Rancilio’s Rocky grinders feature a great performance vs. cost balance, giving you nearly professional quality results with a relatively low price tag. Watch Gail as she shows us the functionality of the grinders, explains the differences between the doser and doserless versions and discusses their pros and cons.
If you’ve just picked up a new grinder or an espresso machine/grinder package and you’re wondering how to get it setup for that perfect shot extraction, check out this video. Gail shows us how to calibrate a grinder with an espresso machine and discusses tips for determining the extraction level and tweaking your puck.
Occasionally, a customer will call us because their Baratza grinder isn’t grinding finely enough for them to pull a great shot with their espresso machine. For the Encore or Virtuoso, there is a minor adjustment that can be made inside the machine which will reset the grinder to the finest possible setting.
To assist folks in recalibrating their Baratza grinder, we filmed Gail going through the process outlined on Baratza’s website.
However, please keep in mind that the Baratza Maestro and Maestro Plus don’t grind fine enough for most espresso machines (unless you’re using a pressurized portafilter), so no matter how much you adjust it, you’re not going to be able to effectively use these grinders with your Rancilio Silvia or Rocket Cellini. These grinders are great options for folks that are interested in making superb french press or drip coffee, however, because while they don’t go fine enough for espresso, they are incredibly consistent — the particle size of your grounds will be uniform and result in improved flavor extraction.
We just ran across an announcement from Starbucks, indicating the recall of 530,000 Starbucks Barista and Seattle’s Best Coffee blade grinders. There have been several incidents of laceration when the grinders turned on unexpectedly while being cleaned.
If you or someone you know purchased one of the models listed in the announcement, contact Starbucks immediately for a replacement model. Or, maybe it’s time to upgrade? We’ve never heard of a burr grinder lacerating anyone.
Your grinder may have a few nasty habits it’s not too proud of: Namely, it’s clingy and has difficulty getting rid of things. While we appreciate the packrat sentiment, it’s important that you motivate your grinder to regularly clean up its act — and since it’s an inanimate object, you’ll have to take the lead.
Depending on how much you grind, you’ll want to remove excess grounds from the burrs on a regular basis — home grinders should do this monthly, while cafe grinders will need to do it weekly. If it’s easy for you to pop out the burrs on your grinder, do so and thoroughly brush the burrs free of any built up coffee grounds. If you can’t easily get at the burrs, you can use a product such as Grindz, which is a hard, starchy product designed to clear out the oils and lodged particles from the burrs.
We have heard that some people use raw rice or wheat to achieve the same results as Grindz, which is a wheat-based food-friendly product. However, we haven’t tried this out and don’t know how successful or safe it is for your burrs.
In addition to the maintenance on the burrs, we also recommend wiping out the hopper regularly to cut down on oily build up that could become rancid over time.
In the market for a new grinder? One refrain that resounds amongst espresso enthusiasts is that, if they had it to do all over again, they would have invested in a great grinder to begin with. Next to temperature, the fineness and consistency of the ground is one of the most important elements of excellent espresso.
We had Gail talk us through the different burr grinders that are available at Seattle Coffee Gear — you can watch the three part video here.
Part 1: Introduction to grinders and reviews of the Capresso Infinity and Baratza series — including the Maestro, Maestro Plus and Virtuoso
Part 2: More information on grinders plus reviews of the Rancilio Rocky Doser/Doserless and the new Baratza Vario
Part 3: Final installment discusses the high end consumer grinders available such as the Compak, Macap and Mazzer
Home espresso enthusiasts often say that if they could change one thing about the early days of their espresso equipment purchases, they would have invested in a better grinder. While there are a multitude of factors that play a part in a high quality shot extraction, the impact of the coffee ground itself cannot be overstated.
Grab a few extra seconds in the morning with the Baratza PortaHolder attachment, made for Baratza Maestro, Maestro Plus or Virtuoso grinders.
Insert the PortaHolder into the grounds bin slot and you’ll be able to rest your portafilter there, set the grind time and step away while your espresso is freshly ground. We love this new modification to the Baratza grinders and think you will, too.