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Thread: Grinder recommendations please

  1. #1
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    Grinder recommendations please

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Im looking for a grinder that does the job but doesnt take over the kitchen. Have just purchased a Nuova Simonelli Oscar and am fast running out of kitchen space. Can anyone recommend a good quality, not too large, not too exxy, grinder? Doser or doserless - what is your experience :-/?

    Cheers
    Twist of Lemon

  2. #2
    chris002200
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I know that this most probably wont help right away, but could you give us a budget please.

    It will help us all point you in the right direction.

    Generally you would go for the best grinder that you could afford, but in your case space is of the issue.

  3. #3
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Well I really dont want to spend more than $400. From what Ive read that seems to be the ballpark...? Im willing to spend what I have to to get a grinder that will give me great results with the Oscar. I ended up choosing the Oscar over the Silvia because of HX/steam capacity which means, I guess, Ill pay the money if its what I think I need (within reason).

  4. #4
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    twistoflemon....

    The minimum Id be looking at is either the Iberital Challenge or the rocky....

    And they will both do a good job (the Iberital is stepless whereas rocky has small steps - the Iberital is also pretty much a espresso only grinder as it takes forever to go from espresso to plunger settings.....

    However with a machine of your calibre, a Compak K3 or a mazzer would be a better match (and quite a few more dollars....) Remember the grinder is more important than the machine in the pursuit of quality espresso- you dont want to "hold your machine back"

    I personally like doser models because the doser breaks up any clumps... and I dose through the doser - basically grinding on demand and using the doser to distribute the coffee.

    The doser / doserless choice is really down to the individual - there are good arguments either way.

  5. #5
    chris002200
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    If size is an issue I would probably run with a doserless. Because they have no doser chamber they are considerably smaller.

    Rocky doserless. These have stepped adjustments which might be an issue for you in dialling in the exact grind for your pours. I personally havent owned one but there will be a fair few people here that own them and can tell you all their pros and cons Im sure. The rocky would be around your budget.

    Compak K3 touch. Appears to be a very good grinder and good value for money. Stepless micrometrical adjustments which suits espresso grinds for sure and allows you to really dial that grind in for the perfect pour. A little more expensive than the rocky but alot cheaper than the mazzer mini e which it competes against.

    Best bet would be to speak with one of the site sponsors and Im sure that they will give you all the required information that you need including overall sizes and performance.


  6. #6
    chris002200
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I have heard that the Iberital can be a little noisy during the grind process, but I guess it is a small price to pay for a good espresso grind.

    I forgot to make mention before, if you do have the room and the money, I would seriously look at the Mazzer mini manual.

    Great grinder, good build, great grind & sexy as hell...

  7. #7
    TC
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by twistoflemon link=1172623781/0#0 date=1172623781
    Im looking for a grinder that does the job but doesnt take over the kitchen. *Have just purchased a Nuova Simonelli Oscar and am fast running out of kitchen space. *Can anyone recommend a good quality, not too large, not too exxy, grinder? *Doser or doserless - what is your experience :-/?

    Cheers
    Twist of Lemon
    Hi tol,

    based on your brief, you have two options:

    Rocky doserless- stepped (relatively small ones..)
    Iberital Challenge doserless (worm adjustment- too slow to swap to plunger form espresso but otherwise good...)

    We can supply both...

    Chris

  8. #8
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Can you tell me if having or not having a doser changes the distribution of the coffee in the portafilter - does it add to the ability to get a better shot?

    TOL

  9. #9
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    TOL,

    I (and quite a few others) believe it does distribute the coffee better..... and there would be just as many who feel that it doesnt......

    It does break up any clumps in the coffee..... but some grinders dont produce any - or very few..... Clumps do potentially cause channelling....

    To be honest, Id call it more a matter of personal choice rather than there being a strong technical case either way.

  10. #10
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    The Gaggia MDF is a bit smaller than the Iberital and has a doser. Very little mess and I have had no issues with mine at all.

    I have very little bench space and it and the Gaggia classic fit well on the small area I have along with my other coffee paraphenalia

  11. #11
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    You can manage the "clumping" with a good distribution/\/dosing technique.

  12. #12
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Why re-distribute the grinds when you can fix the root cause with perfect dosing?

  13. #13
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Are you suggesting you have a solution for perfect dosing? Id like to know.

  14. #14
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    There are many re-distribution techniques out there.....for example WDT is just one where you get a needle like device and stirs it amongst the grounds to break up any clumping.

    What you want to do is dose effectively so that the distribution of grounds is almost right...then all you really need to do is level and tamp. Dosing effectively will distribute the grounds effectively, eliminating the need to redistribute. Focus on the landing.

  15. #15
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    So are particular grinders known for their ability to dose well or is it trial and error and operator skills?

  16. #16
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    A mix of both.

    For example....Mazzers are notorious for left throw...but there are methods of controlling this (operator skill).

    example 2. I used to work on a Macap that was stepped (so didnt adjust as well as Id like it to), but it didnt throw much to the left.

  17. #17
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Some machines tend to clump more than others. Others can tell you which ones as I have only ever owned my MDF.

    My MDF has never thrown any clumps, there is very little mess - except for the mess I make like tipping the PF.

    I myself grind into a little plastic bowl instead of just the portafilter, it is just easier for me personally, and that is the way I prefer it as I also weigh my dose.

    Anybody can correct me if I am wrong, but most of the people on here will not recommend MDFs, some say because the variance of the adjustment of grind is too large - I have not had that issue, and very rarely adjust the grind on this machine. It really depends on how anal you are about such things.

    It also depends on of you are a tinkerer. One of those people who has to modify or improve things all the time. There are a lot of those types here ;) ;D Avoid them at all costs ;D

    Really, it is your decision. I do not know if the site sponsors stock the MDF, my guess is possibly not which is why they do not recommend them. Though if you really want one, I am sure somebody would be able to get one for you.

  18. #18
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Oh I dunno Cindy,

    Most of what Ive read about the MDF as a home grinder has been very favourable. It is probably a bit more of a general purpose grinder than say the Ibertal Challenge which in all honesty is a dedicated espresso grinder, but..... The MDF is well made, uses quality burr sets, has a small footprint which is important in some situations and is easy to adjust for several different brew methods. It is also a proven design having been around for a very long time. The MDF is sort of like a small brother to the Rancilio Rocky in a lot of ways.....

    Cheers,
    Mal.

  19. #19
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Hi,
    After owning a MACAP M5 and Rocky doserless, I would say have a long hard look at the Rocky.
    Its a great grinder, has a look that is unique and performs great and is easy to clean.

    I found that the doserless does make a little mess, but any doserless grinder will. On some occasions I found that the grinds did exit the chute in little balls (maybe 3mm diameter) but they seperate or broke up once they hit the portafiller).

    BeanBrat

  20. #20
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I have had my rocky for nearly two years now. The only complaint I have is the well known fact that the chute blocks sometimes. Some people remove the guard but Id rather leave it there.

    It is very compact and basically well built with quick grind adjustment which is handy.

    The only other complaint is that the rubber pads are just glued on that it sits on and this can be annoying although other owners have drilled the frame at the bottom and then screwed new pads in.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Is rocky, is good, but me no tink is berry pretty.

  22. #22
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1172623781/15#20 date=1173470345
    Is rocky, is good, but me no tink is berry pretty.
    Didnt buy mine for pretty, bought it for coffee ;)

    Mal.

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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I bought my grinder for coffee as well, the pretty factor just makes me smile a little more when I see it on the bench. ;)

  24. #24
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    please dont get me wrong, im about to use an exaggerated example:

    guess I see it a bit like food presentation - it could be the best tasting meal ever, but if it looks awful to start with...

  25. #25
    TC
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dennis link=1172623781/15#23 date=1173564874
    please dont get me wrong, im about to use an exaggerated example:

    guess I see it a bit like food presentation - it could be the best tasting meal ever, but if it looks awful to start with...
    Personal thing I guess Dennis- I reckon they look pretty good!

  26. #26
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I used to work in Dads deli many years ago and definitely didnt like the look of a few items for sale.
    I didnt get around to forcing myself to try all of them, but the few I did surprised me as to how good they were and Im still hooked on some.

  27. #27
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    I can only speak for the doserless Iberital. It doesnt make a mess. I do.

    It dispenses very neatly into a basket with not one stray ground --PROVIDING it is not forced to overload it.

    If you grind to the capacity of the basket, 14, 15 grams, theres no mess.

    But when you continue grinding beyond that, building a big, overflowing mound for compaction later, then there is considerable mess and wastage.

    I catch the strays in a very ugly shroud made from a 2 litre plastic milk container.

    --Robusto

  28. #28
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1172623781/15#22 date=1173564597
    I bought my grinder for coffee as well, the pretty factor just makes me smile a little more when I see it on the bench. ;)
    I think Rocky is more along the lines of the strong, rugged, get the job done type of grinder and I do like the look. Even when I can scrape enough pennies together to buy a Compak K3 Elite (yes Im getting there Chris, slowly but surely ;D), Im not going to part with Rocky..... Hes much to convenient for setting up for use with other brew methods and for that purpose, hell see me out Im sure ;),

    Mal.

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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1172623781/15#27 date=1173624038
    Quote Originally Posted by Viviane link=1172623781/15#22 date=1173564597
    I bought my grinder for coffee as well, the pretty factor just makes me smile a little more when I see it on the bench. ;)
    I think Rocky is more along the lines of the strong, rugged, get the job done type of grinder and I do like the look. Even when I can scrape enough pennies together to buy a Compak K3 Elite (yes Im getting there Chris, slowly but surely ;D), Im not going to part with Rocky..... Hes much to convenient for setting up for use with other brew methods and for that purpose, hell see me out Im sure ;),

    Mal.
    Youre right, Mal, and I certainly wasnt knocking Rockys appearance or performance. *The Silvia wasnt built for looks either though shes a thing of beauty in my eyes. *:)

  30. #30
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Obvious observation: CS people LOVE their equipment

    Latest insight and note to self: do not criticise the love of someones life..."Bad Dobby"

    pic of my first grinder...still pretty and still takes about 15 minutes for a dose!


  31. #31
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Thats a grinder that doesnt need to work - it will earn its keep just sitting there looking gorgeous. :)

  32. #32
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: Grinder recommendations please

    Think I lost about 10kilos using it. Have to admit it now sits in the sideboard and doesnt get to see daylight - Sue is a french provencale type and I am a minimalist. So choosing/arranging furniture is often more difficult than brokering for world peace.



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