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  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Home Grinder Suggestion for Espresso, French Press, and Vacuum Pots

    I'm looking for a conical burr grinder. One that will be suitable for espresso, french press, an vacuum pots.

    I'm considering the Breville Smart Grinder $199

    the Smart Grinder

    I would appreciate some opinions on this machine and some other suggestions for grinders within the same price range +/-

    Thank You,

    Jay Raz

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Okay, so I've watched some videos and read some more reviews on the Breville. My question is regarding this machine.

    Once you install the shim kit to receive a fine enough grind for espresso, are the coarse settings on the machine now not coarse enough for french press and vacuum pots?

  3. #3
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Alright, scratch all the questions regarding the Breville. It looks like I just jumped my price range up and looking now into the Baratza line. Found some really great reviews comparing all the models in their line. For what I want, seems like I'm going to have to be willing to pay more for it *which I'm fine with*.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    May 2008
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    California
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    203
    Talking to yourself is the second sing of impending metal breakdown...
    For the money, the Baratza grinders are very nice indeed. For espresso I always recommend a stepless grinder. The Vario is close enough to count in that manner.
    And IMO, for $199, unless you want a hand grinder, there are no decent grinders in that price range to serve the needs of an espresso machine.
    BUT.. If you don't mind hand grinding, go over to orphan espresso and check out their hand grinder with huge conical burrs:
    OE PHAROS Hand Coffee Grinder

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2005
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    Central North Carolina
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    Actually Randy it depends on the espresso machine in question. If pressurized baskets/portafilters are being used a cheaper grinder can be used with decent results. Baratza is cutting edge right now, but they incorporate way too much plastic IMO. Burr carriers should not be plastic regardless of price point. FWIW, their new Preciso is said to be as good or even better than the Vario for most grinding situations.

    Regarding Orphan Espresso, they also have/had some great hand mills for less than $100, but most hand mills won't do coarse to fine with great results.

    The Pharos looks great in design, but needs some fine tuning to be more practical.
    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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    Apr 2011
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    Don't have time till later to fully research the hand grinders, so I'll pop out a few questions. Which I can possibly answer later as per my impending mental breakdown.

    How well do the hand grinders work, and how does the grind compare to higher end grinders?
    What price range would I be looking at if I wanted a great quality grind for espresso?

    I am open to the possibility of having a hand grinder for espresso and an additional electrical grinder that is more suitable for drip, fp, vacuum.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    The older hand mills are much better built and have higher quality tool steel burrs. I know the current trend is toward ceramic burrs, but the rest of the grinder seems to be built rather cheaply.

    I use a 50+ year old KyM hand mill and the grind quality is superb, easily on par with any commercial espresso specific grinder I've had the pleasure of using/seeing in action. This list includes a Nuova Simonelli MDX, a Mazzer Super Jolly and a Mahlkonig K30. The KyM works flawlessly with my Cremina lever.

    As with anything, not all hand grinders are created equally and this is where buying a refurbished one from Orphan Espresso comes into play.

    For a low cost approach, buying an espresso specific hand mill and a cheaper electric burr mill such as the Capresso Infinity, Baratza Maestro, etc. would work fine.
    I'm a legend among my own kind... you my friend are just a legend in your own mind. Later!

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    Just to leave some closure for the thread. I just purchased a Refurbished Baratza Vario. Was trying for some second-hand commercial equipment but kept getting outbid on ebay or had to deal with dopes off of craigslist.

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    9
    Oh no! I was just about to suggest you get a bodum grinder instead. Unless its for a shop. It has adjustable grind settings, a timer, and a really nice shoot n catch. It's palced perfectly for putting a portafilter under.
    Bodum Bistro Electric Burr Coffee Grinder, Black

  10. #10
    Junior Member
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    Apr 2011
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    20
    I the grind quality will be much better with the Vario.

 

 
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