Peppersass wrote:To my knowledge, no one has run rigorous tests to compare consistency between conicals and flats, which would be complicated by the large number of grinders that would have to be tested in different configurations (hopper, single dose, etc.), all with exactly the same beans in exactly the same state of roast/aging.
Ahem, during the Titan grinder tests we had 7 or 8 grinders using the same coffee and dose and doing comparison shots. The consensus of all testers was that it was very hard to distinguish taste, and very easy to distinguish the dial in effort. It became a kind of joke when we doing the tests ("how about we do dial in tests instead of taste tests"). However, we had no large flat burr grinders. Dominick has both the flat and conical Monolith, and he's found the dial in effort less on the conical.
There is one new area though ... We had a chance to do side by sides at the least meetup. On very light roasts, the flat was easier to use, and allowed higher dosed well extracted shots, even when using all the profiling tricks on the Bianca and manual levers. Profiling machines make precise grind and dose adjustments redundant (long preinfusions correct the mistakes), and light roasts put a premium on high extractions, so for the combo of light roasts on profiling machines, life may be easier with a large flat.
But this suddenly made another old area important ... the "bean suction" of large flats used in single dose mode needs work. The Monolith flat really slows down on finer grind settings when compared to the conical. Struggling with fine grinding in single dose mode interferes with the whole high extraction gig. The grinder artisans producing large flat burr hobbyist grinders need to experiment with well designed augurs. Conicals do not need them, flats do.