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Topic: grinders (Zassenhaus, NOT coffee/H2O ratios) (5 msgs / 187 lines)
1) From: Tom Gaskell
> Subject: Re: +grinders > Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 16:01:16 -0500 >> > Based on the instructions, Bodum recommends 7.25g/4 oz water, > > which is what SweetMaria's recommends on their web page.  > Bodum's ratio works out to 36g/20oz. or 43.5g/24oz.  I don't mean to complain, but I was truly hoping for an informed answer to the original question.  There never was an answer given, but loads of grounds to water ratio data points .... Like the original poster, I am also considering a Zass grinder, but am wondering just how much effort is involved in grinding enough beans for a small pot.  Thanks to the list, I am wary of the long term durability of the less expensive electric models.  I am not interested in replacing my $130 gri
 nder every year or two.  I am also not ready to drop a few hundred for a coffee grinder. Specifically about the Zass, when set for drip grind: 1.) How long does it take to grind 10 Tbsp (or approximately similar weight) of beans using the Zass with normal effort?  Seconds?  Minutes? 2.) What is normal effort with a Zass?  For example, would a young child be able to turn the crank, or will I feel like I am arm wrestling the Incredible Hulk?  Is the necessary effort comparable to a peppermill?  Could I consider grinding to be aerobic exercise? 3.) Is the adjustment difficult to get correct?  Once set, does the grind adjustment drift? 4.) Are there any recommendations for a specific Zass grinder type?  Would you prefer knee grinder, table top, or wall mount? 
  The wall mount grinders look very attractive to me, from a functional point of view, since I wouldn't have to drag it out each time.   Does anybody on this list have experience, or a strongly held opinion on the Zass grinders?   I know how bashful some of the list denizens are with their opinions!  ;^) BTW, I'm a relative newbie to roasting, but have been lurking since the Citation jet roaster thread.  I hope to achieve CSA membership eventually, but for now, I drown my envy with wonderful coffee. Thanks for all of the information I have gleaned from the list, and thanks in advance for the sage replies and advice to this one. Cheers,Tom
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2) From: Dan Bollinger
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
Your questions miss the obvious:    Men, women and children have been =
using hand grinders for over a century.  The design hasn't changed much. =
 This should tell you that the time and effort required is acceptable to =
most people, otherwise these grinders wouldn't have been used so long by =
so many or the design would have changed by now.  Make sense?  By a =
Zass, it will last a lifetime.  ;)
My knee Zass setting wanders.  So, I just put a set-screw to lock it =
into the grind I always use for my press pot. You could also use a drop =
of thread-lock.     Dan

3) From: wizg
On Tue, 13 Aug 2002 13:11:24 -0400 "Tom Gaskell" wrote:
I have both a "closed-hopper" mill and a Turkish mill. My usual routine
has me grinding three slightly rounded 2-tablespoon coffee measures (a
full hopper) for brewing in a  very full 5-cup Yama vacuum pot with a
glass Cory filter. The closed-hopper mill takes just over a minute. The
Turkish mill takes 4-5 minutes!
Moderate effort, a bit more than a peppermill. For aerobics, choose the
Turkish mill. With either mill, the hand which is holding/stabilizing the 
mill will tire before the cranking hand.
The adjustment isn't difficult, but the setting isn't indexed. It's a
matter of unscrewing a knurled wheel a set number of turns or fractions
of a turn from a closed position. The setting doesn't drift unless you
brush against it. The tricky part is remembering to reset the adjustment
after you've changed it for a different kind of brewing, such as when
doing your morning vacpot after having done a quick late-afternoon
presspot the day before.
The closed-hopper mill is my everyday mill. Although it isn't designed
for it, I sometimes grip it between my knees (thighs, really) when
grinding and think a knee grinder might be nice to have. The Turkish mill 
is my travel/vacation mill. It's beautiful to look at, and like the
closed-hopper mill, it makes a lovely, uniform grind, but it takes much
longer and is more effort. I think the difference is that the mechanism
is smaller, and the two screws that hold the mechanism in the housing
protrude into the top part of the burr cone, interfering somewhat with
the way the beans drop into the opening. It's not as efficient as the
closed-hopper mill, which has a very positive and powerful feel as its
auger drives the beans down into the burrs. The Turkish mill seems
capable of a finer grind, however -- right down to a fine powder.
I also have a 30-year-old Spong mill, which, except for the name, is
identical to the discontinued Salter mill on the Sweet Maria's grinder
page. It does a drip or vacuum grind nearly as even as the Zasses but
can't do as consistent a job on the coarser presspot grind. We keep it
clamped to the edge of a kitchen counter, freeing the non-grinding hand
-- which is a good thing, because the beans tend to get hung up in the
hopper and need to be teased a little while grinding to keep them flowing 
down into the burrs. The vertical grinding, the longer handle, and the
stability make it easier than the Zasses. I'd probably use it regularly
for the vacpot, but my wife occasionally grinds a batch of flavored
coffee in it (gift from the kids, so we have to drink it)!
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4) From: Steve Penno
This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
I have a wall mounted Zass, and it is great. It takes me about 20 secs to =
grind for my morning plunger coffee. Moderate effort required, a small chil=
 would probably find it difficult. But being fixed to the wall it is easier=
than the other zass grinders. Grinding 10 tbsp would take about 1 minute, =
but grinding that long continuously is not easy. Another great thing about =
the wall mount zass is that the hopper holds 2 or 3 popper batches nicely.=
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5) From: Robert & Pamela Foster
Probably a minute, but it seems like forever, especially if you're 
preparing the first pot of the day.
The physical effort is minimal, just incredibly boring standing there 
twirling the handle for what seems like an eternity.
Adjustment is a matter of trial and error to find the ideal grind for 
your brewing method. The setting will drift. I have painted reference 
marks on the body & adjustment knob to ensure consistency. You still 
have to hold the adjustment knob while grinding to keep the setting 
from changing however.
If you object to the time necessary to get your grinder out of the 
cupboard, you are NOT going to be happy with a hand grinder.
I've got three, two table top and a knee model, all scored on ebay; 
one for home, one in a travel kit, and one on the boat. They all 
perform well, producing a consistent result at whatever level of 
fineness you wish. Zass has a fine and well deserved reputation.
That said, however, the Maestro is absolutely the way to go.  Life is 
too short to spend it grinding coffee by hand.
R. Foster

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