just to refresh his question in his quote below
Originally Posted by 283D2A2A21222E214F0 link=1235257647/0#0 date=1235257647
Greenman with regards to clumping
I would class this phenomenon as the easiest to fix
I live in Brisbane and I am sure that most people know that its a humid place
I use 2 techniques to fix it
1) Tap the PF on the bench 2 - 4 times and the clumps disappear this method is also good at levelling and compacting the grinds prior to tamping
2) grind courser and you will get no clumps at all however you will need to tamp harder to compensate
Tamping harder will not achieve anything in particular. A harder tamp will cause the "infusion" time (for lack of a better word) to be a lot longer....but dont confuse this with the flow rate. The coffee flow rate will be dependant on grind and dose together....and is not a function of the tamp pressure. A harder tamp will increase head space between the group and the coffee....hence cause the first drops of espresso to take longer to come out.Originally Posted by 00242D2D2E2E1400243826244B0 link=1235257647/34#34 date=1235389580
If youre ging to grind coarser, you will need to dose more coffee to compensate. Make sure you leave enough headspace for the the gases to expand. This is hard to do when you have extremely fresh and even moderately fresh coffee and you have to grind finer and dose down....which takes us a in a big fat circle....that is...grinding finer which causes clumping on said grinder.
Id like to offer 2 alternate solutions to clumping @ home.
a) sell your current grinder and buy another grinder
b) keep your current grinder and incorporate the WDT in to your dosing and distribution technique.
this is the exact reason Id consider when buying a grinder. Its gotta allow me to play with that variable. Low dose/Fine grind OR high dose/coarse grind.... If I had to grind coarser just to counter the clumps, thats a good enough reason for me not to get it.... thats me anyway.
One of the first tests I do with a new espresso blend is muck around with this variable. Might not be so important to others though.
I reckon if youve gotta do "b)" you might as well goto "a)".Originally Posted by 6143455E595345360 link=1235257647/35#35 date=1235391619
(Wheres the "hiding under a table" smiley?) * ::)
Learn how to apply a "nutating" tamp method, then the WDT or any other so-called declumping step is rendered redundant.... ;)Originally Posted by 4567617A7D7761120 link=1235257647/35#35 date=1235391619
Grant - here here!
I cant nutate with my Pullman because it fits too well!!! *But I dont get channelling most of the time so thats ok.
EDIT: Just tried and when I tamp deeply I can still (just) do a bit of rotating...success!
Ive had my M4D for 2 months now thanks to Chris from Talk Coffee. When I rang to order it, he didnt rush in and get my credit card details, but took the time to discuss the grinder, what I would be using it for (espresso or plunger, not both) , volume etc. It may turn out not to be suited for your usage and you might end up discussing another type. In the end, if its still what youre after he will be more than happy to get your CC details and send you the grinder (mine arrived 2 days after my birthday Chris! *:)). And this probably applies to most of the site sponsors here.
Point is, youll get advice about the range of grinders rather than someones opinion of their own.
Having said that, heres my opinion of my M4D! Great! For what I use it for it is perfect. I have 2, maybe 3 double espressos most mornings. After setting up the grind, it repeatedly delivers a consistent dose. Yes it does clump, and no it doesnt bother me. I use the single dose setting (4.9 sec) and while it is grinding, move the handle round in a nutating fashion (had to look that one up Mal) to distribute as much as practicable. I then give the handle 2 or three taps on the mat, tap the side with the top of the Pullman, repeat the dose and tamp with a rotate to finish. Pours into a 60ml cup are usually within 1-2 secs of the supposed norm of 25 secs. All very quiet with little or no mess. The spout is also just the right size for grinding straight into a small 50g jar (after youve ditched the instant coffee) for taking to work for the machine there.
Rich, creamy and lots of crema - as someone said its whats in the cup that counts!
My 18g worth
Thanks Philmac Ive contacted Chris and will be going there for a test drive next week................cant wait, will be in Mebourne for 4 days so Ive got heaps of coffee haunts to check out.
Sounds good. Remember to pack light, as the grinder will take up half of your 23kg baggage allowance!
Unless you are in the Qantas Club ;)
Originally Posted by 7941404564484A290 link=1235257647/42#42 date=1235614016
Sounds pretty much exactly like my situation and routine as well. *I have a couple of double shots each morning, usually one in the afternoon on weekends and occasionally one in the evening some days. *I went for the M4D for a number of reasons. *Itís extremely clean with virtually no wastage which is very useful when only using in the small quantities that we do. *It is very easy to use, so no problems with my partner using it as well (it is not just a toy for me). *It does tend to clump, but the beans in use vary dramatically in this regard. *Current blend Iím using this week is not clumping at all.
Let me add that while my M4D does clump as well, the clumps are very soft and easily mashed when tamping.
Ive tried various distribution techniques and noticed no difference at all.
What I do now is: grind, tap twice on the bench, and them tamp--no distribution or breaking up of clumps at all!
So Greenman, what grinder did you end up buying? :)
A friend has just upgraded and I purchased his Mazzer Mini Manual at an attractive price. Settling into a new grinding routine but things are looking good, no clumping so far and if so I think the doser would break it up.