Doserless to doser and back again... the debate continues

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

Which type of grinder do you prefer?

No preference
Total votes: 90

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#1: Post by Teme »

I did follow through and upgrade my Rocky Doserless to the Mazzer Mini. I am now on the verge of moving from the Mini to the MiniE...


...split from Buying / upgrading espresso machine or grinder this year? by moderator...

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#2: Post by HB »

Teme wrote:I am now on the verge of moving from the Mini to the MiniE...
I also had a Rocky DL and upgraded to the Mini. At first I found the doser irritating, but I've come to terms with it. With the modifications for improving the sweep efficiency, I even prefer the ritual of thwacking the doser handle as a means of more carefully controlling the initial distribution.
Dan Kehn


#3: Post by Foxbat »

I finally dumped my old Solis Maestro and got a Macap M4 doserless grinder. Why I haven't upgraded my grinder before this is beyond me...


#4: Post by stevendouglas »

I'm about to purchase the Macap M4, but I don't know whether to go with or without the doser. I thought that a doser would reduce the amount of grounds on the counter. Any suggestions on with or without the doser?
Steve Douglas
Sacramento, CA

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#5: Post by cpl593h »

I went from the Rocky w/doser to the Super Jolly with doserless conversion. I couldn't be happier without a doser. Fluffy, clump free grinds? Lookout, Versalab...


#6: Post by skyryders90 »

I originally had a Mazzer Mini-E, but recently swapped it for a Cimbali Jr. I couldn't be happier! The Cimbali delivers what - to me - is a better, fluffier grind. I had been having distribution problems with the mini-e, and was having to go to such lengths to eliminate them that the convenience doserless-ness of the mini-e was being effectively negated. The first shot I pulled after putting the Cimbali on my counter had a wonderful, even distribution, WITHOUT going to any crazy lengths. Just dose, stockfleths, tamp, pull.

Give me a doser.

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Teme (original poster)

#7: Post by Teme (original poster) »

In fact I did take the step and went ahead with the Mini E.

The Rocky was a good grinder but difficult to clean, it had stepped adjustment, there was some clumping of the grinds and it made a mess. There were also other things like the need to press the grind activation button for the entire duration of the grind as well as some issues regarding beans not flowing smoothly from the hopper into the chamber. Some of these could have been overcome with modifications, but I decided to go for the Mini instead.

I wasn't entirely happy with the Mini either. I had done a few modifications on the Mini's doser and I still found it less than ideal for per shot use. Despite the modifications there was also the need to clean the doser, which wasn't too time consuming but another step to the routines nonetheless. I also found that it made a huge mess on the countertop and wasted coffee due to not being unable to grind just the right amount. The former could have been mitigated by more care and patience in pulling the lever and the latter could have been overcome with weighing the beans per shot before throwing them into the hopper. I was not too keen on either approach, which is why I decided to go for the Mini E despite it being too expensive imo.

Now the Mini E is not perfect either, but of these three I would still opt for it. It has most of the benefits of both of the above grinders with only a limited number of the negatives. On top of this, it really does not create a lot of mess - this I really like. But - and there always is a but - I agree that the Mini E does have issues with regards to the initial distribution of the grinds. This means that the PF rest is more or less useless because to counter the uneven particle distribution, one has to move the portafilter around (as Dan suggested) and when doing this the PF rest just gets in the way. More importantly, one does not get the hands free operation that the Mini E supposedly offers. But I have no problems with the distribution with this routine. Even though I do not trust the timers on the Mini E, I find that my dose consistency has improved with it (and I waste less coffee, too).

Prior to purchasing the Mini E, I also seriously considered the Versalab M3. For me it would have been double the price of the Mini E as well as being slower and messier. Then there was the fact that one has to measure the beans per shot and pour them in while the grinder is running - I understood that if one chucks the beans in and then starts the grinder, if may jam. The pulley and the belt needs to be cleaned weekly to avoid slippage, too. This sounded like a lot of hassle, especially when I have a few people over so I decided against it despite its great looks and apparently perfect grind distribution.

To sum up, I am happy with the Mini E and I am quite sure this is the grinder I will stick with for a long time unless something truly revolutionary comes along (which I hope does happen).


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#8: Post by HB »

Dan Kehn


#9: Post by mrosco »

stevendouglas wrote:I'm about to purchase the Macap M4, but I don't know whether to go with or without the doser. I thought that a doser would reduce the amount of grounds on the counter. Any suggestions on with or without the doser?
I'm in the same situation. I emailed Jim at and based on my usage (10-12 shots per day) and what I was looking for (clean and ease of use) he recommended going with the doser. Unfortunately when you're buying for the first time it seems like you just need to pick one and go with it. There seems to be good arguments for both sides, besides based on what I've read here most people on the site upgrade or change equipment or just have multiple items. I'm begining to think this is going to be an expensive hobby....... :o

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#10: Post by Worldman »

:?: This? An "expensive hobby"? :o MAIS NON!!!

After all, that which we bought 2 or 3 months ago (for, say, $1500) we can always sell on Ebay today (for, say, $450). LOL!

Really, I don't think that most of us keep upgrading since there seems to be a sort path from "noobie mediocrity" to "barista bliss". (Mine is a different story of decades spent with so-so equipment, but that is for another post).

To answer the main question: I say doser-less. I USED to think there was NO difference between beans ground seconds ago and those ground hours, I appreciate those "lost" minutes and their effect on my cup. Besides, there is something most annoying about you doser guys pulling that dosing lever frantically while grinding!

I have been consdering the MiniE (like Teme's)...but the Macap doser-less offered by 1st Line might be a really nice grinder at a whole lot less $, albeit without the cyclone thingy.