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  1. #1
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    Question About Grinders

    Hi Everyone, Hope everyone is doing well. I apologize if this is under the wrong category, but I have a bunch of questions regarding grinders and what makes a good grinder worth it. I currently use an inexpensive manual burr grinder, but I have been saving up for some upgrades to my coffee making arsenal, grinder included. I'm wondering what the difference between a 140 dollar grinder like the Baratza Encore and a 300 dollar grinder such as the Baratza Sette 30 and 270. I also was wondering the difference between a flat burr grinder and a conical burr grinder. All I want is a grinder that is capable of making a nice fine grind for espresso and a consistent medium grind for pour-overs. Any info is great!

  2. #2
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    Well, you have a few key differences - first, is the grinder designed for drip brewing or espresso. Espresso grinders like the Sette's will have better control over grind and typically will be able to grind finer which is required for espresso. The key with espresso extraction is getting the grinds to be a consistent size and fine enough. Typically the more expensive the better quality and better job it will do. Flat vs. Conical is up for debate IMO... Overall the Sette is a good entry level grinder. I'm sure others can relay their opinions, I don't follow the home market as much as I used to.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info! I've heard good things about the Sette line of models, I'll have to look into them.

  4. #4
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    St. John's, NL, Canada
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    I have a Sette 270. I love it. But, I do make espresso 100% of the time, and I feel that it's mostly an espresso grinder. It's ability to dial in for perfect extraction times is amazing. It's also REALLY fast and the straight through design means virtually zero grind retention. You can easily single dose with it, and change beans on the fly. Before I got it, I did read lots of reviews, and there were complaints that it didn't go coarse enough for a lot of preparation methods (such as French Press). I'm interested in trying other brewing techniques, but am a little concerned that I won't get a coarse enough grind. That said, the coarse settings on it, go from 1-31 and my espresso grinds are on settings between 8 and 10 (depending on the bean), so I guess espresso is about 1/3rd as coarse as it goes.
    I used to have a cheap burr grinder - Capresso Infinity which only had I think 12 or 15 settings in total. So it wasn't particularly precise for grinding for espresso, but it did go the whole gamut from Turkish (really fine) to French Press (really coarse). I think cheap grinders tend to do the whole gamut (I think the Baratza Encore is in the same family as the Capresso Infinity), but without the specialty precision of more expensive machines. The timers on these cheap machines don't have any precision to them either. So, it's always a bit of a guess, and getting the same results every grind is kind of hit and miss. I happily used the Infinity for a couple of years, and its definitely possible to make something like that work, even for espresso which is pretty fussy. You just adjust your dosing rather than the grind size, once you're close. The Sette 270 though (called the Sette because its shaped like a seven, and 270 because it technically has 270 grind settings*) is a much more precise grinder making it very easy to get repeatable results each time you grind. This makes dialling in a lot easier. The Wi makes it even better with its weight based grinding. FWIW, I didn't go for the Wi, and have no regrets.

    (*-the sette actually has infinite settings because the fine setting is stepless, but for the purposes of a measurement guide, it has 270)

  5. #5
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    I'm not a fan of Baratza although they offer innovative features for the price point, reliability is far from great. I had a Vario for several years and even after just typical daily use it bit the dust. Bit by bit it fell apart and really went south when the circuit board went up in smoke. Of course people go on and on with the 'great customer service and accessible parts', but when I buy something I want/expect it to perform well for YEARS without having to replace parts or send things in under warranty. A warranty to have to rely on should be the exception, not the rule.

    To the OP, you said you currently use an inexpensive hand grinder. My vote would be for you to invest in a high quality hand grinder as you won't believe the grind quality/consistency/speed difference that will likely be light years ahead of what you currently use. I've been a fan of espresso specific hand grinders for years, but sorta started sticking with quality electric grinders to save my shoulders (rotator cuff tendonitis in both), but recently decided to say the hell with simply pushing a button to get 19 grams in 6 seconds... I found a guy on forum that was selling a like-new espresso specific hand grinder and the cost was quite fair. I jumped on the deal and I'm very impressed with the build quality and performance. Doesn't bother my shoulders much at all and the grind quality is on par with my best electric grinder. Have actually started doing 6-7 doubles each morning by hand as it's that awesome to work with. It is primarily geared toward espresso, but can do coarser methods quite easily. The model is the JE-Plus from 1ZPresso.

    IF you must go the electric route and want a long lasting quality grinder I'd say look into the Eureka line as their grinders are top notch and hard to beat for what they offer/price.
    Last edited by shadow745; 01-25-2020 at 10:41 AM.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
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    Oct 2019
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    Would anyone recommend a hand grinder over an electric grinder? beyond convenience, I am quite into the whole "grind your own beans", but worry that an electric alternative would simply be better.

    Any advice much appreciated. Thanks!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaYoda View Post
    Would anyone recommend a hand grinder over an electric grinder? beyond convenience, I am quite into the whole "grind your own beans", but worry that an electric alternative would simply be better.

    Any advice much appreciated. Thanks!
    Clearly I do as with a hand grinder you have no retention/waste, little noise if that bothers users, you have longevity/dependability with no motor/circuitry to go bad, etc. The hand grinder I just got is easily on par with electric grinders costing $750+.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

 

 

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