Category Archives: Grinders

Crew Review: Baratza Forte AP & BG Coffee Grinders

Baratza Forte APThere’s a lot to love about Baratza grinders in general, but the Baratza Forte models take all of that love and kick it up to a higher level. Seriously.

Featuring a high grade metal casing, sophisticated programming (by either time or weight variables), an upgraded bean hopper with a gate valve (for easy bean removal!) and an LED screen, both the Baratza Forte AP and BG models are solidly commercial grade.

What’s the difference between the two of them? Primarily the burrs: The Forte AP has flat ceramic burrs and the Forte BG has flat stainless steel burrs. This translates into the AP functioning as more of an all-purpose grinder, geared toward an espresso through fine drip range, while the BG is built specifically for pour over preparation and, therefore, isn’t meant to grind in the espresso range. Other than that, the AP also comes with a solid metal holder on which you can rest your espresso machine’s portafilter, because you’ll now be able to calibrate the grind and program the weight, then automatically update your programming to grind the correct weight directly into your portafilter.

To find out more about these grinders, check out our first look review of them. Gail goes over the features and specs, then demonstrates their grind consistency and performance.

Crew Review: Baratza Forte AP & BG Coffee Grinders

Breville Compare: Smart Grinder vs. Barista Express Grinder

Breville Grinder ComparisonThere’s definitely something appealing about having a little coffee station on your countertop, no? Breville’s Barista Express‘ relatively unique design offers just such an experience: A traditional espresso machine with a grinder integrated into the case, offering you a one-stop home coffee makin’ shop (as it were). We’ve heard rumors that this configuration is Breville’s best selling model, which makes sense given that, as of this writing, it’s the only one of its kind in the US.

A common inquiry we receive, however, is concerning how well the grinder actually performs. It’s true that the previous generation Barista Express (the BES860XL) included a grinder that didn’t go quite fine enough for our tastes, and owners often had to employ the dual wall / pressurized baskets in order to get a good shot. With the recent upgrade to other elements of the Barista Express, we wanted to know how much of an improvement Breville made to the grinder itself … and how that compared to their popular standalone grinder, the Smart Grinder.

In this video, Gail examines the burrs of these two different grinders and then compares their grind quality and consistency, both at their finest and coarsest settings. If you’re considering one of these pieces of Breville gear for your coffee setup, watch Gail find out how they measure up against each other to get a little insight into how they perform.

Compare: Breville Smart Grinder vs. Breville Barista Express Grinder

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder

Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee GrinderHave you ever walked into a coffee shop, seen a particularly grimy coffee grinder and wondered if you should stick around? We definitely have! Caring for your Mazzer Super Jolly has a variety of benefits, not the least of which is communicating to your customers your commitment to fresh and delicious coffee.

We know that taking it apart and caring for each component can be a bit daunting, however, so we’re here to guide you. Watch Brandon disassemble, clean and then reassemble the Mazzer Super Jolly, while also discussing with us common issues, best practices and considerations you should take into account when caring for your grinder. If your business moves swiftly, we highly recommend that you take this on at least once a month, if not weekly. Your grinder (and customers!) will thank you for it, later.

 

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder

Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee Grinder – Crew Review

Mazzer Super Jolly Coffee GrinderWhile we often consider the Mazzer Super Jolly to be a relatively large coffee grinder in the home espresso space, it’s certainly more petite than others you might see down at your local cafe. Its larger size is attributed mostly to its bigger motor and burr set, which will produce finely ground coffee in a matter of seconds — essential in a fast paced production environment.

Watch as our commercial manager, Brandon, takes us through this popular coffee grinder — we learn about its features and specs, take a look at the burrs and discuss which businesses should consider the Super Jolly for their cafe setup.

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mahlkonig Pro M Series Coffee Grinders

Mahlkonig Pro M EspressoIn the final installment of our home grinder cleaning series, Gail guides us through the Pro M series by Mahlkonig.

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to use the Mahlkonig K30 Vario during a class we took at the annual SCAA exhibition … and it blew us away. The grind consistency, dosage speed, programming functionality — it left nothing to be desired. When we were contacted by Mahlkonig’s US counterpart about a home-focused grinder that they were working on, we were thrilled and couldn’t wait to get our paws on it. Since then, they have released two variations of the Pro M series — the All Around and the Espresso — which both feature high grade ceramic burrs and provide excellent grind quality. The Espresso version even features a digital user interface screen!

Their internals are designed in a way that some people find a bit intimidating, so we’ll often receive service calls from folks with clogged grinders because they haven’t been taking them apart and thoroughly cleaning them often enough. Once you see how the machine is built, you’ll understand why this level of maintenance is required with the Pro M grinders, and it’s really not all that difficult to get the grinder apart, clean it and then put it back together again.

Using the Espresso version (since there are some electronics involved), Gail demonstrates the process for us in this how-to video. If you haven’t been performing this level of maintenance on your Pro M, watch how it’s done and then you’ll be able to clean it with confidence!

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Nuova Simonelli MCI & Grinta Coffee Grinders

It’s time to dive into the care and maintenance of a couple of the Nuova Simonelli grinders that we carry. While you’re probably running Grindz through your grinder on a regular basis, this is great maintenance to perform at least a couple of times per year.

Nuova Simonelli MCIFirst, we take on the MCI. This grinder is so fabulous because it delivers high quality, commercial-grade grinding functionality in a super petite package — perfect for home espresso setups where space might be an issue. You can pair it with our prosumer level espresso machines and dial it in finitely, producing rich and delicious espresso.

One of the coolest things about this particular grinder is that, like its larger commercial-grade counterparts, the burr adjustment is managed by moving the lower burr up and down. What does that mean for you? Well, unlike a Mazzer or a Compak, you won’t lose your grind calibration when you take apart the burrs for cleaning — righteous, no? Watch as Gail shows us how to take apart the MCI and then guides us through best practice in terms of regular cleaning and maintenance.

Nuova Simonelli GrintaNext, we get into the Grinta. One of the more popular home grinders that we carry, the Grinta provides you with excellent grind functionality and simple features for a great price. One trick when cleaning it, however, is that the top burr is attached to the adjustment collar and the hopper, so you need to take care with removing a few extra screws in order to clean the hopper without risking unwanted moisture on your burrs. And, unlike the MCI, the Grinta will lose its calibration as you unscrew the top burr, so you will need to dial it again once it’s been sufficiently cleaned.

Check out the process of taking it apart, cleaning it and putting it back together again in this how-to video.

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Macap M4 Coffee Grinder

Macap M4 Coffee GrinderSince the Macap M4 coffee grinder resembles its Mazzer counterparts, you may be tempted to lump it into the same category in terms of performance and functionality. We encourage you not to do so, however! One of the coolest mechanical elements of the M4 is its worm drive adjustment, which makes dialing in the burr super easy and smooth. But it also means that getting into the grinder to perform a thorough cleaning requires a bit more elbow grease.

Even if you’re running Grindz through your grinder every month or so, taking it apart a few times a year to get into the nooks and crannies with a fine-toothed brush will extend the grinder’s life, improve grind consistency and positively affect your shot flavor. To help you with this process, we asked Gail to walk us through taking it apart to access the burrs, provide us with best practice and tips on cleaning them and then putting the whole, squeaky clean contraption back together again. For helpful guidance on this process, watch this step-by-step how-to video.

 

Tech Tip: How to Clean your Compak K3 Touch Coffee Grinder

Compak K3 Touch Coffee GrinderLast week, we delved into the inner workings of the Mazzer Mini grinders to show you how to take them apart and care for them. Today, we take on one of our favorite home grinders, the K3 Touch by Compak.

Why do we like this guy so much? Well, primarily, it’s because it’s so simple to use. You can set a dosage amount using the little screw on the bottom of the grinder and then, at a tap or two of the trigger lever located below the grind chute, it will automatically grind out either a single or double quantity of what you’ve previously selected. Or you can just kick it on and grind up a whole batch at once if you’re feeling a little wild. It’s also stepless, so you can really dial it in for your espresso prep, and doesn’t cost a fortune.

Taking care of it regularly is essential, however, to its ongoing consistency and performance. We suggest running Grindz through it each month and then diving into a more thorough cleaning process like Gail outlines in the video below. Watch as she guides us through taking it apart, cleaning it, checking the burrs to determine if they need replacement and then — possibly the most important step — putting it back together again properly.

If you own a K3 Touch and have never performed a cleaning to this level, today, friend, is that special day. Learn how easy it is in this step-by-step how-to video!

Tech Tip: How to Clean the Mazzer Mini Coffee Grinder

Mazzer Mini ETaking sweet and loving care of your burr grinder is pretty much the best thing that you can do for it. After all, it really is the most important part of your coffee making setup! So we asked Gail to guide us through the process of taking apart, cleaning and putting back together several of the different grinders that we carry.

First up in the series are the ever-popular Mazzer Mini models — both the standard doser hopper version and the electronic doser version. While they manage dosage a bit differently, their internals are pretty much the same so you get to the burrs and care for them in the same way.

Even if you’re running Grindz through your beloved every month (like you know you should!), performing this thorough cleansing a few times each year will ensure that your grind remains consistent — and also that you’re grinding only the freshest of coffee.

Ready to take this on yourself? Watch Gail break it down, clean it up and put it all back together again.

Compare: Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart Grinder – Redux!

Compare - Rancilio Rocky vs. Breville Smart GrinderLooking for a budget-conscious burr grinder that’s suitable for traditional espresso preparation? Consider the feature-laden Breville Smart Grinder or the robust, commercial-grade Rancilio Rocky. Both have great consistency and a wide grind range, so you can use them for anything from espresso to coffee press.

Watch Gail as she takes us through their features and functionality, then shows us how they compare, grind-wise.