Ordered a Cafelat Robot! How important is the grinder?

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Ken5

#1: Post by Ken5 »

I went ahead and ordered the robot, I am very excited!

I also ordered a pressurized basket :( ... I do not have a grinder yet, so I figured I would still be able to use the robot till the grinder is in stock. Will the robot make good espresso with the pressurized basket? I still plan on buying decent coffee, but probably wont be too concerned about the roast date till I get the grinder. I did have a breville barista express for a few days and other than the foamy crema the one or two shots that I got from using the pressurized basket was pretty good. Much better than my nespresso machine, and better than most of my failed attempts as a newbie using a non pressurized basket.

After reading a few posts here on HB I am wondering if it is necessary to get a top of the line grinder for the robot? i have read a lot of people say that the robot is more forgiving, and some stated that step less settings are not needed because of this. is there still an advantage to spending as much as budget will allow for a grinder?

Ken

Jonk

#2: Post by Jonk »

The grinder is just as important as with other machines in my opinion, even if the manual control gives a little leeway if you didn't get the grind just right. It doesn't have to be too expensive - in my experience a Kinu Phoenix is just as good as a Mazzer Major.. I'm sure something like 1zpresso can be fine as well if the steps are not far apart.

Honu

#3: Post by Honu »

Manual or electric ?
I use a manual Comandante and love it also have a Mazzer mini converted to single dose but prefer the manual as its more in line with the manual no noise of the robot the kinu are great also but never in stock sadly :)
IMHO it would be between the Kinu and the Comandante for manual

As for electric if you can swing the Niche Zero and the wait for it :) that would be a great setup but might be out of your budget but figure most espresso grinders will start around $200 and you get better consistency as the main value as you go up and better speed and less noise sometimes but IMHO the $200 and up should do you well I am kinda out of what the new one is but their is a whole grinder forum topic here :)

Jeff

#4: Post by Jeff »

Especially with pre-ground coffee, I'd be careful with how fresh it is. Coffee from a local roaster ground for you when you buy it, or a better pre-packaged brand used within a couple days of opening the bag will probably be beneficial, even with a pressurized basket. "Garbage in, garbage out."

Manual lever machines tend to be more forgiving than pump-driven or spring-level machines as you can change the pressure to keep the flow constant and reasonable (when using a conventional basket). That can help accommodate changes in grind size or dose, but not grind quality.

Imagine a grind that is mainly medium size, but has a bunch of very fine powder and a bunch of boulders. The boulders won't extract well, and the fines may extract to the point of releasing unpleasant flavors. You end up with the worst of both worlds, sour and bitter all in the same cup. The main reason people spend so much on grinders it to be able to get the most good out of the coffee that they can, with as little of the bad as possible.

Reading the Robot user-experience thread shows that many people are getting good or excellent espresso using high-end hand grinders. On a limited budget, I think the Robot and a high-end, espresso-proven, hand grinder is the slick setup.

Coffcarl

#5: Post by Coffcarl »

I'm pretty sure that Paul Pratt was demoing the Robot with a Bodum Bistro grinder at the SCA Expo, and the shot he served me was very good.

Am I right about that?

DEFCON 5am

#6: Post by DEFCON 5am »

I used the 1zPresso JX Pro with my robot until my niche zero arrived with good results. I think that is a sweet spot for price and allowing the pro basket still.

I think you could probably get away with a Bodum bistro or something like it with the pressurized basket, but if you have no grinder at all, I'd rather spend $170 on something line the JX Pro that will allow you to get a full robot experience than $70 on the Bodum and be somewhat restricted.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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#7: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

Honu wrote:Manual or electric ?
I use a manual Comandante and love it also have a Mazzer mini converted to single dose but prefer the manual as its more in line with the manual no noise of the robot the kinu are great also but never in stock sadly :)
IMHO it would be between the Kinu and the Comandante for manual
......

The Remi from Option-O is in in-stock at Prima coffee and is the revised Helor which should be considered I think. They told me this am they have the Tin Burrs in stock and should be on the website soon.

See Choosing a Portable Hand Grinder- Pour Over AND Espresso
CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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Ken5

#8: Post by Ken5 »

Thanks everyone!

I was planning on getting a Kinu. After reading those posts here on HB I was beginning to second guess the extra expense. Still going to get a good grinder.

Going to checkout the recommendations above now, but might stick with the Kinu.

Ken

Honu

#9: Post by Honu »

Yeah not familiar myself but Yeah could be another great option I reckon :)

I do think their are a good handful of great hand grinders these days and really comes down on say the top 5 hand what you like in your hand the looks what little things and why did you like etc...

Also for coffee folks they are still so reasonable and seem to hold value if you use it for 6 months decide to sell ? But easy enough to try a few out and know first hand what one likes and why

That is a nice clean looking hand grinder
CarefreeBuzzBuzz wrote: The Remi from Option-O is in in-stock at Prima coffee and is the revised Helor which should be considered I think. They told me this am they have the Tin Burrs in stock and should be on the website soon.

See Choosing a Portable Hand Grinder- Pour Over AND Espresso

Honu

#10: Post by Honu »

I Think the kinu would be my get that first

I want to buy a kinu next and try out and then maybe keep both or sell the one I do not like as much who knows

My comandante I do love Plan on the red clicks thing for it even though I have not felt like AHHHH I can't dial this in it has not happened with about 15 dif coffees I have tried out
My reasons for comandante was
just like the looks
I like the top for no popcorning and no spill
the glass I like to see and it is easy to dose weight then flip the beans into since it fits and no spill on dumping into the grinder and coarse threads are never going to go bad no extra lips or pieces joined to make the bottom meaning no places for grinds to stick into etc...
the take apart clean is super easy
the clicks for me are super easy to make notes and get the starting place for the once in a while other styles of coffee
Again in no way am I saying those are for everyone more just sharing WHY

Downside so far is the grip ? its not horrid but could use a bump like the kinu and I did not get the wood as I wanted to take it camping and not have anything extra to worry about long term
Plan on getting some kinda traction tape pad stuff think rubber moleskin and then put a small piece of plastic under it to make a bump then put the stuff over the top :) we shall see how that works out
And if you felt you had smaller hands I think the comandante might be one to avoid unless you could try it first XL gloves and some are tight size hands and I can think if I had smaller hands grip strength with no bump would get physically tougher sadly

The kinu I want to try because even at $300 I am liking the slow down manual approach of the robot and hand grinding no noise just something about the procedure/method not sure the word I am looking for process of all manual that is a fun change of being into espresso for 30 years and I get a good arm warmup for the day :)

I make 3-4 drinks a day and the manual has not bugged me yet and recommend a manual with any robot just because keeping that all manual is at its roots I feel

Ken5 wrote:Thanks everyone!

I was planning on getting a Kinu. After reading those posts here on HB I was beginning to second guess the extra expense. Still going to get a good grinder.

Going to checkout the recommendations above now, but might stick with the Kinu.

Ken