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Which grinder?  My concerns...
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Which grinder?...  
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Burns
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: VA, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Braun KM30
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 8:01pm
Subject: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Hi folks,

I've been lurking for a few weeks but this is my first post.  I'm looking for a new machine (my current one is a 15 yr old Mr Coffee steam machine) and I've settled on a Gaggia Classic, now I just need to choose a grinder.

I'm thinking about the Baratza Virtuoso, Baratza Preciso and Ascaso I-mini.

My concerns are as follows:

I've read about more chute clog and buildup around the burrs on the I-mini resulting in a need to clean at least every day.  Can you I-mini users comment on this?  Do you Baratza owners see the same issue?

Is the Virtuoso really so much less capable than the Preciso as to warrant the additional cost?  I know it has the micro settings (400 as opposed to 40) but does one really need 400 settings?  Is this a difference I will actually taste?

Are the Baratza grinders durable compared with the I-mini?  There are some negative reviews in regard to early breakages on the Baratzas, with virtually none on the I-mini.  

Aside from that, I know one is stepless and the other isn't.  I am fine either way.  I do like the look of the I-mini but they are both nice.  Oh, I was also interested in the Le'lit 53 but can't find it for sale in stock anywhere.  I would welcome your comments on that one too, as they may apply to my aforementioned questions on chute clogging and durability.

Thanks,

Burns
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 8:12pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Espresso requires stepless, Virtuoso has steps but fairly wide. Example I have a Preciso and never pulled a good shot just using the Macro, which would be like just using a Virtuoso. Macro gets it within a range, and the micro helps dial it in, makes a huge difference. Baratzas are stepped but the micro on the Preciso/Vario/Forte let's them act stepless. They also don't suffer the retention and build up like many other grinders as they have a small and short grind path. I single dose my Preciso. Put a new burr carrier and adjustment ring in, cheap and easy. Been fine since, trick with the Baratzas is to always adjust Macro/micro while power is on and don't switch from espresso to drip. The grinders are capable of dual use but their best left either for coarse or espresso use only, that switching puts a lot of wear and tear on the adjustment ring.
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Burns
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: VA, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Braun KM30
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Good info - thanks CMIN.  I was disappointed to hear you say that I shouldn't use the Preciso for both espresso and drip, but it makes sense.  I already have a grinder for drip anyway but...

Do I understand clearly that you are saying if I DO wear out the adjustment ring from switching back and forth, I could do a drop-in replacement of the ring on my own for cheap?  Is there any other downside to using it for both?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,982
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 9:18pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Mich, welcome to CG.  

The Preciso will work fine with the Gaggia Classic though I could be a little biased in saying that since that is my set up.  I think that if you switch back and forth you may have more wear issues.  The ring is not very difficult to replace and you can look here

http://www.baratza.com/troubleshooting/

Most people do not keep switching back and forth from fine to coarse from what I read on CG.  I am happy with my Preciso, and Classic :)

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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Burns
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: VA, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Braun KM30
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 7:35am
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Thanks for the responses folks.  I'd appreciate any comments you guys have about the Preciso vs. ascaso and Le'lit particularly regarding buildup of "yesterday's grinds" in the chute and other parts of the machine.
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Burns
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: VA, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Braun KM30
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 1:43pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Just placed an order for a combo Gaggia Classic and Preciso - just a hair over $600 and I'm happy and waiting for shipment.  Now I just need to pick out a tamper and I'm going to upgrade the steam wand to a Rancilio, which I've heard helps.

Thanks for your advice folks.
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,356
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Tue Mar 25, 2014, 1:54pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Check Precison Tampers on Ebay. Lot's of users on here, cheap, and his quality is second to none, their spec'd perfectly to fit any basket size. Just remember to always adjust the Preciso with power on (really goes for any grinder), whether Macro or Micro. Pick up a digital scale that weighs to .1g too, can find them cheap on Amazon where I got mine. That way you'll know your doses if you single dose or just use the hopper filled (weight the grinder bin, then tare it out, then weigh after grinding). After a few tries you'll have apprx X amount of seconds for X amount of grinds to go off of.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 441
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic (w/PID)
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: chemex
Posted Fri Mar 28, 2014, 1:22pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

Very nice, there are a bunch of good mods out there for the gaggia classic (PID, Steam Wand, OPV) to improve the quality. As for a tamper, I'm partial to the wood handles (I have a Cafelat Drop).
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Burns
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Mar 2014
Posts: 9
Location: VA, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Grinder: Braun KM30
Drip: Hario V60
Posted Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:15pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

CMIN Said:

Check Precison Tampers on Ebay. Lot's of users on here, cheap, and his quality is second to none, their spec'd perfectly to fit any basket size. Just remember to always adjust the Preciso with power on (really goes for any grinder), whether Macro or Micro. Pick up a digital scale that weighs to .1g too, can find them cheap on Amazon where I got mine. That way you'll know your doses if you single dose or just use the hopper filled (weight the grinder bin, then tare it out, then weigh after grinding). After a few tries you'll have apprx X amount of seconds for X amount of grinds to go off of.

Posted March 25, 2014 link

Quick question - what happens when you accidentally forget for a moment not to adjust the settings while he grinder isn't running?  ...even when you were warned not to do so.  :(

Is it important that there are beans in the hopper when you are adjusting/grinding?
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D4F
Senior Member


Joined: 15 Mar 2012
Posts: 1,982
Location: USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Classic PID
Grinder: Baratza Forte-AP
Posted Sat Mar 29, 2014, 12:38pm
Subject: Re: Which grinder?  My concerns...
 

With the grinder off, any grinds left between the burrs can hold them up and not let them drop closer together so you do not get a good adjustment.  If the adjustment were large enough from coarse to fine it might be hard on the mechanism.

You do not need beans in.  You can single dose and adjust empty, though there are retained grinds, so adjust running going up or down on settings.

 
D4F also at
http://www.gaggiausersgroup.com/
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