The cafe I'm at is looking at upgrading our grinder situation. We are looking into getting a couple or Mazzers, probably the major or super jolly for regular and the mini for decaf. My question is this: do I go with electronic dosing, or save the money and get the basic/non-electronic dosing? If anybody has any experience with this, I'd love some tips. Thank you!

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Always buy bigger grinders than what you need. Although a super jolly *can* keep up during rushes, you run into a bunch of nasty problems with overheating. I'd suggest at least a Major for regular and a Super Jolly for decaf. The bigger the burrs, the better. If you can afford conical, go that route. The electronic dosing is really nice, but it depends on how your shop is set up. If everyone is well trained traditional dosing works just fine. Especially for larger grinders like the Robur, electronic dosing is nearly useless as the grinder already grinds super fast.

Go without an E grinder and use the money you save for a better grinder.  A mini is not a commercial grinder, it shouldn't be used in a commercial setting.

 

Also, don't just look at Mazzer.  There are many good options out there besides Mazzer.  Compak is getting a lot of attention and for good reason.

 

-bry

Bryan, your statement "A mini is not a commercial grinder, it shouldn't be used in a commercial setting." is not accurate. This description is found on a number of espresso equipment dealers' sites referring to the Mazzer Mini:
  • The best-built, commercial espresso grinder for home use and an exceptional choice for commercial use.

Zayde, with that being said, for less than $100 you can upgrade to a Mazzer Super Jolly which will greatly reduce your grind time for decaf. The price to jump up to the Electronic/Doserless models is pretty steep. Some benefits of that is you can reduce waste associated with overdosing and distributing with the doser models. You can also "tag-team" the grinders a little easier with the electronic models. I have found that the E models can vary quite a bit in terms of dosing early on the life of the burrs and using espresso that may not be ideally rested.

There are a lot of other great grinders out there as alternatives to Mazzer, but I am only really experienced with Mazzer, Nuova Simonelli Mythos, and Anfim grinders. The last two models may be out of your price range if you are considering the Major and Super Jolly. 

One final option is to keep your eyes open on Ebay. I know a lot of people hate the idea of buying espresso equipment on Ebay, since it could be quite risky, but I have had pretty good luck purchasing equipment there. You just really need to know what to look for and what types of red flags to be aware of. Mazzer grinder burrs are fairly cheap, and usually are the first thing that need replaced with a used grinder.

 

Good Luck!

-phil

While I can't speak from the persepective of handing out the cash for a grinder, I can say that having an auto-dozing grinder has been great as a barista. It removes the "am I over/under dosing" question from the equation when trying to dial in a shot. I also know that it has helped reduce espresso waste in our shop. Ultimately I think it depends on your shop and baristas.
Though they sell this as a commercial grinder, it is a poor choice in any but he lowest volume of environments. I've used this grinder on bar and it is almost intolerably slow and quite clumpy. It is really better as a prosumer home grinder.

Phil Roberts said:
Bryan, your statement "A mini is not a commercial grinder, it shouldn't be used in a commercial setting." is not accurate. This description is found on a number of espresso equipment dealers' sites referring to the Mazzer Mini:
  • The best-built, commercial espresso grinder for home use and an exceptional choice for commercial use.

Zayde, with that being said, for less than $100 you can upgrade to a Mazzer Super Jolly which will greatly reduce your grind time for decaf. The price to jump up to the Electronic/Doserless models is pretty steep. Some benefits of that is you can reduce waste associated with overdosing and distributing with the doser models. You can also "tag-team" the grinders a little easier with the electronic models. I have found that the E models can vary quite a bit in terms of dosing early on the life of the burrs and using espresso that may not be ideally rested.

There are a lot of other great grinders out there as alternatives to Mazzer, but I am only really experienced with Mazzer, Nuova Simonelli Mythos, and Anfim grinders. The last two models may be out of your price range if you are considering the Major and Super Jolly. 

One final option is to keep your eyes open on Ebay. I know a lot of people hate the idea of buying espresso equipment on Ebay, since it could be quite risky, but I have had pretty good luck purchasing equipment there. You just really need to know what to look for and what types of red flags to be aware of. Mazzer grinder burrs are fairly cheap, and usually are the first thing that need replaced with a used grinder.

 

Good Luck!

-phil

Brady- well put! That's exactly why I recommended upgrading to the SJ for less than $100!

Mike, with the E models, Zayde may still have to worry about over/under dosing if the baristas aren't weighing the doses when setting the grind. Since the E models dose within a set time parameter and not a set weight parameter, weighing the doses when setting the grind/timer settings will still be crucial to proper dosing & extraction. These are all important factors to consider when deciding between the two models.

-phil

Zayde-

Really your question is a simple one but it's also quite complex.

 

The simple answer is that you should nix the Mini, Super Jolly and Kony from your list of considered grinders.  Regardless of the claim that the Mini is a "commercial" grinder, it is too slow to bother with.  The Super Jolly has its own set of problems and Kony, while beind a conical grinder, is absolutely maddeningly slow.  I wanted to chuck my friends Kony out the window whenever I made shots at their place.

 

From the Mazzer line, the Major is a great choice.  83mm flat burrs operate at a fast speed and deliver excellent results.  The Robur is the 3W baristas wet dream but it's a tank to move and nearly the cost of a military tank.

 

Another option to consider is the Compak K-10.  Conical burrs, fast speed and excellent grind quality.  I've been using one since 2006 and it has been a top performer.  The size, weight and price make it an extremely attractive grinder - especially when compared to the Robur series.

 

For reference, I've used all the grinders mentioned and have chosen both the Mazzer Major Auto and the Compak K-10WBC as the grinders for Spro.

 

As to whether or not you should go for the doser or doserless, that's really dependent on you and the style and consistency of your baristas.  Can you train them to be efficient and reduce waste to a minimum?  If so, then the doser model will save you some cash.  But while the doserless theoretically will save on waste, you really need to understand the craft in order to maximize it's potential because it means nothing to set the timer to 2.9 seconds if your people don't have a thorough understanding and ability to utilize that dose.

 

As for myself, I prefer the doser grinders and then maybe add a timer.  This allows you to readily multitask while the grinder grinds.  One might think that 3.5 seconds is nothing to stand there holding the portafilter, but I can get a couple tasks done in that time while the grinder grinds.  In other words, I work more efficiently with the doser grinders.

 

If the idea of craft isn't your bag (and for many, it isn't), consider the La Marzocco Swift.  Simply set the parameters, insert the portafilter and the grinder does everything else.

 

Another choice out there is the new La Marzocco Vulcano grinder.  Unfortunately, this is project with Mazzer and they've selected the Kony as the internals for the grinder which means it's going to be doggedly slow.  A shame.

 

Some people like the Anfim grinders but I dismiss them outright.  Any grinder that uses stepped adjustments should be dismissed completely.  If you search the internet enough you'll find a psuedo white paper that goes on at length at why the Anfim stepped grinder is acceptable and perhaps superior (as if!) because you can compensate for grind size by changing the dose time and dose amount.  If that's truly your bag, spend hundreds of dollars less and buy the La Pavoni.

 

Nuova Simonelli makes the Mythos but I haven't had the opportunity to really play with one in a number of years since it was still in the prototype stage.  Back then I found the grind quality to be nice, the speed good and the overall design promising.  If they've taken it further then it might be a contender and one to consider.  But since I haven't had the opportunity to work with one recently, I really don't know.

 

Mahlkonig makes the K10 (different than the Compak K-10) and it has come a long way since the first models in 2005.  Friction adjust, doserless, great grind quality and they've found a way to lower the chance of static cling.  It's worth investigating.

 

From there, the field gets pretty wide and less interesting.  Lots of other grinders on the market but almost all of them feel chintzy and are not fun to work with.   Simonelli makes a grinder with a doser that makes a click sound that I see all over - it makes me want to go postal.

Would not have anything but a Swift grinder...Had them for ten years and love em! You will save so much waste and training by having one..
Thank you for all the wonderful advice.  After reviewing several different options, brands, price points, etc, we are going to go with a pair of Mazzer Majors with timers.  I feel very fortunate to be able to utilize Barista Exchange.  As a relatively newer member it has helped me tremendously and I am amazed at the kindness and openness of members willing to share info.  It really is a wonderful community.
Well i got a mini that i am trying to sell because it is useless in commercial setting take about 30 sec to gring a shot. total waste of time

Phil Roberts said:
Bryan, your statement "A mini is not a commercial grinder, it shouldn't be used in a commercial setting." is not accurate. This description is found on a number of espresso equipment dealers' sites referring to the Mazzer Mini:
  • The best-built, commercial espresso grinder for home use and an exceptional choice for commercial use.

Zayde, with that being said, for less than $100 you can upgrade to a Mazzer Super Jolly which will greatly reduce your grind time for decaf. The price to jump up to the Electronic/Doserless models is pretty steep. Some benefits of that is you can reduce waste associated with overdosing and distributing with the doser models. You can also "tag-team" the grinders a little easier with the electronic models. I have found that the E models can vary quite a bit in terms of dosing early on the life of the burrs and using espresso that may not be ideally rested.

There are a lot of other great grinders out there as alternatives to Mazzer, but I am only really experienced with Mazzer, Nuova Simonelli Mythos, and Anfim grinders. The last two models may be out of your price range if you are considering the Major and Super Jolly. 

One final option is to keep your eyes open on Ebay. I know a lot of people hate the idea of buying espresso equipment on Ebay, since it could be quite risky, but I have had pretty good luck purchasing equipment there. You just really need to know what to look for and what types of red flags to be aware of. Mazzer grinder burrs are fairly cheap, and usually are the first thing that need replaced with a used grinder.

 

Good Luck!

-phil

The side of my Aeropress says that it's an espresso maker and the diner down the road was "Voted Best Coffee."  Perhaps I should sell the Linea and replace it with Aeropresses and stop roasting and use the pre-ground, pre-packed bulk coffee that the diner down the road uses to get those votes.

 

Sometimes it pays to investigate claims when it comes to advertising...

 

-bry

Phil Roberts said:

Bryan, your statement "A mini is not a commercial grinder, it shouldn't be used in a commercial setting." is not accurate. This description is found on a number of espresso equipment dealers' sites referring to the Mazzer Mini:
  • The best-built, commercial espresso grinder for home use and an exceptional choice for commercial use.

Zayde, with that being said, for less than $100 you can upgrade to a Mazzer Super Jolly which will greatly reduce your grind time for decaf. The price to jump up to the Electronic/Doserless models is pretty steep. Some benefits of that is you can reduce waste associated with overdosing and distributing with the doser models. You can also "tag-team" the grinders a little easier with the electronic models. I have found that the E models can vary quite a bit in terms of dosing early on the life of the burrs and using espresso that may not be ideally rested.

There are a lot of other great grinders out there as alternatives to Mazzer, but I am only really experienced with Mazzer, Nuova Simonelli Mythos, and Anfim grinders. The last two models may be out of your price range if you are considering the Major and Super Jolly. 

One final option is to keep your eyes open on Ebay. I know a lot of people hate the idea of buying espresso equipment on Ebay, since it could be quite risky, but I have had pretty good luck purchasing equipment there. You just really need to know what to look for and what types of red flags to be aware of. Mazzer grinder burrs are fairly cheap, and usually are the first thing that need replaced with a used grinder.

 

Good Luck!

-phil

wow...

 

Commercial identification only speaks to the parts used in building the machine and typically the durability. The mini is a very well built grinder, it would be very ignorant to even compare it to a Capresso Infinity, which is actually a home grinder (which someone used in the Great Lakes Barista Competition last year!) 

I understand you had to get defensive, but the comments were just silly...

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