Best "all in one" grinder to go back and forth between espresso and pourover (under $1000)?

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bigfatpug
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#1: Post by bigfatpug »

Ideally I would get two separate grinders, but the missus is strongly against the idea. Typically we would be drinking pourover in the morning, and espresso in the afternoons. I was leaning towards the new Baratza Vario+, since you just can just remember your letter+number, and easily jump between grind settings. The obvious other choices would be DF64 or Mahlkonig X54 or Eureka Mignon, but all seem a bit more finicky when it comes to changing between grind settings. Besides getting a new wife, is the Vario+ my only option? Or even more so, am I just asking the impossible?

Pressino
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#2: Post by Pressino »

The Baratza Sette 270's are also pretty easy to go back and forth on, if you want to use conical rather than flat burrs. The choice of flat versus conical burr grinders is a whole other other discussion...

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Randy G.
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#3: Post by Randy G. »

If you view this as a compromise issue In terms of brew quality (and not choice of spouse) then find the best espresso grinder in that price range. That also depends on the pourover equipment. If you use paper filters then it would lessen the compromise issue to some extent extent I would guess.
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baldheadracing
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#4: Post by baldheadracing »

bigfatpug wrote:Ideally I would get two separate grinders, but the missus is strongly against the idea. Typically we would be drinking pourover in the morning, and espresso in the afternoons. I was leaning towards the new Baratza Vario+, since you just can just remember your letter+number, and easily jump between grind settings. The obvious other choices would be DF64 or Mahlkonig X54 or Eureka Mignon, but all seem a bit more finicky when it comes to changing between grind settings. Besides getting a new wife, is the Vario+ my only option? Or even more so, am I just asking the impossible?
In my opinion, that's not really the Vario's strong point. It can be done, but there may be purging, or fiddling, and probably the (easy to do) flapper flip mod. The underlying reason is that the Vario's grind adjusters limit coarseness but not fineness - the adjustment mechanisms only determine maximum coarseness, and rely on coffee spreading the burrs apart to settle on a grind setting change. The Vario was designed as a hopper grinder, so you would always be grinding coffee when changing the grind setting - so the grind adjuster design wouldn't be in an issue if you use the grinder as it was designed to be used. However, lots of people want to keep the hopper empty.

Regardless, the Vario+'s ceramic burrs are not the best for pourover. The steel burrs are much, much, better for pourover - but for traditional espresso, the ceramics might be better. I haven't used my ceramics in years so I'm going from (faulty) memory. Again, just my opinion. These days, I only use my (upgraded, hyper-aligned) Vario for espresso.

In general - not just Baratza - when looking at manufacturer's marketing, keep in mind that a grinder that is marketed to grind espresso or pourover is not the same as a grinder that can be regularly switched back and forth between espresso and pourover. Folks also have differing definitions of switching back and forth. To me, if I have a grind setting that does 18g in 36g out in 28 seconds, and then switch to grind for a pot of drip coffee, and then switch back to espresso, then I expect the exact same 18g in 36g out in 28 seconds. I don't expect to dial in the shot again (some people do). Mind you, if you're making espresso once a day, they you're going to want to dial-in again every day anyway.

In the sub-$1k market, people say that the Niche Zero can switch back-and-forth, but I have no experience. I also know nothing about the Sette grinders. Other than hand grinders, the only grinders that I have experienced that can do it reliably have very fine steps, like Weber's Key and EG-1. However, they're over $1k.

YMMV.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

lessthanjoey
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#5: Post by lessthanjoey »

Lagom mini or Niche zero depending on whether you like lighter or darker roasts respectively.

SutterMill
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#6: Post by SutterMill »

Sette and Niche are both pretty easy to reliably adjust back and forth. I adjust my Sette several times a week. Occasionally daily. The Niche appeared to work equally as well switching back and forth. Very little fuss with either.

drH
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#7: Post by drH »

Depending on budget, you can get the best espresso grinder in your range and then pick up a hand grinder for pour-over and tuck it away in the drawer when not in use.

palica
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#8: Post by palica »

I will second 2 grinders. Either a manual for espresso or for pourover depending of your needs.

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MB
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#9: Post by MB »

I found the Niche easy to adjust between the settings and accurate when returning to them without needing a purge (I did bop the top to puff out stray grinds between). However, although it was nice for espresso, I wasn't happy with the pour over results unless I very slowly fed the beans while grinding. Without that faffing about, the overall impression of pour over was slightly astringent regardless of grinding too large, small, or in between, with sweetness and expected flavors lacking.
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mikelipino
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#10: Post by mikelipino »

This is also my use case (one or two pourovers in the morning, another one or two espresso drinks in the afternoon), and I have been very happy with the DF64 paired with SSP MP burrs. In my experience, the grind settings have been extremely consistent switching between drip and espresso, and for the same beans I can get espresso times to match within a second and flow/pressure curves to overlap almost completely. Pourovers also draw down consistently. While it's not all about the metrics, being able to nail down those parameters allow me to focus on playing with grind size and other stuff to get the taste in cup to match the bean. And for brew methods that require very precise grind adjustments (e.g. Rao Allonge as it's completely flow profiled), 1/10 - 2/10 mark adjustments (with a Vernier dial indicator) can be seen in resulting pressure traces.

I've heard that this might be unit-dependent on the DF64, and that some folks report a lot of variance in grind size due to flex of the dial ring. All I can say is that on my unit, the dial ring is a solid piece of aluminum and I can't flex it, leading to the precision I'm seeing above. Since they're flats however, I do run some purge beans when I make big dial changes, but this is more to clear grinds sandwiched between the burrs.

I'm primarily clarity focused, and the SSP MPs are excellent for clear pourover and can be worked with to get pretty much any style of espresso I'm looking for. The DF64 is just the most cost effective way to get access to the MPs.

Here's a comparison between two shots that are two days apart. There were a few switches to pourover - espresso and different beans between them. There was a slight drop off in pressure late in the shot for one, but that's probably imperfect puck prep.