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Thread: Sub $300 Grinder

  1. #1
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    Sub $300 Grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the first post asking something that has probably been asked a million times - I tried searching and couldn't find anything relatively recent on the issue.

    I'm looking for an electric grinder under $300. I have found the Breville Smart Grinder and Baratza Virtuoso to be the best looking options (Baratza seem to say that the virtuoso is basically their preciso with less adjustment). I currently only brew using a Toddy cold brew system but I will also be using this to brew Aeropress and potentially espresso in the future.

    Any thoughts on other options or whether or not one of those two would be good would be very appreciated! I'm leaning towards the Baratza as it seems to have a wider grind size range/better rep.

    Also any opinions on a good place to buy those would be fantastic.... I'm in Brunswick, Melbourne. I don't mind doing it by post but local is preferred as I can take it in should anything go wrong.

    Thanks so much!!!

  2. #2
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    I have found a fiorenzato f5 (i think, maybe f4) for 250 second hand. Would this be preferable to the virtuoso? I have heard that conical burrs are superior????

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    That F5/F4 will be great if you have the bench space.

    Do not get the Virtuoso if you ever plan to brew espresso (unless you feel like buying another >$300 grinder to do it); it does not provide sufficiently small step sizes.

    I've had a Baratza Preciso and a Compak K6 and I would say that this (middle) section of the market the issue of conical vs flat-burr is a non-issue; there are much more important considerations. At the higher end it might figure in, but then it's more a personal preference thing than anything else (there is no clear "best")

  4. #4
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    I've had a smart grinder for 3 years and it's fine. Looks good, not much mess and makes good coffee. But I only do espresso with it. Around $250 at the good guys.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Be hard to recommend that over a quality commercial for the same price though...

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    If you are brewing using the Toddy System then I suspect you're grinding half a kg at a time. I've no experience with these smaller home grinders being discussed so perhaps those who do can chime in but I would suspect grinding a half kg at a time would cause the burrs to get quite warm and degrade the coffee in the process. This was an issue for me doing my large CP batches and as a result I ended up acquiring a Grindmaster 875 commercial bag grinder which I got virtually brand new as a demo for less than your stated top dollar. I wouldn't use it for espresso or Turkish coffee grinding but for everything else it works a treat.

    You can burn through grinders/burrs quickly using the small home grinders, or even smaller commercial espresso grinders, for doing Toddy sized batches regularly. The burrs on the Grindmaster 875 are rated for over 13,500kg. Enough to last even someone like me the rest of my life.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Be hard to recommend that over a quality commercial for the same price though...
    but I've used a smart grinder. can't really recommend something I haven't used.

  8. #8
    TC
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    Agreed with Java. Can't recommend anything under $300 if you're planning a 500g batch grind.

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    Having read some more, and thanks heaps for the responses in this, I'm leaning towards the fiorenzato. Seems like a lot more grinder for the money.... I'll only be rarely doing a full 450g batch in my toddy - will mostly stick to doing 250g as that's the size of most retail coffee packs.

    Seems as though up until a fairly high pricepoint/quality level, the conical/burr thing is largely irrelevant and overall quality is a bigger issue... true?

  10. #10
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    I'm going to check out and probably buy the fiorenzato tomorrow - is there anything in particular to look out for? He said he is happy to demonstrate so I might just try and see a fine, medium and course grind setting from it... He is pretty vague with details so I'm a little sceptical and keen to check it out thoroughly....

    Thanks!

  11. #11
    Senior Member Dragunov21's Avatar
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    Not a great deal to go wrong with them I suspect; worst-case (if it runs happily and smoothly) is that it might have crapped out burrs, but you won't know without pulling some shots on it and they're not expensive, ~70 bucks?

    Dunno what details you were after but there's every chance he just doesn't know much about it besides "it's a grinder".

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragunov21 View Post
    Not a great deal to go wrong with them I suspect; worst-case (if it runs happily and smoothly) is that it might have crapped out burrs, but you won't know without pulling some shots on it and they're not expensive, ~70 bucks?

    Dunno what details you were after but there's every chance he just doesn't know much about it besides "it's a grinder".
    Main detail I was after was just what model it actually is. I'm just guessing at this point..... I guess all will be revealed when I see it.



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