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slim4511
Senior Member
slim4511
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 7:36am
Subject: Espresso only grinder
 

Hi forum,

I am new to the forum and to the world of espresso for that matter.  I would like some help deciding on an espresso only grinder.  I do not yet have an espresso machine as I am taking the advice of many and determining the right choice for the grinder first and then moving on to the decision of the machine afterwards.  That said, what would be your advice for an espresso only grinder in the under $800 USD range?  Your comments are appreciated.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 8:19am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

This is a difficult question to answer, just because there are SO many right answers within the bound of espresso grinder up to $800. Do you have any any size restrictions or are you concerned about the appearance? Are you worried about it being loud? Are you willing to put some work into it?

If these are really your only prerequisites, I would suggest one of the Mazzers. You can find a used Super Jolly in the $300 range and you can get a brand new one in the $600s. If you're a bit more concerned about counter profile, the Mini will fit under the cabinets just fine and you can get that about $100 cheaper. you can probably even find a used SJ doserless if you looked around a bit. There are plenty of other options, though.

Happy sipping,
-Dave-
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 8:25am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

I would recommend a stepless grinder, no matter what. With your budget you ought to be able to find a more than capable grinder. Here are some suspects (in alphabetical order):

Baratza Preciso: $299  (actually not stepless, but with 440 settings virtually stepless)
Baratza Vario: $449 (not stepless either, but with more than 200 settings also virtually stepless)
Compak K3-touch: $530
MACAP MC4: $549
MACAP M4: $629
Mazzer Super Jolly: $695
Mazzer Mini-E: $799
Nuova Simonelli MCI: $700

Check them out on consumer reviews, for example.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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slim4511
Senior Member
slim4511
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 8:44am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

Thanks for replies.  I do have some space restrictions (should have mentioned earlier).  The set up will need to go under counter of which I have only 17.5 inches.  Good looks is a preference but quality of the grinder is certainly more important.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,961
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 8:58am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

NobbyR Said:

I would recommend a stepless grinder

Posted May 22, 2012 link

I agree, but some stepped grinders, such as indicated below have such fine steps it doesn't seem to matter


All of the following will fit under a standard kitchen cabinet:

Baratza Preciso: $299  (actually not stepless, but with 440 settings virtually stepless)
Baratza Vario: $449 (not stepless either, but with more than 200 settings also virtually stepless)
MACAP MC4: $549
MACAP M4: $629
Mazzer Super Jolly: $695 (without the hopper)
Mazzer Mini-E: $799

There's a great review article here on CG from several years back comparing 5 or 6 undercounter grinders in the Mazzer Min/Macap M4 class.

I removed two from Nobby's list only because I don't know their height for sure, not because they definitely won't fit.

You also need to decide between doser and doserless models.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,014
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 10:08am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

I like the Vario W it is more ($50-100) than the vario but I love dosing X grams into my basket in the morning with no mess and no fuss.  It looks good on the counter and it is neat.  The bad things about commercial grinders they are messy and huge.  That is all that is keeping me from having a commercial grinder.  I love the size and convenience of the Vario W.

I personally did not like the idea of spending $300 for a commercial grinder used and having to mod the heck out of it to sorta get what I wanted to begin with.  And I hate the grind retention of commercial as well.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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slim4511
Senior Member
slim4511
Joined: 22 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: US
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 10:33am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

As far as doser or doserless goes, my use will be about 2 or 3 double espressos per day.  Having not been a coffee maker previously, I would think amount of mess, ease of operation to make a consistent, good product, and quality workmanship would be of much value to me.  After reading so much on this forum, things are getting a little fuzzy for me on the topic.  I don't think I need all of the bells and whistles but am not afraid to spend money for the right equipment.
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 2,961
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Tue May 22, 2012, 11:11am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

I believe the mess problem that people report with doserless can be overcome by using a dosing funnel.  However, I've always had doser models, so I can't say for sure.  I don't think you can go wrong with those listed recently.  It might boil down to price and looks.  I'm pretty sure most will agree the Mazzer, Macap and Compak are better build quality than the Baratza (though I may get thrashed for saying that).

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Gig103
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Feb 2012
Posts: 225
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: French press!
Posted Wed May 23, 2012, 10:31am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

Someone (not me) is selling a Vario for $350, which is a good deal!

"SOLD  FS Baratza Vario $$350 Shipped"
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 12:49am
Subject: Re: Espresso only grinder
 

slim4511 Said:

... I do have some space restrictions (should have mentioned earlier).  The set up will need to go under counter of which I have only 17.5 inches ...

Posted May 22, 2012 link

The Nuova Simonelli MCI is very compact. It would fit.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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