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View Full Version : Hello from London, need grinder advice



yossarian
11-12-13, 08:27
Hi there. I am a budding coffee enthusiast. I have been drinking french press coffee for the last two years using a hario skerton mill to grind the beans. I usually get them either from the London coffee shops (Ground Control, Tapped and Packed or Monmouth so far) or hasbean. A couple of months ago I got an aeropress because of all the hype. However I have found it a bit neither here nor there. Its handy for a quick shot before work but to get a weak double espresso sized drink it uses as much coffee as a whole french press and seems to give me much less of a caffeine hit. Also, it just doesnt taste as nice as that zing that the best fruity espressos have in cafes.

So I got a Gaggia classic off ebay for 65. I only got to try it out briefly before giving back to my relatives who are giving it to me for christmas.. I gather that the hario hand grinder is going to struggle to grind for espresso though, is that right? Its not the effort that bothers me, its if it doesn't taste as good. I have been scouring ebay recently trying to get something a bit better, hopefully for the long term. I was fairly new to ebay and kept thinking all those mazzer jollys were going to be overlooked and then seeing the price jump up at the end each time. So I can see that there is too much demand to get real bargains of the well know grinders off ebay. I don't mind paying a fair price as long as it lasts me and helps me get good results. I thought I would sign up here for advice and possibly for a good deal in the classified ads.

What grinder would you recommend to go with the Gaggia? Can I get away with hand-grinding for a while? If I could hold out for a vario or a mazzer or something would it be worth the investment? Its going to be a lot for me to pay and I could do without spending that much, but if I can stick with this espresso machine and a good grinder for a few years then I will be happy. Is the Gaggia good enough to warrant a decent grinder or should I get an entry level espresso one? Cheers!

aaronb
13-12-13, 10:55
Yes, the Gaggia is good enough to warrant a good grinder and will produce decent shots if you do your reasearch!

And Yes, it is worth the investment in a better grinder! If I were you I'd do some reading here, look at things like the Sage Smart Grinder, the Eureka Mignon, the Vario etc. They are all reviewed here with their pro's and con's. A Mazzer is also a solid investment if you can find one in good condition for a good price. Keep an eye on the classified too for good deals on equipment.

You will be able to produce a drink with the Hario, but I think you'll run into problems with fine tuning as the steps are a bit large. On the plus side when you get a good grinder you should be able to taste the difference in shot quality.

RE the Aeropress, have you tried following the hasbean brew guide? It certainly won't produce a double espresso, but it can produce a very nice brewed coffee.

Do you have scales? If not get some, a 5 set from ebay will improve your consistency no end.

jeebsy
13-12-13, 11:34
I'm in London and might have a Mignon for sale shortly.

yossarian
13-12-13, 02:32
Thanks for the replies both. I am keeping an eye on ebay for a decent grinder and I would be interested in the Mignon if you decide to sell it. I will keep an eye on the classifieds, but if you wanted to let me know by pm or whatever I would appreciate that too.

I am pretty much following the has bean guide for the aeropress, although I admit I don't weigh but judge by how much the beans fill up my grinder (with a mental allowance if the beans seem noticeably denser or lighter than normal). I often leave it a bit longer to steep than recommended too, although I experiment with this quite often. I find it tastes ok but I dont seem to be getting nearly as much caffeine from it as when made in the FP. I did recently start warming the cup first though and I have been amazed how much that adds to the enjoyment - I think it encourages me to sip and savour the taste when I am less worried about the drink cooling down.

aaronb
14-12-13, 01:54
Seriously, those scales will improve your coffee no end - especially espresso.

CFo
14-12-13, 07:28
I'm in London and might have a Mignon for sale shortly.

Jeebsby I need that to go with the Classic you sold me!

jeebsy
14-12-13, 08:04
Won't be upgrading til the new year now most likely but I can let you know when I do