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Thread: Question about upgrading grinder

  1. #1
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    Question about upgrading grinder

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi All,

    I'm new here. I have learnt quite a lot from reading the threads on here so thank you to all who contribute.

    I have a bit of a quandary. I currently own a Breville 800ES professional coffee machine and a Sunbeam handheld electric conical burr grinder (sorry can't remember the model number). My birthday is coming up and I'm thinking of upgrading the grinder to a Breville smart grinder but I'm not sure if it would be worth it. I can make a pretty decent cup of coffee with the current set up but it can be difficult to do it on a consistent basis. I think my current grinder grinds fine enough for espresso but I still find it hard to get that ideal 30ml in around 30 seconds pour and a nice orange-brown crema. I have the grinder set on the 5th finest setting. When I try the 4th finest setting I get over extraction and burn the coffee so I feel like I need a setting in between those 2. Now I've read on here that a few other people have had a bit of trouble with the fast pour on the 800ES so I'm wondering if upgrading my grinder is going to make any difference?

    I have already changed the baskets to single walled baskets (tried both the breville ones and the krups and prefer the breville) and I use fresh roasted beans from an espresso bar which I grind on demand.

    Would appreciate any tips you guys could give me.

    Cheers

  2. #2
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome

    The only tip here is to upgrade your grinder. I'm sure if you bought the Smart Grinder it will make a difference and those who own one have given good reports. If your budget can take it, think of aiming a bit higher to, say, a Compak K3 or a Rancilio Rocky for around $500 - or this one: http://coffeesnobs.com.au/coffee-har...melbourne.html

    Happy birthday

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response flynnaus. Hmm I doubt I'll be able to push the budget that high so I think the smart grinder is the best I can do at the moment. I really hope it does make a difference. I feel like I'm wasting good coffee with the current set up. The fast pour is killing me!

  4. #4
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    Beandrinking,

    I have both a Breville Smart Grinder and a Mahlkonig Vario. The vario may last longer, especially the ceramic burrs. It also has many more adjustments of fineness.

    They both have various advantages. However I cannot find any difference in the quality of the coffee produced.

    You can get a Smart Grinder for about $200, which is about 1/3 of the cost of the Vario. The SG should give you a great improvement in the quality af coffee from your machine at a reasonable cost.

    Barry
    Last edited by Barry_Duncan; 28th March 2014 at 05:00 PM.

  5. #5
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    How do you measure your beans?

    An alternative to a finer grind is to add more beans.
    Can you squeeze in another 10?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barry_Duncan View Post
    Beandrinking,

    I have both a Breville Smart Grinder and a Mahlkonig Vario. The vario may last longer, especially the ceramic burrs. It also has many more adjustments of fineness.

    They both have various advantages. However I cannot find any difference in the quality of the coffee produced.

    You can get a Smart Grinder for about $200, which is about 1/3 of the cost of the Vario. The SG should give you a great improvement in the quality af coffee from your machine at a reasonable cost.

    Barry
    Hi Barry

    If you are using a naked / VST you need to grind at least 20% finer (I use around macro 1, micro C to H on my gen2). The smart grinder cannot get anywhere near that fine a grind without introducing far too many unwanted fines: ends result is an undrinkable, bitter shot. At "more normal" espresso grinds they are a lot closer, however any common grinder can achieve that kind of grind without any probs.


    TampIt

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beandrinking View Post
    Hi All,

    I'm new here. I have learnt quite a lot from reading the threads on here so thank you to all who contribute.

    I have a bit of a quandary. I currently own a Breville 800ES professional coffee machine and a Sunbeam handheld electric conical burr grinder (sorry can't remember the model number). My birthday is coming up and I'm thinking of upgrading the grinder to a Breville smart grinder but I'm not sure if it would be worth it. I can make a pretty decent cup of coffee with the current set up but it can be difficult to do it on a consistent basis. I think my current grinder grinds fine enough for espresso but I still find it hard to get that ideal 30ml in around 30 seconds pour and a nice orange-brown crema. I have the grinder set on the 5th finest setting. When I try the 4th finest setting I get over extraction and burn the coffee so I feel like I need a setting in between those 2. Now I've read on here that a few other people have had a bit of trouble with the fast pour on the 800ES so I'm wondering if upgrading my grinder is going to make any difference?

    I have already changed the baskets to single walled baskets (tried both the breville ones and the krups and prefer the breville) and I use fresh roasted beans from an espresso bar which I grind on demand.

    Would appreciate any tips you guys could give me.

    Cheers
    Hi beandrinking

    +1 to flynaus. Improving your grinder will, at this time, make a bigger difference than anything else you can spend your readies on. Garbage in, garbage out.

    In the meantime, 30 seconds is probably a little long with that setup. I would try a range from 22 seconds onwards and see what happens.

    Have fun experimenting.

    Tampit

  8. #8
    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome to the forum. I would strongly recommend you consider purchasing a used Mazzer Mini. These are far superior to Rocky (having owned both) and you can get a good used one on Ebay or Gumtree with manual doser for around $350; you just need to be patient but they do come up quite regularly. They last forever and the grind quality and taste in the cup is outstanding. Good luck

  9. #9
    TOK
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    We are not privy to your espresso making technique...are you perhaps "under dosing" or not understanding the relationship between grind / dose and tamp.

    Going only on the basis of what you advised in post #1, and my question regarding your (hitherto unknown) technique, I would at this stage have to go along with TG's idea (post #5) and recommend you "up dose" a little (or a lot) and tamp a little harder, on your number 5 setting.

    You will benefit in the long run from some kind of upgrade, however it may be that it is not really the grinder (or its steps) that is "at fault" in the immediate sense.

    That would be my first observation from the information you have given us.

  10. #10
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    I saw this line
    Sunbeam handheld electric conical burr grinder
    Beandrinking has a good coffee machine which should be done justice with a better quality grinder and why not treat him/herself to a nice birthday present.

  11. #11
    TOK
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    Couldn't agree more and in the meantime any improvement in his understanding and expertise to improve what he is getting out of the current grinder, will result in even better coffee with any new grinder he gets for his birthday

  12. #12
    Senior Member Erimus's Avatar
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    Before upgrading I think you should still explore dosing and tamping. I was pretty much where you are grinding finer and then losing it and then I happened to come across this article on the weiss-distribution-technique WDT for short and all of sudden a sweet shot after many bitter shots. I'm using the BES870 and the pressure gauge told me everything was correct, crema was there, just tasted bitter whatever I did. The thing it taught me was that I wasn't packing the basket evenly or tamping hard enough.

    /www.home-barista.com/weiss-distribution-technique.html

  13. #13
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    Wow, thank you all for your input.

    After reading your posts, contacting Breville customer support, and experimenting with my dosing, I have decided to persevere with my current set up for a little while longer, while keeping my eyes out for a better grinder. I have increased the amount of grinds I use and have noticed I get a bit better results. I have also dialed back my expectations following the feedback I have received here and also from Breville. I'm now aiming for a pour of 30ml in around 20-25 seconds. Not ideal, but it will have to do for now.

    Thanks again for your advice!

  14. #14
    Senior Member ozscott's Avatar
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    Mate I would wait until you can splash for a Rocky or used Mazzer or similar.

    Cheers



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