How do you all feel about fully automatic grinders? -meaning it grinds the beans, doses & packs the shot. I don't think I like it at all . Because it only doses& grinds when the portafilter is on , timing shots& adjusting te grind is kinda difficult and way time consuming . ... Thoughts?

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are you referring to the swift grinder? if so I have to disagree. I've worked with swifts alot and have been very pleased with the consistency and end result. Adjusting the grind takes about 2 seconds and as long as you clean it and maintain it properly, the swift can be a very useful grinder especially when pressed for time. That being said, I do believe that manual dosing/tamping produces far superior shots. just my two cents.
I agree with Branden 100%.
Swift lovers /operates, 1st- pull the Impeller (the tamping devise)...on top of this will be left over grounds . this effects each shot not pulled in succession. Adjustment takes several(some say as many as three) pulls before the adjustment is accurate. Not in favor.
I think it was good for what it was designed for - bringing consistency to cafes who cannot staff proper baristas. If you have it dialed in for one blend and couple it with an automatic machine, theoretically the coffee should be the same every time.
I like the Swift as with most things it should be used where it is needed most. Many places realize the advantages of having the same amount of coffee, and the same tamp can lead to a more consistent product. You still need to time shots and make grind adjustments when necessary. Of course it really works best with staff that can steam milk properly and put together drinks correctly. It is fast and easy to use.
The Swift is a great machine. I think the grind adjustments are way easier and waste far less coffee than a manual grinder, unless you're running doserless. The tamping method the swift uses is arguably superior to hand tamping from the top and you also get the same amount of head space every time which makes for more consistant extractions. Just pay attention to keeping the impleller and grinders clean and you should be golden.

I think the only thing the Swift is missing are low speed conical burrs, a little more adjustment for the dose/headspace, and an adjustment for the tamp pressure spring. It would be interesting to see what a little less pressure would yield.
Aeryn,
I tend to shy away from anything fully automatic. Seems like an oxymoron when you say Barista and anything "fully automatic"
Although with all the focus these days on AI it looks like we may be replaced by replicants in the not too distant future anyway....=^)
JoeR
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Ambassador for Specialty Coffee and palate reform.
I'm pro swift, but I think it's probably best for shops like ours who may have two to three people making drinks over the course of a shift, as opposed to a dedicated barista. Before I bought it (we'd been using Mazzers), I was super concerned about any reduction in quality. While a bar with a manual grinder and a dedicated barista is optimal, the Swift helps improve the mean substantially. You still have to train on the grind of course. We've also seen a lot improvement on milk technique.
The swift is great if you are willing to sacrifice quality for the sake of consistency. I would much prefer to train baristas a little more if it meant that the consistent quality would be that much better. There are other options like Anfims or Mahlkoenigs which will grind exactly how much you tell it to every time, then it is up to the barista to dose and tamp. Just my preference though.
If a person has taken the time to match the pump pressure of the machine to the swift you can get excellent coffee. It's not a matter of a choice between ho-hum-but-consistant-coffee and truly-exceptional-really-good-coffee-once-in-a-while. If you pay attention to keeping the Swift and your machine matched the Swift will pull shots consistantly at 90% of the ideal while most hand dosed/tamped/pulled shots rarely make it to the 90% level. Even the very best barista in the very best shop will pull a 100% shot occasionally and will spend most of their time pulling 80-90% shots.

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