Need help choosing 98mm flat burr grinder - Page 2

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

#11: Post by Primacog »

baldheadracing wrote:The Mahlkoenig EK43S and Compak PK100 are in stock in the USA; I just checked at Chris' Coffee.

The MAX, Nautilus, and P100 are built in batches, and demand is such that each batch is pre-sold. The MAX and Nautilus are also hand-built-to-order by one or two people, so there cannot be stock. FWIW, the next P100 pre-order will be on August 5.

AFAIK, none of the 98mm grinders currently available in North America are made in the PRC. The Ultra was/is made in China, but was finished in the USA.
The P100 is made in China.
LMWDP #729

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luca
Team HB

#12: Post by luca »

HoyaZot wrote:I have tried googling. The results are all spam.

I am leaning towards a P100. I like the single dose workflow and I am enjoying light roast coffees lately as espresso and I'm hitting the limits of my niche. But I love its workflow. So it seems like the P100 would be the endgame.

Are there other 98mm grinders I should consider? I have heard (but don't have a source) that these grinders are often using the same burrs?

Thanks
Welcome to the internet; you will find heaps of reviews, but half of the time you won't know what the reviewer considers good coffee, nor will you know if "build quality" simply means that it was pretty heavy, or even if the people writing about it have actually used what they are telling you you should get, as opposed to simply parroting what they have read elsewhere or got of a spec sheet, or deferring to some reputation that they think some machine or manufacturer has.

My $0.02; burrs are probably the huge difference, and 98mm is a good burr size because the predominance of the EK meant that a lot of experimentation took place in burrs of this size. The grinder is just a vehicle to hold the burrs in alignment, spin them and dispense the coffee. You need to work out what burrs you want as a priority. If you want the shuriken burrs, then your decision is made for you; you have to get the max. Otherwise, you can keep on considering. You're probably not going to know what burrs you want, so if you're buying a grinder that uses magnetic "blind" burrs, you might want to check that it can accept ordinary three screw burrs, too, if you want to swap something around later.

Size and aesthetics you can work out for yourself. I'm only using pretty low RPMs, but in theory it might be nice to be able to spin the burrs up as fast as an EK43 every now and then to compare things.

Horizontal grinders feed the coffee through the whole burr surface, so they tend to grind faster at the same RPM, and one assumes that they probably have better burr alignment. Vertical or tilted grinders only grind with the lowest point of the bottom burrs, and you'd assume that the coffee being fed through that one side is pushing the burrs apart on that side, but not on the other side. Horizontal grinders probably have more retention issues.

Alignment is basically a total furphy, since every manufacturer seems to tell you that (1) they CNC mill aluminium to the highest tolerances and (2) there is no sensible way that you, as a consumer, can check their work or hold them accountable to anything. So, basically, they're all a bunch of "trust me" grinders. Enjoy spending your thousands of dollars, being told that you have received the highest build quality, and then spending hours and hours with whiteboard markers, tape and foil trying to shim the burrs, because the grinder is built to be perfect, so why would it have a shimming system? (Ultra grinder being a somewhat notable exception, with its post shimming system.)

If you want some sort of slow feed system, pretty much the only thing around seems to be the variable augers on the EK, which aren't a great solution, particularly since the EK doesn't have variable RPM.

If you do any cupping, or probably anything, really, a purge button is pretty fantastic. Low RPM grinding can leave stuff sitting in the chute and spinning the burrs up fast can usually move enough air through with the burr sweepers to puff it out.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

baldheadracing
Team HB

#13: Post by baldheadracing »

Primacog wrote:The P100 is made in China.
Oh right.

Unlike the P64, I just hadn't heard people talking about the US tariff, so it slipped my mind.
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada

HoyaZot (original poster)

#14: Post by HoyaZot (original poster) »

luca wrote:You're probably not going to know what burrs you want, so if you're buying a grinder that uses magnetic "blind" burrs, you might want to check that it can accept ordinary three screw burrs, too, if you want to swap something around later..
This is definitely where I am at, and I am still leaning towards the P100. Do you have any comments about burr selection in placing that pre-order? It looks like the default choice are SSP HU burrs. But you're right; I am not really going to be able to know what I prefer until I have a grinder and start swapping burrs.

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luca
Team HB

#15: Post by luca »

I haven't paid attention to what lagom call their burrs, save that I seem to remember that they came up with some "helpful" naming convention for the 64mm where HU was not the same thing that SSP called HU. Then I think lagom changed it. Or something. No idea. Anyway, they have created more confusion where confusion already existed, so the first thing that you should do is to work out that what you order from lagom as 98mm SSP HU is in fact what you expect. Maybe they didn't change the naming conventions on the 98mm burr. I don't know, because I don't have one, and haven't looked into one.

If you're going to get a P100, probably work out how you are going to check and adjust the alignment. Maybe for completeness you should email them to ask, though you're probably going to get the nonsense answer that I alluded to earlier, that their grinders are built to the highest tolerances, you aren't capable of checking their alignment and no alignment is necessary. So after you've gotten over that, you might want to work out what aluminium shimming tape or whatever is going to make your life easier.

I have no idea what taste preferences you have, and what you consider "light". These days, seems like everyone wants to call their roasts "light" or "medium light". I settled on 98mm HU to maximise the aroma that I can get out of very light coffees and enable me to extract them OK in an espresso machine. By very light, I mean with no discernible roast character; when I buy coffee from a commercial roaster, if they have espresso and filter roasts, I buy filter roasts. I'd agree with the characterisations of James Hoffmann and others that 98mm HU extracts a lot of aroma and "clarity", but doesn't make much body and texture. Whether or not this is what you want is a question for you. If I were buying another, I'd buy uncoated.
LMWDP #034 | 2011: Q Exam, WBrC #3, Aus Cup Tasting #1 | Insta: @lucacoffeenotes

HoyaZot (original poster)

#16: Post by HoyaZot (original poster) »

Very helpful, thanks.
when I buy coffee from a commercial roaster, if they have espresso and filter roasts, I buy filter roasts.
This is me. It's where I started running into a problem with my Niche not keeping up.

luca wrote:haven't paid attention to what lagom call their burrs, save that I seem to remember that they came up with some "helpful" naming convention for the 64mm where HU was not the same thing that SSP called HU



This is what they say:
Burrs: The default burrset that comes with Lagom P100 is SSP 98mm High Uniformity - which we think is the best all around burrs based on our own testing and feedbacks. It has an excellent taste profile - works very well for high-extraction yield espresso with light/medium roasts (main intended application) and surprisingly still gives very respectable filter brews that we really enjoy (it is a rare trait for a burrset to do well in both espresso and filters). We think this is the best option that would suit most users. To avoid confusion, this is a completely different burr geometry/design from SSP 64 mm High-Uniformity - which is more for espresso-only usage and is not suitable for filter.

RedPanda

#17: Post by RedPanda »

Primacog wrote:The P100 is made in China.

Wasnt it made in China but assembled in the USA? (I think it was this company that did this)


Tbh, that is the best way to go, being nothing can beat China's item production quality... but quality control best in the owners hands and not paid service to China's inspectors which may or may not within their knowledge scope to be able to correct it.

Primacog

#18: Post by Primacog »

RedPanda wrote: Wasnt it made in China but assembled in the USA? (I think it was this company that did this)


Tbh, that is the best way to go, being nothing can beat China's item production quality... but quality control best in the owners hands and not paid service to China's inspectors which may or may not within their knowledge scope to be able to correct it.
I doubt the p100 is assembled in usa since Option-O, rhe manufacturer of the p100, is based in Melbourne, Australia.
LMWDP #729

RedPanda

#19: Post by RedPanda »

ah wrong vendor then.... still good general idea though.