Whether you’re a pour over aficionado or an espresso maestro, selecting the right grinder for the job is one of the most important decisions you can make.
We asked the crew to share their opinions of which grinders they prefer in both the stepped and stepless grinder classes. Watch and learn what they dig and why!
|Stepped Coffee Grinders||Stepless Coffee Grinders|
Next up in the grinder battle to the death (wait, what?!): The Mazzer Mini vs. the Rancilio Rocky. Now, these are fairly different grinders in terms of features and functionality, but when folks consider whether or not to go with the more budget-conscious Rocky or to upgrade to a Mazzer, the Mini is the entry level model that is often targeted.
Watch as we go through how these two grinders compare in specs and grind quality.
Due to popular request, we decided to match up the Baratza Vario and the Rancilio Rocky coffee grinders. While these are in similar price ranges, they both have different pros and cons and folks are often torn on which to choose.
If you’re not sure which might best suit your needs, watch as we go through features, compare burr sets and then demonstrate their grind quality.
Today is the day when we look ourselves in the mirror and sternly pose the following question: If required to at gunpoint, would we be able to perform a side by side comparison of the Baratza grinders? Why we might be required to do so at gunpoint is neither here nor there, but we do believe that an unquestioned life is not worth living … so we ask the tough questions.
To get the answers, we turn to the beautiful Bunny Malaspino, who was more than happy to perform such a comparison (sans weaponry) for us in this video. Watch as she breaks down the current Baratza line-up — Encore, Virtuoso, Preciso, Vario and Vario-W — and shows us how they compare functionally. If you’ve been concerned about your own ability to perform such a comparison under such stressful circumstances, this video is for you.
Mazzer’s suite of grinders offers something for everyone — from the small in stature and simplicity of the Mini all the way to the sophisticated conical burrs of the Robur E, you’d be hard pressed not to find one that meets your needs.
We’ve never had them all around at one time in order to compare them side by side, so when the opportunity presented itself, we had to jump on it! Watch as Gail takes us through all of their features and specs, shows off their burrs and then compares their performance.
We do love ourselves a grudge match over here at SCG, and today’s contest is between the Rancilio Rocky and Baratza Preciso grinders. While they’re both stepped grinders — meaning that they have a notch configuration on the burrs so you have referential numbers vs. an infinite grind (like you find on the Mazzer grinders, for example) — they each have different cases to make. The Rocky has commercial-grade components and a reputation as a solid, well-built machine, while the Preciso gives you more control over the grind (offering both macro and micro settings) as well as the ability to retrofit with the Esatto if you’re looking for simple, weight-based grinding.
Watch as Gail shows us the features between these two grinder — including a tour of their burr sets, functionality and grind quality.
When Baratza released their new Encore grinder, they made a point of talking about how the re-engineering of the burr set resulted in a lower cost burr grinder that could still go fine enough for traditional espresso machines. While the consistency isn’t quite as good as its Virtuoso, Preciso or Vario counterparts, it does do a fairly solid job grinding for espresso — as long as the 0-point is set accurately.
The first demo model we tested worked just fine from the factory and we were able to use it with the Rancilio Silvia without issue; however, subsequent models — and a few customer reports — led us down the path of re-calibration. In this video, Gail shows how to take apart, re-calibrate and then put back together the Encore, including a demonstration of the grind quality before and after the adjustment.
When discussing the sound differential between rotary and vibratory pumps, we’re often asked which one is more quiet; our answer is invariably: Does it matter? Your coffee grinder’s the loudest thing in the room!
But how loud is it? We devised a practical test to basically show the difference between the grinders, decibel-wise. What did we learn? The tone’s the thing! While the decibel levels are actually quite similar, there were models that ‘sounded’ louder than others, simply because of a difference in tone. So the moral is … they’re all loud.
Watch Gail’s test in action!
With its stepless grind adjustments, automated dosage functionality and removable hopper, there’s a lot to dig about the Compak K3 Touch. We like that it incorporates commercial-grade elements while still being very easy on the pocketbook!
Watch as Gail walks us through its features and functionality, then demonstrates how it works.
You wake up one morning and think, I want to open up my own cafe! Or perhaps you’re already running a small business and you want to add espresso as a complementary service. Or you’re the operations manager at your company and you think espresso in the break room would be an awesome idea. But how do you choose from the plethora of machines available? Do you need a one group, two group — four group?! — machine? What do the terms ‘semi-automatic’, ‘automatic’ and ‘volumetric’ mean in terms of actual functionality and your business’ workflow?
In this overview, Gail walks us through a few things you should consider as you’re researching commercial espresso machines. She discusses how to plan for your busiest times, your budget, your workflow needs and — of course! — grinders! If you’re just getting started and don’t know where to start, this video primer is the place for you.