HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Comparison between grinders (27 msgs / 608 lines)
1) From: Don Cummings
I am considering picking up one of these.  The Bodum Antigua or the Capress=
551.  They are both used and offered at under $30.  I am not happy with my
current grinder but I don't have $ to spare at the present. I wonder whethe=
either of these would satisfy?  A little help please.

2) From: Ken Mary
I have a few Antiguas for non-espresso use, and they perform very well. I
bought one in a thrift shop in near perfect condition for $6, so check the
shops. When you get the Antigua, disassemble it and remove the metal door in
the grounds chute. It serves no purpose other than creating a dam for
grounds to plug up the chute.
I had a grinder similar to the Capresso 551. It is a high speed dust bomb,
forget it. Ten seconds to grind, ten minutes to clean up afterward. And if
you do not clean it, grounds will build up in the top burr screw and make it
impossible to adjust the grind. I repeat with emphasis, FORGET IT. There is
no comparison with the Antigua.

3) From: Brett Mason
The metal door on my Cory grinder holds back the grounds until sufficient
mass pushes the door open, and they fly out.  The instructions indicate tha=
if specks are flying everywhere, push that door closed until the grinder
forces it open - the stuff flying about will stop.  And it works...  Maybe
the door on yours is to help with the mess?
On 4/22/06, Ken Mary  wrote:
Brett Mason

4) From: Brett Mason
Specifically - here's the instructions on the Cory:
  COFFEE DEFLECTOR  The little hinged gate or deflector B (Fig 1) controls
the flow of ground coffee and prevents a separation of the light and heavy
particles, thus keeping the product uniform.  The first time the mill is
used, the ground coffee may blow out of the outlet instead of falling into
the receiving glass.  This may also happen if the deflector is lifted while
the mill is running.  Should this occur hold the deflector down against the
outlet for a few seconds while grinding coffee.  When the motor sounds like
it is slowing down, release the deflector and the coffee will then flow int=
the glass in an even well-blended stream.
On 4/22/06, Brett Mason  wrote:
Brett Mason

5) From: Ken Mary
I assume the Antigua's door is antistatic. There is no flying grounds
problem with the Antigua. The burrs turn at a slow speed and the grounds
dribble down into the catch bin. Static is low unless the air is extremely
dry or you grind more than a pot's worth. Essentially zero cleanup with no
grounds left in the chute if you tilt the grinder and tap out what grounds
sit on the ledge.

6) From: raymanowen
 "There is no comparison with the Antigua."
Yeah, there is- the mechanically identical Solis Meistro / Plus.
I have had them both, and the Solis completely apart.
The mechanisms are totally and completely identical. Boo.
If mediocrity suits you, you will always find something else wrong with the
I thought the $0.99 thrift store Solis looked like a good grinder basis, so
I got the $149 price fixed SMP. And it was the best grinder.
Except for every other low speed burr grinder.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Maybe you don't really need a grinder- you can use the grocery Bunns and
Grind Masters for free-
On 4/22/06, Ken Mary  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the
Wichita WurliTzer

7) From: Ken Mary
Sorry if I was not clear, there is no comparison between the Capresso 551
and the Bodum Antigua.
I should also state that the Antigua ranks far below the flat burr grinders
such as the Cunill Tranquilo which I have used daily for almost 3 years.
Always buy the best grinder you can afford, even for non-espresso brews.

8) From: Don Cummings
On 4/22/06, Ken Mary  wrote:
Yea, I agree based on experience and belated research.  I have been involve=
in home roasting for just over two months. In that time I have purchased a
new drip machine, a french press, over 50 lbs of greens, plus a couple of
roasting devices and lots of miscellanea, I also picked up the first burr
grinder I saw - a Black & Decker.
When I first used the B&D I was amazed at the difference it made. I will sa=
this, when I throughly clean it, it still works OK for one or two FP
grinds.  What I notice is that the amount of sediment grows with each pot
between cleanings.
My problem is that I (unlike most of the posters here apparently) am not
rich.  I have spent over $500 in the last two months and it will be several
more before I have the bucks for a top of the line grinder. I was
considering a bridging solution.  The Antigua ended up selling for over $50
delivered. Considering the fact that I could get a new one for $70 delivere=
I opted out.
The remaining question is: is it possible to get a good grinder for under
$100 or am I forced to wait until I have $200 or so to spare.  This is for
75%/25% FP/Drip.
Cheers and Thanks.
By the way, Ray, I took your advice but the supermarket got pissed when I
came back a third time today to grind for a FP pot.

9) From: b cook
I also am not rich.  I've been using the Capresso Infinity grinder for
drip/vac pot/french press for about the past 6 months and it's not a bad
grinder for the price (I paid $65 new on Ebay, I think they usually sell fo=
~$80 - $90).  I think that could be a decent bridging solution for you unti=
the time when you can get something really good.  It's probably not what an=
coffeehead would call "a good grinder."  Not as long as the likes of Mazzer
and Rocky exist.  Relatively speaking though it's worth it if you're hurtin=
for cash but want something decent.  I think it's the only sub-$100 grinder
I'd ever consider.
I'm thinking I might possibly step up to a Cunil Tranquilo next Christmas o=
On 4/22/06, Don Cummings  wrote:

10) From: raymanowen
Balance is the Key.
I have only one basis for comparison of the useful lifetime of grinders. (
It seemed every dealer was on a mission to slip me the Archimedes Spiral on
home grinders.)
I started research in earnest, especially after MiKe (I think) noted a neat
Mazzer grinder on eBay. EBay is like no auction I've ever seen. I'd enjoy
seeing a few of the ORSOBs get tossed from a real auction.
In spite of the clowns, I got a grinder without a doser/ gas* chamber.
The tag said the 83mm burrs had been replaced in 1995, so they'd been
running for ten years. A ten-year lifetime in *$, I'm told.
The beans only see burrs, so they'll think it's brand-new for ten years.
Compared to the cost of  the coffee, $30/ year for a grinder is incredibly
cheap. It's a cinch I won't have to spend any more money on a grinder for a
long time, and I'll get the best grind all the while.
Do you have any need to replace the Cunill Tranquilo at this point? Don't
step down to the world of Cheapo, whatever you do.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

11) From: Don Cummings
I see quite a few Mazzers on e-bay.  I have been put off because they look
designed for dosing espresso shots and not really all around grinding. Am I
wrong?  If I do buy used through e-bay my concern has been that I won't be
getting a grinder at its prime ability.  Sounds like you're saying you get
prime performance from the Mazzer as long as it runs and replace the burrs
at 10 years hard work?  I agree that $30 /year for peak performance is
perfectly reasonable. Especially since I spent 6 times that on my B&D ($30
for 2 months)
On 4/23/06, raymanowen  wrote:

12) From: rnkyle
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Don, I have a Mazzer Mini. with a doser, I use it for all brewing =
methods, don't let the doser throw you off, its easy to get used to, no =
matter what kind of brewing method you are going to use.
I have not bought any grinders off of ebay but there are several list =
members that have. Most of them as I recall are in decent shape, just a =
burr replacement is the upgade most buyers do.

13) From: Angelo
There is a grinder by Krups, called the BaristaII, which can 
sometimes be found for about $50... The retail a few years ago was $125.
It comes w/ a detachable doser and a cup to catch the grinds... It's 
noisy as hell, but it does give good grind..
I believe Gene Smith has one, and if he's around, I'm sure he'll tell 
you more about it...

14) From: Steve Hay
On 4/23/06, Don Cummings  wrote:
The Mazzer is a great grinder--I have two (mostly use just one, the other
one needs some work) and they produce a very high quality grind.  The
stepless control is also nice, although if I have any complaint or feature
request, it would be that they included some sort of fine tuning adjustment
knobs for espresso.  Someone in here mentioned the unit "bump" as 1/10th of
a number on the mazzer.  Something that gave fine control over 10 bumps
might be really nice to have, kind of like fine tuning on violin strings.
Still, the Mazzer is a great machine and built like a tank.  And after
trying it with drip/etc, I have to say I think there is a tastable
difference due to the grind evenness, although I'm not sure I could explain
vey well why that would be...  Maybe it is just that I get more control tha=
with the whirley-blade I had before.
Steven Hay
hay.steve -AT- gmail.com
Barry Paradox: Consider k to be the greatest element of the set of natural
numbers whose description require maximum of 50 words: "(k+1) is a natural
number which requires more than 50 words to describe it."

15) From: John Blumel
On Apr 23, 2006, at 5:20 pm, Steve Hay wrote:
I have no trouble adjusting my Mazzer to within 1/4 - 1/3 of a bump.  
(You do have the little lever screwed into the adjustment ring, don't  
you?) Since, at espresso grind, 1 bump = 5-6 seconds of shot time,  
one is able to adjust the grind finely enough to change the shot time  
by 1.25-2 seconds. Tamping differences can probably affect it as much  
or more so I don't think the Mazzer really needs a finer adjustment  
John Blumel

16) From: raymanowen
Step back and just think about all the fine tuning Tom and sweet Maria exer=
to buy and sell superb coffee, to say nothing of the massive effort it take=
to produce at the level of Specialty Coffee in the first place.
I would never have thought I could possibly use the fine tuning available
with the Mazzer adjustment nut- each turn has ten numbered divisions. The
"Knurl" on the OD of the nut is a ruffle, with 10 increments (bumps) per
The machine is heavy, stable and repeatable. I ground 14.0g of FC+ Horse on
#19 for a double shot. The grind looked and felt about the consistency of
table salt, whatever that means.
My Celtic Critic said it tasted like it was waiting for something to make i=
Grrreat. What? Something missing in Horse? Can't be. But she alway looks fo=
shortfalls in the cup-  I could have been happy with it...
When I sipped it again, it made me wonder what I could possibly do to
improve it. But I was unsure from the beginning about the Table Salt
comparison- what kind of a standard is that? OK if you're stuck with a
grinder that always produces a variety grind, so you're looking for a
predominance of table salt grittiness.
Egad. How about a Ro-Tap screen? I digress-
I reset The Grinder to 18 and repeated the packing and tamping ritual as
best this left-handed former red head could. (Tom says, "Grind Finer.")
Oh, My! How did she know? The Heavens Opened Up! This shot could have been
pulled by Haile Selassie himself ! ! !  (Wikipedia says he was "born Tafari
Makonnen on July 23, 1892, ...in the
Hararprovince of Ethiopia.")
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
The Woman wanted Better---
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Might=
Wichita WurliTzer- 1976

17) From:
I've been happy with the eBay "TAGEX special" Major recently acquired.
Net well under $300 with new burrs, doser lid, and cheesy small
replacement hopper. I expect to never replace burrs again.  I haven't
used it for espresso (yet), just drip and vac.  Dispensing through the
doser just isn't an issue.  As an upgrade from a Capresso Infinity,
there's really no comparison, other than size (the Major is huge, and
heavy).  Total adjustability, consistent, less fines, LOTS faster, and
seems quieter too.

18) From: raymanowen
"Mazzers...look designed for dosing espresso shots and not really all
I admit, with the doser hanging on there it looks for all the world like it
only wants to do espresso grinding. That's not true.
If your Rolex slides off your wrist, it's gone. It's only coming out the
doser, and it's no longer "one each." Rolex dust. You'd be first on your
It'll do any grind, consistently and repeatably.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Watch - out!

19) From: Don Cummings
Appreciate the feedback. Sounds like I need to start a Mazzer fund.
On 4/24/06, raymanowen  wrote:

20) From: raymanowen
"repeatably" is not a word. Try 'Repeatedly'
On 4/24/06, raymanowen  wrote:
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the
Wichita WurliTzer

21) From: Don Cummings
On 4/24/06, raymanowen  wrote:
Actually it is fine and I think the word you meant. "able to be repeated."
Repeatability is a key feature for a grinder, as well as a roaster.

22) From: Tom Bellhouse
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

23) From: raymanowen
"Maybe the door on yours is to help with the mess?"
So they say in some of the S. Meister literature.
That feature notwithstanding, the Capresso 551 is a high RPM direct drive
burr grinder, while the Bodum Antigua has a low speed conical burr set. Eve=
with its demerits, I would want the Bodum far ahead of the Capresso 551
Hikari grinder. 14,000 rpm. It might as well be a Weed Whacker.
Throw peanuts in the Hikari Capresso and you get chunky peanut butter out o=
it. Why do manufacturers even build that stuff?
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
It's the crack of dawn tomorrow, in the Old Country-

24) From: raymanowen
IMO, the people who have a real interest in perfecting their coffee have
earned points toward equipment that will further their goal. Convenience
comes in a little green or red-labeled jar.
If I can include myself in the group, maybe we will become enough of a
consumer group that we can demand a low-priced stable coffee grinder,
smaller and lighter than a fire hydrant.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder? Reject toys!

25) From: raymanowen
If we keep buying the toys, how serious are we about our coffee? Maybe we
can hurry Adam Smith's Invisible Hand with some collective purchasing...
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Melange grinding can destroy a gorgeous roast-

26) From: Woody DeCasere
Its a great idea to but a $300 or more grinder, but some of us dont have th=
excess of cash flow to do this, so we try to get by with what we can untill
such a time that we can buy one.
Serious about coffee, you bet, able to just drop cash on a grinder, not yet=
On 4/25/06, raymanowen  wrote:
"Good night, and Good Coffee"

27) From: Jim Mitchell
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I'm firmly on the side of 'buy a $300 grinder - it's the best coffee =
investment you can make...'
I'm just violently opposed to paying $300 for a $300 grinder - I'd much =
rather let some else do that, and then buy their $300 grinder for $37.50 =
off of Craig's List - which is what Katherine's Rancillo Rocky cost us.
I haunt Craig's List, Flea-Bay, and even the Yahoo auctions - there are =
some teriffic deals on older commercial grinders, most of which are =
based on either Rossi, Mazzer, or Amfin/Micap designs - all of which are =
miles ahead of the typical home burr grinder.
The drawbacks to commercial grinders are that they're typically huge, =
they can be noisy, they almost always have monster-big dosers, and are =
not designed to easily switch grinds - since in coffeeshop service a =
grinder is typically dialed-in for a bean and then rarely adjusted more =
than a 'click' or two.
Right now, there's a Quickmill commercial grinder going begging for $100 =
in Seattle, and a Rossi RR45 with a commercial 2-group machine for $200 =
- if I wasn't full up with 'Brass Elephants' I'd hop on one of these =

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