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Thread: Grinder upgrade from Baratza Preciso

  1. #1
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    Grinder upgrade from Baratza Preciso

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    So my Baratza Preciso has finally kicked the bucket and I'm now looking at upgrading. The Baratza was around the $330 mark when I got it but for the next grinder I'd be willing to spend about double that, but still keeping costs down is a consideration.

    The main uses for my grinder are:
    - Paired with Rancilio Silvia for espresso and milk based drinks (this will be the main use) - although I also wouldn't mind upgrading the Silvia to something better in a year or so
    - Filter methods (V60 etc)
    - AeroPress occasionally
    - Making batches of cold press (basically grinding 250g at a time into a vessel of some sort to use for CP)

    I'd love to get a Mazzer Mini Electronic but since they're pushing the $1k level, I don't want to spend that much.

    I've been looking at two main options:
    - Anfim KS - $629 + shipping on CoffeeParts
    - Macap M2M - $510 on Coffee-A-Roma

    I like the fact that they're both doserless and grind on demand. I wouldn't mind a Mazzer Mini Manual/Anfim Best/Macap M4 but I feel like the doser would not work well for my set up (only 1-2 machine based coffees a day, filter coffees, then sometimes big continuous grinds for CP). Plus with these grinders I'd be paying more than I hoped.

    Do you guys have any suggestions or any other options I should be looking at?

  2. #2
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    Hi LMMC good options...

    My top 2 picks for doserless grinders
    Compak K3 touch
    Macap m2m

    I just picked up a mini Mazzer manual and loving it but I like the doser for how I use it- I only make 2/4 per session.
    I prefer better these than the Anfim (looks). The Compak k3 is popular here.




    Check all sponsors there is some great prices.

  3. #3
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    Hi mmmcoffee
    I have noticed that the Compak K3 gets a lot of good reports here, but not a lot of info is available on the Anfims. Apart from the looks, is there anything else that made you choose the Mazzer mini over it? And did you also consider the Macap M4?

    I love the idea that the Mazzer is built like a tank and will last for ages but I'm just worried it will be hard to use for filter coffee. Do you brew coffee using anything else apart from an espresso machine?

  4. #4
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    I moved from Preciso to a K3 as my espresso grinder a few months back. Very happy with that decision. K3 is a fair bit bigger and more robust. Still use the preciso for coarser grinds (after replacing the burrs). K3 is geat but I imagine the Macap is just as good.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMMC View Post
    So my Baratza Preciso has finally kicked the bucket and I'm now looking at upgrading. The Baratza was around the $330 mark when I got it but for the next grinder I'd be willing to spend about double that, but still keeping costs down is a consideration.

    The main uses for my grinder are:
    - Paired with Rancilio Silvia for espresso and milk based drinks (this will be the main use) - although I also wouldn't mind upgrading the Silvia to something better in a year or so
    - Filter methods (V60 etc)
    - AeroPress occasionally
    - Making batches of cold press (basically grinding 250g at a time into a vessel of some sort to use for CP)

    I'd love to get a Mazzer Mini Electronic but since they're pushing the $1k level, I don't want to spend that much.

    I've been looking at two main options:
    - Anfim KS - $629 + shipping on CoffeeParts
    - Macap M2M - $510 on Coffee-A-Roma

    I like the fact that they're both doserless and grind on demand. I wouldn't mind a Mazzer Mini Manual/Anfim Best/Macap M4 but I feel like the doser would not work well for my set up (only 1-2 machine based coffees a day, filter coffees, then sometimes big continuous grinds for CP). Plus with these grinders I'd be paying more than I hoped.

    Do you guys have any suggestions or any other options I should be looking at?
    I have a Compak K3Touch and it's been pretty great for me. Easy to clean, and I've had no issues at all.

    The one annoying "feature" is the burr carrier is not spring loaded so there is some play in the adjustment mechanism. Once the motor is running this slack is taken up. There are a few things you can do but I've never bothered (as you can tell it doesn't annoy me much).

    However this is the only minor issue, and all the reviews I have read place the quality of the grind equal to a mazzer mini. I bought my Compak at less than half the price of a mazzer mini so I really can't complain.

    A friend of mine has the mazzer mini and it's definitely a bit nicer having the spring loaded burr carrier but the doser wasn't ideal for me.

    Cheers

  6. #6
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    Hi LMMC I brew Aeropress with my Mazzer too, no dramas, and going to Cold Drip soon, there is a small screw if removed make grinding course real easy. So no problems my end. Just a beautiful machine built like a tank.
    The Anfim (there's one for sale in the for sale section right now) are a great unit. The Compak doser does swipe clean well, but as I mentioned I love the Mazzer.

    The reality however with all these choices are very very similar, each being almost as good as each other, but just depends in the look you like. I got the black Mazzer and love the black and polished aluminium together.

    I'm sure out of those options, whichever one you choose you will be happy.

  7. #7
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    Hi, this is my first post, after joining CS today.
    I bought a Baratza Preciso a few of weeks ago (I'm very impressed!), after spending just as much time looking at high quality burr grinders under $1k, as I did looking for a home espresso machine. For the latter, my new Rancilio Silvia V4 arrives next week (yay!). Re grinders, the weblink below is a review by 'Coffee Geek' (apologies if they are a 'rival' group!) on the Preciso. As you will see, they regard it as the best in its class, even finding it comparable in build and grind quality to machines over $1k. CoffeeGeek - Baratza Virtuoso Preciso

    How old is/was your Preciso? You might find that the latest incarnation is worth looking into, and even saving yourself some $$$.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMMC View Post
    So my Baratza Preciso has finally kicked the bucket and I'm now looking at upgrading. The Baratza was around the $330 mark when I got it but for the next grinder I'd be willing to spend about double that, but still keeping costs down is a consideration.

    The main uses for my grinder are:
    - Paired with Rancilio Silvia for espresso and milk based drinks (this will be the main use) - although I also wouldn't mind upgrading the Silvia to something better in a year or so
    - Filter methods (V60 etc)
    - AeroPress occasionally
    - Making batches of cold press (basically grinding 250g at a time into a vessel of some sort to use for CP)

    I'd love to get a Mazzer Mini Electronic but since they're pushing the $1k level, I don't want to spend that much.

    I've been looking at two main options:
    - Anfim KS - $629 + shipping on CoffeeParts
    - Macap M2M - $510 on Coffee-A-Roma

    I like the fact that they're both doserless and grind on demand. I wouldn't mind a Mazzer Mini Manual/Anfim Best/Macap M4 but I feel like the doser would not work well for my set up (only 1-2 machine based coffees a day, filter coffees, then sometimes big continuous grinds for CP). Plus with these grinders I'd be paying more than I hoped.

    Do you guys have any suggestions or any other options I should be looking at?
    Hi LMMC

    Try a Mahlkonig Vario gen2 (Baratza are parallel imported Mahlkonigs in Oz). About $700, and puts all the earlier mentioned to shame as a home espresso grinder. Oh, and despite some CS'r's calling it a "domestic appliance", it is a precision Swiss made (Ditting) grinder which has a really solid mechanism. One of my gen2's has just clocked up over 100Kg and the burrs are still unmarked. Try that with most other grinders... including the ones mentioned.

    Good news: the "standard espresso ceramic burrs" outlast even the Mahlkonig steel burrs by a factor of three (their figures). Quiet, compact and SWMBO friendly. Minimal grind retention and bench mess. Minimal heating of grounds during constant use (much less than even the early Preciso). Probably the narrowest particle spread of ANY grinder less than $3K out there (certainly less than all the ones I know, which must be well over 50 different models by now, mostly commercial). If you use VST baskets, they require a finer than standard espresso grind: that is where the Vario truly excels. The timer is dead accurate as long as you do not alter the grind (less than 0.1g variation per 15g dose over a 250g batch of coffee).

    Bad news: Your Preciso is probably better on coarse grinds. Also, like all other grinders I know, the Vario takes over a double basket (i.e. 15g) to adjust to extreme grind changes. Dosing direct into the p/f (how else?) takes two hands: you need to press "start", it has no "push p/f in to kickstart it" function. As you make the grind coarser the grinder throughput goes up and so does the amount of coffee. 15g at timer setting Macro 1 Micro C (VST optimal for some fresh medium SO roasts) is probably 30g by the time you are at Macro 3 Micro W (at the coarse end of espresso, mainly for older dark roasts).

    Quirks: must be running to adjust the grind (just like your Preciso). Must be cleaned every 500g as when the chamber gets full (about 750g) the sound changes and the grind setting goes off planet. At least one long squirt of dry compressed air* is all it needs to clean it out again - a five minute job at worst.

    compressed air*: For those CSr's who keep saying compressed air is not good for grinders, I have 40+ years of experience which disagrees with them. The Vario gen2 has no parts that sane use of compressed air will affect. Of course, you can spend 15 minutes digging around with a brush instead: your call. FYI, it will not be as clean as going with compressed air... The only other option is using something like Grindz, which I feel is a waste of time, energy, materials and effort to achieve a similar end result.

    Doser observation: for home use, unless you prefer stale coffee, I would avoid them like the plague they are... No doser I have ever used comes close to the precision of the Vario timer in terms of weight consistency.

    The other issue:
    Considering I know of no grinder that actually excels at both espresso and Filter/AeroPress grinds, get something else for the coarser grinds*. Swapping between such extremes only leads to wasted coffee and extra frustration in getting your espresso's dialled in properly.

    coarser grinds*: A new Mahlkonig Preciso? I would consider it as the newer ones have had a major tech upgrade about a year ago. It remains the best "coarse grind grinder" I have used. The fine range of adjustments are also especially useful to dial in a cantankerous AeroPress.

    Have fun with whatever toy you embrace.

    TampIt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi LMMC

    Try a Mahlkonig Vario gen2 (Baratza are parallel imported Mahlkonigs in Oz). ...

    ...

    coarser grinds*: A new Mahlkonig Preciso?

    TampIt
    Yeah I have seen really positive reviews towards the Vario, I guess I'm just a bit disappointed in the longevity of my Preciso (approx 18 months) I feel the solution is getting something more 'commercial'. That's why I've been looking at the more tried and tested grinders like the Mazzers, Compaks etc.

    I have limited knowledge about what people do if they grind for both espresso and filter. But is it a common thing to have two separate grinders? I'm guessing the the filter grinder doesn't have to be as 'good'. At least my understanding of it is the grind in a filter coffee is not as critical (although important) as that in an espresso

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMMC View Post
    ... I guess I'm just a bit disappointed in the longevity of my Preciso (approx 18 months)...
    So, what happened to the Preciso? How often did you use it?

    I have one and it's fine...

    Gonzo

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzob View Post
    So, what happened to the Preciso? How often did you use it?

    I have one and it's fine...

    Gonzo
    Hi Gonzo

    +1. That was exactly what I would like to know! 18 months: about 1/3 of the life the Preciso owners I know have obtained. Usually they had a "friend" try to adjust it while it was not running: exit the adjustors (just like the manual says...).

    TampIt

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonzob View Post
    So, what happened to the Preciso? How often did you use it?

    I have one and it's fine...

    Gonzo
    I had it for about 18 months with no problems at all. One day though I went to use it and the motor was audibly running but the burrs were not moving. I replaced the main plastic drive gear (which I discovered the plastic had worn away), but that only gave it life for about a day. It is perhaps repairable but it would be costly to repair, relative to the price of the grinder itself.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LMMC View Post
    I had it for about 18 months with no problems at all. One day though I went to use it and the motor was audibly running but the burrs were not moving. I replaced the main plastic drive gear (which I discovered the plastic had worn away), but that only gave it life for about a day. It is perhaps repairable but it would be costly to repair, relative to the price of the grinder itself.
    Hi LMMC

    A little history as I understand it. Lyle at Baratza designed the original Preciso at about the time Mahlkonig and Ditting were merging. He got one of them (Ditting?) to produce it as strictly a domestic grinder with a lot of fine adjustments. Later he designed the Vario and then the Forte (with Ditting help as a "kind of commercial gen1.5 Vario" with a solid frame etc. etc.). The early Preciso's had a few known faults and every single one of them had an easy fix from Baratza direct. I was in the US and the coffee geek site was full of faults / fixes / praise for their service at that time. Their service reputation is so good that most other companies would love to swap.

    Meanwhile, Mahlkonig marketed the various Baratza's under their own name outside the US. Some people say they are identical except for the badge, others say the Mahlkonig is a heavier duty version. I only saw the original Varios together once, the Mahlkonig was about half a kilo heavier than the Baratza however it looked identical... other models: no idea.

    After the Mahlkonig / Ditting merger, Ditting did a complete redesign of the Vario (the gen2), which is virtually indestructible. They also did a different Preciso (I only seen the Mahlkonig "new Preciso", no idea what the current Baratza Preciso is like, probably the same) and it is also a lot more heavy duty.

    I am surprised about the plastic part problem, the last time I heard about that was quite a while back (3+ years?). Perhaps yours had been sitting around for a while before sale (another reason to avoid parallel imports like the plague they are). as far as I know, that part was replaced with a stronger one "way back when". See CG site for details if you wish.

    If you contact Lyle directly, your Preciso will be better than new in a few days. There is your coarse grinder prob solved for a minor freight charge (if there is any charge at all).


    Hope this helps


    TampIt

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    Jump in and bought a Baratza Forte for our coffee cart and it works like a charm been using now for about 3mths. It doses exactly the same weight every single time (18g @ 7.3 sec). It was a bit on the pricey side just on $1000.00 but it cranks out the coffee really well. Noticed the difference on the taste and the crema of the shot straight away. It came with 2 sets of burs ceramic and steel, currently using the ceramic ones.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi LMMC


    If you contact Lyle directly, your Preciso will be better than new in a few days. There is your coarse grinder prob solved for a minor freight charge (if there is any charge at all).


    Hope this helps


    TampIt
    Thanks so for your input here TampIt. Apologies for not replying sooner, I've been flat out.

    After a bit of a Google I couldn't actually find the contact details for Lyle from Baratza. You wouldn't happen to have any guidance on finding his details would you? Even by PM if so. I appreciate your advice here and hopefully it leads to a solution to my grinder problem.

    My grinder has been out of action a little while now so I really want to get this grinder issue sorted asap.

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    pm sent
    TampIt



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