HomeRoast Digest


Topic: Grinder For Press (25 msgs / 888 lines)
1) From: Dan Kellgren
I've been saving up for a *Maestro Plus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder *from
SM.  I primarily French Press and never do espresso ('cause I don't own a
proper espresso machine).
Anyone have an opinion on this grinder for FP purposes?  I want a nice even
course grind with little or no powder (like I get now in my cheap-o Mr.
Coffee burr grinder).  Is this over-kill for FP?  The unit is $150 right
now.
Dan K

2) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
IMO SMP excellent grinder, both ergonically and grind quality, for all but
finer grinds for espresso or heaven forbid Turkish! Over-kill for FP? No
way. Grind quality makes a world of difference in the cup.
 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee 
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc: http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm
Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Dan Kellgren
Sent: Wednesday, December 27, 2006 5:57 PM
I've been saving up for a Maestro Plus Conical Burr Coffee Grinder from SM.
I primarily French Press and never do espresso ('cause I don't own a proper
espresso machine).
 
Anyone have an opinion on this grinder for FP purposes?  I want a nice even
course grind with little or no powder (like I get now in my cheap-o Mr.
Coffee burr grinder).  Is this over-kill for FP?  The unit is $150 right
now. 
 
Dan K

3) From: Barry Luterman
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
No indeed just right. But if you ever do decide to come over to the dark =
side be prepared to upgrade

4) From: Dan Kellgren
And I so LOVE the dark side... I just can afford it properly!
On 12/27/06, Barry Luterman  wrote:
<Snip>

5) From: raymanowen
"...I don't own a proper espresso machine."
That sure never stopped me from trying to do espresso shots!
My Solis Maestro Plus had problems, but I was able to use it OK, especially
for filter brewed coffee. Kyle Anderson of Baratza really came through for
me
I had a blade grinder- the switch got coffee dust in it after 28 years of
heavy home use. My oldest daughter sent me a Capresso mill, and not to be
outdone, my youngest daughter got me the ubiquitous Mr. Coffee hi speed burr
grinder. Are those burrs Plastic? They look it...
At least, she tried.
Remember, the Solis grinder is rated for home use, not necessarily for the
serious connoisseur. Just Follow the Directions and keep it cleaned out.
You'll like it and it will last a long time.
Maximize the quality of your coffee- don't store your beans in the bean
hopper. It's tempting, but don't do it. If you want to brew 4 oz of grounds,
put 4 oz of beans in it and grind them all. I'd keep it clean and empty when
you're not actually grinding.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Help this hopes-
-- 
"When the theme hits the bass, I dance the Jig!" - -Virgil Fox at the Mighty
Wichita (ex- NYC Paramount) WurliTzer- 1976

6) From: Scott Marquardt
The SMP is a fine grinder.
It does pretty well for coarse, too.  
Let's put it this way -- it's certainly more consistent and produces less
fines than the well-reputed KitchenAid Proline.
Agreeing with Ray, I'll note only that the SMP can be a wee spot messy when
the last couple beans are getting sheared in the upper burrs, and that the
SMP absolutely retains grind in it -- by design. But this retention is
consistent and properly controlled for, such that a two second clearing
grind will purge very nearly all of the retained previous grind. You will
certainly want to do this purge on the occasion of each grind.
I do not in the least regret the purchase of an SMP. I've had mine for a
couple years. I fried the thermal protection fuse attempting a large batch
(pound) in it, which I'll never do again (nor do I really have need to).
My next grinder will have to be dramatically better than an SMP. Since the
SMP seems to be among the better of the consumer burr grinders at the
low-priced end of the market, that means I'll be spending a lot of money.
Which explains why I'm still happy with the SMP.   ;-)
- Scott
On 12/27/06, Dan Kellgren  wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Sandy Andina
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I use mine for all methods except espresso.
On Dec 28, 2006, at 1:50 AM, Scott Marquardt wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
www.sass-music.com
--Apple-Mail-38-7196283
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I use mine for all methods =
except espresso.
On Dec 28, 2006, at 1:50 AM, Scott =
Marquardt wrote:
The SMP is a fine grinder. = It does pretty well for coarse, too. <rimshot> = Let's put it this way -- it's certainly more = consistent and produces less fines than the well-reputed KitchenAid = Proline. Agreeing with Ray, I'll note only = that the SMP can be a wee spot messy when the last couple beans are = getting sheared in the upper burrs, and that the SMP absolutely retains = grind in it -- by design. But this retention is consistent and properly = controlled for, such that a two second clearing grind will purge very = nearly all of the retained previous grind. You will certainly want to do = this purge on the occasion of each grind. I = do not in the least regret the purchase of an SMP. I've had mine for a = couple years. I fried the thermal protection fuse attempting a large = batch (pound) in it, which I'll never do again (nor do I really have = need to). My next grinder will have to be = dramatically better than an SMP. Since the SMP seems to be among the = better of the consumer burr grinders at the low-priced end of the = market, that means I'll be spending a lot of money. Which explains why = I'm still happy with the SMP. ;-) - = Scott On 12/27/06, Dan Kellgren <dkellgren> = wrote: I've = been saving up for aMaestro Plus Conical Burr Coffee = Grinderfrom SM. I primarily French Press and never do = espresso ('cause I don't own a proper espresso machine). = Anyone have an opinion on this grinder for FP = purposes? I want a nice even course grind with little or no powder = (like I get now in my cheap-o Mr. Coffee burr grinder). Is this = over-kill for FP? The unit is $150 right now. = Dan K = Sandywww.sass-music.com
= = --Apple-Mail-38-7196283--

8) From: hermit
Dan -
I have a Solis Maestro as well as a Rocky.  I use both for espresso. I
have found that the Rocky beats out the Solis to an extent, but for
the price vs. the price of a Rocky, I think you will be quite
satisfied with the Solis.
Regards,
Rich
<Snip>
*from
<Snip>
own a
<Snip>
cheap-o Mr.
<Snip>
right
<Snip>

9) From: Vicki Smith
I see lots of discussion about the SMP and the Rocky, but almost no 
discussion anywhere about the Ascaso or Quick Mill grinders. Are they 
just not in the running, or is there some reason serious coffee folks 
don't give them a try?
I know our hosts don't stock them, but they don't seem to be discussed 
in other places either.
vicki

10) From: Tom Ulmer
How did you reach this conclusion?

11) From: Tom Ogren
When comparing the KA Proline vs. the SMP, CoffeeGeek's Mark Prince wrote
the following:
Grinding for Press Pot
So, after fooling around with the range of grinds, I decided to try a press
pot first, grinding at 3.5 on the dial. I was amazed at the grind - to be
frank, it was not like anything I've seen before from a consumer grinder.
Very even particle size, no dust to speak of (did the old "rub it between
your palms lightly" test and only trace amounts of coffee stayed between the
ridges (same things as fingerprints) on my palm). Very promising stuff.
The first brew was nice - a cleaner cup than what my mainstay press pot
grinder delivered (Solis Maestro Plus), though there was some "mud" at the
bottom of the cup of coffee once I finished. Clarity was better too, but it
was press.
Taste? I put the Solis Maestro Plus vs the KitchenAid in head to head in
350ml (12oz) press pots, using the identical weight of coffee (21 grams).
I've been working with my palate as of late, and found ways to slightly
improve it to detect slight differences in taste, and I was able to notice a
slightly cleaner, yet more complex cup with the KitchenAid sample, brewing
Los Delirios from Intelligentsia. This isn't to say the Solis was bad - it's
not - but the KitchenAid was a better even grind that provided a slightly
better cup.
I asked one of my regular testers to sample, and they did notice a subtle
difference, but only after I pointed out a specific flavour (apricot in the
finish, which was not apparent from the Solis cup.
Elsewhere he wrote, "I don't consider this grinder a direct competitor for a
Mazzer or Rocky for that matter. It's direct competition is the Solis
lineup, the Capresso Infinity, and other multi-use grinders."
As such, it's at the top of the class (IMO) for a lot of things, and well,
if they tweaked the grind settings so we could get 24 or 30 or more
ready-usable grind selections, it'd be that much better.
...Overall, we're very pleased with this grinder as a first look. It's also
usurped the Solis Maestro Plus as our "cupping" grinder (as I write this,
it's a month after we finished the "first look"), and it's holding up well.
At $199... ...it's about $55 more than the Solis Maestro Plus, but at this
point, it looks to be money very well spent."
I own the Proline and love it. It's construction is bombproof quality and
it's design is appealing. The customer support is unmatched (i've heard that
if any complaints, KitchenAid replaces the entire grinder...no questions). I
have managed to clog my Gaggia Espresso with it. That said, it is not ideal
for espresso, having only two (maybe three) settings fine enough to brew
espresso properly. For press pot though, I cannot imagine a better grinder.
I read Scott's post from a while back detailing his experience of fines
retained in the Proline's burrs but have to say I have had no experience of
this with my Proline.
Another cool thing about the Proline is the almost complete lack of static
in the grounds chamber. There is just enough so that chaff (and only chaff)
sticks to the glass, which is nice.
TO in VA
On 12/28/06, Scott Marquardt  wrote:
<Snip>

12) From: Jeff Oien
Scott Marquardt wrote:
<Snip>
Could you describe this in more detail? This would be very helpful
since my wife and I alternate use of the grinder with different
coffee. Thank you.
JeffO

13) From: Eddie Dove
FYI ... there is a simple, non-detrimental modification that can be done to
the KitchenAid Pro Line to change it to stepless ... Here is one
link,
but if you do a site specific google search you can find more.
And with the chaff, if you put one hand over the top of the bin and one hand
on the bottom, just swirl it around and everything pours out.
Eddie
On 12/28/06, Tom Ogren  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
My Home Coffee Roasting Blog and Profiles for the Gene Cafehttp://southcoastcoffeeroaster.blogspot.com/

14) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
In any grinder comparison such as this I have to ask, how many pounds of
coffee had been ground in the already in use "mainstay" grinder versus new
grinder. In other words, burr condition. How worn versus brand new. Makes a
huge difference. For instance 100# ground through a Rocky versus brand new
burrs, huge difference. (Now on 4th (or 5th?) set of Rocky burrs in 5
years...)
 
Kona Konnaisseur miKe mcKoffee 
URL to Rosto mods, FrankenFormer, some recipes etc: http://mdmint.home.comcast.net/coffee/Rosto_mod.htm
Ultimately the quest for Koffee Nirvana is a solitary path. To know I must
first not know. And in knowing know I know not. Each Personal enlightenment
found exploring the many divergent foot steps of Those who have gone before.  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of Tom Ogren
Sent: Thursday, December 28, 2006 7:34 AM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Grinder For Press
When comparing the KA Proline vs. the SMP, CoffeeGeek's Mark Prince wrote
the following:
Grinding for Press Pot
So, after fooling around with the range of grinds, I decided to try a press
pot first, grinding at 3.5 on the dial. I was amazed at the grind - to be
frank, it was not like anything I've seen before from a consumer grinder.
Very even particle size, no dust to speak of (did the old "rub it between
your palms lightly" test and only trace amounts of coffee stayed between the
ridges (same things as fingerprints) on my palm). Very promising stuff.
The first brew was nice - a cleaner cup than what my mainstay press pot
grinder delivered (Solis Maestro Plus), though there was some "mud" at the
bottom of the cup of coffee once I finished. Clarity was better too, but it
was press.
Taste? I put the Solis Maestro Plus vs the KitchenAid in head to head in
350ml (12oz) press pots, using the identical weight of coffee (21 grams).
I've been working with my palate as of late, and found ways to slightly
improve it to detect slight differences in taste, and I was able to notice a
slightly cleaner, yet more complex cup with the KitchenAid sample, brewing
Los Delirios from Intelligentsia. This isn't to say the Solis was bad - it's
not - but the KitchenAid was a better even grind that provided a slightly
better cup.
I asked one of my regular testers to sample, and they did notice a subtle
difference, but only after I pointed out a specific flavour (apricot in the
finish, which was not apparent from the Solis cup.
Elsewhere he wrote, "I don't consider this grinder a direct competitor for a
Mazzer or Rocky for that matter. It's direct competition is the Solis
lineup, the Capresso Infinity, and other multi-use grinders." 
As such, it's at the top of the class (IMO) for a lot of things, and well,
if they tweaked the grind settings so we could get 24 or 30 or more
ready-usable grind selections, it'd be that much better.
...Overall, we're very pleased with this grinder as a first look. It's also
usurped the Solis Maestro Plus as our "cupping" grinder (as I write this,
it's a month after we finished the "first look"), and it's holding up well.
At $199... ...it's about $55 more than the Solis Maestro Plus, but at this
point, it looks to be money very well spent."
I own the Proline and love it. It's construction is bombproof quality and
it's design is appealing. The customer support is unmatched (i've heard that
if any complaints, KitchenAid replaces the entire grinder...no questions). I
have managed to clog my Gaggia Espresso with it. That said, it is not ideal
for espresso, having only two (maybe three) settings fine enough to brew
espresso properly. For press pot though, I cannot imagine a better grinder.
I read Scott's post from a while back detailing his experience of fines
retained in the Proline's burrs but have to say I have had no experience of
this with my Proline. 
Another cool thing about the Proline is the almost complete lack of static
in the grounds chamber. There is just enough so that chaff (and only chaff)
sticks to the glass, which is nice.
TO in VA

15) From: Tom Ogren
Good point...In his review Mark did state that his review should be read as
preliminary and not conclusive. He made no mention of the state of the SMP's
burrs, so that remains unknown. I would be interested in reading a follow-up
review from him (now a year after adopting the Proline as his cupping
grinder...) Does the Proline continue to measure up as when new? I have
never used the SMP so cannot speak toward its quality, but the KA really
strikes me as a workhorse, and as a press pot brewer (90% of the time) I
love it.
TO in VA
On 12/28/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Tom Ulmer
Three years in February and it can't be beat for form or function in a
typical kitchen and if you can't pull a good shot as well using the Proline
it's not the grinder's fault.

17) From: Vicki Smith
The whole grinder thread is not just a theoretical curiosity for me 
right now. Some of you may remember back last spring, when my husband 
bought his big black car, we joked about how it would translate, down 
the road, into an espresso set-up purchase for me.
That time has come.
We're not wealthy people (not crying poor--but the truth is, we don't 
spend around $1000 US on a non-necessity item every day). I picked my 
espresso machine, a Bezzera BZ02S, and now I'm distributing what is left 
in my budget over other things we will need: grinder upgrade, tamper, 
knock box, cleaning supplies, frothing pitcher, and the assorted bits 
and pieces that go into making serious espresso.
My assumption had been that I would buy a Rocky.
What is always difficult for me, as I read this list, and as I read the 
wonderful threads on some of the coffee/espresso message boards, is 
separating out the reality of equipment performance from the mythology, 
and then figuring out what is necessary and sufficient, from what is 
maybe better, but not really necessary for truly enjoyable espresso or 
coffee.
I went through a similar process when I was making a decision about 
roasters. It led me to buy an IR2, and then, when I wanted to be able to 
roast larger quantities with greater control, to "upgrade" to a bread 
machine, rather than one of the expensive (to us) bigger batch roasting 
appliances.
In any case, sometime today, I am going to make my final decision about 
a grinder. I'll be reading the current list messages and the archives 
very carefully today.
vicki
Tom Ulmer wrote:
<Snip>

18) From: Les
Vicki,
All myths aside, I don't think you can go wrong with a Rocky.  It will
produce excellent coffee, and is a good value for the price.  If money is
super tight, a good used Zass isn't a bad way to go if you don't mind hand
grinding.  I have been using my Zass getting the "From Oregon with Love"
tradition set-up finalized.  I hadn't used in in a while and the grind it
produces still amazes me. It looks like you have bought a very nice espresso
machine that should give you great shots.  Having used many many grinders
over the last 5 years, I am waiting for a Mazzer Mini sized Koney with
conical burrs.  I don't know if it will ever be produced.  I do think
conical burrs are better than the flat burrs of all the other grinders.
With that said, there really isn't a home grinder with conical burrs that
can stand up like the Rocky or Mazzer Mini. It is still just a dream.   So,
I hope you have good judgement as you consider this major purchase.  I would
highly recommend getting on home-barista and reading through the great
instructions on using a HX machine and the tamping instructions.  These will
be of greater assistance than spending 100s more on a grinder.
 With that said, if you bought your machine from where I think you did, you
might want to look at the MaCap M4.  It is better than the Rocky.  I would
see if they would honor their discount of $100.00 with the purchase of your
espresso machine, this would get you in at less than $50.00 more than a
Rocky and about $150.00 less than a Mazzer.  The M4 is stepless, so you have
all the advantages of the Mazzer at a less expensive price.  I hope this
helps.  In my opinion the three main home machines are the Rocky, the MaCap,
and the Mazzer Mini.  I know there are others, but these all have solid
reputations an a wide latitude of grind and parts are easy to get.
The burrs will need to be replaced at some time.
Les
On 12/28/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>

19) From: MichaelB
I concur with checking and changing burrs more frequently than manufacturer
recommendations. Two weeks ago while doing my infrequent cleaning of my
Mazzer Mini I decided to check the burrs based on miKe's previous comments
about burr life. They've had two years of light use, with an estimated two
to three hundred pounds or so of beans (but no rice of any kind :-) passing
over the burrs in that time. The machine is rated for 660 pounds.  The burrs
on the machine felt sharp enough, but just to be sure, I unpacked a new set
of burrs from their bubble enclosure. I was just going to compare sharpness
and repack them till next time. Wow! The difference was amazing. No doubt
there was a lot of wear over only a third of the recommended burr life. For
$35 I was happy to make the switch.
The change was immediately noticeable. The grinds looked fluffier. There was
a more satisfying feel to the compression while tamping. The grinder needed
to be adjusted about 8 notches - a huge amount on the Mini. And my pulls on
my lever machine. so dependent on grind quality and distribution - have a
better feel to them. I recommend the burr change as a cheap way of dealing
with upgrade fever should it strike you.
On 12/28/06, miKe mcKoffee  wrote:
<Snip>
--
MichaelB

20) From: Brett Mason
Has anyone sharpened conical burrs using a dremel with a carbide tip?
I am curious how the results are...
Brett
On 12/28/06, MichaelB  wrote:
<Snip>
-- 
Cheers,
Bretthttp://homeroast.freeservers.com

21) From: Marc
Vicki,
I'm curious what you decided as I just placed my order for a Rocky today.
-Marc
On 12/28/06, Vicki Smith  wrote:
<Snip>

22) From: Vicki Smith
I, too, ordered a Rocky. I came very close to ordering the conical burr 
version of the Ascaso, but a trusted vendor, who very much thought the 
grind was as good, and sells the product, was concerned about how 
difficult it seemed to be to get replacement parts.
vicki
Marc wrote:
  > I'm curious what you decided as I just placed my order for a Rocky 
today.
~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!~!
             weblog:http://taming.motime.com   roaster mods: http://roastingcoffee.googlepages.com/

23) From: raymanowen
"...conical burrs are better than the flat burrs..."
Hmmm- don't bet on it
From  comes the description:
[A Cone, when used without qualification, often means "right cone."
In discussions of conic
sections,
the word "cone" is taken to mean "double
cone,"
i.e., two cones placed apex to apex. The double cone is a quadratic
surface,
and each single cone is called a
"nappe."
cone.]
Bandwidth wasting drawing- shows the right cone as a pyramidal surface of
revolution of a line between the fixed point (apex) F and point P on a
circle. Picture P on the rim of an ice cream cone, with F at the tip. The
connecting line is straight and the surface is a right conic section.
[A conic section may more formally be defined as the locus of a point [imag=
e:
P] that moves in the plane  of a
fixed point [image: F] called the
focusand a fixed line [image:
d] ]
Is there a difference between comical burrs and flat burrs?
Comical burrs are composite conic sections.
Flat burrs Could Not be Flat.
So how can one be better than the other?
I'm looking at my old set of "flat" Major burrs. They are much more easily
defined geometrically as identical conic sections than you would believe.
There are also two different diameter cuts in the conic section blanks
indexed at 5 and 30 to form the burrs.
I think the new burrs cost $50- a bargain, in my opinion. They're not easy
to fabricate.
The Solis and Mazzer burrs look quite different, but they're both two stage
conic sections. The Solis burrs have an Inner and Outer co-axial shape,
while the Mazzer burrs are identical and can be interchanged.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?

24) From: raymanowen
The SMP 's center burr is sitting on a six spoke radial slinger- 5 spokes on
mine. The exit chute is tangent to the circular grind chamber. It drops
directly into the grounds bin or your portafilter.
There was this little magnetic trap door stopping up the end of the grounds
chute because_.
It fell off of mine.  With no short term memory, I forgot
where it went or why. Unlike a Corvair, it runs fine if you have an extra
part after you reassemble it.
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
The Grinder is Paramount. Start upgrades here...

25) From: miKe mcKoffee
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
OTH those who have directly compared grind from a Mazzer Major with =
"flat"
burrs to Mazzer Robur or Kony with "conical" burrs the later win with
fluffier grind quality. OTH inexpensive grinders with "conical" burrs =
are
definitely not superior to mid-range grinders with "flat" burrs like
Tranquilo, Rocky, Macap, Mazzer Mini etc.
 
miKe  
From: homeroast-admin
[mailto:homeroast-admin] On Behalf Of
raymanowen
Sent: Friday, December 29, 2006 8:35 PM
To: homeroast
Subject: Re: +Grinder For Press
"...conical burrs are better than the flat burrs..."
Hmmm- don't bet on it
From  comes the description:
[A Cone, when used without qualification, often means "right cone." 
In discussions of conic sections
 , the word "cone" is =
taken
to mean "double cone  ," =
i.e.,
two cones placed apex to apex. The double cone is a quadratic
 surface, and each
single cone is called a "nappe  =
."
cone.]
Bandwidth wasting drawing- shows the right cone as a pyramidal surface =
of
revolution of a line between the fixed point (apex) F and point P on a
circle. Picture P on the rim of an ice cream cone, with F at the tip. =
The
connecting line is straight and the surface is a right conic section.
[A conic section may more formally be defined as the locus of a point  P
=
that moves in the plane   of a
fixed point  F
=
called the focus   and a fixed =
line
d =
=
]
Is there a difference between comical burrs and flat burrs? 
Comical burrs are composite conic sections.
Flat burrs Could Not be Flat.
So how can one be better than the other?
I'm looking at my old set of "flat" Major burrs. They are much more =
easily
defined geometrically as identical conic sections than you would =
believe.
There are also two different diameter cuts in the conic section blanks
indexed at 5 and 30 to form the burrs. 
I think the new burrs cost $50- a bargain, in my opinion. They're not =
easy
to fabricate.
The Solis and Mazzer burrs look quite different, but they're both two =
stage
conic sections. The Solis burrs have an Inner and Outer co-axial shape,
while the Mazzer burrs are identical and can be interchanged. 
Cheers -RayO, aka Opa!
Got Grinder?


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