Starting grinder with range

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Zhentor

Postby Zhentor » Jun 13, 2018, 7:35 pm

Hi everyone,

My wife and I are just starting the trip into the world of espresso, coffee, different brew methods, etc. Currently we use a Capresso Infinity to grind our coffee for our french press on the weekends, but over the past few years I've grown to dislike the 'sludge?' we end up with at the bottom of the cups and how thick the coffee feels. Unfortunately I'm alone in that idea, so as a next step I'm hoping to get recommendations on a grinder that can continue to grind french-press sized coffee but could support a growing habit.

I've been lurking for a couple weeks reading the posts here and watching a myriad of YouTube videos, but it seems like the better a grinder is for espresso, the less consistent it gets for french-press sized grinding. Currently, I'm hung between the Vario or the 270. The Vario seems to have the nod in better range, but the 270 perhaps better at the focused espresso end of the spectrum.

e: After grinders, we're thinking our next step for coffee should be some sort of V60. We currently have an Aeropress for pseudo-espressso.

Thanks!

emradguy

Postby emradguy » Jun 13, 2018, 7:50 pm

I'm personally not a fan of Baratza grinders. They're great at grinding, when they work...until they lose calibration or some part wears out. Baratza has outstanding support to help you when that happens, but well...for me, I'd just rather not have to deal with all that. You will definitely get some good advice regarding purchasing one of them, from people here with good experiences using them.

I am a huge fan of dedicated espresso grinders and then something else for "other" brew methods. One major reason I have for saying this is that it takes some practice and skill to dial-in a grind setting for espresso, and then once you're there, you really only want to make minor tweaks as beans age and weather changes in your environment. Going far from the setting requires you to repeat the dial in process...wasting a lot of time and beans.

There are several ways to combat sludge in french press methods...1) better filtration (such as an Espro press); 2) a better grinder (I'm a huge OE Lido fan); 3) using a sieve to remove fines (cumbersome, but definitely worth looking into to see if it's right for you).

I've not owned an Infinity, but my understanding is that's pretty much an entry level flat burr grinder. The Baratza equivalent, which is likely much, much better in the cup is the Encore. The Virtuoso is said to be a big step up. Not sure what I'd buy if I were in the market for a non-espresso grinder, honestly...perhaps a Greville Smart? Currently, I use my OE Lido for press pot, but then, I'm the only one drinking it, and I drink it mostly when I'm not at home, so it's a mobile setup for me. My daily go-to is my espresso bar.

happycat

Postby happycat » Jun 13, 2018, 11:26 pm

Zhentor wrote:Hi everyone,

My wife and I are just starting the trip into the world of espresso, coffee, different brew methods, etc. Currently we use a Capresso Infinity to grind our coffee for our french press on the weekends, but over the past few years I've grown to dislike the 'sludge?' we end up with at the bottom of the cups and how thick the coffee feels. Unfortunately I'm alone in that idea, so as a next step I'm hoping to get recommendations on a grinder that can continue to grind french-press sized coffee but could support a growing habit.

I've been lurking for a couple weeks reading the posts here and watching a myriad of YouTube videos, but it seems like the better a grinder is for espresso, the less consistent it gets for french-press sized grinding. Currently, I'm hung between the Vario or the 270. The Vario seems to have the nod in better range, but the 270 perhaps better at the focused espresso end of the spectrum.

e: After grinders, we're thinking our next step for coffee should be some sort of V60. We currently have an Aeropress for pseudo-espressso.

Thanks!


Cheapest: sieve grounds before brewing (check a dollar store) and after brewing You can pour it through a filter into a carafe

Sette 270 is for espresso
Encore is not very good. I upgraded mine to a preciso burr and it's more adequate

I don't do french press.. never really understood it personally as I'd prefer to get more of the bean ground up and soluble

ira

Postby ira » Jun 14, 2018, 9:49 am

Finding a grinder that's good for both espresso and french press is a challenge. Typically it's not doable as the requirements are so different. Doing it for $400 is even harder. The Sette is an espresso focused grinder and while there is a replacement burr that claims to be for coarser grinds, I don't recall ever seeing a glowing review for them. You're best choice might be find a grinder for french press you can afford and then purchase a Sette 270 when you decide to take the espresso path. And while there will be lots of Baratza bashing, they sell more inexpensive grinders into this market than anyone else and happy people tend to keep quiet. Also their support policies are generally considered second to none, so the occasional problems get fixed. Lots of the bashing is because there were issues in the first run of the Sette and people got the idea it was a crap grinder, forgetting that Baratza found and fixed the problem and replacing all those problem grinders without question. Also they make good inexpensive grinders for coarser grinds.

Ira

User avatar
redbone

Postby redbone » Jun 14, 2018, 10:27 am

Sludge is part of the F.Press method byproduct since there is no paper filtering regardless of what grinder you use. Another similar method that uses a finer filter that produces less sludge would be the Espro Press P7, the paper filter Clever coffee dripper or porcelain Bonavita immersion dripper. I have a regular press, CCD and BID and can attest that all make very good coffee.
As others have previously stated, there is no ideal "swiss army knife" grinder. Two grinders are required if grinding for espresso and larger grinding such as drip, F.Press and pour over. Two grinders for both optimal grind and for process flow as one would have to constantly adjust for the varying grind settings. The Capresso Infinity is more than sufficient for larger grinding such as drip, F.Press and pour over from my & wife experience and taste testing .
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.


Rob
LMWDP #549

happycat

Postby happycat » Jun 14, 2018, 11:23 am

Another point...

Recommendations are usually based on a much larger story in the recommender's coffee world.

For instance, all you mention is a method... not your preferred roast level etc.

Darker roasts produce more fines in a grind, I believe... more dried out, more shattering and powder

So your grinder quality may have a different perceived impact on sludge based on the roast level.

I mention this because I have the impression french press is often used for darker roasts

I wonder if the same level of grinder quality can produce a more pleasing cup with a different roast of bean...

Zhentor

Postby Zhentor » Jun 14, 2018, 10:05 pm

Thanks everyone, this is great info. A lot of this is new to me, and we're just starting into the whole coffee experience. I'm not sure I've tried to track coffee's I prefer to their roast, as we get into different brewing options that's definitely something I'll have to look at. An espresso machine is the next purchase - one thing at a time :) It sounds like the best bet during this transition period may be to just hold onto this current infinity grinder and pick something up that's more dedicated to espresso.

User avatar
MB

Postby MB » Jun 14, 2018, 10:49 pm

Yep, that's what I was thinking, just keep the current grinder for French Press. You can wait on the new grinder for the machine, or if you want to go in steps, I found that a good espresso grinder improved my Aeropress (granted, I was using it in an unusual way that involved tamping the coffee with the plunger and a filter, then after adding near boiling water, applying as much pressure/body weight as I could to the plunger).
LMWDP #472

tanto

Postby tanto » Jun 14, 2018, 11:15 pm

Sette 270 can do it all. Large, large range -- for espresso only, you will want to add an additional burr to get precisely fine grind!

tanto

Postby tanto » Jun 14, 2018, 11:16 pm

(I am not affiliated with this sale) But, as you are in Boston, why not pull the trigger on this set?

[FS] Pour Over Kit (Stagg/Brewista, etc)