Elektra Nino Grinder - Page 8

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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#71: Post by gyro »

michaelbenis wrote:Now lets see who cracks and buys one before Nicholas has finished his write-up
Must not crack... just under 2000USD delivered to UK address (ex VAT) out of interest...


#72: Post by Lockman »

Oh Man, that is almost too tempting... I am going over to UK soon. Can we get further discount for quantity? :D
Seems excessive for my measly habit but I entertain as well! Maybe a used K30 will be more prudent... :roll:
LMWDP #226.

"It takes many victims to make a culinary masterpiece"

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#73: Post by michaelbenis »

Could be worth trying for a group discount..... I can negotiate in Italian....

It certainly looks like it may be a way of getting the more distinct profiles and forgivability without the waste. I'm not mad about that worm screw though....

But perhaps we should wait and see what Nicholas has to say? :mrgreen:
LMWDP No. 237


#74: Post by mjstumpf »

I might be in for that group discount. This grinder looks like the perfect one for someone who wants perfect quality married with low waste.

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#75: Post by shadowfax »

Guys, my examination of the Elektra Nino has continued over the past couple of days, and overall my impression remains: this is probably the most user-friendly grinder out there, and it performs like a Robur so far, with one little caveat: I see some evidence that the burrs may not be fully seasoned on my unit, as the pours aren't quite as picture-perfect as Robur's are. This kind of echoes my experience with the Robur in the first few weeks: it was finicky and wanted frequent adjustment. I trust based on other user reports and the simple fact that it's the same basic burrset as the other 68mm conicals (I assume)--Macap M7, Compak K10, Fiorenzato Doge, etc., that this should subside pretty soon.

My "review" (note: it's not going to be an official HB Review, this is 100% me-funded, unless a sponsor wants to donate coffee and get gratitude and recognition :mrgreen:) hit an early hiccup, in that the grinder that was sent to me is actually some type of pre-production unit or something, and doesn't feature stepless adjustment. I am working with Jim P of 1st-line on this oversight... the more I have played with the grinder, the less optimistic I am that the steps are acceptable for easy espresso-making. At this point, I am likely to either get a stepless conversion kit, or upgrade to a brand new one. Now, the details of my agreement with Jim are naturally private, but I am curious what kind of negotiation could be made with him on a large purchase of new Ninos--Jim confirmed that his new units are stepless. PM me if you're potentially interested; expect to pay about $100 for a 110->220V Step-up transformer rated for a 1HP/~900-1000W motor if you don't have a 220V line where you're going to use the grinder regardless of that, you will need a European style plug adapter to plug it into a US 220V line. If you're happy with that, I'd be curious to get a head-count of interested people to see what kind of deal he could offer on a "group buy." That said, I am really not sure what I want to do; I am considering returning this unit to Jim and buying from CoffeeItalia/some other vendor with attractive pricing, so I may also throw in with you guys if you want to figure out something along those lines. Again, PM me and we can get a discussion going privately on those issues.

[NOTE: I was pretty shocked when I came across the Coffee Italia price. I assumed that £1400 was VAT inclusive. In fact, a rep from the company informed me that it's VAT exclusive, and that shipping to Houston, TX is £323. Throw that in a currency converter, and you're at about $2560. If your bank/credit card company charges you anything to pay in £ or Euros, you're looking at... not that fabulous of a price. Still, looks like a good deal for Europeans.]

I don't have a lot more to offer on the grinder itself at this point. Despite the flaw of being stepped on my grinder, I remain convinced that this is the nicest grinder out there, as Malte and Theodore are saying. The low waste blows anything else out of the water, and the low static puts everything else I've seen to shame, except perhaps the Vario. Whether or not I keep the one I have on my counter right now, I am definitely going to end up with a stepless Nino. No doubt about that, guinea pig or not.

For now, I am continuing to play with the grinder, and I will keep gathering my impressions. I will find out in the middle of next week whether I can upgrade this one for free and how much trouble it will be, and I'd like to figure out what kind of deals I/we can get on new ones in that timeframe as well. In the meantime, of course, I have lots more pictures of the inner workings of the burr chamber and the chute of the grinder in my Flickr set, including a pair of videos on programming/purging/dosing and pulling the shot that I dosed in the first video... a surprise ristretto, but overall a nice shot. I've certainly had several better on it in the last 2 days, but it's a good representation. Most shots that pull fast (15-20s) are very unstable, though, with jet channeling and the works. I am not sure why they do that but I am wondering if it's seasoning again... the Robur doesn't have that type of issue with the fast pours. It could also just be that the Elektra doesn't like the higher doses that I've been using on the coffee I have when ground for that setting. I'll go down on dose this weekend and report on that, of course.

Nino doesn't quite have the presence of the Robur, but it's quite elegant.
Nicholas Lundgaard


#76: Post by zin1953 »

Curse you, Nicholas, for infecting me with a new form of "upgrade-itis" for which I seem to have little or no immunity....
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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#77: Post by Yeti »

Damn, and here I thought I was supposed to have consumed the "doserless grinders are the "flat top electric stove" of coffee?" Kool-aid being espoused earlier :?


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#78: Post by shadowfax »


Most doserless grinders are electric stoves (i.e., they add more trouble than they take away and/or yield inferior results). There are a few that I think are exceptions, and they are sadly under-investigated for home baristas either because they're new (Baratza Vario) or extremely expensive (K30, Nino). The Mazzer E's are also sweet in a café or competition setting, but they seem to have their own issues for home baristas, even beyond their imposing size; we're still investigating that...
Nicholas Lundgaard

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#79: Post by gyro »

Nicholas, I would have to agree with your last. I bought the ROBUR-E primarily for my future (but currently only imaginary) cafe with the idea of being able to enjoy it at home in the interim couple of years. I was deciding between the it and the Nino. For my short term situation, I believe I made the wrong choice. Longer term, I'm still betting it was correct... let me explain!

I think its reasonably fair to say, that most people would rank the ROBUR grind quality up there with the best, and the basic machine itself has a very long track history of reliability. Those are the two main reasons I chose it. And for those reasons I think it will excel in the environment for which it was designed - high use.

Unfortunately, unless you are willing to drop two doubles into the sink before each session after an idle period of a few hours or more (perhaps one shot at a pinch if you are willing to compromise) then its not the machine for you. In a cafe, its a moot point. If you aren't pulling a shot for a couple of hours, pretty soon there will be no shots pulled EVER!

If you are willing to tolerate this waste, then its awesome. But to circumvent it is a PITA. Trying to load per shot, or stop the feed into the burrs so that you can sweep out and use whats in the chute (11g) and burr chambers (17g), is very cumbersome. And difficult, since the static grid blocks access to the chute, its a chopstick nightmare.

So, that leads to the road not travelled (for me), the Nino. A few things I would like to know more about it when Nicholas gets a little more settled in with it, or from any other users...

shadowfax wrote:same basic burrset as the other 68mm conicals (I assume)--Macap M7, Compak K10, Fiorenzato Doge
Can anyone confirm this? In this case, size really doesn't matter!... but the profile does. Obviously a different design/cut could produce a different profile. But if this is the case then there is a reasonable amount of knowledge out there on this burrset.

No. 2

Is there a pulse/continuous grind button? I got the impression from your Flickr comments that there wasn't. What do you do if the dose is a bit low, do you have to run another single?

No. 3

I'd love to know when you get the chance your best estimate of residual grounds. And if its only small, how are you purging them - do you need to use the single dose as a purge? Whats the min programmable time if this is the case on the single button, its 1 sec on the Mazzer.

No. 4

Build quality vs the Mazzer - will it handle a thrashing?

No. 5

Taste. I know yours may only be settling in, and a shame re the stepped settings, but I am sure that will be sorted. Hopefully it sounds like it will be right up there with the best.

So anyhow, I only really wanted to buy one grinder ahead of time, but ultimately I figure I'll need at least 3. Have 'acquired' a used 3 group Synesso already, so will need one grinder for the house blend, one for decaf and one for a SO offering. So depending on what more comes from our no.1 guinea pig, I may throw caution (and money) to the wind and grab grinder number two prematurely to fill the domestic gap that grinder number one hasn't done so well.

For those that are interested, they have offered 1339 pounds, 6 day lead time, free delivery UK. As indicated, shipping is expensive from them. Another European vendor has it for 1500EUR, price pretty much the same, but shipping to HK anyway much cheaper at 150EUR. Both of these are under 2000USD at the moment, ex shipping. I am sure a little group buy for anyone in Europe could result in further saving. The boxed weight is around 31kg, so fortunately that is under the maximum airline checked baggage weight of 32kg.

I'm going to be in London in a couple of weeks, which for me would mean I hope to hear more from Nicholas in the next 7 days if I am to allow a 6 day lead time!

Cheers all, Chris

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#80: Post by shadowfax »

1: Burr size/specs.

It's listed as a 68mm conical, as I said, and I have no clue if it's identical to the grinders above or it's specially designed. It looks very, very similar to all the motor-driven conical burrs I have seen (Kony, Robur, M7K, etc.), so based on that and its size I assume it's more of the same. Next time I open the grinders I'll try to remember to verify their OD with my calipers. Here's the relevant pictures that I've got, AFAIK the only real pics of the Nino burrset on the net...

2. Is there a pulse/continuous grind button?

No continous grind, no pulsing. My firmware has a limit of 1.0s minimum on either side, which is about 5g, give or take. I believe I have read other comments on Kaffee-Netz that the current production models also have this ridiculous limitation. JonR10 and I had a conversation this evening to the effect that modifying the firmware chip is relatively easy for those that know how to do that kind of thing, and he has people. It'd be interesting to see if we could persuade Elektra to drop the limit down to at least 0.5 s. Anyhow, my impression is that the Nino likes to be pulsed out (i.e., 'cold start' with no purging results in a flawed shot). whether 5 g is more pulsing than needed, I have no idea--certainly seems like enough!

3. I'd love to know when you get the chance your best estimate of residual grounds.

As I said in the above answer, I do see the need to pulse at session start. That said, the residual has to be very low; it has no chute in the sense of a traditional grinder; instead the chamber opens directly to the "slide" that you see on the front; the grinds seem to be thrown out against the roof of that slide, and fall down neatly as you can see in my video on dosing.

4. Build quality vs the Mazzer - will it handle a thrashing?

It's not as good as a Mazzer. You simply can't beat them. I am not sure what the case is made out of, but mine sure isn't aluminum. It seems to be some kind of textured, chromed plastic/carbon composite. It certainly looks sturdy, and it's as heavy as or heavier than a Robur. It's most certainly a task to move around. I don't think it's going to survive like a Mazzer if you knock it off the counter, but the chances of doing that... eh. I'm really picky about build quality, and I would have preferred a real polished aluminum shell, but I like it.

5. Taste. I know yours may only be settling in, and a shame re the stepped settings, but I am sure that will be sorted. Hopefully it sounds like it will be right up there with the best.

Most of what I've said here is wholly useless at this point; Malte's comment that he can't distinguish Robur E vs. Nino are encouraging, though.

gyro wrote:For those that are interested, they have offered 1339 pounds, 6 day lead time, free delivery UK [...] I'm going to be in London in a couple of weeks, which for me would mean I hope to hear more from Nicholas in the next 7 days if I am to allow a 6 day lead time!
I don't think you can beat that, if you're visiting the UK. At that price it's one of the cheaper doserless grinders out there, at least from the prices I've seen. Certainly the cheapest DL conical I know of.
Nicholas Lundgaard