Grinder upgrade choice vetoed, seeking advice for runner up - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
Ben Z.
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#11: Post by Ben Z. »

I've seen used versalab m4s for sale in great condition for the price of the mc6 multiple times this year. Might be a good option?

erik82
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#12: Post by erik82 »

Thewolfiest wrote:Upon review I don't think alignment was the correct term. i was more so referring the constant commentary I see on the zero/chirp point moving.
But that's due to user error because the zero point will shift on every grinder when you're still breaking in the burrs. That's just normal behaviour. Also assembling a grinder wrong in the way of putting a bearing in 180 degrees of original is also user error. I've also read a lot about those comments but almost all of them are users not understanding how a grinder works and not grinder error.
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pizzaman383
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#13: Post by pizzaman383 »

I have tried a niche zero, a versalab m4, and a fiorenzato with 83mm ssp espresso burrs (bought when there was only one choice). The versalab is much closer in taste to the 83mm ssp burrs.

Added - the taste was fairly close for dark roasts but much more pronounced for lighter roasts.
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ShotClock
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#14: Post by ShotClock »

I have a flat, and it's pretty painless to move back and forth for brewed coffee and espresso. Just run the motor and urn the funnel. Not difficult to get back to your espresso setting, no need to purge. I think that you can pick up a gently used one in your price range, or maybe a new flat. Apparently, the SLM burrs are the only ones recommended for dual espresso-brewed use, and I have found them to be great for this. The major reason that I went for a two-grinder setup was to eliminate the need for cleaning the grinder or purging significant amounts when switching form dark roasted espresso to light roasted filter coffee. The Shurikones are great (I recently upgraded my MC4), and are far better on the lighter end of medium than the Mazzer burrs. In particular, slightly faster flowing shots (1-2ml/s) seem to develop much less harshness. For darker roasts, I tend to pull shots around 0.5-1ml/s, and the improvement is much smaller. They are also somewhat more tolerant in terms of puck prep, but I found that I adapted from the Niche to the Monolith Flat pretty quickly.

ShotClock
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#15: Post by ShotClock »

After a PM request, thought I'd clarify my thoughts on the difference between my monolith flat SLM, and MC4 with Shurikone and burr carrier upgrades, both in the cup and otherwise.

In the cup, honestly, I can't really tell much difference. Maybe there's a bit of a difference in body, but to me it's overwhelmed by the variation between coffees. I think the flat extracts a bit faster, so if you want to drink short ratios with light ish coffees, there might be an advantage. In short, they're both excellent grinders, and i don't think i could tell the difference between them on terms of taste for the majority of espresso usage. There may well be more sophisticated tasters who could tell the difference, but not me.

However, there are a couple of significant differences worth mentioning. The flat seems far better for brewed coffee. If you want a dual use grinder, then the flat SLM seems a clear choice. This is true even with darker roasted brewed coffee, which was surprising to me. The conical seems to extract slightly slower, and the puck resistance is much more consistent through the shot as a result. This results in easier dial in and less channeling. There is also not too much static without WDT, hopefully I'll be able to go without at some point. If i were buying a grinder for just espresso i would go with the conical, unless you are an edge case drinking Nordic roasts or ultra light ristrettos.

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JB90068
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#16: Post by JB90068 »

Perhaps I can chime in. When I went to end game grinders, function was the number one consideration. Form though, was nearly tied with function. My first grinder was the EG-1 which has given me both the function and form I was looking for. I needed something that would differentiate the flavors of a medium roast and it has been great so far. I opted for the EG-1 vs a Kafatek and others based solely on aesthetics. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so my choice may not agree with others preferences. I then wanted to get into pour over coffee and without swapping burrs on the EG, I couldn't get the depth that I was looking for. Time for a conical. I chose the Key for that reason. I've had zero issues with it since I bought it. I like how it looks on the counter also. In my kitchen aesthetics are important and I'm looking forward to seeing what the KVDW Spiritello looks like and perhaps do an upgrade if for no other reason than wanting a functional piece of art on my counter. I find that with med / dark roasts such as the Vivace Vita that is my go to brand as of now, the Key doesn't do a great job at separating the flavors as well as the EG. The Key is not bad for the roast, but the EG is notably better. I like the Key for adding richness and depth to med/light roasts especially for pour over.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

Thewolfiest (original poster)
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#17: Post by Thewolfiest (original poster) »

JB90068 wrote:The Key is not bad for the roast, but the EG is notably better. I like the Key for adding richness and depth to med/light roasts especially for pour over.
image
Thanks for your reply! It sounds like you have good experiences with your Weber products. I am curios if you could elaborate a little on what methods you use the EG-1 vs. Key for. How do you find the Key for espresso. I personally wouldn't plan on frequently using it for pour over. Unless maybe it is actually quite easy to switch between methods.

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JB90068
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#18: Post by JB90068 replying to Thewolfiest »

For me, I use the Key for medium light roasts. This goes against the norm as most people like to have the flavors separated out especially when using lighter roasts. Convention would then dictate using a flat burr grinder to achieve that. I generally prefer more mouthfeel and greater density on my pallet and this is where I use the Key. At this point, I'm only using the Key for espresso. I learned how to do pour over suitably well, but for me, pour over coffee is not my thing. As Wednesday Adams has said "Drip is for people who hate themselves and know their lives have no purpose or meaning". :D
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.