z0mbie Senior Member Joined: 26 Sep 2013 Posts: 363 Location: Online Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014, 9:24am Subject: Re: Need to find a great grinder
Interesting solution but I honestly don't believe a slight warming of the grounds due to friction during the grinding is going to change the taste. After all, the grounds are brewed at 200 degrees F.
Nevertheless if your current grinder is giving you grief for other reasons and you have 500 dollars to spend on a new one by all means go for it. I would buy the Baratza Vario at that budget if I wanted flat burrs.
calblacksmith Moderator Joined: 25 Nov 2007 Posts: 7,781 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 Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:02pm Subject: Re: Need to find a great grinder
Excuse me, I do not intend to offend but it sounds like you do not know much about grinders. It seems that you took some comments from several threads, mashed them together and "made the perfect grinder" NO grinder is perfect, no machine is perfect, no .... ANYTHING is perfect.
OK, nothing wrong here either, I also prefer a flat burr, what is the reason for this choice? For me, I like the deeper, more chocolate flavors in the shot vs the more fruit and flower notes of a conical burr grinder. Neither is better, again a personal preference.
Why? Good grinders use high torque, low RPM motors, these are more expensive to make but they have a very long life span, I guess I could be wrong, it would not be the first time but as far as I know, only inexpensive home grinders use any reduction in RPM... YMMV.
So you do not want steps AND YOU DO want steps????????? Stepless is better because you can make very small adjustments but they are dedicated grinders where not much more than a small change is needed. Steps are for switching between settings quickly but they lack the fine adjustment needed for espresso.
UH, this is the oft cited "formula" for brewing a shot, or at least getting it in the ball park to start adjustments. It has NOTHING to do with a grinder, any quality espresso grinder can adjust from gushers to a choked machine, it is the fineness of the grind that alters the time of the shot, again, any quality espresso grinder will do this.
(Yes, The extraction ratio is not for a lungo or risretto)
CMIN Senior Member Joined: 14 Jun 2012 Posts: 1,380 Location: South FL Expertise: I like coffee
Espresso: Crossland CC1 Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014, 12:22pm Subject: Re: Need to find a great grinder
I'm so confused by this thread lol. You have a Vario, a kickass home grinder. Yet your friend wonders why your shots are screwed up and too fast?!? I mean all you'd have to do is grind tighter. There's no grinder near your price range with all those features or all in one like you want at any price I'm aware of, the Vario is smack there in that price range and is flat burred, stepped but acts step less, as far as moddng rpm the sounds like a recipe for damaged burrs/burnt motor, they operate at X speeds for a reason and their already fairly low from the Vario on up to commercial class. You already own a Vario, am I missing something?
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,398 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014, 2:19pm Subject: Re: Need to find a great grinder
CMIN: Why should this thread be any different that this one???
To the OP: where to start? You wrote that you need -- though I dare say "want" is a better choice of words -- is a grinder that is: -- Doserless, -- Flat-Burr -- Gear reduction -- Easy to repeat stepless and stepped settings, -- Minimal friction (to avoid change of flavours),
OK, first off, the whole "doser/doserless" thing is nothing but personal preference, and that's an easy thing to obtain in your stated budget of $500. In fact, a Baratza Vario is in fact both: you can dose directly into the portafilter, or into a container.
Secondly, you want a flat burr set. Well, unless you increase your budget by a sizable amount, or opt for a trespade burr set, you're pretty much in "flat burr set world" with a $500 budget. In fact, a Baratza Vario has flat burrs.
Third, you want "gear reduction." Well, it just so happens that the Baratza Vario is a belt-driven grinder that has a relatively slow RPM compared to others of similar price (save for those hand-operated manual grinders).
Fourth -- and this is where I'm confused -- you said you wanted to have "easy to repeat, stepless and stepped settings." OK, but most grinders are either stepped or step less -- not both, although I suppose one could make the argument that a Baratza Vario, with its 230 "micro-steps" comes the closet to the idea of being both stepped and stepless . . . at least of any grinder I know of.
And finally, you asked about "minimal friction." Here, too, I'm not sure what you mean. Obviously the burrs will impact the beans, resulting in some friction and, as a result, grinding. I think what you may be concerned about are the burrs getting hot through constant use, but -- again -- unless you're operating a café and your grinder(s) is in content use, it's never something to worry about in a normal home environment. Nonetheless, a Baratza Vario, with its ceramic flat burrs, stays reasonably cool . . . at least in my experience.
Posted Thu Jun 5, 2014, 3:30pm Subject: Re: Need to find a great grinder
You can't do better than a Vario for a new grinder in the $500 range. It's not a perfect grinder but it's certainly very competent.
The next step up in flat burrs is the commercial, Super Jolly class; but it's not much of a step up in terms of quality in the cup. If you're looking for obvious superiority, you have to climb the ladder a rung further into the commercial, big-flat, Mazzer Major, over $1000 class.
If your problem is equipment related at all, your grinder might need to be disassembled, cleaned, reassembled and recalibrated. The Baratza website has all the necessary information in video form; and it's on YouTube as well.
You have a lot of opinions but they don't seem empirically based nor even very well informed -- which makes me wonder about your actual experience. Reading between the lines, I suspect your barista technique isn't very good and suggest you get some advice on and a lot or practice pulling shots before buying a new grinder.
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