Post By AlMac
Post By andbrews
Post By blend52
Post By readeral
Post By charzy
Grinder Dilemmas & Upgraditis
Ugh.... another "which grinder" thread I hear you say! Sorry in advance
My grinder journey has been as follows:
- Sunbeam EM0480 used for Moka Pot & AeroPress - this seemed to do those jobs for me, whether or not I knew any better is another story all together.
- Lelit Combi (PL43MMI) - did a great job. I could really tell the difference over the EM0480. But I will be selling it soon as I have a new baby (coffee machine that is).
So, back to the EM0480 for now. You know how I said earlier that I thought the EM0480 did a good job? I think it was a case of ignorance is bliss when using it. I suppose it comes down to the method too, whereas earlier it was for AeroPress etc, now I am using it for espresso and it is flat out sub par. I have found the sweet spot for my current batch of beans.... right between two notches!
After too much research (wife: "Are you on that site again?!"), I know a bit more about the options out there. My budget was ~$500ish. In that bracket I was looking at a Macap M2M or Compak K3. Here is the wrinkle - I am slowly finding myself justifying to myself more expensive options! I'm sure this is familiar to many on this site too! Now I find myself considering things much more than $500 - maybe a Macap M4D or a Compak E5.
I always see on here that I should buy the best grinder that I can afford. While I understand the night and day differences between an EM0480 and say a K3, I am unsure if I should be even tempting myself with the ~$1k bracket machines.
I like the features of the more expensive machines, like timed dosing, but really my core requirements are to be as clean, quick and quiet as possible. Is there a discernible improvement for the $1k machines over the $500? Is there anything else I should be considering?
Spend the extra $200-$300 and get yourself a grinder that will last a lifetime with the only fault pushing it out the door being upgraditis.
Money well spent and more money not spent later.
I'm completely out of the loop on grinders as my 12 year old grinder is still running like new (as long as it has its burrs replaced when needed).
Beyond good entry level (M2M/K2P et al), it's options, not grind quality. Both are light years ahead of the Sunbeam..
Our grinder buyers guide may help you clarify what you need v what you desire....
@AlMac - just the reassuring post I needed to keep my wallet straining :P
@dodgy x, Talk_Coffee - insightful as always, thanks. Based on your info I suppose it boils down to needs vs want, as with most things. I'll be in touch for a quote when I have a more definite idea of which path I'm going down!
Simple rule for grinders... Get the best you can afford !
..BUT...if you dont have the funds for the grinder that you really want, remember..quality grinders last well so buying a preloved machine is a viable option.
units like Mazzer, Compaks, etc, even a big conical, can be found for a fraction of their new cost.
At worst, budget for a new set of burrs just to be sure.
I ended up spending $1400 on my grinder, when starting with an initial budget of about $700... That meant that I needed to keep using my EM0480 for 6 months to save up the extra dosh, and I don't regret it for a second. At times the EM0480 sucked, but it was worth the wait. This isn't a parable about spending $1400 (could have got the same quality of ground coffee from a $900 grinder), but it is one about being sure about your purchase. Measure twice cut once.
I've just upgraded from my breville 870xl in built grinder to an entry level macap m2m (thanks dodgy x). I could tell the difference straight away, but I know I have to work on other factors (tampering, distribution and weighing). At least I can rule out grind consistency .
Reason I went with the m2m is after doing a lot of research, the grind quality is very decent for home use, without spending lots of $$$ for features that may be nice to have, but not required to make a decent shot.
Excellent advice Al...
Originally Posted by readeral