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The Grinder. - Back to previous page
Espresso is extracting coffee solids from the ground bean using heated water under pressure. The pressure comes from the pump, but the coffee in the portafilter basket needs to restrict the flow to cause the heated water to interact with the coffee long enough to dissolve the solids properly. To make the puck properly restrict the flow, the right volume of coffee has to be ground to the right degree of fineness and the coffee has to be evenly distributed in the basket without any "underground" cracks.
Therefore you will need a grinder that allows you to adjust the grind size with consistency to the point where it is so fine that the flow goes to zero and can then be adjusted to a coarseness that permits the right flow.
Use a good grinder like the Rancilio Rocky doserless or any other grinder of at least as high a quality and that will have the same or a lesser amount of clumping.
clumping could have a lesser dramatic effect in a more sophisticated espresso machines.
The Rocky does produce some clumping which will do okay for drip (or French press) coffee but that clumping makes shots produced by its grinding much less consistent in making Espresso at high pressure (as in Espresso machine). The Baratza Vario or the Vario-W are much better choice because itís design reduces clumping to a minimum.
None of the commercial type grinders (such as the Mazzer Mini) will do any better than the Rocky for home use.
The M3 grinder by Versalab also has virtually no clumping, but because of price it is out of reach to most, (and may also take away the challenge in dosing the basket).
Now as of November 2016 we have the Sette 270-W which perform better than all the above.
As of September 2018 we have the Sette 270-Wi (an upgraded from the 270-W) which perform better than all the above.