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Burr grinder for French press?

Postby expatCanuck on Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:11 am

Greetings -

I'd like to buy a grinder for French press and drip.
Don't need finer settings -- we don't make espresso.
Under $200 would be splendid.

Current candidates include the Baratza Virtuoso and the Nemox Lux.
I'd really appreciate comments on these or recommendations for others.

Bottom line -- saving money is terrific, but not at the expense of getting a toy instead of a tool.
What I'd really like is a cost-effective grinder that
i) will reliably provide a French press (coarse) grind without a lot of dust
ii) will provide somewhat finer grind for auto-drip (paper filter)
iii) is cleanable without undue headache
iv) isn't a static nightmare.

Thanks kindly.

- Richard
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Postby shanghai* on Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:44 pm

No experience with the Nemox, but I do like the Virtuoso. I've been using mine for about 10 months now for Bialetti and French Press coffees - no problems whatsoever. The grind is certainly even enough for the methods you'd like to use, without a doubt. It's very easy to clean (top burrs pop out for cleaning, the box includes wire bristle brushes for getting into the bottom burrs). No static issues on the new versions (which is all they're selling right now anyway) - the grounds bin has a dark static-resistant coating, and it's highly effective.

Another point is the Baratza customer service - I purchased my first Virtuoso as a refurb (comes with a six month warranty). Something went wrong (still unsure why it stopped working) and after one email, they had sent me a shipping label and a replacement, which works like a CHAMP.

So in summary, I think this is the only FP grinder I'll ever need - it's a tough, sturdy little guy with very little mess, no static, and easy operation. Voila.
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Postby HB on Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:04 pm

If you don't mind the extra work, a manual grinder like the Zassenhaus will do the job for less than $100.
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Postby Beezer on Wed Nov 12, 2008 3:04 pm

I haven't used one myself, but I hear the Capresso Infinity is a good choice for a French Press/drip grinder. You can usually find them for under $100.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/reviews...s/capressoinfinity
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Postby sfogler on Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:05 am

I would go with the Baratza Virtuoso. I got one around 4 months ago for $179 and am very pleased with it. It replaced a broken Capresso Infiniti that I was glad to be rid of.

I use the Virtuoso with a Chemex and can definitely see the difference in my morning cup o' jo. I was expecting to see extremely even particles (no dust, fines, etc..) but there is actually a decent amount. That being said, I am still happy with the results. I have only owned the two grinders so I'm no expert, my expectations were probably just out of touch with reality.

I had read reviews with people mentioning static problems and then apparently Baratza modified the hopper and that problem went away. I haven't had any problems, usually a good tapping over the trash can clears out any leftovers.

My biggest gripe about the Virtuoso would be the cleaning. As you may have read, the bottom burr cannot be taken out and is difficult to properly clean. A good firm brush and perhaps one of the grinder cleaning thingys such as Grindz wouldn't steer you wrong.

Overall, a great grinder with solid construction and plenty of variability in grind size.

Hope this helps.
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Postby JohnB. on Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:49 am

We've had a Capresso Infinity ($82) in the family thats seen 15 months of continuous use for f/p & drip with no problems. You could also look at the Kitchen Aid Pro since you have no plans to grind for espresso. Since passing the Infinity on to my daughter I use the KA daily for f/p grinding.
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Postby Stuggi on Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:39 pm

Have a look at the Ascaso i-Mini's, they do a wonderful job at dedicated tasks (don't dream of switching between FP, drip and espresso), and they are conical. The Zassenhauses are def. worth your time as well.
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Postby GC7 on Fri Nov 21, 2008 11:03 pm

I have used a Capresso Infinity and a Baratza Virtuoso.

The Capresso is cheaper and will do a fine job. However, it leaves behind a large amount of grinds and literally needs cleaning every day. Ours lost its ability to adjust grind (only fine espresso grinds came out at all settings) but Capresso replaced it with both ways shipping included within a day. Great customer service.

The Virtuoso is literally a perfect grinder for all but espresso uses. It leaves very little grind behind to clean and the uniformity of grind is amazingly consistent (I looked under a dissecting microscope to visually check at many settings). I clean the bottom burrs and chamber with some compressed air and its clean as a whistle). There are many more settings to fine tune the grind too. Their customer service is also great.

You can't go wrong with either but in the long run the Virtuoso is the absolute best you can get for home use with French Press, Vacuum pot, drip or moka pot.
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