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Thread: Grinder for a Breville 800ES

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008

    Grinder for a Breville 800ES

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi guys, this is my first post here.

    As the usual story goes with these things, Im a uni student and cant afford a gaggia :( or anything remotely fantastic. I got the Breville from ebay for much cheaper than retail, which is the only reason I could afford it.

    Now comes the hard part. At this stage I only have a manual grinder which I picked up for $20 which is ok for a plunger, but it wont really cut it for espresso. I figure with a machine like what Im getting I have few options.

    a) deal with the fact that its sub-par and buy pre-ground coffee

    b) try and get something better out of it and buy a grinder thatll do the job but not much more

    c) plan ahead, save some cash, suck it up, and buy a good grinder

    After getting the machine, I cant afford to get an uber grinder. Of course, something like a Rocky would be awesome, but I dont even have that much money to my name. So really as far as options go its either a) or b) with c) being an option if I choose a) for now.

    So, Im looking for some suggestions. Would it be a crime to use pre-ground coffee considering this machine? Even if its temporary? Or should I go and buy something half-way decent and not to expensive?

  2. #2
    Senior Member GregJW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Armidale, NSW

    Re: Grinder for a Breville 800ES

    Hey there NyuBrew and welcome.

    We all have to start somewhere. Not having used your Breville Im no authority but I understand its a fairly solid machine, although built to "consumer" specifications, including an "advanced crema system" (pressurised portafilter). A big improvement may well be modifying the portafilter back to "unpressurised" -see numerous CS threads on this topic.

    I think all CSers would recommend steering clear of pre-ground coffee as it would be stale before you use it. A reasonable quality grinder and your plunger would make better coffee. Therefore, if you want to make a nice brew, freshly ground beans (beans roasted by an artisan roaster within the past 3 weeks and ground on demand seconds before brewing) is pretty much essential. As has been said here before, your grinder is as, if not more, important as your machine.

    Only you know how much you are able to spend or if you are able to save up in a reasonable period for a decent grinder. But generally a price tag from around $300 would be expected for good "starting point" grinders (eg Iberital Challenge, Ascaso I-mini). Having said that, many CSers have used Sunbeams EM0450 / 480 - priced from less than $150 - which are apparently capable of giving acceptable results for espresso, albeit with quality control problems and a relatively limited lifespan. Alternatively, if you are able to save up $700 +, you would be able to get a high quality grinder that would last the long term.

    I suppose the better the grinder you get at this point, the better it will match up with a good quality machine when you eventually upgrade. Being a student, however, it may be that you have to make compromises at this stage and use your money for more essential things (yeah, I know, whats more essential than quality espresso ;D).

    Why not have a chat to a sponsor or two (see left of page), they may give you good advice / options.

    Good luck,

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