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On Demand compact espresso grinders - recommend?


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I intend to upgrade from a Dualit 75002 so looking at smaller economical on demand flat burr type grinders. Prefer to buy used so I get a better model for less, hopefully up to £150. No hurry, so I can wait for the right one.

 

Looking at Eureka Mignon, Mahlkonig Vario, Anfim KS-T, Quamar Q50E, Macap M2, Fiorenzato M4, Profitek Pro T64, Cunill Tranquillo, Rancilio Rocky, that kind of thing.

 

Any I should prefer, any I should dismiss? Any good offers available?

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your budget will likely rule out the T64 , i wouldnt touch a Rocky , i haven't seen an Anfim KSt come up for sale .

£150 is the real bottom end of what Mignons sell for second hand . Save up a bit more to £200 , dont get a Rocky for any money ..

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I've decided I want an on demand grinder - I have a small kitchen and I don't want anything massive. I've been tempted by bigger grinders like the F5 and Quamar M80 going for £150 and under, but they're all dosers. I'd like the convenience of on demand - just put the PF under it and go. Looks a lot thinner too. I take the point about a Mignon - it's perfect. But since I'm not rushed I'd like to see what else comes up. I'm in two minds about a Vario. Changing burrs is one thing but pulling out PCBs and changing pulleys is another.

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Mignon - great machine and very small footprint. It does clump when grinding but not an issue. Picked mine up a few weeks ago after too much research. I properly love the little thing!!

 

There’s a few that have popped up at the right money in the for sale section. There was a bright yellow one a week or so ago. Was just a bit over your 150 but colour was stunning and it looked in mint condition.

 

With the Bella Barista transferable warranty, you’re likely to get an as new unit with remaining ticket?

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The Sage smart grinder is better than the rocky in my experience and offers results on par with the Mignon, that’s in my opinion, having owned all three. If you only have 150 to spend I’d get a smart grinder as the Mignon you are likely to get won’t be in great nick and you may be able to sneak a brand new sage for around 150 if lucky. However if you can get to 200 a Mignon with a warranty should be within reach and it’s superior build quality and solid pedigree would make it a better choice, and it looks better!

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The Sage smart grinder is better than the rocky in my experience and offers results on par with the Mignon, that’s in my opinion, having owned all three. If you only have 150 to spend I’d get a smart grinder as the Mignon you are likely to get won’t be in great nick and you may be able to sneak a brand new sage for around 150 if lucky. However if you can get to 200 a Mignon with a warranty should be within reach and it’s superior build quality and solid pedigree would make it a better choice, and it looks better!

 

but the mignon will be around many years after the sage is in a landfill......ask @glevum

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Mazzer mini with a doser if your lucky, cleans sweep mod and away you go or put a funnel on it

 

Well, I may start a thread on just this - converting a doser to a funnel. That would open up a lot of possibilities. How easy is it and which models respond the most readily?

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Well, I may start a thread on just this - converting a doser to a funnel. That would open up a lot of possibilities. How easy is it and which models respond the most readily?
Have a look at _ pimp my shelf octopus funnel
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There is one "professional" grinder that can be found used and pretty cheap at times

 

http://www.ascaso.com/div-espresso-coffee-machines-grinders/i-1.html

 

There is also the steel version of it that is smaller but that one is pretty compact and will also take the smaller hopper. They come with the big one though. I've never heard an opinion about them on here but reviews on youtube show them grinding. They are rather noisy. They use a smaller size of flat burr than much larger commercial machines.

 

:o I have one actually unused at the moment but will get some use fairly soon. Internally it's pretty well made. Like all smaller grinder it uses a brushed motor and a gearbox to drive the burrs. That lot is made by an Italian company so I would assume that they may make other parts for similar grinders. There is one aspect that could be better and may well be on a typical massive commercial grinders and that is the fit of the burr adjustment thread. Mine was bought used. They use a worm and worm wheel to adjust the setting so in that respect it may offer the finest adjustment that's available on any grinder. Problem. The owner had rammed the worm hard up against the wheel which due to the play in the thread tilts it a bit. Not much but would be likely to make a difference to what comes out. It seems loose threads here isn't that an unusual problem on smaller grinders and the fix is a wrap of ptfe tape. Pass not tried it yet. This model has a metal on metal adjustment thread. I understand that the conical ones are all plastic. The I-1 has a hole for a stop screw in the rim of the worm wheel. People take it out. From what I can see it's in exactly the right place to stop the burrs from rubbing and leaves them very close. Mine's missing so have ordered some M3.5 screws. The conical versions of the same style of grinder doesn't seem to have this. I know of one make were damage to the burrs due to rubbing isn't covered by the warrantee. I suspect that the Ibertal is the cheapest make of that model. Ptfe tape might help there too.

 

Sage use plastic on plastic for adjustment. The burrs are held in place very well on both of mine. I've used these a lot and notice 2 things once they have settled in to a bean. They are very good at producing a huge pile of grinds in the filter basket. People may see mention of tapping the portafilter etc to flatten the mound down - it wont on a Sage. It's best to pause and smooth them down with the thumb. Tap a full heap and they are likely to go all over the place. Of late I have done a lot of weighing beans in. Other than when I have changed bean or made a setting adjustment the output has always been 13g +/- 0.1 or often the same as what went in. ;) Makes my SGP a bit of a joke as all I need to do is set a time that causes all of the beans to be ground. The DCP could be used for that just as easily. The fact that they have a stepped adjustment is a bit of a drawback but only for rather fine tuning really. The other aspect is the grinder settling in. From completely clean in other words as new in that respect it might take say getting on for 100g of beans before they behave as I have outlined. If the burrs are just brushed over a lot less. Maybe 20g or so after an adjustment as well. I always finish an adjustment off by going finer - mechainical bits so I do that to take up play in the same direction all of the time

 

The reason I have an I-1 and yet another grinder - a huge one is because people tell me they are better. ;) I prefer to find out. It wouldn't surprise me if Sage make the best small conical burr grinder that's available on the market. It has it's features but ............ ;) No one can say that with any certainty though. It's just a suspicion I have. There's too many to try.

 

John

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Having read a lot more on this, I can see that "conversions" of dosers don't do so well with retention. In fact, I'm generally reading that unless an on demand grinder is designed from the bottom up to cope with retention and static issues, it may be better to stick with dosers, even for single shot use where thwacking the lever clears the retained coffee. Plus there are egg+clean sweep mods to consider. So it may be a case of a cheap old commercial doser with nice big burrs. At least the height can be tamed with lens hoods etc. More to this than I thought....

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