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What is the best grinder that:

  1. is considered all-purpose (grinds coarse enough for cold brew, French press, through to pour overs & Chemex, and fine and consistent enough for espresso using non-pressurized baskets), and;

  2. has very low or even zero retention to allow single-dosing (eg. 18g beans go in, 18g grounds come out)?

I’ve sort of been in a long search for a grinder that fits that criteria. I recently purchased a Rancilio Rocky, and while it is an excellent grinder that grinds a consistent grind-size, this grinder’s design has a chute that gathers up to 2-3g of coffee when single dosing (18g of beans go in, 16g of grounds come out.)

My needs are to have a multipurpose grinder that allows a multitude of slower immersion and faster brew methods (including a fine espresso grind for non-pressurized baskets) & doesn’t retain too much per grind cycle, which easily adds another 5-8 mins in my brewing routine just trying to tap and brush the grounds out of the grinder.

Any help would be most appreciated 👍

  • 1
    Actually, it may be a good practice to grind a few grams of the same beans before making an actual dosing. The previous beans may be of other kind, different in size, or the remains may acetify in time. – MTSan Jan 30 at 13:39
  • Thanks for this bit of advise, and these points you raise are precisely why I prefer to "single dose". My main question was regarding specific grinders that will accommodate this grinding system preference of mine. – farankoshan Feb 3 at 7:23
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I have a Baratza Sette 270 along with the S2 Cone Burr which is better suited for courser grinds and have been very happy with the result.

Baratza Sette 270][1

I like it for its vertical drop of the beans straight through the blades into the cup, rather than having to be shunted to a chute off the side.

While I find I still have to use the Ross Droplet Technique and give a few slaps on the lid during the last couple of seconds while it is grinding, when I do that, weighing the coffee before and after shows little or no difference before and after. (Can't say the same for my previous grinders that I had to thump hard to get all the grinds out.)

I use it happily for aeropress, moka pot and siphons. The reviews mention there's an upper limit of the coarseness the Sette's can produce, but it has been fine for me so far.

There's also the 30 and the 270Wi models in the Sette range depending on the features you want and your budget.

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  • The Baratza Sette is a really strong contender, and that design really favors little to no retention whatsoever. Thank you for sharing that this Sette does well for aeropress, moka pot and siphons. I believe the 270 on the coarsest setting can do pour overs, but not quite coarse enough for French Press. Do you have experience using this with espresso machines, and whether this can grind fine enough for non-pressurized baskets? – farankoshan Feb 3 at 7:26
  • Sorry, can't help you there. It should be able to grind fine enough, but you might end up with retention at that fine a grind. – Evan Feb 3 at 9:39
  • @farankoshan I have the Sette 270 (non-weight) and a Rancilio Silvia, and I'm able to produce excellent espresso with the combination using a bottomless portafilter. It is not too bad to dial in the grinder when you change beans, and fits great on my small counter. There is imperceptible grounds retention; if I tap the side of the machine after grinding, a dozen individual coffee grounds may fall. The only real downsides are the noise level, and getting the hopper sparkly-clean is a little tough (I blame my OCD, not the grinder). – JonR Feb 28 at 16:49
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Eliminating grounds retention is the last hurdle in my endless quest to produce an ideal espresso shot. The Mazzer SJ produces a nice even grind and is finely adjustable but even after modifying to on-demand single-shot mode it still retains too much. An old La Cimbali Magnum sans hopper was offered at auction and nobody else wanted it so it now graces my bench. What a revolution it is in design, engineering, construction quality and performance. The conical chute that feeds beans into the burrs, combined with the shape of the grinding chamber allows it to pull in every bean even with only a single-shot dose loaded, and if it takes in 16g of beans it outputs 16g of grounds. Yes it is huge and will be hard to find but after years of testing and comparing espresso equipment I will never look at another grinder again.enter image description here

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I don't have any personal experience with this grinder, but the niche zero was designed for this specific purpose.

https://www.nichecoffee.co.uk/

If you want to hear more about it, James Hoffmann has great review of it, and uses it in many of his videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzOY2tHyZ4w

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I know I am little bit late to this question but I think a noteworthy grinder for your use would be the Wilfa Uniform.

James Hoffman compared it in great detail to the Nice Zero, and overall, I think it would suit your needs great!

In addition to that it has great availability compared to the Nice and is quite a lot cheaper!

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