At the time I was looking at getting a M4 but found a Cimbali Junior for the same price. But it has bigger flat burrs, bigger motor, and slow rpms. But if and when I do decide to upgrade I would like a Mazzer Major or the Robur or................Mahlkonig K30 Vario. The Cimbali Hybrid Max has both flat and conical burrs and the last time I saw one was on Chris Coffee and it was selling for around 850.00
many thanks, Ken, Mike & Tony for your kind replies; much appreciated! I've certainly been educated by the info you've all posted. I certainly would invest in a machine that is build to last, and also the quality materials is of paramount importance, too! The Macap looks more affordable than the Mazzer's, and from what I've read, they're a sturdy bit of kit with wide flat burrs, with low rpm's, too! Has anyone got experience of the Commercial Macaps such as the MXP/C?
I have to comment here because the commercial grinder love is a little out of hand. Commercial grinders are great in a commercial environment. The Robur may be the penultimate commercial grinder. It does not directly follow that the Robur is also the ultimate grinder in the home environment and therefore the standard that all other grinders should be compared to and all coffee geeks should aspire to own. Commercial grinders are designed around the way a cafe uses a grinder. The design of commercial grinders does not take into account the usage patterns of home users. Using a commercial grinder in the home means that you will have to make compromises and live with them every day. Often, the larger the grinder (burr set and/or motor) the larger the compromises. These are real issues that have to be dealt with to preserve an absolute dedication to quality-in-the-cup that would be, I assume, the reason for using a large commercial grinder in the home.
I know that the single dosers will chime in here that single dosing solves this. Unless you're using a Verslab M3 (a grinder that I admire for its commitment to doing 1 single things very well), single dosing is a compromise in which you agree to take on the extra work of storing the coffee, managing the dose, and cleaning out a grind path that was never intended to be kept clean.
This happens to be my soapbox issue. I have owned over 20 different grinders. My take away from it all has been that how you use a grinder from start to finish is what you should be basing your assessment of its quality on. The best grinder is the one that compliments the way you go about making your best coffee on a daily basis.
Well, that sort of gets to my point. In general I have preferred the results of using the large flat burr grinders (75mm, 83mm, 85mm) to the comparable smaller flat burrs (~64mm), but I'm not going to put much weight behind that statement. I liked single dosing the major much more than the SJ. A lot of other 64mm flat burr commercials aren't particularly good at single dosing as a result of their design, but often there are mods and other ways to over come that. I happen not to like single dosing, I find it too much effort to use something in a way it was never meant to be used, and I think that I make better coffee when I use a timed grinder and let myself purge as much as necessary. A lot of that has to do with the number of consecutive shots that I pull. Most of the shots pulled from my brief stint with a K8 Fresh where better than the single dosed K6 that used to be my grinder of choice, but the best shot that I have ever pulled was a Sumatra ground in the K6 - I had no idea espresso could be that good and have yet to have a shot that compares either at home or in a cafe.
I'm back to using the Super Caimano right now, and it's great, but thanks to the steps and the large retention adjusting to a new roast means a lot of work and a lot of waste. Under light use it would waste more coffee than would put to use. My usage dipped for a while and I was looking to sell it, but its back up again so I get to enjoy using it again. The Rodur has an even larger grind path volume, and I think that with my current usage is would be massively wasteful and a real headache to adjust.
In general I would prefer large conical to big flat and big flat to small flat, but that preference doesn't supersede actually using a grinder and seeing (tasting) what the results are. If you don't/cant let yourself purge out stale grounds whenever necessary, low internal retention should be high on your list of features. Fresh coffee is a lot more important than burr size
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