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Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Grinder Pairing...  
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MachiatoMan
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: NY Metro Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Roaster: Bodum French Press
Posted Thu Oct 4, 2012, 5:48pm
Subject: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

Hi Everyone,

About a month ago, I upgraded to a Rocket Cellini (from a Capresso Ultima) and have been quite happy with the step up in performance. I've been using a Rancilio Rocky purchased new in Apr this year. Given that mantra has always been the grinder is more important than the espresso machine, I've been wondering if upgrading the Rocky will provide a significant improvement. The two main drawbacks that I have encountered with the Rocky is clumping at finer grind settings (addressable via WDT) and lack of fine adjustment between steps (I compensate by increasing the tamp pressure). There is no play in the burrs. I couldn't do the teflon mode because even one layer of tape makes it too tight to screw in the top burr. So there isn't anything that is particularly deficient that I'm noticing with the Rocky, but rather a case I don't know what I don't know.

Anyway, two potential choices include the Baratza Vario and Mazzer Mini.

With the Cellini, what kind of difference can I expect by upgrading to either of these grinders vs the Rocky?

Also with the Mazzer Mini, there is a significant price difference between the doser and doserless models. I prefer doserless since I typically only make 1-2 drinks at a time. I know that there are some technical differences (bigger burr size on the doserless model) but is there a difference in the cup?

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

MachiatoMan
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Oct 5, 2012, 9:15am
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

You'll definitely notice a big difference in espresso quality between either the Vario or Mini and the Rocky.  My understanding is the Vario and Mini are pretty similar in quality, though I've never used either.  I do use the Macap M4, which in all reviews I've read compares on par or slightly better to the Mini.  I upgraded from a Rocky...and for me, that made a huge improvement.  I wouldn't recommend the Rocky to anyone.

IMHO, if you can afford even better than the Mini-class grinders (the above mentioned three and several others), you should go that route.  In short, buy the very best grinder you can afford.  Your machine is good enough quality to take advantage of the best grinders available.

Doserless vs doser is a matter of preference regarding how you like to work, more than how many shots you'll be making back to back.  I've always had a doser grinder.  Each time I've bought a new one, I thought long and hard and read a lot of other people's opinions on why they chose one over the other.  I am pretty sure my next doser will be doserless, in part because I now have a dosing funnel and want to see how well that works for me.  Having said that, some people say the doser action breaks up clumps.  I haven't found that to be true.  My regular coffee in one of my grinders doesn't ever clump, and my decaf in my second (identical) grinder almost always clumps.  The doser doesn't seem to do anything for that.  I do like the way the doser throws the coffee into the baskets though, and I find I can slide the naked pf around on the prongs to fill the basket more evenly, than a spouted pf fills. (YMMV)

Anyhow, to reply to your other question...I'd be very surprised if anyone who's used both doser and doserless would tell you there's a difference in the cup.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,842
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Oct 5, 2012, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

Short answer: yes there will be a noticeable difference.

Either of those two grinders will run rings around Rocky.

There are a lot of good choices out there and if you are able to go used, you will get more bang for your buck in quality of grind.

To use a doser or not, that is a personal preference and there is no correct or wrong answer, what you like is what you should use, end of story.
As said above, there is no difference in the cup and it is purely a choice in the way you want to work. My PERSONAL preference is for doser and I have said why many times, it comes down to ease of use for me. There are many well respected members who prefer doserless and that is fine too.

A while ago, I listed my personal SJ for sale on the BST board. The sale fell through and I never bothered to relist it. It was converted to doserless at the request of the person who wanted it but when it came time to buy it, they backed out. The pic is with doser, (silver grinder) it was converted with Mazzer parts http://www.espressoparts.com/MAZ_235 including the backing plate. Grinder only, no bean hopper, the hopper was sold. I am asking about $50 more than list on a new Vario. The SJ is just gathering dust and doing no one any good. I really had a hard time with should I offer it or not, at least you should know what is out there.

Are there less expensive SJs for sale? Yes, this one was only a few years old when I got it and I put about 100# through OEM Mazzer burrs, there are a few blemishes in the factory paint but nothing bad enough for me to want to refinish it.

There are other SJ and commercial grinders for sale all the time. Do your shopping, do your own evaluation of what you need and want.
You will be spending a fair amount of money and you want to be sure of what you are going to buy, you need to be happy with your new grinder.

You have a very nice machine and Rocky is holding you back.

calblacksmith: SJ1a.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,154
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Oct 5, 2012, 3:32pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

IF...you decide you want the Mini...AND...you decide you want a new one...AND....you decide you want the doser model...

I just saw an advertisement from 1st-line.com stating they're selling the silver one at 15% off this month (until stock is gone).  So the price there now is $500.

Personally, I'd see if Wayne would be willing to sell me his SJ he talked about up there, if I were in your shoes...but that's me.

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


Joined: 4 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: NY Metro Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Roaster: Bodum French Press
Posted Fri Oct 5, 2012, 10:16pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

Thanks for the feedback emradguy and calblacksmith.

I also didn't think doserless vs doser made any difference in the cup, but always wondered how Mazzer can charge several hundred dollars more for the doserless model with the only notable difference being the larger burrs. I'll also take a look at the Macap. I do have a height limitation given the 17" distance between my countertop and cabinets, so it doesn't look like the SJ or other commercial grade grinders will fit. But it is an option if I can find a place to relocate my coffee set up.

Emradguy, thanks for the tip at 1st line. Price-wise, it's tempting. Just not sure what I want yet.

It's a bit surreal to think that just 5 months ago, I was struggling to justify even spending the money on the Rocky. This time around, I want to make sure I won't be wanting to upgrade anytime soon after.
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qualin
Senior Member
qualin
Joined: 30 Jun 2012
Posts: 662
Location: Calgary, AB
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3
Grinder: Mazzer Mini Elect. Type A
Vac Pot: Looking to buy
Drip: Manual
Roaster: Considering?
Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 1:30am
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

I'd like to chime in...

I've made the leap from a Rocky to a Mazzer Mini.. While expensive, (Relatively speaking) it was worth every penny.
I've noticed a considerable improvement in the quality of my drinks. This grinder doesn't labour at all when it is grinding.
I wish I could compare the Vario to it from the point of view of the cup, but I'm afraid I can't.

I personally prefer the doserless model myself. It almost cleans itself. I would recommend the Mazzer Mini Electronic,
either Type A or B. Preferably the Type A because you can adjust the timed dose with buttons instead of a screwdriver.

The guy who sold it to me said, "This is the last grinder you will ever buy." .. I have the feeling he's right.

I was just looking for the next step up, which would have been the Vario-W, but this grinder is two steps up IMHO.
The salesperson recommended the Mazzer to me over the Baratza, from a quality and durability perspective.

I'm glad I spent the extra money. I get the feeling this grinder will last me at least 10 years or more.

If you want to stave off upgradeitis for a while, this is something you will want to seriously consider.

Besides, the front part of it is all shiny like your Rocket, so from an aesthetics point of view, it would match nicely.

 
Garbage In, Garbage Out, for every step of the process. From Beans to grinder, grounds to machine, coffee to cup.
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chex
Senior Member
chex
Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 68
Location: Fairview TX
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Q M Silvano, Gaggia Espresso
Grinder: 2xMazzer SJs, Major, WW2 era...
Drip: Hario pourover, presses,...
Roaster: Behmor, stovetop...
Posted Sun Oct 7, 2012, 9:25am
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

I just measured the height of the newer super jolly with the short mini hopper. Mine measures a hair over 18" with hopper; but a Mini-E should be able to squeeze in with the short hopper. It should measure in at 17" in height. If it's still a tight squeeze, just unscrew and remove the feet, reinstall the screws and maybe pop on rubber stick on bumpers available at any hardware store.
IMHO with a machine like your rocket, it only seems proper to have a quality Italian made commercial quality grinder. ;)

As for your question regarding the cup difference between a standard mini, and mini-E, I would imagine the E quality to be similar to the Super Jolly in terms of grind quality. The burrs for the E and SJ are the same exact part numbers. I recall ordering replacement burrs years ago and the mazzer packing had both SJ and Mini-E listed as compatible on the burr set. The main difference in electrical/mechanical components between the mini-e vs SJ is the motor. The mini-e uses a 250w 3-pole motor vs the SJ's 350w 3-pole. they both grind at 1600rpm making grinding speed almost identical. Just that extra 100w i imagine will allow for more torque for longer rated run times for commercial use. As for taste difference between a standard mini vs e; I never used a 58mm mini so i can't comment. But the burr life should last longer on the E.
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 987
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 10:42am
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

MachiatoMan Said:

I also didn't think doserless vs doser made any difference in the cup, but always wondered how Mazzer can charge several hundred dollars more for the doserless model with the only notable difference being the larger burrs.

Posted October 5, 2012 link

You're overlooking all the electronics.
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 857
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 4:15pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

calblacksmith Said:

You have a very nice machine and Rocky is holding you back.

Posted October 5, 2012 link

Short, easy to remember, i like it.

emradguy Said:

Personally, I'd see if Wayne would be willing to sell me his SJ he talked about up there, if I were in your shoes...but that's me.

Posted October 5, 2012 link

It is a grinder not wine get the best you can afford and fit. Go for a used Major if you can manage the space at all, it will outpace the Mini, Jolly, Baratza Vario - IMO

 
Yes i have a reason for leaving SCG off my list, yes it is my opinion, yes it is subjective as opinions are by definition, no don't start a flame war because you disagree.
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MachiatoMan
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: NY Metro Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Roaster: Bodum French Press
Posted Mon Oct 8, 2012, 5:16pm
Subject: Re: Grinder Pairing for Rocket Cellini - Upgrade Rancilio Rocky to ?
 

Good points. The vario would be easy to step to budget-wise, but 1-2 years down the road, i dont want to go thru this upgrade thing again. So i think this will require a bit more consideration.
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