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Cunill Grinders - All - Duncan McKillop's Review
Posted: September 16, 2002, 10:47pm
review rating: 7.9
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Cunill Grinders - All
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Arrow The Cunill Grinders - All has 26 Reviews
Arrow The Cunill Grinders - All has been rated 7.65 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Cunill Grinders - All reviews have been viewed 164,834 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Daniel Hanna 8.88
Aurelio Stella 8.25
William Baguhn 8.00
W. Warner 7.91
Duncan McKillop 7.85

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 6.8
Product Reviewed: El Cafe Tranquillo
Manufacturer: Cunill Quality: 7
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $175.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Ronita catering Aesthetics 3
Owned for: 1 year Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Maybe
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia MM
Bottom Line: It grinds very, very consistently, directly to portafilter but is ugly and noisy
Positive Product Points

64mm Tempered steel burrs - 800kg Volume Rating on Burrs - Speed 1300rpm - Timed grinding directly to portafilter.  Small 1kg bean hopper. 13 Seconds to grind 16gm directly to portafilter.

Negative Product Points

Casing made of pressed steel which causes grinder to be noisy.  Functional design (Ugly). Design of grind shute causes inconsistant timed dose +/- 2gm on 14gm dosage. Operating instructions are primative.

Detailed Commentary

When my Gaggia MM finally croaked, after three years, I went looking for a commercial grinder.  At that stage the only commercial grinders available within Australia were with dossers.  I specifically did not want a dosser because I was after the freshest ground coffee available and the thought of stale grinds in the dosser was off putting.

I found the Cunill in Sydney for A$320.  This was about 1/3-1/2 of the prices of the Mini Mazzer, Bezzeria etc, all of which had dossers.  The hopper holds about 1 Kg of beans (I fill the hopper each day with a about 50-100gm).  On the left side of the grinder is timed start button, which turns the grinder on for the preset time. On the right hand side of the grinder is an On/Off switch.  I had to make a metal key to fit the timer adjustment mechanism, which I leave permanently in the timing mechanism.  This allows me to adjust the timer down to a about 5gm in the morning and run fresh coffee through the grinder and to expel any stale grinds left in the chute from the previous day.  I can then turn the timer back up to the mark for grinding 16gm and then I am set for the day.

The timer for the grinder is a very basic unit and there are no calibration marks to aid with the timed settings.  The lack of setting marks is something that I wish Cunill would address because it makes the learning curve quite steep in the initial set up stages.  The operating instructions that came with the grinder provide only a very basic overview of the machines operation.  The English translation is primitive.

The grinder is supplied with a boring but functional grinds collection tray, which is made of plastic and sits in the lower steel housing of the grinder.

I have been recently looking at the Mini Mazzer Electronic but it to has an accuracy of +/- 2gm, on a 14gm dose.  In a very subjective, feel between the fingers test, the Mazzer Mini and the Cunill both have the same very consistent grind.  Timed shots from the Pavoni Professional also showed no difference in extraction time or quality of shot. (Again a subjective test methodology)

Edited Note: I did some dosage measurements on the Cunnill, by running 200gm of beans through and checking for the consistency of dosage between each batch.  The results are as follows:

15.5, 15.7, 15.8, 16.0, 15.7, 15.8, 16.5, 15.7, 15.6, 16.6, 16.6, 16.4

Average 15.992  +/- 0.6gm


At the present time I grind more coffee than the basket requires and scrap off the excess.  This is the only way I have been able to over come the timed dosage irregularity problem.  I was having a discussion with "the Human Bean" of Just Espresso and he said that this is the method that people who have purchased the Mini Mazzer Electronic are using to over come the dosage irregularity.  Aside from the quietness of the Mazzer and its far superior construction I can see no reason as of yet to upgrade to the Mazzer, when the quality of the ground coffee is identical. (If I wore earmuffs it might even sound like the Mazzer, although I think even then it may be noisier than the Mazzer)

The adjustment of the burrs is achieved by a stopper mechanism that allows the burrs to be adjusted by 1/55th increments of a full turn.  I have my machine set for a La Pavoni Professional and it is set 12 stops before the zero point (Burrs just touching).  I have marked this stop with white paint so that when I grind for my friends Krups (19th Stop mark) I can return the setting to its original position.  There are no marker indicators on the Cunill, which is a little annoying but not an insurmountable problem.

The portafilter rest/holder is placed too far below the grind hopper so you must hold the portafilter yourself.  Not a real problem when I'm only making 3-4 coffees per day.  It would be a real burden at a higher usage rate.

The grinder is only 1 1/2 years old now and I may have ground 75-100kg of beans.  It still has another 500kg to grind, 5-8 years.  By that stage Mazzer may have perfected their Mini Electronic.  I would buy the Cunill grinder again if there were nothing better (in relation to accuracy of timed dose) on the market at that point.  Mind you, the Marzocco grinder looks a real treat but as of yet I haven't even worked up the courage to ask the price, least of all consider paying for it! (Edited note: "I have now, it cost AUD$5100", Mazzer Jolly AUD$980 and Mazzer Mini AUD $680. My wife thinks buying the Techno is a "folly", she would probably have me committed to an Obsessive/Compulsive Asylum or the insane.)

On a side note I am going to attempt to modify the Cunill so that the grinds that currently remain in the chute are expelled each time the grinder grinds a dose.  I believe that I can attached two small fins to the lower burr set which when the burrs are spinning, will create a wind flow from the small fins that should be able to force all the ground coffee out of the chute and into the outlet hopper.  The outlet hopper is a cyclone design that technically is capable of dissipating this extra airflow volume, so that the grinds will fall into the basket rather than be blown all around the kitchen.  I will post a follow up after I have perfected or given up on this modification.

Buying Experience

Purchased from Ronita Catering, Sydney.  You must negotiate for a better price from this group otherwise you may pay too much.  No real expertise from the shop.  Sort of,  buy it, take away the merchandise and then work it out for yourself.

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review rating: 7.9
Posted: September 16, 2002, 10:47pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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