K.I.S.S when it comes to grinders - Page 2

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

It's interesting. I don't have any research except as a consumer, but there seem to be clear cultural preferences in things like appliance design. For years, as an example, I'm told that Japanese washing machines for the home market have had a single button. You press it, and the washer weighs the clothes, sensors see how high the stack is so they know the density and can guess the type of laundry, the washer goes for a few seconds and sensors measure the turbidity so they know how dirty the clothes are, etc. US consumers, on the other hand, seem to want lots of buttons, so the same manufacturers make washing machines for our market with a manual that's 30 pages. Kyle may have done his research.

Best,
David

IMAWriter
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#12: Post by IMAWriter »

Excellent, entertaining thread. Nice job, everyone.
I have to say, as a songwriter, I'm from the "less is more" school. MacArthur Park was fine, but "You Are So Beautiful" was finer.
Yes, apples and oranges, but that's my point .
The B-Vario (as I think it needs to be called, as there are JUST TOO MANY VARIOS NOW), is designed to offer more than just one grind option, therefore the buttons and sliders. The Mazzer SJ, on the other hand was DESIGNED to be most efficient at grinding for espresso, and in fact, in my experience was less successful at doing drip grind. This with perfect burrs.
It is a hoss, and for that reason inspires confidence. It may take at least a years use(and excellent reviews) by new B-Vario owners before others will commit to purchasing a B-Vario.
I do think it's brave thing Baratza is doing, going after the specialty coffee clientele/market. They could probably cleanup with the Williams Sonoma crowd, who love buttons and so forth.
Rob
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Bluecold

#13: Post by Bluecold »

shadowfax wrote:. . . :shock: How did you know?
No, Mazzer didn't start with a blank slate regarding the mini E. They started with the mini and modified it. If Mazzer started with a blank slate, they'd understand the need of "no grinds left behind" with a digital timed home model. But they were lazy and just bolted on a funnel and a timer. Not as lazy as the designers of all E61 non HX machines, but still lazy.
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HB
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#14: Post by HB »

I'm sure that Nicholas was joking about the Mini E.

It wasn't designed with home use in mind, I believe it was designed for cafes wanting to serve several types of espresso. A doser used for its intended purpose isn't well suited to the task since the doser must be half full to meter out coffee accurately. The Mini E, on the other hand, meters out doses accurately with no waste (in a cafe environment, they don't fuss about the 3 grams of coffee trapped in the chute). Mazzer applied for and was granted a patent on the Mini Electronic's improvement on dosing accuracy.
Dan Kehn

cai42 (original poster)

#15: Post by cai42 (original poster) »

Greetings,

I still don't know why B-Vario's buttons and levers give the user a better grind then the boring Mazzer with the one adjustable ring.

Cliff

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HB
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#16: Post by HB »

In my opinion, the Mazzer adjustment collar is a simple, bullet-proof design, but isn't the pinnacle of adjustment mechanisms in terms of finesse. Worm drives like the one on the Cimbali Junior or Macap M4 are easier to adjust with a twist of the wrist versus the Mazzer's two-handed grip-and-turn, but worm drives are impractical for multiple coffee preparations like espress/presspot. The Vario's micro/macro adjustment mechanism deftly threads the needle between long and short range adjustment. It's too early in my experience with the Vario to comment on how well it works, but I think the idea is very smart.
Dan Kehn

cai42 (original poster)

#17: Post by cai42 (original poster) »

Greetings,

Thanks Dan.

Cliff

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another_jim
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#18: Post by another_jim »

One problem with the "complicated" grinders is that they are complicated in the wrong way. Grinding 4.8 seconds is a lousy way to dose. If the coffee is a little older or younger, or if the grind fineness changes, 4.8 seconds could be 13 grams or 15 grams. Even an old fashioned doser is a lot more accurate.

If they are going to make a complicated single dose grinder, they should weigh the grinds, not time them, and they should be programmable in 1/10ths grams. The logical way to do this is to have a no waste design like the Vario (or Versalab) and weigh the beans as they go in.
Jim Schulman

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cafeIKE
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#19: Post by cafeIKE »

grinding 5.4 or 4.5 seconds for a KF14 is verboten?

zin1953

#20: Post by zin1953 »

another_jim wrote:One problem with the "complicated" grinders is that they are complicated in the wrong way. Grinding 4.8 seconds is a lousy way to dose. If the coffee is a little older or younger, or if the grind fineness changes, 4.8 seconds could be 13 grams or 15 grams. Even an old fashioned doser is a lot more accurate.
I understand the theory of what you're saying Jim, but my Mahlkönig K30 Vario seems to very consistent. I do not weigh each and every dose, but rather eyeball them, and they look "right." That said, I have weighed them randomly* and they come in +/- 0.2g of each other at the most -- a far cry from 2.0 grams!

Cheers,
Jason

* "Randomly," in that I often check on Saturday mornings, but the age of the beans at that time varies, as does the ambient humidity, etc., etc. But when the next shipment of beans arrives, I'll try to remember to weigh the results once a day.
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