Look at these beauties!
Henry and I got together this afternoon after my coffee class at Ritual to do a heads up with the Hausgrind and the Beta version of the Lido 2 (henceforth just referred to as Lido 2 for simplicity). The results were surprising in many ways, and I'll do my best to separate opinion from objective points. We used 3 person, double blind
methods for each cupping evaluation and in our attempts to grind for espresso. I'll declare my bias right up front in that I've been using a Knock Hausgrind for a month now and am new to the Lido 2. So I think right from the get go, I think I'll start with the objective positives of the Lido 2 that were discovered via double blind testing so as to allay any fears of cheering for the Hausgrind over the Lido 2.
The Lido 2 in nearly every single visual comparison of grind particle size in terms of consistency, was visibly more even and narrow. Only in about one out of a dozen tests did the grind look too close to determine one from the other.
The Lido 2 won 3 out of 4 very unscientific, very simple, but double blind cupping
competitions. The results were unanimous
, and the tests revealed that Henry and my palates are clearly matched and sensitive enough to detect subtle differences, including a ringer, (mentioned later).
In the 4 cupping tests, both the Lido 2 and the Hausgrind were very close. Differences were subtle, yet consistent. The Lido 2 in the 3 out of 4 tests gave slightly cleaner, slightly sweeter, or slightly clearer flavor separation in the testing. To keep the judging simple, I proposed that he and I choose whichever cup tasted best and rank that as a "10" and then judge the other cup accordingly. The gap in flavor descriptors was about a point behind for the Hausgrind.
That's a major feather in the cap for the Lido 2 and I wanted to state that right out the gate. Seeing for the first time was quite an impression. It's like the rock of Gibraltar. It is a massive, beautiful thing. I weighed both on my simple scale. The Hausgrind is stout, the Lido 2, even more so.
The Hausgrind is heavy for a portable grinder.
The Lido 2 is extremely heavy for a portable grinder.
The subjective opinions of the two grinders seemed consistent all the way thru as well. If you are sensitive to criticism, skip over this part. Neither Henry or I could deem the Lido 2 in its current iteration an espresso capable grinder. It is just much too hard to use for espresso prep. In 7 of the 9 separate grinding tests during dialing in, both for espresso and for drip, the Lido 2 slipped and lost its place. It took a great deal more time figuring out the settings of the Lido 2, whereas the Hausgrind was a simple twist of a knob and off we went. The Hausgrind never slipped either. Henry found on several of his grinding efforts that the Lido 2 slipped halfway thru and would lock up. At one point, it locked up so tight that he was considering tapping it loose with a rubber mallet, but I was able to get them unstuck. The marking method is difficult to assess, and within an hour or so of testing, the black Sharpie Marker line that is drawn down one of the indicator lines had all but worn off. We're hoping this won't be an issue with the production version. And to clarify slipping, I mean when you grind and find the dial has moved two or more full indicator lines in one direction.
I had on hand 3 different coffees for testing, Henry had probably close to 5, 2 home roasts and 3 commercial 2nd wave soft Italian (robusta containing) espresso blends. I brought with me 5 day old Heart Colombia Pedregal Agua Blanca for cupping and their Stereo Espresso Blend to pull shots, which was 6 days old, as well as a one day old bag of Ritual coffee that we didn't open. The Heart Espresso Blend at 6 days rest could only be pulled with the Hausgrind. Fatigue set in before any further attempts at anything other than soft Italian espresso blends being ran thru the Lido 2.
Using the soft Italian blends, problems persisted with getting a proper flow. Sometimes the Lido 2 choked, so we'd try to coarsen the grind, but also continually found the settings had changed at some point during the grinding effort. This could be user error in some degree. The Lido 2 must be braced against the hip, and it felt natural to hold it there as your ground, for leverage. More than half the time when the glass catch cup was detached, it caused the burr setting to slip with it, when the torque required to unmount it moved the burr setting. Henry opined that maybe something as simple as a gasket between the glass and the mating surface would eliminate this problem. I personally don't have the answer so I can't be of any help. It goes from loose to immediately locked on. He felt if there was a thin polymer ring of sorts, it might help mitigate that. But he could feel it moving and tightening or changing during the grinding and have to stop and try to reset it again, several times.
I made videos of the Lido 2 and the Hausgrind in use, for drip only. I'll share them after I get them uploaded properly, I'm not very tech savvy and have only done this once before about 2 years ago, so you'll have to bear with me, this might have to wait until tomorrow night after I get off work.
It was a good learning experience for me to pit the Hausgrind against the Lido 2. I have nothing other than a vague and uncertain opinion that the Lido 2 helps the grinds shine flavor wise maybe do to materials choice? Not sure, but I know it can't hurt having only glass and metal. I know I'd much rather have everything below the burr on the Hausgrind be metal. Clyde looks clean visually and RDT keeps it very clean looking, but I wonder if coffee oils over time can mute what I'm sensing in the cup? I know that the Hausgrind will be sold soon enough with a metal catch cup and I think that will be a big plus. The Lido 2 had slightly clearer, cleaner, sweeter flavors in all but one of the four double blind tests and offhandedly I attributed it to this, since a difference in burr size of 2mm would need many, many more tests than what we did to objectively prove better or even an identifiably different.
Our subjective thoughts on where the Lido 2 could improve was the knob. The Pharos knob should be on the grinder and it will likely help grinding efforts a lot. The problems with the settings method is tedious and frustrating. At one point Henry mentioned that he's been using a leather welding glove at times because the effort required to use the Lido 2 made his hands hurt.
Back and forth opinions of the pluses and minuses of both:
On the upside, the Lido 2's funnel is a dream come true. It's so nice to use. And its wide mouth didn't make the rotation "feeling" any more difficult or awkward and it rotated like two panes of lubricated glass, it was so smooth. But, then the Hausgrind sprints from behind once the grinding is done. Not only was it clearly easier to grind at all grind settings
it's also much, much faster. Once you had your resulting grinds in it's respective container, it was far faster and easier to transfer the grinds from the Hausgrind directly into a portafilter than it was with the Lido 2, due to the design of the Hausgrind's smaller easier to pour from catch cup that went right into a basket. The Lido 2 also had a lot more retained grinds that needed to be knocked loose. A firm smack agains the palm of your hand does most of the work. I wouldn't tap it against anything being that it's a glass catch cup.
In terms of usability, the Hausgrind was the clear and obvious favorite. In terms of pure grind analysis, the Lido 2 was a slight, but objectively favored grinder. Due to the limitations of the Lido 2 for espresso use, we felt the Lido 2 would best be considered a drip grinder only at this point.
Henry and I are polar opposites size wise. He's a foot shorter and I outweigh him by over a hundred pounds. The Lido 2 felt just the right size to ever so slightly large in my big mitts. Henry felt it was very large and heavy for him to use.
I'm 6'3" in comparison. I couldn't wrap my hands completely around the waist of the Lido 2 either, but I felt that I could hold it well. I wouldn't want it any larger, but it was manageable for my size.
I used my girlfriend for the videos of the grinding efforts to be shown later. They both were dialed in to visibly similar grind sizes that both drained from Clever Drippers at the same rate of flow, when she did the grinding demo. The video shows the first time she's ever used the Hausgrind and she actually starts by grinding backwards initially
We also had to re-shoot the Lido 2 take, because either something slipped or it got too hard for her to use and she stopped and griped about it. I wanted the videos to be without bias commentary, just a visual of the grinding efforts.
Henry will jump in on this thread and share his thoughts or correct me if I'm wrong in any of the notes I took or comments he made.
To close with this simple glimpse at the two, I'll add that we chose to toss in one ringer at the end. We lined up the Lido 2 and the Hausgrind against a Hario Slim with the rubber band modification and did one last cupping. For that test, we chose a wonderful roast of Henry's home roast batch of Guatemala Acetenango Geisha. We double blindly assessed these three hoping that we'd not end up with egg on our face and find out that a $30 grinder was able to meet or beat one of these beautiful hand made creations. Fortunately, our palates were clearly able to discern, even in a double blind test, that the Hario was a far distant third, with muddy, flat, and indistinct flavors with less sweetness.
We both scored this three way double blind cupping identically. For this Geisha, the Hausgrind took first place, followed by the Lido 2, with the Hario a very, very distant third.
More to follow when I can figure out the video stuff.