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Thread: prosumer doserless

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    prosumer doserless

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi, Im looking upgrade the old silvia/rocky pretty soon.
    Machine wise I was tossing up between the VBM domobar super and the expobar minore II - Ive settled on the VBM, but to the point in question:

    The mini mazzer seems like such a popular grinder but I really dont want a doser grinder. That said I dont really know how you all use them.
    I rarely make more than 2 coffees at a time. I dont like the idea of griding too much and leaving grinds in the doser to stale, and I dont want to have to measure out my beans and add them to the hopper alone so I dont overgrind... How do you all manage it?

    And relating to the topic - what kind of similar level doserless machines are available?

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I have a Macap M5 doser grinder.
    Because my Pullman tamper is fitted to an LM basket, I use the old basket to measure my beans and toss them into the hopper.

    You could just as easily measure the beans into the basket in the PF and then into the grinder with them.

    I only grind enough for my immediate use and therefore none is left behind in the doser.

    The doser helps break up any possible clumping and if you dose as you grid youll get smaller doses into the basket, which I find helps settle them better.

    Whats so bad about measuring the way Ive just described?

  3. #3
    maxrob200
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I also do much the same method with my doser grinders. Measure two sccops full for a double, grind through, stick a flat stick into the throat to clear up any grinds, press grind again to spit out any leftover grinds, twack the doser handle to dispense into the PF and then make the coffee. Takes about a minute or so for the whole grinding process and dispensing to the PF

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I dont like the idea because its just one more step in the whole process - and the lack of use of the hopper, you have this big hopper but store your beans somewhere else... just doesnt sit right with me for some reason :)

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammus link=1193821504/0#3 date=1193825046
    I dont like the idea because its just one more step in the whole process - and the lack of use of the hopper, you have this big hopper but store your beans somewhere else... just doesnt sit right with me for some reason :)

    Well thats what I, and a lot of other CoffeeSnobs do. If you want the best espresso then you have to invest some time and develop techniques which give the best results....

    If this means that the hopper doesnt hold beans.... and the doser doesnt dose but gets used to break up the clumps and even out the dose into the basket - so be it.....

    Because we use things how we see them working best.... when we look at a bread machine.... we see a coffee roaster (thanks to Corretto)....

    Sometimes you have to live "outside the square"...


  6. #6
    maxrob200
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I stand to be corrected but arent most of the really big commercial grinders doser units as they are designed to dose out multiple shots for hours on end. so when it is used for very low volume use for the home, then the grind through is the logical method to avoid beans going stale in the huge hoppers and the doser is used more or less to break up any clumps in the grind. Unfortunately, there deos not seem to be any way around it when using a heavy duty commercial grinder. As many CSers also use commercial quality doser-less grinders as well , would they not also just put in enough beans for the amount of cofee they wish to make? So it seems to be much of a muchness except for the little extra effort with doser grinders.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    And relating to the topic - what kind of similar level doserless machines are available?
    I have used both the compak k3 touch and the mazzer mini electronic. Both produce great results in the cup. Next to the mini-E, the compak looks and feels a bit less substantial and also looks and feels as though there has been a bit less attention to detail, but it is by no means a bad grinder. The mini E seemed to me to grind a bit cleaner than the k3 touch, but I note that not everyones experience of the mini-E has been as great as mine. The mini E also allows you to do other things whilst it is grinding, seeing as it holds the portafilter rather than letting you sit there twiddling your thumbs. That said, however, you will have to decide for yourself whether those points in
    favour of the mini E justify the rather large price difference!

    I rarely make more than 2 coffees at a time. I dont like the idea of griding too much and leaving grinds in the doser to stale, and I dont want to have to measure out my beans and add them to the hopper alone so I dont overgrind... How do you all manage it?
    I have gotten used to eyeballing the amount sitting in my doser. Two level sections, with the doser adjusted to maximum capacity per section, provide more or less the right amount for a low dose in my double basket. Two and a half or three sections provide about the right amount for a regular dose. Its then just a matter of grinding a tiny bit more to top up.

    Everyone waxes lyrical about ground coffee being left in the doser, but has anyone actually taken their grinder apart immediately after grinding to check whether or not coffee is left between the burrs. If so, how much? Isnt it possible that all of this obsessing about 0.5g of coffee going stale in a doser could be rendered completely nugatory by 3g of coffee sitting between the burrs, around them and in the exit chute? Im not saying that we shouldnt sweep dosers clean, but just that it would be nice to have the whole picture.

    Whats so bad about measuring the way Ive just described?
    Unnecessary work.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by maxrob200 link=1193821504/0#5 date=1193827114
    I stand to be corrected but arent most of the really big commercial grinders doser units as they are designed to dose out multiple shots for hours on end.
    Indeed they are.... and because they do such a superb job, then the fact they arent used exactly as intended is of no consequence (to me anyhow)...

    Even though I only use the doser (as intended) when I have a large group of guests to make coffees for..... the rest of the time it does in fact help generate a very "effective" dose by removing clumps etc.... and also reduces the mess from stray grinds....

    I wouldnt be without a doser on a grinder.

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I could use my Macap by filling the hopper and grinding more beans than I need so I could dose in two thwacks, after all its a commercial grinder.
    However, as JavaB said, I choose not to.

    Im a process improvement specialist.

    If I see that what Im doing, given my circumstances, is an improvement on the way a cafe would use the same equipment, then Im pretty sure that my professional expertise is correct.

    I actually get a better coffee my way than most cafes.

    Ive used the same beans as a comparison.

    Mine are ground fresher, so how could I lose in a comparison test, really?

  10. #10
    maxrob200
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Well, call me crazy but yes, i do check for beans stuck in the burrs and vac them out each day so that no stale beans are ground in with the fresh lot. Usually there are very few stale grinds left in the dosing chamber but a couple of beans can be found in the burr area

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    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1193821504/0#6 date=1193827366

    Whats so bad about measuring the way Ive just described?
    Unnecessary work.

    Cheers,

    Luca
    Work?
    5 seconds.
    It took me longer to measure by eye into the hopper (still accurate).

    Please explain in more detail what you mean by unnecessary.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Prior to the acquisition my current commercial La San Marco with Doser, I had been using nothing but Doserless grinders for quite a few years and always believed that there must be an easier and better way to do this task which creates less mess, doesnt tie me to the grinder while I could be doing other things in preparation, produce a better quality dose without clumping and stand in as a true Doser-Grinder for when lots of relos or friends drop in.... invaluable for this task but damn annoying with a Doserless grinder.

    Id never go back to using a D/L grinder now after using the LSM.... Its made the whole process a lot more enjoyable in my book and less of a task and thats got to be a good thing,

    Cheers,
    Mal.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Thanks for all your input people - its seems to be one of those topics that gets brought up every now and then and starts wars haha (Im not very often so havent seen it come up before :)).

    Anyway, youve all convinced me that when upgrade time comes I wont necessarily steer clear of the doser models :P

    Cheers
    Sam

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Perhaps the Macap MC4 is what you want?

    (Oh and of course thats the M5 thats half obscured beside it in silver. I wasnt treally intending to have it in the photo but I am after all a coffee and machine merchant & not a photographeur...). ;)
    Regardz,
    FC


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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1193821504/0#10 date=1193828049
    Quote Originally Posted by luca link=1193821504/0#6 date=1193827366

    Whats so bad about measuring the way Ive just described?
    Unnecessary work.

    Cheers,

    Luca
    Work?
    5 seconds.
    It took me longer to measure by eye into the hopper (still accurate).

    Please explain in more detail what you mean by unnecessary.
    In comparison with other methods of loading the hopper per dose, its fine. In comparison with loading four or five shots worth at a time, it requires unnecessary steps. So if youre a dose per grind kind of guy, your way makes perfect sense. But if youre not already a dose per grind convert, surely you have to justify to yourself that the benefits are worth it over topping up the hopper every few days, given that it is more work. Anyhoo, I dont think that its a big issue either way, but I do think that its worthwhile considering that the hopper actually could be used.

    Oh, and if were talking dose per grind, this grinder is pretty ... unique!

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Luca,

    Got to say, love that grinder :).... except for the price unfortunately.... :( :(

    What a great concept.... and judging by the feedback, it does a magnificent job....

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    TC
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    For me, it has to be the Macap Electronic....which will arrive early next year (a small toe in the water shipment). If the reports are anything to go by, I think it may blow all other comers into the weeds. I have some bench space reserved for one....There is more info at:http://coffeesnobs.com.au/YaBB.pl?num=1189027777

    Chris


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    Re: prosumer doserless

    I find with my Mini that a 1/3rd cup measuring cup full (level) of beans is about perfect for a double basket.

    So 1/3rd of a cup in the hopper, grind til it finishes, and dose into the filter (along with the dosing routine...). Pretty straightforward.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    For those who measure the dose and grind, do you find that you get the popcorn effect (beans not settling nicely into the burrs) when your beans get low? How do you overcome this?

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer Roaster link=1193821504/15#18 date=1194865156
    For those who measure the dose and grind, do you find that you get the popcorn effect (beans not settling nicely into the burrs) when your beans get low? How do you overcome this?
    A tamper in the throat. :)


    Java "Tamping the beans before theyre ground!" phile

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Yep, the plastic tamp supplied with my machine does the trick.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Hi, just read this thread and it reminded me of an idea that i had a while ago...

    If one wants exact doses, is it possible to have the grinder on top of some sort of sensitive set of electric scales to measure the weight of coffee that youve dosed into the filterbasket (i.e. subtracted from the total weight of machine+coffee).

    I thought it might work for a few seconds, but then thought about it some more and all the electric scales ive seen zero themselves when they turn off.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Hey there Sammy :),

    I guess it could work :-? but you would need a fairly decent set of scales (as in NOT cheap) not only to carry the weight of the grinder but to resolve the proportionately tiny fraction of the overall weight to register the weight of the beans accurately. And the thing is, the best method to ensure that your dosing is consistently consistent :P is via the measurement of volume per sè, not weight.

    I realise that a lot of people go to the extent of weighing the beans for every shot and thats fine but at the end of the day, the PF Basket is a fixed volume and no matter the differences in the bulk density of various bean types and ages of beans, you need to load an ideal volume of beans ground appropriately to ensure a 30/60ml pour in 25-30 seconds. The sums re coffee volume/weight were done a long time ago by all the machine manufacturers so its not really necessary to weigh for every shot.

    The method that Chris outlined above is the one I use too and can be highly recommended as an easy way to become consistent with both dosing and distribution. You dont see many accomplished Baristas weighing out their coffee before every shot, its just much too time consuming and believe it or not, too inaccurate over a day of changing ambient conditions and coffee types/age, the Barista would have to keep altering the ideal weight of the coffee to ensure there was an ideal volume of coffee in the Basket. Like I said, too much trouble.....

    All the best,
    Mal.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Hey Mal,
    Yeah, i figured as much and there was something in my brain that remembered reading that volume was better then weight for measurement. Thanks for the answer!

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    The best way Ive found to measure a dose is the trusty ol grind to a mountain, level off, tap to settle, repeat, pack lightly with your hand and shave off level with the top of the basket, then tamp.

    This is what Paul Bassett does on the DVD that comes with the Sunbeam 6910 and it works well :)

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1193821504/15#22 date=1194962394
    ........weighing out their coffee before every shot, its just much too time consuming..
    I agree itd be too time consuming in a cafe situation, but not for home use. It makes very little difference when youre only making 2 coffees at home.


    Quote Originally Posted by Mal link=1193821504/15#22 date=1194962394
    ...and believe it or not, too inaccurate over a day of changing ambient conditions and coffee types/age, the Barista would have to keep altering the ideal weight of the coffee to ensure there was an ideal volume of coffee in the Basket. Like I said, too much trouble.....
    Nope, I dont believe that at all. That hasnt been the case in my experience anyway. By weighing I get exactly the same fill level in the basket every time.

    And the other reason I weigh for each shot is I get absolutely no wastage, no grinds over the counter. The practise of overfilling the basket and scraping off level really wastes a lot of coffee.



    Bill

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    Senior Member Magic_Matt's Avatar
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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1193821504/15#25 date=1195012837
    And the other reason I weigh for each shot is I get absolutely no wastage, no grinds over the counter. The practise of overfilling the basket and scraping off level really wastes a lot of coffee.
    I think it depends on technique - Im getting a pretty accurate dose with very little waste - the quantity of grinds I waste in dosing pales into insignificance beside the amount the Sunbeam grinder decorates the benchtop with and those left in the chute...

    Of course, the other factor is that you can collect the spilled grinds and give them to a friend who doesnt have a grinder ;)

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill link=1193821504/15#25 date=1195012837
    Nope, I dont believe that at all. That hasnt been the case in my experience anyway. By weighing I get exactly the same fill level in the basket every time.
    Great that it works for you Bill, doesnt work for everyone unfortunately and I dont think it matters whether youre in a cafe situation or not, I tried the weigh each shot when I first started out but due to significant swings in temperature and humidity throughout the day (where we live), even this method did not result in consistently excellent brews.... quite inconsistent as a matter of fact.

    But, as they say, each to his/her own.....

    Mal.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Im now tossing up between the Mazzer SJ and Mini-E. I think the SJ is even a bit cheaper, but I like the doserless-ness of the Mini E. The burrs are the same size so Im kind of of assuming grind quality will be pretty similar. Any comments to sway me either way?


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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammus link=1193821504/15#28 date=1197684201
    Im now tossing up between the Mazzer SJ and Mini-E. I think the SJ is even a bit cheaper, but I like the doserless-ness of the Mini E. The burrs are the same size so Im kind of of assuming grind quality will be pretty similar. Any comments to sway me either way?
    Yes Sam,

    Ill chime in. I have had the mini-e and hated it and got rid of it. If you think it can be a set once and get perfect single or double dose in one operation, youll be disappointed.

    If you want top end doserless, Id suggest that you look at the Macap Electronic- which might just actually work. Pricing will be better than the $1190 RRP of the Mini-e as well :o.

    We have some arriving in late Jan *I think*. Ill grab one to try and there will be some for CSers...

    Chris

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by Sammus link=1193821504/15#28 date=1197684201
    Im now tossing up between the Mazzer SJ and Mini-E. I think the SJ is even a bit cheaper, but I like the doserless-ness of the Mini E. The burrs are the same size so Im kind of of assuming grind quality will be pretty similar. Any comments to sway me either way?
    I currently own a super jolly and am buying a mini E.

    Chris and I have had quite different experiences with the mini E. His seemed to be a bit of a lemon, whereas the ones that I used seemed to work quite well. I certainly agree with Chris that the timers arent really very useful in terms of being set and forget. I will be setting my single dose to grind out anything that is stale and setting the double dose to grind a bit less than what I need. Though the grinder seemed to me to be a bit slower than the super jolly, the portafilter holder provides a convenience that I think makes up for it. I happen to like this work-flow with the mini E, which might be peculiar to me:

    (a) hit single dose button to purge
    (b) remove pf, wipe, flush
    (c) put pf in holder, wham double button
    (d) whilst the grinder is doing its thing, go and get milk, or do some cleaning
    (e) come back and top up with the manual button (often the grinder finishes before I have finished getting the milk jug ready)
    (f) settle, distribute, tamp, extract

    Im not especially concerned with the inaccuracy of the timer. I have had a chance to use some timers accurate to 0.05 seconds in cafes and they are quite nice once everything is dialled in. However, dialling them in takes some time and effort. Dose, grind and time are all interlinked, so the time and the grind that I have needed in the morning have been different from what I need in the afternoon. At home, as well as at the cafe where I used the timer, the grind changes quite a lot from morning to evening because everything is relatively exposed to the elements. Perhaps in a more civilized home environment, things would be different. I definitely agree that, as Chris said, the timer is never realistically going to be set and forget, unless you make quite a lot of shots in a row. In this scenario, I have actually been able to dial the timer in for one-button operation, but sometimes I have not been able to. I dont know whether the difference has been the different mini Es that I have used or the different coffees in them ... perhaps requiring longer to grind the same amount.

    The advantage of the mini E is the work flow that the ballpark timer and portafilter combination offers, as well as how clean the grinder is. With respect to cleanliness, I saw Chris old mini E and for some bizarre reason it seemed to have a fair bit of static, whereas the others that I have used did not. I dont know whether this is because his mini E was the polished aluminium version or because of the particular coffee that was being used.

    All of that said, the price tag on the mini E really does require you to be sure that its the grinder that you want before committing. Particularly if you read Chris post and my post and compare them! If you want to buy any of these grinders, I really hope that you try before you buy. I dont actually know what the new street price will be, but one of the two new importers is pretty cool, so well have to see. Presumably Chris price is up-to-date.

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Hi, thanks for the opposing views :)

    I too dont really care about the set and forget thing, I would likely be using it in similar operation to Luca. Itll probably be another month or so before I can actually afford to pay for one so Ill wait and see what develops in that time.

    Maybe Ill win the lotto, buy a one group Synesso Cyncra and a Mazzer Robur-E :P Or maybe someone will deliver the pair to me for christmas... haha I can only dream

    Sam


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    Re: prosumer doserless

    You could also look at the ECA/ECM KS Doserless and the Compak K3 Touch.

    The touch is great if you like to use the on/off button and has a lovely micrometric adjustment, the KS has small steps...both are great grinders for the money.

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Interesting discussion on the Mazzer Mini E. I have used one for 3 years now and my experience matches Lucas. The workflow of a grinder like the Mini E is hard to beat.

    I follow Lucas workflow except from my bottomless portifiller experiences I find a more even extraction is gained if you rotate the pf as it grinds. If this is not done you get a greater flow through the front half of the pf than the rear.

    In terms of the timer on my machine there is a distinct link between the volume of coffee ground for a given time and the degree of fineness/coarseness of the grind setting. So if you go to the trouble of setting up your timer to grind the exact volume you need, then as soon as you change the grind setting (say for humidity or age of beans) *your timer settings need to be redone. From my viewpoint it is just not worth the trouble. Better to just grind just under the needed amount and top up with the manual button.

    The only issues I have had with my machine are clumps in the grind which varies with coffee and is also grind dependant. *The finer the grind the more clumps. In the early days I also had an issue with a small grind variation between the first and second coffees of the day when the machine was dead cold. The second cup was a slightly coarser grind. This was solved by grinding a little more coffee on startup to get rid of the stale coffee. I assumed the heat generated by this process stabilised the grind better.

    The Mini E for me has been very reliabile and has great build quality. Nothing has broken, snapped off or required a repair in the 3 years I have used the grinder.

    If you get a case of upgradeitis with this grinder your only option is to spend even more money on a big conical.

    John

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    Re: prosumer doserless

    Quote Originally Posted by m@ link=1193821504/15#24 date=1195001568
    This is what Paul Bassett does on the DVD that comes with the Sunbeam 6910 and it works well :)
    DVD?? *Ive just bought a 6910 and didnt get a DVD :(. *Should I give them a call and try to get hold of one. *I feel jipped.



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