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Thread: Doser vs Doserless for Home Use (Mazzer Mini vs. K3 & M2M)

  1. #1
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    Doser vs Doserless for Home Use (Mazzer Mini vs. K3 & M2M)

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

    After many years of faithful service, I have decided to retire my Breville grinder and upgrade.

    I have done a little research and looked into the Compak K3, Macap M2M and Mazzer Mini. I very much like the idea of the Mazzer Mini- reliable, fine grind adjustment, high build quality and exceptional performance. But... I don't like the doser. I just don't think the volume of coffees made in my house (approx. 4 per day, sometimes 1-2 more)warrants one. But then again, the Mazzer seems to be the standard by which all of grinders in this price range are judged.

    So, those who have a Mini and use it for regular domestic use- what's the doser like? Do you find it wastes coffee or retains it? How is the upkeep of it? Or am I splitting hairs..?!


    Many thanks for your guidance!

  2. #2
    TOK
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenplastic View Post
    .....looked into the Compak K3, Macap M2M and Mazzer Mini. I very much like the idea of the Mazzer Mini- reliable, fine grind adjustment, high build quality and exceptional performance....the Mazzer seems to be the standard by which all of grinders in this price range are judged....!
    A good trio of grinders, and replying to some of your points:

    The mazzer is no more reliable than the Macap or the Compak. All are long lived and extremely reliable.

    The mazzer has no more "...exceptional performance..." than the other two.... all perform as intended.

    And I realise I am being being picky, but in regard to Mazzer being a "standard....." only if we believe the hype that has been circulated around the net for a few years and which is now outdated (eg a few years ago there was a big gap in availability between low end grinders and the Mini.....not so now. You have to be able to interpret what's written in the www). That said there is no doubt Mazzer is a top quality manufacturer of cafe series grinders. The Mini is their small cafe or office offering. But there are other manufacturers that also build top quality grinders and you mentioned Macap and Compak above. If you line up grinders from all three manufacturers, that compete in the same size / design class, is mazzer any "better" than the others in the field of intended use (cafes)?

    And lastly to your question. Given the three models mentioned (note the different price brackets) no I wouldnt waste my time paying considerably more for the mini doser for your home use (besides, if you were comparing all in doser models, I would take the Macap over the Mazzer because I like their dosers better). However given the three mentioned, my pick would be to make your choice between the Macap and the Compak. Both excellent, reliable, long lived grinders from good name manufacturers. They wont last any less or perform any worse than the mazzer.....

    Hope that helps.
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    Thanks for your reply TOK.

    So essentially, the extra money for the Mini isn't worth it for my use? Would I just be paying for the doser?

    How about the dose adjustment on the M2M/K3? I like the idea of not being restricted by notches as I have had trouble with dialling in grinds with my current grinder- one notch down is too course, one notch above is too fine.

    Are there any other models that you could recommend?
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  4. #4
    TOK
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    The Macap and Compak are both very well designed doser less (grind on demand grinders). Its whatever you want to get used to. I use a macap doser at home, however both my sons have doser less (grind on demand) grinders and when I visit them I use their grinders. Coincidentally, one has the macap, and the other has the compak. Both excellent grinders. As I said, its whatever you (want) to get used to. The doser can be used (and i do) as a "grind on demand" by simply grinding into the doser and straight back out, however the doser less grinders are far easier to clean and in home use, more straight forward to use.

    I gather you mean "grind" adjustment. All are available as stepless or micrometric adjusters. however I personally prefer a good stepped grinder. there is a lot of hoo haa (again, outdated info on the net OR info concerning cheap end stepped grinders NOT modern cafe type grinders) written on the www about stepped adjusters. When you arrive at this level of grinders there is nothing wrong with stepped adjusters...the steps are small, and if necessary you adjust your technique slightly (as all good baristas should be doing with all manner of ever changing coffee making variables). Stepped adjusters are far superior when using the one grinder to do more than one type of grind and can quickly be put straight back to where they were before.....

    I wouldnt complicate the issue. You already have three great grinders to choose from and the two cheaper ones represent great value when you compare with other far lesser grinders that compete in similar price brackets. The life span of these grinders can be measured in decades rather than just years...

    hope that helps.
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    Thanks again for your reply TOK.

    Quote Originally Posted by TOK View Post
    You already have three great grinders to choose from and the two cheaper ones represent great value when you compare with other far lesser grinders that compete in similar price brackets. The life span of these grinders can be measured in decades rather than just years.
    If I were t spend a little more, would I get a better grinder? I ask because you have twice mentioned That these are great when you compare them with similarly priced machines. What about a step above? Is it worth it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenplastic View Post
    If I were t spend a little more, would I get a better grinder? I ask because you have twice mentioned That these are great when you compare them with similarly priced machines. What about a step above? Is it worth it?
    Sunroof and leather seats. You're buying options, not grind quality.

    Tick the doser option = you pay more. Tick the timer option = you pay more. Tick the digital timer over the analogue timer option = you pay more.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    I own a Mazzer Mini, if I had to consider a new grinder I would certainly look closely at both the Compak and Macap, have heard lots of good reports about them.

    Having said that, I'm perfectly happy with the Mini and see no reason to upgrade now or anytime in the future, after a bit of use I came to terms/learned to live with the doser, seems this is the main area of concern with the machine, oh, and if speed is important, I can tell you the Mini is not a speedster.

    I'm sure whichever of the three you choose you will be one smilin son of a gun.
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenplastic View Post
    Thanks again for your reply TOK.

    If I were t spend a little more, would I get a better grinder?..... What about a step above? Is it worth it?
    Depends on any individual's definition of "BETTER". Better as in "grind quality", OR better as in an offering of features in toto in any given model machine, that will make one machine "better" in toto for an individual to use, than some other machine.

    In terms of grind quality, No. You would need to be able to tell the difference. Most people cant on the palate until they go to an entirely different price bracket where the difference between the grinders is significant. And even then, does a difference between two grinders mean that one is better than the other, OR....just that they are different. What is the definition of "better" to any given individual?

    So... in your price bracket, for your 4 cuppas a day, the three grinders in your shortlist are already great grinders...all of them.

    After that it just comes down to features that appeal to you as an individual and that make your use of the grinder more pleasurable than some other grinder.

    With the three mentioned, the most significant difference is between the doser and the two grind on demand grinders.

    Aything more than that is ust splitting hairs and fueling the usual insecurity that people develop from reading too much stuff (detail) in forums, lest they may decide on the "wrong" grinder. Fear not, all three are great grinders. Choose one, and enjoy

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    GP,

    The M2M is a quite a bit smaller than the K3 if that is of any relevance to your decision. Both great grinders. In my experience (and it may only be me) you need a few more beans in the chute/hopper of the M2M to prevent 'popcorning' than is the case with the K3. No biggie. Both do the trick for me. I tend to use the M2M more, as I like the stepped grind adjustment.
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by greenplastic View Post
    Hi All

    After many years of faithful service, I have decided to retire my Breville grinder and upgrade.

    I have done a little research and looked into the Compak K3, Macap M2M and Mazzer Mini. I very much like the idea of the Mazzer Mini- reliable, fine grind adjustment, high build quality and exceptional performance. But... I don't like the doser. I just don't think the volume of coffees made in my house (approx. 4 per day, sometimes 1-2 more)warrants one. But then again, the Mazzer seems to be the standard by which all of grinders in this price range are judged.

    So, those who have a Mini and use it for regular domestic use- what's the doser like? Do you find it wastes coffee or retains it? How is the upkeep of it? Or am I splitting hairs..?!


    Many thanks for your guidance!



    GP, IMHO you should also consider a good used Titan conical- eg Compak K10, Wega 8, Mazzer Kony, Elektra Nino. You can pick one of these up for around the same price or even less than a Mazzer Mini and they bring out a whole new level of flavour complexity. Not to mention their build quality means they are likely to last at least as long as a new mini if you can find a good used one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    GP, IMHO you should also consider a good used Titan conical- eg Compak K10, Wega 8, Mazzer Kony, Elektra Nino. You can pick one of these up for around the same price or even less than a Mazzer Mini and they bring out a whole new level of flavour complexity. Not to mention their build quality means they are likely to last at least as long as a new mini if you can find a good used one.
    I think for the volume of coffees that I'll be making these guys would be overkill! I love the idea of them but space wise, I don't think I could afford their footprint in my kitchen.

    Do the conical burrs really make that much of a difference? My current grinder is a conical burr...

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greenplastic View Post
    I think for the volume of coffees that I'll be making these guys would be overkill! I love the idea of them but space wise, I don't think I could afford their footprint in my kitchen.

    Do the conical burrs really make that much of a difference? My current grinder is a conical burr...
    From my experience, YES, the large conical burrs (not small ones like Breville) really do bring out more complexity and depth of flavour than flat burrs. It is well worth exploring in my opinion, however if footprint is an issue then that could well be a deal breaker right there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    ..... if footprint is an issue then that could well be a deal breaker right there.
    ....and don't forget the "retention" or clean out issues when big commercial Conicals are used for just a few shots per day.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Don't be seduced by the bigger is better school of thought Greenplastic, for home use commercial grinders are overkill and introduce another set of problems.

    One of the three grinders on your original list will do everything you want and need.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    ....and don't forget the "retention" or clean out issues when big commercial Conicals are used for just a few shots per day.

    ZERO retention issues with my Elektra Nino

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Don't be seduced by the bigger is better school of thought Greenplastic, for home use commercial grinders are overkill and introduce another set of problems.

    One of the three grinders on your original list will do everything you want and need.
    If the pursuit of getting a markedly better result in the cup is overkill then I confess I am guilty Yelta. If I thought for a moment that the Titan conicals didn't produce a substantially better taste, I wouldn't have raised it for Greenplastic's consideration. Of course there are many that think Titan conicals are overkill and that is just fine by me. In the meantime I'll wallow in bliss knowing that the result in the cup is what really matters.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    ZERO retention issues with my Elektra Nino
    I cannot argue, as i have never used one.... but that must be a very unique grinder if it truly has no grinds retained and doesnt need brushing or blowing out . If so , Electra are to be congratulated.
    However, i do know that the K10, Kony etc do retain far too many grinds to be practical for casual domestic use if you are not prepared to bump , brush, and blow after single doses..
    But, the same can be said about most grinders to a greater or lesser extent, its just that the big commercial machines were not designed for infrequent single doses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    I cannot argue, as i have never used one.... but that must be a very unique grinder if it truly has no grinds retained and doesnt need brushing or blowing out . If so , Electra are to be congratulated.
    However, i do know that the K10, Kony etc do retain far too many grinds to be practical for casual domestic use if you are not prepared to bump , brush, and blow after single doses..
    But, the same can be said about most grinders to a greater or lesser extent, its just that the big commercial machines were not designed for infrequent single doses.
    Agreed. Having had a K10, the Elektra has virtually no grind retention. However even the K10 only needed a few seconds to brush out the chute

  19. #19
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    How about a dose of reality?
    Where are you going to buy an Elektra Nino for the same price range as a K3 or similar?
    Yes , they do come up for sale (second hand), but very RARELY, and not in the price range mentioned.
    If you can buy one for under $1k, then snap it up. Otherwise be prepared to pay over $2k+ new, even if you self import.

    A commercial conical is worth buying 2nd hand if you can get it at a good price, and you have the space, otherwise it is massive overkill.

    Everyone who buys a conical will always say they can notice the difference. They have to, otherwise they would be the biggest idiots if they cannot notice a significant difference in flavour after forking out a heap of money.
    Do some blind tasting, and I bet the result is always good, just different, and NOT that one is significantly better than the other.

    As an example, I have tried espresso in shops, made with a Robur and a LM (or similar machine). I have then bought the same beans from the establishment, and succeeded in pulling better tasting espressos at home with my gear. Not just my opinion, but also the same result from 3 other espresso drinkers in the house. My setup is a Macap M4D and an Italian Lever that is often overlooked for its simplicity and pedigree.

    Do not be fooled into thinking you have to spend thousands to achieve a good result at home. Quality beans and technique are more important.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    How about a dose of reality?
    Where are you going to buy an Elektra Nino for the same price range as a K3 or similar?
    Yes , they do come up for sale (second hand), but very RARELY, and not in the price range mentioned.
    If you can buy one for under $1k, then snap it up. Otherwise be prepared to pay over $2k+ new, even if you self import.

    A commercial conical is worth buying 2nd hand if you can get it at a good price, and you have the space, otherwise it is massive overkill.

    Everyone who buys a conical will always say they can notice the difference. They have to, otherwise they would be the biggest idiots if they cannot notice a significant difference in flavour after forking out a heap of money.
    Do some blind tasting, and I bet the result is always good, just different, and NOT that one is significantly better than the other.

    As an example, I have tried espresso in shops, made with a Robur and a LM (or similar machine). I have then bought the same beans from the establishment, and succeeded in pulling better tasting espressos at home with my gear. Not just my opinion, but also the same result from 3 other espresso drinkers in the house. My setup is a Macap M4D and an Italian Lever that is often overlooked for its simplicity and pedigree.

    Do not be fooled into thinking you have to spend thousands to achieve a good result at home. Quality beans and technique are more important.
    Lots of common sense in this post, not a common attribute nowadays.
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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    They have to, otherwise they would be the biggest idiots if they cannot notice a significant difference in flavour after forking out a heap of money.

    Thankyou oh-wise-one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gavisconi007 View Post
    Thankyou oh-wise-one.
    Your welcome, oh sarcastic-one.

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    Senior Member Luke_G's Avatar
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    I upgraded from the Ditting Vario to a Mazzer Mini a few years back as the Ditting just felt a bit cheap and plasticish.

    Not once did i ever regret buying the Mini until i upgraded to a Mahlkonig K30 for home use but in fairness, the K30 is roughly 4 x the price of the Mazzer Mini and should perform better and i would still be happy with the Mini had i never upgraded.
    The doser did not bother me. Even after years of doserless use in a commercial setting. Easy to clean with a quick brush. Especially once you get to know how much coffee to put in the hopper for a given amount of shots needed.

    I am unable to comment on your other mentioned grinders though as the other guys mentioned, you would be happy with any of them

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    Senior Member Gavisconi007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Luke_G View Post
    I upgraded from the Ditting Vario to a Mazzer Mini a few years back as the Ditting just felt a bit cheap and plasticish.

    Not once did i ever regret buying the Mini until i upgraded to a Mahlkonig K30 for home use but in fairness, the K30 is roughly 4 x the price of the Mazzer Mini and should perform better and i would still be happy with the Mini had i never upgraded.
    The doser did not bother me. Even after years of doserless use in a commercial setting. Easy to clean with a quick brush. Especially once you get to know how much coffee to put in the hopper for a given amount of shots needed.

    I am unable to comment on your other mentioned grinders though as the other guys mentioned, you would be happy with any of them

    I agree Luke,the doser is fine, just run the grinder for X seconds (counting in one's head) and after a while the wastage is minimal. Did you discover the more complex depth of flavours as I did when comparing to a flat burr grinder?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bosco_Lever View Post
    My setup is a Macap M4D and an Italian Lever that is often overlooked for its simplicity and pedigree.
    Forgive my ignorance Bosco, but what make of Lever machine is that one in your avatar?

    Mal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimal View Post
    Forgive my ignorance Bosco, but what make of Lever machine is that one in your avatar?

    Mal.
    There is a clue in his user name !

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    Quote Originally Posted by blend52 View Post
    There is a clue in his user name !
    I give up?

    You mean it is made by a company called Bosco?

    Mal.

  28. #28
    Senior Member Bosco_Lever's Avatar
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    Hi Mal,
    The Machine is made by Bosco in Napoli.
    It is the Sorrento version.
    https://www.coffeeroasters.com.au/sh...rrento-1-group
    BL.

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    Ah, thanks mate...

    Very, very nice indeed....

    Mal.

  30. #30
    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Hi GP
    All great points here.
    I've had great brews from an M2 and Silvia combo, and great brews from my E61 + Robur. Used doser & doserless. Both good - different techniques only difference really. Both clean and efficient.
    Taste? As has been mentioned - not better, but different. FWIW in my experience my planar grinder (Macap M4) gave richer milk based drinks, while the big conical gives cleaner espresso. Anything from a compak/M2 up will give amazing coffee when you learn how to use it and use fresh beans … so really about how far the budget can stretch!

    Happy shopping!
    Matt
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    I recently upgraded from a Rocky to mini Mazzer and I love the Mazzer!! Doser isnt an issue for me I only grind what I need each time but I find the doser great because while its grinding tithe doser I'm getting cups milk etc ready, then when grinding is done, dose, level, tamp and pull shot. But that's just my routine and what works for me!

    Let's r honest in the eyes of "normal people" (whoever they are they think all of this in overkill. All of these grinders will be fantastic just come to personal preference on looks, colour, size and if u like doser or not. Don't stress too much just pick one, buy it and enjoy the fruits of its grinding labour!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    Don't be seduced by the bigger is better school of thought Greenplastic, for home use commercial grinders are overkill and introduce another set of problems.

    One of the three grinders on your original list will do everything you want and need.
    What if the Sunbeam EM0480 is in that list of potential grinders? I currently have one(EM0480), which is stepped, and I use the notches to grind for plunger coffee in the morning, and espresso(latte) in the arvo. Is the Sunbeam that much worse? I am considering a grinder upgrade, but am struggling to understand what I really do need, and if I need it at all. For me, speed of grind, consistency of grind would be the two factors to consider. Seeing as I use the grinder for both plunger and machine(EM6910), would a stepless be too complicated? I at least know I do not need a doser.

  33. #33
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deco0028 View Post
    What if the Sunbeam EM0480 is in that list of potential grinders? I currently have one(EM0480), which is stepped, and I use the notches to grind for plunger coffee in the morning, and espresso(latte) in the arvo. Is the Sunbeam that much worse? I am considering a grinder upgrade, but am struggling to understand what I really do need, and if I need it at all. For me, speed of grind, consistency of grind would be the two factors to consider. Seeing as I use the grinder for both plunger and machine(EM6910), would a stepless be too complicated? I at least know I do not need a doser.
    The fact is deco that the Sunbeam is not on the list, while the EM0480 is quite a good grinder for the price its not in the same class as the Compak K3, Macap M2M and Mazzer Mini.

    If your happy with the Sunbeam stick with it, if your wondering what to upgrade too why not start a new thread asking the question, you will get a lot better response than you will here by asking the question out of context.
    Last edited by Yelta; 17th October 2014 at 06:40 AM.

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    Devo as Yelta said start up a new threed and you'll get heaps of help�� but in short I'm looking at buying a new car...
    A Toyota corolla and a VW GTI are both cars but VERY different. So are grinders��

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmcoffee View Post
    Devo as Yelta said start up a new threed and you'll get heaps of help�� but in short I'm looking at buying a new car...
    A Toyota corolla and a VW GTI are both cars but VERY different. So are grinders��
    Thanks Yelta and mmm. I am in the category of not knowing any better with my Sunbeam, which is half the problem. How would I know if the other grinders are better, if I do not have a benchmark to compare the SB to?
    Maybe ignorance is bliss. Should have stuck with instant coffee, and never should have started roasting. Now, my palate has been spoilt, and I want more of the good stuff!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by deco0028 View Post
    Thanks Yelta and mmm. I am in the category of not knowing any better with my Sunbeam, which is half the problem. How would I know if the other grinders are better, if I do not have a benchmark to compare the SB to?
    Maybe ignorance is bliss. Should have stuck with instant coffee, and never should have started roasting. Now, my palate has been spoilt, and I want more of the good stuff!!!
    Hi deco0028

    Having owned two EM480's until recently (and far too many other, mostly commercial grinders to remember) if you want to "upgrade" for domestic espresso the only two grinders I know of that you will probably be happy with are the manual HG One (played with and still still considering one) or a Mahlkonig Vario (I have two of them).

    EM480 "upgrade" domestically: Assuming it is set up & cleaned properly, the EM480 puts a lot of mid priced commercial grinders to shame for espresso use. It is also a superb (and I do not use that word lightly) grinder for coarser grinds, unlike a number of more specialised espresso grinders.

    FWIW, I look at it this way:-
    1) All grinders have a "sweet spot" in their range.
    2) Conicals (like the 480) tend to have a "two peak" particle spread, which traditional espresso making regards as a "very good thing". Some of the new concepts in espresso making validly call that into question (without getting into so called "3rd wave" stuff). Most of these traditional espresso grinders are hopeless at Turkish coffee grinding. Turkish grind is very fine indeed: I have even seen commercial grinder manuals telling you not to do it as the burrs receive a lot less lubrication and can overheat.
    3) The EM480 also happens to be (by design?) very good at coarser grinds, just like a lot of other "really big conicals". Happily, unlike a lot of other conicals, the 480 does not generate very many "logs" (i.e. the long large pieces which all conicals tend to generate to an extent).
    4) Both the Vario and the HG One should probably be considered as stunning specialised espresso grinders, not for plunger use**. Both are also capable of Turkish coffee grinds and both have a very narrow particle spread compared to any of the "traditional light commercial" grinders mentioned earlier in this thread. Kinda shows where their "sweet spot" is. In the case of the Vario by the time it is doing the very coarse end of the espresso range its performance is noticeably lower (i.e. no better than any of the grinders listed above). I did not test the HG One beyond "VST espresso / fine grind", however it is unlikely to be a good plunger grinder "out of the box" for the same reason as the Vario.

    For specialised domestic espresso, the only "relatively sanely priced" grinders are the Vario & HG One, however your EM480 will beat them noticeably when using your plunger*. I should have actually kept one of my 480's for my "modifed stirrer plunger". I have to use my Bo-ema (think large noisy commercial monster requiring earplugs) which is banished permanently from the house and is no better than the 480 at plunger grinding.

    Hope this clarifies rather than confuses.


    TampIt

    plunger use**: Unless you buy burrs optimised for coarser grinds and then have truly woeful espresso... Both HG and Vario have that as an (incomprehensible?) option. Buying a really quality precision made bit of kit to grind stuff most grinders can do easily... Whatever, smile & nod...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi deco0028

    Having owned two EM480's until recently (and far too many other, mostly commercial grinders to remember) if you want to "upgrade" for domestic espresso the only two grinders I know of that you will probably be happy with are the manual HG One (played with and still still considering one) or a Mahlkonig Vario (I have two of them).

    EM480 "upgrade" domestically: Assuming it is set up & cleaned properly, the EM480 puts a lot of mid priced commercial grinders to shame for espresso use. It is also a superb (and I do not use that word lightly) grinder for coarser grinds, unlike a number of more specialised espresso grinders.

    FWIW, I look at it this way:-
    1) All grinders have a "sweet spot" in their range.
    2) Conicals (like the 480) tend to have a "two peak" particle spread, which traditional espresso making regards as a "very good thing". Some of the new concepts in espresso making validly call that into question (without getting into so called "3rd wave" stuff). Most of these traditional espresso grinders are hopeless at Turkish coffee grinding. Turkish grind is very fine indeed: I have even seen commercial grinder manuals telling you not to do it as the burrs receive a lot less lubrication and can overheat.
    3) The EM480 also happens to be (by design?) very good at coarser grinds, just like a lot of other "really big conicals". Happily, unlike a lot of other conicals, the 480 does not generate very many "logs" (i.e. the long large pieces which all conicals tend to generate to an extent).
    4) Both the Vario and the HG One should probably be considered as stunning specialised espresso grinders, not for plunger use**. Both are also capable of Turkish coffee grinds and both have a very narrow particle spread compared to any of the "traditional light commercial" grinders mentioned earlier in this thread. Kinda shows where their "sweet spot" is. In the case of the Vario by the time it is doing the very coarse end of the espresso range its performance is noticeably lower (i.e. no better than any of the grinders listed above). I did not test the HG One beyond "VST espresso / fine grind", however it is unlikely to be a good plunger grinder "out of the box" for the same reason as the Vario.

    For specialised domestic espresso, the only "relatively sanely priced" grinders are the Vario & HG One, however your EM480 will beat them noticeably when using your plunger*. I should have actually kept one of my 480's for my "modifed stirrer plunger". I have to use my Bo-ema (think large noisy commercial monster requiring earplugs) which is banished permanently from the house and is no better than the 480 at plunger grinding.

    Hope this clarifies rather than confuses.


    TampIt

    plunger use**: Unless you buy burrs optimised for coarser grinds and then have truly woeful espresso... Both HG and Vario have that as an (incomprehensible?) option. Buying a really quality precision made bit of kit to grind stuff most grinders can do easily... Whatever, smile & nod...
    Thank you, TampIt.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by TampIt View Post
    Hi deco0028

    Having owned two EM480's until recently (and far too many other, mostly commercial grinders to remember) if you want to "upgrade" for domestic espresso the only two grinders I know of that you will probably be happy with are the manual HG One (played with and still still considering one) or a Mahlkonig Vario (I have two of them).

    EM480 "upgrade" domestically: Assuming it is set up & cleaned properly, the EM480 puts a lot of mid priced commercial grinders to shame for espresso use. It is also a superb (and I do not use that word lightly) grinder for coarser grinds, unlike a number of more specialised espresso grinders.

    FWIW, I look at it this way:-
    1) All grinders have a "sweet spot" in their range.
    2) Conicals (like the 480) tend to have a "two peak" particle spread, which traditional espresso making regards as a "very good thing". Some of the new concepts in espresso making validly call that into question (without getting into so called "3rd wave" stuff). Most of these traditional espresso grinders are hopeless at Turkish coffee grinding. Turkish grind is very fine indeed: I have even seen commercial grinder manuals telling you not to do it as the burrs receive a lot less lubrication and can overheat.
    3) The EM480 also happens to be (by design?) very good at coarser grinds, just like a lot of other "really big conicals". Happily, unlike a lot of other conicals, the 480 does not generate very many "logs" (i.e. the long large pieces which all conicals tend to generate to an extent).
    4) Both the Vario and the HG One should probably be considered as stunning specialised espresso grinders, not for plunger use**. Both are also capable of Turkish coffee grinds and both have a very narrow particle spread compared to any of the "traditional light commercial" grinders mentioned earlier in this thread. Kinda shows where their "sweet spot" is. In the case of the Vario by the time it is doing the very coarse end of the espresso range its performance is noticeably lower (i.e. no better than any of the grinders listed above). I did not test the HG One beyond "VST espresso / fine grind", however it is unlikely to be a good plunger grinder "out of the box" for the same reason as the Vario.

    For specialised domestic espresso, the only "relatively sanely priced" grinders are the Vario & HG One, however your EM480 will beat them noticeably when using your plunger*. I should have actually kept one of my 480's for my "modifed stirrer plunger". I have to use my Bo-ema (think large noisy commercial monster requiring earplugs) which is banished permanently from the house and is no better than the 480 at plunger grinding.

    Hope this clarifies rather than confuses.


    TampIt

    plunger use**: Unless you buy burrs optimised for coarser grinds and then have truly woeful espresso... Both HG and Vario have that as an (incomprehensible?) option. Buying a really quality precision made bit of kit to grind stuff most grinders can do easily... Whatever, smile & nod...
    Hi TampIt
    I have just purchased a used Macap M4 stepped, and after a period of trial and error with the fineness/coarseness of the grind, I have come to the conclusion that the M4 is great for espresso, provided you turn the notches through a very small range depending on the bean, but as soon as one tries to coarsen the grind for plunger for example, particle size seems to become quite variable. It is hard to dial in. This could be a learning curve, though, but it is not such a problem with the EM0480. The EM0480 is fairly idiot-proof, which suits me to a tee.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by deco0028 View Post
    Thanks Yelta and mmm. I am in the category of not knowing any better with my Sunbeam, which is half the problem. How would I know if the other grinders are better, if I do not have a benchmark to compare the SB to?
    Maybe ignorance is bliss. Should have stuck with instant coffee, and never should have started roasting. Now, my palate has been spoilt, and I want more of the good stuff!!!
    Congrats Devoon ur new Macap!! Once you dial it in and get used to it you'll love it! Did you keep you SB0480 grinder? Could use this for courser grinds??

    Don't ever appologise for getting into coffee😁 it's all of our legal drug of choice and keep the work wheels turning and keeps Alzheimer’s away😝
    Keep experimenting can take a bit to dial in and get used to it!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmmcoffee View Post
    Congrats Devoon ur new Macap!! Once you dial it in and get used to it you'll love it! Did you keep you SB0480 grinder? Could use this for courser grinds??

    Don't ever appologise for getting into coffee it's all of our legal drug of choice and keep the work wheels turning and keeps Alzheimer’s away
    Keep experimenting can take a bit to dial in and get used to it!
    Thanks, I am slowly getting there with the Macap. Amazingly sensitive, one or two notches the wrong way and the machine either clogs or the pour is too fast. No clumping like the EM0480 though. Cheers



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