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One year in the espresso journey, new grinder?


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Posted (edited)

Hi everyone, this is my first message on the forum. I started my espresso journey almost a year ago, when I got a Gaggia Classic pro. I never had an espresso machine before so I had to learn everything from scratch and this forum has been very helpful in doing so! I paired my Gaggia with a Sage Smart Grinder Pro, which I used until now without any issue. I recently started to roast my own coffee at home (very few attempts with a cheap electric roaster) and I noticed that my grinder was struggling with the home roast, until it got jammed. The engine now seems to be damaged, even after unjamming the grinder, it still doesn't work properly. I suspect this is due to the way the coffee was roasted (quite light).

I am now thinking to upgrade to a better grinder that can deal with ligher roasts and home roasted coffee without breaking down in a few months. I am not considering second hand grinders and I would like to stay below 300£. I was looking at the Eureka Mignon (I found the discontinued chrono for 190£), which should have larger burrs (50mm) and a more powerful engine.

Other suggestions?

 

Thanks!

Edited by Evergreen88
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If you can up your budget a bit and can overlook a previously owned grinder (albeit one that comes with a transferrable warrantee), there is a forum member selling a Solo that might be a good upgrade choice for you (link in the message).

There's a massive thread on the grinder in the Grinders Machines and Accessories Forum, plus Dave did a review of the grinder too (link below). 

This is the grinder I upgraded to from a SGP and I personally love it.

 

https://coffeeequipmentreviews.wordpress.com/2021/03/23/solo-64mm-elr-grinder-review/

 

 

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You could get a eureka mignon facile for £250 I believe which is espresso fo used. Not sure if there is really any difference in burrs. There was definitely a thread discussing that but I think more the point being it’s not got a ground collection “tub” but rather ports filter forks do you could grind directly into the portafilter for espresso

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@Evergreen88 Welcome to the forum. It's a pity you are discounting used grinders, some great bargains to be had

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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39 minutes ago, DavecUK said:

@Evergreen88 Welcome to the forum. It's a pity you are discounting used grinders, some great bargains to be had

Thanks Dave. The main reason I am not considering second-hand grinders is that I don't have the experience and the ability to understand the condition of the grinder as well maintain it properly. I would rather go with something cheaper that I know is in perfect condition and has a warranty I can rely on. 

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1 hour ago, RobDGio said:

You could get a eureka mignon facile for £250 I believe which is espresso fo used. Not sure if there is really any difference in burrs. There was definitely a thread discussing that but I think more the point being it’s not got a ground collection “tub” but rather ports filter forks do you could grind directly into the portafilter for espresso

That's a good point, I know that the chrono does not have the fork for the portafilter, but I can buy it separately. In terms of burrs, I know it's exactly the same set (only on the discontinued model apparently, the newer version will have burrs that are not suited for espresso).

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3 hours ago, Evergreen88 said:

The engine now seems to be damaged, even after unjamming the grinder, it still doesn't work properly. I suspect this is due to the way the coffee was roasted (quite light).

Just checking, you probably have, but have you fully cleaned the grinder by taking both the burrs out?

At your budget the Mignon Specialita is a good option. Bear in mind that it's an espresso grinder, so you won't be able to grind coarse enough for other brewing methods. You'll also have to waste some beans by purging.

If you can up your budget then you might want to look at the Solo (£400) or Niche Zero (£500). With these you can grind for coarser brewing methods. These are both single dosing grinders with very little retention; which means you don't need to waste beans by purging.

If you want to see an overview of these three grinders side by side, then watch the following video starting at 13:50:

 

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I reviewed the Solo and the Niche as well, so you could check those out....

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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10 minutes ago, GrahamSPhillips said:

@DavecUK Did you conclude "Niche beats Solo or? "

Or...I'm afraid....I didn't do that comparison....I'll leave that to those reading the reviews. Of course I have a personal preference....For those that can't decide...just buy both....🤣

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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Besides cost.. how would you describe the differences? There are a few people on various forums who have both and seem to want to keep them both.. so presumably they are equally good, just different? 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, GrahamSPhillips said:

Besides cost.. how would you describe the differences? There are a few people on various forums who have both and seem to want to keep them both.. so presumably they are equally good, just different? 

Ahhh....what do I know eh....😁 No comment, I'll take the 5th.

Edited by DavecUK

I don’t like – Sticks and Stones, beans that are sour, green…or rancid (horrible). Quakers hide until you roast them, then they scream out at you in the cooling tray, pick em out and flick them in the bin.. Lifes too short for bad coffee!

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Quick update: I decided to get the Eureka crono with the same 'espresso burrs' of the manuale.

It arrived today and the first impression is really good. I am impressed by the build quality, it feels incredibly sturdy. The stepless regulation system is amazing and after a couple of attempts at dialling in, I got a better result than in 8 months with the Sage. The ground coffee was less clumpy as well.

Only downside for now is the portafilter fork; the Gaggia portafilter does not fit in very well so I have to hold it to keep it in place while grinding.

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1 hour ago, Evergreen88 said:

Quick update: I decided to get the Eureka crono with the same 'espresso burrs' of the manuale.

It arrived today and the first impression is really good. I am impressed by the build quality, it feels incredibly sturdy. The stepless regulation system is amazing and after a couple of attempts at dialling in, I got a better result than in 8 months with the Sage. The ground coffee was less clumpy as well.

Only downside for now is the portafilter fork; the Gaggia portafilter does not fit in very well so I have to hold it to keep it in place while grinding.

i’ve had one for a couple of months and have found it to be pretty good. no need for the fork for me, i grind into a receptacle on a set of scales and go from there. adds an extra step but also means a more consistent dose.

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