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  Reply # 1036904 5-May-2014 12:02
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yann: I think grind retention is always going to be around. Robur-E still had grind retention as with most machines. That being said, it probably wasn't as much as the Super Jolly (doser) I used to have.  The last Mazzer I had was a Kony-E, which was pretty similar to the Robur-E, though a lot slower.  I still encountered a fair bit of retention with the Kony-E but I think given the Mazzer design, you're still going to get a wee bit in the chute.  Grind quality was nice though, and it generally had clump free and even grinds.

With pretty much all my machines, whether they be timer, on-off, or electronic, I've tended to single dose.  So I will pre-weigh the beans, and then grind that, and that only.  I tend not to fill the hopper with beans and use the electronic timing, unless I need to make a whole bunch of coffee in a short time-frame.  But in those instances, the timing on the Mazzer electronics have been pretty consistent from my usage.

I'm currently using an Elektra Nino.  Again, electronic, though I've found the retention to be a bit better than the Mazzers, though it does still retain a wee bit which is pretty easily flushed.

I guess most will say to go for a conical grinder, perhaps one of the titans like the Kony, Robur, K10, or even the Mazzer Kold which I see is starting to pop up.  Not quite sure if it is available yet, but that looks interesting.  All of them are overkill for home use, but they will certainly put a stop to upgrading rather quickly.  General consensus does say they give better flavour to extractions, though unless you've got them side by side to a flat burr, it probably doesn't matter too much.  They are all a heck of a lot bigger than the mini, so having enough room is another thing.  Personally, I'd have tendency to go for large conical units - in my experience, they seem to give better grind consistency, and somehow fluffier clump free grinds.  That being said, I would probably be happy with a Super Jolly-E or a Major-E, the preference being with the later of those two given it is nice and speedy.


Thanks for your thoughts.

Where did you get the Elektra?




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  Reply # 1036970 5-May-2014 13:00
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NZtechfreak:
Fred99: Duty cycle is critical.  Mazzer mini is rated 50/50 seconds - (run 50 seconds, rest 50 seconds).  It takes about 25 seconds to grind a double shot.  The duty cycle won't be because the motor will be at any risk of burning out, but because the machine warms up and tolerances will shift affecting grind. A Kony E can grind a kg of beans in the time it takes to grind 4 double shots using a mini (adhering to the 50/50 seconds duty cycle for the mini - it doesn't have a cooling fan).  
Grind retention isn't limited to what's clinging in the chute where you can easily brush it out, it's also in the burrs/grind chamber, bigger = more retention there.
If you're not getting 100% consistent grind from a mini, subject to the 50/50 second duty cycle caution, then something is wrong with it - time for new burrs (must be OEM genuine - not "Ebay best price" quality), or to get the supplier to honour their 25 year warranty.


I just had the burrs replaced, no issues with consistency of the grind, the issue is clumping. Without a tiring degree of grooming (Weiss distribution etc) I am not satisfied with the quality of the resulting extractions. This is a problem for many with the Mini, I'm just not prepared to deal with it any longer and would rather have a machine less susceptible to the problem.


I don't have that problem.  It's more of a problem with the mini E - and also static.  You should also do some googling on Kony and Robur - they are absolutely not immune.  A doser (thwack method) breaks up clumping - now that's a potentially messy scenario with using a mini doser on a dry day - but you can reduce some of the mess by adding a chute under the doser - C4 in Chch (Mazzer distributor) have these available made of SS, for about $10 I think - they gave me one for free.  Using this method, you have to hold the portafilter at a slight angle - once you've done it that way the third time - it's automatic.  I suspect a related factor is also dosing (volume) and grind - I can do a ristretto grind with minimal and insignificant clumping, but I probably dose a little more (so don't grind quite as fine) as others might.  A simple wipe with my finger over the filter is as far as I'm prepared to go.  TBH, if I had to do measured (weight) dosing and/or muck around with "weiss distribution" or spend $4k on a grinder for home use (which might not solve that issue anyway), I'd give up and buy a nespresso.  (OK that's an exaggeration, but still...)
Sometimes a reality check is needed.  Mine is to buy an espresso from where I buy my beans.  I win - sure that's just IMO - but it's the opinion which matters.

 
 
 
 




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  Reply # 1036988 5-May-2014 13:34
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Fred99:
NZtechfreak:
Fred99: Duty cycle is critical.  Mazzer mini is rated 50/50 seconds - (run 50 seconds, rest 50 seconds).  It takes about 25 seconds to grind a double shot.  The duty cycle won't be because the motor will be at any risk of burning out, but because the machine warms up and tolerances will shift affecting grind. A Kony E can grind a kg of beans in the time it takes to grind 4 double shots using a mini (adhering to the 50/50 seconds duty cycle for the mini - it doesn't have a cooling fan).  
Grind retention isn't limited to what's clinging in the chute where you can easily brush it out, it's also in the burrs/grind chamber, bigger = more retention there.
If you're not getting 100% consistent grind from a mini, subject to the 50/50 second duty cycle caution, then something is wrong with it - time for new burrs (must be OEM genuine - not "Ebay best price" quality), or to get the supplier to honour their 25 year warranty.


I just had the burrs replaced, no issues with consistency of the grind, the issue is clumping. Without a tiring degree of grooming (Weiss distribution etc) I am not satisfied with the quality of the resulting extractions. This is a problem for many with the Mini, I'm just not prepared to deal with it any longer and would rather have a machine less susceptible to the problem.


I don't have that problem.  It's more of a problem with the mini E - and also static.  You should also do some googling on Kony and Robur - they are absolutely not immune.  A doser (thwack method) breaks up clumping - now that's a potentially messy scenario with using a mini doser on a dry day - but you can reduce some of the mess by adding a chute under the doser - C4 in Chch (Mazzer distributor) have these available made of SS, for about $10 I think - they gave me one for free.  Using this method, you have to hold the portafilter at a slight angle - once you've done it that way the third time - it's automatic.  I suspect a related factor is also dosing (volume) and grind - I can do a ristretto grind with minimal and insignificant clumping, but I probably dose a little more (so don't grind quite as fine) as others might.  A simple wipe with my finger over the filter is as far as I'm prepared to go.  TBH, if I had to do measured (weight) dosing and/or muck around with "weiss distribution" or spend $4k on a grinder for home use (which might not solve that issue anyway), I'd give up and buy a nespresso.  (OK that's an exaggeration, but still...)
Sometimes a reality check is needed.  Mine is to buy an espresso from where I buy my beans.  I win - sure that's just IMO - but it's the opinion which matters.


Obviously I'm aware of what you're saying in relation to the more expensive grinders - note that I said 'less susceptible', not 'immune'.

Even thwacking the doser does not do enough to break up the clumps to the point where annoying levels of grooming are no longer required, I've been thwacking a looong while now.

Thanks for mentioning C4 selling the chute, now that is something that might add value to my situation. In terms of needing to hold the PF due to the shute,, that wouldn't be much of an adjustment for me since I use a naked PF and have to hold it anyway (probably most people with the Mini hold and move the PF to adjust for the left throw that it has in any case?).

In terms of how much effort and expense we're willing to go to in pursuit of our espresso happiness, well that's a matter for each one of us to sort out.




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  Reply # 1037019 5-May-2014 14:07
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NZtechfreak:

Thanks for mentioning C4 selling the chute, now that is something that might add value to my situation. In terms of needing to hold the PF due to the shute,, that wouldn't be much of an adjustment for me since I use a naked PF and have to hold it anyway (probably most people with the Mini hold and move the PF to adjust for the left throw that it has in any case?).

In terms of how much effort and expense we're willing to go to in pursuit of our espresso happiness, well that's a matter for each one of us to sort out.


I can't see it listed on C4 website, but this is what it looks like:



I keep meaning to take it off, buff the edges smooth and polish it - as it's not a thing of great beauty - but I haven't got around to it.
It would be easy enough to make one - and it needn't be in SS.
As you can see, that's with a standard portafilter - so the chute could be made a little longer and still not foul the basket.
It's "half effective".  On a dry Canterbury Nor'Wester day, grounds will still fly around the kitchen as I thwack the doser.  
I wonder if the general lack of clumping I get, compared with the general clumping problems you do get are also related to weather, as it's generally cool/dry here (past month truly excepted) as opposed to warm/humid in Auckland.






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  Reply # 1037060 5-May-2014 15:00
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I think environmental conditions probably have a part to play where clumping is concerned, for sure.

Thanks for the picture, looks like a decent addition, will flick C4 an enquiry.

It's a bit frustrating that these grinder companies aren't really doing much to improve their products, there are numerous little fixes like that and the electrical tape to reduce retention that would so easy for them to incorporate. Really I hope someone picks up where the Versalab M3 designers left off, as that design direction is likely the best path forward for home use.




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  Reply # 1037112 5-May-2014 16:15
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kiwitrc: NZTechfreak and Yann, I would be interested in comments on ease of cleaning on the various units if you have any thoughts.


You mean cleaning up the grind on the bench, or the innards of the machine? Speaking of my dosered Mini I have the grill inside the doser removed, so it's easy to clean the shute, and if you do the electrical tape mod (very simple) then retention in the doser itself is greatly reduced. I don't have a funnel affixed like in the picture a couple of posts back, but that looks like it'd handily reduce waste and mess on the bench top too. All in all I don't find it particularly onerous.




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  Reply # 1037148 5-May-2014 16:50
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In regards to the Elektra Nino, I was lucky enough to pick mine up from Trademe.  It was an ex-Mojo unit which hadn't seen too much action, and had been fitted with new burrs. I think a number of HB/CG folks managed to snag them as a few were going.  I had a Kony-E at the time I think, though may also have had a Cimbali Max (hybrid), I can't quite remember but I'm sure there was overlap somewhere.

I don't recall experiencing any clumping with the Nino.  I think the chute design is a bit better in regards to preventing clumping, and retention, though it still does retain a little.  I recall the Kony did give fluffy grounds most of the time, but occasionally would have clumps, but I think mainly down to the overly oily beans.

The C4 mod looks similar to various things I tried with my Super Jolly doser ages past.

Andy's famous Shnozzola - http://www.home-barista.com/grinders/how-to-tame-messy-mazzer-doser-t6499.html

Elvin's Butterfly Mod - https://www.flickr.com/photos/elvin/sets/72157605144154794/ and http://bigeyelaboratory.com/publicDOCS/mazzerModButterFly_elvin.pdf
I think I used a milk bottle when I tried this.

I find it pretty fun (or frustrating) figuring out what works, and what could work better. And like with most stuff, I don't mind buying and selling this and that if it looks promising.  All part of the fun really, and different people are happy to go to different lengths, so I reckon a reality check is relative.  Some days I do look at it and think it is all a bit much, but I figure if it keeps me entertained then I can justify it.

With most of these units, the grinder companies are mainly focusing on the commercial players with high volumes.  I think some are slowly incorporating bits and pieces, though units like the Versalab are pretty few and far between.  Not many will cater to the home user, and in a way, why should they given it is such a small market.  It would be nice if they did though!  Things like the HG One hand grinder look very interesting and similar to M3 thinking.  That's something I've pondered getting as well.

I think there was a question posed about cleaning.  Mazzer wise, I think they have basically been all the same in terms of ease of cleaning.  Obviously the larger the grinder, the more you have to man-handle it, but I've always found them straight forward to clean.  I clean the usual external surfaces as well as opening it up to check on burrs, any coffee build up etc.  The same with the Elektra, though I usually open up the body as well and go through with compressed air for any stray grounds.  Main thing is just check on the burrs and ensuring things are clean with no buildup.  Same process with any other grinder I've had I think, though heavier (~28kg?).  Given my throughput isn't great, there isn't usually much to clean which is good.  And general after grind cleanup is really minimal given it doses pretty cleanly thankfully.

Y :)



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  Reply # 1037186 5-May-2014 17:21
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NZtechfreak:
kiwitrc: NZTechfreak and Yann, I would be interested in comments on ease of cleaning on the various units if you have any thoughts.


You mean cleaning up the grind on the bench, or the innards of the machine? Speaking of my dosered Mini I have the grill inside the doser removed, so it's easy to clean the shute,


Is this the grill with "Do Not Remove" written on it? <G>
I'm staggered that somebody thought this was needed, as you'd need to be very dextrous and determined and stupid to be able to poke a finger up the chute to the burrs when the grinder is operating.
They sell these things in America.
In the box, folded inside the instruction manual, is a yellow sheet of paper:








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  Reply # 1037190 5-May-2014 17:28
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yann: In regards to the Elektra Nino, I was lucky enough to pick mine up from Trademe.  It was an ex-Mojo unit which hadn't seen too much action, and had been fitted with new burrs. I think a number of HB/CG folks managed to snag them as a few were going.  I had a Kony-E at the time I think, though may also have had a Cimbali Max (hybrid), I can't quite remember but I'm sure there was overlap somewhere.


When limiting Google search to pages from NZ that Trademe auction appears. Would probably look to importing from OZ in any case, even with freight and duties still looks a fair bit cheaper to bring in some models from there (the Robur E can be had for $2670AUD, which even with duties is a steal compared to its NZ price, just awaiting a reply on shipping charges to NZ which I expect will be fairly high).

yann: With most of these units, the grinder companies are mainly focusing on the commercial players with high volumes.  I think some are slowly incorporating bits and pieces, though units like the Versalab are pretty few and far between.  Not many will cater to the home user, and in a way, why should they given it is such a small market.  It would be nice if they did though!  Things like the HG One hand grinder look very interesting and similar to M3 thinking.  That's something I've pondered getting as well.


I get where you're coming from in terms of your conjecture about their motivation, but even there I just don't think it makes sense. All of the Mazzers would benefit from a better doser design, for both home and commercial use (and even the Mini sees some use in the commercial setting as a decaf grinder). 

yann: Given my throughput isn't great, there isn't usually much to clean which is good.  And general after grind cleanup is really minimal given it doses pretty cleanly thankfully.


This is a good thing to point out - even the Mini is fairly overbuilt for the home user, anything any further up the range is somewhat ludicrously overbuilt for home use. The problem is that if you're after an upgrade, you can't really get that in the smaller, more home-friendly units.





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  Reply # 1037203 5-May-2014 17:49
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NZtechfreak: Would probably look to importing from OZ in any case, even with freight and duties still looks a fair bit cheaper to bring in some models from there (the Robur E can be had for $2670AUD, which even with duties is a steal compared to its NZ price, just awaiting a reply on shipping charges to NZ which I expect will be fairly high).



How about something like this:
https://www.espressocoffeeshop.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=78_246_272_279&product_id=672
You need to talk to them via chat app to get a discount coupon # for extra discount, then also deduct 22% (Italian) VAT, then add about Euro 150 max for air freight (they ship fast through TNT), then 15% GST etc.  You'll have it here within about 10 days - and I'll bet for about NZ$2300 door to door - which I expect is about 1/2 NZ price.
Aussie prices suck almost as bad as here - better to buy direct ex EU (not UK - prices suck there too)
Unfortunately, that crowd only does Mazzer Mini E / Rocket Chrome edition, not the larger grinders.



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  Reply # 1037409 5-May-2014 22:55
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Well, I think I've found the answer for me (after only reading nearly everything written about grinders on the Internet): the Compak K10 Pro Barista. Very nearly as good as the Robur, only half the price $1700NZD to buy locally. For home use and single dosing probably more fit for purpose than the Robur. As things stand presently, I don't know if there is any upgrade path from this machine for my use.




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  Reply # 1037456 6-May-2014 01:08
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Have you seen the K10 Fresh?  It is the electronic iteration, though I can't quite remember whether it lead to less retention or not.  Another I looked at was the Anfim Super Caimano Barista, but that was a bit hard to get locally or imported in at the time.  I remember that had nice dosing, and was used by quite a lot of people at barista competitions.

The K10 is still a big unit (~20kg or so?), and one of the titans as such.  Hopefully you are able to get a good deal on one.  As you've mentioned, the pricing here for machines and such isn't the best unfortunately.

All the best with the grinder hunt :)

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  Reply # 1037480 6-May-2014 05:31
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I'm in the process of pulling out my stove, installing two new benches so I have some extra space then once all that is done then I'll seek out a nice coffee rig but until then I'll make do with a teaspoon of Jarrah flavoured coffee.




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  Reply # 1037500 6-May-2014 07:45
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NZtechfreak: So, coffee geeks, I'm in the market for a grinder upgrade from my present Mazzer Mini (dosered). If the budget went as high as $5K (basically I'll buy a top of the line full-size commercial grinder if need be), what would you recommend and why?

Things I'd like to have over the Mini are: dose consistency, low retention, extremely high quality grind free of clumping and with bullet-proof reproducibility.

Considering just getting a Mazzer Robur E and calling it a day... I do have a line on a Super Jolly E basically brand new for around $600 off retail, but unless it really nails the things I want I'm a bit concerned I'll just be turning around in 6months and upgrading again...


I use a couple of hand bur grinders - one is good at doing a course grind, and the other does a nice even fine.  I think they each cost around $50.




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  Reply # 1037713 6-May-2014 13:27
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yann: Have you seen the K10 Fresh?  It is the electronic iteration, though I can't quite remember whether it lead to less retention or not.  Another I looked at was the Anfim Super Caimano Barista, but that was a bit hard to get locally or imported in at the time.  I remember that had nice dosing, and was used by quite a lot of people at barista competitions.

The K10 is still a big unit (~20kg or so?), and one of the titans as such.  Hopefully you are able to get a good deal on one.  As you've mentioned, the pricing here for machines and such isn't the best unfortunately.

All the best with the grinder hunt :)


Not worried about the size at all, so that's fine.

I think the dosered version of the K10 is probably a better fit for my purposes looking (extensively) at information on the two. K10 pricing here seems fairly commensurate with elsewhere, which is a bonus.

Regarding the Anfim - I looked into that, looks a very good grinder and the dosing/distribution is meant to be lovely however the straight up grind quality is not up to the likes of the K10/equivalent Mazzers (and as you say, difficult to source here in NZ).




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