Coffee mills - burr

marys1000May 10, 2008

My Melita burr coffee mill seems to have quit burring. Noise and all but the beans don't go anywhere, no amount of knocking the unit around (LOL) seems to have changed that.

So I go online to see what I should buy. Oof. Overwhelmed by high price choices. Some of which are touted as awesome by coffee websites only to be trashed by reviews on Amazon. What should I do? I like coffee but am not a coffee gourmet.

Local Target has a burr Black and Decker for around 25, 30 dollars. Local Meijers has a burr Mr. Coffee for around the same. Kohls and BBB have the same 50.00 Cuisinart that I don't like the style of.

Any recommendations? Advice?

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eeagle

Sounds like you like fresh ground coffee. The burr grinder is far superior to the less expensive blade grinder, so sounds as if you have gotten use to a decent grinder, and some good coffee as a result.

The coffee geeks love anything with an Italian name. I hear the Mazzer Mini has nothing but good things said about it; however it runs about $400. Likely more than the average person is willing to spend.

A good starter grinder would be a Capresso 560 Infinity Burr Grinder, in Black; It can be had for about $90 on Amazon.

My personal favorite is the KitchenAid ProLine Grinder KPCG100, goes for $200 on the Kitchenaid site. It has all glass input and output containers and grounded electrical so there is no static, which is a big factor in handling coffee grinds.

Enjoy that coffee! I make a nice freshly ground cappuccino every morning to jump start the day!

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 5:34PM
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cciaffone

I have the Black and Decker. It works very well but
will NOT grind really fine. Works great for coffee
press and auto drip. Probably not for espresso
machines.

What I like best is that the cup that catches the grounds
is rounded and so fits nicely into the basket or coffee
press when loading the grounds. No more spilled grounds.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 2:01PM
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deanb

Can anyone explain why a burr mill is better than a blade mill? I love coffee and I've had a blade mill for years. I was thinking about buying a burr mill but then a friend of mine bought a burr mill a few years ago and he claims his blade mill turns out equally good coffee. I really would like to know why you prefer a burr mill.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2008 at 8:28PM
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readinglady

I bought a refurbished KitchenAid Pro coffee grinder from their outlet store a couple of years ago. There's a substantial reduction in price and it still carries a 6-month warranty, so if there's a problem it's covered during the break-in period. Many of the "refurbished" models are actually returns, not repaired.

DH wasn't too worried because the engineering is pretty simple and from his perspective, there isn't much that can go wrong anyway. I think I ended up paying about $99 a couple of years ago. Now the outlet has one for $129.

Carol

Here is a link that might be useful: Refurbished KitchenAid Pro Grinder

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 5:28PM
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marys1000

deanb - you can google and probably get a better more thorough explanation but in short the belief is the blade mill takes longer, especially to a finer grind, and so tends to heat up the beans/grind, thereby damaging the flavor. I used to pulse my blade mill to avoid that and frankly am not sure how true it is - unless again, going for a really fine espresso grind.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 5:38AM
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MonkeyK

I have, and can highly recommend a Solis Maestro Grinder. They go for around $150 and mine does a great job.

The reason that burr grinders are preferred are:
1)grind is perfectly even (imagine that the burr distance acts like a filter and nothing gets past the burrs until it is just smaller than the burr distance)
2)The ground coffee is not continually moved around (especially next to the motor/blade) while the rest of the coffee is still getting ground, so it is not getting heated up.

Here is a link that might be useful: Solis Maestro review

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:24PM
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MonkeyK

Actually, a quick google check indicates that the Solis Maestro can be had for around $100

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 2:27PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

I have a Krups grinder that we use everyday. My mother bought me my first Krups grinder nearly 20 years ago and when it gave out last December, I bought another one which seems to be identical.
Lots of good reviews...and it's only twenty bucks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazon Krups grinder

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 2:02PM
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marys1000

I don't do espresso so I just don't think I can justify 100.00 for 2 pots of coffee a week. Don't get me wrong, my weekend pot of coffee is a ritual I love and look forward to. But nothing lasts forever (i.e. it will break eventually) so it just seems to high for me.
I think I may try the Mr Coffee one unless maybe I can get a coupon for Target - heck they probably both made in the same Chinese factory.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2008 at 3:15PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Did you look at the Krups grinder?

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 12:20PM
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chudak

Burr grinders are better because they don't overheat the beans during grinding but most importantly because they produce an EVEN grind. Ever looked at the grind from your blade grinder after grinding for a few seconds? You'll find grounds as fine as talcum powder and pieces as big as peas. This will cause serious extraction problems. Some of the coffee will be way overextracted and some will be seriously underextracted. Also, there is no way to get a consistent size of grind from a blade grinder since you are eyeballing it.

If you ever make press pot coffee or ever want to make espresso, you MUST have a good burr grinder. If you want BETTER drip, you should get a burr grinder. But, most likely your coffee maker is brewing way to cold anyways and no grinder is going to solve that problem.

The mazzer mini is a great unit and will last for years. I have a Rancilio Rocky doserless and I love it.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 1:51PM
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marys1000

bumblebeez - I've had that Krups and it is good mill- but its a blade mill and I was asking about burr mills.

The Mazzer mini is 550.00 bucks! I'm not sure anyone's taste buds are really that good.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 4:01PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Ok, I'm clueless!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2008 at 4:56PM
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chudak

Yep, the mazzer is expensive. I wouldn't buy one unless you are planning on making ALOT of espresso. It would be a waste to use only for drip.

And, trust me, it doesn't take much in the way of taste buds to tell the difference between a bad grinder and a good grinder with espresso.

There are lots of cheaper alternatives for a burr grinder. The Rancilio Rocky is one of them. I've had mine for 2 years and couldn't be happier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Rancilio Rocky Grinder

    Bookmark   May 16, 2008 at 5:02PM
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marys1000

Thanks for the recommendations, at all price ranges:)
I think on the cheaper end of the scale my biggest sort of easiest fix for better coffee really is to get a tap water filter. That plus a cheap burr grinder and for my auto drip weekend habit I'm good.
I think people sometimes tend to overlook how water affects their coffee/tea/cooking. Or perhaps it is so assumed you would use filtered water in discussions of mills, grind and brewing methods that it just doesn't get discussed?
Here in my new (well 9 months now) mid west location I have been quite dismayed by the water, I had to go out and buy the Mr. Coffee charcoal filter that fits over the where the coffee goes and one pot of coffee will have a HUGE amount of not so small grainy crystal things. Today, I'm going to HD TODAY!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2008 at 10:04AM
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marys1000

Just an update - couldn't find a filter thing at Lowe's or Meijers (sort of like a Wal-Mart) so I have to keep looking.
I did buy the Mr. Coffee Mill for 22.00 bucks. Looking at the instructions the inside looked similar and it showed how to clean it. So I took my old Mellita and sure enough the little thing inside had a Lock Unlock directional, took the plastic piece out, cleaned it out good and its now working again. So any number of years later (weekend use only) it still works - The grind is kind of coarse, maybe the burrs are getting worn down? Who knows how long it will last but hey - one less thing for the landfill for a little while anyway.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2008 at 5:02PM
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