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Thread: Advice for First Grinder to Match Breville BES920 Dual Boiler

  1. #1
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    Advice for First Grinder to Match Breville BES920 Dual Boiler

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I've just bought my first ‘serious’ coffee machine, the Breville BES920 Dual Boiler, and whilst I know this isn’t regarded by some as a proper coffee machine, it fits for my level of experience (none). I now need a grinder and again would ideally like something that isn’t hard to operate or maintain. I’ve researched so much that I’m really confused which way to go.

    It will only only be used for espressos (2-5 per day).

    I’ve found the following and really appreciate some direction:


    • Eureka Mignon
    • Macap M2M
    • Compak K3
    • Baratza Sette 270/W
    • Rancilio Rocky



    Should I give the Breville Smart Grinder a wide berth?

    Thanks in advance

    I meant to ask if anyone can recommend retailers as well?

    Last edited by JerseyBean; 27th July 2018 at 06:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Yes. Also the Rocky unless you want it drifting all the time. I like the Mignon stepless.

    And congrats on your new machine.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMcCee View Post
    Yes. Also the Rocky unless you want it drifting all the time. I like the Mignon stepless.

    And congrats on your new machine.
    Thanks JMcCee!! I’m loving it that much I’m drinking decaf just so I can keep practising for as many hours in the day as possible

    I’ve heard mixed reports on the Rocky so I almost didn’t add it. Thanks for the feedback!!

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBean View Post
    I've just bought my first ‘serious’ coffee machine, the Breville BES920 Dual Boiler, and whilst I know this isn’t regarded by some as a proper coffee machine, it fits for my level of experience (none). I now need a grinder and again would ideally like something that isn’t hard to operate or maintain. I’ve researched so much that I’m really confused which way to go.

    It will only only be used for espressos (2-5 per day).

    I’ve found the following and really appreciate some direction:


    • Eureka Mignon
    • Macap M2M
    • Compak K3
    • Baratza Sette 270/W
    • Rancilio Rocky



    Should I give the Breville Smart Grinder a wide berth?

    Thanks in advance

    I meant to ask if anyone can recommend retailers as well?

    Any of the first 3 (Mignon, M2M, K3) are both solidly built and of decent grind quality. The Barazza has had some longevity issues in the past, but is apparently very good otherwise. The M2M is a stepped grinder (so you can only increase / decrease fineness in fixed increments) but the 'steps' are pretty small.

    Where are you based, and what is available for you to purchase nearby? If all are available locally I'd probably opt for the Mignon, but the M2M and K3 (in that order) are fair substitutes (I own an M2M and K3).

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    Whatís your budget?

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    Senior Member JMcCee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerseyBean View Post
    Thanks JMcCee!! I’m loving it that much I’m drinking decaf just so I can keep practising for as many hours in the day as possible

    I’ve heard mixed reports on the Rocky so I almost didn’t add it. Thanks for the feedback!!
    I actually like the fundamental design of the Rocky but Rancilio brought it out well over a decade ago and did nothing since to update or improve it which I find rather arrogant. By 2018 it should at least be stepless.
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    I have the K3 and cannot fault it. If I had to buy a 2nd grinder would probably get another.
    JMcCee and JerseyBean like this.

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    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Advice for First Grinder to Match Breville BES920 Dual Boiler

    Congratulations on your purchase!

    I have been enjoying awesome coffee produced from this machine (4-5 per day), and I previously had one that cost over 4x as much. Iím both pleased and surprised how well the Breville can hold its own!

    Iíve also had it paired with the Sette 270w for almost 2 years now and love the fluffy grinds and ability to grind by weight etc. I wouldnít hesitate to recommend this grinder if it suits your needs. (If grind by weight isnít a concern for you, the 270 without the 'w' will be a little cheaper and still give the awesome fluffy grinds this model is known for). Some Users have commented it is noisier than other grinders...I donít notice it personally.

    I believe the general advice is that the grinder can contribute more to making good coffee than the espresso machine itself so do your research and invest in the best quality grinder you can within your budget.

    Good luck and enjoy your coffee!
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  9. #9
    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    If youíre going to be drinking mostly espresso then get the best grinder you can afford with stepless adjustment. So cross the Rocky and M2M off your list. Having the fine adjustment available to you on a stepless grinder is pretty much a necessity for good espresso.
    After trying many different grinders I prefer a high end, small conical burr grinder over a low end flat burr grinder. I currently have a Lelit PL044MMT and I love it. It was the top of their range until the new ĎWilliamí (PL73) was released. Itís what Iíll stick with until I can afford something really good like a Eureka Zenith, Kafatek, Etzmax etc.
    Have you seen and/or tested any of these grinders? I think the Mignon might be onto version2, but just check cause apparently it was a pretty poor performer that made lots of noise and mess and was quite slow. As with anything like this youíre always better to try before you buy.

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    As Wynton87 pointed out, your budget will be a big determinant of what you get. You could look and research forever and keep going round and round. Off your list I really like the look of the Mignon, aesthetics are important to me. That's what I would get, but they have also just released the Silenzio range as well which looks pretty good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wynton87 View Post
    What’s your budget?
    Hi there, sorry for delay (man flu hit the household hard ��). I’m thinking I need to invest here(?) so on investigation it seems I’d need to be paying over the $500 mark and perhaps looking around $800 but I’m not really sure if that is necessary. Very happy to be guided!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crema_Lad View Post
    Congratulations on your purchase!

    I have been enjoying awesome coffee produced from this machine (4-5 per day), and I previously had one that cost over 4x as much. I’m both pleased and surprised how well the Breville can hold its own!

    I’ve also had it paired with the Sette 270w for almost 2 years now and love the fluffy grinds and ability to grind by weight etc. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this grinder if it suits your needs. (If grind by weight isn’t a concern for you, the 270 without the 'w' will be a little cheaper and still give the awesome fluffy grinds this model is known for). Some Users have commented it is noisier than other grinders...I don’t notice it personally.

    I believe the general advice is that the grinder can contribute more to making good coffee than the espresso machine itself so do your research and invest in the best quality grinder you can within your budget.

    Good luck and enjoy your coffee!
    Thank you so much for this reply!! Really very helpful and always good to hear that others are enjoying the same piece of machinery!! Yes I’ve read that the grinder is more important than the coffee machine itself so I shan’t skimp on the grinder. Will definitely take a good look at the two you mention. Many thanks ��

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    If you’re going to be drinking mostly espresso then get the best grinder you can afford with stepless adjustment. So cross the Rocky and M2M off your list. Having the fine adjustment available to you on a stepless grinder is pretty much a necessity for good espresso.
    After trying many different grinders I prefer a high end, small conical burr grinder over a low end flat burr grinder. I currently have a Lelit PL044MMT and I love it. It was the top of their range until the new ‘William’ (PL73) was released. It’s what I’ll stick with until I can afford something really good like a Eureka Zenith, Kafatek, Etzmax etc.
    Have you seen and/or tested any of these grinders? I think the Mignon might be onto version2, but just check cause apparently it was a pretty poor performer that made lots of noise and mess and was quite slow. As with anything like this you’re always better to try before you buy.
    Again, brilliant advice! I’ve not seen nor tried any grinders yet so I’ll see what I can do about that. I am just so grateful for this forum!! I really do appreciate having the ability to chat with people who actually have experience. It is so much more useful than someone just wanting to sell me the goods!! I’ve added your suggestions to my list to have a look at. Many thanks!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    The M2M V2 now comes in a stepless version, so it can stay on the list
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  15. #15
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crema_Lad View Post
    Congratulations on your purchase!

    I have been enjoying awesome coffee produced from this machine (4-5 per day), and I previously had one that cost over 4x as much. Iím both pleased and surprised how well the Breville can hold its own!

    Iíve also had it paired with the Sette 270w for almost 2 years now and love the fluffy grinds and ability to grind by weight etc. I wouldnít hesitate to recommend this grinder if it suits your needs. (If grind by weight isnít a concern for you, the 270 without the 'w' will be a little cheaper and still give the awesome fluffy grinds this model is known for). Some Users have commented it is noisier than other grinders...I donít notice it personally.

    I believe the general advice is that the grinder can contribute more to making good coffee than the espresso machine itself so do your research and invest in the best quality grinder you can within your budget.

    Good luck and enjoy your coffee!
    Crema_Lad! Has been awhile, great to have you back mate . Hope you're well, and good to see the Sette is still going strong (I'm strongly considering it or the Atom as my next grinder..)

  16. #16
    Senior Member Crema_Lad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    Crema_Lad! Has been awhile, great to have you back mate . Hope you're well, and good to see the Sette is still going strong (I'm strongly considering it or the Atom as my next grinder..)
    Ha! Thanks, nice to be 'missed' . Iíve been super busy at work and all my social media has taken a hit as a result! But Iíve been certainly pulling some great coffee with my setup in the meantime. Very happy with both coffee machine and grinder.

    I would still call it early days but no issues with the Sette270w, the newer model looks good too, a little smarter with weight based grinding and allegedly a little quieter too. But the Atom is a a firm favourite around here too so good luck choosing!

  17. #17
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crema_Lad View Post
    Ha! Thanks, nice to be 'missed' . Iíve been super busy at work and all my social media has taken a hit as a result! But Iíve been certainly pulling some great coffee with my setup in the meantime. Very happy with both coffee machine and grinder.

    I would still call it early days but no issues with the Sette270w, the newer model looks good too, a little smarter with weight based grinding and allegedly a little quieter too. But the Atom is a a firm favourite around here too so good luck choosing!
    Ah that's good to hear .

    Yep durability is a big thing for me and most, but I like everything that I hear about the Sette 270 and Wi... seems they're really improving and fixing any issues it had in the early days. I like its minimal retention too, and not sure how it compares with the Atom in that respect, but at quite different price points it's tricky to decide!

  18. #18
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    I like its minimal retention too, and not sure how it compares with the Atom in that respect
    Last time I measured my Atom retained a total of 23g, including the grinds that seemed stuck in place and in my understanding wouldn't normally be pushed through. My gut feeling based on how much I other and the effect it has is that it retains about 15g that comes out when next used.

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    So L3N to confirm your saying that Grind Chamber Retention was 23g?
    The last time you fully cleaned out your Sette?
    If so that's way up in Mazzer Kony area. The example I cleaned ( and replaced Burrs) recently held 28g from memory.

    Dose in Dose out retention is?

  20. #20
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Last time I measured my Atom retained a total of 23g
    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    So L3N to confirm your saying that Grind Chamber Retention was 23g?
    Yes

    Quote Originally Posted by EspressoAdventurer View Post
    The last time you fully cleaned out your Sette?
    No, in my Atom

  21. #21
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Last time I measured my Atom retained a total of 23g, including the grinds that seemed stuck in place and in my understanding wouldn't normally be pushed through. My gut feeling based on how much I other and the effect it has is that it retains about 15g that comes out when next used.
    Ah right, seems a fair amount, I guess the amount that stays stuck in there doesn't matter so much if it stays put, but the old stuff that comes out while grinding fresh is what I'm concerned about... I know that some dismiss retention, but seems like a factor..

    Do you feel you have to purge a fair amount so as to not use old grounds? Or not much difference in taste in the cup?

  22. #22
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    I purge 3.5s before each session, around 6g. I find doing that makes the first shot at least 90% as good as the second which is good enough for me without purging a whole double shot.

  23. #23
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    I purge 3.5s before each session, around 6g. I find doing that makes the first shot at least 90% as good as the second which is good enough for me without purging a whole double shot.
    Ah yep fair enough. I'm finding nowadays for me that purging before the second shot had become more important. At the end of a session I usually give the grinder a fair clean, so the first shot had always been much better than the second.

    The second has been off lately, and I've found that it's because I wasn't having my second drink until maybe 30 minutes later, so the old grinds in the chute etc were affecting it taste wise. I knew old grounds oxidised fast, but not that fast haha..

  24. #24
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Yeah it takes about 5 min out in the open, in the grinder I find about 15 min will be noticeable for sure, under 10 min usually not worth the purge but slightly noticeable.

  25. #25
    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Yeah it takes about 5 min out in the open, in the grinder I find about 15 min will be noticeable for sure, under 10 min usually not worth the purge but slightly noticeable.
    Ah that's good to know I'm not going crazy and imagining it haha.. yeah I'm surprised how noticeable it is..



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