Brew grinder, budget <$1,000 USD

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
MikeTheBlueCow

#1: Post by MikeTheBlueCow »

I'm searching for a brew grinder under $1,000, likely in the ballpark of $600-800 but would entertain "stretch" options under $1k.

I currently have a Niche Zero, which is fine, but I got it thinking I'd be doing more espresso and less filter, but now my schedule has me doing the opposite way around and barely, if ever, doing espresso. I also have been wanting to try out flat burrs, as I've only had grinders with conicals before. So I'm looking for something that will excel at filter grinding, does not have to handle espresso, has flats, and will single dose well. I'd like something that is low fuss and doesn't require a lot of mods.

At this point I'd like to gather a list of grinders to look into. So far I've seen:
  • Fellow Ode (coming out with v2 burrs soon)
  • Eureka Mignon Brew Pro
  • Eureka Mignon Oro/Single Doser (releasing soon)
  • DF64 (from what I hear, a fair amount of mods involved)
  • Baratza Vario+
Or am I off-base and nothing in this price range will really improve my brew experience over the Niche?

Auctor
Supporter ❤

#2: Post by Auctor »

Here's a recent thread I started on the topic.

Best brew grinder in 2021?

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MikeTheBlueCow (original poster)

#3: Post by MikeTheBlueCow (original poster) » replying to Auctor »

Thanks, I definitely looked through that, unfortunately most of the conversation has been on grinders not within in my price range. Another thing I should add is that I can't do hand/manual grinding, so something like the Apex is out. I also don't think I'm interested in ghost teeth burrs for this purchase.

One thing I'm noticing is that Eureka Mignon grinders rarely enter the conversation, and should I take that to mean they don't really shine for brew (even the ones that are supposed to be brew-oriented)?

BSdV

#4: Post by BSdV »

Our Mignon Specialita was being used for brew. Mainly for use in a moccamaster. For v60 I'm using a comandante C40.
The Specialita started acting up when I was - and still am - abroad for work and I asked my wife just to order an encore for the time being until I'm back home to have a look at it and hopefully fix it. That time I wasn't aware of the Wilfa Uniform.

But now I'm planning to use the Specialita for an espresso machine that I'll be buying soon. So the encore will be staying around a little longer I suppose.

At this moment if I had to choose for brew I think I would go with the Wilfa Uniform. It has enough capacity to grind 75gram of beans in one go. That's about the max that is used in the moccamaster. For V60 I'll stick to my handgrinder.

I would have loved it if the niche zero had 75 gram bean capacity, then this would probably have been my choice for brew.

But at this moment, I'd go with the Wilfa for brew.

MikeTheBlueCow (original poster)

#5: Post by MikeTheBlueCow (original poster) »

BSdV wrote:Our Mignon Specialita ...
...
But at this moment, I'd go with the Wilfa for brew.
Unfortunately the Wilfa grinders aren't really available for US.

As for the Specialita, while it seems it wouldn't be your main choice, how do you feel it stacked up against the other grinders you've had, flavor-wise? When it started to act up, what was the issue - are they not really built well? They have so many models and variations that I'm beginning to think they just pump these things out with slightly different parts in order to capture the attention of the mass market.

Jonk

#6: Post by Jonk »

As a previous owner of a Wilfa Uniform, I would advise against it. It did not perform nearly as well as the Vario that replaced it and it's also slow and fragile. The Vario also comes with a bigger hopper if that's important.

To get the most out of the Vario I do think you have to spend a few hours to align it and flip the flapper. Much more involved than just changing the declumper on a DF64 or possibly changing burrs on an Ode - but the reward is that once it's done it's a no fuss no retention grinder the doesn't need RDT. The old version with a plastic chamber works well for brew.

I recently bought a Forté to try and find out what the difference is with a metal chamber. I'd be interested what other experiences people who tried both have - for espresso I had no improvement, it seems to behave quite similar (I have to grind at burr touch to pull turbo shots or allongé with the Nordic roasts I use, perhaps in part due to not being 100% successful with the alignment)

..but for brew my early impression is promising. I don't know if it's the metal chamber, the overall sturdiness or even counter intuitively the faster RPM. At least I think I'm noticing an improvement and I swapped in the exact same set of broken in burrs. Worth considering instead of a Vario+ (one downside is that the grounds bin does not sit square against the top and I think that generates more issues with static chaff)

SandraF

#7: Post by SandraF »

I bought my Eureka Atom 75 as part of my setup. It has 75mm flat burrs, is FAST & QUIET. I understand that it is out of your price range, but highly encourage you to consider Eureka grinders. They have been manufacturing coffee grinders for 100 years. Plus, you can purchase them easily.

Check out some of the Open Box grinders on sale. 1st Line has some, although it appears that they are "pick up" only.

https://www.1st-line.com/buy/sidewalk-s ... o-model-2/

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
BSdV

#8: Post by BSdV »

The specialita was our first electric grinder. It came highly recommended by reading a bunch of reviews and also the shop where I bought my comandante c40 (few weeks later) was raving about it.

Although perhaps better at espresso it was touted to be a grinder that could do it all. Without being over the top expensive.

For brew I find it's not consistent enough for my liking, big variations when using the timer and not uniform enough grind size. Bit disappointed as I do like the looks, the decent speed, and the low noise.

But what's been happening lately is that it won't run.. something is making noise inside but the burrs are not rotating..
This happened when I was abroad for work. My wife opened it up, cleaned the burrs and used it again. But this was happening more and more frequently.
Once I'm back home again (away for over 6 months now) I will open it up completely and see if I can fix it. I have the feeling that the bottom burr is not secured properly on the shaft and that it slips. Assuming at least that the burr is directly connected to the motor shaft without any coupling in between.

Hope I'll be able to fix it and that is does better for espresso.

If I would have to buy now, and depending of my success with the specialita I might have to, I would look at a different brand as I'm not as convinced of Eurekas quality as I once was. Also I don't like the looks of any eureka except their mignon serie. I might be looking at some mazzers or ceado's as these seem to be extremely durable. How they perform for brew I don't know though.

Jonk

#9: Post by Jonk »

BSdV wrote:Hope I'll be able to fix it and that is does better for espresso.
You could also try the brew specific burrs. Not sure how good they are but they should at least be better than the espresso set for brew. Downside is that you most likely won't be able to use the grinder for espresso with those.

Ceado also released a filter grinder: https://www.ceado.com/en/product/87.html

Mazzer released a Mini E "Filter" - but it has the same espresso focused burrs as the regular model :roll: . You can put SSP brew burrs in a Mini or a Super Jolly and get great filter and light roast performance. The main difference from a DF64 in regards to workflow is that you have to find a way to clear the chute, I use a brush to get the last 2 grams out. Very low retention for coarse grinds but for espresso I loose up to 0,5g.

BSdV

#10: Post by BSdV »

I'm not too fussed for another brew grinder at the moment. My wife is happy enough with the encore for the Moccamaster, and I almost never touch that machine.
When I'm home I'll make v60 95% of the time and use my comandante for grinding. No need for anything electric for v60.
I'm faster to grind than the water to boil.

I have been looking to get brew burrs, but never found them for the specialita.

If I manage to get the specialita to work properly again that's what I'll be using for espresso for the foreseeable future.
If I don't manage the specialita is exit anyway.

If I need to buy a new grinder I hope I'll be able to pick up a good used ceado or so. At around €1600 ish if I'm not mistaken it's more than I would like to spend.
Or a mazzer mini, those are not too expensive I think.