If you follow coffee bloggers, one guy you should probably consider keeping track of is David Walsh
. His various grinder discussions are extremely interesting and he tends to focus on an issue that's very close to my heart: minimizing dust at coarse grinds. In late December of last year, he published a new post titled Burrs Again
Earlier this year, I contacted Kyle from Baratza to ask about these burrs. He said they would look into getting some, and sent me a set of sharpened Vario burrs to try out in the mean time.Bottom left: stock Vario burr; top: prototype sharpened ceramic burr; bottom right: another one.
Those burrs didn't really work out. They produced a grind that seemed similar or maybe worse in terms of consistency to the stock burrs. But, some weeks later, Kyle contacted me to say that they'd acquired the metal burrs identical to the ones discussed in David's post, and offered to send those. They arrived a little over a week ago.New metal burrs: A lot more much-less-aggressive coarse cutters. They look a lot like miniature bulk grinding burrs—which is exactly what they appear to be.Detail: the burrs seem to be finished alright. Nothing special, but much better than the old Super Jolly burrs I used to see.
As David observed in his post, these burrs are a little bit noisier and considerably slower. At a filter grind, they are in the range of 1g/s as he mentioned, and not really much faster than that at press grind. However, for sample grinding (7-10g samples for cupping), the grinder is remarkably slower, taking 12-15s to grind a sample. This seems to be due to the less aggressive bean crushing edges, which cause more popcorning and less throughput when the hopper isn't loaded up at least a little bit. Also, again, these cannot do espresso at all. There's too little dust, and it will just produce gushers.I don't care,
for one. These burrs are spectacular so far. They really appear to be on the level of a top-notch bulk grinder. I've done just a little informal side-by-side cupping versus a Vario with stock burrs. Mostly I've just been making pourovers over the last week and French presses this weekend. The Chemexes have remarkably better body to me; I presume that's because I am grinding a decent bit finer to get a similar brew ratio and pour time. The extraction seems fuller: the coffee is sweeter, the acidity more tame and 'defined.'
The French press, though, is the most remarkable. I actually like these French presses. so far, they're even cleaner than my old sifted
presses: just a tiny bit of dust. This is a proper cup of presspot.
These are just my initial impressions, of course, and obviously I don't have much more to say than David already did, but I wanted to mention that Baratza has them for sale
now for $60. So, you pay $60 to make your $400 grinder incapable of brewing espresso. It looks like a great value to me.
Anybody else have these? I'd love to know what others are thinking about these. Kyle tells me that they're getting great feedback from others as well.