JDolezal wrote:For some reason, I had it in my mind that conicals would be less suited for this type of shot.
Common misconception. It's promoted, I think, by people who espouse the idea that flats offer a "different perspective," when in fact even most of the big flats have a somewhat restricted spectrum at the top end compared to the big conics.
I disagree to some extent with Jim's comments regarding the suitability of various grinder/machine combinations for any bean with a profile including acid notes. That is, I don't draw a special line for "lighter" roasts. If you're using a competent espresso machine (BDB and up), buying interesting beans roasted FC or lighter, you want the widest spectrum, most separation, most clarity and best mouthfeel you can get.
It's easy for me to draw false conclusions from all the exaggerations and over-simplifications I'm reading in these "A vs. B" discussions.
I did a lot of grinder evaluation over a period of about eighteen months centered around my search for a new grinder. What I found is that grinders tend to hunt in packs (largely determined by burr size and geometry), with nearly everything in the class sharing the same or at least very similar "in the cup" characteristics.
The group I call "big flats," might have the most exceptons. The K30 slots in nicely, but has a smaller burr set. So, for that matter do the hybrid La Cimbali and Versalab although they have hybrid burr sets. And perhaps more to the point, the Anfirm Super Caimano Barista, Mahlkonig EK43, and NS Mythos have spectrums as wide as big conics.
In any case it's important to evaluate grinders on an individual basis rather than assuming that an extrapolation based on class will be correct.
Another false conclusion that's easy to draw if you use H-B as your primary source is the putative superiority, either in the cup or in use of Compak conics. For one thing, there aren't as many (any?) "in the cup" exceptions to the rule of big conic wide flavor palette, excellent separation, and good clarity.
One difference which Jim and I both noted comparing the Robur to the Compak is mouthfeel/clarity. Jim rated the Compak better for mouthfeel, and the Robur better for clarity, but I thought it was the other way around. I believe we both preferred the Robur's "in the cup" qualities overall.
On to search for a conical grinder!
Good luck. If you plan on single dosing there are a couple which make the task easier and cheaper than the alternatives in the US market -- the Compak K10 PB and HG One.
The on demand big conics... Ceado E92; Compak E and F 10; Macap M7D and Robur E have a lot more in common than differences. While I think there are some slight "in the cup" differences, they're not large -- at least when comparing "best shot" (my method) rather than "blind" (Jim's).
I thought the Ceado E92 and Robur E were -- by a slight margin -- the best big conics in the cup; but that the Robur E was a relative PITA compared to the other on demand grinders.
Whether Compak's move to more torque and slower rotation in the E and F10 Fresh grinders (compared to their old K10 Fresh) makes them better in the cup... quien sabe?
It's really hard to know what makes a grinder different, much less better.
The Anfim Super Camano Barista belongs in the same "in the cup" class as the big conics. I didn't have the chance to try it until it was too late to return my E92; but probably wouldn't have bought it anyway, because of its price. Very pleasant machine to use, by the way; and if you're interested in what a big conic has to offer and can afford the Anfim, it should be on your short list even if it's a flat.
Despite it's popularity with the "objective measurement" crowd, I'm not a big fan of the EK43 for espresso because it's short on mouthfeel.
I hear the Mythos is great; but talk about expensive... Oy.
In case it needs saying, if buying a new grinder I'd choose the E92 again, but would be tempted by the Anfim for its lower retention, and the F10 for its outstanding grind size display.
Drop a nickel in the pot Joe. Takin' it slow. Waiter, waiter, percolator