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A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
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slurpy
Senior Member


Joined: 19 May 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Expertise: Professional

Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 12:53pm
Subject: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Dear Lovely Forum Folk-

I am a coffee professional of 5 years, and to this day, I struggle with at-home cupping as limited by my inadequate grinder. At present, I use a Hario Mini Mill. I do so because a little elbow grease has always been worth the dramatic price reduction when compared to electric models with the same grind consistency, and at the time of purchase, $40 was about all I was prepared to spend on a home grinder. Read: young, broke barista. So my choice of the Mini Mill was out of ignorance: at the time of purchase, I did not understand that $40 was an insufficient budget for the quality I was looking for, and I was also misdirected considerably through internet discussions by coffee laypersons whose needs I now understand are far, far simpler than my own. Through much experimentation, I've found that the inconsistency in particle size from the Mini Mill is simply unacceptable for meaningful feedback on a given coffee.  

What I am looking for instead:

is a grinder capable of particle consistency uniform enough to be suitable for serious evaluation. I do not want to be limited by my grinder in my pursuit of understanding (though I understand that there will ALWAYS be a limit imposed by equipment). Instead, I wish to be able to adjust my brewing techniques against the experiment control of a consistent grind size. I do a great deal of my learning at home, and I presently have a good set-up: Bona-Vita swan neck kettle with digital temperature control, a battery of brewing equipment (aeropress, v60, bee house, chemex, cupping bowls, etc), and many focused years of experience. The grinder is the thing holding it all back!

SO:

A) what are some grinders that you would recommend for a person looking to enjoy quality coffee in this way at home?

and

B) Can this kind of quality be enjoyed (whether by manual or electric grind) for under $200, or must the budget absolutely expand to fit the above expectations? Understand that I will not be using the grinder for espresso: only for cupping and single-cup brewing techniques.

Please submit your opinions!

yours in coffee,
Slurpy.
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dana_leighton
Moderator
dana_leighton
Joined: 11 Jan 2002
Posts: 1,908
Location: Little Rock, AR
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Isomac Relax; Caferina...
Grinder: Macap MXK; Baratza Vario-W;...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: Technivorm; CCD; Melitta
Roaster: Poppery I w/PID controller
Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 1:10pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

I was just over on H-B looking over Jim Schulman's post on the Bunn LPG and Vario with steel burrs. It seems an LPG can be had on eBay for your price range (maybe less on Craigslist depending on where you are). Burr condition might be a consideration...

 
Dana Leighton - Espresso hack and CoffeeGeek moderator
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Netphilosopher
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
Posts: 1,602
Location: USA
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sun May 19, 2013, 3:01pm
Subject: .
 

.
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Intrepid510
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 344
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 12:09pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

I would probably go with the LIDO or the Virtuoso from Baratza. The LIDO was designed to be a cupping grinder and the Baratza has gotten glowing reviews from coffee professionals, http://twitter.com/NickCho/statuses/112347880496435200

I think either would be a good choice.

 
Less water, more grounds.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,744
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, 2 Macap M4s, OE...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Mon May 20, 2013, 12:52pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

+ (another) 1 on the Lido

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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dgcrowley53
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Charles City VA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Breville Smart
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: Clever, Aeropress
Roaster: none...yet...
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 10:49pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Check out the Breville Smart Grinder. They had some problems when they first hit the market; you had to install a washer kit so that the burrs were placed close enough together to grind fine enough for espresso. Now, they are manufactured with that change; espresso grind is possible with the grinder right out of the box. I have owned one for about a year and a half; the grind is very consistent, and I've used it for espresso to french press with no problems. Retails for about $199...and they've been around long enough that you can probably find them refurbished and even cheaper. Good luck!
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dgcrowley53
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2013
Posts: 9
Location: Charles City VA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Saeco Sirena
Grinder: Breville Smart
Vac Pot: nope
Drip: Clever, Aeropress
Roaster: none...yet...
Posted Wed May 22, 2013, 10:56pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

An additional note...what are you using for your pour-over method? If you haven't already, check out the clever little coffee dripper...it's available from Sweet Maria's (their website). The best pour-over I've come across.....but, I got tired of the double boiling; first, to rinse the paper filter, then to make the coffee...so, now I am impatiently waiting for my Trifecta mb to arrive, hopefully in about 5 days. My favorite coffeemaking methods: first, Trifecta...second, clever little coffee dripper; third, aeropress; fourth...nothing...that's it!
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Thu May 23, 2013, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

OE LIDO. For 165 it is the best grinder for the money and is PERFECT for pourover and immersion methods. It produces an excellent grind and is fun to use.

The Virtuoso is my pick for an electric grinder.

The Rosco Mini is a beast of a hand grinder - for a fraction of the price the LIDO gives you the same burr set. Can't go wrong with OE.
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jpender
Senior Member
jpender
Joined: 11 Jul 2011
Posts: 614
Location: California
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: OE LIDO
Vac Pot: S/S Moka Pot
Drip: Aeropress
Posted Thu May 23, 2013, 8:39pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Sam21 Said:

The Rosco Mini is a beast of a hand grinder - for a fraction of the price the LIDO gives you the same burr set. Can't go wrong with OE.

Posted May 23, 2013 link

Burr set isn't everything though.
Setting aside the issue of cost and value, is the Rosco Mini a better grinder than the LIDO?
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Sam21
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Sep 2011
Posts: 409
Location: Northwest, CT
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Siphon, Aeropress, CCD
Drip: Kalita Wave, Beehouse,...
Roaster: Hottop KN-8828B-2K
Posted Fri May 24, 2013, 3:03pm
Subject: Re: A Quality Grinder for Pour Over Coffee Under $200? Can it Be Done??
 

Of course it isn't but when it's housed in an excellent grinder body - it's definitely important.

I have no evidence to claim that one grinder is better than the other. That said, I enjoy using the Mini more and find its maintenance to be a piece of cake. A single screw holds the burr seated and dissassembly takes 30 seconds. The Mini is built to last generations (aside from the catch cup) and it is very compact. The grind setting markers run in .05 increments as well, so it is very way to measure grinds. The LIDO is easy as well but just a tad more fidgety. The solid metal body of the mini, the easy intuitive grind adjustment, and the ease of use make it an incredible piece of machinery. That said, it only grinds 26-30g at a time and is meant for single servings in that sense. It's not for everybody but as an office grinder and travel grinder I could not be happier. I even use it at home when I have it with me. That said, yes, it's $360 plus shipping.
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