The Ultimate Pick for Burr Grinder Lovers
You are here because you are looking for the best burr coffee grinders. And that can only mean two things. One, you have made up your mind and decided that you want to get a burr grinder and you are looking which model will give you the best run for your money. Two, you are clueless and heard that a well-designed burr grinder is what you need to make that perfect brew, whether it is a perfect French Press brew or an Espresso brew.
Whichever reason you are here for, there can only be 1 goal and that is to find out which burr grinder comes out as the ultimate champion when compared against its peers.
For the benefit of those who are in a rush, the quick answer is the Rancilio Rocky Doserless Coffee Grinder. Read on and you will find out why.
What Makes Rancilio Rocky a Winner
55 level of grind setting is enormous and that is what you will get with the Rancilio Rocky. “Do you really need such a large number of setting?”. The answer depends on your brewing preference.
But there is one exception. If you are French Press lover but still not quite sure what is your perfect level of coarseness, having such large number may be an extravagant but there is no harm anyway. You will find the right setting for your preference out of the 55 different levels anyway.
The large number of setting will be appreciated by those who often find themselves having to make different type of brew with their beans each time. A good example would be if you are running a small coffee shop and you are offering both the espresso and pressed cup of coffee.
One complain about the Rancilio Rocky though, has to be the mechanism used to adjust the setting. For all it is worth, this burr grinder is almost 100% mechanical and has no programmable features. If you expect a button in which you can press to make adjustment to the setting, the sad answer is you are not going to find such button.
Instead, you have to turn the hopper to make the adjustment. You may think it is inconvenient but this is probably the best that the grinder manufacturers have to offer for a burr grinder of such quality and price. Expect to pay much higher price if you want the burr setting to be electronically programmable.
Rancilio Rocky’s doserless design is one that has got everyone talking and it remains debateable if doserless is indeed superior comapred to the doser counterpart.
In case you are lost, doser-type of grinder will simply store the grounded beans and you need to manually do the dispensing. Each dispense usually measures about 7 oz, the equivalent to make a single shot of espresso.
The doserless does not store the ground beans and the beans get dispensed as soon as they are grounded and it will only stop when you switch it off. This means that the amount of beans that get grounded is being controlled manually.
There is a whole lot of discussion of doser vs dosserless grinder, but that is not the purpose of this article. What I can tell you is if you only make 1 or two shots daily, you will appreciate the doserless design more. This is because with the doser-type of grinder, you have to fill up the storage compartment considerably before you can do the dosing which essentially means you need to ground more beans even if you intend to make only a single shot.
The closest that the Rancilio Rocky often being compared to is the Mazzer Mini. To be honest, picking a winner between the two is hard and here is why.
Rancilio Rocky trumps Mazzer Mini when it comes to the coarseness setting that is available. If you love a mild brew of French Press, you might prefer Rocky compared to Mini because the coarsest level that Rocky can produce is coarser than what Mini can do.
But Mini has one advantage compared to Rocky. The hopper of the Mini can be displaced quite easily and replaced with another hopper. This means that if you have two different types of beans, you can place the first type in the first hopper and the second type in the second hopper. As soon as you are done grounding the first, you can simply replace the hopper and you can have an entirely different brew.
If you ask me how useful this feature is, it again depends on your usage. If you often have to change between different blends, you know what your choice would be. Otherwise, I think it is a feature that is good but might not be too useful.
The burr diameters of the Rocky and Mini are also different in size. Rancilio Rocky’s burr diameter measures 50mm while Mazzer Mini measures 58mm. This means that your Mazzer Mini will be able to ground at faster rate compared to the Rocky. Ask yourself this question. How much do you need to grind each time? If your answer is two or three shots at most, what the Rocky is able to churn out is more than sufficient for your need.
In terms of rotational speed, both models perform about the same. The Mazzer Mini operates at slightly lower speed of 1600 RPM compared to Rocky’s 1725 RPM. In case you are wondering why this is so important, lower speed is better because there will be less damage done to your beans. Simply said, you will retain most of the aroma and flavor of the beans.
While the speed of the two is slightly different, it is good to note that the temperature at which both grinding machines operate in order to ground a single shot (~7oz) is about the same. Also surprising is the lower noise level that the Rancilio Rocky is able to generate even with the higher RPM speed that it is operating at.
Now that you have seen my review on the best burr coffee grinder, it is up to you to decide if it is also the best coffee grinder for your purpose. Answer the questions highlighted throughout the discussion and it will help you identify which burr grinder is the perfect one for you.
On a last note, I received lots of comments that there are not many of us who is going to spend $300-$500 for a grinder (while the best coffee makers for the average Joe is only that much). I agree. In fact, my budget for a grinder is only around $100. If you are on the same boat as me, one great burr grinder that you can consider is the Capresso Infinity Grinder.