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Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
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Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Is Elektra...  
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jwoodyu
Senior Member
jwoodyu
Joined: 31 Dec 2010
Posts: 847
Location: Michigan
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Allex Duetto II
Grinder: Mazzer Major
Posted Fri Jan 4, 2013, 3:38pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

emradguy Said:

It's hand powered, so there will be virtually no heating of the beans as they are ground.  the Mazzer Major is arguably the gold standard of flat burr sets.  the advantages the HG one offer the Robur are still present.  Also, the Major burrs are much larger.  I'm no expert, but I believe larger burrs have been proven over time to be better in general, all other things considered being equal.  I'd actually, like to hear someone with more grinder expertise chime in on this...

Posted January 4, 2013 link

Duno that I am all that qualified but I can tell you my experience and thoughts having owned a Baratza Vario (flat burr), Pharos (conical) and having settled on the Major (flat burr). I am pretty set on four things:

1.) All grinders are a compromise in one way or another.
2.) There is absolutely difference in flavor profile between flat and conical.
3.) The question of what is better flat or conical is absolutely a matter of opinion and taste.
4.) i am a flat burr guy for day in day out shot to shot.

I am pretty sure that the conventional wisdom of bigger burrs turning at slower speeds are better for espresso. I would like to try a Mazzer Stark or Royal which has the same size burr set at my major but turns even slower.  I thought and still think a big burr conical like a Kony or Robur just for the times I am feeling crafty and what to play around. That is a lot of dough to spend when it is not your daily driver so i thought i would try the Pharos. Great grinder, huge conical grinder and arguably less retention than the Robur but it was more work than I was willing to put up with even for the crafty times.

I am sure sooner or later I hit out no pass up deal for big conical but for now I am pretty set.

 
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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seageral
Senior Member


Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 17
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 9:56am
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

so is the theory between grinder quality that good grinders produce consistently well-shaped microstructure?  adn the difference between flat and conical is the shape of teh grounds?  or is the distribution of the shapes?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,372
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 Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:15am
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

Alan,if you are that serious about the shape of your grounds, etc., etc., then I would suggest you visit Home-Barista, where someone (I forget who) has posted numerous pictures and graphs, electron microscope scans and the like of various grounds . . .

Personally, there is a point at which I draw the line.  I'm a coffee geek, but I'm not that geeky!  ;^)

I'm with John -- there is a definite difference between "serious" flat and conical burr sets (we're talking about so-called "titan" or "commercial" grinders, versus small, for home use only grinders), but that difference boils down to the taste preference of the individual.  I don't know if I will ever buy a "titan" conical (Kony, Robur, K10, etc., etc.); I'm quite happy with my Mahlkönig K30 Vario, and have no "need" to upgrade.

On the other hand, if you are so serious about espresso that you're seriously thinking of buying a Robur for your home . . . you are probably making the best espresso in New Orleans, a city that I love and visit frequently.  It is, however, a desert when it comes to espresso.  As a result, I've developed a taste for café au lait w/chicory, but -- who knows? -- I just may be knocking on your door this coming March!  ;^)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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seageral
Senior Member


Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 17
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

haha.  well geeky is a compliment where i'm from.

I'm not ready to go into the $1000+ range yet - I read all the stuff on the blind taste tests over on HB comparing mazzer robur to everythign else:

Click Here (www.home-barista.com)

and it doesn't seem like objectively there is necessarily a difference, so i want to try it myself.   I'm actually trying to decide between a vario-w and mazzer major timer.  I like the idea of consistent amounts of grounds going into my portafilter (which is somethign I know affects my shot pulling considerably) but i'm too lazy to do it external to the grinder.

If the improvement from rancilio rocky to this level makes a huge difference then maybe i'll consider the next leap.

yes, the espresso in NOLA is uniformly brutal.  There's one spot across from the whole foods on magazine:

Click Here (www.throwacupcake.com)

that just got a gs3 and makes a decent espresso.  Apart from that... not so much.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,372
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 Sun Jan 6, 2013, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

seageral Said:

If the improvement from rancilio rocky to this level makes a huge difference  . . .

Posted January 6, 2013 link

It will.

The "Can it beat the Robur?" thread is the key reason I bought the Cimbali MaxHybrid.  Eventually, however, I settled on the Mahlkönig K30 Vario and the Baratza Vario at home, and moved the MaxHybrid to the office . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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seageral
Senior Member


Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 17
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 5:44pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

have you tried the pharos?  do you have the vario or teh vario-w?  do you weigh your beans and/or grounds for every shot?
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,372
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 Sun Jan 6, 2013, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

OK, quick background before answered, since you're relatively new around these parts . . .

I got my first espresso machine back in 1976 or so -- long before there was any sort of forum (magazine, newsletter, internet) from which I could learn just WTF I was doing, let alone WTF I was doing wrong!  So I used a manual lever machine (Pavoni Europicola) with a (Krups) blade grinder for nearly five years before I finally got a consumer (Gaggia) semi-auto SBDU and a burr grinder . . . it wasn't until 12/2006 that I got a "prosumer" HX machine, etc., etc.

Now I have a La Valentina pourover HX in my office (see pic below) . . . .

Continued

JasonBrandtLewis: office.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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seageral
Senior Member


Joined: 30 May 2007
Posts: 17
Location: New Orleans
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sun Jan 6, 2013, 6:32pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

thanks very much for helping me with this btw... i really appreciate it.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,372
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 Sun Jan 6, 2013, 6:59pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

. . . and an Elektra T1 in my office (see pic below).

/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\

So, no -- haven't tried the pharos.  I have a Vario, not a Vario-W.  And I grind by sight/time, not by weight.

JasonBrandtLewis: New Home Setup.jpg
(Click for larger image)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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Jmanespresso
Senior Member
Jmanespresso
Joined: 18 Jan 2009
Posts: 2,109
Location: Westchester NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto II
Grinder: Compak K10 - Vario
Vac Pot: Yama-SY5/SY8/TCA5
Drip: V60, Beehouse, CCD
Roaster: Hottop B
Posted Mon Jan 7, 2013, 3:38pm
Subject: Re: Is Elektra Sixties T1 an Upgrade from an Alex Duetto II?
 

Hey fellas, thought I might jump in and throw my two cents down(been alittle while hasn't it ehh?)


Jasons suggestion to check out HB for more information on a plethora of grinder comparisons is spot on..  The Titan Grinder Project was a pretty comprehensive test that left only the newest of grinders.

Ive got a Vario, had it since 2009, and these days I only use it for brewing coffee, not espresso.  As far as a grinder dedicated to brewing pourover and syphon coffee, it is literally perfect.  As far as an espresso grinder, for the money, its GOOD, but its not GREAT.  The original phrase that went along with the Vario was that it was as good as a Mazzer Super Jolly in grind quality and cup quality.  I still agree with that today.  

The SJ is a 64mm flat burr grinder, which is personally where I draw the line between the Titan Grinders, and the rest.  Bigger than 64mm Flat burrs, or Large Conical Burrs=Titan Grind Level.

The K30 Vario you mention is a unique grinder, as is the Pro-M.  Their burr sets dont neccesarily put them in with the best of the best, so to speak, but their price tags sure do, and I haven't heard or read much negativity surrounded either grinder.  I wager that, like the B. Vario's Ceramic Burr sets with the unique cutting patterns, that K30 and Pro M burr sets perform like they're bigger than they actually are.  Why?   Idk.


As far as which grinder would I suggest to you, well..  Mazzer Major.  Ive owned two, its my current grinder as well.  I bought a brand new one a little while back.  As far as Flat Burr grinders go, I honestly think the only other grinder which comes close to beating the Major, would be the Anfim Super Camaino.  As far as IM concerned, the Mazzer Major is the best flat burr grinder out there.  Is doser'd form, it needs a simple sweeper mod so the doser will sweep 100% clean.  In doserless mode, the grind retention is near zilch, so just a quick purge will clear it out when you're ready to go.


If you're thinking about a machine the Elektra, or the GS3, pairing either of them with a grinder of said caliber will put YOU as the sole variable left between what your searching for in the cup.  Oh, and the fresh coffee.

 
Follow Your Bliss

Coffee makes your constantly overcome your prejudices and re-evaluate your own "received wisdoms" when it comes to judging cup flavors. -Tom Owen, SweetMarias
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