HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Input for New Grinder (12 msgs / 810 lines)
1) From: Walter R. Basil
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

2) From: Sandy Andina
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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
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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:
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....... My previous = "espresso" was a Mr. Coffee, so that really turned me off to home = espressos. Good enough for mochas though........ I'm = going to get the Solis Maestro Plus.... Just = kidding!  Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-141-282155054--

3) From: Les
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>

4) From: Angelo
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>

5) From: Larry Dorman
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>

6) From: Leo Zick
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!)

7) From: Marc
Leo,
What don't you like about the QM?
Thanks,Marc
On 11/14/06, Leo Zick  wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Leo Zick
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!)

9) From: Marc
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>

10) From: Les
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>

11) From: raymanowen
"...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

12) From: Sandy Andina
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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 $$ with the dosered MM than with  
the E model. (Granted, mine's an older model with the on-off buttons,  
not a timer switch, so I can choose exactly how long I want to  
grind).   Highly suggest buying the short hopper. I store my espresso  
beans (abt. 1/4 lb. at a time) in it, and one "pull" of the shutter  
dispenses about 16-18 gm. of beans, perfect for a double shot.
On Nov 14, 2006, at 7:52 AM, Leo Zick wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-163-538961396
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I like the doser on my Mazzer =
Mini--much easier to clean up and much less waste than my doserless =
Rocky (which does decaf espresso duty--a LOT of shots get brewed per =
diem chez moi, since I have also become pusher--er, barista to my son's =
friends and I would rather make Americani than a second pot of drip =
midday). The MM's doser does throw grounds to the left, but I =
disconnected the catch tray and positioned it on the counter slightly to =
the left, and simply pick it up and empty it into the PF before =
distributing and tamping. OTOH, the chute on Rocky is just long enough, =
and the PF rest high enough, for grounds to spray around the counter =
before the PF is full enough to tamp, and the stainless steel base =
catches a lot of the grounds but is a PITA to tilt back and sweep into =
the PF. 
You will = probably save a bit more $$ 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:
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.stepless is great, but again, I = can see faults in it. So, once again, I haveto 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!) -----Original = Message-----From: Larry Dorman [mailto:ldorman] Sent: = Monday, November 13, 2006 11:28 PMTo: homeroast= s.comSubject: Re: +Input for New = Grinder 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 = andespresso 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 themoccasionally to keep them = flowing into the burrs. 2) The hopper isn't easily = removed for cleaning.  = You have to take out 3) You'll want to replace the momentary switch on = the front that is used toactivate the = grinder.  It's a = nuisance.  Fortunately, = replacements arepretty easy to find, = inexpensive, and fairly easy to install. 4) Grounds = get caught in its 'snout'.  = This hasn't really been a problem forme... some time passes between my grinds and I find = that just rocking itback and forth a little the = next time I get ready to grind causes the stuffthat is caught to fall out. I can be = pretty critical when providing reviews...  I really like my = Rockyand would order it again if I = had it to do over.  It is = well built, easy touse, 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 moreroom and would have been = one more thing to clean / change - especially sinceI sometimes grind for press and espresso in one = session. Good luck with whatever you choose... I suspect that = if you got a Rocky anddecided it wasn't for you = that you could resell it for most of what you putinto it. LarryD On 11/11/06, Walter R. Basil = <walt> = wrote: 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  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 homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations,unsvbscribes) go = tohttp://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-163-538961396--


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