New grinder for pour over: Manual vs. electric

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
alarsen77

#1: Post by alarsen77 »

I am thinking about a new grinder to replace my Baratza Virtuoso for my pour over. I have been mostly looking at the Ode and the Vario but I might consider a manual grinder. How does the quality of grind compare to some of the electrics for pour over? I feel like it was a better value before the price increase now it seems tough to justify costing more than the Ode. But if the quality of grind is significantly better I might consider it.

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cafeIKE
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#2: Post by cafeIKE »

IMO, a manual grinder is a PITA unless you're Charles Atlas. Grinding for a full pot is W O R K. A geared grinder reduces the input power, but prolongs the ordeal. [We started with a PeDe in the mid 60's when I was a teenager and I was thrilled when we got an electric.]

First consideration are you likely to move into espresso?
If not, then you want a grinder that produces minimal fines.

FWIW, I use a Macap MC4 exclusively for drip and it's very good. We only use mesh filters and have no sludge issues. Any equivalent or better should be adequate.

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Tj.

#3: Post by Tj. »

There is a lot of advice on the sub about the Vario, Ode, and hand grinders that is worth reading through. I have not used an Ode but I do know the Vario is a better purchase than a high-end hand grinder in my experience. I have used and very much like the Vario and you have the option to upgrade to the steel burr manufactured by Ditting which is almost as good as it gets for drip coffee. This combo is discussed a lot on the forum as it is relatively affordable and competitive to commercial coffee grinders in taste.

Baratza sells refurb grinders which make the value a little better.

YeetSkeeterson

#4: Post by YeetSkeeterson »

If there's a single thing I dread, don't enjoy, don't look forward to, it's grinding 30g on my Comandante at around 14-16 clicks for a V60.

Otherwise, 10-20g for AeroPress, 8g for Hario Wooodneck pourover, etc. is wonderful on Comandante. 15g-18g on Kinu M47 for espresso, totally fine. Anything up to about 20g on manual is not a nuisance. I would take a Comandante for 10g-15g over an electric any day. According to some tests I had seen a while back it has some of the best grind distribution there is, comparable to an EK43 but not quite as good. For $350 that's a steal.

You have to be very dedicated, you will tire of it even if you're the type like me that says they won't. Aside from just not wanting to use 30g of coffee to make coffee for one person, this is the second reason I haven't done much pourover these days.

rbrave

#5: Post by rbrave »

If you are just looking for a pour over grinder and willing to try manual, the 1zpresso JX (non-pro) should be on your list. It takes me ~25 seconds to grind for a V60 cup in the morning.

randytsuch

#6: Post by randytsuch »

I have a Timemore chestnut C2.

Use it at work, and will use it next time I travel.

For the price, its a really nice hand grinder. Way better than the Hario that it replaced.

You could get one and try it out, worst case is you'll have a good travel hand grinder.

Randy

Jonk

#7: Post by Jonk »

I've got a Timemore Chestnut G1, same burrset as the C2. It's quite good for pour over, I much prefer it over the Kinu M47. No clue how it compares to the Comandante yet (I believe this was the grinder OP was interested in?).. But I have compared it with the Vario Home and the SSP unimodal burrs you can put in a Ode - both of them win hands down, for the kind of roasts that I like. For other - somewhat smoky or dark roasts - the conical burrs of the Timemore can bring out better flavor.

I don't think it's much of a chore to grind 30g with a quality hand grinder, in fact the Vario isn't much faster.. But if you have to refill to brew a bigger batch it starts to become a nuisance.

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Jonk

#8: Post by Jonk »

alarsen77 wrote:How does the quality of grind compare to some of the electrics for pour over? I feel like it was a better value before the price increase now it seems tough to justify costing more than the Ode. But if the quality of grind is significantly better I might consider it.
So I finally had the chance to try a Comandante C40 and was blown away by how good it was. It was only four cups of a very light Nordic roast, but I was impressed that the pour over was almost as good as with the 64mm SSP brew burrs and the espressos were on par or slightly better with the C40. The ergonomics are not great and it was more than two times slower to grind with compared to a Kinu M47 for espresso and Timemore G1 for pour over.
YeetSkeeterson wrote:If there's a single thing I dread, don't enjoy, don't look forward to, it's grinding 30g on my Comandante at around 14-16 clicks for a V60.
I totally get this now. I would be somewhat scared to injure my arm if the C40 was the only grinder I owned - and I have been using manual grinders for years. Still, I'm guessing I would be quite satisfied with the results in cup.