Coffee Grinder Buying Guide
The basic choice:
Doser or non Doser( also referred to as ” On Demand ” )
That an easy one to address, should you be someone that consumes less then 5 cups of espresso a day, the the automatic choice is the non doser otherwise a doser will be beneficial as it both stores ready grounds and its very easy to dispense from if you consume a higher volume of drinks.
What brand ?
Well there are the grinders from all sorts of brands, offering both a great value for money and a robust construction, also have step less adjustment and come in both doser and non doser. Please do not purchase a burr grinder for or about a 100, they do not offer the range of adjustments in the fine range for Espresso machines, all of them are borderline in the finest settings.
Gaggia have a range that ideally matches their range of coffee machines and offer excellent value but tend to be less robustly constructed.
The Rancilio Rocky would appear to be over-designed in this category, and in several ways it is. Overall it has the heart and soul to compete. Rancilio borrowed the super heavy duty motor from their commercial grinder the MD40. It makes for a die hard motor that will handle anything you throw at it. However, it runs at a very quiet 77db while grinding, which is about 50% quieter then most Low Speed Gear Reduction grinders. It also imparts 2 to 3 degrees less heat to the ground coffee per 1.5 ounces. The bean hopper is a smoky plastic with a capacity of 300gr and the doser will hold an equal amount. The Rocky’s doser is not adjustable like its competition in this category, and will dose a little under 7 grams per pull. It weighs in at 9kg with an aluminum frame. A precision indexing system give a huge range of grinding selections with many settings. This is enough to go from the coarsest French press to the finest powder for turkish coffee. Changing a grind setting is accomplished by pressing the index button and rotating the bean hopper to the desired number setting – it is fast and effective. The doser will work with all commercial portafilter handles, but like the rest of the dosing grinders, it does not work well with pressurized portafilters ( cheaper machines usually less then £100.00). Fortunately, the forks used to hold the portafilter are removable – so the Rocky can accommodate nearly any receptacle. This grinder comes in a brushed stainless steel housing and matches very well with most espresso machines, including prosumer models.
The Macap is one of our larger grinders at 430mm and 12kg. It is has all of the bells and whistles that a grinder can have, but it does it quietly at only 76db – the interior sound level of a BMW at 60 mph. The motor runs at an unstoppable 250 watts with large diameter burrs at 58mm. The burrs are listed as 100% hardened Swedish Steel – which in plain English means, “stays sharper longer.” The Macap has stepless grind adjustment, which means you can adjust it as little or as much as you want without the limits of preset notches like on the Rocky. And, the fineness settings are numbered so you can rotate the adjustment disc coarser or finer and know where you left off. The Macap has an adjustable doser that allows for 6 to 9 grams per pull and holds up to 150gr of ground coffee. The housing is constructed of die-cast aluminum and comes in a variety of finishes for long lasting good looks. Another feature is the bean gate. This means you can take off the hopper without spilling the beans, which comes in handy if it is time to try that new roast and you don’t feel like grinding up what’s left in the hopper, or you don’t feel like tipping it upside down. This grinder comes with a built-in tamper on the doser but I don’t recommend using it and it is easily removed with a screwdriver. We advocate using a 30-pound tamp and that would tip even this grinder over!
We also stock the Eureka brand and they offer step less and a timer option on the grinder, I our opinion they nothing short of sensational in performance and design.
Macap also produce grinders for several other brands such as Gaggia, Elektra etc.