Help me choose a grinder for my taste profile!

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

#1: Post by Vincere »

hello, So I asked a few question in a similar post but I decided to make one of my own to hopefuly have more people reading and maybe help me out

last year, it was the year I spent every day reading and looking up about espresso machine, in 2022, there's really high chance I will be buying an LMLM or GS3 AV but I will wait to pull the trigger, I am really intrigued by the sanremo YOU and the new synesso home machine, they are not enough information about both of them and I am really patient :)

Now this year has been reading up about grinder.. this part is tricky cause I have only have taste experience of espresso from various coffee shop which aren't really pros at it and my own experience with a commandante mk4 and eureka mignon specialita

To help you guys help me, here's what I love about espresso

I have loved only medium to dark roast, all the light roast I have tried were terrible, way too sour for my taste, now is it me that dislike fruity shots or was it the barista who pulled a really bad shot? I have no idea.

So let's say that I want a grinder for medium to dark roast for now

next, I love pulling shots that starts to slowly drip into a syrupy-like espresso, with a real nice crema on top, I love thick body with a good balance of clarity and I don't mind when my shots taste more toward the bitter over the sour (I really can't drink anything that taste like lemon, it gross me out)

I have everything for single dosing, which is what I was doing with my eureka specialita and I do with my commandante.
but I don't mind sacrificing this part for a hopper if it means that the grinder will fit better my taste profile.

here's a list of all the grinder that I hear about alot and I have added to my list
Atom 75,lagom p64, e65s GBW, the key(not release yet), monolith flat/conical and of course, the eg-1

this grinder will be for espresso only, I will use my commandante for pour over

Now, do I need to spend 5000$ cad to get all I want from a grinder? can I spend 2x less? I won't be able to try any of these, so I will base my choice from everything I read and the help of this great forum :)


#2: Post by GorchT »

I guess if you want syrupy shots you should go for conical grinders. But to be honest I have no clue how large the improvement is from a niche zero to the new Weber or the monolith conical. But for what you are looking for flats are the wrong thing, they give you more clarity in taste but the texture is thinner.

Vincere (original poster)

#3: Post by Vincere (original poster) replying to GorchT »

yeah, now I'm all confused, someone in the other thread said I shouldn't go for conical :?

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#4: Post by Jeff »

Vincere wrote:So let's say that I want a grinder for medium to dark roast for now
Now, do I need to spend 5000$ cad to get all I want from a grinder? can I spend 2x less?
I think you can get what you desire with a much smaller budget, with a Niche Zero or comparable conical, one of the better, mid-range, classic flat-burr grinders from someone like Eureka. The review opinion on taste with the Lucca Atom 75 and its Mythos-like burrs suggest that it would do a great job with classic espresso.


#5: Post by GorchT »

If I understand you correctly you want a classic espresso therefore the Flatmax, EG-1, EK43, Nautilus, P100 shouldn't be considered those are more for the light roast(acid bomb) friends like me :D But therefore I can't really help you, but I guess you will get the best results for less money, than you need to spend for those

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#6: Post by another_jim »

It takes weeks of blind side by side testing to distinguish reliably between two grinders by tasting the shots they produce. If you can't tell which grinder is which when given blind shots, how can you tell which "has the better burr for coffee X?" Almost all the stuff you've read is fantasy, which dominates food, drink, and audio writing since nobody is doing blind tests. I regret having had any part of this culture.

When it comes to picking between good grinders, ergonomics is the overwhelming choice factor.

The first factor is single dosing versus on demand. On demand grinders should be very fast, and put the coffee in the basket very neatly, so that puck prep is not an issue. You pay for this by having to use a hopper, wasting about 25 grams of coffee when switching coffees, and having between 2 and 4 grams retention of coffee from the last shot. A single dose grinder grinds more slowly, and often requires additional puck prep by using a blind shaker or WDT. The overwhelming argument for them is that they allow you to switch coffees at will without waste, and that they have zero ( in practice, less than 0.5 gram) retention. There is an envelope here of grind speed, no-fuss puck prep, and coffee retention; with newer designs pushing the envelope regardless of whether they are single dose or on demand designs.

The second factor is adjustability and sweet spot for grind settings. Burrs with a wider distribution of coarse particles have wider sweet spots and are easier to dial in. Conicals in particular have this, but so do some flat burrs with deeper cuts at the outer edge like the Eureka's 75mm offerings. On the other side of the envelope is how precisely the grind can be adjusted, and how exactly a difficult coffee can be tuned in. Electronic measurement and feedback on grind settings, which several newer grinders have, may be a game changer in this regard, as may hyper precise alignment practices. The envelope here is speed and ease in dialing a new coffee versus the precision with which a difficult coffee can be dialed in with repeated tweaks. The newer burr designs seem to be pushing this envelope.

If you choose a grinder with respect to these usability factors, you'll be a lot happier with your choice than if you pick one based on "clear differences in clarity"* or any of the other tasting fantasies.

* I tested my brew grinders for cupping clarity by brewing two different coffees on each grinder, and seeing which one allows me to keep distinguishing them as I mix them more and more. It was very hard work, and the results for my best ones were very close. I have no clue how to blind test clarity for espresso. I often use the term descriptively for shots I drink; but only to improve a muddy tasting shot with whatever coffee and gear I have in front of me.
Jim Schulman
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#7: Post by dsc106 »

If you have the budget for a monolith conical I'm tempted to say that, but I think instead you should go for a niche zero and a Lagom p64. Since you don't know what you don't know, you need a couple years to figure it out.

If I had to just guess and recommend a single grinder though, I'd say niche zero. It's not just reasonably priced, as a quality conical, it's such a solid all arounder with such a pleasing taste it's difficult to go wrong. It will also minimize frustration and the learning curve as it's easy to dial in and learn the ropes with.

A Lagom with its flat burrs will offer the other side of things. If nothing else you could have a killer filter brew grinder with it, and then when you're ready, start A/Bing espresso to learn more what you like. This grinder would also offer minimum fuss.

Not a cheap proposition to secure both, but the resale market should be strong and so long term cost wouldn't be much.

Again, if you're looking to start out and go one grinder, I don't see why you wouldn't go niche zero for what you've described you're looking for. Easy to use, fits the bill taste wise, and easy to resell.

Vincere (original poster)

#8: Post by Vincere (original poster) »

I honestly never liked the look of the niche zero, that's why I don't have it on my list and looking at the lagom p64 which will cost me 2100$+tx cad, I am honestly asking myself, is it the one I should get? or spend an extra 600$+tx cad for a monolith conical?

I don't a true budget, I will get money needed for whichever I decide to buy, like I said, I am very patient, I honestly love the look of the EG-1 but I am a feeling I could be happy with 2-3x less expensive


#9: Post by henri »

Vincere wrote:I honestly never liked the look of the niche zero
Looking at pictures on the internet, I too had my reservations about the aesthetics of the NZ and put off buying one for a long time. But when I finally got it and had it in front of me, my perception changed completely. Now I see it as beautiful design that makes my Eureka Mignon look old-fashioned and weirdly boxy in comparison. I think this has something to do with the fact that the NZ looks plasticky and cheap in photos. But in real life, it is a very solid piece (aluminium I believe).

I have (I think) the same taste preferences as you do: classic Italian-style, darker roasts, often blends with robusta. The NZ excels at these. Everything Jim said above about retention is also true, and you do taste these things in the cup (especially if pulling singles, as I mostly do, retention is a big deal - you don't want any stale grounds in there). Having said that, I find that the Eureka Mignon is also capable of delivering a fantastic cup with traditional blends. But it is not very suitable for single dosing, if that's your preference.

If you're not opposed to manual grinding, then there are some great options out there in that department as well. I've got a Kinu M47 at the office and it delivers every bit as tasty a cup as the Niche Zero, in my opinion.

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#10: Post by JB90068 »

You might want to hold out and see if you can find someone selling a used EG-1. It's rare, but it happens. After reading Jim Schulman's post, I wonder if he feels that it would be the best grinder for you. The EG-1 is marketed as a grinder that is good for both espresso and pour over, so it would be interesting in to get Jim's perspective. If it were me, I would take anything suggestions he makes to heart.

Since you mention that aesthetics are also important and that you like the look of the EG-1, there is a collaboration that will be coming out next year between Acaia and Weber Workshops. To the best of my knowledge, there aren't any reviews on it yet, so I have no clue as to if this might be something for you to consider. ... -workshops
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