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La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > La Cimbali...  
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Nutric
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Croatia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 6, 2013, 10:55pm
Subject: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Hi everybody!

I'm looking to get my first grinder. I currently own a Gaggia Classic and would like to pair it with one of the aforementioned grinders. I read the "titan grinder project" posts but still find myself indecisive about what grinder to get since i have no real experience. Any thoughts?
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,480
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 8:13am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Unless the Gaggia Classic in question is heavily modded, it will under-perform the grinders you're talking about by a large margin.  To my mind, spending more than the cost of a Vario is overkill.  You won't taste what a really good (and expensive) grinder can do in the cup, at least not consistently (consistency is the name of the game), because the grinder's consistent size distribution, fluffy grind quality and capability of very fine adjustment will be overwhelmed by the stock Classic's inconsistent temping and intra-shot temp variance.  

I'm the guy who originated the phrase GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER (or at least I think I am), and it's current dogma to say you can't have too much grinder.  

BUT as a rough rule with lots of exceptions: if you spend less than a third or more than the full price of the espresso machine on a grinder, there's probably a mis-match in the combination.  But I'm not your Dad and won't tell you how to spend your money.  Good espresso machines will likely remain widely available.  You can upgrade yours if and when you feel the need.  

I have a La Cimbali "Jr. Max Hybrid" (i.e., a Jr with a conical burr set, and probably what you're asking about as opposed to the old Jr with the flat burrs).  It's a great grinder, but a huge PITA to remove the hopper to clean out stray beans which get trapped between hopper and neck or just inside a sort of collar which comes before the burrs.  Cleaning is a task which does not depend on how many beans you push the grinder, but must be performed AT LEAST once a month or whenever there's an off taste.  

On the other hand, the La Cimbali's overall build quality, ease of minute adjustment, consistency, etc., etc., put it well into the "Titan" class; and with a relatively compact form factor to boot. Kony performance in a Mini body.

The old Jr with the flat burrs does not perform to anywhere near the Jr-Max-Hybrid does, and presents the same maintenance issues.  Nice form factor, good ergonomics.  Don't bother.

The SJ is a decent, well made grinder.  Grind quality is okay, but no batter than its 64mm flat burr set.  In the greater scheme of things it's about as much grinder as an NS MDX, with a less pleasant adjustment mechanism (I hate Mazzer's obsolete collar rotation on a stick scheme) for a third less.   Used SJs used to be an automatic recommendation for guys looking to step up their game and get an actually good grinder.  It used to be easy to find a good, used SJ cheap.  There aren't quite as many as there used to be on the market, but they still come up from time to time.  If you buy used, plan on replacing the burrs.  

Don't know the BNZ at all other than that it's a 68mm conical, popular in Oz and supposedly good for its price.

Another grinder in the same price range as the Cimbali and BNZ, using a 71mm burr set (same size as a Robur), is the Fiorenzato Doge Conico.  I know a couple of guys who use them and say that it's not just comparable to but better than the Compak K10 PB and Macap MD7, but... y'know... a lot cheaper.  I'm not sure whether to believe them or not.  In my experience, "a lot cheaper" usually means a lot of compromises.  But not always, and I don't know the grinder.  A few years ago there were some problems with stalling, but Fiorenzato replaced the motor with something more powerful.  A grinder worth researching.  

If I were replacing my Cimbali but unwilling to spend $1500 on the Compak or Makap, or even more (!!) on something better (!?), I'd lean towards the Fiorenzato, but proceed with great caution

The current darling of EXtreme Barista-tude is the Mahlkonig EK43 (98mm flat burrs); while the more conservative still lust after a Robur-E.  

Me?  I just spent a fortune modding a new Bunn G1 HD into a Bunnzilla variant for cupping and non-espresso grinding, so thoughts harbored about upgrading the Cimbali will remain docked for quite a while.  In the meantime I have a screwdriver, brush, plenty of Grindz, and the Junior-Max-Hybrid is doing a fines job.  

BDL
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Nutric
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Croatia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 8:42am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

No, i mean the regular Cimbali Jr. with the flat burrs. I'm buying used and have those three options currently on my market. The Cimbali is the cheapest then the Mazzer SJ and the most expensive option the BNZ MD74. All three are within my range.
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,480
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 9:22am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Used -- as always -- depends on the condition of the grinder.  How can anyone recommend a particular machine he knows nothing about?  And please, if you're asking about used equipment in the future, say so.

Looking at the machines more generally:  
  1. The La Cimbali Jr (flat or burr) is a very well made machine, with the best adjustment scheme, the best placed switch, best form factor, etc., but requires an amount and type of maintenance which other machines don't.  Also, Cimbali burrs are extremely long-lasting.  Unless the machine in question has seen hard, long, commercial use there's at least a chance that the burrs won't need replacement;

  2. SJs have been around forever.  Well built, last a long time, grind to "cafe" standards," but not particularly convenient to use.  Plan on replacing the burrs;

  3. I'd be tempted to take a chance on the BNZ if only because it's conical.  But I'm completely unfamiliar with them;

  4. Each of three grinders are way more grinder than the Classic is an espresso machine.  As long as you're using the Classic, it's unlikely you'll detect the limits of any good grinder; and

  5. Despite what I said about Jr. and SJ burrs, and my complete ignorance of all things BNZ, it's prudent to plan on burr replacement for any used grinder.  So unless you can open them up to check burr condition before buying, factor the cost of a new set into the respective asking prices.  

BDL
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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 Sat Dec 7, 2013, 9:39am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

The thing a bout a Jolly is if you buy it right you will always be able to get your money back if/when upgrade fever hits. You have to really take your time work Craigs List and Ebay but you can get a Major for about the same money as Super Jolly. If you have the space for the taller machine the larger bur is nice. I gave $350 for mine plus shipping and it was super clean with pretty low hours on the bur. I am trolling for a Koney, Robur or K10 to set beside it so i have a flat and conical burr.

Those are all nice grinders and hard to go to wrong.

 
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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Nutric
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Croatia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 10:23am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Thank you both for your posts. I'm not from the US but from Croatia, EU. A country that shares the marine border with Italy so we have lower prices on italian equipment. The Cimbali Jr. lightly used goes for about US $130. The SJ for $170 and the BNZ for $200. So hence my indecision.  So it's roughly half the price of the Classic. Thank you for your patience

EDIT: shipping is about $15 plus $20 for new burrs. I can install those myself
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,480
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 11:05am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Nutric Said:

The Cimbali Jr. lightly used goes for about US $130. The SJ for $170 and the BNZ for $200. So hence my indecision.

Posted December 7, 2013 link

You can't really use "cost effectiveness" for what's an individual, aesthetic decision.  There's no way to say whether or not a BNZ is worth $70USD more than a Cimbali.  

As long as you can afford it, buy whichever you want most.  

BDL
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Nutric
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Croatia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Dec 7, 2013, 11:29am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Ok. I was tempted to get a used La Cimbali M22 Premium for $500 but since it is a commercial machine and i do not have countertop space for a double group i got the $400 Gaggia. I know it's not a consistent machine but will have to do until i move to a bigger apartment. On the grinder side i'll follow my instincts and get the BNZ since it has the biggest burrs (68mm conical vs 64mm flat of the other two).
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Nutric
Senior Member


Joined: 6 Dec 2013
Posts: 7
Location: Croatia
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Just a quick update. After some negotiations over used grinders i finally went with a Mazzer SJ. Just had my first espresso from freshly ground beans at home. The difference between the preground and freshly ground is amazing. With the preground there was no crema and hardly any flavor. What a difference when freshly ground. The flow was much slower and thicker. Like honey. And the taste just cannot be compared. So much more body and mouthfeel. Thank you coffee geeks :)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 8,038
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 Tue Dec 17, 2013, 10:29am
Subject: Re: La Cimbali Junior, Mazzer Super Jolly or BNZ MD74
 

Your welcome, the SJ will last you a very long time. Check out the CBSJ mod for the doser, it makes it sweep very cleanly and makes using the doser much nicer. I DO like a doser, it allows you to grind while doing something else. A dark room timer works great to adjust your grind time. They are settable in 1/10 second divisions and take nearly all the work out of the grinder. Many timers do not have a big enough rating on the switch though so you might need to do what I did and use the timer to turn a relay on and the relay operates the grinder. This is a very consistent way to use the grinder.

 
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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