% budget for espresso machine vs grinder

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

#1: Post by boshk »

How much budget % would you usually give to grinder vs machine?

Plan: Selling Rocket Cellini v2 (no pid) and Mazzer Mini A

Get Decent or Linea Mini or......maybe...just maybe if I can push the budget Victoria Arduino Prima One.

Grinder: DF64 SSP, Atom 75, Niche Zero, Mignon XL......maybe Lagom 64

I've asked in a couple of fb groups, saw a lot of replies stating, spend more on grinder, less on machine, 1 even said don't sell Rocket, buy better grinder and your coffee/espresso will jump to next level.

Can it make that much as a difference? isn't there a diminishing returns on grinder and machine?

take a crude example......Rocket + Lagom P64 vs Prima One + DF64 with factory burrs......is the P64 going to taste that much better?
(I'm guessing a P64 is $2000 vs DF64 stock $400)

LObin

#2: Post by LObin » replying to boshk »

I'm sure this will trigger a bunch of answers from members with different experiences.

I will say this: John Buckman has a Niche Zero paired with his decent. You'll also see Monolith Max's paired with Robot's and Flair58's. There are multiple answers to your question. It'll always depend on the person's preferences, needs, goals, budget, personal experience and often, timing and luck!

So, I feel like returning the question to you?

What's your usual coffee consumption?
Roast preferences?
Milk drinks or not?
Hosting?

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Cellini V2?
Do you want more control over temperature? Profiling? Better steam? Different workflow?

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Mazzer Mini? Workflow? Single dosing? Other brew method alternatives?

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

Baratza: skilled in the art of grinding
Sponsored by Baratza
boshk (original poster)

#3: Post by boshk (original poster) »

LObin wrote:I'm sure this will trigger a bunch of answers from members with different experiences.
.....
So, I feel like returning the question to you?

What's your usual coffee consumption?
Roast preferences?
Milk drinks or not?
Hosting?

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Cellini V2?
Do you want more control over temperature? Profiling? Better steam? Different workflow?

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Mazzer Mini? Workflow? Single dosing? Other brew method alternatives?

Cheers!
Hi Lobin, thanks for replying.
What's your usual coffee consumption? 2-3 shots a day
Roast preferences? medium roast, sometimes dark roast depending on what I can get.
Milk drinks or not? always milk drink, very occasionally espresso if the beans are amazing. My preference is double shot flat white/small cap. Oat 80% of the time, 20% normal full fat milk. Wife is more single shot, bit of milk and some hot water....americano??
Hosting? Rarely....maybe 3-4 times a year.

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Cellini V2? Better control and knowledge of brew temp. Guess its like a rabbit hole, more I look into it, more I can go down.
Recently I have been looking into preinfusion times, brew temps, 18g in 36 out, bottomless portafilters, understanding channeling etc
I have been head counting pre-infuse with my Cellini, as in lifting the lever slightly without activating the pump, counting, then pulling the shots.
Temp I have no control over, no PID....flush...pull.
Last but also important, my machine and grinder is pretty loud. I went to Linea Mini showroom, it was so quiet the rotary pump. Havent been to other places yet.

Do you want more control over temperature? Yes or at least an ideal of what the boiler is at...
Profiling? This I think only the Decent can do right?, even a USA Slayer is pretty much set, GS3 MP maybe, Linea Mini fixed with its built in 1sec or 2s preinfuse
Better steam? YES, want better steam, the cellini is pretty wet and slow-ish......I do waste milk too.
Different workflow? Trying that now, weighing, timing, etc

What would you look/hope for if you were to upgrade your Mazzer Mini? quieter, I wake up early, faster grind time, less mess.
I recently replaced the burrs with Mazzer standard one and we were both astonished.....worn vs new....the beans were night and day. It got me thinking, what about SSP 64mm burrs .......what about the higher end grinders, or ones with 75mm 80mm burrs?

Workflow? Single dosing? YES, doing single dosing now. I find my shots are more consistent, taste better AND less wastage BUT its messy especially using a hand blower, squeeze too hard into the chute and I get fine grounds blowback, gets everywhere.

Other brew method alternatives? No.

Jeff
Team HB

#4: Post by Jeff »

It isn't so much a percentage as a grind-machine balance.

I'd put a well-aligned, rigid, modern flat ahead of classic flats. Conical vs. modern flat is a preference around what you think a great espresso should taste like, including mouthfeel. What a classic, "nuts and chocolate" drinker is looking for is very different than someone who prefers light-roast, washed SO coffees. Though I haven't tried the ones you've listed, I don't consider the classic flats in the same grind/usability category as a solid, well-aligned, single-dosing grinder with SSP or similar burrs. The DF64 with SSP burrs is very tempting at its current price, if you're willing to do the mods to improve its usability.

On the machine, at the Bianca/Synchronika/Profitec (with flow kit) or the DE1, you're at or beyond the point of diminishing returns for most people. If you can't pull a great shot with one of that class of machines, a more expensive one isn't going to improve the cup. It will have a different look, a different feel, and, for some, that makes the overall experience more enjoyable.

LObin

#5: Post by LObin »

Nice!
Those are valuable informations!

From your coffee preferences (medium / medium-dark roasts, milk drinks) it seems you have MANY potential grinders that could suit you very well. Since you didn't mention drinking light roasts nor drinking straight espresso or alongées, you can save some money on the grinder and get the machine you truly want. Those saturated brew heads are not cheap! ;)

Niche Zero is the easy and obvious one. The 63mm Kony conical burrs will do a wonderful job. Unless you were to move to much lighter roasts, you'd likely wouldn't pick up the NZ in a blind test vs a much larger and pricier flat burr grinder. HB reviewers did not.

I would definitely recomment checking out the Weber Key. From a design and workflow perspective, it just looks like a perfect match for your requirements.

And why not check the Kafatek MC4...

If you decide to go with a flat burr grinder, the SSP 64mm HU (Lagom P64 or DF64) would also be a good fit. I would stay away from Unimodal burrs since you may want to keep that thickness and edginess for the milk drinks.

Many machines now offer profiling. Decent brings control to a whole other level but again, from your preferences, it doesn't seem like a match made in heaven. A Bianca, Linea mini, Eagle One Prima, Xenia, El Rocio Ragen (!) And other Rotary pump / PIDed double boilers all seem better suited. All of these will allow some (and even more) level of profiling.

So yeah, I'd suggest choosing a less expensive grinder based on workflow, look and availability and then pick the machine of your dream (it doesn't sound like it's the Cellini anymore :wink: )

Cheers!
LMWDP #592

User avatar
BaristaBoy E61

#6: Post by BaristaBoy E61 »

If you plan to direct plumb and drain, you need a plan and budget for non-scaling water.

Proper water filtration should be considered and installed before you pull your first shot.
"You didn't buy an Espresso Machine - You bought a Chemistry Set!"

MemPast

#7: Post by MemPast »

For medium and dark roasts, you may look at the Eureka KR conical. Doser version price is 800 USD on ebay by SCG. Electronic is around 1350 USD.
I have the doser version paired with La pavoni. I like it much more than my flats (used La Pavoni Zip and rebadged Macap with 64 mm burrs).
I drink medium and dark roasts only. The body and mouthfeel is thicker with Conicals, and they amplifies chocolaty and caramel taste notes (compared to what I used, and with the beans I am using. Some might say Conicals amplifies other taste notes). That is what I like about them. Dialing in is a pretty easy, since the adjustment knob is pretty big.

As for single dosing, it may not be good option, but you can mod it. Yet, it is a bit messy with the mod, unless you can do a better job than mine. I used a car strut bellow and removed the plastic cover in the doser to access the big chute for cleaning. Retention is very low with droplet technique.

One more thing, the grinder is pretty fast even with single dosing. Minimal popcorning.