Post By JMcCee
Post By wilsonj
Grinder with La Marzocco Linea Mini
It's been many years since I posted here and I've now found myself with my hands on a La Marzocco Linea Mini (long story).
So far, I've managed with a much lower quality machine and a very nice local roaster who would grind beans for me on a regular basis.
Obviously, with this machine at hand, it's simply not possible to continue my old ways.
Hence, I'm seeking some advice on the right grinder to pair with the Mini.
My budget is flexible (up to 2k), BUT I've never owned a (proper) grinder before, so I'm thinking of starting with something a little less overwhelming than the Mahlkoning K30 that the US forums recommend (also, we just will not pull that many shots...).
I'm looking for something that:
- doesn't make too much mess
- does not result in too much waste (we would rarely grind for more than 1 -2 coffees at a time)
- will look good next to the LM (Space is not an issue)
- does give us some flex with the grind so we don't get grinds that are too fine or too coarse for the LM
Hence I have two questions:
1. Should I just bite the bullet and go high end (and if so, what would be recommended)? As mentioned, I've heard variously Mahlkoning K30 / Mazzer Super Jolly (some said the Mazzer Mini isn't good enough?)
2. If there's something more con/prosumery that would be able to grind finely enough and make a decent (but not the best) coffee, what would it be? I've read about the Sette 270 Baratza and the Malkoning Vario...?
I did look for posts on this forum but only found one that seemed to be more focussed on getting a white grinder than discussing pros and cons of the right grinder.
Thanks for the help... !
Eureka Atom, Rocket Fausto, Profitec T64/ECM Titan S64 (almost identical inside), Compak E5OD (higher E#OD will also work but might be a bit of overkill). Can't go wrong with any of these, if you can get into a sponsor locally and get hands on you will probably find one of them feels more right to you than the others. The Mahlkoenig Vario won't do you wrong either.
Personally the adjustment collar on the Mazzers leaves a lot to be desired compared to the ones above.
Originally Posted by majic101
As a multiple Mahlkoenig Vario owner (currently 3 or 4 - all gen2 and gen3, be aware the gen1 is not nearly as good) - for home use it is probably your best answer if the following assumptions are correct:-
1) You are only using it for espresso. The standard ceramic burrs (gen2 and later) are hopeless outside the Turkish to espresso range. One of mine has the optional steel burrs - works brilliantly for coarser grinds, useless for decent espresso.
2) You are willing to give it a little TLC. Vario's don't need much, however to fit the commercial "Swiss designed & made" Ditting module in a quiet, small domestic wrapper means that there are a couple of use and maintenance "gotchas". Main use gotcha: do not adjust the grind finer if the motor us not running or it will nuke the adjusters. Resetting the adjusters is only a 5 minute job, however it should never be needed as long as "Conan's" are kept away. Main maintenance gotcha: When the chamber fills the particle spread goes off (badly). Luckily the sound changes a little, so it is easy to detect. An oily dark roast will fill the chamber in three or four double shots (oily roasts should never by used anyway - great for gardens). A quality light / medium SO will take about 750g (i.e. about three hopper fulls of beans). If you enjoy a good cuppa you will have to remove the top burr and clean the chamber out every time you "hear that sound". Another 5 minute job.
3) You do not try to keep changing to different beans. Every grinder has a lag when changing beans - the Varios is about 15g. Most grinders take a lot longer than the Vario to alter their grind however they all do it.
IMO the Vario remains by far the best grinder for quality espresso in a domestic setting. Quiet, compact, "clump and static" free, mess free, very even particle spread (FWIW, it beats the K30 by a wide margin in spread), low grind retention and about 60 "real settings" within the espresso grinding range. After 50 or so grinders, mostly big commercial beasts, the Vario is by far the easiest grinder to live with at home - which is why I have a few of them. One for cold steep etc (steel burrs), one for my daily cuppa (light medium SO) and one for whatever guests currently need.
Hope this helps.
If you don't mind the effort the big conical HG-one is the giant killer of all the above and is a grinder for all seasons and roasts. The K30 is a monster in a domestic kitchen. Jumping in at a very deep end is the Monolith conical or flat and my personal favorite, the conical Helor Stance Motor. The ultra quiet Eureka Atom is also a cracker grinder for the price. Further down the rabbit hole are some nice dosers like Macaps and Compaks.
I just bought my first "real" grinder and settled on the Atom. Whilst I have a Breville 920 right now, the plan is to upgrade later to an ECM Synchronika. But I don't want to keep upgrading my grinders.
Really had my heart set on something more expensive, but in the end I don't think it would have been money well spent. The Atom seems more than capable, looks very nice (subjective I know), reasonably compact and very quiet.
I've now had the Atom for 2 days and I'm very happy. Super easy to adjust, both on the LCD and grind adjustment. Nice fluffy grinds, actually so much more so than the last grinder that I can't fill the PF as easily as they take up so much more space!
Oh, and it isn't messy, unless you are grinding coarse, but then you wouldn't be putting that in a PF. I generally don't loose a grain filling to 18g.
Thanks team! I will go check out these options and keep you posted...