Well, the results are in. I spent some time this weekend comparing my Zassenhaus with my Maximo grinder, and comparing various ways of using the Zassenhaus. The results are on my website, which you can see directly by going here:http://uglyroast.atspace.com/grindoff.htmlThe lowdown on the results: The Maximo beats the Zassenhaus (a new model), and the motorized Zass beats hand cranking. Stablized cranking is better than knee cranking. I also posted pics of my burrs. Enjoy! Cheers, --Derek -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
...So I took apart my Beechweed Zassenhaus 499 because I had to do a comparison... My burrs are not trashed such as the ones you portrayed. Neither are my burrs perfect, there are a couple cuts that look nicked. ...So how is the Maximo after 6 months of use? What do the burrs look like? We certainly want to see those too... ...I believe you are correct about the QC at Zass seems to be going down... All for a perfect cup! Brett ZASSMAN still... On 1/22/06, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> e <Snip> , <Snip> r <Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
Great Stuff Derek, I do not own either, I am just a coffee drinker, but great comparison, I am sure there will be lots of feedback. The Maximo looks identical or is it just me to the La Pavoni grinder. Regards, Ed Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip>
On 1/23/06, Brett Mason wrote: <Snip> I've only had the Maximo for about a month, and getting at the burrs is no small feat. Perhaps in the next couple weeks I'll look into disassembling it, but for now I'm just too busy. I regretted not making the comparison when I did the grinder thing though. Not good science. I'm also building a new roaster right now, and that should be finished next weekend. It's gonna be cool. :) -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
On 1/23/06, Ed Quesada wrote: <Snip> It's a rebadged PGC, you're right. It's just 80 dollars cheaper. -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
--Apple-Mail-10-726811220 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed I have the PGB (fake brass finish). It was $80 when Zabar's introduced it. I find it is quite static-y when grinding into the PF, and the plastic base warped when I had it a tad too close to the stove--causing the catch bin to slide on off off-center, sometimes triggering the direct-to-PF grind switch lever accidentally (I generally kept the bin in place and used the rocker switch on the side). However, grind quality was good (though speed was slow), and the stepless adjustment was even more convenient than the one on my Mazzer Mini. On Jan 22, 2006, at 11:15 AM, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> Sandy Andina www.sandyandina.com --Apple-Mail-10-726811220 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset O-8859-1 I have the PGB (fake brass = finish). It was $80 when Zabar's introduced it. I find it is quite = static-y when grinding into the PF, and the plastic base warped when I = had it a tad too close to the stove--causing the catch bin to slide on = off off-center, sometimes triggering the direct-to-PF grind switch lever = accidentally (I generally kept the bin in place and used the rocker = switch on the side). However, grind quality was good (though speed was = slow), and the stepless adjustment was even more convenient than the one = on my Mazzer Mini. On Jan 22, 2006, at 11:15 AM, Derek = Bradford wrote:
After a brief search, I see that La Pavoni PG Burr Coffee Grinder is listed for around $200 and the Maximo for about $120. In many grinder recommendations on this list I don't recall seeing many, if any, recommendations for grinders in the range between the Solis Maestro Plus Mill ($150) and the Rancilio Rocky at $280-300. The veterans on this list seem to have a pretty good grip on these grinders; any chance you can help some of the rest of us understand the levels of utility represented by the sub-Rocky grinders? Thanks, Brian On 1/22/06, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> I <Snip> s <Snip>
Pictures man, pictures.... Don't take apart the grinder unless quality starts to diminish, and you get to not using it. Then DISECT the thing, and share, share, share! All for the perfect cup! Brett Zassman (old used off eBay) still! On 1/22/06, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> o <Snip> g <Snip> xt <Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
I LOVE my Zass. But for espresso, I use my Rocky (doserless - cause I like getting grounds sprayed across the counter and onto the tile floor) for espresso, and it is incredibly adept at very fine consistent grind. This quality is necessary if you are working to get exactly a 25 second shot before blonding on a good pump machine. I hate one thing about my Rocky - it takes 3 hands to adjust fine for espresso following the setting for drip. I DO HAVE 7 KIDS, so I can get another set of hands. I just don't like that one item. I love my Zass, and the "dust" I hear about is not prevalent like I find with a CHEAP $20-50 burr grinder (did those too). I have bought 6 Zasses along the way, all used, all older, and all wonderful quality. Any Zass completely outperforms any cheap grinder. Brett That's why they call me Zassman (at least whent hey bother to call) On 1/22/06, Brian Kamnetz wrote: <Snip> , I <Snip> is <Snip> ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
On 1/23/06, Brian Kamnetz wrote: <Snip> That's 'cause there aren't many. The veterans on this list seem to have a pretty good grip on these <Snip> That's a big question. Here's what I'll initially throw out: The Maximo will grind more than sufficiently for espresso on my Europiccola. It is loud, not particularly fast when compared with commercial grinders, and clumps. The clumps are manageable with careful dosing, and the slow grinding (20 seconds per double) aren't really that bad. There are people on Coffeegeek who advocate the PGC/Maximo for espresso as well. I trust their judgement, and my experience tells me they're quite right. Why did I buy a Maximo? It wasn't my first choice. It wasn't even close. I have the money set aside for, and will buy immediately upon my return to Canada, a Mazzer Mini Electronic Doserless. However, living in Seoul, buying a "proper" grinder means spending literally twice the price of the grinder. That, to me, is unacceptable, and the Maximo will suit until I ge= t home. For the casual home drinker (a shot or two a day), or for a non-espresso drinker, the grinder is quite fine. I don't know how it will hold up over the years, but for the price, it's a fine grinder. As a coffeegeek, as someone constantly striving for better coffee, I can say that it has solved my grinding problems for now. How's that? -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
Or should I say the grounds TUMBLE onto the floor - they don't fall uniformly into the portafilter... alas what a doser might do... except the doser doesn't get rid of all the older rancid grinds... Brett Zassman I do like Rocky, the movie.... On 1/22/06, Brett Mason wrote: <Snip> on, I <Snip> or is <Snip> scribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
Derek, Thanks for your thoughtful discussion of grinders and their respective characteristics. Brian On 1/22/06, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> e <Snip> . <Snip> o <Snip> get <Snip> r <Snip> ed <Snip>
With my Rocky DL, the downside is that before the PF fills, the grounds begin to dribble over my wrist and on to the counter. I've tried dosing into a ramekin, but that's a messy extra step that doesn't offer much of an advantage. I compromise by grinding to just before the dribble starts, then shaking and knocking the PF to level the grounds, and then resuming. On Jan 22, 2006, at 11:47 AM, Brett Mason wrote: <Snip> Sandy Andina www.sandyandina.com
<Snip> At $200, the Baratza Virtuoso definitely fills the void between the SMP and a Rocky. I have only had mine a few weeks, but it is a quality grinder. The improvements over the SMP are substantial and obvious - stronger, quieter motor; bigger, better burrs; better, more solid burr carrier and minimal static problems. Ergonomically, IMO, it easier to use than most of the "pedigreed" grinders: straight drop into the grinds bind, smaller footprint and easier to clean. No "futzing" around chasing down those stray, lingering grounds. Yes, it works very well for espresso, even with Miss Sylvia, but one must call Baratza and get the directions to zero set the burrs. (A 5 minute, at most, task.) Will the Virtuoso burrs last as long as Rocky and group? Don't know yet. Will replacing the upper burr restore like new grinding? Don't know yet. Is the lower burr replaceable? Didn't ask Baratza, but guess I should. Cheers, Geary
I have enjoyed all the discussion on Zass grinders and the new v. old opinions. My only experience with Zass is an old brass Turkish mill that my aunt uses for pepper. Yesterday, I won an old Zass on ebay that is marked 120-Record ... I'm guessing that means it's got metal from the Record Tool Company, but am not sure. Are there any sites with info on older model #'s and manufacturing details? For $46 shipped, I hope to get a chance to see what the older models are like. If it's a bust, at least I'll have an attractive ornament. cheers, scott Brett Mason wrote: <Snip>
Wow, great work Derek. I love the pics and your descriptions. My brothers new Zass is sadly way more inconsistent than yours. It looks like Tom will need to "cup" the next batch of Zass grinders when they come in. Jared On 1/22/06, Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> e <Snip> , <Snip> r <Snip>
I wonder if my OLD Zasses are appreciating in value... Brett On 1/22/06, Jared Andersson wrote: <Snip> rs <Snip> ll <Snip> e <Snip> l), <Snip> r <Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
Derek Bradford wrote: <Snip> Hi Derek, Thanks for taking the time to go through those tests and post them. Yes, it does seem your Maximo produces a more consistent grind than the Zass (something which I don't think I disputed, I just didn't know). I've always understood that the Zass produces some "dust" and inconstant particle size. Less at the finer settings and more at the coarser settings. From what I could see on your pictures, the Maximo did produce a more consistent grind. I'll try to keep that in mind next time I have a spare hundred laying around and want to look into getting a motorized grinder. :-) On the look of your burrs, yikes! I looked at mine as best I could without pulling them, and after over a year of use they don't look anything like that. Don't know why yours were like that, nor whether that is "normal". If very many went out like that, no doubt Zass would soon get a reputation as no longer quality (which it seems perhaps they are, for reasons maybe only the management knows). I would pull them, but I tried that once and didn't get very far. Particularly, the handle didn't seem to come off the shaft very easily, and it was apparent that would have to come off before you could drop the burs and pull them. Not wanting to destroy and bend the handle, I applied what I though would be as much pressure as I dared but it didn't budge. So I cleaned it as best I could and put the box back together. I suppose I could possibly pull the bottom of the box to get a better look at the bottom section of the burrs. From the top, it looked sharp, no nicks I could see, etc. On the issue of stabilized vs. knee, which was one of my points, I couldn't tell from your pictures what you were describing, so I would have to take your word that one had more inconsistent pieces than the other. You also didn't state what grind settings you were using, as in how many turns from fully closed (or however you measure it). I ran my own test on this point and they too were inconclusive as to which grind had more dust. From a visual inspection, they both appeared to have about equal amounts. Seems the only way to really measure dust would be to have a way to extract the particles that were under a certain size and measure the quantity. I used Uganda Bugista, ground at 1/2 from fully closed and 1 3/8 from fully closed. I guess the only scientific way to really measure that would be to have a screen that only allowed dust particles to go through, and put it on a machine that would shake equal parts of ground coffee the two different ways for the same number of minutes and then measure what gets through. Don't know if you have a way to do that, but that would probably be instructive. All I can say is when I ground with my Zass keeping it stabilized on the counter, my vac pot always stalled no matter what setting I used for grinding. Then I went to grinding between my knees and suddenly, it could drain without stalling (but not every time either, but a much higher success rate than previously which was zero). Perhaps there was another reason why that worked than the dust...I don't know. Since everyone said too much dust was the culprit and I figured that the knee method kept the top bracket from moving too much (I noticed you didn't have the open hopper model, and that might play a factor in it to, different design) and reduced the dust. The world may never know. On the motorizing the Zass, do you need to remove the handle to do that? How much do you have to tear apart the Zass to hook a drill up to it? Is it easily reversible? My success at removing the handle might be the sticking point at whether I could even test with my Zass to see if the grind was better with the motor. BTW, from what you have on the web link, it doesn't look you ran a test of the motorized version between the knees. It might be consistent with your hand cranked version, but would be an interesting comparison. If I could temporarily do the motorized thing just for comparison and pull the burrs to get a better look, it might be interesting. One other item of interest, if someone here could do it. I would like to see someone who has an older Zass when the quality was suppose to be better, show their burrs and grind quality just to compare with what I've have. I'm interested to see if the grind size is more consistent with the older models or is it just the "placebo" effect...people say it is so people begin to see more inconsistent grind sizes? A side by side comparison with an older Zass *might* give us some valuable info in knowing how far the quality has fallen. -- Rick Copple Marble Falls, TXhttp://blog.copple.us/?sectionid=5
If several people will send me their Zasses, I will conduct some careful tests and post the results. Similarly, if people would send me their Espresso machines, I am more than willing to help out with a side-by-side comparison. Imagine what we would learn and how we would each benefit! I just came to serve... Brett Zassin around for fun.... On 1/22/06, Rick Copple wrote: <Snip> the <Snip> by <Snip> ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
Bravo, Derek- Your pictures are worth 10,000 words. The Zass burrs look almost identical to the Solis/ Bodum Antigua burrs, but the center burrs on the Solis/ Bodum were much better-looking. The outside ring burrs were at least an order of magnitude worse, from Day 1. They were made on a dull cutter that was getting worse by the month. Production was totally out of control. As a side note, the Mazzer Major also produces some visible dust even with the new burrs. It's just a few specks among the mass of evenly cracked/ sized grounds. I saw no fluff in the week-old Ethiopian Yirg @ FC. Could that fluff have something to do with your roast? I saw a lot of that with the SMP, but that's in a different location now. Cheers and thanks -RayO, aka Opa! Don't let a Bad Grinder ruin your coffee-
On 1/23/06, Rick Copple wrote: <Snip> Good point. I calibrated the grinder to work with my Europiccola, which is just a hair shy of the tightest setting without rubbing the burrs. But I suspect every Zass is a little different here. I guess the only <Snip> Interesting idea. Of course such screens could be purchased; if they weren't too expensive it would be a fun project. Something to think about for this and future grinders. On the motorizing the Zass, do you need to remove the handle to do that? <Snip> Yup, not much, and yup. :) To remove the handle, simply clamp onto the shaft inside the hopper with pliers and turn the handle. It's just screwed (tightly) onto the shaft. Replace the handle with a nut and you can attach the drill with a properly sized socket. Remove the nut and replace the handle the same way. Switching between the two takes about a minute. BTW, from what you have on the web <Snip> Good idea. I did not do that, and I should have. In fact, I have never done that. I will, and will post the results. --Derek -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
On 1/23/06, raymanowen wrote: <Snip> h <Snip> Thanks. I'm assuming here that you're referring to fluffiness of the grinds, not fines (as in super small dusty particles). As far as fluff is concerned, I consider it to be a very good thing. I would think it would b= e a bad thing to have the grinds compressing at all, until you do it yourself. Before I tamp, I want to disturb the grinds as little as possible. Nice, fluffy grinds going into the basket are just what I'm looking for. I'd imagine you're seeing some good fluffiness on your Major. Cheers, --Derek -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com
I have begun laying out a dishcloth under the operation, and then proceeding with a normal "load" to the PF. I hate contributing the jumpers to the compost.... but it comes back in the summer squash... Brett On 1/22/06, Sandy Andina wrote: <Snip> ribes) go tohttp://sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings<Snip> -- Regards, Brett Mason HomeRoast __]_ _(( )_ Please don't spill the coffee!
Derek, Thanks for the shots. I really like the close ups of the burrs. Those are really great. OTOH, from my screen, all the grounds looked the same. Any chance you have the full sized images you can really zoom in on to show your points? I believe you, I still want to see the fines and chunks though. Looking forward to the new roaster BTW - 68% less ugly? At 08:59 1/22/2006, you wrote: <Snip> John Nanci AlChemist at large Zen Roasting , Blending & Espresso pulling by Gestalthttp://www.chocolatealchemy.com/
On 1/23/06, Alchemist John wrote: <Snip> Gimme a few and I'll see what I can do. Looking forward to the new roaster BTW - 68% less ugly? 74. -- The Uglyroast 2 Coffee Roaster. ...Now 40% less ugly!http://uglyroast.atspace.com