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glenn

Coffee Grinders: Models, Sources, Maintenance/Hygiene

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The "match" idea is important, so it would be helpful if you told us what sort of espresso machine you're going to be running the ground beans through.  I don't necessarily agree that the beans are all that important a variable that we need to know it, as they're so vulnerable to change by humidity, roast level, etc. that knowing you get your beans from Peets or Black Cat or wherever  really won't help.  Do note that I find I need to crank the grind much tighter in my Ascaso when it is humid out and the beans are more than a week old than I would in the winter when it is dryer out.  Lots of environmental variables are going to mess with your grind settings...  I have a suspicion that ambient barometric pressure has an effect too, but haven't bothered to gather data to substantiate that hunch.


Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

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Hi,
yes, sorry for not specifying my budget. I did not really set it exactly, however I am willing to spend 150-250$ on it. I want to brew mainly espresso, meybe sometimes some other kinds. You reccomended Baratza Virtuoso and Ascasso. Virtuoso is I guess more famous than Ascasso (I was looking at I-2 version). I-2 seems to be around 270$, which is above my budget, but it seems quite good. I even found a review of Ascasso (proved out to be quite hard thing to do - everyone reviews Baratza Virtuoso, but Ascasso not so much). I will probably look over Ascaso I-2. Its design looks ok though (pictures on google). Virtuoso is great, however somehow I prefer Italian companies... Meybe I am just weird about that, I think it is probably more durable. Also designs seem both quite good and they are in same quality class (I think).

There was another reccomendation of Encore - even when I was doing my research it seemed great, but I prefered next generation grinders - like Virtuoso and similar.

Anyway, thank you for your reccomendations, if anyone has any other reccomendation, please feel free to comment.

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I think we spent about $100  a Capresso Infinity Conical Burr Grinder maybe 7-8 years ago? Other than the noise (they are loud but I do not care)


 


the thing was worth every penny ..works like a dream and I have no complaints with the grind it is perfect 


espresso, drip, press whatever it is all good 


(I am a super picky coffee drinker and have been roasting thanks to friends on this board for about 7 years now) 



Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

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if that suits you, that's what counts.

 

sort of a blade grinder on Steroids.

 

after all, Its a Personal Beverage !

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Any updates on the thinking here for a home-use burr grinder?  

 

I drink the kind of "espresso" that comes out of a stove-top moka pot.

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We had a Capresso for quite a while, and were quite happy with it. However, years of use had worn the printing off. Muscle memory was usually sufficient to set the timer properly, but we got tired of the guesswork required for odd-sized batches. Finally, we replaced it with an Oxo Conical Burr Grinder. So far, it's been great. It delivers a consistent grind size for our purposes (almost always just plain-old drip coffee), and has quite a wide range. Having said that, I'm not sure what you need for stove-top moka "espressso," and I should warn you that it can't quite make it to what I would consider a grind suitable for an espresso maker.

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Dave Scantland
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Thanks, that's very helpful.

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For those seeking a less expensive option, I will raise up the Hario Skeleton line again.  I use it for everything from drip, to pour-over, to Aeropress.  It is not perfect.  I get more fines than I prefer for French Press.  But I have been using it for over 6 months now and am not yet being persuaded to invest in a more expensive grinder.

 

I have the Skerton Pro.  I have been known to slip a 7mm socket on a cordless drill to drive the grinder when brewing for crowd.  This does result in the internals warming up substantially, though, so I don't recommend the procedure.

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I do mostly Aeropress, electric drip, pour over or, rarely, French Press so I have no advice for Moka pots but I'm very happy with the now-discontinued Baratza Virtuoso I purchased 3 or 4 years ago.  I was waiting for a refurb Encore to turn up on the Baratza site but instead bought an Amazon Warehouse "used - unused"  Virtuoso  when it popped up at a good price-  the only sign of damage was that something that looked and smelled like coffee had been spilled all over the outside of the box 🙃.  The new Virtuoso has a digital timer, which I wouldn't use since I weigh the beans first.  I saw a refurb, original style Virtuoso on the Baratza site the other day.

I like the company's commitment to repairing rather than discarding. 

 

I know you were asking for opinions of folks here on the site, not to be directed elsewhere, but if you haven't read it, you may find the recent coffee grinder review over on Serious Eats that factors in taste preferences interesting.  Also this review on The Wirecutter. 

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I have a Capresso purchased in 2008  which replaced one that suffered a "fatal" accident when I pulled the plug on it, thinking it was the appliance I had in my hands and yanked it off the counter.  I had purchased that one when the Infinity was first introduced. 

I am posting a screen shot (with permission) that shows the date of purchase in February 2008.

I have used it extensively, have taken it apart for thorough cleaning several times and it continues to grind my beans - mostly Dark roast and/or French roast, Italian roast or Espresso - exactly the way I prefer.

 

If you pro-rate the price, it was very inexpensive.  

658160716_CaoressoGrinderFeb2008.png.1984d35d357e53c0323da1478369b7db.png


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Ive had the Encore , back when it was branded " Solis "  since 2003.

 

I use it for drip.   I have a different system for espesso.   the Encore still works well

 

but its always been a bir difficult to clean.  not impossible , but you have to line up the burr  just right in its

 

setting , then get the top , which rotates the whole shebang , w two tabs on to the burr for the

 

whole assembly to turn en unison.  it became harder for me to do , so I upgraded for drip

 

to the Sette 30 AP.   its far too expense for someone wanting drip and just starting out.

 

Id go with Capresso or OXO.

 

make sure you clean the grinder periodically.   and get which ever is easier to clean

 

a clean grinder give you much ' brighter ' coffee.   those old grounds on the burr oxidize

 

and give your coffee a dull taste , at least for me.

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I've got a Bratza Maestro, which is their discontinued bottom-end model. Bought sometime around 2006. The new equivalent is the Encore, which goes for around $140, but much less if you get a refurb (I bought mine refurbished; I think it was around $90). 

 

I use it exclusively for press pot coffee, and it only let me down once. I think there was a pebble in the coffee; a sacrificial part immediately stripped, and the grinder would no longer hold a grind setting. I called Baratza tech support, and gave them the opportunity to upsell me to a newer, higher-end grinder. But when I told the technician I only used it for coarse grinds, he said, "honestly, nothing's going to work better than the one you have." So he sold me the $5 replacement part and pointed me to a YouTube video on how to repair the thing. Easy peasy. 

 

I'm blown away by a company that sells replacement parts for a decade+ old low end grinder, and is honest about when not to upgrade. 

 

Anyway, I'd heartily recommend the Encore to anyone making press pot coffee, and a higher-end Baratza to anyone making brewed coffee with finer grinds (look elsewhere for espresso grinders). My only complaint about the Baratza is that it's all plastic and kind of cheap feeling. And it's noisy. It's noisier than the Capresso, but based on my limited experience with the latter, it seems to have a wider range of adjustment on the coarse end of things. 

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Notes from the underbelly

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On 7/26/2019 at 10:58 PM, donk79 said:

For those seeking a less expensive option, I will raise up the Hario Skeleton line again.  I use it for everything from drip, to pour-over, to Aeropress.  It is not perfect.  I get more fines than I prefer for French Press.  But I have been using it for over 6 months now and am not yet being persuaded to invest in a more expensive grinder.

 

I have the Skerton Pro.  I have been known to slip a 7mm socket on a cordless drill to drive the grinder when brewing for crowd.  This does result in the internals warming up substantially, though, so I don't recommend the procedure.

 

This  is the piece of equipment which helped me tear my rotator cuff.

 

7 hours ago, paulraphael said:

I've got a Bratza Maestro, which is their discontinued bottom-end model. Bought sometime around 2006. The new equivalent is the Encore, which goes for around $140, but much less if you get a refurb (I bought mine refurbished; I think it was around $90). 

 

I use it exclusively for press pot coffee, and it only let me down once. I think there was a pebble in the coffee; a sacrificial part immediately stripped, and the grinder would no longer hold a grind setting. I called Baratza tech support, and gave them the opportunity to upsell me to a newer, higher-end grinder. But when I told the technician I only used it for coarse grinds, he said, "honestly, nothing's going to work better than the one you have." So he sold me the $5 replacement part and pointed me to a YouTube video on how to repair the thing. Easy peasy. 

 

I'm blown away by a company that sells replacement parts for a decade+ old low end grinder, and is honest about when not to upgrade. 

 

Anyway, I'd heartily recommend the Encore to anyone making press pot coffee, and a higher-end Baratza to anyone making brewed coffee with finer grinds (look elsewhere for espresso grinders). My only complaint about the Baratza is that it's all plastic and kind of cheap feeling. And it's noisy. It's noisier than the Capresso, but based on my limited experience with the latter, it seems to have a wider range of adjustment on the coarse end of things. 

 

Baratza makes an excellent product. When we had our apartment in DC, I bought one (I believe the Maestro) for Significant Eater to use for her daily grind. Worked great. I probably should have kept it as a backup, but I sold the contents of the apartment when we no longer needed a place down there.

 

On 7/27/2019 at 12:02 PM, blue_dolphin said:

 the only sign of damage was that something that looked and smelled like coffee had been spilled all over the outside of the box 🙃.  

 

You hoped!

 

My Rocky is still going strong after a decade - gets cleaned "regularly," but definitely overkill for Moka pot; when I use a Moka for a quick afternoon pickup, I tend to grind the beans a little more "finely" than I do for a pour over, but not as fine as when loading up Silvia.


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