Post By Barry_Duncan
Affordable Grinder that isn't messy? Help!
I'm new to the forum and am sure this has been discussed but as usual, I've left the Xmas shopping quite late so any help would be fab! We have a beautiful Vibiemme coffee machine which I just love but we are still using the Sunbeam grinder that came with our original machine...it's not a bad grinder and hasn't broken down or anything BUT it's just SO MESSY! I'm sick of the grounds all over the bench and we have to fill the baskets in two goes and the coffee just flies out at all angles....Is there a decent grinder that won't cost the earth that isn't like this? And if I get one that has a compartment that gets filled, am I still going to end up with mess as I transfer the ground coffee into the basket? In other words, do I have to then tip the ground coffee into the basket?
TIA....Oh, and I'm not that technical so burr speeds and all the other stuff I've been reading about just sort of goes over my head!
Have you tries cutting a yogurt cup's bottom off and use it like a funnel on top of your PF?
That's a cheap way of keeping it cleaner.
On evilBay you can get the rubber spout that goes on the machine spout - brings the delivery down to the top of the filter. Makes things much tidier. Or you could just not use the pf holder and lift the pf up to the spout - you can reduce the mess and still nudge the button or lift it higher still and use the switch on the side. (you don't say which grinder - might help to know the model)
Thanks so far...Journeyman, I have the Sunbeam Cafe Series grinder at the moment...was just reading online about the Breville BCG800 smart grinder - any feedback on that? I do have the rubber funnel on the spout of this one already and we don't use the holder on it...
I use the EM0480 and the EM0450 - the amount of grinds 'distributed' elsewhere (other than the filter) are minimal. I get more falling from the spout when I tap the PF on the bench for the 1st settling than I have missing the basket.
Okitoki's solution is one I have seen mentioned a few times; it can also help with consistency of dose. Fill the cup to just above filter rim level, tap on bench, remove cup and level with a sweep then tamp. Worth a try and cheaper than anything else.
There is probably a thread re the Breville - I have no experience in them. I'm considering my next grinder to be the Mahlkonig Vario - I've been hearing some good reports about the consistency of grind from the ceramic burrs. Gotta save up for it though - it's around $700.
The cleanest stuff for home use is probably the baratza range, either vario or preciso. If you want it to be really clean you can grind into the static free containers. They retain very little in the way of grinds too and have a nice small form factor for a kitchen bench. The grind quality is excellent. The only downside compared to other grinders is the non-commercial build quality. If your using it at home to make non-commercial quantities it's likely a non-issue.
I suspect its possible to avoid spillage on most any grinder, if the right technique is used.
Personally, i believe doser grinders are messier than doserless, and best avoided for home use if you want a clean bench top.
Use the yogurt cup "funnel" on the PF and learn to dose the correct amount only, direct into the PF. ( either weigh the beans , grind by time, or use your eye on the fill height.)
Generally the PF will fill above the basket, but the yogurt cup will keep the grinds in place, so then you can "settle" the grinds into the basket by tapping on a rubber matt, before you remove the funnel,... and tamp.
With a little practice , you can keep a "grind free" bench top.
If necessary, cut that yogurt pot down so it is only 10-15mm high.
I use a Breville Smart Grinder and find it very clean and it does not need any extra funnels. If you over fill, the spill is trapped in the catcher and doesn’t go onto the bench. It is much cleaner than some much more expensive ones. They cost about $200, or can be got in a deal with a Breville coffee machine.
I agree with Barry. My smart grinder is magnificent.
Spot on...title of thread "...Affordable Grinder that isn't messy..."
Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan
Definition of "affordable" varies from individual to individual, but you cant get much more affordable than that in a "reasonable" grinder.
The MAHLKONIG Vario is an excellent and probably a much better (where definition of "better" also varies with individual) grinder, but it isnt as "affordable" as the brevile.
If money was no object, I would buy a MAHLKONIG Vario at more than 3 times the price.
I'd absolutely agree with that, my Smart grinder was always very clean to use as a result of the design that has the grinder body surrounding the group handle as it is filled, so it contains stray grinds very well. I only wish the Super Jolly Electronic I'm using now was so clean to use, it tends to end up spreading grounds all over the bench!
Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan
I also use a Smartgrinder and it is very clean and affordable. Makes good coffee too. (or to the limit of my palate anyway)
I "upgraded" (if that really is the word) from a SB Cafe EM480 to a Mahlkonig Vario Generation2 a while back. "Upgrade": for your espresso use, absolutely a huge upgrade. FWIW, I had a lot LESS mess on my EM480 by taking the silicon thing off and holding the p/f higher. Still needs a wipe down after every coffee grind due to "bounce".
Originally Posted by bekabat
I had already seen "gen1's" (both Baratza & Mahlkonig) in the flesh: impressive. The reviews said it was quiet (Gen2 even more so), very precise particle size spread for espresso (probably the best I have seen since 1970), fast to adjust the grind (half true, see below), minimal grind retention and the p/f holder does not fit all p/f's well (gen1 didn't. Gen2 a bit better? perhaps). As I don't really use the holder, not much of an issue for me.
Isn't Messy: The one thing I did not see in the reviews was the fact that the grinder does not leave any coffee on the bench between routine cleanings of the whole kitchen. I always dose directly into the p/f, others may not. "No mess": Vario wins it hands down. Direct into the p/f does not leave anything at all "floating" in my case. Perhaps if you hold the p/f a long way down it may be different (thinks why would you...).
Affordable: around $650 to $700: your call on that one!
Other issue: A calibrated EM480 is probably better particle spread on coarser grinds (or the Mahlkonig Preciso for that matter). You have to have the grinder running to adjust the grind finer, and if you move the levers for a coarser grind when it is not running it still takes a while for the mechanism to "catch up" with the setting anyway. The Vario will do coarser grinds, however the "approx 15g double basket" of wastage adjusting it from espresso to (say) plunger and back and the fact that coarse grinds are no better than most other grinders makes it a questionable practice. Adjusting within espresso grinds (i.e. changing roast / age / humidity / temp etc.) puts almost all others to shame: almost as fast as you can think it.
Hope this helps.
Might be obvious to people smarter than me but make sure you grind with the lid on. I put my coffee in one serve at a time and when I forget to put the lid on the grinder I get grinds halfway across the kitchen.
+1 for the breville sg. I have one, depending if you're going to weight out beans prior. I just got into a routine of grind, collapse, grind the rest and collapse. No mess . No worries Plus if you look through ebay or the sale section Im sure there are bargain prices to be found!
+1 for the vario as well, it was well worth the investment straight up but in terms of cost vs clean I'm guessing the SG might be more suited. Just maybe a bit more cleaning up
I have just "downgraded" to a smart grinder. My 3rd grinder. Finally NO MESS !!! My wife is so happy.
Not quite true, sometimes a few grinds escape, generally from overfilling (dose isn't all that precise) but they are caught within the base of the grinder. A quick pass with the dustbuster once a week cleans them out before they reach the bench.
Also it's quieter than the others, really nice volume level.
Downside: I'm running it hard up against the end of the adjustment range, and it's just perfect. Just. I have requested and received a shim kit and will have to fit before long even just to cope with different beans.
This is a 4 week old machine from new stock from Harvey Norman. It was $300 instore or $250 click n collect (why???)
My grinding journey has gone Em0450, Breville SG, Baratza Preciso.
The Baraza produces the best grinding results, but has no timer, and is the messiest. The SG was the cleanest. That was until I decided to:
1. dose my beans into the Baratza hopper (using a blind portafilter basket as a measure) for each shot.
2. grind the whole lot into the Baratza tight-fitting static-free bucket
3. put a plastic drinking cup with bottom cut off into the portafilter
4. tip the whole of the grinding bucket into the portafilter
5. tap the portafilter a couple of times
6. remove the cup and tamp.
The blind basket is a really good measure. With it over-flowing it is just 19g, and there is NO MESS. The procedure above sounds more involved than grinding straight into the portafilter, but at the end of the day I get a more repeatable quantity, and none of the grinds fall off the side.