HomeRoast Digest

Topic: Help with grinders please (10 msgs / 184 lines)
1) From: Tonya Connell
I have a friend who is just getting into coffee beyond Folgers. He had a
blade grinder and it died. I told him he really needs a burr grinder because
he loves espresso.  So now I have this message from him (below) and while
yes timing is the issue, not for sure exactly how to guide him further. He
does need something inexpensive (really cheap!) so does anyone have any
and it looks like the difference between fine and coarse grinding is just
(and not the height of the blades, etc).
does that sound right to you?>
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2) From: Tony McDonald
A blade grinder can give you a "fine" grind, but it is a very inconsistent
grind. The reason for a burr grinder is consistancy. You want all of your
precious little coffee particles to be uniform in size. A whirley grinder
will give you some powder and some fairly large pieces of bean depending on
how long you let the blades spin.
An espresso extracted from coffee that is uniform in grind (burr grinder) is
going to give a much better flavor as you will be able to better control
amount of time and surface area of the bean that comes into contact with the
water. A mismatched grind (some small and some large pieces) will result in
the water passing through your puck much too quickly and leaving behind some
of the flavor, while still picking up some of the crushed powder that can
lead to increased sediment and bitterness.
Please, excuse the ramblings of a coffee newbie. I also would love to hear
other folks insight into this.

3) From: Angelo
I and a few others (I am sure) would recommend a Zassenhause hand grinder. 
They are inexpensive, and the grind is consistent. He can keep the setting 
from wandering by using Loctite and/or a rubber band...Search the archives 
for more info....
When he comes into some money, have him come in here and ask again...
At 2/10/2003 10:23 AM, you wrote:
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4) From: Mike McGinness
From: "Angelo" 
Very good input. MM:)
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5) From: Tonya Connell
Thanks to all that responded. I have done a  'readers digest' with the
information and he is busy being confused! But no worries, I am guiding him
on his way to going broke! ;)

6) From: AlChemist John
Sometime around 20:22 2/10/2003, Angelo typed:
Aye, I would recommend a Zass hand grinder, although it took me over a year 
with a whirly blade to notice a taste difference, even in a drip pot.  I 
realize he want "really cheap" and for a non-CSA member even a Zass may not 
fit the bill.  I don't know where to find it, but before my Zass, but after 
my whirly blade, I was using a cheap plastic housing spice 
grinder.  Machined and not cast burrs, though rather dull in comparison of 
a Zass, but many steps above bean whacking.  I would suspect under $20 for 
that if found.  I am doubtful it would do for espresso, but it might (don't 
know as I don't do espresso at home)
John Nanci 
AlChemist at large
Roasting and Blending by Gestalt
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7) From: jim gundlach
The simple thing is to tell him to go ahead and cough up the $200 or so 
and get a Rocky and put the grinder part of his life in order once and 
for all.  He will never have to worry about buying a grinder again.
Jim Gundlach
On Tuesday, February 11, 2003, at 05:49 AM, Tonya Connell wrote:
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8) From: Angelo
My reasoning in reference to getting a Zass is that the sticker shock isn't 
too bad and, if he doesn't need it for espresso, it would suffice for FP 
and/or  VP  - depending on his comfort level with the manuality(?) of it.
If he decides later to go the Rocky/Mazzer route for espresso, he can still 
use the Zass for FP or Vac and not have to keep adjusting.
This is basically what I do now, but then, I don't drink that much coffee 
so grinding 7-8grs for FP isn't bad at all....Good for the heart...:-)
At 2/11/2003 09:51 AM, you wrote:
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9) From: Ben Treichel
Actually the zass does work for espresso; but the grind set point tends 
to wander, and there is 3 times as much grinding vs a fp, etc.
Angelo wrote:
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10) From: Acorn54
my personal experince has been with the solis mulino and the zassenhaus hand 
grinder.at first i used the solis mulino but had to return it after 7 months 
to replace worn out burrs. after the burrs were replaced the new burrs lasted 
about 4 months. i was told by josie at baratza that i am a heavy user of the 
grinder, that's why the burrs wear out so fast. i make about 3 pots (22 0z. 
each) of coffee per day. so apparantly the solis mulino is only for light 
use. i don't know about the newer grinder that replaced the mulino called the 
" maestro" maybe other people can tell of their experiences.
anyway at present i am using the zassenhaus model 156 with the writing 
"espresso" on it, it's a knee mill. takes about 2 minutes to grind for 22 
ounces of coffee but i am getting use to it. it grinds very well and i 
probably will not wear out the burrs for quite some time. i also use it for 
espresso and it  works fine-guy from long island
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