Discussion in 'Food and Drink' started by Jeb, Jan 16, 2016.
You can get a much higher quality of grind for less money with a hand grinder.
I honestly don't know why that would be. Could you explain?
EDIT: Nevermind. Key word: For less money.
EDIT2: You mean higher quality gears and stuff on some manual grinders vs some cheaper electrical ones. I feel that if I absolutely loved the grind and had to have it, I would buy an equivalent electric one. Grinding by hand will get old eventually. Drinking a good cup of coffee will probably not get old that fast.
EDIT3: A really bad grind will get in the way. After you get a reasonable grinder, we may be talking diminishing returns as with all things.
i agree, but some may be not able to afford an electric grinder that gives an equivalent grind quality. My $200 OE Lido gives a more consistent grind than the $500 Baratza Vario with steel burr upgrade. The vario grind is great, better than you’ll get in most other electrics in the price range, just not as good as the hand-powered Lido. You have to spend significantly more to get an equivalent grind quality in an electric as you get with the best hand grinders.
It's a diminishing returns deal for me.
I can get great coffee with a simple Cappresso + MrCoffee.
I find that by far, at this point, the type, roasting, and quality of the beans makes the greatest impact.
Also, the skill. Getting the filter load just right to get a perfect extraction is key. I've seen many folks fail miserably on-line and stores, with very expensive equipment.
I understand. I’ve owned The following grinders: Capresso Infinity, Baratza Virtuoso, Baratza Vario, Mazzer Mini, Mazzer Super Jolly, various cheapo hand grinders in addition to the OE Lido. I have experience with many others through friends, family, shops and whatnot. I can say with confidence that once you have technique down and are using good beans and water, grinder makes a noticeable difference maybe moreso than any other equipment. That’s not to say that any of the above can’t make good coffee but the biggest leap in coffee enjoyment came when I upgraded my espresso grinder from Capresso to Mazzer. Huge.
It will get old as long as you think of hand grinding as a chore that you don't want to be bothered with. For myself, I've been exclusively hand grinding at home for the past 15 years and it is a routine step in making coffee. I actually enjoy hand grinding as part of the ritual and appreciate not being subjected to the loud blast of an electric grinder in the morning.
When I was searching I came across reports of Sette breaking down early, but I think they ironed out the problems. Rocky is stepped, but can be modded to be continuous adjustment.
Shoutout to www.euroespresso.com.au for great follow-up service. I ordered a Pavoni temperature strip from them, and threw in some decaf beans for minimally extra shipping. The package got hung up at AusPost for several weeks and when finally released to the air carrier it got bumped to sea freight due to "international flight cancellations". When I informed them, Euroespresso responded by topping up my 250g of coffee to 420g (presumably to just squeak in under the 500g price limit) and sending it by TNT at their cost. They didn't have any more temp strips as they're out of stock and waiting on an overdue shipment from Italy, so that will come by boat eventually, hopefully.
It's nice to see businesses going the extra mile to satisfy customers, even when the problem wasn't their fault (i.e. Covid).
IMHO, my kinu does a better job at espresso grinding than my vario (with ceramic burrs, it can't do espresso with metal burrs for me, tried). More consistent and easier to dial in.
A new Super Jolly (something I lusted over way back) is $1000 or more.
And they take up a lot of counter space. For WAF, this could be significant.
Niche Zero looks interesting for $650 but its indiegogo and wouldn't ship until the end of the year.
My kinu takes about 45 secs to grind a shot of beans. And its fairly easy to get the grounds out, something that may not always be true for electrical grinders.
just to be clear I wasn’t recommending anyone buy the Super Jolly. Was just implying that one would possibly have to spend that much to get an equal grind that you can get for much cheaper with a hand grinder.
I actually wrote my post before I read yours. I used the SJ for the example because I wanted one back before I bought the Vario. Its a serious piece of machinery, but really intended for shops not kitchens.
For making vs buying espresso/lattes, it is a significant investment to get a grinder and machine. I have a Expobar Office, which I consider a low end HX. I did make an improvement to it, it now has a thermocouple in the group head so I can monitor the temp while I flush it, makes flushing idiot proof.
But since I've had it for many years, the setup paid for itself a long time ago vs buying from a coffee shop at $3 and up. I go through stretches when I don't use it, but also long periods when I use 5 times a week.
The other thing is I want my morning latte with breakfast, so that doesn't work if I need to go out to get it. Now I make the latte while I'm cooking breakfast.
Last comment is if I had to use a SBDU instead of a HX machine, I'd probably use it a lot less. Being able to steam and pull the shot at the same time makes it much easier to make the drink.
An HX or double boiler is a significant investment for anyone considering it, but it spoils you after using it.
EDIT. I know you know this stuff DigMe, its really meant for others considering espresso setups.
I used to have an Expobar Office Pulser. Used it every day for a few years. My friend still has it.
when I had my super jolly and my mini I never kept the hopper on because it was just too big with cabinets. I would put the beans straight into the throat and put a tamper over them when grinding.
That looks good.
Expobar machines are great, I liked one of these big ones, almost bought it used.
I agreed with the previous stuff about the machines, they need to be at least decent, not to burn the coffee and have stable temp - what you put into the machine is probably most important. The small plantation coffee beans are gold, I am really enjoying my coffee now.
Indeed. Here is a little link about what's inside the ECMP50:
As with of these inexpensive machines, one does not have to use the included filter and tamper. Get an after market non-pressurized filter and tamper which should be straight forward.
As alluded to by the above link, this machine uses a 15 bar Ulka pump (useful to know should this be serviced), and it's thermoblock based (like some Juras but unlike other boiler based systems).
It is temperature controlled through a thermistor, which seems like a good thing. It can be calibrated. Link above shows how with some elbow grease.
It does not have a floater in water collection, which James Hoffmann seems to care a lot about, but I personally could not care less. If you can grind your coffee like a caveman every morning, you can drain the tray every morning as well for a lot less effort.
I specially like the steamer wand. Just remove the plastic covering. It is a regular one, not Panarello.
I understand this is not the last word on coffee making. But it does not burn the coffee and all that crap.
Doubt you have any of the bean left, but I find especially with that earthy acid profile here's my trick. A useful tip is to drop water temperature. Acid extraction increases exponentially as a function of temperature whereas TDS extraction is linear, so you can sort of ride the curve by dropping temp 2C at a time and tightening up the grind in such a way that you don't lose body but also help fight acid without overextracting.
Also you can play with the bloom ratio, I use a riff of 4:6 where i fast pour and drain the first and second bloom, then continuous pour the remainder of the brew. Most of the flavor is set in the first 2 pours, the lower the water:coffee bloom ratio (like 2-3:1), the sweeter it comes out, the higher (like 4:1) the more acidic. But remember sweetness is tied to extraction and if you hit the saturation point, all you get is bitter flavors after it, so if you find that you struggle with too much bitterness, try running more water in the bloom.
BTW guys. The reason I'm being insistent here is not to convince the more advanced and discriminating coffee folks about anything. Nor do I want to discourage discussion of better and more advanced machines and equipment at all.
It is much more for the sake of other folks that may have happened to stumble upon this thread, and are looking into what an affordable and very entry level machine can do. Because I would have appreciated that when I was looking for something like that. Information was very scarce. Pretty much the arguments I read around in other forums boiled down to buy a Gaggia (or so) or stick to a french press. Which I feel is a bit inaccurate.
Not everyone is looking for the best of the best, but different levels of acceptable, and what you get on different price ranges. There are very crappy cheap machines out there. I've experienced some of them from Mr Coffee itself. Any 3 bar espresso machine should be shot on the spot as far as I'm concerned. Discriminating reasonable entry level machines is IMO important for folks, like me, looking into something of that nature.
With that in mind, please carry on with any discussion on bigger and better systems.
i have no problem anyone’s choice of gear. I’m mostly a coffee relativist. Whatever floats your boat. I mean I will always argue that better equipment can result in better coffee all things being equal because that is my experience but not gonna look down on anyone else’s gear.
It is not so much about looking down on the gear, as much as establishing what gear does the job, and which ones clearly do not.
Stay away from it. It is landfill.
I know it's $40 and I already knew it didn't have the bars to create real espresso. I considered because it likely had the same bars as my Moka pots. But a Moka pot is better than this. Why? Because the water tank is of such a low grade plastic that it affects the flavor considerably. A Moka pot is also not 15 bar and releases very little crema if at all. But at least an inexpensive Bialetti Moka pot for the same price will not make your coffee taste weird.
I got so pissed at it that I threw it straight to the garbage and felt bad about it. It is not the $40 as much as generating garbage. I can buy expensive kilo buck machines, but I just love high value things. This was not it.
I know this was not in anybody's radar for the high end ultimate experience. But for high value folks, I wished I had read more clearly how sub $40 machines likely use non-food grade and questionable materials.
Well I know its hard to spend $1000 or more for first time espresso setup.
My first real setup was a vintage hand grinder and a Gaggia Classic from ebay. Pretty sure the Classic needed some work, but they are fairly easy to take apart and work on. I made a bunch of upgrades to the Classic, but in the end its a small single boiler machine and you can only take it so far.
To me, if you really want a budget setup, seems like your Mr Coffee and a decent hand grinder, with a total of maybe $300, is the way to go.
If you do buy a hand grinder for espresso, I recommend dedicating it just for espresso, and not trying to use it for drip too. It would be a pain to have to adjust it for drip/press/others and then dial it back in for espresso. Now that I have my Kinu dialed in, rarely adjust even if I change beans. I just make small adjustments to the dose if its shot is fast or slow. And one thing I like about the Kinu is that it is easy to adjust when you need to.
Any recommendations for a more affordable hand grinder?
When I was looking at grinders, I thought about this one
Its $160 vs around $200 for the Kinu I bought. Orphan Lido is also in the $200 range.
There are some even cheaper, but I personally wouldn't take a chance on them.
And of course there are more expensive ones.
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