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Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Moving to the...  
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klund
Senior Member
klund
Joined: 31 Mar 2012
Posts: 72
Location: Southern MN, USA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Vario-W
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 2:49pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

I'm a total noob, and I love the Breville Dual Boiler. I love it so much that this past week when I was out of town, I bought mochas at *$. I tried a cappuccino first, and all I could taste was bitter, burnt beans and over-heated milk. I found that the chocolate of the mocha overpowered everything else and made it drinkable. I don't think I've ordered a mocha in three years.

Anyway, I would imagine that you would love the BDB. I am already beginning to wish that I had spent more on my grinder, but I'm not so dissatisfied that I'm going to buy a new one this year. The drinks I'm making are better than anything I ever made before, I am just starting to notice little things that are limits on the grinder (I wish there was a step between *this* grind and *that* grind).

Good luck, and have fun!

 
-- klund

Well then, you should see me without coffee.
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jwsnyder919
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jun 2011
Posts: 90
Location: All over
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 3:17pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

(

SamTonin Said:

As for the grinder, the new Baratza Encore is the only way to go.

Posted May 24, 2012 link

As someone who owns an Encore and put it through 2lbs for espresso, I cannot agree with this.  (EDIT: I say this # not because I think it's large, but so you understand I gave it a serious try.  However, I could not understand wasting any more espresso - maybe 1/4 of the pound thrown down the sink, 5/8 completely mediocre, and 1/8 good).  Does it grind fine enough for espresso?  Yes.  Would I recommend it to any of my friends as an espresso grinder?  No.  It's frustrating with its lack of fine steps.  Especially for a beginner, I would not recommend it as an espresso grinder for any reason other than its price.  You can do it, yes, but to me, spending more for something with finer tuning is a no brainer.  

I'll also say to the OP that I started by looking for a do-it-all grinder.  It gets old real fast.  I jumped down the rabbit hole early this year; I bought a baratza vario and my fiancee changing it to her daily drip lasted about 2 months before I got so tired of it that I bought an encore for manual grinding.  since then, our coffee world is much more harmonious.  So, if you'll be doing larger grind sizes (drip, french press, aeropress, pour over, etc) with frequency, I'd just say that I find coffee life much better with 2 grinders (2 reasonably affordable grinders, IMHO).  

In your price range, I'd recommend the vario to everyone I know.  it has extremely low grind retention, I find it very easy to use (I'd prefer more click on the steps, but you get used to it).  I got mine because space and budget were big issues (my budget was a little bigger than yours, but not much).  The vario will do all your grind ranges for you, but it's less than ideal.  With the budget, if it's as firm as can be, I would also think about a preciso and an encore.  I haven't personally used a preciso but countless reviews have sung its praises.  That way, you can avoid the annoyance I described above if you're grinding larger.  Definitely a personal thing -- some people won't mind it as much as I do.  Some will mind it more (those who recommended the two grinder set up to me when I was starting).  

Baratza refurbs can be had from their site and their customer service is top notch.  I've had one good interaction with them (not regarding any serious maintenance) and their reputation is sterling.  You'll be hard pressed to find a refurbed or used encore if you pursue a 2 grinder set up, but the preciso and vario should be there for (usually) 220 (preciso) and 360 (vario).  There is a vario there right now (Click Here (www.baratza.com)).  I think they update the refurb stock every thursday, or at least that's when I've noticed changes.  

I haven't used other grinders folks might suggest.  All I know is what I've used.  I love the vario. I love it even more with the encore here.
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nebber
Senior Member


Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 15
Location: Newton, MA
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Breville Dual Boiler
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 4:16pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

I like the specs/look of The baratza virtuoso preciso - but do I want a doser on the grinder?  It seems like that would be important to get consistent shots.

- ben
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jwsnyder919
Senior Member


Joined: 28 Jun 2011
Posts: 90
Location: All over
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: QM Andreja Premium
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 5:43pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

nebber Said:

I like the specs/look of The baratza virtuoso preciso - but do I want a doser on the grinder?  It seems like that would be important to get consistent shots.

- ben

Posted May 24, 2012 link

I think many would call this a matter of preference.  I, for example, prefer doserless.
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TheSunInsideYou
Senior Member
TheSunInsideYou
Joined: 16 Feb 2012
Posts: 206
Location: NJ and NYC
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Breville BES900XL
Grinder: Laranzato HC-600, OE LIDO,...
Vac Pot: Yama 3
Drip: Hario V60, Chemex
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 6:39pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

nebber Said:

It seems like that would be important to get consistent shots.

Posted May 24, 2012 link

The doser really isn't going to make your shots consistent (I'm assuming you mean making sure you have the same dose for each shot). There are better ways to do this. Weighing the grounds in the portafilter is one. Another one is getting the Essato add on for the preciso. Even setting the timer to the same notch every time is going to get you similar results to relying on a doser.

But as JW said, it is all a matter of preference. I have the HC-600 with a doser, which isn't a bother to me, but I do prefer doserless.

-Dave-
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Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,047
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Thu May 24, 2012, 8:46pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

I feel like the doser is messier and retains more grinds than it is useful for a home user. Before I got my vario w I weighed the beans for each shot into the hopper. watch a video or a coffee shop grinder to see what I mean about waste and mess. or look at all the doser mods on commercial machines for home use. That should show you that there is an issue the are trying to resolve.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,942
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 May 25, 2012, 4:59am
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

A voice of caution here.
The BDB is VERY new and the manufacturer has a VERY bad reputation for quality. The first run of those machines had some issues but Brevelle did seem to handle the situation. It checks all the WOW boxes but at it's price point I can't help but see short cuts in components, the thin shell of the machine is one example.

Will it be a long lasting machine? Well, no one knows, it seems to be off to a good start but my personal money would not be invested as a beta tester, I am waiting a few years to see how it holds up over time before I can recommend it. There are several design choices they made such as not being able to descale it yourself, that I just can not agree with.

The owners of them here, seem to be very happy with them and you will hear hearty support for them from those owners.

Only you can decide if the BDB has proven it's self to your satisfaction but the consensus of most of the long time members here are taking a wait and see posture about this machine. Just a word of caution, something to think about.

Others have covered the grinder issue, the grinder is king and the machine plays a support role in the espresso equation.

 
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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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,942
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 May 25, 2012, 5:07am
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

nebber Said:

I like the specs/look of The baratza virtuoso preciso - but do I want a doser on the grinder?  It seems like that would be important to get consistent shots.

- ben

Posted May 24, 2012 link

The doser is really not used in a home environment for controlling the volume of grounds in the shot. I really like a doser for the flexibility it provides in being able to grind for your next shot while pulling a shot. Dosers tend to help with clumping issues and my personal use is that they are cleaner than doserless grinders.

If you keep beans in the hopper, a timer is a great way to go. I only have commercial grinders so they do not have built in goodies to help with dosing. I have found that a commercial grinder with a darkroom timer provides a VERY consistent volume of grinds.

Most people here either use a timer or grind by dose anyway. A doser is a personal choice and it depends a lot on how you like to work but they seldom are used to measure the shot/grind volume as they depend on a full doser of ground coffee to be consistent in that use and unless you are cranking out shots like a very busy coffee shop, your ground coffee will be stale in about 15 minutes and that would be very wasteful.

 
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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ptorregrossa00
Senior Member
ptorregrossa00
Joined: 25 May 2012
Posts: 9
Location: New York
Expertise: Pro Barista

Vac Pot: Breville Barista Express...
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 12:48pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

First, I am happy for you that you want to step it up a notch in the coffee world. Let me just say that I just spent over $600 on a Breville Barista Express BES860XL machine with grinder and it might just be the best thing I have ever bought along the lines of espresso besides my tamper. Before this machine I was just like you, useing a small Mr. coffee and that thats all I ever needed. Well I was wrong. As soon as you hit that grind button you realize why you spent the money. That first cup was amazing with fresh ground espresso beans. I've had it for about 8 months now and I'll never go back.

 
www.buyespressotampers.com
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SamTonin
Senior Member
SamTonin
Joined: 4 Feb 2009
Posts: 29
Location: Sydney, Australia
Expertise: Professional
Posted Fri May 25, 2012, 4:14pm
Subject: Re: Moving to the bigger leagues, suggestions welcome
 

frank828 Said:

wow.

Posted May 24, 2012 link

All Baratza grinders can be easily modified to be stepless.

 
My micro-roastery is up and running, be sure to check it out! www.beanofatree.com.au
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