I have some questions about grinders. If you guys could pick any espresso grinder you wanted, what would you pick? Would it be a Mazzer? Any specific model? Why? Should I get flat burr or conical burr? I need to get one for a store that will be very busy store so I need one that can handle the high volume.
The Mazzer Major Commercial Espresso Grinder / Doser - 83mm Burrs - this one looks like one of the best ones.
Okay this one is a hot topic... we have had several postings on it lately. Do a search on 'Grinder' on the main Coffee Talk page and you will get two pages of postings about it. Because this is a topic I have asked about as well let me do a quick summery of what I've learned (please correct me guys if I'm wrong!). This will also let me see if I understood it as well. ~80)
Grinders: if high volume store you must have a strong motor; must not heat up too much or it causes the ground coffee to cook against the hot burrs. Conical is better at not keeping the grounds in contact... it sends the ground coffee on out the shoot or into the doser.
Noise can be an issue because larger more powerful grinders are often louder but there are a few that address this issue. Because conical can grind slower it is often a bit quieter then flat burr.
There are also now doser-less so that the ground coffee can go straight into a portafilter.
La Pavoni K-10 are nice for competition or low volume use but not high use as in a high volume shop.
Jason likes his Mazzer for commercial high volume. He talks about the different models under
"The choice between two grinders" Reply by Jason Prefontaine on May 10, 2008 at 7:20am
Keith likes Mazzer Robur but has has an overheating problem (see his post for more details).
Coop and Chris have discussed a Mazzer SJ problem and how to repair but all indications were that it was one out of several owned and used.
Scott and Cory both seem to agree that Mazzer is good and the ability to grind slower with a conical causing less friction and heat seems to be topic in several postings.
So with everything I have learned I will be pricing the Mazzer Robur and Kony and must evaluate just how much volume we will have. I will use a couple of those little K-10s for straight shots while using the workhorses for all those milk based espresso beverages that will be the primary of what we will sell.
The separation of grinders for the two types of espresso will also allow us to choose one bean (blend or varietals) for straight shots and a different bean blend that can stand up to the milk ladened beverages. (As per what I learned in "Bean Business Basics" which can be purchased at espresso101.com).
I almost forgot... the step-less vs stepped issue.... Step-less allows for a finer tuning when changing the grind. the grind should be checked often and may need changing do to changes in the humidity, temperature and type & age of bean.
Jason, what do you determine the out put/ usage for the Robur vs Kony is? They both sound like real work horses but they are obviously two different sizes. I know we are not big city here and may not have a line going out the door like some of the baristas on here... so I'm leaning towards the Kony for our use. Do you think it will do the job or do you recommend the Robur even for smaller volume shops?
Waste, waste, WASTE!! If your bar is doing any sort of volume, you need to look at the amount of waste you will have with various grinders.
When looking at the mazzer line in terms of waste, I prefer the stock robur to any other mazzer. Compared to a major or SJ, the waste is negligable. I don't have experience with the Kony, so I couldn't tell you how it compares.
Size of burr doesn't accurately depict if the grinder will have heating issues. You need to look at the burr size in coralation to rpm's, and what is happening during the breaking phase. Most of the heat build up during grinding comes from the breaking phase.
Stepped vs stepless? Depends. Stepped grinders with dose control (like the Anfim) provide you with an as unlimited adjustability as any stepless grinder. Straight up stepped with no dose adjustability? *Pretend I'm blowing raspberries at you.*
Also, an important factor in choosing a grinder is taste. Not all grinders grind equally, and taste is greatly affected by the distribution of particle sizes. Your roaster uses certain equipment to cup and taste their espresso, and a certain taste profile is chosen because of that equipment.
Do your homework, and taste, taste, taste! My number one advice to new retailers is to not scrimp pennies on your equipment. Items like your grinders and your espresso machine are the items that make your business possible. Buy quality, and take care of them, for crying out loud!
Thanks again for all of your advice. It seems the Mazzer Robur is the right grinder. But, I need to get two grinders (one for caf and one for decaf). Would you purchase one Mazzer Robur for caf (the most popular) and then buy a smaller version for the decaf? Or, would you buy two Mazzer Roburs? If you'd buy a smaller version for the decaf, what would you recommend?
I think you can get by with a Super Jolly for the decaf grinder.
If the bar is extremely busy, it might make sense to have two "caf" grinders (one on either side of the machine, so two baristas can more easily work the machine at once).. then again, that may not be conducive to the work flow on your bar.
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