Great for moka pots, messy counters, and people who like to have to tinker with stuff to make it functional. bad for espresso.
Positive Product Points
A ton of grind settings, Works well with a moka pot, french press, or drip
Negative Product Points
Needs modifications to make espresso, grind container is tinny, LOUD, messy
My first step into the world of espresso came in the form of this grinder and a smaller moka pot. I had previously been using a blade grinder and a huge moka pot, and wanted something more. The grinder made a huge difference. It was great to not have dust at the bottom of my cup, and even a touch of crema was standard. I really liked this grinder, and it performed very well with a moka pot. Then I bought a second-hand Gaggia Espresso...
I picked up some Safeway beans to dial everything in and get a feel for the new espresso machine without wasting my usual home roast or intelly. I put the thing on “0”, the lowest setting, and got a 10 second pour when tamping as hard as I could. Yikes! I did some searching on the forums and alt.coffee and found directions for resetting the burrs to get a finer grind: turn the grinder all the way down to 0, remove the hopper, remove the ring with the number sticker, reset it a few notches up, crank the thing down until the burrs are touching, set the grinder so 0 is burrs touching, re-assemble everything. WARNING: DO NOT USE THE GRINDER ON 0 AFTER DOING THIS!!! After making this adjustment, I was able to get decent shots, though the espresso range is still extremely small.
Other annoyances are the stupid finger guard thing to keep kids from shoving their fingers into the machine (the guy at the store even told me to cut it off) and the container that the ground coffee is deposited into is way too messy. There is no doser (they make an attachment, but the salesman told me it was a POS) and no way to have it grind directly into the portafilter. You have to grind into the container, remove the container, and then spoon the coffee into the filter. This is fairly time consuming and makes a huge mess.
Possibly this grinder would work well with a pressurized portafilter, where grind is not as important, but with my Gaggia, this grinder simply does not have an acceptable espresso range.
Very nice and helpful salesman. Knowlegeable and a coffeegeek reader himself!