Titan Grinder Project: Can it Beat the Mazzer Robur? - Page 10

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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IMAWriter
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Postby IMAWriter » Aug 17, 2007, 12:44 am

Ken Fox wrote:I have been away all day long, on a hike in the Sawtooth Wilderness in Idaho. Lacking in internet access, the only offense I have suffered today was having to view the carnage of a horrid road accident on the way back, in which an 18-wheeler cattle truck jacknifed onto a passenger car going over a mountain pass; I don't think there could have been any survivors, especially in the car. But I digress.

It sounds like you take your home roasting seriously, Rob, and that is good. I take mine seriously as well. This does not change the fact that many home roasters produce substandard results. I have tasted some, and I'll tell you, it is not uniformally excellent, however good yours might be.

Best,

ken

Ken...sorry for having to view such a horrific accident...I often wonder why certain elements of our society have to slow down and watch...but I digress....
Next time your down my way, please stop by for a visit...we can trade "pulls", and you can sample my home-roasted.
I'd send you some, but I'm not sure I could handle the rejection :lol:
By the way, I'm loving my 15 gram doubles, 1.75 oz, pulled at around 202 with Dolce from Espresso Vivace...I really have enjoyed coffees from Caffe Fresca, Metropolis, Paradise, Intellegentsia, and others...especially when purchased for me by clients, as the Dolce was! Amazing how (excellent) free coffee just has that certain Jenny Say Quazz. :wink:
Rob
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HB
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Postby HB » Aug 17, 2007, 8:57 pm

To prevent a very interesting conversation from being lost in this grinder shootout, I've split the follow-on discussion to Homeroasted coffee vs. commercially roasted "pro" coffee.
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TimEggers
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Postby TimEggers » Dec 02, 2007, 2:17 pm

another_jim wrote:It could be that the Duranium burrs are changing the grinder's properties, and I'm going to get to do this all over. Oh goodie :roll:


cannonfodder wrote:I had the Super Jolly and Kony, my preference was for the Super Jolly or my Cimbali Jr over the Kony. I do not remember the Super Jolly being as touchy as you describe but I had the stock burr set.


Hopefully not a day late and a dollar short here but I think this is big. I hope that in the final write up this is stressed. It's a shame that you (Jim) couldn't put a stock SJ through the same testing regiment as the other grinders. Here you have one of the most common (as you yourself recognize) grinders yet its tested with probably the most uncommon configuration (the duranium burrs). The results surely must reflect this and I only hope the final write up will clearly state this.

I've been pawing over these threads and it made me analyze my Super Jolly very hard. I've loved the grinder but after reading this thread I had to rethink it. Then I caught the bit about the duranium burrs and the conflicting opinions on consistency when the stock burrs are used.

It all boils down to myself trying to kill me desire for a big conical and convincing myself that my SJ is up to the task on a consistent basis.

Nit picks aside I think this thread (as well as the entire TGP) has been an indispensable resource for today's home barista. I look very much forward to reading the final write up tying all this data together. Thanks you guys, you've done it again!

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cannonfodder
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Postby cannonfodder » Dec 02, 2007, 5:13 pm

Keep in mind that many things will affect the grind including the uncontrollable factors like the weather. A change in humidity will affect the grind and the touchiness difference between Jim and I testing could have simply been the weather. I am in the middle of Ohio, Jim is in Chicago just a half mile from lake Michigan.
Dave Stephens

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Postby HB » Dec 02, 2007, 9:29 pm

TimEggers wrote:Hopefully not a day late and a dollar short here but I think this is big. I hope that in the final write up this is stressed. It's a shame that you (Jim) couldn't put a stock SJ through the same testing regiment as the other grinders.

It's not much, but I contributed my half cents worth in Duranium burrs for Mazzer Super Jolly grinder.
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zin1953
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Postby zin1953 » Dec 04, 2007, 3:09 am

Jim,

Clearly you have done a remarkable job, and my hat's off to you. (Well, it would be if I wore a hat.) As usual, however, I have questions.

When it comes to the Compak, you wrote (edited):

another_jim wrote: . . . the Compak WBC model was a large, solid conical grinder that performed well for the people who chose to use it. Several of the competitors took them back to their shops for further evaluation, and the reports have been excellent. The grinder is said to be as consistent a shot maker as the Robur.

These reports dovetail with what I've been seeing from the M7K and Doge Conico: the 68mm conicals have performance characteristics virtually identical to the Robur. The Compak WBC distinguishes itself from the 68mm pack because it is designed for "3rd Wave" barista-ing. The rotation speed is slightly lower (275 versus 400rpm), the motor is a bit bigger to accommodate the required gearing (750 watts versus 500), and there are no auto-grinding accouterments inside the doser. From a home user perspective, that, along with the simple grinder throat and chute, which favors single dose operation, makes this grinder a hair more home user friendly than the other Titans. I was looking for a replacement for the M3, and these little details made me spring for the Compak rather than one of the others. The grinder is solid, and starts up more quietly than the other 68s, because it has a motor starter. The only problem so far has been a flimsy on/off switch that needed to be replaced.

* * * * *

In the first two, 16.5 gram rounds, the Compak tasted a hair more laid back than the Robur. In the first round, I slightly preferred the Robur, in the second, the Compak, in both cases, due to extra sweetness. Unlike the the other conicals, the difference did not vanish on retasting. The Compak's crema was more persistent in both rounds, so it split the rounds, but came out 2 points up in the early going.

In the second two, 13.5 gram rounds, the pattern repeated, only more strongly, and I could tell which grinder was which instantly. However, for the life of me, I couldn't decide which of the shots I liked better . . . The final score is 1 round to the Compak, and 1 round to the Robur on flavor, the Robur won an extra round on crema, while the Compak won the overall scoring with 1 point for the same reason.

I did not get a taste profile distinction between the Robur and the two Italian 68s. The 63mm Macap MXK is definitely brighter, while the Compak is definitely more laid back. The Compak's profile is similar to the Mini's, except its flavors are more defined, so it can stand up to the Robur in this regard, while the Mini could not.


OK, I'm not sure what "laid back" means. But it SEEMS like the Compak is the equal of the Robur.

Then, there is the Cmbali Max. Again, you wrote (edited) . . .

another_jim wrote:In the Max, Cimbali is reviving the conical/flat burr-set from the fabled Alinox-DRM grinder. There are a few changes. The Max is housed in body of the Junior grinder, a 64mm flat burr. This means that the original 68mm planar has been shrunk down slightly. Since this changes the inner diameter, the conical section, which acts as an augur to force the beans into the flat burr, is also slightly smaller. Finally, the direct drive 350 watt motor from the Junior has been retained, so the grinder spins at 1800rpm (emphasis added), rather than the geared down speeds of the conicals . . . .

The Max is a pure espresso grinder; converting it to a single dose, all purpose grinder would take more than the usual amount of hacking. It might be doable, but the other grinders in this test are far more suitable for this than the Max. On the other hand, the look and size of this grinder are a lot more counter friendly than any of the large conicals and even of most 64mm flat burr grinders. I have to admit I'm not fond of the way this grinder is set up (emphasis added), since I prefer grinders that can be used general purpose; but as a pure espresso grinder, the form factor is outstanding.

* * * *

The Max pours more steadily than the Mini or M3, but not quite as well as the big conicals, and I had to keep my eyes closed early in the shots to keep the tasting blind. But this did not affect the shot taste.

[The Max] won the round by 4 points.

I don't much like this grinder (emphasis added), but so far, it's done the best in the beat the Robur stakes, splitting the rounds and winning by 4 points. It is not a distinctly bright grinder, like the Macap MXK, nor a laid back one like the Compak. My early sense of the Max, relative to the other Titans, is that it does an outstanding job with the middle flavors: caramels, nuts and woods, reproducing them with great clarity. However, this is my first full day with it, so this is still very tentative.


OK, final quote:

another_jim wrote:Running Score Sheet

Code: Select all

Grinder          Score       Rounds Won-Tied-Lost
-------------------------------------------------
Nemox Lux         -7              1-0-3
Mazzer Mini      -15              0-0-4
Versalab M3      -10.5            2-0-2     
Macap MXK         +3              2-0-2
Macap M7K         -3              1-1-2
Fiorenzato Doge   -0.5            1-1-2
Compak WBC        +1              1-1-2
Cimbali Max       +4              2-0-2
Pede Manual      -13              0-0-4
Mazzer Jolly      -1.5            2-0-2
Rancilo Rocky      0              2-0-2
Mazzer Kony        0              2-0-2


So the Robur ALWAYS won at least two of the four rounds. But you can win 2 and lose 2, and have a net score of zero (the Kony & the Rocky!), +4 (the Cimbali Max), +3 (the MXK), and even -10.5 (the Versalab)!

Meanwhile, it SOUNDS to me like you didn't like the Max, preferred in fact the Compak, yet it scored a +1 with a 1-1-2. And the 63mm conical MXK outperformed its big brother, the 68mm conical M7K -- and be a six-point spread!

Do I have this right?
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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Postby Ken Fox » Dec 04, 2007, 3:49 am

zin1953 wrote:Jim,


Meanwhile, it SOUNDS to me like you didn't like the Max, preferred in fact the Compak, yet it scored a +1 with a 1-1-2. And the 63mm conical MXK outperformed its big brother, the 68mm conical M7K -- and be a six-point spread!

Do I have this right?


Jim doesn't like the Max for reasons that may or may not resonate with you.

Like some home users, Jim likes to switch back and forth between coffees, in the same grinder, on a daily basis (in fact, within a given day).

The Max (and the Junior) are ill-suited for this practice as the grinder throat as it is designed does not take easily to this practice, and it is hard to weigh down the bean column given the hopper design.

My personal feeling, oft expressed, is that none of these grinders is more than superficially suited to this approach, and this practice will waste a whole lot of coffee unless you are willing to accept very variable grind results due to the lack of weight on the bean column and the relatively long path by which beans go from whole bean to grinds coming out the doser chute, in any of these grinders. This is something on which Jim and I would (perhaps) disagree.

In any event, if you are intent on using your chosen grinder to grind 2 or 3 different types of beans each day, the Max is NOT your grinder. This is what Jim does, and the Max is not HIS grinder.

ken
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Lockman
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Postby Lockman » Feb 23, 2009, 12:09 pm

Ken Fox wrote:[snip]
In any event, if you are intent on using your chosen grinder to grind 2 or 3 different types of beans each day, the Max is NOT your grinder. This is what Jim does, and the Max is not HIS grinder.

ken


I agree with this evaluation whole heartedly. I am having severe feelings of guilt with the amount of coffee my Dyson consumes, perhaps more than I! I expect over a couple of years or so, it could make another grinder seem cheap in comparison. I am also guilty of NOT using my grinder everyday, so, the beans remnants would be even more stale if left in there. That being said, I could never imagine this grinder as a doserless model. :roll:

On another note, I have been mostly using 14g doubles and getting really consistent pulls with my HX. If I up dose, I have to tweak other factors and so far I have not gotten better results, mostly worse and some sinkers. 16g has the screen print as well as the nut in it. Mine will channel though with a "single" in a double basket although I haven't tried grinding at .125 and a 100 lb tamp yet.

Thanks everyone again for this grinder project! I think I have read it at least three times now.

Tomorrow I pick up my Rancilio Rocky, not!
LMWDP #226.

"It takes many victims to make a culinary masterpiece"

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Jacob
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Postby Jacob » Mar 23, 2009, 1:47 pm

I would have loved to see the somewhat overlooked Casadio Istantaneo playing role of David

I know it's ugly, but ...

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networkcrasher
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Postby networkcrasher » Mar 23, 2009, 2:22 pm

Lockman wrote:That being said, I could never imagine this grinder as a doserless model. :roll:

Why not? Have you seen the Versalab M3?