Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
Spitz.me wrote:This was really great for Hoffman to do. I enjoyed what I watched. I particularly thought it was useful - almost bordering on a public service to us - to mention that these grinders are fantastic, but are incrementally shifting coffee taste.
I fully understand using a numerical system to grade and communicate differences, but why would none of those grinders score a 10? Shouldn't there be a benchmark "perfect" grinder? The best grinders you can buy are also the best performers in terms of in-the-cup quality and they still don't get a 10? What does, or what will ever get a 10?
Maybe it's the same reasoning as the college teacher that starts off the first class of the semester by saying: " Don't expect to get 100% in my class. I've never given a 100 and it's going to stay this way."
- Supporter ♡
He explains in the head-to-head video that a 10 would be the best thing he's ever had. So yeah, basically unobtainable since inevitably a grinder isn't going to produce the best thing he's ever had every time. Still makes sense to me as a scale though since espresso production is always inconsistent in my experience, whether I'm making it or a professional at a shop is, there always seems to be a range. Sometimes my coffee is okay, sometimes it's great.
- Supporter ♡
What if the best grinder he tested ends up being a 4 when someone finally figures out how to design burrs properly?
This is really what I think is going to happen in the next 5 years or so. There's going to be a huge change in burr geometry based on these new "modular" grinders with flexibility. Another reason to buy into a platform that can accept any burr type.
But then in that case, doesn't it make sense to disclose what grinder made him experience the euphoria of the 10? aren't these the best and most capable grinders you can buy?
Maybe the process should have been, "how difficult is it to get a 10" with these grinders. So, maybe it's easy to get a 10 with an ultra and medium to hard with a Niche... Or impossible. This, to me, is more in line with how we rate espresso gear in general. What's going to improve consistency?
Regardless,I liked the videos!
My Kafatek goes to 11.
If you'd feel better about one of them being a 10, then just add some to all the scores. If you want it to go to 100, add some and multiply by 10. The numbers don't matter, it's a relative scale, not absolute.
baldheadracing (original poster)
- Supporter ♡
To say there's a 10 means that we know what the perfect grind distribution should be; for all coffees, for all roast levels, for all types of espresso machines, etc.
I am reminded by what Colin Harmon said in a presentation about the Mythos grinder's development (which James Hoffmann was also part of) - the best-tasting burrs of all the many burr designs that he tasted gave that amazing result "one in 20 times." (It's the purple one, top row, second from (your) left in the pic)
- from http://www.tampertantrum.com/developing-the-mythos/
Regardless, I do agree with James Hoffmann when he said:
I'll be honest. I don't think the next great leap in flavour is going to come from hardware. I don't think grinders are going to un-lock anything, I don't think espresso machines are going to un-lock anything; they're not going to kind-of create aromatic compounds that aren't there already ... like, we're going to get the best of what's there. I think the next great leap, actually, will come from raw coffee rather than from hardware.
- from his Decent DE1+ video review
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann
- Supporter ♡
The scale is useful as a relative measure. If you decide 10 is perfection and you give the first grinder a 10 and then you realize the third one is a 12, what do you do? I see this problem a fair amount in reality dance competitions where everyone ends up with the same score because someone was over scored early. If one consider these scores only relevant in this test, then all that matters are the relative differences among the scores in this test. It's possible given what we know that the same test conducted by someone else might have come up with different scores for both that exact set of grinders and also for a similar set of the exact same grinders. I always point back the the original titan grinder test where as I recall, a Rocky won one of the rounds. Proving I guess, that everything we know is likely wrong.
The reality is that he isn't live and he can decide what objective metrics he's using to award each point on that scale.
I get your point IRA and I don't disagree!