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Hi All, looking to get my first grinder and machine, fairly modest budget but hopefully enough to get something I won't want to replace in 6 months.

 

I have an aeropress, cafetiere and my flatmate has a cheap delonghi espresso machine, so my plan is to buy a grinder then use what I have and save for an espresso machine of my own.

 

For a grinder I'm hoping to spend not much over £100 but could stretch if a really good ebay deal came around. My options seem to be (mostly second hand):

Iberital MC2

Rancilio Rocky

Gaggia MDF

 

with the Rocky being a bit more premium than the other two (I think). I have heard of people getting second hand Mazzer super jolly's for around the £150-180 on ebay so if one of those came around I would probably go for it, but what do you think out of the three listed above?

 

Any others I should be considering?

 

In terms of a machine, in a few months I'd be looking at a second hand gaggia classic or rancilio silvia (although I'm leaning towards the classic as I've been hearing the silvia is tough on newbies like myself!).

 

I look forwards to hearing your advice.


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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The Iberital MC2 gets the vote from some of us as a good value espresso grinder, I am very happy with mine. However if you have any intention of switching between different preparation methods it`s not the best choice due to the worm drive adjustment so no quick clicking round to adjust as with the Rocky for example. Rocky is quoted as the slightly better grinder but I have not been tempted away from the very fine adjustability of the Iberital. Skys the limit really on price with grinders so set a budget and go with it. Mazzer is in a different league by every account I have read though to any of the above.

 

As for machines, I don`t personally think the learning curve is very different between the Classic and Silvia, decent grinder, good beans and some practise will get you there with either. I would say all of us here have over time developed espresso making and maintenance rituals which will not differ dramatically apart from HX machine users with the essential cooling flush before brewing.

 

Personally I would say Silvia and MC2 but then I would wouldn`t I

 

 

 

Don


ECM Barista, Mazzer Royal, Bialetti Brikka, Aeropress, Reverse osmosis water system, home made Vanilla Syrup, Espresso Gear Barista tamper.

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I've also owned an MC2 and they are a good, honest grinder that can't be beaten at the price. I've also owned a Classic in the past and can recommend them. But the Silvia would seem a more sensible purchase, that will not see you looking for an upgrade too soon! I wouldn't worry too much about a steep learning curve with the Silvia. You've recognised the importance of fresh beans and a good grinder, so you're more than half way to making good coffee! You'll soon adapt the grind from an MC2 to tame any of the alleged quirks of the Silvia.

 

All are just my own opinions - there are others on the forum much more experienced than me who will advise.

 

...and welcome to the Forum!

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Welcome to the Forum. You will find you get "upgraditious" extremely quickly - I did!! I would recommend the Silvia as a first purchase.


Fracino Cherub, Malhkonig Vario, Espro calibrated 58mm tamper, Espro jug, ACF cups and Costa lover.

Twitter @MrsSKRobinson

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The MC2 and Rocky are both minimums for an electric grinder. There is not enough flexibility in the MDF so I would rule that one out.

 

Ideally if you can stretch to a Mazzer on ebay, that is in pretty good nick, or be prepared to replace the burrs which I don't believe are too expensive but ensure you budget for them.


Still learning on... Gaggia TS, Cunill Tauro, PTM Tamper, Motta Tamping Stand and Knock Box, Gaggia Milk Jug and fresh beans!

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Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning towards the MC2 now, mainly as it's cheap enough to be bought new, which I would prefer over getting something off ebay.

 

I have set up saved searches on ebay for Mazzer mini and super jolly but they don't seem to come up very often and are usually out of my price range. If I get lucky and see one before I buy an MC2 then I will likely bid on it, but I'm not holding out much hope! A Mazzer Mini would be perfect I think but the likelihood of getting one at a decent price seems slim.

 

Any tips as to where to buy an MC2 from?


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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I bought mine from Happy Donkey, and they replaced it when it developed a fault. The price quoted is exclusive of VAT so bear that in mind.


Still learning on... Gaggia TS, Cunill Tauro, PTM Tamper, Motta Tamping Stand and Knock Box, Gaggia Milk Jug and fresh beans!

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Another vote for doserless. You can set the throw by time so can easily set a rough dosage for single or double with 1 or 2 pushes of the dose button

 

+

Worm screw

Price

Reliability

Grind consistency for the price is great

 

-

Not easily repeatable settings


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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happydonkey is pretty cheap! I'll probably wait until pay day to buy one but it isn't too long to wait :-)

 

I was definitely thinking of getting doserless, even at weekends if everyone in my flat is using it, probably won't see more than 8-10 shots a day, plus I've heard dosers can be quite messy!


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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So my Iberital MC2 arrived yesterday, very pleased with it!

 

I've made a few shots of espresso in my flatmates little delonghi treviso, already they're a lot better than what I'd been making with pre ground.

 

I'm not too sure how fine I should be grinding and how hard I should be tamping though, I've wound the adjuster on the mc2 what seems like a hell of a lot (and wasted a lot of beans testing it!) but I think it's still too coarse.

 

Is there an indication with the mc2 when you get to the 'end'? Ie will the burrs touch or will it stop me from winding the adjuster?

 

My shot this morning took under 20 seconds so it looks like either it isn't fine enough or I'm not tamping hard enough. Any tips?

 

Edit: I think I should probably get a couple of espresso cups/glasses as the small cup I'm using doesn't have any measures on so I'm not sure whether I'm extracting the right amount either.


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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If you keep winding the burrs will touch, possibly jam and cause problems. However if you adjust with the machine running you can hear the burrs just beginning to touch and then back off. TBH you will be grinding so fine by then that you should never have to flirt with that danger.

 

When I set mine up, I gradually wound finer, testing with some el cheapo beans until I got close to the grind I wanted, repositioned the hopper so the scale on it was at zero facing me, changed to my good beans and tweaked from there. Now I adjust between 3 and 6 on the scale depending on the beans I am using.

 

Yes do get some shot glasses it really helps judge the extraction volume and you probably need to tweak the grind setting a little to lengthen the pour, on the hopper scale probably by about a half and test. to see if you are close as you are not far away at around 20 secs. Don`t get too hung up on the 25 second pour rule, its reference point not an absolute. I vary between 20 and 30 secs extraction time to get 2oz / 60ml of espresso.


ECM Barista, Mazzer Royal, Bialetti Brikka, Aeropress, Reverse osmosis water system, home made Vanilla Syrup, Espresso Gear Barista tamper.

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Thanks for that Don, I'll reposition the hopper so I have some kind of idea how far I'm moving it, it's so hard to tell otherwise. I was sent a free bag of beans by happy donkey so I've got some spare to play with. For the mean time I've set the throw time to as short as I can so I don't waste too much. I don't think I can be too far off so I'll be making much smaller adjustments now.

 

I was ready to write this little delonghi machine off when I was using pre ground, I'm realising now that while I do want to buy myself a Silvia or similar fairly soon I think this is ok to learn on now I can get a decent grind from fresh beans.

 

I'll try and pick up a couple of shot glasses in the next couple of days, it's that much harder to try and improve when I'm not even sure how much I'm supposed to be extracting!


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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You may also want to pick up a set of pocket scales.

This will allow you to weigh your grounds in the basket and adjust the dose to taste.


Home Barista Training - contact me to discuss your requirements

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So since I started this topic I've done a lot of reading and thinking.

 

I'm thinking that instead of miss Silvia I might go straight for a HX machine, and I've been hearing good things about the Fracino Cherub.

 

My logic is that even if I got a Silvia I'm the kind of person that gets the upgrade bug quite quickly so in a couple of years I might be looking to get something bigger anyway. I've got a credit card with 12 months interest free, and whilst I don't advocate the use of credit in general, for the purposes of spreading it over 6 months I don't see why not if it's interest free :-)

 

Does anyone here have experience with the Cherub? I'm wanting a machine that will last indefinitely (well no upgrade for at least 10+ years!) and I've heard great things about Fracino service and support so that doesn't look like it'll be a problem. The other alternative for similar money would be the Expobar Office Pulsar but I just don't like the look of it.

 

I know the e61 on the Fracino isn't a true e61 but a copy, isn't this the case with most machines nowadays? Are there any issues with it being an e61 copy?

 

Also it feels like it could be a bit of a mismatch with my Iberital MC2 but I figure now I've got it I'll wait and maybe upgrade in a year or so.

 

Any opinions would be great :-)


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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The Cherub seems to get amazingly good reviews, and the service from the manufacturers also appears excellent. Business appears to be booming for them, and I would expect it to be a long-lived company, so spares should be no problem. At the price that they are going for, I think that missing out the Silvia is a really good option.

 

Only problem that I would personally have with one is that the group is without the classic E-61 lever, and I just love the tactility of using that. If you can cope with a press-button substitute, then no problem.

 

And don't worry about the Cherub out-gunning the MC2. I ran an MC2 successfully with my Giotto for a while, only replacing it because my wife didn't like its appearnce!

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Wow you mean your wife actually encouraged you to spend more on coffee gear?! Lucky man!

 

My other half is away in Africa on her medical elective for 8 weeks so it'll be a nice surprise for her when she gets back (not!).

 

I also love the look of the e61 lever. Does not having one affect the brewing at all ie can you use the lever to pre infuse or is it just a nice way of switching the pump on and off?

 

One negative review I found of the Fracino Heavenly was here. While the original post doesn't make any sense (comparing it to an Ascaso Uno?!) there's a comment by 'Andrew' further down that says this:

 

"I just think the price differential was very high, It a lot of money to pay- especially for a machine with a vibration pump -which I am sure that you are aware averages 8.5 bar ie vibrates between 0 and 15 bar and this tends to over extract coffee oils – you can never get a really good espresso."

 

Is there any truth in this? Surely all machines below a certain amount have vibration pumps anyway so is he making a mountain out of a molehill?


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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I have been tempted by the Cherub in the past but whilst most reviews are good, I just can't stop looking at the shiny machines on the BB website (no affliation to C4's Big Brother BTW!!!). The absence of the good old E61 is a major thing for me, I have to say. If I had a credit card with 12 months interest free and other financial commitments were not a factor, I would probably go for an Vivi Mark II or VIVI PID or even a Duetto.


Fracino Cherub, Malhkonig Vario, Espro calibrated 58mm tamper, Espro jug, ACF cups and Costa lover.

Twitter @MrsSKRobinson

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...mmm. If you can't make good coffee with a machine with a vibration pump, then an awful lot of us here (me included with a £1100 Giotto) must be deluding ourselves about the quality of the coffee we are drinking!!

 

Yeah, rotary pumps have advantages, but you'll be able to live with a vibration one.

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I have been tempted by the Cherub in the past but whilst most reviews are good, I just can't stop looking at the shiny machines on the BB website (no affliation to C4's Big Brother BTW!!!). The absence of the good old E61 is a major thing for me, I have to say. If I had a credit card with 12 months interest free and other financial commitments were not a factor, I would probably go for an Vivi Mark II or VIVI PID or even a Duetto.

 

Don't try and get me to spend more money! I've already gone up 4 or 5 times what I was originally planning to spend!

 

I've seen this on the TMC forum, I don't know much about the mk1 Izzo Alex but £500 looks a fairly good price.

 

The problem is that I couldn't buy it on credit card so I'd have to try and work that bit out, but do you think it might be better than going for the Fracino?


Roy & Alex & The Maestro & Herman ze Hausgrind

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Looks like a good price to me, if it's been looked after, and I must admit that I would prefer it to the Cherub.

 

Provided that you can still get interest free, a £500 cash advance would only cost around £15!!!

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Don't try and get me to spend more money! I've already gone up 4 or 5 times what I was originally planning to spend!

 

I've seen this on the TMC forum, I don't know much about the mk1 Izzo Alex but £500 looks a fairly good price.

 

The problem is that I couldn't buy it on credit card so I'd have to try and work that bit out, but do you think it might be better than going for the Fracino?

 

Far, far, far better machine than the cherub. I've got one so if you have any questions about it. For £500 it's a bargain.


Izzo Alex Mk2 Dual Water, Compak K10 Conical, Gene Cafe, Cona Model D, Motta Jug and not enough cravendale...

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Actually, well ok, maybe it isn't far far better, but the fact it is a true e61 would sway me, the design of the internals would sway me and the rotary pump would also sway me.


Izzo Alex Mk2 Dual Water, Compak K10 Conical, Gene Cafe, Cona Model D, Motta Jug and not enough cravendale...

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