TMC Grinder Guide

For non-TMC members to ask questions and offer comments

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Postby scook94 » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:23 am

With the problems at Zassenhaus and their lack of availability at the moment I was looking around for a good hand grinder I can take on my travels. I came across this, does anyone know if it works as good as it looks? Or any other recommendations for a hand mill to accompany an Aeropress?

Thanks,
Steven
Izzo Vivi | Mazzer SJ Doserless | Gene Cafe
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Postby blackice » Mon Apr 17, 2006 7:54 am

Solis 166 or 177
Iberital MC2
Gaggia MDF
Rancilio Rocky
Macap M4
Mazzer Mini (E)
LaMarzocco Swift (or Mahkoenig)
Olympia Cremina
Mazzer Super Jolly
Turbo Crazy
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Postby Steve » Mon Apr 17, 2006 8:32 am

Not really portable are they.
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Postby Teme » Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:44 am

A couple of additions to what has already been mentioned:

£50-£150 (70-215EUR): Demoka M-203

Probably the best value for money out there at around €150. Doserless, stepless worm-drive adjustment, 250W motor etc. Not available in the UK for some reason?

£250 (360EUR) and over: Versalab M3

I have no personal experience on this one, but I find it's probably the worst value for money out the at around €1250 after shipping and taxes. However, it arguably has the best grinds distribution pattern of all grinders and minimal retained grinds in the burrs. Ideal cupping grinder?

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Postby CakeBoy » Mon Apr 17, 2006 11:56 am

The Demoka sounds interesting Teme. I wonder why it is not available in the UK? No dealer perhaps?
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Iberital L'Anna 1 Gp Hand-Fill | Wega Orion 2 Gp | Bezzera 1 Gp | Rancilio Audrey PID | Spidem Trevi
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Postby Teme » Mon Apr 17, 2006 3:31 pm

No idea why it isn't sold in the UK (or here in Denmark for that matter). It is very popular especially in Finland, Sweden and Germany and has a good rep. I tried one in Finland very quickly and I liked it.

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Postby Guest » Wed May 31, 2006 2:15 pm

As the saying goes 'you can't make a silk purse rom a pigs ear' so it is true for coffee. So whie I agree with the coment "the grinder is the most important buy" but only if you have good quality freshly roasted coffee beans. No matter how good the grinder crap rossted coffee beens = crap coffee in the cup!

Cheers,


DV
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Postby Guest » Wed May 31, 2006 2:41 pm

Whoops pressed the 'submit' button in error for 'preview' so apologies for the typos. I go for the architecture hierachy as follows: roaster => grinder => machine => experience => addiction to ever a better cup.

Me, I did it arse backwards and learnt the hard way. I started with (to me) an expensive expresso machine a Francis Francis X1 (cause it looked sexy in orange) and a poor grinder. Then added an Imex air roaster followed by a mini Mazzer E and then graduated to a Hottop roaster. I believe that the weakest link is the X1 but I am still gaining the experience and the cup just gets better and better especially when served in glass Bodium Pavina cups!

Next time the X1 packs up I'll then upgrade to a 'proper' expresso machine.

So I would recommend for a beginner to buy the best that they can afford second hand at least an Imex roaster and a decent grinder depending on finances. Start with French Press and Filter coffee then as interest and funds grow move on to making expresso - a different and more expensive game.

Cheers,

DV

PS and many thanks for all the help and support that I have had from the great guys (boys and girls) on this forum
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Postby fred25 » Wed May 31, 2006 4:17 pm

scook94 wrote:With the problems at Zassenhaus and their lack of availability at the moment I was looking around for a good hand grinder I can take on my travels. I came across this, does anyone know if it works as good as it looks? Or any other recommendations for a hand mill to accompany an Aeropress?

Thanks,
Steven


I'll second that request for info! :)

Are there any good hand grinders available in the UK? And, are hand grinders any good as regard to price (ie. in the 0-£50 price bracket)? I've got a really rubbish electric grinder and I'm looking to get something better, though the option of 'saving money and waiting till I get enough dough to buy a decent electric grinder' translates for me as 'pigs will fly before...' :? :D

Anyway, any opinion/help on that would be much appreciated!
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Postby fred25 » Wed May 31, 2006 4:19 pm

Forgot to say looking for grinder to use with french press, so don't need to grind to the molecular level ;)
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Postby CakeBoy » Wed May 31, 2006 4:36 pm

If you just want a decent French press grinder, the Solis 166/Dualit/Starbucks Barista is a good buy discounted to £42 from £60 at the local Starbucks outlet place near me. PM if you want one and I'll sort it and mail it to you.
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Postby fred25 » Wed May 31, 2006 5:12 pm

many thanks for your offer to help!

the thing is i have an electric grinder; i was hoping i could get a hand grinder on the cheap side, thinking that i'd get a better grind - for a given, low amount of money invested - with a hand grinder than an electric one...Or am i thinking along the wrong lines?
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Postby CakeBoy » Wed May 31, 2006 5:56 pm

Not sure about the grind quality because I have never used a hand type, but many others here have and will be able to offer opinions. I do see your point as you already have an electric grinder.
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Iberital L'Anna 1 Gp Hand-Fill | Wega Orion 2 Gp | Bezzera 1 Gp | Rancilio Audrey PID | Spidem Trevi
Iberital MC2 Timed | Macap M4 DS & MXA DS | Mazzer SJ | Starbucks Barista Grinder (Dualit E60/Solis 166)
Pinhalense 2x500g Gas Batch/Sample Roaster | Gene Cafe | IMEX CR-100
Aerobie | eSantos | Zassenhaus | Bodum P/Over | Chemex | Hario Woodneck | Timer Filter
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Postby HughF » Wed May 31, 2006 6:09 pm

I have a Zassenhaus 156 "knee mill" hand grinder; I don't try clamping it between my knees as I'm concerned about painful side-effects (!). This mode of use may be unfair to the Zass but I **think** the grind quality is slightly less good than a £120 Iberital MC2 electric grinder and it's more of a nuisance to use. On the good side, errr... it fits into a briefcase easily.

I suspect it grinds a bit better than a Dualit but for cafetiere use, the difference may not be worth the aggro, fiddle and **extra** cost of the Zass.
Some on the SM homeroast email list worship the Zass so maybe I'm wrong but I still don't expect to use it unless I travel with it on a day trip or something. Our heat sources are all electric so it can't help us make coffee during a power cut.

Cheers,

Hugh
Grinders : Macap MXK conical for espresso, Mahlkoenig Vario for Chemex, Macap MC6 (spare when our office was closed) for cafetiere, Zassenhaus Knee Mill for cafetiere when working away from home.
La Spaziale Vivaldi S1 espresso machine. HotTop KN8828P roaster. Chemex manual drip for most brewed coffee plus cafetieres and eSantos.
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Postby espressomattic » Wed May 31, 2006 7:05 pm

I use a Salter hand grinder for FP's, great coarse quality!!!! Loads on E0Bay
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