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Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Doser or...  
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Mingh
Senior Member


Joined: 20 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Belgium
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia classic, aeropress,...
Grinder: Zassenhaus guatemala
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 1:37pm
Subject: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

Hi,

Been reading heaps on this forum. I've a isomac zaffiro for over 2 years now. Use it for 2 - 3 doube espressos per day, and slowly, very slowly i start understanding how to pull a good espresso. Until now i used a zassenhaus guatemala as a grinder. After about a year this is beyond economical repair - all due to poor design and engineering. So I'm now orienting for a mid level grinder. The budget stretches to a macap mc4 not beyond. Any advoce whether a doser is better for my usage? Or does it make cleaning even worse? No experience with either a doser or a doserless.

On the shortlist are lelit pl53, macap mc4, isomac macinino and compak k3 touch. Any thing i should know about these?
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,864
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 May 20, 2014, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

A doser is a personal choice. One grinder is not better or worse than the other if it does/does not have a doser.

I like them on semi auto grinders, it provides a place to hold the grounds while I am pulling shots so I can move a bit faster. Some people feel that they make cleaning more of an issue, it is all a personal choice.

 
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: 3,167
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 Tue May 20, 2014, 3:12pm
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

Unless MACAP has changed things recently, the MC4 is doserless. The M4 is the dosered model.  Like Wayne said, doser/doserless is a personal choice.  Me, I make about what you make most days and I have, and always have had, dosers.

If you have more specific questions about the MACAP grinders, let me know either here or through pm.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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JGG
Senior Member
JGG
Joined: 31 Mar 2006
Posts: 1,379
Location: Kentucky, US
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: PID Silvia; PID Alexia
Grinder: Mazzer SJ
Roaster: Hottop D w/HTC+TC4C
Posted Tue May 20, 2014, 8:35pm
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

I've used both style Mazzer grinders and greatly prefer the doser model.  We grind for 2-4 doubles per day by grinding pre-weighed bean doses. The doser eliminates clumping and does a better job of distribution of coffee in the basket.  For me, it is not even a close call.

Jim
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,319
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 Wed May 21, 2014, 6:59am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

Doesn't matter.  

We all know what you mean when say "doser or doserless" but it's something of a misnomer because even though they don't have a nose-mounted, mechanical, sweeping-doser, modern "doserless" grinders are often "on demand" (aka "walk up") time-dosers.  

Over the years I've owned Anfim, Ceado, La Cimbali, and Pasquini (re-branded Anfim).  All but the Ceado had exceptionally good mechanical dosers.  The Ceado, which I'm using now, doesn't.  I've used regular and walk up Compaks, Mazzers,  walk up Mahlkonigs (only way they come), regular Fiorenzatos and Quamars (same company, same great values, same crap dosers), other Anfims (best doser ever!), etc., etc.  No problem either way.  

It's more about the particular grinder than a generic question.  If the grinder's product is normally clumpy, the sweeper in a mechanical doser will knock down the clumps considerably.  But if the grinds aren't clumpy -- Baratza Vario, for example -- no mechanical doser needed.

One way or the other, you're going to have to dose.  Nose-mounted, mechanical, sweeping-dosers,(i.e., the things we normally mean when we say  "doser") were designed to do it in a certain way, which almost no one uses anymore, especially not at home. The barista was supposed to grind until the doser was full, then use the sweeper to dispense measured amounts (which could be adjusted by raising or lowering the sweepers) into the pf.  

However, we learned (decades ago) that a full doser meant stale grounds -- so we'd lower the sweepers as far they'd go to sweep clean; grind and thwack the grinds into the pf as the grinder was running; and dose the basket by eye. I did it for decades, and some people still do it that way.  Go to any barista competition and you'll hear the characteristically quick thwack thwack thwack.    

The huge majority of professionals and enthusiasts who do single-dose espresso use (single dosing) timers; whether built-in (on demand grinders), special purpose (Auber, for instance), or an electronic, switching, dark-room timer.  Single dosing espresso by weight is very accurate, but comparatively slow and inconvenient and is pretty much restricted to enthusiast home settings and to those who consider "retention" a threat to life as we know it.  

There's a reasonable case to be made for each method. Note that the term "single dosing," especially as used on coffee enthusiast boards like CG and H-B, almost always refers to single dosing by weight.    

Bottom Line:
Following an easy dial-in which never needs subsequent tweaking, we all want the full spectrum of flavors in perfectly fluffy, static-free, grinds which are quickly, accurately and effortlessly dispensed dead center into the pf by a well-priced, quiet, easy to clean, incredibly well-built, small-footprint, zero retention, joy to touch, pleasure to use, visually attractive unit finished to match the espresso machine, which fits under kitchen cabinets, and that our spouses will enthusiastically approve.

Sadly, that machine is a magic pony.  We all have to prioritize.  And notice that in that categorical of wonderfuls, "doser or doserless" ain't in it.

Rule of Thumb:
Buy the best grinder you can barely afford which can conceivably be crammed into your space.

Rich
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,167
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 Wed May 21, 2014, 7:52am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

boar_d_laze Said:

...Single dosing espresso by weight is very accurate, but comparatively slow and inconvenient and is pretty much restricted to enthusiast home settings and to those who consider "retention" a threat to life as we know it.  

There's a reasonable case to be made for each method. Note that the term "single dosing," especially as used on coffee enthusiast boards like CG and H-B, almost always refers to single dosing by weight.

Posted May 21, 2014 link

Though I agree with most of what you said, and this statement above may also be accurate…for me, the issue of retention is not a factor in why I single dose by weight, rather than time. Like you said it's slow and inconvenient, but I'm rarely in a hurry and I don't mind the task of weighing out the dose ahead of time. I prefer to have a specified dose and adjust only the grinder fineness to dial in my shot, rather than (and this is just my inexperienced understanding of what it takes to dial in an "E" grinder) having a hopper full of beans from which I have to set the time, weigh the output adjust both grind fineness and time to dial it in. I'm fairly certain that there's a learning curve to that, and that once one reaches the plateau, it becomes old hat and a non-isue, but I've not the desire nor patience at this point in my life to deal with that curve.

I still feel that the desire for using one method of grinder output over the other is personal preference…despite you arguing otherwise.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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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 Wed May 21, 2014, 8:28am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

It is preference which by nature is both personal and subject to change based on experience, how a person slept and their digestive system. It is a good questions but and old question worth neither bickering, tomes or redefining accepted terms. In the end you will want try with and without to decide for yourself.


Personally I find my Major on a digital dark room timer with modified doser spits out uber consistent dose weights and is quite satisfactory for how i work.

 
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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acasabia
Senior Member
acasabia
Joined: 17 Oct 2008
Posts: 620
Location: Westchester, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Brewtus iv-p,...
Grinder: Quamar M80e, Hario slim
Vac Pot: Yama Vacpot, Aeropress,
Drip: french press
Roaster: hot-air popper.
Posted Wed May 21, 2014, 10:54am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

I prefer doserless. I find it's easier to keep clean and obviously is much quieter. I also like automatic/timed dosing.

It doesn't make a world of difference but it definitely helps prevent stale grinds from hanging around.

 
Anthony C

Currently pulling:
Path Coffee Roasters (PortChester, NY) Feather in cap espresso.

Cold Brewing:
Gimme! (ithaca, NY) Moca Java

http://coffeeandneuroscience.wordpress.com/
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Mingh
Senior Member


Joined: 20 May 2014
Posts: 3
Location: Belgium
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Gaggia classic, aeropress,...
Grinder: Zassenhaus guatemala
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 3:28am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

Followup: as mentioned in a different thread i went out to buy a used Macap M4 that came a giveaway price of 80€. Burrs look fine at first sight. Only the plastic tamper is missing and the hopper is cracked. I bought it only to find out that it is an MXA. Condition is great but i think it's too much grinder for my 4-5 double shots per day. I may resell it or swap for a smaller doserless grinder.

What puzzles me though: on my zassenhaus guatemala hand grinder i needed to grind finer and tamp harder than with the grounds produced by this machine. I keep choking my filter, and setting the grind coarser. What does this indicate about burr wear or ground consistency? Or -much more likely- my skills?

Thanks!
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Burner0000
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jul 2011
Posts: 1,090
Location: Cambridge, Ontario Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia, VFA Expres...
Grinder: Macap MX/VFA N1464/Kyocera...
Drip: Manual Drip, French Press
Roaster: Behmor 1600 / Sonofresco
Posted Tue Jun 3, 2014, 5:00am
Subject: Re: Doser or doserless for a few cups a day?
 

Mingh Said:

Followup: as mentioned in a different thread i went out to buy a used Macap M4 that came a giveaway price of 80€. Burrs look fine at first sight. Only the plastic tamper is missing and the hopper is cracked. I bought it only to find out that it is an MXA. Condition is great but i think it's too much grinder for my 4-5 double shots per day. I may resell it or swap for a smaller doserless grinder.

What puzzles me though: on my zassenhaus guatemala hand grinder i needed to grind finer and tamp harder than with the grounds produced by this machine. I keep choking my filter, and setting the grind coarser. What does this indicate about burr wear or ground consistency? Or -much more likely- my skills?

Thanks!

Posted June 3, 2014 link

 Burr wear.. Trust me.. I drove myself crazy for months trying to figure this out. I had recently purchased new burrs a year ago prior so I didn't think they could be dull or even broken in.. Turns out they were damaged. I wouldn't even bother with the plastic tamper and just use a regular steel tamper. Ground consistency with the MX is great even at a courser setting.  I miss using it for drip.
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