In the market for an espresso grinder but not sure if dropping an extra hundred bucks will benefit you? We asked Gail to compare the functionality, grind consistency and shot quality (using the Crossland CC1) of the Breville Smart Grinder and the Rancilio Rocky to find out.
You know how serious we are about coffee grinders! If you haven’t heard us rant before about how they’re really the most important element of your coffee setup, remind us to break it down for you sometime.
Today’s video addresses a different aspect of coffee grinders: If you’re not planning to ever make espresso at home, how do the entry level grinders compare? Even if you’re just budget-conscious and aren’t making espresso right now, picking up one of these grinders in the short term isn’t a bad idea.
Coffee grinder maintenance is essential. Period. End of story. Reasons for doing so include better tasting coffee and increased equipment longevity, but we generally prefer to lean on good ol’ peer pressure: Do you really want your friends and family to see you using a grinder encrusted with months of coffee residue? Really? We didn’t think so.
For the Baratza owners in the house, Gail has kindly walked us through the finer points of their care and feeding, including how to take them apart, tips on cleaning and then — most importantly! — how to get them back together again. Watch her walk us through the fundamentals.
What’s the difference between stepped and stepless grinders? First — what are these styles of grinders? You know how serious we are about coffee grinders and how they are arguably the most important piece of equipment you’ll need to choose. Find out about these different styles of grinders, what they’re best suited for and why they might be the right fit for you.
What is it?
These grinders have preset notches, which enable you to easily switch between disparate grinds.Rather than guess where you’re setting the grinder for espresso, then drip coffee and then back again, you’ll have referential numbers and settings to work from.
Stepless grinders are for those of us who want the fluidity to choose our grind with an infinite amount of options.These grinders have no reference points, as a result, but enable to more finitely dial in your grind.
If you often grind for different coffee preparations (from espresso to coffee press), a stepped grinder is a good choice because you’ll have marked settings to reference when you’re switching between these highly disparate grinds. You’ll need to dial in less and ultimately waste less coffee.
The stepless grinder will definitely give you the ability to grind for every type of coffee prep. However, when it comes to going from a drip grind to a espresso grind, it won’t be as easy to find that perfect grind that you had originally been using.With an infinite amount of settings, you’ll have a more difficult time going from one preparation to another. If you grind for primarily one coffee preparation, or only occasionally switch to a different style, this is a good choice.
Featuring programmable dosage timing and burrs geared more toward the finer edge of things, Mahlkonig’s Pro M Espresso coffee grinder is a bit less versatile than its All Around counterpart, yet still features excellent grind quality.
Watch Gail show it off and demonstrate how well it performs.
Rade takes it to the streets and shows Gail how it’s done! Finally. In this video, he tries out a few different Turkish coffee-related apparatus to help us determine what to bring in. Watch as he demonstrates the hand grinder and then teaches Gail how to make Turkish coffee, Serbian-style.
In our search for entry level grinders that still get the job done, we tested out this model from Capresso. While it doesn’t grind fine enough for traditional espresso extraction, it was fairly consistent and worked well for pressurized extractions to pour over to drip to press pot.
Watch as Gail tests out this grinder, discusses its features, pros and cons and then demonstrates its grind quality.
Introducing Baratza’s newest entry-level grinder, the Encore! Featuring their Gear Box 2.0 upgrade — which will provide for greater strength and durability throughout the grinder’s life — it otherwise looks almost identical to their former entry-level Maestro series. But looks can be deceiving! While its predecessors worked only for espresso machines that featured pressurized baskets or portafilters, the Encore tested well even with one of the hardest to please ladies on the block: The Rancilio Silvia.
Watch as Gail takes us through features and functionality, shows off grind consistency and demonstrates extraction on the Silvia. This is a heckuva lot of grinder for a really great price!
In yet another grudge match (!!), Gail dialed in the new Baratza Virtuoso and the new Breville Smart Grinder for use with the Rocket Giotto, pulled several shots and then we did a side by side taste comparison.
Does either of them have the edge, taste-wise? Watch to find out.
Look, you know we don’t judge. In general, we are open minded, supportive and care about you finding the right equipment for you. We often say that we don’t have a horse in that race — the most important thing to us is that you end up with equipment that helps you make coffee that you love at home.
But if we’re going to throw that all to the wayside and pressure you into anything, it’s going to be the ridiculously awesome Compak K10 Conic Fresh grinder. You know that the grinder is the thing and this grinder is the serious thing.
Watch Gail take us through the features and specs, then demonstrate how this big bad grinder performs. Yow!!