La Cimbali : Finger Guard or Bean Mass Regulator

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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cafeIKE

#1: Post by cafeIKE »

Dave Stephens [cannonfodder] postulated the tube shown below is a finger guard.
It's effective for fingers up to about 4 inches.



Perhaps another reason the La Cimbali grinders do so well is the tube regulates the bean column above the burrs. If one fills the hopper from the front, a relatively fixed column of beans is always above the burrs. If one fills the hopper over the tube, after a couple of shots, the tube is empty and the bean column is established.

"Inquiring mind wants to know." :wink:

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HB
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#2: Post by HB »

It may be that the finger guard serves two roles by design as you suggest, but only if Cimbali expects that cafes consciously keep the hopper less than half full. From what I've seen, most cafes cannot resist the urge to pack coffee to the top. FWIW, the big Mazzer grinders do not have a column; just an "umbrella" over the throat.
Dan Kehn

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cafeIKE (original poster)

#3: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »

HB wrote:It may be that the finger guard serves two roles by design as you suggest, but only if Cimbali expects that cafes consciously keep the hopper less than half full.
We're not cafes, are we :?:

I've never noted any consistency in cafe hopper levels, finding them range from chock-a-block to gasping on fumes.

In a cafe, the grinder model has even less relationship to espresso quality than CO2 does to global warming. :twisted:

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HB
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#4: Post by HB »

cafeIKE wrote:I've never noted any consistency in cafe hopper levels, finding them range from chock-a-block to gasping on fumes.
Indeed, you have answered your own question.
Dan Kehn

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cafeIKE (original poster)

#5: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) » replying to HB »

I fear not. Let me rephrase it : "Does the purported finger guard on La Cimbali grinders have an effect on grind consistency due to regulating the bean column above the burrs when used as is typical in a home environment, i.e. the hopper is usually less than half full?"

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#6: Post by cannonfodder »

Not that I have noticed. My observation, once the bean column rises above the hopper opening, the grind settles out. My shifting grind is most prevalent once the bean column drops below the hopper opening. I take no great care when dumping in beans, I jut lift the top and dump in a half pound of coffee and it has worked just fine for me.
Dave Stephens

zin1953

#7: Post by zin1953 »

In the FWIW Dept, the column seems to grind first -- that is, when pouring in the proverbial half-pound of beans, the column is filled (I tend to add it directly over the "finger guard/bean mass regulator"). :wink: When turning on the Cimbali Max Hybrid, the column tends to drop first, and only then are beans "added" through the side slots.

In other words, since the column "drops" first, it's hard for me to see how it's a "bean mass regulator."

Cheers,
Jason
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

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cafeIKE (original poster)

#8: Post by cafeIKE (original poster) »

zin1953 wrote:In other words, since the column "drops" first, it's hard for me to see how it's a "bean mass regulator."
Once the tube has emptied after the first couple of shots, the bean column remains constant until the grinder is almost empty, unlike my Macap that has a constantly changing column of beans above the burrs. Hence, the 'regulator' effect.

Dave probably has it right in the grind remains pretty constant until the grinder is almost empty.

zin1953

#9: Post by zin1953 »

cafeIKE wrote:Dave probably has it right in the grind remains pretty constant until the grinder is almost empty.
Well, that's been my experience . . . the grind is constant until the hopper itself is almost empty.
A morning without coffee is sleep. -- Anon.

Cafesp

#10: Post by Cafesp »

cafeIKE wrote:Once the tube has emptied after the first couple of shots, the bean column remains constant until the grinder is almost empty, unlike my Macap that has a constantly changing column of beans above the burrs. Hence, the 'regulator' effect.

Dave probably has it right in the grind remains pretty constant until the grinder is almost empty.
Couldn't agree more than that
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