I am the most indecisive consumer ever. I research compulsively, go back and forth between purchases repeatedly, and then I'll buy something months later. Coffee grinders are my latest arch-nemesis.
I bought my Gaggia Classic six months ago for $300 and I had planned on spending up to $500 on a grinder at the time, but I was not able to make a decision. The fact that I was able to pull surprisingly good shots with my modded mini mill didn't help things either. Fast forward six months and I am stuck again.
The problem is that there are too many good grinders out there.
My first hurdle was deciding between dosered and dosereless. I was leaning toward a grinder with a doser at first because I was looking for relatively clump free grinds that would not require any extra distribution technique. Now I'm thinking that the doser is just one more thing break, and KISS has been a pretty good guide in the past. The potential for wasted beans is another concern; I try to be as efficient as possible with coffee for the sake of cost.
The second, and current hurdle is deciding whether or not to go for a do-it-all grinder or to get a grinder for use with espresso only. Basically Baratza vs. everything else. Espresso is my priority but being able to do drip would be a bonus. At this point I've narrowed things down to the Compak K3 Touch, the Baratza Virtuoso Preciso, and the Baratza Vario.
The Compak should provide great espresso (for my $500 budget) but I wouldn't be able to switch between drip and espresso very easily. It looks to be more durable than the Baratza grinders as well.
The Preciso looks to be a good compromise, maybe slightly favoring drip grinding.
The Vario is what I am leaning toward now. From what I gather, the Preciso has the edge at drip settings, but the Vario might be preferable for espresso. This seems to be more of a flavor profile preference though. I do see myself using the timed dosing at times as well.
Wow, writing that down actually helped a lot. Looks like the Vario might be the one. What are your thoughts?
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