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Thread: Looking for my ultimate grinder

  1. #1
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    Looking for my ultimate grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I currently have a dosser Mazer mini with a La Marzocco GS3. I am keen to change the grinder. What I want (if it is out there) is a programmable electronic grinder with minimal grind retention. I want one that is not as messy as the mazer. I am also looking to find one that I can easily and accurately go from one grind setting to another and back again.

    I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions of a grinder that might fit the bill. I have checked out the online sites and have come across the Baratza Forte that may be pretty close to what I want. However, I don't think it is available in Australia.
    Any suggestions?
    cNc

  2. #2
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    What price range cNc?

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    Besides retention and mess any other positive criteria? How about space considerations?

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    Price range fairly large $750 - $1.4k

    Space consideration - about same as Mazer mini or maybe a little larger
    cNc

  5. #5
    TOK
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    Then you are looking squarely at the Macap M4D with stepped adjuster.

    With all the endless hoohaa in the stepped VS step-less discussion, not sure if any importers are currently bringing in the stepped version, despite that it is a great package. You will then need to specify the colour, with most being either chrome or the commercial silver colour despite other colours being available from the manufacturer.

    Suggest you ask around for availability of the M4D Stepped.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    +1 for the Macap M4D ....... stepless micrometric or just stepped, doesn't really matter; given that both versions have the same innards ..... this is your grinder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    Then you are looking squarely at the Macap M4D with stepped adjuster.

    With all the endless hoohaa in the stepped VS step-less discussion, not sure if any importers are currently bringing in the stepped version, despite that it is a great package.
    Hear, hear! I love my stepless Macap M4D, but do on occasions miss the stepped adjustment of its predecessor.

    Best wishes, Russell

  8. #8
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    I like my stepped Macap M5.

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    Is the Macap M4D with the stepped adjustor still available? Also what is the grind retention like with this grinder.
    Finally has anyone heard if the Baratza Forte will be coming to Australia?
    cNc

  10. #10
    kbc
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    Great think about the macap M4 stepless is the incremental adjustment winder.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeNcake View Post
    I currently have a dosser Mazer mini with a La Marzocco GS3. I am keen to change the grinder. What I want (if it is out there) is a programmable electronic grinder with minimal grind retention. I want one that is not as messy as the mazer. I am also looking to find one that I can easily and accurately go from one grind setting to another and back again.

    I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions of a grinder that might fit the bill. I have checked out the online sites and have come across the Baratza Forte that may be pretty close to what I want. However, I don't think it is available in Australia.
    Any suggestions?
    cNc
    Hi coffeeNcake

    Having owned both a 110V & a 240V GS3, I share your grinder pain. I have also owned a Mahlkonig (the actual maker, the Baratza is only sold in Oz indirectly as a "grey import") Vario "Gen 1" (not the official title) and a Vario Gen2. I also directly compared the Gen1 with the Baratza Forte.

    If you look up some of my other posts on this you can get the longer version.
    http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...tml#post517003 & http://coffeesnobs.com.au/grinders/3...tml#post516769 have more info.

    Short version: Gen1 has less retention and slightly wider particle spread than the Forte. The Forte is essentially a bigger / heavier / commercial version of the Vario gen1. I kinda think of it as a "gen 1.5" with a much heavier frame and worse grind retention. The Gen2 has even less grind retention than the gen1, and mine has a narrower particle spread than the Forte or my earlier gen1 (as does the Mahlkonig 30, which I directly compared with my gen2).

    As you would have worked out in the first week with your GS3, 2g of stale grinds in a 15g double = sink shot, so grind retention is "uber critical", as is water quality. Nowhere to hide... The Vario has well below 0.5g retention (gen1 coffee geek test), as does the gen2 (by eye). The Forte has close to double that (also by eye).

    The Vario leaves NO mess on the bench if you go direct into the p/f (not a single ground after about 6 or 7 months between the two of them). That is a welcome first for me. The Vario does not popcorn (right down to the last bean), have any static clumping or any other bad habits: also impressive. My gen2 is made in Switzerland, presumably by the Ditting tentacle of the Mahlkonig octopus, as it has long life Ditting ceramic burrs. From memory, the gen1 has different burrs from the gen2, whilst the Forte is at least similar to the gen2. The gen2 is noticeably stronger than the gen1. Vario's are small in terms of bench space and very, very quiet compared to any other grinder I have used (including the Forte).

    Quote Originally Posted by coffeeNcake View Post
    Is the Macap M4D with the stepped adjustor still available? Also what is the grind retention like with this grinder.
    Finally has anyone heard if the Baratza Forte will be coming to Australia?
    cNc
    I doubt any Baratza will be officially available here. Having played with the Mahlkonig 30, it is another step up anyway.

    For home use, I would rather have 2 * Vario gen2's instead of one Forte / 30 anyway: quieter, smaller, less grind retention and it is possible to have a decaf one on standby (and a spare if anything breaks). FYI, I just ordered my second Vario gen2 last week, for precisely that reason. One quick comparison using the decaf and SWMBO decided my Vario was to stay on decaf... I still have a Bo-ema RR45 (among others) for plunger grinds, even though it is banned from the house (noise!).

    Hope this helps


    TampIt

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    As you would have worked out in the first week with your GS3, 2g of stale grinds in a 15g double = sink shot, so grind retention is "uber critical", as is water quality. Nowhere to hide...
    The old retention = the only solution is Baratzkonig again?

    As always, the question is how long have they been there and what percentage of retained grounds is actually transferred to the next shot? Secondly, can the transferred retained grinds be tasted blind?

    Beware marketing hype...

    cNc, another option is to learn how to use your grinder efficiently and effectively. You may well find that there is a whole heap less mess if you do.
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  13. #13
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    The old "Grind Retention" cods-wallop again...

    Sheesh, give us a break...

    Mal.
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    I think that grind retention is important... but not if you (a) use the same coffee every day and (b) don't change your filter basket.

    Being a home roaster, I tend to have quite a few different roasts available at any one time and I regularly change between 7 g, 15 g and 22 g baskets. Each time I need to change the grind and if there were retention this would be pretty troublesome for me especially as my roaster has fairly low capacity.

  15. #15
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    Grind retention is commonly associated with a coffee disorder known as AR (Anal Retentiveness, also Anally Retentive).

    The OP has a LM GS3. Big dollars. They seek a $1k or so grinder. As mentioned the Macap M4D is an excellent choice. I can vouch for it as I use one daily. It has minimal grind retention.
    Purging 2-3 grams of coffee to ensure freshness, equates to 10cents a purge.
    Given the amount of money already spent on coffee equipment by the OP, worrying about purging a dollar's worth of coffee every week really needs to be put into context.
    If it does worry you, what about the coffee wasted when you get the dose and grind wrong?

    If I forget, and I usually do, to purge the grinder, it really makes no difference. I use 18g to make a coffee, and the first one is always drowned with milk for my lovely wife. I doubt there is a noticeable difference when the resulting drink is milk based.

    Concentrating on dose and grind to ensure perfect espresso extraction is more important than worrying about the retention of a few cents worth of coffee.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwantfm View Post
    I think that grind retention is important... but not if you (a) use the same coffee every day and (b) don't change your filter basket.

    Being a home roaster, I tend to have quite a few different roasts available at any one time and I regularly change between 7 g, 15 g and 22 g baskets. Each time I need to change the grind and if there were retention this would be pretty troublesome for me especially as my roaster has fairly low capacity.
    Not really relevant IMHO...

    I, like the greater percentage of CSers roast at home, so pretty well every roast I do is different - I enjoy different, not samol, samol...

    Also happen to own a large conical grinder too which allegedly retains massive amounts of ground coffee - utter rubbish to be honest. A couple of seconds grind before filling the first filter-basket of a session, like Bosco describes above, is all that is ever needed. I probably waste more in dosing and distributing than the amount that is possibly retained in the grinder.

    It really is just a lot of smoke being blown around and as far as being anal-attentive is concerned, just ask my wife and sons what I'm like and there'll be lots of head nodding going on. I'm as obsessive as the next nerdy geeky bloke, on the things that matter; you've got to learn the difference between things that make a difference and those that don't, then concentrate on the things that do...

    Forget about all this stuff, learn how to dose, distribute and tamp properly and sit back and enjoy the coffee. All time is wasted that's not spent enjoying a great coffee...

    Mal.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    I know that this is like weighing into a football riot trying to talk about why each side has valid points, but...

    - Grind retention is easily fixed with a few seconds of purging.
    - It's not a huge issue for me (increases my coffee usage by 30-40% with the K6 if I'm pulling one double in the morning and one at lunch), except when I'm trying to dial in a new bean, especially one I've only bought 250g of. It usually takes me up to half a dozen shots to dial in a new bean, depending on the difference between old/new bean and old/new bean age, and without purging between each of the six shots, I'm getting a mixed dose of two different grinds, which muddies the waters somewhat, especially with significant grind changes.
    - There's also an ethical issue, I think, with tipping a substantial quantity of coffee down the sink unnecessarily, given the human labour component involved in getting the stuff from a bush to my grinder.
    - Maybe Darwin's a part of it, but I can certainly taste the difference between a shot that contains a throatful of 6hr+-old grinds and one that does not. Can taste it in brewed, too.
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  18. #18
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    My grind setting changes are minute. I concentrate on the dose. I account for factors such as roast depth, freshness and bean variety. Having a lever to control the flow is also an advantage.

    It has been stated on every coffee forum, numerous times by very experienced people, that it is essential to get the dose right and then make corresponding grinder changes.This is irrespective of the machinery being used.

    Back to topic.

    Once the choice of grinder has been narrowed down, I feel it is useful to go and have a play with the units. Everyone is different, and certain design "flaws" can irritate the user, which in turn leads to buyer remorse.

  19. #19
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    I was trying to keep it simple, and got flamed again.

    I would stand by my comments, especially with a GS3. Nowhere to hide, and 2g of stale trashes the shot in a 15g double to the point that you initially can start to question the roast... Been there done that.

    The GS3 uses VST baskets, which require at least a 20% finer grind than standard espresso. Most standard espresso grinders cannot deliver that fine a grind without excessive fines, which then run to bitterness too early unless you up the dose and /or the basket size and run it shorter to compensate. Then the high notes are lost, and a GS3 really lets you know it! I have stated before that a simple white paper test shows that all too clearly. If that is an issue for dark roasts, consider it doubled+ for the light / medium SO's that a GS3 excels at.

    Another related issue is the extraction ratio: IF you can avoid the bitterness (i.e. via a "new wave" grinder for want of a better description), the extraction ratio (which is just a handy way to directly infer the flavour quantity, not quality) goes way up when you grind finer. You are then on a different spiral: you can use the extra flavour to lower the dose and / or use a smaller basket.

    Then consider the wastage: some CSr's regard it as OK to purge a single+ shot out of the grinder and then still use more coffee in the shot in a larger basket. Fine, however there other ways of doing it, and a GS3 really lets you embrace them. A "gen 1" Vario was measured by coffee geek as retaining less than 0.5g at all times, with 0.2g being common. My gen2 is a radical internal redesign which probably retains even less than my earlier gen1 (by eye, it is a lot less). I still give it a "blip" however I doubt I could taste that small amount of stale grinds in anything below a GS3. The finance side of me thinks a Vario / GS3 could pay for itself over a year or two by saving coffee, ignoring the minor fact that it also tastes a lot better when you dial it in properly.

    TampIt
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  20. #20
    TC
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    The old retention in the grinder trick...That's the second time it got me this week!

    Looking forward to seeing how many of these grinders are still operational in 10 years. The economy equation (in all likelihood irrelevant to a GS/3 owner) gets skewed if you replace failed grinders....

    Only recent GS/3 use VST baskets and mine certainly doesn't and never will.

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    +1 for the 10 cent purge.

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    Stepped versus step-less. Does that make any practical difference? Just asking.

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    Does the price of a cup of coffee come into consideration? I'm wondering whether it's better to buy a $1,000 grinder that keeps you happy for five years, or a $100 grinder that you throw out once a year.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kava View Post
    Does the price of a cup of coffee come into consideration? I'm wondering whether it's better to buy a $1,000 grinder that keeps you happy for five years, or a $100 grinder that you throw out once a year.
    Why would a $1,000 grinder keep you happy for only 5 years????????
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  25. #25
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kava View Post
    I'm wondering whether it's better to buy a $1,000 grinder that keeps you happy for five years, or a $100 grinder that you throw out once a year.
    I suspect any of the quality grinders Macap, Mazzer etc given a little regular maintenance will still be going strong in 20 years.

    $100 grinder every year? if you read through the grinder help me thread you will notice that a large majority of these help me requests are related to the cheaper end of the grinder market, constantly battling with 2nd or 3rd rate equipment is not my idea of fun.
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  26. #26
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kava View Post
    Stepped versus step-less. Does that make any practical difference? Just asking.
    Not in this thread mate...

    Has been discussed ad nauseam in many other threads though...

    Mal.

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    You would only need to use a doser at home if you want to have stale coffee. As coffee should be used perhapse within 15 min after roasting, I know some top baristas who grind directly into the basket to keep it fresh. When I see a full doser in a cafe I know that they are not interested in fresh coffee.

    Barry
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  28. #28
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    As coffee should be used perhapse within 15 min after roasting,
    When I see a full doser in a cafe I know that they are not interested in fresh coffee.

    Barry
    I'm guessing a typo in the first bit..........couldn't agree more with the second bit; one of my pet dislikes.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    You would only need to use a doser at home if you want to have stale coffee. As coffee should be used perhapse within 15 min after roasting...

    Barry
    Barry, I think you've had a Barry. You mean dosing not roasting right??

    Sorry OP or anyone else, what's wrong with the Mazzer Mini exactly?

  30. #30
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikejoc View Post
    You mean dosing not roasting right??
    You mean grinding not dosing right? :P

  31. #31
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    I had a laugh
    I think Barry has a lot to answer for

  32. #32
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Then consider the wastage: some CSr's regard it as OK to purge a single+ shot out of the grinder and then still use more coffee in the shot in a larger basket. Fine, however there other ways of doing it, and a GS3 really lets you embrace them. A "gen 1" Vario was measured by coffee geek as retaining less than 0.5g at all times, with 0.2g being common. My gen2 is a radical internal redesign which probably retains even less than my earlier gen1 (by eye, it is a lot less). I still give it a "blip" however I doubt I could taste that small amount of stale grinds in anything below a GS3.he finance side of me thinks a Vario / GS3 could pay for itself over a year or two by saving coffee,

    TampIt

    Seriously? circa $7k of grind retention in a 'year or two'?

    With a 20 gm purge @ $30/kg thats 11,666 purges, or 31.9 purges a day.

    If you're running a Macap M4D, with say 4 gms retention, that's 156 purges a day.

    only one thing I can say about that .......... and I ain't saying' it here.

    Seriously?




    ( 7,000/30 = 2333.3 kgs. x 1000 = 233,333.3 gms / 20gms = 11,666 / 365 =31.93 )
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    Sorry, I did mean to say after grinding. Some of you have read my post better than I did. I was way out.

    I have not used a grinder with a doser and cannot see when a home user would need one.

    Both my old Breville Smart grinder and my new Vario Gen 2, that I bought yesterday from Di Bartoli, have little grounds retention. They both have direct vertical drop from the burs to the portafilter.

    I also usually only put enough beans in for my current brew. Neither of these grinders have the problem of pop-corning during the grind.

    Barry

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    The old retention in the grinder trick...That's the second time it got me this week!

    Looking forward to seeing how many of these grinders are still operational in 10 years. The economy equation (in all likelihood irrelevant to a GS/3 owner) gets skewed if you replace failed grinders....

    Only recent GS/3 use VST baskets and mine certainly doesn't and never will.
    What's with the anti-TampIt comments? He's obviously passionate about his set up and it works for him, so let it be man. There's no doubt you know your stuff but shouldn't you be careful about bashing products that you don't sell and have little evidence for?
    Also I think there's nothing wrong with a snob wanting to minimise grind retention if it's possible, and it is so why not?? And minimising coffee wastage should be a matter of not just economy but also ethics so why not pursue that too, as a responsible and conscientious person?
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  35. #35
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    I agree about retention in relation to home use. At 10c a purge I'd be out 3 kg a year! I don't think that just because I earn enough to cover this I should do it.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wynton87 View Post
    What's with the anti-TampIt comments? He's obviously passionate about his set up and it works for him, so let it be man. There's no doubt you know your stuff but shouldn't you be careful about bashing products that you don't sell and have little evidence for?
    Also I think there's nothing wrong with a snob wanting to minimise grind retention if it's possible, and it is so why not?? And minimising coffee wastage should be a matter of not just economy but also ethics so why not pursue that too, as a responsible and conscientious person?
    Yep- all good.

    The issue here is that there is more than one grinder available. Some I consider to be appliances; some real grinders- built to last. We have looked at the brand and still do not believe that it represents bang for buck.

    Whilst some here would have us believe that there is only one grinder on the market, there are in fact many. When statements suggesting that retention lost over 2 years represents the cost of a GS/3, I'll call BS on it. Period.

    We can by nature be a tad OCD. If thinly veneered sales spiel makes members sell perfectly good small commercial grinders to purchase appliances for the sake of a few retained grinds, it's time to view the mirror.
    Last edited by TC; 21st March 2014 at 11:18 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    Yep- all good.

    The issue here is that there is more than one grinder available. Some I consider to be appliances; some real grinders- built to last. We have looked at the brand and still do not believe that it represents bang for buck.

    Whilst some here would have us believe that there is only one grinder on the market, there are in fact many. When statements suggesting that retention lost over 2 years represents the cost of a GS/3, I'll call BS on it. Period.

    We can by nature be a tad OCD. If thinly veneered sales spiel makes members sell perfectly good small commercial grinders to purchase appliances for the sake of a few retained grinds, it's time to view the mirror.
    All valid coffee talk, could you point me to a source of info on the durability of the baratza/malkhonig grinders vs commercial build mazzer etc grinders, I'm really interested to know more. Thanks.

  38. #38
    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    As a coffee roaster...
    I think everyone should purge at least 3 shots on every grinder for every coffee.

    As a coffee drinker...
    I think that grind retention means the first shot is hers (and the bonus is she thinks I'm a gentleman for always making her coffee first)
    ;-)

    Now... back on topic....

    coffeeNcake... for the price range you are talking about you will have no trouble finding something that suits. You really need to go and have a play with some of the options and decide which suits all your own personal criteria best. Touching and using these grinders will give you the best "feel" regardless of what is written on forums by people with their own personal or professional agendas.

    Sometimes the 'ol fashioned shopping method works best, you can then use the forum to get some feedback on a particular grinder to learn the "gotchas" (and they all have gotchas!)
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  39. #39
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Amen to that Andy

    Hi CNC
    Once again - it's horses for courses.
    I had a Macap M4 doser - very similar to your Mini. A doser does not necessarily mean stale coffee. It was very easy to grind to order. With practice, I could grind just enough to fill a double basket by almost filling two doser segments, then sweeping out the fresh retained grinds into the doser too, then sweeping everything into the pf. No mess. No retained grinds. No wastage (bar the sweeping off the I needed to do). Fresh Coffee.

    Now I have a Robur. Press the button. Fill the pf. Tamp. No mess, no wastage. Taste better? Different.

    Can I notice any difference with the conical if I don't grind a bit of retained out first?
    Through milk - no.
    As espresso? Yes.
    Is it straight to the sink? No.
    Less crema? A fraction.
    Less taste? Not sure - maybe.
    Do I bother? On my own - I grind maybe 10g before my morning doppio when the retained has been in there overnight. If another snob is in the house - make it 20g! For milk? Nah

    Back to your OP - sounds like in that price range you're actually planning to move sideways. Doser to timed doserless.
    IMHO it won't impact on the taste that much from where you are. This is the main reason to change grinders.
    Worried about your current retention? A plastic ice-cream lid wedge worked for me!
    Messy? Little metal coffee catcher in the P/F?

    Looking for different flavours? Conical. But more exe and larger.
    Still Really worried about grind retention - and want a change to conical? Get an HG One!
    Just don't volunteer for coffee duties at the school fete!

    As Andy said - they all have gotcha's
    Cheers Matt
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  40. #40
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    My Macap M5 retains some grinds in the path between the burrs and the doser.
    I don't know how much.
    However I deal with it after emptying the dosing chamber.
    I do it with a combination of pumping air through using the hopper lid, and a brush.
    18 grams in, 18 grams out.
    No need to purge before dosing.
    Only takes a few seconds.
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  41. #41
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    As I have mentioned, I have not used a doser grinder. Can someone who has used one please tell me what if any use they are to you.

    Barry

  42. #42
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    As I have mentioned, I have not used a doser grinder. Can someone who has used one please tell me what if any use they are to you.

    Barry
    They sound cool and let me buy ex-cafe gear cheap :P Besides that, sod all...

  43. #43
    Senior Member chokkidog's Avatar
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    Domestic dosers, at least the ones I know of, don't have autofill, so you're in the clear there.

    When I had the Macap doser at work I'd just turn it on and go clack, clack, clack on the lever until
    I had enough coffee. It was easy to work out when to turn it off so as not to have an 'overrun' of grinds.

    Dosers also tend to break up clumps, if clumps are a worry to you.......

    Dosers are also much cheaper than their digital timer counterparts, but you probably already know that.

    On the downside, for me..... clack, clack, clack...... and the clack, clack, clack and the need to brush out the doser chamber
    so there are no retained grinds....'wince' ;-D

    Some also tend to walk around the bench a bit when you go clack, clack, clack! :-D

    p.s. Would I buy one again? No.

  44. #44
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    As I have mentioned, I have not used a doser grinder. Can someone who has used one please tell me what if any use they are to you.

    Barry
    I never used mine as designed (ie fill to the top and then get a measured dose) but they do have the advantage that if you do overfill, you can sweep the grounds back into the doser for the next brew, rather than having to sweep them straight into the knock-box. Not so good if you're 'coffee retentive' though!

    I also found it much less messy than many 'smaller' touch style grinders, which seem to spray everywhere. The doser catches the high speed, charged grinds, then it is just a gentle sweep into the p/f.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    The old retention in the grinder trick...That's the second time it got me this week!

    Looking forward to seeing how many of these grinders are still operational in 10 years. The economy equation (in all likelihood irrelevant to a GS/3 owner) gets skewed if you replace failed grinders....

    Only recent GS/3 use VST baskets and mine certainly doesn't and never will.
    Hi Talk_Coffee

    "how many of these grinders are still operational in 10 years.": Coming from a family of engineers and having stripped, cleaned and calibrated virtually every commercial grinder available in Oz since 1970, I would divide that issue into 3 parts. Firstly, the frame and basic mechanism (bearings, motor, shafts etc) has to be soundly engineered so it does not wear prematurely. Secondly the control system should be strong enough to take the treatment its intended market would be likely to provide it. Thirdly the burr replacement cost and timing needs to be considered.

    The Vario's Ditting Swiss frame and basic mechanism is as good as the best I have seen. The control system (i.e. the grind adjustment levers, switches et al) are nowhere near as strong as most commercial units. Should be good enough to last a long time at home, where no-one slams them around. The commercial burrs I know best are the SJ. Most cafes have to pay over $350 (a $500 charge is not unheard of in WA) to replace burrs which are actually barely above a mild steel grade and would be unlikely to go for 2 years at home before the performance drops off markedly (3 months or less in most cafes I know of). The Vario has long lasting ceramic burrs which have been tested as going three times longer than Mahlkonig's "standard steel burrs" (which are a massively higher grade steel than the SJ ones). For home users I doubt it would be possible to wear them over a ten year period (if ever). So if a Vario lasted (say) three years at home it would beat on SJ on burr life alone as long as you kept gorillas away from the controls...

    "Only recent GS/3 use VST baskets and mine certainly doesn't and never will.": as far as I know, the GS3 always came with LM branded ridged baskets made by VST. It was LM which paid for the VST research and my earlier GS3 definitely had VST baskets. Unless you wish to run a standard / aftermarket basket in it, I suspect you are running the VST's the GS3 was designed around. Segue to the NSW police car they trashed using 91RON instead of 98RON. Enough said.

    TampIt

  46. #46
    TC
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    All good Tampit,

    As I recall, Breville tested theirs to a 10 year duty cycle. Many members are experiencing failure much earlier. Some have written here about Precisio failures too. Failures of the commercials? Rare in CS experience...

    I suspect that time rather than what you see inside one of these small grinders will provide us with the key answers.

    My original LM baskets (ditched) don't have that much in common with contemporary VST baskets (also ditched) and FWIW, the ones I use are in no way 91RON. It's ridiculous to suggest that they are going to trash the machine, nor do they deliver inferior coffee.
    Last edited by TC; 22nd March 2014 at 07:08 AM.

  47. #47
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    Thanks folks for your information about doser grinders.

    Possibly the best coffee near me in Artarmon is brewed by Dan, Toby and Matt at the Salvage Speciality Coffee Bar. They grind on demand without a doser. They want the freshest coffee.

    So often I have seen in cafes with much lower output a full grinder doser of ageing grounds.

    I expect that the results we get with the coffee and equipment we use depends on our knowledge and skill.

    Barry
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  48. #48
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Segue to the NSW police car they trashed using 91RON instead of 98RON. Enough said.
    Not enough for me to see the relevance, at least...

  49. #49
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    Had an opportunity to "investigate" grind retention in my Compak K3P this afternoon.

    I had seriously under roasted a batch of beans, which I tried in the hope they were drinkable (with no success). On the upside, the grinds are considerably lighter in colour than usual - so they provide a great indicator for when the old grinds are purged.

    First I ran the grinder until empty and no more grinds came out.

    I then added some fresh commercial beans.

    I ran the grinder again, into my grindenstein, which I had previously placed on the scale before zeroing it.

    I counted approximately 2 seconds before the grinds visibly changed from tan to brown.
    The grinds purged were 2g +-0.5g

    I purged a further 2s to ensure none of the old grinds were mixed in (even though none were visible), and then poured a very nice triple shot

    Having removed the K3P burrs a few times for cleaning, I know there will be old grinds still in there, but I'm convinced enough that the "contamination" is minimal after a few seconds purge. I can live with the few grams of waste.

  50. #50
    Senior Member mwcalder05's Avatar
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    I use a doser Mini Mazzer and just with a few pokes with the brush there is 0.1g grind retention. Sometimes you just have to accept that there is some 'hard' work involved in making perfect espresso at home and getting what you want.

    M



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