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Thread: Newbie question: What grinder to buy??

  1. #1
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    Talking Newbie question: What grinder to buy??

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight

    Need some help re: grinders

    Hi there, this is my first post so take it easy on me....
    I currently have a Lelit pl60
    and need to look at a new grinder (currently using sunbeam)
    It's making good coffee, but I suspect my shots will improve tenfold with a decent grinder.

    Ive heard good things on the rancillio rocky, mazzer mini and the macap m4 but I'm confused and new to this.
    What would be a good grinder to purchase?
    Home use 4 cups max per day.
    Don't mind spending $$$ if its going to improve my coffee and last.
    Thanks in advance

    fullfatlatte

  2. #2
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Welcome mate...

    To be quite honest, if your budget is flexible, you would be best served by far, to attend a specialist coffee hardware retailer such as one of our Site Sponsors, and then try shots from several different grinders, account for usability and ergonomic factors then make your choice.

    Not many of us apart from our Site Sponsors, have experience with a wide range of grinders and individuals will rarely speak ill of the grinder they now own . All the best,

    Mal.
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    That's very sound advice Mal thanks.
    I live quiet a way away from my closest major city so Im a little too used to Internet shopping.
    Although its going to be a big investment so might have to bite the bullet.
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  4. #4
    Mal Dimal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullfatlatte View Post
    That's very sound advice Mal thanks.
    I live quiet a way away from my closest major city so Im a little too used to Internet shopping.
    Although its going to be a big investment so might have to bite the bullet.
    As Paul suggests, many of our Site Sponsors have alternative means of comm's including Skype in a few cases though you'll have to use a very vivid imagination to get a handle on the resulting quality in the cup...

    Mal.
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    Hi there, dont forget the compak k3 push. Its a great grinder.
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    Hi Fullfatlatte.

    i was in a similar predicament to you about 2 years ago, wanting a new grinder but unable to get to any site sponsors in the flesh..or any store with a range of grinders for that matter. Although I was working with a budget. I did a lot of online research but just couldn't decisively narrow it down.
    There are lots of great site sponsors and I can vouch for Chris at Talk Coffee, I gave him a call to discuss grinder options and he was generous with information while not using sales pitch or being pushy, making sure that I ended up with the most suitable grinder for me and my uses.
    Just thought to let you know that being physically at the store is number 1 choice but if you just can't make it happen there are alternative ways to end up with a grinder that is suitable for you.
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    Thanks andybean, couldnt agree more with Chris at talk coffee (he has helped me with a coffee machine)...nice guy and fantastic service to boot!!!
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  8. #8
    By6
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    G'day mate,

    That's a capable domestic machine you have - good work. In the interests of giving you some direction, you can go upper range domestic or lower range commercial (assuming you have a budget).
    Rather than giving you 20 or more domestic grinders to choose from, i'll suggest 1 and give reasons why - the breville pro smart grinder. These have burrs that can be wound in closer to each other via a knob on the side. Once you've reached the finest setting, you can remove and re-set the top burr to one of several finer starting positions - which allows you to then start winding to side knob in from a new starting point - this will add life onto your grinder's adjustment range. The grinder also has a pre-set amount of time that you can adjust for each grind duration - thereby allowing a great level of consistency in dosing (not perfect, but pretty darn good). Remeber, once you've created a beautiful shot, consistency is king. Benefits of this timed dosing system mean that you or your partner can easily have the portafilter dosed correctly, ready for an extraction with little to no mess - this is a very good thing.
    The other benefit to this grinder is that you can pick one up currently (with a tiny bit of haggling) from HN with a 5 year replacement warranty for $300 (the warranty is a separate product, but they'll bundle it with the grinder). What this means is that if the burrs no longer do the job well enough, take it back and they swap it over - not repair - swap... brand new, thank you very much.
    I have 2 mates who have gone through this - very painless and simple process. These grinders really do a great job for a domestic bit of kit.

    Then there are the commercial jobs. I currently own a mini, 2 majors (1 is an e), 3 konys (1 is an e) and 2 roburs (both e's). I have owned a compak k6 and have played around quite a bit with a mini e.

    The mini (which you can pick up brand new for $650 if you look around) is a superb home grinder - perhaps overkill a little - but that's what we're about. It fits nicely on the kitchen bench, is quiet enough and perfoms pretty well flawlessly shot after shot with only a slight (and I mean very slight) disadvantage in flavours (personal opinion only) when compared to the konys and roburs - side point - the slight change in flavour (and I should really use the term 'change' as eveyone's tastes are different) is only really noticeable when using a single cup basket - but that's a whole new thread discussion....As far as getting great shot flow with no channeling, i've yet to have an issue with the mini - and i've tested it a LOT... The big beasts grind quicker, but if you don't mind the slightly longer grind time, you cannot go passed the mini.
    On the point of taste, i've had friends (common punters) over and put a cap from a mini and a cap from a kony side by side from a single basket and they were unable to discern any difference in flavours whatsoever. Im just trying to reassure you that unless grinding time or volume of use (10kg's per day or more) is an issue for you, the mini is a magnificent grinder and you don't need to shell out the extra coin for one of the bigger beasts.

    I hope this is helpful without going into too much detail...

    Cheers,

    Ben.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Newbie question: What grinder to buy??

    Some good points by Ben above and well explained, however considering what the OP is trying to achieve the Breville is hardly an upgrade. Yes it's easier to use, less messy and at least as good for grind quality as the Sunbeam EM04** series, but that's about it. To achieve a proper upgrade that potentially gives you a noticeable improvement in cup quality you need to look at the pseudo-commercial machines as a minimum.
    It's hard to make recommendations without knowing budget, but I'd first look at all the smaller flat burr grinders - Macap M2M, Compak K3, Rancilio Rocky, Anfim KS, Mazzer Mini at the very least. Above all that lot would be the Macap M4D and Mazzer Super Jolly (E). Can we ask that the OP 'fullfatlatte' gives a budget as this will help narrow things down a bit.
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  10. #10
    By6
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    Fair call Leroyc.

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    Personally I'd be cautious about recommending a Breville smart grinder too. I have the latest BCG820 after my previous version died. Even with the Breville approved mod, it struggles to grind fine enough when beans start getting more than a few months old. That said, it is incredibly user friendly and still produces an excellent cup, especially with fresh beans. And I've had to use their warranty support with only a week left and the support was awesome. So if you value after-sales support, they are definitely up there.

    If you want unbiased opinions IMHO surfing the net as you are doing, collecting unbiased non-sponsored professional reviews and user reviews is preferable to walking into a store. They naturally want to sell you their stuff and I don't blame them for that.

    And don't forget to speak to repair centers if you really want info on reliability. I still ask sales people about number of returns, warranty claims etc but I take whatever they say with a huge pile of salt. Repair centers however are totally unbiased and will honestly tell you what brands and models they see most often.

    On a side note, be intelligent about which reviews you choose to listen too. Coffee geeks talking about coffee grinders is a safe bet. Choice magazine/amazon/productreviews.com etc have reviews written by well meaning but lesser qualified individuals. But if hundreds of them as saying a product is good (or bad), that must mean something.

    Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    If you want unbiased opinions IMHO surfing the net as you are doing, collecting unbiased non-sponsored professional reviews and user reviews is preferable to walking into a store. They naturally want to sell you their stuff and I don't blame them for that.

    Good luck!
    There are unbiased views on the internet somewhere? Please tell me where I'll find them as I'd love to see something I've never seen before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Personally I'd be cautious about recommending a Breville smart grinder too. I have the latest BCG820 after my previous version died. Even with the Breville approved mod, it struggles to grind fine enough when beans start getting more than a few months old.
    That's not a grinder problem but a stale bean problem. Anybody who thinks their beans are still fresh when they're 'a few months old' is dreaming/deceiving themselves.


    Java "Use 'em fresh!" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    That's not a grinder problem but a stale bean problem. Anybody who thinks their beans are still fresh when they're 'a few months old' is dreaming/deceiving themselves.
    True, no one here would but millions of supermarket coffee bean buyers around the world think beans are fresh as long as it's before the year long expiry date. And being Breville is a more consumer oriented product aimed at those types of buyers (as opposed to say Mazzer, Varios etc) then you would reasonably expect it to handle coffee beans of that age.

  15. #15
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    True, no one here would but millions of supermarket coffee bean buyers around the world think beans are fresh as long as it's before the year long expiry date. And being Breville is a more consumer oriented product aimed at those types of buyers (as opposed to say Mazzer, Varios etc) then you would reasonably expect it to handle coffee beans of that age.
    That's an interesting way of looking at it, but it's off the mark. There was a thread on here recently where someone was having trouble with their brand new Breville BES870. They rang Breville customer service and their first question was - 'how fresh is your coffee?' When he told them he didn't know as he bought it from the supermarket they said he should only ever buy fresh coffee from a local roaster and apparently at least some of their literature states this position too. Still it depends what you've bought the Smart Grinder to use as a grinder with. If it's badly made plunger coffee using supermarket beans then I'm sure it's just fine.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    That's an interesting way of looking at it, but it's off the mark. There was a thread on here recently where someone was having trouble with their brand new Breville BES870. They rang Breville customer service and their first question was - 'how fresh is your coffee?' When he told them he didn't know as he bought it from the supermarket they said he should only ever buy fresh coffee from a local roaster and apparently at least some of their literature states this position too. Still it depends what you've bought the Smart Grinder to use as a grinder with. If it's badly made plunger coffee using supermarket beans then I'm sure it's just fine.
    Oh well, there goes my theory. I'd hazard a guess that if that literature does exists, its inside the box. ie only accessible after you've already paid for and open the box.

  17. #17
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Newbie question: What grinder to buy??

    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Oh well, there goes my theory. I'd hazard a guess that if that literature does exists, its inside the box. ie only accessible after you've already paid for and open the box.
    I believe you're right. Although I've watched a few of the Breville YouTube tutorials done by Phil McKnight and while he's not explicit I'm pretty sure he says you should always use fresh coffee.

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    LeroyC budget would be no more than $1100.
    The smaller doser less styles stand out.

    Rebecca

  19. #19
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're in the market for a Macap M4D
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    I believe you're right. Although I've watched a few of the Breville YouTube tutorials done by Phil McKnight and while he's not explicit I'm pretty sure he says you should always use fresh coffee.
    Actually that's an interesting point. I always assumed the recommendations was based on making a better tasting coffee but maybe its because the grinder isn't capable of grinding stale beans?

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Actually that's an interesting point. I always assumed the recommendations was based on making a better tasting coffee but maybe its because the grinder isn't capable of grinding stale beans?
    Why would you want to grind stale beans.
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  22. #22
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    Actually that's an interesting point. I always assumed the recommendations was based on making a better tasting coffee but maybe its because the grinder isn't capable of grinding stale beans?
    I don't think that there's any grinder that's incapable of grinding stale beans, I know there isn't any grinder capable of making stale beans fresh. If you've found a grinder that does, I urge you to buy them all, get them rebadged and sell them at a premium, touting the FreddoFresh technology. Maybe Tampit could do your marketing
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  23. #23
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    Sounds like you're in the market for a Macap M4D
    If I had that budget and was buying a brand new doserless grinder the Macap M4D would be at the top of my list. If you're happy to shop around and wait a bit Rebecca you'd get a nice 2nd hand, doserless Compak for that money. At least an A8, but possibly a K8 Fresh or even K10 if you're lucky.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Vinitasse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnafunk View Post
    I don't think that there's any grinder that's incapable of grinding stale beans, I know there isn't any grinder capable of making stale beans fresh. If you've found a grinder that does, I urge you to buy them all, get them rebadged and sell them at a premium, touting the FreddoFresh technology. Maybe Tampit could do your marketing
    I hereby nominate this as post of the day!!!
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  25. #25
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vinitasse View Post
    I hereby nominate this as post of the day!!!
    Me too!! Good chuckle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Logga View Post
    Why would you want to grind stale beans.
    You wouldn't but what a coffee snob considers stale would be considered fresh as daisies by most of the coffee world. (Remember 50% of the world drinks instant and in AU and NZ its actually 75%)

  27. #27
    Senior Member magnafunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFreddofrog View Post
    You wouldn't but what a coffee snob considers stale would be considered fresh as daisies by most of the coffee world. (Remember 50% of the world drinks instant and in AU and NZ its actually 75%)
    Which is why Breville are encouraging these folks to step up their game in regards to bean freshness. I actually think it's great that Breville are providing single wall baskets and trying to give people the knowledge to use them.

  28. #28
    Senior Member readeral's Avatar
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    This grinder certainly won't grind stale beans https://www.kickstarter.com/projects...g-coffee-grind (Yes, a ridiculous kickstarter.. the solution is not a connected grinder, but an increase in fresh coffee consumption!)

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    K_Bean_Coffee whats the KISS principle?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fullfatlatte View Post
    K_Bean_Coffee whats the KISS principle?
    Keep
    It
    Simple
    Stupid

    Or the politically correct version-

    Keep
    It
    Seriously
    Simple
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  31. #31
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    Also +1ing on the Macap M4D

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    As a newbie, my second hand BCG800 is very satisfying to use with my 6910.



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