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Old 10-28-2008, 06:37 AM   #1
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Default This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if...

...you only make (and only ever plan to make) coffee in a drip maker with paper filters. (takes deep breath...) Unless you already buy professionally ground coffee beans a quality conical burr mill opens up a broad range of brewing methods and, likely as not, will improve the quality of whatever coffee you're already drinking.

A high end grinder is optimized for all coffee brewing methods particularly espresso/turkish and/or volume grinding (Mazzer, Macap, etc.). Lifetime investment. Zero upgrade pangs.

An intermediate grinder is optimized for all coffee needs and may perform well for espresso and moderate grinding volume (MDF, Rocky, etc.). Long term unit. Slight upgrade nervousness if espresso or volume grinding comes to the forefront.

A low end grinder is optimized for drip (paper or goldfilter) and may perform well for press, vacpot and, probably, mokapot. Less than 10-year investment and best for low volume. Zero upgrade trembling if you stick to drip and press - otherwise, thoughts of more control and less dust will begin to haunt you.

Grinders are very much a "get what you pay for" thing. Cheap grinders don't do well for demanding brewers and expensive grinders will break the budget of someone who cannot already smoke $10 cigars all day long. When you think grinder (IMO), think about future needs and alternate brewing methods and get the very best you can afford.

I am a firm believer in avoiding used grinders. Possible exception: professionally rebuilt/refurbed and waranteed machines. Miracles happen but most "I just got a great deal on a used grinder off ebay" stories are disappointments. Good grinders stay in the family - spent-out grinders slide quietly off to auction (like horses).
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

I'll post a "huzza!" for my grinder, a Rancilio Rocky--doserless model. Picked it up early this year, after a stint with a whirly blade, followed by picking up professionally ground beans once a week. Here's how it broke down for me:

1) Whirly blade - just didn't play well with my Mukka Express, Mokapot, or french press. Everything from dust to grit came through, and of course there's no way to control grind size, so I quickly gave this up and went in another direction.

2) Ground by the store - this was a *significant* improvement in my end result, but there were a few caveats. First, I had to more or less choose my method for making coffee for a week at a time, given that the grind was being done at the roaster; one week of french press, one week of Mokapot = not a lot of variation. Also, after about the 2nd or 3rd day, I noticed that the quality fo the cup went down, as if the flavors were being siphoned off slowly. By the end of the week, even the most perfectly roasted beans became dull and lifeless.

3) Rocky - although I *must* defer to Moo about the quality, as I'm just a coffee neophyte, this thing *feels* like it's made for a lifetime of good grinding given that I have no plans to expand the family nor to open an espresso storefront on the porch every Saturday. Weighs a ton, or 20 lbs, something like that. Grinding fresh each morning, the grind being dialed in exactly for whatever my needs might be, I never fail to get a cup that's far superior to anything from Charbucks, or from most other indie coffee shops save for the places with the very best baristas. I've made everything from regular drip coffee to Turkish coffee using this grinder, and the results are always nothing short of fantastic.

I have no doubt a Mazzer would take my cup to the next level if I were to augment it with a great espresso machine and months--years--of practice. No doubt at all.

However, the value-add of the $250-300 it takes to go up to a good quality grinder like a Rocky is a no-brainer--I've spent less on coffee at coffeehouses since getting the Rocky, because I know I can usually match their cup or go them one better, for a fraction of the over-the-counter cost.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by muziq View Post
- although I *must* defer to Moo about the quality
Bad precedent. Nobody else does on this topic. Mostly I get socked in the eyeball because grinder discussions are where my natural azzozole'ness ALWAYS comes to the front. Hopeless.

Quote:
I have no doubt a Mazzer would take my cup to the next level if I were to augment it with a great espresso machine and months--years--of practice. No doubt at all.
I would doubt that, although I've only used a Rocky once. Rocky grinder quality is the stuff of legend and the product has a great following. The stepless Mazzer will MAYBE grind a little better than a Rocky but it will probably have a longer service life. My take: a Mazzer is a commercial machine with 64mm burrs designed to run pounds/day for years; the Rocky exhibits commercial grinding quality with 50mm burrs at lower volume output.

Somebody figures these things out but I am only educated-guessing here. Seems like there is a speed limit to burr revs before you must overheat the coffee being ground. If so, output (in the mystical measure of grams/minute of a given fineness) must be greater for a machine with larger burrs than with smaller ones. Motive force must also be higher so, bigger burrs get bigger motors - bigger motors get heavier frames, etc. etc.
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Old 10-28-2008, 05:22 PM   #4
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

The man asks:

Quote:
Originally Posted by leasingthisspace
I hope I am in the correct thread.I have a question. Is this a starter level burr grinder?
http://www.ecost.com/detail.aspx?edp...i_sku=41249507

Will this grind the beans better and more evenly then the cheap one with a blade I have now? To step up my coffeeness (new word maybe?) should I even bother or do I need to spend lots of money on my grinder to taste a difference? I plan on brewing out of this when I get home.
http://www.thegourmetdepotco.com/sto....asp?item=3839

I look forward to the advice.
I think we need a better link, sir.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

I guess my link went bad. I have been a drinker of the drip for a few years now but I want to do myself better then that so after reading a bit I started looking around.
http://www.thecateringchef.net/melit...-grinders.html
I found this burr grinder for around 30 bucks. My question is will it help to step my coffeeness up or inorder to taste a difference I need to spend 100+ on the grinder. Since I am starting down the road for better coffee I am also getting a Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Espresso Maker.
Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-28-2008, 10:51 PM   #6
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

I so badly want to become a coffee conessiur but alas, my coffee pot and grinder are just run of the mill products.
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Old 10-28-2008, 11:28 PM   #7
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Mister Moo is spot-on as always. Regarding ebay, new stuff can be found there too...

Also, I don't like to compromise on things I use and depend on every day.
Or at least I rationalize spending more on stuff I will be using alot.

I'm not sure why I picked a Mazzer over the Rocky, but that grinder is such a fine piece of equipment, I never looked back.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leasingthisspace View Post
I guess my link went bad. I have been a drinker of the drip for a few years now but I want to do myself better then that so after reading a bit I started looking around.
http://www.thecateringchef.net/melit...-grinders.html
I found this burr grinder for around 30 bucks. My question is will it help to step my coffeeness up or inorder to taste a difference I need to spend 100+ on the grinder. Since I am starting down the road for better coffee I am also getting a Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Espresso Maker.
Thanks for the advice.
I think folks are leaning to Cuisinarts for best entry-level burr mills. Bodum Antigua is always a favorite, too. I have heard nothing good about the Melitta (or bad) but plenty of nice comments on the Cuisinart and Bodum.

Low end grinders make a lot of noise, are slow and produce a lot of dust and static compared to higher grade machines. Fact is, though, they work fine for drip, press and moka if you don't mind a little extra sludge. I don't. Stir/swirl and it all goes to the bottom of the cup anyhow. If you like the results think about a better machine on down the road.

As to Swampy's remarks on the Mazzer, I concur. I wish everything else in the world worked as well as a Mazzer. I use mine daily, sometimes grinding pounds/day, with only a burrset change after five years.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:44 AM   #9
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
Bad precedent. Nobody else does on this topic. Mostly I get socked in the eyeball because grinder discussions are where my natural azzozole'ness ALWAYS comes to the front. Hopeless.
While self-deprecation is certainly your strong suit (and you're quite funny about it, too), the Word of Moo is trustworthy in the coffee forums. Noobs and experts alike have a lot to learn from you...both about coffee and how to build a friendly com-moo-nity.
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leasingthisspace View Post
My question is will it help to step my coffeeness up or inorder to taste a difference I need to spend 100+ on the grinder. Since I am starting down the road for better coffee I am also getting a Bialetti Moka Express 3-Cup Espresso Maker.
Thanks for the advice.
It has been my experience that you get what you pay for when it comes to coffee equipment. A $30 grinder may certainly impact your cup quality and enjoyment--it did for me. And $30 isn't much to cry over if you wake up one morning a year or two from now thinking, "I need to slide faster down the coffee slope." Moo makes good points about what to expect with blade grinders and the noise they generate, so just keep that in mind. Enjoy!
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Thanks for the help everyone.
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leasingthisspace View Post
Thanks for the help everyone.
I think these are the ones people are leaning towards, now, as a good entry burrmills, from $30 to $130:

http://store3-store.stores.yahoo.net/cubumicogrwi.html
http://www.espressozone.com/7007.html
http://www.espressozone.com/6020.html
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Old 10-29-2008, 11:20 AM   #13
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Thanks Mister Moo. 40 for a step in the right direction is money well spent.
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Old 10-29-2008, 02:35 PM   #14
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

I learned the hard way that with grinders, go for the good one first time or don't bother. Messing around with poor ones wastes time and money if you're planning on sticking around the hobby for a while.

I still wish I had a Mazzer, but do pretty well with the MDF.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

... good entry burrmills, from $30 to $130:

http://store3-store.stores.yahoo.net/cubumicogrwi.html
http://www.espressozone.com/7007.html
http://www.capresso.com/coffee-grind...infinity.shtml
http://www.espressozone.com/6020.html
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Old 10-30-2008, 01:46 PM   #16
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

After the whirly grinder, I started with a cheap burr grinder - worked OK for a few months of almost daily use for drip/french press/mokapot then crapped out.

Lello Ariete Burr Coffee Grinder - $50 at Amazon, not worth it.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:34 AM   #17
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

I just purchased the Bodum Antigua grinder. I started using it this weekend with great results. The fine grind is perfect. Far better than what I was using. I have one question though. Can any one tell me where I could find directions (pictures) on assembly so I can take the bottom end apart for cleaning. I didn't get anything with the machine.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:30 AM   #18
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Moo View Post
...you only make (and only ever plan to make) coffee in a drip maker with paper filters. (takes deep breath...) Unless you already buy professionally ground coffee beans a quality conical burr mill opens up a broad range of brewing methods and, likely as not, will improve the quality of whatever coffee you're already drinking.

A high end grinder is optimized for all coffee brewing methods particularly espresso/turkish and/or volume grinding (Mazzer, Macap, etc.). Lifetime investment. Zero upgrade pangs.

An intermediate grinder is optimized for all coffee needs and may perform well for espresso and moderate grinding volume (MDF, Rocky, etc.). Long term unit. Slight upgrade nervousness if espresso or volume grinding comes to the forefront.

A low end grinder is optimized for drip (paper or goldfilter) and may perform well for press, vacpot and, probably, mokapot. Less than 10-year investment and best for low volume. Zero upgrade trembling if you stick to drip and press - otherwise, thoughts of more control and less dust will begin to haunt you.

Grinders are very much a "get what you pay for" thing. Cheap grinders don't do well for demanding brewers and expensive grinders will break the budget of someone who cannot already smoke $10 cigars all day long. When you think grinder (IMO), think about future needs and alternate brewing methods and get the very best you can afford.

I am a firm believer in avoiding used grinders. Possible exception: professionally rebuilt/refurbed and waranteed machines. Miracles happen but most "I just got a great deal on a used grinder off ebay" stories are disappointments. Good grinders stay in the family - spent-out grinders slide quietly off to auction (like horses).

So my friend.... in the office I currently use the attached set-up. What are your thoughts as Christmas is approaching and Jane is always needing suggestions.

Thanks!
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:41 PM   #19
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Dave, I think you had better revisit Moo's grinder list, as that Sqeezinart will do a decent job while it's working. But the longevity is suspect in my experience (meaning I learned after the 2nd one in 3 years).

Oh yeah, and get some real coffee so you can ditch the creamer
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:44 PM   #20
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Default Re: This "Only GRINDERS" thread is not for you if.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanS View Post
Dave, I think you had better revisit Moo's grinder list, as that Sqeezinart will do a decent job while it's working. But the longevity is suspect in my experience (meaning I learned after the 2nd one in 3 years).

Oh yeah, and get some real coffee so you can ditch the creamer
I gots to have my creamer and 2 splendas. Probably like my view of folks that smoke acids but it's just what I like.

New grinder = good idea. Jane likes to spoil me so.. good one?
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