New Titus Grinding Titus Grinder! - Page 11

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
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Postby AssafL » May 10, 2017, 5:18 pm

I would not expect them to be different in the cup and any difference I'd attribute to mechanical issues and (more likely) operator competency.

But you do have to know how they grind and make the necessary adjustments to get the same cup (e.g. Compensate for a lower economic / extraction yield).
Caution! Water, heat, pressure and electricity don't mix! I want an espresso.

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Postby sarends » Sep 28, 2017, 6:04 pm

Been about 1 1/2 years since my beautiful Titus grinder arrived and I thought I would post a quick update.

I absolutely love my Titus. Awesome espresso! There, that's it.

OK, a little more - One thing that rings loud and clear compared to the days when I had my Forte is I now focus on "everything except the grinder". It used to be I had taste variance from shot to shot that I couldn't figure out - was it the grinder, the tamp, the water, the ratio - what on earth was it? I was befuddled quite a bit - perhaps the retention or maybe the distribution was varied from shot to shot - dunno, but it drove me nuts.

Fast forward to having owned the Titus for a year - I NEVER have inconsistency between shots because of the grinder - the only things I focus upon are:

Bean quality (and 99% of the time I have great beans)
Water quality (99% of the time I have great water)
Consistency of tamp (these days I spend quite a bit of time tamping perfectly every time - I find it makes a sweet subtle difference)
Consistency of shot timing - 36 grams in 19 - 22 seconds is very sweet with most beans (even 17 is barely sour but 28 has become a little bitter)
How I blend the shot into a latte or other drink - milk, cream quality and ratio, etc.

I love my espresso these days and that is one of life's wonderful pleasures!

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Postby AssafL » Sep 29, 2017, 2:58 am

Steve - thank you for that update.

How easy is the Titus to dial in - do you need to fiddle with adjustment a bit or is a 1-2 iteration process?

There is far too little long term feedback about Frank's grinders on H-B (compare that to the Monolith or even the Mythos, the EG-1 or even Frank's modified VLs)... Perchance your contribution may eck some feedback from other owners?
Caution! Water, heat, pressure and electricity don't mix! I want an espresso.

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Postby ryk » Sep 29, 2017, 11:16 am

Hi everybody,

in fact, I think that there's very little long term feedback about the Titus here, because: it just works and does a brillant job day by day! :wink:

I did a review of my Titus after over a year of use in another forum ( ... st-1415632). It's in German and as the text is quite long I'm not going to translate it here. But the short version in some bullet points:

  • Robustness: not a single issue here. Built like a tank. Full stop.
  • Grind quality: it was very good from day 1 on, but in the meantime I've sent in the Titus for changing bean funnel from gold to blue color and Frank was so nice to also upgrade the burr set to one that's coated with RedSpeed. Since then the grind quality is even better - absolutely perfect for any roast from very bright to very dark. I don't know any other grinder that gives you a perfect cup in such a broad range of bean input.
  • Speed adjustments: as I got more familiar over several months using the Titus, I also appreciated more and more to be flexible with the grinder speed. I found out that faster RPM brings out even more differentiated aroma profiles for light roasts & lower burr speed emphasizes especially the sirupy mouthfeel in a cup of dark roasted coffee.
  • RDT & WDT: RDT is not necessary at all. There was no static with any bean I used over 1,5 years now. Usually WDT is also not necessary, but I found out that it is helpful for a more even extraction when I'm using very fine grind settings (e.g. for Slayer-type shots). It seems that due to the weight of the coffee grounds itself, the area of the "donut" is slightly more compressed, so that without redistributing it will result in a "donut extraction" (so in the middle and at the rim the first drops appear 1-2 seconds earlier than in the donut-shaped area). With a little coarser grinds it's absolutely no issue, but with very finely ground coffee it's wise to do a little WDT, for perfection.

I'm more than happy with my machine so far. It's a pity that Frank just made the last batch of the Titus. But his new grinder project is also very stunning. 8)


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Postby sarends » Oct 07, 2017, 8:31 am


I will more than likely plan to buy one of Frank's new grinders simply because I would like an extra grinder for the unlikely event that I would ever need to send my Titus back to Frank for some repair or update.

I used to have success (significant improvement) with RDT and WDT with my Baratza Forte but have found both unnecessary with the Titus. I analyze the donut's shape - it is almost always the same regardless of the bean. I pay extreme attention to leveling the donut with my finger attempting to get an even/uniform puck as much as possible prior to tamping. There is so little to pay attention to in order to perfect a shot, leveling the donut and maintaining a consistent amount of tamping has become my largest focus that produces ever so slightly improvements in taste. I use the excellent Eazytamp tamper and my extractions are consistently, extremely even. The only time I make shots less than sweet and tasty are when I receive a bag of coffee that is simply not that great.

Oh, if our kids pull shots they tend to tamp somewhat erratically and the shot will sometimes channel a bit and the resultant shots are expectedly less than perfect.

When I first got the Titus I experimented a lot with taste comparisons of various beans when grinding at various levels of fineness (and also RDT and WDT). This was puzzling because compared to my Baratza Forte the Titus produced drinkable shots over a much much wider range of grind coarseness/fineness. And, I found that RDT and WDT was entirely unnecessary - I just found zero improvemen from RDT or WDT. In fact I found it was kinda hard to make a truly bad shot on the Titus - you had to be grinding really course or really fine before shots became undrinkable. I found myself simply in shock at how the same bean ground so that it was too coarse or too fine could still taste pretty darn good.

Now I have found that among the coffees that we buy (all lighter roasts) the sweet spot for amazingly sweet and very predictably wonderful shots can be simply obtained by setting the Titus to pull a weighed input, 18 gram shot, measuring 36 grams on the output in a shot timed to extract between 19 and 22 seconds. 95% of the time my shots pull in 20 or 21 seconds and the taste is precictably heavenly. If the shot for some reason pulls slightly quicker or slower than this (say in 19 or 22 seconds) I adjust the Titus' grind ever so slightly to keep the shots output to 36 grams in 20 to 21 seconds. However, a shot that pulls a little too quickly, in 17 or 18 seconds is extremely drinkable, but ever so slightly leaning towards sour at 17 seconds. A 15 second shot I would drink but I will have known I screwed up. At the fine extremes, if a shot were to pull in 30 seconds it would have some bitterness and I might choose to throw it out. A shot pulled in 25 to 28 seconds I find is ground a bit too fine, still very drinkable, but not as smooth and as sweet as it could be had the shot been pulled between 19 and 22 seconds.

I have found that with some beans (Capanna's Ethiopia Yirgacheffe for example), when the leveled off donut shape for 18 grams is lower than the height of the puck rim (the beans must be heavier or they simply don't grind very fluffy), I increase the dose in order to bring the grind up to the level of the puck rim. For example, by increasing the dose from 18 to 18.5 or 19 grams the the donut shaped grind into the puck will be even (or slightly above) the rim of the puck after finger leveling. Then, I just make sure my output ratio stays at 1:2 in about 20 - 22 seconds and everything is sweet and perfect. If 19 grams in, then 38 grams out, in 20 - 22 seconds.

Ryk, I will try to play around with grinding a little faster or slower. It is interesting that you've discovered some changes to taste profiles by trying this. I have never experimented with varying the Titus' grind rpm - this will be fun to experiment with.

I too have heard that the current batch of Titus grinders is planned to be the last. The only reason I can imagine that Frank would do this is he must feel he will be able to go even further with the new design. It sounds like it might be simpler to implement the phenomenonol engineeering that is Frank's continued goal and hallmark.

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