Newbie seeking <$500 grinder advice
Hi everyone. It seems I'm entering a whole new world as I've been reading through the various coffee snob threads; so much to learn! This is my first post so bear with me if I'm not following the 'rules' within my post. Before I ask my proper question - is there a thread somewhere that explains coffee machine and grinder terminology, acronyms and abbreviations?
I've just bought my first proper (domestic) coffee machine - a Sunbeam EM7000 for $399 at Harvey Norman's. The ones with coloured sides are on special although the silver/stainless steel (?) version is still $949. I know not everyone will agree with my choice but it seemed to good an offer to miss, especially for a newbie.
From what I've read the choice of grinder (and beans) makes a big difference to the final product. Harvey's suggested I get Sunbeam grinder (has a belt drive apparently, which makes it sound like a record turntable!) for $279. However, reading through the various threads it seems that the Breville Smart Grinder BCG820 is a better product for similar price. But other threads are suggesting a K3 or M2M as a better buy for people new to the home barista game. It seems there are two K3 models which is a bit confusing. I've got no idea where in Perth to physically check out the K3 and M2M whereas the Sunbeam and Breville are everywhere. My guess is that we will make 4-6 coffees a day (expresso, cappuccino, flat white or long macs) unless entertaining. I would like to pay less than $500.
Thanks in advance.
The two K3 models are the 'Touch' (K3T) and the 'Push' (K3P). The functional difference is that the 'Touch' can be set up to dispense a 'timed' dose. I own a K3T and have never bothered using this function, but the very recent generation of the K3T apparently makes the use of the timed dose a bit more practical. I also own an M2M, which looks like the K3T's younger cousin, smaller in size and feels slightly lighter in construction. Unlike the K3s, it is a stepped grinder, which means that there are discrete 'fineness' settings....so easier to switch between settings for espresso / plunger etc. The K3 and M2M should comfortably outperform and outlast the other grinders that you mention, and the M2M and K3 Push should be available < $500. Site sponsor Dimattina sell the K3s I think, and are in Perth.
+1 for the K3Push. Great machine within your budget.
Okay, thanks Barry & Graeme. So far 2 votes for the K3. How does the Rancilio Rocky stack up against the K3 push? I noticed a few posts recommending the Rocky and it looks like it could be less expensive.
I had a Rocky that was 3 or 4 years old along side a K3P year old and new M2M several months ago.
Originally Posted by Tonester
The Rocky seemed primitive and clunky, not sure how much newer models have improved? But it was a grinder I was glad to see the back of, I would get a Breville smart grinder again before a Rocky, way way more bang for your buck, although probably not in terms of longevity.
If you want small, the M2M is a pretty solid little pocket rocket. Needs at least a 1/4 to 1/3 beans full hopper when grinding for espresso for consistency. Stepped adjustment makes for less adjustable grind but this is very easy to compensate by adjusting dose slightly. I really dont miss the adjustment on the K3, although I read newer models may be improved? Still, I think stepped adjustment having known fixed setting can make day to day life a bit easier...one less thing to have to fiddle with with.
The Baratza preciso is another option, well within your budget and sold in Perth by a certain coffee roaster, but I believe the K3 would probably be your best bet.
I can suggest the Isomac Granmacinino. I got one for $200 2nd hand. ~$360(?) new. Well within your budget, shiny!, and compact (which I like).
It dos retain a teaspoon of grinds though. Stepped, but close enough steps that you can juggle with dose or tamp. Grinds on demand.
My mate got the cheaper ~$200 new 'Professionale'. Don't think they're much different though. Bit more plastic.
Where in Perth??? Dunno.
Having said all this, my next upgrade may be to a Compak, which has been suggested here already. ... So the Isomac might be a budget option for you only.
There is a K3 in the for sale section.
+1 for K3, although I owned a M4D, if you can stretch a little bit, Get M4 Doser, much better grind & consistency. My brother (in LA) just ordered one at US$525 from Chris Coffee. Here is around $700.