Putting grind distribution and flavor into perspective

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
y33brzk

#1: Post by y33brzk »

Hello,

I purposely bought the grinder with the least amount of fines thinking it would give a good tasting cup of coffee:

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which is the 1Zpresso JS. Unfortunately, I am not happy with the taste I get with my moka pot (bialetti 2-cup version) and thought about exchanging the grinder. I looked at different price points, burr types etc. and I am not really sure what I should get. I read, that the EG-1 is a very good grinder but being out of my budget I took a look at the HG-1.

What surprised me is that the HG-1, which I guess has the reputation to be one of the best grinders in general, has pretty "bad" grind distribution according to the test linked above (20% large particles, 24% fines) which left me wondering what these numbers are actually worth and if the "taste" of a grinder can even be measured in numbers? These tests were performed with the Kruve sieve.

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MTN Gert

#2: Post by MTN Gert »

It most likely will have very different results depending on brew method, equipment , taste preference and all the other variables that can make a flavor difference in cup. I have a perfectly aligned Ceado E37T with SSP unimodal redspeed burrs and a 1zpresso K-Plus. I can grind a lot finer with consistent particle size and I get drastically improved clarity over non aligned factory espresso burrs.

My opinion is not a scientifically charted thought but what I can personally notice in flavor difference

Have you tried other brew methods like V60 or espresso to see if you like that grinder for those?
"Stop it....it's naughty and wrong" -James Hoffmann

y33brzk (original poster)

#3: Post by y33brzk (original poster) »

Thank you so much for your reply!
It most likely will have very different results depending on brew method, equipment , taste preference and all the other variables that can make a flavor difference in cup.
But would you say the HG-1 is able to make distinct flavors more apparent than the 1Zpresso JS "even though" its grind distribution seems to be not very unimodal?
Have you tried other brew methods like V60 or espresso to see if you like that grinder for those?
No, I didn't try another brewing method because I am not very experienced with any of them (and I also don't have the necessary espresso machine). I first wanted to "perfect" my bialetti brewing.

Also, the 1Zpresso JS was marketed as not suited for espresso and more towards moka pot / filter.

LObin

#4: Post by LObin »

y33brzk wrote:Thank you so much for your reply!



But would you say the HG-1 is able to make distinct flavors more apparent than the 1Zpresso JS "even though" its grind distribution seems to be not very unimodal?



No, I didn't try another brewing method because I am not very experienced with any of them (and I also don't have the necessary espresso machine). I first wanted to "perfect" my bialetti brewing.

Also, the 1Zpresso JS was marketed as not suited for espresso and more towards moka pot / filter.
What kind of roast do you typically brew in your Moka pot?
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MTN Gert

#5: Post by MTN Gert »

It is possible you will always like the HG1 over the JS for flavor or it is possible that the shape of the particles works better for Moka pot. Another possibility is that the JS needs more seasoning to create even particle size. I needed to grind a combo of around 5 pounds of espresso and pour over through my K-plus before I was getting acceptable and not muddy v60. My SSP burrs are even worse needing 10-15 pounds to become acceptable for v60 and they are still getting better every week.

There are far too many variables for me to be comfortable claiming my experience is limited to the amount of fines a grinder produces
"Stop it....it's naughty and wrong" -James Hoffmann

y33brzk (original poster)

#6: Post by y33brzk (original poster) »

What kind of roast do you typically brew in your Moka pot?
Medium to dark roasts. Maybe that's not ideal because these kind of roasts can get tasting bad if temperature is too high and moka pot leans more on the high end of temperature (I guess)? I have to try out more lighter roasts.
There are far too many variables for me to be comfortable claiming my experience is limited to the amount of fines a grinder produces
Okay, thank you!

LObin

#7: Post by LObin »

y33brzk wrote:Medium to dark roasts. Maybe that's not ideal because these kind of roasts can get tasting bad if temperature is too high and moka pot leans more on the high end of temperature (I guess)? I have to try out more lighter roasts.
The darker the roast, the more it'll benefit in a bimodal grind distribution. Less fines doesn't always mean better.

Medium and dark roasts will usually shine with classic conical burrs or flat burrs that have a wider grind distribution.

The grinder you purchased has very specific burrs that are meant to highlight bright and fruity notes in lighter roasts. I believe, considering your roast preferences and current brew method, you'd have better results with a grinder that has espresso purposed burrs (JE, JE plus, JX pro).

You could try lighter roasts in your Moka pot (although it's more Italian coffee oriented) or look for a pour over alternative (V60, kalita, Hario Woodneck, or any other "modern" pour over). Even an Aeropress would be a good mix between the brew style of your Moka pot and the light roast compatibility you currently have.

Or simply get a grinder that produces more fines for yoir moka pot. You certainly don't need to pay the $$$ for a HG1 to figure out what works for you. A quality hand grinder can do amazing coffee.

Again, you just have the wrong one for your current brew method and roast preference.
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y33brzk (original poster)

#8: Post by y33brzk (original poster) »

Thanks LObin!
you'd have better results with a grinder that has espresso purposed burrs (JE, JE plus, JX pro).
Is there a significantly better grinder than these for ~ <= 750$? I don't mind buying another 1Zpresso but I might as well go "all in".

LObin

#9: Post by LObin »

y33brzk wrote:Thanks LObin!


Is there a significantly better grinder than these for ~ <= 750$? I don't mind buying another 1Zpresso but I might as well go "all in".
You can check for a NICHE ZERO or a G-IOTA if you don't mind switching to an electric grinder. GOAT Arco seems quite promising as well.

There are many large burr manual grinders like a Pharos or Kinu to look at.

To be honest, I'd spend my money in alternative brew methods first. A Cafelat Robot, or Flair can get you pretty far in the espresso world if you're curious. I also listed a few pour overs to look at if you want to expand your game some...
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y33brzk (original poster)

#10: Post by y33brzk (original poster) »

Thanks again.

So just to clarify if I understood correctly: You think that the moka pot is not perfectly suited for best coffee flavor extraction?

Don't know what to do honestly.

The Pharos looks interesting because it is pretty cheap for such large burrs. Don't know about the Arco because it looks very similar to my 1Zpresso and even has slightly smaller burrs (47 vs 48mm burrs).