Until I bought my Breville Cafe Roma, I was satisfied with my grinders. Currently I use a Bunn Home Grinder and a Cuisinart. The Bunn is strictly for my Bunn coffee machines and the Cuisinart is multi-purpose; I use it for french press, percolate, mokapot, and espresso. Now my grinding needs have expanded and the quantity of grinding increased. I find myself grinding more and more. At the point of brewing for myself - whatever type I fancy, a couple days worth of grinding at a time for my wife (she doesn't like grinding before each pot, and since an espresso with biscotti has replace my normal coffee after dinner, she has to make her own because she doesn't like espresso), and a 50 cup urn worth of grinding for those who attend my briefings at work. I get a lot of questions as to the brand of coffee I brew. I tell them it's a private blend. One that isn't for sale. That really gets their curiosity going and they ask more. Then I explain... My previous "espresso" was a Mr. Coffee, so that really turned me off to home espressos. Good enough for mochas though. Now that I have a real espresso machine, I love them and want to see what a more quality grind will produce. Plus, you know, Christmas is right around the corner. This would make for a fine gift.... for me! So that leads me to the point of this email. I was never in the market for another grinder so I never paid attention to the great grinder debates. So I apologize in advanced, because I know this must have been covered already. I'm going to get the Solis Maestro Plus or the Bodum C-Mill. Just kidding! Somehow, it fits right between the two on Tom's page as I'm switching back and for to make sure the spelling is correct. Or the Rancilio Rocky (sans doser). From the reviews that Tom writes, they both seem like they would meet my needs. I'm leaning more towards the Rocky because it just looks more commercial; like it would be able to handle more grinding and for longer periods of time. And it appears to be quieter? I want to make sure that the difference in price will provide me with a more quality grind/er Opinions? Feel free to email them to me off-list too if you don't want to inundate the list with opinions and start some war of words. ;-) Thanks! -Walt -- Walter R Basil www.basilweb.net
--Apple-Mail-141-282155054 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed You will like the Rocky, especially for espresso (of course, you'd LOVE a Mazzer). But a lesser but still decent burr grinder (such as the SM+, Capresso Infinity, LaPavoni PG series or Bodum Antigua) is just fine for non-espresso brewing, and I am darn persnickety about whatever type of coffee lands in my cup. Krups, Bunn and Braun do not qualify as "decent" burr grinders, IMHO. Oh, and I too used to rationalize that steam toys and thermoblock pumpers were "fine for mochas." Until one day in 1998 I was in Seattle and found myself in a parking lot off Broadway on Capitol Hill; there was a Caffe D'Arte van with a drive-through window. I ordered a skim mocha and was floored at how much more delicious it was than anything I made at home on my Capresso Ultima (which replaced my Estro Profi when the latter died) or had bought at Starbucks or Caribou. I finished it and went back through the window, this time for a plain skim cappuccino. I took a sip and said it was delicious, but I had ordered a cappa, not a half-chocolate mocha. The barista grinned and told me that was what all the "Seattle-espresso- virgins" say. The explosion of dark chocolate, caramel and spice not only cut through the milk of the cappa but also the syrup in the earlier mocha, to an extent I'd never encountered in a home-made or mass-market espresso drink. From then on I realized that someday I was going to own a real espresso machine and grinder. I still love to see the astonished look on steam-toy-owning friends' faces when they taste a flavored drink built with my Livia or Silvia. Why did I even buy the Ultima? I had gone to my local beanery/e-bar (at the time, Casteel & Co. in Evanston) fully expecting to buy the Rocky/Audrey or Gaggia combo. (I had already bought the LaPavoni PGB stepless grinder over the phone from Zabar's when they had it on sale). They did not carry the former and estimated a month's delivery time; they did carry the Gaggia Classic and the full Solis line of semiautos and grinders. But the owner told me that at the housewares show the week before he had tried the Ultima and liked it so much that he bought one himself for home use. (The old "this is the one I have at home" ploy that appliance and stereo salesmen always use-- they're telling the truth because they either get it free or can buy it at a discount; but since it was the owner, who is himself a terrific barista and roaster, I believed him). It wasn't awful, but it was inconsistent and IMPOSSIBLE to fully clean. That's how I ended up with a Silvia--which would still be my only espresso machine had I not needed the greater consecutive-shot capacity and simultaneous steam/pull ability of an HX. On Nov 11, 2006, at 9:32 AM, Walter R. Basil wrote: <Snip> Sandy www.sandyandina.com www.sass-music.com --Apple-Mail-141-282155054 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset O-8859-1 You will like the Rocky, = especially for espresso (of course, you'd LOVE a Mazzer). But a lesser = but still decent burr grinder (such as the SM+, Capresso Infinity, = LaPavoni PG series or Bodum Antigua) is just fine for non-espresso = brewing, and I am darn persnickety about whatever type of coffee lands = in my cup. Krups, Bunn and Braun do not qualify as "decent" burr = grinders, IMHO.
Sandy, I enjoyed reading your coffee journey. I wish others would share theirs. My espresso journey has taken a few twists and turns. I started with a SAECO and a Solis Mistrro. I bought it from a local company that had much better machines. I asked the salesman what he would buy if he were just starting out doing espressos. I wouldn't say it was a bad choice, but I know now there were better options even from his store. I then moved to a better grinder, a Mazzer Super Jolly. I was able to get a *$ used decaf grinder for a very good price. This was before they dumped a ton of them on Ebay. This improved my coffee a lot. I then moved to a Miss Nancy. This is the same as a Silvia but had a plastic case. It was a good machine, but I sure didn't like having to wait to steam. It was a major improvement in my espresso. About the same time, I bought a SAMA. This is a lever espresso machine that is spring loaded. I enjoyed playing with it, and it produced some excellent shots. However I was still "volume minded" and put is aside when I got my Expobar Office Control. When I got the Expobar, I also found a good Mazzer Major. It wasn't really a large upgrade, but I like it. Alchemist John's espresso machine went down, so I loaned him the SAMA. He kept giving me reports of how good the shots were. This raised my curiosity level to the point that when I got it back I began to look at quality instead of quantity. I too began getting much better shots with this little lever than with the Expobar. However, it didn't produce enough for the volume of espressos I needed to make for my family. I then began getting orders for doing handles and such for the Olympia Cremina. I had never heard of one. I looked at what they cost new and about fell out of my chair. I couldn't believe anyone would pay that much for a lever machine. I then began the search on Ebay for a used one. Alchemist scored a Gaggia Factory and a Cremina before I did. He kept giving me reports on how great the shots were. My patience paid off, and I finally own a Cremina. After vacillating between it and the Expobar, I finally took the plunge and set up the Cremina as my primary machine. I continue to be amazed at its performance and I know I am still on the learning curve. So that is my espresso journey up until today. Les On 11/11/06, Sandy Andina wrote: <Snip>
Les, I feel the same way about the Cremina vs Silvia. The shot from the Cremina is always sweeter than from the Silvia... and, there's no noise. If I ever wanted to drink a straight espresso, I would take it from the Cremina... I also have a La Cimbali Microcasa spring-loaded lever machine which doesn't compare to the Cremina shots. I guess I like to have full control of the shots.. A+ <Snip>
I have no idea about your other choice, but I am a happy owner of a Rocky... I've been using mine for 6 months to a year now grinding for press-pot and espresso fairly regularly. If you get a Rocky then be prepared for a few things: 1) The beans get stuck in the hopper... you'll need something to stir them occasionally to keep them flowing into the burrs. 2) The hopper isn't easily removed for cleaning. You have to take out screws... 3) You'll want to replace the momentary switch on the front that is used to activate the grinder. It's a nuisance. Fortunately, replacements are pretty easy to find, inexpensive, and fairly easy to install. 4) Grounds get caught in its 'snout'. This hasn't really been a problem for me... some time passes between my grinds and I find that just rocking it back and forth a little the next time I get ready to grind causes the stuff that is caught to fall out. I can be pretty critical when providing reviews... I really like my Rocky and would order it again if I had it to do over. It is well built, easy to use, has plenty of power, and delivers a consistent grind consistently. :) The rocky isn't silent by any means, but it's not an obnoxious beast either. You can hear that it's truly grinding the beans and not just crushing them. Oh... mine is the doserless. I really labored for a while before purchasing (and a little after) on whether I wanted the doser or not. In retrospect I made the right decision. The doser would have take more room and would have been one more thing to clean / change - especially since I sometimes grind for press and espresso in one session. Good luck with whatever you choose... I suspect that if you got a Rocky and decided it wasn't for you that you could resell it for most of what you put into it. LarryD On 11/11/06, Walter R. Basil wrote: <Snip>
If its for espresso, id get the most you can afford. I had a tranquilo, comparable to a rocky, and it was great, but the steps were too big. 'upgraded' to a QM stepless doserless, which is a nice machine, having stepless is great, but again, I can see faults in it. So, once again, I have to save $ and shoot for a mazzer mini e or macap. Listen to what ppl say, it's the most important part of the process (well, since you've got the fresh coffee part down!)
Leo, What don't you like about the QM? Thanks,Marc On 11/14/06, Leo Zick wrote: <Snip>
This is a multi-part message in MIME format. i wrote a review on HB.com. i didnt write the review to thwart away sales from SM, so i will not link it nor will i discuss it on the list, for fear of being lashed with a wet noodle. any questions outside the review, feel free to shoot me an email offlist. :) From: Marc [mailto:marc.nh] Sent: Tuesday, November 14, 2006 9:57 AM To: homeroast Subject: Re: +Input for New Grinder Leo, What don't you like about the QM? Thanks,Marc On 11/14/06, Leo Zick wrote: If its for espresso, id get the most you can afford. I had a tranquilo, comparable to a rocky, and it was great, but the steps were too big. 'upgraded' to a QM stepless doserless, which is a nice machine, having stepless is great, but again, I can see faults in it. So, once again, I have to save $ and shoot for a mazzer mini e or macap. Listen to what ppl say, it's the most important part of the process (well, since you've got the fresh coffee part down!)
Leo, As I understand it - we are allowed to discuss and even recommend coffee equipment on this list, even if it is not sold by SM. What we shouldn't be doing is discussion or linking to competitors or sales or whatever not on SM. So yes we could discuss the pros and cons of the QM grinder, but no we couldn't discuss where to buy it or link to such pages. Anybody - do I understand the policy correctly?? The last thing I would want to do is to violate the hospitality of our hosts - on the other hand I never got the impression that they wanted to stifle free and open discussion of anything coffee. -Thanks, Marc On 11/14/06, Leo Zick wrote: <Snip>
Marc, You are right on! I think good frank discussions of equipment will either move Tom to offering it or possibly dropping a product. As Tom will tell you, his bread and butter is green coffee beans, the rest is jam or jelly. Les On 11/14/06, Marc wrote: <Snip>
"...for espresso, id get the most..." But even that won't ensure the best shot. What's good for the espresso is good for the drip. I found that out when I got Grinder M. I always flash freeze the beans just before I throw them in the rotary broach so they'll tend to crack, rather than rip apart. An espresso brew demands more constant particulate size, so I flash them that way. The 10X loupe imparts no flavor, but it's a good predictor... The Cup says it was right- espresso flavor and melody took an outrageous leap forward with the flash freezing. Of course, I was careful of every other facet of the shot too. My Celtic Critic said the shot of Panama Fazenda Ipanema yesterday was like the first time she fired the .429 Mag- at an indoor range. It's like getting hit by lightning, even with the Mickey Mouse ears on. Everything I roast gets a test ride in the little Capresso eventually, and I really liked the PFI espresso-brewed. Cheers -RayO, aka Opa! -- "When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976
--Apple-Mail-163-538961396 Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Content-Type: text/plain; charset -ASCII; delsp=yes; format=flowed I like the doser on my Mazzer Mini--much easier to clean up and much less waste than my doserless Rocky (which does decaf espresso duty--a LOT of shots get brewed per diem chez moi, since I have also become pusher--er, barista to my son's friends and I would rather make Americani than a second pot of drip midday). The MM's doser does throw grounds to the left, but I disconnected the catch tray and positioned it on the counter slightly to the left, and simply pick it up and empty it into the PF before distributing and tamping. OTOH, the chute on Rocky is just long enough, and the PF rest high enough, for grounds to spray around the counter before the PF is full enough to tamp, and the stainless steel base catches a lot of the grounds but is a PITA to tilt back and sweep into the PF. You will probably save a bit more $$ with the dosered MM than with the E model. (Granted, mine's an older model with the on-off buttons, not a timer switch, so I can choose exactly how long I want to grind). Highly suggest buying the short hopper. I store my espresso beans (abt. 1/4 lb. at a time) in it, and one "pull" of the shutter dispenses about 16-18 gm. of beans, perfect for a double shot. On Nov 14, 2006, at 7:52 AM, Leo Zick wrote: <Snip> Sandy www.sandyandina.com www.sass-music.com --Apple-Mail-163-538961396 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable Content-Type: text/html; charset O-8859-1 I like the doser on my Mazzer = Mini--much easier to clean up and much less waste than my doserless = Rocky (which does decaf espresso duty--a LOT of shots get brewed per = diem chez moi, since I have also become pusher--er, barista to my son's = friends and I would rather make Americani than a second pot of drip = midday). The MM's doser does throw grounds to the left, but I = disconnected the catch tray and positioned it on the counter slightly to = the left, and simply pick it up and empty it into the PF before = distributing and tamping. OTOH, the chute on Rocky is just long enough, = and the PF rest high enough, for grounds to spray around the counter = before the PF is full enough to tamp, and the stainless steel base = catches a lot of the grounds but is a PITA to tilt back and sweep into = the PF.