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Non-Commercial Grinder for Cupping

Postby Jay_Raz on Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:43 pm

Was looking for some recommendations for a non-commercial grinder to start doing some cuppings at home. I've been searching for a commercial grinder, but have come up short so far with these nut jobs off of craigslist. I'm budgeting around $200 for the grinder. I'm not cupping 25 coffees at once, only 3 or so to start to learn the differences between origins.

Would hand grinders be a suitable option? I would imagine that they wouldn't have a high grounds *grinds?* retention. Would also be nice to have a good one around.

Was considering a lower end Baratza, but would think that it would have higher grinds retention than that of a hand grinder.


I'm participating in Counter Culture's Comparative Cupping Lab and the 2-day Professional Education Series in NYC later this month. Was hoping to get some cupping in before then, while using literature and videos on the internet as guidance. No roasters or cuppings going on here in Morgantown, WV. Moving to Pittsburgh in July, I look forward to attending some cuppings led by roasters and some the great coffee shops there.
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Postby sweaner on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:36 pm

My Baratza Virtuoso ($40 Williams-Sonoma Close out!) has very little grind retention, so I think one of the Baratza refurbs would do the trick.
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Postby Jay_Raz on Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:57 pm

I'll give you $50 for it!!! Ha ha, wow that was a good deal for $40.
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Postby Jay_Raz on Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:02 pm

Would using only the desired amount beans and letting the grinder run for a bit, be the way to go if I was to use a lower end Baratza. Would I have to do anything else before switching beans so as to not effect the taste of the next coffee?
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Postby jonny on Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:37 pm

The review on coffeegeek for the kitchenaid proline grinder, makes it sound promising coupled with the vertical burr design. Coffee grinds fall right from the teeth of the burrs into your cup.
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Postby sweaner on Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:17 pm

I grind per dose with the Virtuoso. If you then run the grinder empty for a few seconds it clears things pretty well.
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Postby another_jim on Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:57 am

If you want to practice cupping by putting ground coffees in cups and pouring water over them; any grinder will do. The essence will be to use the same roast level for each coffee, and learn how to describe tastes and smells.

In commercial cupping, grind retention is not that important. Each coffee is brewed in three to five cups, each ground separately, and before any of those cups are ground, a first cups worth of coffee is sacrifice ground to clear the grinder of other coffees. Multiple cups of each coffee are brewed for cupping because there are usually lots of tasters, and because the uniformity of the coffee needs to be checked. When doing three to five cups of three to twelve different coffees, grinding one cup at a time; the requirements for the grinder are speed, absolutely repeatable grind settings, and consistent grinding with only one cup's worth of beans, about 8 grams, rather than a hopper full of beans. These requirements are only fulfilled by bulk grinders, like you see in supermarkets.
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Postby Jay_Raz on Sat Jun 04, 2011 4:32 pm

Thanks for the input Jim. This isn't going to be on a commercial level. Just really myself and possibly a friend or two. I would have loved to find a Mazzer Major or something similar by now, but have either been outbid on ebay or dealt with craigslist dopes.
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Postby Jay_Raz on Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:20 pm

I decided to stop being a nancie and bought a refurb Baratza Vario. It will fit my need for quite some time for various brew methods. I dunno, I have buyers commitment issues.
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