My BIL has an M2 (I used to have an M4) non-doser. Nice grinder. Had some great coffees out of his Silvia/M2 combo. A little messy to use, but does a nice, rich grind for espresso
Hi All, I am looking at replacing my old Sunbeam EM0480 with a new grinder and had shortlisted on the Mahlkonig Vario, Macap M2M and Eureka Mignon. I had largely ruled out the Eureka on lack of representation locally and only one very favourable review by Bella Barista, which left the Vario and Macap.
There are lots of favourable comments on the Vario but next to nothing on the Macap M2M. The most I have been able to glean is that it has 50mm burrs, has stepped adjustment and not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4.
Does anyone own or has anyone had a good look at the Macap M2M and have some feedback?
My BIL has an M2 (I used to have an M4) non-doser. Nice grinder. Had some great coffees out of his Silvia/M2 combo. A little messy to use, but does a nice, rich grind for espresso
Yes its a nice home use / office grinder (M2M).
The model has only been on the market a couple of years, from a very well respected manufacturer.
Some random thoughts:
My feeling on "reviews" is they are mostly on larger grinders, because that is what is mostly talked up in the forums. In the forums, smaller diameter grinders are shall we say..."frowned upon".
I have personally done a direct "side by side" between for example, a Eureka Mignon (50mm) and Macap M7 (75mm). Why? Because I wanted to see if I could pick a discernible difference between an office/home use sized commercial design grinder, and a full size cafe sized grinder...that could be attributed only to the diameter of the grinding plates.
Myself and one other (an experienced barista) could find no real discernible difference in the coffees we compared using the same beans and machine, once the grinders had both been dialed in to produce the best possible espreso that we could obtain. If some differences can be found in a run of coffees....how does anyone know it was only just down to the size of grinding plates? And if there is a difference, what does it mean? Were there any bad coffees produced? No.
Larger diameter grinding plates are designed for volume production. Any difference in "quality" in the cup, that anyone can realistically find.....is purely accidental, for similar cut grinding plates, that have not been run hot (which is not going to happen in low volume home use).
There is a thread in here somewhere, where someone in the last two or three weeks posted that he has both a Mignon and an M2M and has also run side by side comparisons. In that case the OP preferred the Macap M2 for quality in the cup and "the mess factor".
With regard to " not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4...." I couldn't imagine why (and what does that mean anyway?).... the difference is 50 VS 58 mm plates. And....?????? The M4 is a higher volume grinder. Has anyone done a comparative side by side test of *in the cup coffee quality*, between an M2 and an M4? Were any differences significant and obvious? My view would be, we are not always privvy to the reviewers personal agenda, and until I've done the comparison myself I tend not to worry too much about that (" not really recommended compared to the higher offerings like the M4"). Maybe the reviewer wasnt comparing apples to apples (M2M to M4M OR...M2D to M4D...they need to be comparable models to take all the other things into consideration besides perceived quality of coffee in the cup, eg ease of use, overall owner satisfaction, mess factor, bells and whistles etc).
Have you spoken to your supplier to get their experienced take?
At the moment, the Vario is the most expensive of the three, the Mignon is in the middle, and the M2 is the most cost effective. Does it lose out in any way to the Migjon...I think not. Does it lose out in any way to the Vario? The Vario has more bells and whistles. Its also a very good grinder. It looks like an appliance. The others look like small commercial grinders. The Vario in the end, will over a period theoretically have much more to go wrong with it due to its more complicated nature, while the other two will give years of faithfull service with virtually nothing to go wrong, except if you drop them...so....virtually no more to pay after the first investment.
So it comes down to what you as an individual want in a grinder, what it looks like, the price, the servicability aspect over time etc.
Oh I should also have said:
The stepped M2 is fantastic for quick changes / large changes in grind for different brewing methods. Its a KISS principle grinder. The steps are very small and not a problem. There is nothing wrong with modern small commercial grinders using small steps in their adjuster. Its the domestic offerings with large steps and sloppy adjusters that present a problem...
And after all that said...All three are excellent coffee grinders.
Conclusion: Interpret "reviews" with a grain of salt, take professional advice, and make a choice that is right for you.
Going back for the ultimate short answer to your question:
M2. Great little grinder.
Hope all that helps.
And in fact - sometimes smaller grinders can do a better job
Depends on how you like your coffee, and who's been roasting.
I took my first bag of home roast SO Cuban down and BIL and I went through a substantial amount on said setup above. Took a bit to dial in for the bean, but then lovely, rich, thick, dark (if still interesting) espresso. Not bitter or sour.
I had a bag of the same Cuban at home waiting - almost undrinkable on the big conical as espresso. Wild and smokey, dry mouth feel - just too clean and sharp to drink! The M2 actual tamed the bean, added some body & chocolate that wasn't present through the conical.
Horses for courses. It's a lovely grinder
Thanks for the detailed responses TOK and DBC. I am trying not to over think the whole thing but there is lots of discussion over burr sizes being better being 50mm+ and it makes sense that if you are grinding a large quantity you need to have the hardware to meet the volume. Interestingly the person selling Macap said to me that there was imperceptible difference between the M2 and M4.
As you may know there are lots of very favourable reviews on the Vario which was swaying me against some negativity on the long term reliability of the grinder, although I hear that the Vario 2 fixes the publicized problems (sliders moving, brittle hopper connection etc).
TOK, thanks for comments about the history of the company and the comments about the stepped mechanism too , the grinder is heavy and looks very well made and although cheaper than the Vario the price differential is not significant at around $150-200 and I want to get the best grinder for the job. Speaking of which, I am only going to use it for espresso. You are right on the Appliance vs a smaller commercial grinder look too!
What is view on the best grinder?
I'm afraid I'm out of personal experience there GBH.
Having owned an M4 for 5+ years without an issue and used the M2 - all I can say confidently is that the Macap's are great grinders and built to last - and they have a good rep overall here on CS's.
If you have a local supplier with a range of grinders (try one of the sponsors) - go down for the poke and rattle test! You'll soon know if the hoppers feel lighter or similar (not that any sponsors are likely to sell you a dud!). The weight and the sound of the empty grinder running will be a good indicator of the internal quality in general.
While you won't find a lot of reviews on the M2 here, being a fairly new grinder, there is lot on the others in their range that have been written about in terms of quality & use etc. And there should be lots of reviews about the others you have mentioned too. The Compak's get great reviews here too - they are in a similar price/size/usage range.
But in the end - nothing beats the hands-on test!
all 3 are good grinders, so it comes down to what u like best.
If your supplier has all three on display or on demo, that is excellent and you can ask more questions and maybe take a look at the "mess factor", which will be best on the Vario because it has the container (in addition to the group handle fork....remove one, fit the other and vice versa), where the other two only have the fork.
Regardless, any grinder that doses on demand into an open group handle located by a fork, will have the mess factor issue. You will learn how to minimise this through your modus operandi as developed over time, but you cant help making some mess when making fresh coffee its part of the deal (and I know enough clients that cant handle that but I say again...its part of the deal).
Also the Vario has a lot of "bells and whistles" and programability that the other two don't. Is it necessary? The other two don't have that. AQ're they any the lesser for not having that?
And...While in commercial use I wouldn't think twice about the look of the grinder because you are more interested in what it does for you, in home use the look of the equipment takes on an importance of its own which is quite legitimate, you and partner have to be able to live with it long term in your kitchen.
As DBC rightly wrote above...horses for courses.
Re the comment on the quality I have spoken to a few people that service grinders and espresso machines and while they all agree that Vario produces a good quality grind they are fairly negative about the quality of the materials in the Vario and its likely longevity.
One point that I'd be interested to know is what the grind retention is like in the Macap M2 - there doesn't appear to be any retention with the shop model but long term things tend to be different. Thanks!
I will then fish out the loose beans on top of throat. Whats left tends to be about 5 to 7grams when run through.
After cleaning the grinder for the first time, then loading up with beans there was about 3.5g of retention.
So when in use and enough time has gone by that the grinds are stale, I just purge around 4g and all is well.
Overall these are an incredibly solid grinder for its very small size. I grind into a cup / weigh dose and I find it very quick and clean to use. In this regards compared to Rocky or Compak K3 it wins and also for my tastes kicks their butts in the cup. It does not get hot at all, I think the grounds started to get a little warm only after i knocked out about 20 shots in quick succession on BDB, but for day to day use for a few shots it grinds quick, clean and cool. Its a keeper.
Thanks everyone for the very helpful and detailed responses.
Hi All, sorry to resurrect an old thread, I bought a Macap M2M grinder yesterday and I'm experimenting with grind settings. Which number do you all have it set on for espresso? Also, do you take the grinder reading from the front little silver arrow or the side locking mechanism? Thanks for your help.
Around half way between 5 and 6, but depends on beans/roast depth. Darker beans more like 5.75. YMMV.
I find the easiest point for reference is from the side with the locking mechanism.
Enjoy your grinder, the Macap M2M is a great little unit
What is the range of this grinder and how many 'steps' are there in the espresso range?
I have a Baratza Maestro Plus which has 40 settings of which only one, the finest, can be used for espresso. I ask partly because...
"With the grinder off, set it to its finest setting, then move 3 or 4 clicks coarser for espresso".
Barry O'Speedwagon says"Around half way between 5 and 6, but depends on beans/roast depth. Darker beans more like 5.75."
This is a little confusing to one who hasn't bought the machine yet. I understand that a Rancilio Rocky goes from Turkish to gravel. If I hear that the finest setting is too fine for espresso even for the stalest beans and its coarsest setting is suitable for French press I would fell like I have some idea of what it's range is. Do I have to keep my Maestro Plus for drip coffee?
In my experience, the M2M is best as an espresso grinder. I don't make filter coffee, but I do frequently use an Aeropress. I have used the M2M for my aeropress, and it is ok, but the product of my Porlex hand grinder is superior for Aeropress (particularly if I go for a coarser grind, longer brew). I suspect this is due to the 'fines' which sneak their way through when grinding coarser on the M2M.
The size of the steps are quite small, but you do sometimes need to make a small adjustment to dose to fine tune your extraction 'between steps'. This is no big deal. It's a great espresso grinder with a small footprint.
Thanks very much for that. Perhaps I will replace the Baratza with a Porlex so that I can grind my morning coffee without waking up the kids. (To clarify and in keeping with the name of this site, morning coffee is made with the Hario Woodneck).
I have also just replaced my em0480 with a Macap M2M and have been having a little play with it this morning.
It is a robust and heavy machine but I am finding the steps between the grind settings is a little too large. Maybe the burrs need to settle/bed in????
I have found that on one setting (through the portafilter on the sylvia) I get 40mls in 30secs and just one click finer I only get 10mls in 30secs. One a little quick and one way too slow. Same volume beans and similar tamp pressure.
Hoping the grind has better adjustability once it has done a few grinds!!!!
At the moment the 'steps' between grinds seem too big. Other than that the machine is a wonder, but only if i can get the grind settings rights.
Anyone with thoughts on this.
From memory only, when I had that grinder I only needed to adjust dose by 0.5 to 1g for " in between grind setting steps " to REALLY fine tune a shot.
thanks for the comments, mine is a doserless machine so less easy to measure too precisely the amount. Beans are fresh from Andy so no problem there. Its a new machine so I probably need to have a bit more of a play and improve my technique, but i don't want to be going to the extreme of measuring out every single dose on electronic scales as the whole point of the doserless is to dose straight into the portafilter.
Will let you know how i get on.
Define extreme? I think its pretty extreme to spend heaps of money on equipment and buying excellent quality fresh beans only to stuff it up by not removing a variable that can be easily controlled.
Scales are $10 on ebay, grind into a paper cup while still eyeballing the amount and check the weight then dose. The added benefit is you will also get a much better distribution ensuring a great extraction.
But by all means continue to guess the amount of coffee you are using and chase your tail.
It is not the grinders fault and definitely is not Andys beans, this leaves one thing...
thanks, like I said...
"Its a new machine so I probably need to have a bit more of a play and improve my technique"
I have had a bit more of a play with this and am getting a lot closer to where I want to be with it. I have found that on the (slightly more coarser grind setting) that with a little more tamp pressure that I am now getting 25-30mls in 25 secs and it presents with a nice looking crema and more importantly a nice smooth and rich flavour.
It appears to be a very robust machine and I have the new 'gloss white' version and was told that mine was the first of this special order in Australia. It looks very nice and here is a pic of the one I have (sales pic).
How does M2M cope with single dosing? looking to upgrade as well, thanks.
Had look at this grinder at bonissimo, looks very solid. Was on sale too $399.
Most real grinders have a slide gate on the hopper so that you can remove hopper and beans and then store the beans however you do that.
Grinders will always deliver the best performance when used as designed. We have the internerd to blame for suggestions which then become bible. The overwhelming majority of palates may taste placebo effect but in reality probably can't taste a thing...
If you want grind per dose, I'd suggest you look at the HG-one, Versalab or Lido E. All of these were designed with grind per dose in mind.
Guys how do the M2M models/versions work?
I see on eBay they mention 2017 or 2018 model, but no other stores do (CS sponsors just mention “new model” if it’s the newest).
Im just curious what the differences are between the “new” model, compared to older ones if there are any. And how to know which one I’m getting.
You will find that some 2018 versions are the same as the 2017 models.
However there is an update model that started to arrive about May this year that has a hands free filter holder. That is how you will know its the new model.
We have the new model with the hands free filter holder in stock.
Thanks. What about the grinding capabilities, have there been any changes in newer models?
Will changing from a Rancilio Rocky to a Macap M2m be considered an upgrading with respect to grind consistency and retention?
I've started seeing a new version of the M2M pop up which is stepless - this would be an improvement over the Rocky, IMO.
I haven't used a Rocky so can't comment on the grinding aspects.
I thought I might chip in with my experience owning a Macap M2D (basically the same as an M2M but with an electronic timer). I upgraded to it from a BCG800 that had the worn impeller problem. Living with it for the last two years, paired with a Silvia, here's some of the things I've noticed
- Biggest issue (in a domestic setting) is grind retention. The first shot of the day is more or less a write off with too much leftover grounds. It really takes two shots before it properly starts putting out fresh beans. As a result, it's also not really possible to single dose, if the grinder is empty, what you put in is most definitely not what you get out
- Dialling it in is challenging in a domestic setting. Because of the grind retention, after changing the grind setting, the next cup more or less reflects whatever the previous setting was. So it's difficult to make large changes to the setting. On a day to day basis it's not really a problem, but it can be difficult when changing beans. A typical example would be, after loading some new beans in, it takes a shot to clear out the old beans, a shot to see how the new beans are doing, and then if you change the setting one notch, another shot to clear out the old setting, and then another shot to see how the new setting is. One can go through a lot of beans that way! It makes it almost impossible to buy 250g bags of beans because you go through too much of it trying to dial it in. Where previously I might have sometimes ordered a collection of 250g bags to try a bunch of different beans, I now order in at least 500g or 1kg lots just because there's too much waste otherwise
- A new stepless design would be great - the steps are quite large and I find I definitely need to adjust the dose to get an effect somewhere between steps (e.g. going one step finer might require reducing the dose to prevent choking). Adjusting the dose would be easy if doing it volumetrically using Scottie Callaghan-type dosing tools, but because of the grind retention issue you can't adjust the dose by weight easily as you can if you single-dose
- It's a lot messier compared to the BCG800 (I can't say anything about how it compares to other grinders, of course)
- Probably the most annoying problem - when going to finer settings, occasionally the beans start clumping up and clogging the grinder. When this happens, they can get compacted enough that the grinder clogs entirely and you have to take off the top burr and brush out the coffee - simply backing off to a coarser setting doesn't get the compacted coffee out. Either you do that and throw out all that coffee, or you can pre-emptively back off when the clumping starts to get worse, *but* you need to back off enough to clear out the clumped coffee which is too coarse to actually get good results (and, I find that with the clumped coffee present, the same grind setting gives a different result, for example, going from 2-3 and pulling a few shots will give different results to going from 2-5-3 and pulling a few shots). So either way, there's a couple of cups worth of coffee wasted and it takes a couple of shots to get back to the right setting/dose.
All of this comes across as rather negative, but it's all about context. If the grinder was being used in a higher volume setting (e.g. in a cafe as a decaf or single origin grinder on the side) then absolutely none of this would be a problem. But I only make two coffees a day, and these issues affect me significantly because I can't afford to throw out the first coffee every day In that respect, I find I miss my old BCG800 just because it was better suited to my domestic usage. The grind quality on the M2M/M2D is noticeably better than the BCG800 and when everything is right, the coffees I've been able to make with it absolutely blow away anything I could do with the BCG800. But the problem is that I can't consistently do it for the reasons above, whereas I was able to get consistent results with the BCG800 from day to day even with the relatively low usage, right from the first shot.
On the positive side, it's compact, quiet, very solid, and clearly well built. It's a solid pick when used as designed, but personally I can't say that I can recommend it for light domestic use (2-4 coffees/day) - it's very much suited to higher volumes, which I'm sure some people do at home, but not me unfortunately I'm not sure if I'll take the hit of replacing my M2D now that I have it (and it _is_ a nice bit of kit) but in retrospect I probably should have gone with a BCG820. Hope this is helpful to someone considering the M2M/M2D domestically - overall, I'd say it's a great grinder but intended usage matters a lot as to whether it's the right grinder for the job
Interesting review Papagoose.
I think many here confuse retention v "what's sitting in the throat". From what I can see, most of the issues you have described here are actually caused by what's in the throat, not retention.
When you grind everything in the throat through your grinder, true retention is that portion of ground coffee sitting around the burr set which is not expelled out the chute of the grinder. This will be much, much less than a single dose. The solution to your issues with old coffee is to ensure it's not there in the first place! Close the hopper gate before you grind that last shot and hey presto!
A note of clarification also for those who read your post. Previously, there were multiple importers of Macap and varying configurations of many models were sold in Australia. To the best of my current understanding, all current Macap stock is now landed by one exclusive importer and ALL M2M stock is also stepless micrometric. This has been the case for a good 6 months or so.
Those wanting a micrometric M2M need only enquire as to specification when choosing a supplier. Some suppliers disclose this in their website listings. Some suppliers are also probably still holding old stepped adjustment stock.
Full marks for reading it from beginning to end Caffeinator, heck of a block of text to battle through.
Having used an M2M regularly for nearly two years, I feel I need to make this post to balance the above review by papagoose.
Retention - I think Caffeinator has nailed it in his post. Actual retention in the M2M is very low- a (very) few of tenths of a gram in my experience. It's not ideal for single dosing, but better than most others in it's class.
Dialling in - I have no problems when changing beans - it's usually one click up or down, unless I'm also changing the dose, when it might be two clicks one way or the other.
Qualifier - I only grind espresso in the M2M. Maybe it would be different if I was switching from Turkish to filter and back again.
Stepless - I like a stepped grinder, because it gives me easy, positive reference points to return to on the odd occasion that I do change settings. The steps on the M2M are quite small, and I have never felt that they needed to be smaller. That said, I should confess that I'm not anal about shot timing, and anything between 25 and 35 seconds is OK for me - if it tastes good.
Clogging - I have never had a single case of clogging my M2M and I have put lots of KG's through it. However, I don't do dark oily roasts, and I never grind superfine, so maybe I have never really put it to the test in this regard.
The Positives - Compact, solid, quiet. Got to agree with all of these.
I guess it comes down to personal preferences, but my experience with my M2M has been very positive from day one.
Thanks Caffeinator and deegee for your replies. It's true that the main issues I'm having with the grinder are related to retention, and I'd be delighted if I'm doing something wrong and there's an easy fix!
But to be sure, I measured the grind retention this morning in two ways. First, I emptied and removed the hopper, and ran the grinder until there was no audible grinding and nothing came out of the chute. I also stop-started a few times to try and dislodge anything extra. Then, I removed the top burr. The ground coffee remaining can be seen in the attached photo - that would be "that portion of ground coffee sitting around the burr set which is not expelled out the chute of the grinder". I used a brush to clear out as much of that coffee as I could and captured it through the chute. It came out at 3.5g. Then, I reassembled the grinder, and added 20g of beans to the hopper. I ran the grinder again until there was no audible grinding and nothing coming out of the chute. Of that 20g, only 15g came out, which would imply 5g retention (I'm not surprised that this was higher than the 3.5g from before, I suspect I dislodged some grounds while I was taking off the top burr that weren't included in the first measurement).
So if I measured this correctly, grind retention in my grinder is a LOT more than the few of tenths of a gram deegee reports. It's nowhere near a whole shot, but I make it to be around 20-30% of a dose, which would be enough to make a noticeable difference in the cup. I don't think this amount would be changed by closing the hopper gate? I'd be curious if anyone else can repeat this experiment, maybe there's just something wrong with my grinder...?
Seems you might need to buy either a Niche grinder or an etzMAX as you feel you have made a poor choice by purchasing a small commercial grinder.
I sometimes wonder if many of us don't just create problems for ourselves by reading largely irrelevant stuff online?
How many grams are you dosing and can you really and unerringly blind taste yesterday's in that first shot v the second?
Whilst many of us may think we have the the finely honed palate to win the world cupping competition, the reality is that it ain't that easy! Try it.
Enjoy the ride....
Last edited by Caffeinator; 7th February 2019 at 07:31 PM. Reason: grammar
Just got the stepped version of the M2M for a good price. I know there's a newer version now but the sale on the old one couldn't be passed up!
Anyway, I'm hoping the good folks here can share where they set their M2M grinders generally for espresso. I saw a few posts up that 3-4 clicks up from the zero point was suggested. Can anybody else back this up? It seems kind of clumpy from what I can tell, suggesting it's too fine? I currently have mine set a bit higher. I've lost count of the exact clicks but if I were to use the numbers on the dial as a reference, and the marker on the spout to read, I use anywhere from 5-6 currently.
I know it's all personal trial and error but if other M2M users could share where they've found grind to best I'd greatly appreciate it
Awesome, sturdy little machine! Stylish too. Love it.
Just purchased a micrometric M2M grinder. A word: fantastic!
Living in WA I was fortunate to contact my friend Chris who updated me on the latest stepless model.
It arrived. It a cute, very solid baby! Smaller than the M4D.
I am not used to the reference being the moving adjustment so I kept winding away from “course” until nearly whole beans came through. Then I rewound until I clogged it up!
This was good for me as I removed the top and cleaned every thing out. Bit tricky as the output to the shute is hard to get to. Then I replaced the top until the grinding surfaces meet. Then turned the adjustment about a quarter of a turn open. This was a guess point.
From this point it was only two or three double shot grinds to get the extraction to around 60ml in 30 secs (that is two 30ml measuring glasses).
The micrometric adjustment is really great. I mark with a pencil a reference point then it just a bit either side depending on the beans and their freshness. It is of couse much slower that the M4D but it make a great cup.
In another location I have a M4D which has a micrometric adjustment, so I have a good reference unit. (Yes I know that the top turns clockwise to grind finer, but the top markings on the M2M suggested it was the other way.) see opening post!
It is a great grinder, a great price, great design and looks good and feels nice to touch and use.
Yes the grinds are clumpy around the right fineness. This may have to do with slight machine roughness until worn in. My M4D still is a bit clumpy but like my new M2M make great coffeee. It does not create any channeling. To check, if the shot is channeling you will usually see holes in the surface of the puck. My guess point was about a quarter turn from blades touching.
Basically look for 60mls in 30 seconds. I look for around 40 ml in 20 sec for a ristretto. (Into 2 measuring glasses) These are starting points to work from. The freshness of the beans requires a slightly larger grind possibly two steps on a stepped unit. I am guessing as I have the stepless unit.
So it’s is timing and taste. Nothing else really matters.
I use Rocket espresso machines.