How much to Spend what to Buy and in what order???

Equipment, technique, or just drinking the stuff

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Postby CakeBoy » Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:44 pm

Fangy Ferret?, Ferocious Flip-Flop?, Feline Frappe?, Focal Flange? ............ Finally Flipped! :wink:
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Postby Steem21 » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:29 pm

Thank goodness I didn't plump for a FF! I might have lost my membership to TMC! :shock: I played it safe and got a Silvia. :D
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Postby Gouezeri » Thu Apr 20, 2006 5:48 pm

Davec wrote:
gouezeri wrote:
Davec wrote: the specific statement "you get what you pay for", hmmm....I'm not sure about that?

Don't think we have any FF! users around here :twisted:


FF?, whats a FF?

Not a "FF?" a "FF!" :lol:
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Postby GeorgeW » Thu Apr 20, 2006 7:46 pm

Davec wrote:
BazBean wrote:... sounds a silly statement i know but as the answer is obvious, get what you pay for.. simple.
Basically what i am trying to say is that i can imadgine that I / We ? must be a hard group of individuals to please .....!!!!


Not related at all to your problem, and talking about coffee kit in general (machines grinders etc..) the specific statement "you get what you pay for", hmmm....I'm not sure about that?

To explain: there are many retail products that charge a premium for brand, hype, advertising, celebrity usage etc..it doesn't always mean they are any better and in some cases they are not as good. I think it's unfortunate that often we "get what we are prepared to pay". In the UK we are "prepared to pay quite a lot", even if we have to borrow the money. The reason why we are touted as one of the most lucrative markets on earth! :shock:

I am sure we can all think of many common retail products (e.g. DVD Players in the early years) where this is true and if this is the case....why should coffee related things be any different!


That's true and as an example you have Francis Francis at a higher price than a Miss Silvia. I've now experienced both and while the Francis did fit in well with my image as a sophisticate and man of the world, it can't begin to compare with the Silvia.
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Postby bruceb » Tue Jul 04, 2006 9:51 am

Having done some "scientific" study of grinders and ground coffee, having owned and presently own a number of grinders I can say this: A used commercial grinder does a much better job of grinding coffee than do any of the new home-use grinders. I have looked at ground coffee in the microscope, even used a shaker and set of analytical sieves to determine the appearance of the grounds, the size range of the grounds and the reproducibility of grind.

Solis/Demoka/Gaggia home grinders appear to "mash" the beans rather than really grinding them, there is a 300% particle size range and reproducibility is a matter of luck. Even a well-used La Cimbali Junior with old burrs provides cleaner "cut" grounds, a much smaller range of particles and superior reproducibility of grind.

Far more importantly, when you put the grounds in an espresso machine (almost ANY espresso machine) you will find it much easier to pull good shots reproducibly with grounds from a commercial grinder. Besides for the benefit of greater mass and higher quality of materials used in commercial machines the lower grinding speed certainly reduces the heat damage and inherrent oxidation of the ground product.

If you study e-bay for awhile you will certainly find a Rossi, Carimali, Cimbali or other fine grinder for a reasonable price. Not one of my grinders has cost me more than €250 including postage. Some have cost less than €100. You may like the looks of a Mazzer, but an old Cimbali will do the job just as well. If you do need to replace the burrs or bean hopper/lid they're available relatively reasonably and are easy to replace.
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Postby lukas » Tue Jul 04, 2006 10:17 am

Great post, Bruce! I always wondered what the actual differences of grind qualities are. I really would like to see direct comparisons of different grinders, commercial or home quality.
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Postby bruceb » Tue Jul 04, 2006 2:40 pm

Hello Lukas,

lukas wrote:Great post, Bruce! I always wondered what the actual differences of grind qualities are. I really would like to see direct comparisons of different grinders, commercial or home quality.


Yes, when I did these experiments a few years ago I summarised them on alt.coffee and planned on putting up a full report on my website. Unfortunately, I had an operation instead, then we had to move and as usual, life got in the way. Now, once again I just had an operation and will be in a wheelchair for a few months while all of my data are packed away in a box somewhere in a big room 2 floors up in our new home. Perhaps after I retire in September? :roll:

If you have any specific questions I may have some answers.
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Postby Steem21 » Tue Jul 04, 2006 3:05 pm

Hi Bruceb,

What do you think are the factors in a grinder which allows it to grind beans to uniform sized particles?

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Postby Bertie_Doe » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:37 pm

bruceb wrote
Solis/Demoka/Gaggia home grinders appear to "mash" the beans rather than really grinding them, there is a 300% particle size range and reproducibility is a matter of luck.

The one advantage of the demoka/lux/iberital MC2 mechanism, is the slow speed of 700rpm + plus they're cheap (MC2 at £125 new).
Besides for the benefit of greater mass and higher quality of materials used in commercial machines the lower grinding speed certainly reduces the heat damage and inherrent oxidation of the ground product.
If you study e-bay for awhile you will certainly find a Rossi, Carimali, Cimbali or other fine grinder for a reasonable price.

In the perfect world, the Rossi, Carimali, Cimbali, Mazzers, Rocky and Mecap, should have the option to grind at 700rpm (instead of their 1400 -1700rpm speeds). However, I'm no engineer and the twin speed option, may not be practical on expense grounds.
Agreed, if you could buy one of the heavyweight Cimbs, Mazzers on eBay and maybe buy new burrs - you will never need to upgrade again.
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Postby cmorgan » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:02 pm

Hi Bruceb

Interested in your thoughts on the following gaggia commercial grinder;

http://shrunk.net/9a6db0f1-cgi.ebay.co.uk

Is it worth bidding on?

regards
Colin
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Postby Gouezeri » Wed Jul 05, 2006 12:08 pm

Hmm...
PM sent.
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Postby bruceb » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:16 pm

cmorgan wrote:Hi Bruceb

Interested in your thoughts on the following gaggia commercial grinder;

http://shrunk.net/9a6db0f1-cgi.ebay.co.uk

Is it worth bidding on?

regards
Colin


That's a Spanish-built CT-1 that had the Visacrem badge in the UK. It's the bottom of the Gaggia commercial line and I don't think many of them are around. I have only seen one in Portugal. It looked very substantial, has a business-like squat appearance and seemed to be a very desirable machine. If memory serves me correctly it has about a 1/5 hp motor, but it's been awhile since I slipped behind the counter and quickly read the label in Ferragudo.

I have looked through my notes, but found nothing on the recommended price. I couldn't find anything on Google either, lending some credence to my idea that they're a bit rare. If you can get it for less than £ 160 including shipping I am guessing it's a bargain. Since it's a Gaggia obtaining replacement parts shouldn't be a problem, but I'm guessing you wouldn't need any for a long time.

By the way, the internal grinder mechanicals are the ones that Gaggia builds into their big full autos. Good luck and let us know how it is if you decide to get one.
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Postby Beanie » Wed Jul 05, 2006 1:26 pm

Hi Colin... before you bid/buy, please read this very long thread about that grinder: http://www.toomuchcoffee.com/index.php? ... light=help

And, ehm, PM will also be sent ;)
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Postby CakeBoy » Wed Jul 05, 2006 4:58 pm

Colin, please contact me before purchasing that grinder. I have experience of both the brand of grinder and the source. If you don't want to speak directly, please do read the thread linked by Beany. For less money you can get a better grinder in the Iberital MC2 and for a little more something like a Macap. The grind quality is completely different despite similar prices and that auction will lead you straight onto an upgrade path as you become dissatisfied with what you are able to achieve. I could not get a fine enough grind on the Cunill Tranquilos that I tried.
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Postby Walter » Fri Oct 20, 2006 7:13 pm

I hope you lot won't mind me trying to revive this thread... ;)

Having only the espresso quality in mind and with a limited budget of - lets say - some 1000€ (~670£), I'd opt for a used Macap MXK or Mazzer Kony (give it a thorough cleaning and replace the burrs) and a Pavoni Professional lever machine.

In the right hands this combo will produce better espressi than many a combo of twice the price...
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