Best grinder for Profitec Pro 800

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
wallenrod

#1: Post by wallenrod »

Hello all,

I've been experimenting with my new Profitec for a week now trying to optimize my espresso and the results are decent so far but not great.
One potential reason is the grinder. I've been using Breville Pro, which I've had and been happy with for a while. It seems to produce consistent and very fine grind resulting in a smooth pour. However, some comparisons suggest it might not be the best option for Profitec 800.

Do you think switching to Profitec T64 might make significant difference? Is there any other grinder I should consider?

Best regards.

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Jeff
Team HB

#2: Post by Jeff »

Welcome to H-B!

If you're talking about the Smart Grinder Pro, that is going to be a limiting factor with a good machine like the Pro 800.

What budget are you considering?

What roast levels do you enjoy? Do you prefer classic espresso with its chocolate and nuts profile or more along the lines of bright, delicate flavors from lighter roasts?

(At least for me, for either classic or light-roast espresso, the Profitec T64 would not be one I would consider among the options available today.)

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by baldheadracing »

Jeff wrote:What budget are you considering?

What roast levels do you enjoy? Do you prefer classic espresso with its chocolate and nuts profile or more along the lines of bright, delicate flavors from lighter roasts?
In addition:
- do you want to grind-on-demand (keep a full hopper and purge stale grounds before every morning/session) or single-dose (measure out and grind only the beans needed for that shot)?
- how many shots will you pull in a typical day?
- how many shots will you pull while typically entertaining? (e.g., a grinder that has to handle a dinner party of a dozen people versus a grinder that only ever makes a couple espressos in a session)
- bigger flat burr makes always better grinding result than smaller one - H. Lee

wallenrod (original poster)

#4: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

Thank you Jeff.

I prefer Vienna roast (I roast myself stopping a few seconds after the second crack), which produces more chocolate/nut rather than citrus flavor.

The reasonable budget is $1000 but it could be extended if the difference is significant.

So T64 is not your choice, would you care to share your preference?

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Jeff
Team HB

#5: Post by Jeff »

For classic espresso, the Niche Zero produces a high-quality cup as well as being a pleasure to work with. Whether you consider a single-dosing work flow an advantage or disadvantage will depend on things such as how often you change grind or coffee, if having beans sit out in a hopper bothers you, and if you're willing to weigh your beans, among other things.

For grind-on-demand (hopper) grinders, I have read good things about the Eureka models, especially the ones that have Mythos-like burrs, such as the Lucca Atom 75. There are probably others in the Eureka line. I'm just not that familiar with all the variants.

The next step up would probably be into one of the "boutique" conicals, which seem to be around $2,000 and up. It is hard for me to recommend one over the other within that category as I haven't been following that segment too closely.

wallenrod (original poster)

#6: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

Thank you for your feedback. Answering other questions:

I prefer to grind only the amount I need - maybe it's not totally accurate but I feel the ground coffee gets stale very quickly.

The usage is pretty constant: between my wife and myself three doubles each before noon and one split mid afternoon. All this in four espresso making sessions. With friends over I prefer to use my super automatic (which serves as a backup now) as I don't have to pay attention to what I'm doing.

Beans sitting in the hopper don't bother me as long as they are protected from the sunlight. I don't mind weighing beans every time but the timer would be more convenient.

baldheadracing
Supporter ♡

#7: Post by baldheadracing »

I agree with Jeff :lol:.

The Niche Zero is the choice for single-dosing under $1000 (although I personally don't have one solely because I don't like its appearance). The Kony burrset in the Niche may be the best for medium and darker toasts in grinders under $1000.

For on-demand grinders, I'm not sure if the drop in cup quality from 75mm to 60mm-65mm flat burrs would be noticeable with Vienna roasts - especially if milk is used. The 75mm Mythos burr set in particular is quite nice for a wide variety of different coffees and roast levels, and the Atom 75 is a compact package. (The actual Mythos grinders are huge, as are the other grinders that currently have that burrset.) However, the Atom 75 is over your budget, as are other on-demand grinders that I would characterize as "best grinder for Pro 800."

There's a huge variety of grinders taking 60mm-65mm burrs; however many are meant for commercial use and I wouldn't recommend any large commercial grinder for home use these days.

Good luck!
- bigger flat burr makes always better grinding result than smaller one - H. Lee

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Jeff
Team HB

#8: Post by Jeff »

I've been pondering "what would I do?" this afternoon and had a couple thoughts. First off, I'm not you, so my thinking of what I'd be thinking if I were in your shoes may be completely different than yours. But maybe what I've been thinking gets you thinking about something you may not have thought about otherwise.

If it were me, with the way I make espresso, I'd go with the Niche Zero. However, I have been single dosing for a loooong time, change beans and grind often, weigh my beans going in and coming out both, and usually only make a couple shots a day in the morning. We don't entertain except on family holidays. Compared to what it sounds like you do, I barely use the gear.

What caught my attention was "With friends over I prefer to use my super automatic (which serves as a backup now) as I don't have to pay attention to what I'm doing." and a recent video by Paul Pratt† showing his "effortless" ritual with a lever machine. Maybe something like an Atom 75 with accurate-enough timed dosing means that you can use your new machine all the time?

See Help with spring lever -Quickmill Achille for the context and video

† Paul Pratt is one of the top restorers of vintage machines.

wallenrod (original poster)

#9: Post by wallenrod (original poster) »

Thanks again for your feedback. Very helpful to get me closer to my purchase decision but I also learned something new - retention rate.

At this point I am considering two grinders: Niche Zero and Eureka Atom 75. I'm leaning towards the latter. Niche seems to perform great but for my rather frequent use of it during the day weighing beans every time makes it less convenient than the other one. Also it doesn't fit the gear I already have style-wise. On the other hand Eureka Atom is twice as expensive, although assuming it will serve me for years, this is not too bad.

One thing that still concerns me about Eureka Atom is the retention rate (2.5G vs. 0.5G for Niche). I checked several resources and opinions on it vary.

If I fill the hopper in the morning with the amount needed for the day is it as simple as a quick purge before every use?

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Jeff
Team HB

#10: Post by Jeff »

There's no magic grinder out there that does everything. They're all compromises in one way or another, especially when cost comes into the picture.

Hopper grinders "need" a reasonably constant depth of beans in them to keep reasonably constant grind doses and sizes. More beans in the hopper and there's more weight pushing them into the burrs. You might find that if you let the depth decrease significantly that the mass ground by the timer changes, as well as the grind size. Even the single-dose models deal with this as the last beans into the burrs often "popcorn" and the grind changes during the dose.

How much you "have to" purge I think depends on the coffees you're using and how often you're making grind changes. If it is pretty much the same coffee and you're only making small changes as the beans age, I'd probably purge before the first shot in the morning and not worry too much for the hours that follow. Sure, it might be a bit better if it was nearly 100% fresh instead of 10-20% or so of hour-old grinds for that first shot, but it comes down to cost, both in time and in coffee itself. What 2-5 g of beans cost is very different at $13 a pound in a 5# bag and $30 for 100 g packet.

People have been using hopper grinders at home for many years. A grinder like the Atom 75 can turn out excellent espresso. Many people prefer the convenience of grind-on-demand over the single-dose routine. No doubt they think that the single-dose fans are pretty OCD and nuts. Sometimes I wonder myself. I've got a couple manual levers and hand grinders to remind me that the real magic is in the beans and roast, not the gear.