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Budget Burr Grinders


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#1 john b

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 06:57 AM

We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans. We're currently using a small blade grinder. Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade? Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?
John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

#2 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 09:34 AM

I don't know of a worthwhile burr grinder in the $50 range, but it may not be important anyway. If you are brewing in a drip coffee maker, you are about as well off using your blade grinder. If you are using a French Press, then a good quality burr grinder makes sense.

Anyone else know of a good burr grinder at that price point?

#3 john b

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 10:15 AM

I don't know of a worthwhile burr grinder in the $50 range, but it may not be important anyway. If you are brewing in a drip coffee maker, you are about as well off using your blade grinder. If you are using a French Press, then a good quality burr grinder makes sense.

Anyone else know of a good burr grinder at that price point?

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We have a drip and a French press.
John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

#4 eje

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 10:22 AM

The Capresso Infinity is a bit above that price (~$80), but I've been pleased with mine.

Held up well for a few years now.

Pleased with it for drip and aeropress.
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#5 barrett

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 03:47 PM

I don't know of a worthwhile burr grinder in the $50 range, but it may not be important anyway. If you are brewing in a drip coffee maker, you are about as well off using your blade grinder. If you are using a French Press, then a good quality burr grinder makes sense.

Anyone else know of a good burr grinder at that price point?

View Post


The grinder is the single most important thing for quality coffee. The difference between burrs and blades is that blades pulverize, while burrs cut. Pulverizing coffee results a wider range of grind sizes. Large particles result in underextraction, and lack of body. Fines give tons of body, but will result in overextraction and bitter flavours. All grinders have a range of particle sizes, which are important to the brewing process, but the blades just have no control.

I don't know of anything suitable in the $50 range, but I'd suggest adding the Baratza Mastro ($110), to your wishlist.
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#6 Shel_B

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 04:12 PM

There are some Krups grinders Here. I mention the Krups because I have two Krups models (one like the F203), both about 25 years old (maybe a little more) and both have given me great service. These grinders are in the price range you've asked about.

Edited by Shel_B, 27 November 2008 - 04:16 PM.

.... Shel


#7 Beto

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Posted 27 November 2008 - 06:44 PM

Barrett knows of what he speaks. Another decent grinder in the ~$100 range is the Capresso Infinity.

I truly haven't seen a burr grinder in the $50 range that was worth anything.

#8 HungryC

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:53 PM

We bought the Baratza Maestro, directly from the manufacturer. The first one was DOA right out of the box. Customer service couldn't have been more apologetic, and the Maestro is quite satisfactory as a grinder--it is easy to use, and the hopper holds enough for many shots of espresso or a big pot of filter/drip coffee.

#9 daisy17

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:57 PM

I just bought the Capresso Infinity burr grinder for about $80. I use a French press, and I cannot believe the difference the burr grinder has made in the quality of my coffee. It astounded me - if I knew this would be the case I would have bought a burr grinder years ago. Worth every penny!

#10 Richard Kilgore

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:54 PM

We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans.  We're currently using a small blade grinder.  Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade?  Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?

View Post


We're on the edge of our seats (laptops, whatever) -- what did you end up getting, or have you decided?

#11 Darren72

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 10:35 AM

I'll chime in with another vote of support for the Capresso Infinity (in black for $90). I have one and have bought a few as gifts over the years. It's a great grinder for anyone who is not going to make espresso. Your french press and drip coffees will definitely improve relative to using your blade grinder (don't throw out the blade grinder - use if to grind spices).

One extra note: if you are going to invest in a burr grinder, you should also follow other steps to making good coffee. Use fresh beans. Store your beans in an airtight container, away from light. Most importantly: use the proper amount of grounds - 2.5 tablespoons per 8oz cup.

#12 paulraphael

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:20 AM

Baratza is selling refurbed Maestro Plus grinders (normally $140) for $63.
click!

I just pulled the trigger. Based on my 2 minutes of research it's a good machine, with typically Italian quality control quirks, even though it's not really Italian. They seem to have excellent customer support though, and for $63 I won't scream too loud if it isn't perfect.

#13 john b

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:07 PM

We're not serious coffee drinkers, but occasionally we buy whole beans.  We're currently using a small blade grinder.  Will a burr grinder make a difference or should we stick with the blade?  Is it possible to find a decent burr grinder on a budget in the $50 range?

View Post


We're on the edge of our seats (laptops, whatever) -- what did you end up getting, or have you decided?

View Post


Sorry, we've been too busy grinding coffee. :raz: We got the Capresso Infinity. So far so good. Now if I can find some good whole beans close to home...
John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

#14 Beto

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 09:26 AM

Sorry, we've been too busy grinding coffee.  :raz:  We got the Capresso Infinity.  So far so good.  Now if I can find some good whole beans close to home...

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If you're near Philly, you might want to give Chestnut Hill Coffee a try. They are serious about good coffee.

#15 john b

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:51 PM

Sorry, we've been too busy grinding coffee.  :raz:   We got the Capresso Infinity.  So far so good.  Now if I can find some good whole beans close to home...

View Post

If you're near Philly, you might want to give Chestnut Hill Coffee a try. They are serious about good coffee.

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Thanks! Philly is not far at all.

What's the general consensus on La Colombe? I think I can get their stuff on my side of the river.
John

"I can't believe a roasted dead animal could look so appealing."--my 10 year old upon seeing Peking Duck for the first time.

#16 Jon Savage

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:09 AM

I don't know of a worthwhile burr grinder in the $50 range, but it may not be important anyway. If you are brewing in a drip coffee maker, you are about as well off using your blade grinder. If you are using a French Press, then a good quality burr grinder makes sense.

Anyone else know of a good burr grinder at that price point?

View Post


The grinder is the single most important thing for quality coffee. The difference between burrs and blades is that blades pulverize, while burrs cut. Pulverizing coffee results a wider range of grind sizes. Large particles result in underextraction, and lack of body. Fines give tons of body, but will result in overextraction and bitter flavours. All grinders have a range of particle sizes, which are important to the brewing process, but the blades just have no control.

I don't know of anything suitable in the $50 range, but I'd suggest adding the Baratza Mastro ($110), to your wishlist.

View Post



Baratza is selling refurbed Maestro Plus grinders (normally $140) for $63.
click!

I just pulled the trigger. Based on my 2 minutes of research it's a good machine, with typically Italian quality control quirks, even though it's not really Italian. They seem to have excellent customer support though, and for $63 I won't scream too loud if it isn't perfect.

View Post


I've had a Maestro for about 6 months and the difference between the coffee ground in it vs. the $50ish burr grinder we'd been using prior was HUGE. The grind is quite consistent and fewer fines means French press coffee has little to no sediment in the cup. The flavors seem brighter too.

The Maestro is fully capable of correctly grinding for espresso as well.

Jon

 

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#17 weinoo

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Posted 21 December 2008 - 11:44 AM

The Maestro is fully capable of correctly grinding for espresso as well.

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Not necessarily...if I used my Maestro + to grind espresso for Silvia, she wouldn't be a happy camper.
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#18 Jon Savage

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 09:11 AM

The Maestro is fully capable of correctly grinding for espresso as well.

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Not necessarily...if I used my Maestro + to grind espresso for Silvia, she wouldn't be a happy camper.

View Post

True that but if you have that level of espresso equipment then surely your grinder budget was larger than the OP's.

Which burr grinder to use is often "discussed" with fanatical fervor with the $300-$500 grinders usually the predominant choice among home espresso lovers.

That being said I do feel that the Maestro is a step in the right direction and provides a great opportunity to have a far better grind for a slight upprice.

Espresso is fine, after dialing in the correct grind, using that grinder on my (admittedly) low end Estro Vapore ($25 @ a garage sale).

Edited by 6ppc, 23 December 2008 - 09:12 AM.

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#19 John Rosevear

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:42 AM

My Krups GVX2 burr grinder died a sad death yesterday -- thermal fuse, we think (common and stupid problem). The cost of repair, all-in, is about the same as the cost of buying another one, and I'm inclined to do neither.

What should I replace it with?

We do a couple of pots of drip coffee (Capresso MT500) a day, and Aeropressed pseudo-latte a couple of times a week. The Aeropress works best with a smooth fine grind, but... we don't have a fancy home espresso rig and aren't likely to go that way anytime soon. I can't see spending more than $100 on a grinder given our needs, and even that is probably overkill.

I'd like something that will last longer than a year, though -- I'm tired of plastic landfill-fodder appliances generally. Is a refurb Baratza Maestro the best way to go? How durable are they?
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#20 mkayahara

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 06:57 AM

I'd like something that will last longer than a year, though -- I'm tired of plastic landfill-fodder appliances generally. Is a refurb Baratza Maestro the best way to go? How durable are they?

I'm not able to say how durable the Baratza Maestro is, because I had mine for only two months when a stone in my beans jammed the burrs. What I can say is that the customer service I got from the Canadian distributor in repairing it after the incident has been outstanding. My understanding is that the working parts in it are mostly metal (apparently the drive gear used to be plastic, but they're using metal in the newer units now), so it's really just the housing that's plastic. And I've been very happy with the grind quality, though I use it mostly for French press and espresso for my Saeco Aroma (Classico in the US), which is a fairly different coffee routine from what you're talking about. Hope that helps.
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#21 Moopheus

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 10:59 AM

Is a refurb Baratza Maestro the best way to go? How durable are they?


I've had a Maestro Plus for about five years now, I use it pretty much every day, no problems, though it's getting about time to replace the burrs (Baratza sells replacement parts). For drip and french press it works very well. My only complaint is that it is a bit of a pain to clean out, but I think that is generally a problem with grinders.
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#22 daisy17

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 11:30 AM

Thanks! Philly is not far at all.

What's the general consensus on La Colombe? I think I can get their stuff on my side of the river.


I think La Colombe beans are excellent. Not as much variety as you see in other purveyors/roasters but that shouldn't stop you.

#23 ericthered

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:25 PM

I have the Capresso Infinity--in brushed stainless steel finish. Got it cheap ($69?) at Costco. I've used it daily for over a year with no problems. It's adjustable and works very well for both coarser french press grind as well as for finer espresso grind. To my knowledge, it's the only sub-$100 grinder that can yield a consistent espresso grind. It uses large burrs that are nearly as big as the ones in my Rancilio MD-40 (seriously expensive commercial unit). The only downsides I've noticed are (1) static electric charge builds up and makes it a bit of a challenge to dump out the last bits of ground coffee and (2) it needs regular cleaning because grinds collect in the corners. On the whole, I'm very pleased with this unit.

#24 ScoopKW

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 12:17 AM

I have a Krupps burr grinder that I think cost $50 -- we received it free at Macy's through a promotion.

Meh.

I have to grind with both hands on the grinder -- that way I can shake some beans into the works when it makes it's "high-pitched squeal of displeasure."

It's still better than a whirly-blade grinder. But a pain nonetheless. A better grinder is in my future. But not my immediate future.
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#25 Chris Hennes

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 05:29 PM

Has anyone used both the Capresso Infinity and the Baratza Maestro? I think I'm going to be in the market shortly, and I'd love to hear the pros and cons of one versus the other.

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#26 Chris Hennes

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 10:09 AM

I got my Capresso Infinity yesterday, and fired it up for the first time this morning. So far, it's excellent, considerably better for use with the french press than my old "budget" Cuisinart grinder. The Cuisinart generated a lot more fines than the Capresso, so I had to be pretty careful when drinking to stop before hitting the dregs. There are still some fines from the Capresso, but probably only 10% of the amount from the Cuisinart. Of course, it cost twice as much...

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#27 Catherine Iino

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Posted 11 November 2010 - 08:44 AM

Amazon is advertising a Bodum burr coffee grinder for $80. Has anyone had experience with it? The glass parts sound good, and it's good looking. Thanks for any advice.

#28 Chris Birkett

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 12:45 AM

The refurb Baratza Maestros were out of stock for a while, but they're available again for $70. Great choice for a entry-level general purpose coffee grinder. I use one at work for pourover almost every day.

http://www.baratza.c...action&key=285R


If you don't mind a bit of work, hand grinders can also produce excellent results. The Hario Slim Mill is only $37.

#29 Catherine Iino

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 05:50 PM

Thanks, Chris. Since we make drip coffee, I guess I'll stick with our whirly-blade grinder until it dies (which may be soon). I'm tempted by the hand grinder, though. About how long does it take to grind enough beans for about 4 cups of brewed coffee?

#30 DanM

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Posted 09 July 2011 - 04:56 PM

Is there anything new in the burr grinder world? The Bodum Bistro has good reviews on Amazon for about $20 less than the Capresso Infinity. Any thoughts?
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