Probably a bit of overkill for a home grinder but she's big and tall and is great at what she does!
Positive Product Points
Amazingly consistent grind. Relatively quiet. Very handsome on my counter!
Negative Product Points
Big and tall so it won't fit under the counter. Grind tray is quite petite so my counter and the rest of the machine enjoy a consistent sprinkling of grinds.
Okay...so I bought this used on eBay from a restaurant equipment sales place. I didn't know much about them but it did look like a serious grinder so I pulled the trigger and got it for $250 bucks or so. What a deal! It didn't have a bean hopper so I chased down the vendor in the US who sells parts (http://www.michaelo.com/) and bought their smaller bean hopper...it's still a whopper though!
So this machine is a step grinder but it does provide very minute adjustments to work with. I quickly am able to dial in the correct grind depending on the beans and weather conditions. The doser is simply outstanding on this machine...it is super solid and is relatively easy to clean when it comes time...some household tools are required though.
This is being used as a household grinder and my wife and kids all enjoy espresso drinks so this thing is certainly not challenged to keep up with our volume but it is knocking out probably 5 five shots a day...more when we have quests. A little bit of learning and practice helps you to minimize the waste from stale grounds. I've learned to grind just the amount I need for one shot. Some grinds stay in the burrs and the "chute" into the doser so if you take the hopper lid and, with both hands, raise and lower the lid quickly, a shot of air blows through the grinding burrs and the chute and all the grounds are now in the doser.
This grinder has a tamper on the side but I use a seperate stand alone tamper so I can't really comment on its effectiveness. I have mounted a very cool mounted Piranha that I snagged on a trip to South America. This bit of whimsy fascinates the kids that come over to the house and it is a nice pairing of the furious gnashing of teeth and the busy burrs that deliver a beautiful, fine grind! Makes it a little taller but it is a cool daily reminder to not take myself (or espresso) too seriously!
Hopefully this provides some good insight into the care and feeding of this machine and don't hesitate to buy...this is a super nice grinder that is just a pleasure to own and use.
So...eBay...this machine was very affordable when I bought it used...it wasn't packed well but this thing is built like a cruise missile so it arrived safe and sound despite the poor packaging job. There were a few parts missing (a missing screw, hopper, and a couple of other things but again the good folks at Michaelo Espresso had everything I needed and provided great service.