Grinder Burrs For Levers

A haven dedicated to manual espresso machine aficionados.

#1: Post by Jpotts »

Hello! I'm pre-ordering a Turin D64P grinder. It comes with an option to upgrade to SSP Lab Sweet Burrs. I hear wonderful things about these burrs, but I'm wondering if it's overkill for lever machines? From what I understand high-quality burrs are harder to dial in. Does the variability of a lever machine make them impossible to dial in? I just drink a few shots a day, don't want to drive myself crazy.

I primarily use an Elektra Micro Casa.


#2: Post by jtrops »

My experience with my old SBDU, and my current La Pavoni lead me to understand that levers are much more picky about grind, and coffee freshness.

So, I would go for the better burrs that have less latitude to match the machine that requires more control. With a machine that allows more variability you can use a grinder that produces just that.


#3: Post by MCal2003 »

Significant price difference if you upgrade to the SSP burrs? If so, maybe just give the stock burrs a go. If in doubt? Spend the extra. "Overkill" in a grinder is better than the opposite alternative.

I've been using a MCal since '03. Until recently the grinder used was the Macap M7 (68mm conical). Replaced with the NicheZero. Both are able to deliver shots on the MCal that I enjoy. Depending on the origin a personal preference for FC to just into FC+ roasts.
LMWDP #151


#4: Post by Jonk »

I would say the opposite, that you've got more leeway with a manual lever and can adapt the profile to suit the grind. Haven't used a MCal but at least the spring lever I owned (an Aplimont MiniGaggia, with a similar pressure profile AFAIK) was not more difficult to dial in compared to a SBDU.

In general I think levers need finer grinds though, due to the so called "water hammer" (near instant water debit). Some have reported difficulties grinding fine enough with those SSP LS burrs, so it is more likely to be an issue with a lever machine. I use SSP brew burrs with my current lever (Cafelat Robot) and it is definitely not overkill in my opinion.


#5: Post by palica »

I would start with standard DF64P burrs (or the Titanium coated version, which is not a big step pricewise). I red only but good comments about the original Italmill burrs so you should not be disappointed.
SSP burrs can be purchased anytime, maybe on sales during Holiday Season. There is no price difference if you buy the SSP with the grinder or separately, anyway (I mean the 50$ Credit for cost of original burrs is not applied. But I may be wrong).
Another advantage of doing it that way: if you sell your DF64P one day, you can sell it with original burrs, and keep the SSP or sell those separately.

Jpotts (original poster)

#6: Post by Jpotts (original poster) »

Well. Sounds like one of those questions with as many answers as there are coffee drinkers :D

Not sure what to make of the concern that people are having trouble getting a fine enough grind with the LS burrs. The gap between the burrs controls the grind size, yes? So it seems like any burr could create infinitely fine dust as long as its properly aligned and in a stepless grinder.

User avatar
Team HB

#7: Post by baldheadracing »

Jpotts wrote:... So it seems like any burr could create infinitely fine dust as long as its properly aligned and in a stepless grinder.
The outside edges are not flat; they have cutting surfaces.

Look at EK43 Turkish burrs vs. pre-2015 EK43 Coffee burrs. Everything is the same except the finish of the outside edges. The coffee burrs do not grind fine enough for espresso, but the Turkish burrs can grind finer than espresso.

Jpotts wrote: From what I understand high-quality burrs are harder to dial in.
I don't know of any such relationship. However, burrs that produce proportionately less fines, like burrs designed for bulk grinding for brewed coffee, may not grind fine enough for espresso. Such burrs can be good or bad quality ...
-"Good quality brings happiness as you use it" - Nobuho Miya, Kamasada


#8: Post by Primacog »

I use ssp lab sweet burrs with my df64 to grind for an Izzo Pompei commercial spring lever machine and I really like the coffee this combo provides. I have no issue with grinding.fine enough.
LMWDP #729

User avatar
Team HB

#9: Post by Jeff »

Jpotts wrote:Not sure what to make of the concern that people are having trouble getting a fine enough grind with the LS burrs.
With a well-aligned grinder, the 64 Cast v2 burrs don't need to be near chirp for reasonable espresso. Not all DF64s are aligned well and at least one was so far off as to be beyond what a home user could rectify. I would definitely recommend buying from a reputable dealer that will install the burrs for you and stand behind the grinder if there are alignment issues. The DF64P is a slightly different adjustment scheme than the DF64. I don't know if it is better or worse for achieving and keeping good alignment.

The 64 Cv2s are a very benign burr set compared to the 64 MPs. The 64 Cv2s have a much wider "sweet spot" than the 64 MPs, in my experience. I only drink a couple of shots a day and find the 64 Cv2s relatively easy to dial in.

User avatar
Supporter ♡

#10: Post by yakster »

Manual levers allow you to intuitively adjust flow rate and pressure profile on the fly, which I've always thought made it easier to dial in with any given grinder. For me, I hardly need to adjust my grind setting and make adjustments to the pull. I would think that a grinder that is harder to dial in would be harder to dial in for a pump machine without adaptive profiling compared to a lever, but perhaps once dialed in you may get better espresso due to the repeatability of the pump compared to a manual lever. I almost think that the need to get a higher quality grinder is lessened with a lever as you can adjust on the fly, but this presumes that flow rate and pressure profile are contributing more to the espresso quality than the grind quality. I must admit bias for levers and lack of experience with pump machines here.

LMWDP # 272