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Thread: New Grinder Recommendation (again...)

  1. #1
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    New Grinder Recommendation (again...)

    Hi all,

    I'm after recommendations for a new grinder to replace my ageing Sunbeam EM0480.

    A few points to note:
    1) Budget - up to $500;
    2) Type - conical or flat burr grinder preferred;
    3) Doserless preferred;
    4) 2 to 4 espresso's per day average;
    5) Low mess a must. The Sunbeam disbursed grounds everywhere, much to my wife's displeasure;
    6) Durable unit, robust with a long lifespan;
    7) Manual is fine;
    8) Wouldn't hurt for it to look stylish; and
    9) To be paired with a Rancilio Silva.

    Gratefully receiving recommendations in line with the above, as well as referrals to online retailer.

    Cheers!

  2. #2
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Macap M2M V2 micrometric
    Company K3 Touch
    Rancilio Rocky doserless

    My suggestion would be to copy and paste your list into the form once you follow the QUOTE FORM link at the bottom of the page, then whichever of the site sponsors can help you will get back to you.

  3. #3
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    Good short list above from the Ninja. All great value units I reckon

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    I would add the Baratza Sette 270. It has a big fan base now.
    ovonate likes this.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the replies so far.
    Whats the general consensus on the Eureka Mignon (older model, not the Silenzio) compared to the M2M, K3, Rocky, Sette level grinders?
    Or is the Mignon Silenzio significantly better, making the older model not worth considering?

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    if brand new not an issue, someone is selling a Macap M4D for very cheap right now in the Marketplace
    Tedbear777 likes this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goudgey View Post
    Thanks for the replies so far.
    Whats the general consensus on the Eureka Mignon (older model, not the Silenzio) compared to the M2M, K3, Rocky, Sette level grinders?
    Or is the Mignon Silenzio significantly better, making the older model not worth considering?
    Haven't been hands on with old or new to know, some people who have then really like them. I've heard they have some serious clumping though. Apparently the new models have the anti-clumping (and sound reduction) that is in the Atom. I've had an Atom for a bit over a year and it's great, no clumping whatsoever just fluffy grinds. If that is the difference I'd look to the newer one first but it's a bit more than your budget (>$700). I would say that the new Mignon isn't in the same price bracket or league as the others I mentioned above, it's a step up.
    Last edited by level3ninja; 2 Weeks Ago at 06:19 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by level3ninja View Post
    Haven't been hands on with old or new to know, some people who have then really like them. I've heard they have some serious clumping though. Apparently the new models have the anti-clumping (and sound reduction) that is in the Atom. I've had an Atom for a bit over a year and it's great, no clumping whatsoever just fluffy grinds. If that is the difference I'd look to the newer one first but it's a bit more than your budget (>$700). I would say that the new Mignon isn't in the same price bracket or league as the others I mentioned above, it's a step up.
    Is it worth investing an additional $300-400 to step up to the next bracket?
    Given my meagre abilities Iím not confident Iíll be able to discern a difference in grinds from my current Sunbeam to a circa $400-500 grinder, and a further investment, whilst nice to have, would likely be unnecessary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Really depends on the beans you're putting in. If they're at least reasonable you'll notice the step up from the Sunbeam. Whether or not you spend more is up to you. There is a level of diminishing returns. From what it sounds like you'll be happy with a $400-500 grinder, and if you really want to upgrade again in a few years it won't have lost too much value (unlike the Sunbeam). If you aren't planning to upgrade everything else (baskets, tamper, using scales etc) then stick with the lower ones, if you're planning to upgrade your machine and everything else in 2 years then consider a higher level. If you are considering a higher level there are other grinders to choose from as well.

    What part of the country are you in?
    Dimal and eskimoandrei like this.

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    Thanks for the advice level3ninja. I’m not considering upgrading my machine as I’m very happy with it and believe that I can get better performance and quality coffee from it with more practice.
    I am considering installing a PID however.
    Havent considered or am even aware of the benefits of upgrading baskets and tamper. I predominately use the standard naked Rancilio basket and Rancilio tamper and haven’t had any issues with either. Will a Pullman tamper make a noticeable difference?

    I’m in Adelaide.

  11. #11
    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    A high-end basket (VST, Espresso HQ, Pullman, Decent, et al) paired with a well-fitting tamper will likely allow your skills more room to grow. There will possible be a bit of a learning curve but the end results will likely be better. The brand of tamper is less important than how closely it fits the basket (if it's flat and round it'll work fine). Too close and it can suction the puck out but too loose and the water will have an easier path down the sides where the coffee is uncompressed. The Pullman Big Step or Barista Hustle (if you can get one) are designed to fit VST baskets (both made to a strict enough standard you know it'll fit).

    Once you're comfortable with your new grinder, if you still find you're still inconsistent shot to shot and you're sure it isn't temperature (i.e. your temperature surfing is consistent) then it could be worth considering. If it might be the temperature consider the PID route.
    Dimal likes this.

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    Great advice, thanks. I’ll definitely research high end basket and tamper alternatives to the stock Rancilio baskets
    and tamper in the first instance before PID’ing my machine, but grinder is the first order of business. Other than the Mignon, what other grinders would you recommend in the up to $900 range that meet my requirements?

  13. #13
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    The Mahlkoenig Vario is the heavy hitter of that price range. If you're willing to clean out the grind chamber every 250g or so (relatively straightforward or so I'm told) then the quality of grinds it produces is on par with grinders nearly twice it's price.

    Only other options worth considering in that range that I'm aware of are the Macap M42M or M4D and the Mazzer Mini. The Macap M4D does clump a bit, and I don't think the M42 (M or D) has changed that much. The Mini will work well but there are some who say they've had their day as they haven't changed hardly at all since being released some years ago.

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    Senior Member level3ninja's Avatar
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    Another tamper to consider is a Pesado 58.5mm, around half the price of some Pullman ones. The Barista Hustle is even cheaper again but they've stopped making them so are hard to find.

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    If you're interested in single dosing the Niche Zero had just started shipping and is getting good first impressions. It's about $900.

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    Have skim read the thread on the NicheZero and agree that it looks good and would suit my purposes for single dosing.
    The Zero doesn’t seem to have a portafilter rest/holder though, which if correct would be a bit of an inconvenience.

  17. #17
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    From what I've read you couldn't grind direct into the portafilter, into the cup that comes with it and then into the portafilter. I believe the cup fits a 58mm portafilter so you just put the portafilter upsidedown on the cup then invert the whole thing.

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    Spot on Ninja, that’s how the workflow goes, I’m used to it from my handgrinder. The Niche grinds cup fits inside a 58mm basket well.

  19. #19
    mjk
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    Quote Originally Posted by goudgey View Post
    Have skim read the thread on the NicheZero and agree that it looks good and would suit my purposes for single dosing.
    The Zero doesn’t seem to have a portafilter rest/holder though, which if correct would be a bit of an inconvenience.
    I’ve just got one of the first shipments and it’s great! You need to buy into the idea of weighing out a single dose each time, but I was doing that years ago anyway.
    I don’t think you can get anything else close to the quality and functionality for home use for the price

  20. #20
    mjk
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    Also, regarding the portafilter holder, I noticed one of your requirements was as little mess as possible. Maybe I haven’t experienced the right grinder, but I’ve never seen grinding directly into a portafilter basket without some mess.
    To avoid mess, go with a dosing chamber or into a cup. Dosing chamber has problems with grind retention though

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjk View Post
    Also, regarding the portafilter holder, I noticed one of your requirements was as little mess as possible. Maybe I havenít experienced the right grinder, but Iíve never seen grinding directly into a portafilter basket without some mess.
    To avoid mess, go with a dosing chamber or into a cup. Dosing chamber has problems with grind retention though
    I was so impressed with the Mahlkoenig Vario gen2's lack of mess I can only assume you haven't tried one. Apart from low grind retention and zero static / clumping or anything else a grinder should not do, they have yet to put a grain of coffee onto my bench over the last 3 or 4 years. BTW they feed literally straight into the middle of the basket with very little "bounce", so they really cannot make a mess unless you remove the p/f prematurely.

    That was such a welcome unexpected bonus when I bought the first gen2, I added another couple to the home setup (one for my light to medium roasted SOs, one for decaf / dark roast and optional steel burrs for cold steep / stirrer plunger). Between the three of them they have done well over 200Kg (my older one has done that much by itself as a loan grinder for a friend's cafe when their "well known Italian grinder" needed its umpteenth set of burrs). So far the Vario's original ceramic burrs are still unmarked. Swiss engineering at its best IMO.

    TampIt

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