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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > WWYD?  
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elwood00
Senior Member
elwood00
Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 238
Location: US
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Conti Prestina Lever
Grinder: Versalab M3, Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: no vac, just pot
Drip: Post-Nasal
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 9:04am
Subject: WWYD?
 

What Would You Do?

Looking for a replacement for my Vario to go along with my 'new' Conti Prestina.... not that I have to, the Vario is actually doing a pretty good job, but I am kicking around the idea...

Option 1 - Mahlkoenig ProM - 1395 shipped
Option 2 - Mahlkoenig K30 Vario - 1559 shipped
Option 3 - Versalab M3 - 1750 shipped (plus 180 for the "hands-free" option - considering the 'speed' of the M3, probably a required accessory)

I weigh and grind individual doses which allows me to switch back and forth between different roasts (and the vario does well with that). While the M3 is designed for that, I am not sure how well the K30 and the ProM work with 'empty' hoppers. From what i have read I think both are pretty good about single dose, 'no' waste grinding.

Footprint, while not a major issue, speaks for the M3 and the ProM (in that order) - speed is hands down the K30 and as far as the actual grind goes, I would think it also has the edge - again, this is from what I read and not based on first hand experience.

In the looks department it is hands down the M3 (for me) - I love the minimalistic approach, especially next to a seventies lever machine... and I actually prefer the K30 over the ProM - that looks a little too much like a 'Porsche Design Braun Home Grinder'.

Looking forward to input and if anybody has a used version of one of the three above that he/she is thinking about unloading..... let me know... (already missed out on Jon's K30)
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jammin
Senior Member
jammin
Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 666
Location: Boise
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: manual
Roaster: quest m3
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 9:20am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

elwood00 Said:

I weigh and grind individual doses which allows me to switch back and forth between different roasts (and the vario does well with that)

Posted May 28, 2011 link

seems like this is all you need to know.

The K30 is a dog w/o beans in the hopper.  The little plastic flange in the chute makes the coffee take forever to fully exit the grinder when running single doses.  You would hate it.  The k30 is also very similar in grind/taste to the Vario so it's basically a lateral move there.

Why pay for all the timer bell's and whistles if you're not even gonna use em'?

fwiw - the K10 makes a hell of a single doser and the grind quality is superb.

~j

 
roast your own
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elwood00
Senior Member
elwood00
Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 238
Location: US
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Conti Prestina Lever
Grinder: Versalab M3, Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: no vac, just pot
Drip: Post-Nasal
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 9:34am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

yeah, but the K10 is soooo ugly ;)

kidding... looks really are secondary

Do you convert the K10 to a doser-less, or do you work with the doser?
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jammin
Senior Member
jammin
Joined: 25 Nov 2009
Posts: 666
Location: Boise
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Vario-W
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: manual
Roaster: quest m3
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 9:40am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

i use the doser.  it's not for everyone i guess.  

here is a video of how i single dose with it.. Click Here (www.youtube.com)

~j

edit:  it's common to be able to get out what you put in (+/- .2 grams) with this method

 
roast your own
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 9:59am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

jammin Said:

The K30 is a dog w/o beans in the hopper.

Posted May 28, 2011 link

No, it really isn't -- not in my own experience, at any rate, but . . .

jammin Said:

The k30 is also very similar in grind/taste to the Vario so it's basically a lateral move there.

Posted May 28, 2011 link

Agreed (within limits -- see below).

jammin Said:

Why pay for all the timer bell's and whistles if you're not even gonna use em'?

Posted May 28, 2011 link

Agreed.

jammin Said:

fwiw - the K10 makes a hell of a single doser and the grind quality is superb.

Posted May 28, 2011 link

Agreed (anecdotally, at any rate -- I haven't used one).

/ / / / /

To the OP:

Why pay for a grinder that is NOT designed to do ______, that IS designed to do ______, when you intend to not use it as designed and to use it in a manner it is not designed for . . . .

If you single dose, a) keep the Vario (nothing will be a DRAMATIC improvement; we are talking improvement by degrees*), or b) get a grinder that can is designed for/can deal with single dosing . . .

Cheers,
Jason

* For example, I own both the Mahlkönig K30 Vario and the Baratza Vario (aka the Mahlkönig VARIO Home, as it is known within the EU).  There is no doubt the K30 is the better of the two, but it is also approx. 3x the price.  It is 3x better in the cup?  No.  It is better, but as Jackson points out, they are (overall, generally) similar in flavor profile, and from that standpoint, it could certainly be considered a "lateral move."

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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elwood00
Senior Member
elwood00
Joined: 15 Nov 2007
Posts: 238
Location: US
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Conti Prestina Lever
Grinder: Versalab M3, Baratza Vario
Vac Pot: no vac, just pot
Drip: Post-Nasal
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 10:27am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

(...)b) get a grinder that can is designed for/can deal with single dosing . . .

That is what I am trying to figure out. I think with the exception of the M3, no grinder is specifically designed for single dosing, so I am looking for the best compromise and from what I have read, the K30 seems to do fairly well in that department. There is very little information about the ProM in that regard, but given the fact that it is more like a Vario, it looks like it could handle it, so I threw it in the mix.

That going beyond the Vario will automatically entail the law of diminishing returns is to be expected and I do not believe any grinder could possibly provide a linear cost/result return over the Vario.

As I said in my initial post, I am not dead set on kicking the Vario to the curb, I am just looking around - no, there is no real reason to upgrade, but neither was there a real reason to sell my 2 year old HX and go for a Conti lever that has the carbon footprint of a small village in Ethiopia..... so look at my quest more as a 'he who dies with the most toys wins'-endeavor than a 'I need to do something, because my espresso sucks'....

thanks a ton for your input so far - I enjoy the process as much as the result....

PS:

Why pay for all the timer bell's and whistles if you're not even gonna use em'?

Because I can? LMAO
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EricBNC
Senior Member
EricBNC
Joined: 22 Jun 2010
Posts: 1,866
Location: North Carolina
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: QM Silvano, LP Stradivarius,...
Grinder: K30, Major, Preciso, Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam C30, Bodum Santos...
Drip: Bonavita BV-1800,...
Roaster: Behmor, Melitta, Fresh...
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 10:31am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

elwood00 Said:

What Would You Do?

Looking for a replacement for my Vario to go along with my 'new' Conti Prestina.... not that I have to, the Vario is actually doing a pretty good job, but I am kicking around the idea...

Option 1 - Mahlkoenig ProM - 1395 shipped
Option 2 - Mahlkoenig K30 Vario - 1559 shipped
Option 3 - Versalab M3 - 1750 shipped (plus 180 for the "hands-free" option - considering the 'speed' of the M3, probably a required accessory)

I weigh and grind individual doses which allows me to switch back and forth between different roasts (and the vario does well with that). While the M3 is designed for that...

Posted May 28, 2011 link

Sounds like the M3 is designed with your intentions in mind.  You do not list the K10 which, as others mentioned, gets high marks as a single doser.  The K30 (any version) seems designed to work best when throwing in a bag, setting the timer to match a weight at a certain grind, and then forgetting about it till the hopper is empty.  It works very well when used like this and I find it seldom requires additional adjustment.

Your B. Vario is considered a very good single dose grinder by most users though.

 
I chew coffee beans with my teeth while gargling with 195 F water to enjoy coffee. What is this "coffee brewing" device you speak of?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,368
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat May 28, 2011, 10:40am
Subject: Re: WWYD?
 

Obviously there is a distinction between want and need.  Both can be powerful motivators.  That said -- yes -- there is a clear difference between DESIGNED FOR and used for.  The Versalab M3 was indeed designed with single-dosing in mind.  OTOH, there are many people here who single dose and very few have M3's.  Mazzers, for example, do very well as a single-dose grinder.  Just remove the hopper.  Most tampers will cover the throat and prevent popcorning.  There are regulars here who single-dose with a Mazzer Super Jolly, and others here who single-dose with a Mazzer Robur . . .

But unless your have $2,000 extra lying around demanding to be spent, the practical side of things begs the question, will a Versalab M3 be $2K better than your Baratza Vario?  That is to say, "want" is never practical; "need" is . . . sometimes.  ;^)

Cheers,
Jason

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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