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Topic: 166 vs 177 vs. Bodum Antigua (5 msgs / 267 lines)
1) From: Henry C. Davis
Unlike more than half the people I have heard mention the Bodum Antigua on
the list who have said it didn't work out of the box or whatever mine worked
perfectly. Admittedly, I did not have to do the adjustment to get it fine
enough since I don't do espresso, but I do grind as fine as I possibly can
for the Bunn-o-matic up to the point that sediment gets through the filter
and then back off a bit. My Bodum does that well on the next to the last on
the fine end of the scale without being hacked. In addition I HAVE NO STATIC
PROBLEMS AND NO BUILDUP IN THE CHUTE that everyone is complaining about with
the Solis grinders in recent messages. True, it is a plastic housing.
Actually, it looks like polycarbonate to me so it isn't cheap plastic, more
like lexan. But all of my unit fits quite well except the bin is a little
*too* tightly fitted. (And that may explain why I have no grounds on my
counter except when my fumble fingers cause it after removing the bin....)
Anyway, mine is not as loud as a whirly blade, grinds perfectly every time,
does not need the chute cleaned and has no static. So some of them work
correctly. They are clearly better than a whirly blade and seem to be better
than any other burr grinder *in that price range*. If you don't want to
spend the money for a Solis and don't want to spend time cleaning the chute
or dealing with static, I'd say the Bodum Antigua of at least the last five
months is a good buy. (I have not seen earlier units.) I was going to wait
to see if Tom decided to carry them, but the whirly broke and I saw no
reason to replace it with another whirly since everyone (correctly it
appears to me) said burr grinders do a better and more consistent job.
I have examined three other units in operation. One hacked to do espresso,
two others used to fine grind after a small adjustment to the ring setting.
(About the same as mine did out of the box.) All three work almost as well
as mine, none seem to have a *serious* static problem, and only one is
louder than mine. The static problems I noticed with them were entirely
limited to some grounds sticking in the bottom of the bin and having to be
tapped out, nothing sticking in the chute or on the little door in the
chute.
My roasts are from light to a couple minutes past second crack, so people
who used more charcoal colored roasts may find more static. This would
appear to be a function of the BEAN, not the grinder.
(funny thing, btw, when my whirly got caked and needed cleaning I used to
take some really dark beans - as bad as charbucks or worse - someone gave me
that were undrinkable and put them in the whirly frozen. After grinding
them, I could wipe the entire assembly sparkling clean with a paper
towel....)

2) From: EuropaChris
I'm probably being a bit harsh on the Bodum, but only because it is really obvious compared to the Solis 166.  However, once 'adjusted', it does a nice even grind and I've had no clogging problems or static either.  Nor do I with the 166, either.  They have a very similar chute design, unlike the 177.
For $70 at Target, the Bodum is a good deal, especially if you can handle the minor adjustment job.  Evidently, some Bodums are assembled in Switzerland, and some in China.  I've been told the China ones are usually noisier and grind much coarser.  This info came from Gonzo when he was working for West Bend co.
Chris
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3) From: Henry C. Davis
I must own and have been looking at Swiss ones. Glad I was. I wish I had
taken notes on the one I saw that was hacked to do espresso, since it was
more than just the adjustment I have seen on the web. If I can track down
the guy and get him to spill what he did to make it grind fine enough for
espresso I will since that is apparently the biggest complaint about the
Bodum. Though it did not look like it was for people who are not naturally
mechanically inclined. I have noted in some areas (mostly computers and
woodworking tools) that I often overestimate what "most" people could do on
their own. In any event, for people not doing espresso or turkish, I would
say the units I have looked at were all a good buy, even if the adjustment
needs doing on a particular unit.
I wasn't sure if people were complaining about both the 166 and 177
concerning the static and chute clogging or not. I hope they take that
problem into consideration on any future models, since it appears to me that
it would be at minimum a constant annoyance and, for me, at least, an
aggravation to the point of getting something else to do the job.

4) From: Ken Mary
This likely explains what I was just thinking. If some work and others do 
not, there has to be a difference in construction or assembly, assuming a
competent user. My Antigua has "Made in Germany" stamped on the bottom. It
has static problems and the chute will plug almost instantly if the metal
antistatic door is left in. Out of the box, it ground boulders on the finest
setting. However, the chute plugging problem was not as bad until the tweak
(actually major surgery) for finer grind.
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5) From: Angelo
I own bothe the 166 and the Bodum( my son now uses the Bodum). I had to
tweak both and in my opinion, they both produce a fine enough grind for
espresso. I've even gone down to Turkish, but was afraid that the burrs
might start touching.
As I said previously, the Antigua was easier to tweak. Maybe it was because
i'd already done te 166.
As to the static cling- I've only experienced it about two times out of
hundreds of grindings...Not that much of an annoyance...at least they're not
flying about the counter.
Another grinder which you can sometimes find for a low price ($50-60),  is
the Krups BaristaII.. It has a doser and a catch basket and can be made to
grind for espresso, as well as for press pot. The problem with this grinder
is the extreme noise levels and the long chute in which the grounds get
stuck. Also, difficult to clean.
Good luck in your decision...
Ciao,
Angelo


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