User experience with Timemore Sculptor Grinders 078 078s - Page 2

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

#11: Post by cturner56742 »

My 078s arrived yesterday and I've decided to test it's performance at different stages of seasoning the burrs to see if the 7kg is really needed before it's useable.

I bought it as a multi purpose grinder, mostly espresso focus but also v60.

So far I've gotten through 2kg of super cheap beans to season it but will report on my findings after further seasoning if people are interested (I bought 6kg of sacrificial beans for this, hoping this will be enough and that I do not need to buy more).

For testing I am using light roasted coffee from Union roasted.

Impressions: unseasoned the v60 was not pleasant and tasted astringent and a bit flat in flavour.
At 2kg it tasted a little better, a bit juicier with a bit more sweetness but fairly blended flavour and still a bit astringenct.

Espresso: I pulled a 1:2.5 ratio in around 30s (metal puck screen used and wdt). With a lot of WDT I avoided the really bad channeling seen on Sunday reviews but the puck looked more unevenly extracted than I have seen when using a niche zero suggesting channeling. The espresso was drinkable but a little harsh (probably fine in a milk drink). After 2kg it was a little improved but still some harshness to the acidity.


#12: Post by theaaaa »

In case it helps anyone, I've measured the burr adjustment thread pitch on my 078s to be roughly 0.6mm, so each whole number on the dial is roughly 30 microns burr spacing change. This is on the 078s - I understand the filter only 078 has a different pitch.

Also incidentally the threads appear to be well separated from coffee grounds so shouldn't clog up and get scratchy.

For comparison I measured the DF64 v1 to be 10.4 microns per notch, and the DF64v to 8.3 microns.


#13: Post by Pflunz »

What is your grind setting for seasoning? My guess is that since a finer grind has to grind "more per bean", you need less beans.


#14: Post by Emc2 »

Exceptional grinder in my view especially considering the price. It's pretty unforgiving though and magnifies any defects in puck preparation. I'm getting good results without seasoning. Perhaps the grinder will become less unforgiving with time as the grinds become more uniform.

Im currently using it at1000 rpm. There's more channeling at higher speeds. I haven't tried lower rpm.

Things that aren't great- small movements on the dial leads to big changes in output. The container isn't as good as the Niche and fines seem to stick to the walls.


#15: Post by cturner56742 »

What is your grind setting for seasoning? My guess is that since a finer grind has to grind "more per bean", you need less beans.
Grind settings for seasoning should be pretty fine, espresso range. I've set mine to around 1 for this and set the rpm to highest so that it takes less time to grind through the beans. Doing it in batches to avoid overheating the motor (I have no idea how much is considered okay to do at a time but as it's not a commercial grinder I'm being more conservative)


#16: Post by oldskoo1 »

After 3 days of use I have had very consistent results.

I haven't had any channeling and every single shot has been very repeatable.

I've gotten use to the dial adjustments now. I'd say 1 minor hash mark eg 3.5 to 3.6 represents about 2 seconds of shot time if the dose is the same.

I'm therefore able to play with the bean to fine tune to exactly how I want it.

I'm really not sure what some are saying regarding seasoning. I'm not getting any harsh notes coming through at all. No channeling and no instability in shot output.

The extraction is very full, clarity isn't super punchy but it's distinguished and very repeatable. I'll be on a new totally different bag of beans this week with distinctive light citrus notes so that will be interesting.


#17: Post by cturner56742 »

I've ground through another 2kg (4kg total now) and I've got decent results from espresso and filter. I'm not getting visible channeling with the espresso, though do need to WDT to get rid of small clumps. Espresso had nice vibrant acidity with some sweetness. Would have liked a touch more sweetness but it was more than drinkable.

V60 had a bit more flavour clarity (not as much as my zp6 but definitely more than the niche zero), nice sweetness and no astringency at 1:16 ground at 16 on dial.

I feel that 4kg is plenty for seasoning my burrs to get to a point I'm happy with the coffee it produces. Perhaps it will improve further with more coffee through it but I think the 7-8kg that has been reportedly needed is perhaps a little OTT.

I'll grind the last 2kg of cheap coffee anyway and see if I get any further improvement.


#18: Post by howdy-doo »

It's been a full 7 days since I received my 78s now so thought I'd do an update. Overall very impressed with the grinder. Having come from a cone burr grinder (arco) I can really taste how the flat burrs are much more fruit forward which fits my preference.

Retention: Excellent, consistently 0-0.1g difference. I have taken to use one spray of RDT mainly because I've started using the magic tumbler with the grinder instead of the catch cup that it comes with. One spray doesn't seem to mean many or any beans get stuck to the hopper either but it does reduce static. I don't think you particularly have to reduce static if you're using the normal catch cup as the clicker does an excellent job of clearing any remainder out, but given the magic tumbler is shorter it just stops the coffee going outside the tumbler.

channeling: I hadn't had much of an issue with this from the start, but I did mention that I do WDT with the spinner etc, and as from the previous paragraph I've also started using the magic tumbler. I did experiment and see if I just did the needle distribution and puck screen, but that's when I did get the crazy channeling as reported by others. As soon as I went back to using the tumbler as well as the needle tool / puck screen the channeling went away again and I've not had an issue since. I did decide to put 1kg of beans I had lying around through it though after the shot that channelled but so far so good. I've only pulled shots using the grinder at 800rpm as well if that makes a difference.

Dialling in: I was able to really quickly get the coffee pulling at my preferred ratio and haven't found adjustments to be too bad. My only criticism here is that given the design of the dial and how it attaches there is a small amount of play which makes it more difficult to judge when you've moved by one tick. I'd prefer the red marker to be at the top and central to the machine as well, having it down the side is a bit annoying but not the end of the world, once it's dialled in you can kind of adjust by feel anyway.

Build: The button could be better, it does have some wobble that can mean you think you've pressed it but you've not. That's only happened once or twice though, not a big deal at all. I have to say, I'm not a massive fan of the magnetic lid, the middle magnet you can hear is loose inside a small cover that holds it to the lid. I think it was lance hedrick that said the magnet came off his 64s, which given the design I could see it happening on the 78s too. A better way to do it would be to have it situated within an indent in the lid with a cover preventing the magnet from coming out of the top of the lid, therefore not risking a magnet one day dropping in to the burrs... Two very minor points overall though, as a whole the build is impeccable and it really feels like a premium product.

Very happy with my purchase in the end. The arco I had before was good but it had a lot of things that made it quite annoying in use which I've posted previously about in the arco thread. The sculptor is a really well designed grinder, and if the burrs only get better with more coffee put through then I can't wait as I'm already loving the results in the cup.


#19: Post by cturner56742 »

I've finished the last of my burr seasoning and have seen just a subtle difference going from 4kg to 6kg. This was most noticeable with filter, where I felt there was a little more sweetness but I don't think the difference was too drastic compared to 0-2 and 2-4kg of seasoning.

My takeaway from it is that it's probably worth buying 2kg of very cheap beans to get to a point where the results are clearly better than the brand new burrs. 4kg is probably better still if you're willing to spend more on sacrificial beans but beyond this is really diminishing returns (and probably not worth it) in terms of improving the taste of filter or espresso with the 078s burrs in my experience.


#20: Post by oldskoo1 »

Also 1 week with this grinder. Cannot add much more than what has been posted and cannot disagree with anything that has been posted either.

My experience is this grinder has transformed my view of coffee and my favourite beans for espresso have just become amplified and a lot more consistent shot to shot.

Beans I would tolerate previously are now thoroughly enjoyable, I'm experiencing new flavours in beans I'm familiar with and the extremities of acidic lighter roasts are now more palatable.

I have not had a bad shot and that includes shots that ran too fast. I do admit I initially struggled with the dial in, the movements to affect chance are so minor, this took some getting use to. I have now found my range and I'm comfortable knowing now how much adjustment I need to move the ratio and timing by let's say 3-5 seconds.

I found myself impressed with the results of 4 packs of Hasbean freshly roasted coffee, each pack with a distinct flavour I was able to explore with much more clarity.
I decided to do the unthinkable and just put through 250g of Lavazza supermarket beans, just to see what it was capable of. Whilst it still isn't a bean I would ever go back to, I must admit what was once a desperately bitter almost pungent bean that even the most milky drink couldn't contain, became a fairly drinkable espresso. The reason for supermarket bean testing was to see how the espresso range was calibrated. My assumption was supermarket beans are super stale and would require low grind settings. As it turns out I was dialing in a 4.5 to expract a 1:2 in 25 seconds.

Each adjustment produces pretty much the expected results and more importantly the results are consistent.

I agree with the previous post, even though this is a stepless grinder, there is a small amount of play in the dial ring so you have to pay close attention to your micro adjustments when you are trying to hone in on that 3 second difference.

My flow rates are the most pleasing result of this grinder. They are steady and follow the expected patterns as the puck erodes. This indicates channeling is at a minimum and I can tell that by the output at the portafilter.

Each shot has puck prep (WDT) and I haven't witnessed any channeling so far. I haven't had a single bitter harsh or sour shot either.

I suspect the grinder will open up as I approach the 4-5kg mark but I'm struggling to see why some are finding this undrinkable so early on. For me it has been a joy. Consistent, predictable and most importantly an output that has taken me to an entirely new level of flavour.

Most importantly, it is a grinder I know from my limited experience is likely to deliver and do so with consistency. All I want from a grinder is for it to allow me to experience the beans as the roaster intended. Knowing the lengths some roasters go to to select, test and retail some beans, it is nice to taste what they intended in the cup.