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The Robur – is it what every home enthusiast should aspire to? (probably not).

November 10, 2011

The Robur – is it what every home enthusiast should aspire to?


Coffee enthusiasts often figure out that as they move their budgets up their espresso gets better and better, so they wonder if going to the “top” of the grinder world will also lead to infinitely better espresso.  The king of the grinder world is the Mazzer Robur.  You can get a basic one for just under $2000 – what a steal!  


These grinders are the kings of the grinder world for a reason, but not one that necessarily makes it the best grinder for home.  


There are lots of pros.  They will last forever even at a coffee shop and at home they will probably outlast your children’s children’s children’s children and then some.  They are built like tanks.  They pump out fluffy grounds that are so nice that they compensate for some distribution errors, and other barista mistakes.  In other words, if you do not know what you are doing you are more likely to pull a good shot using a Robur than with a much cheaper grinder.


There are cons that come into play at home that are not really cons in a café.  They waste a lot of coffee.  Every time you use it there is quite a bit left in the grinder that gets spat out on the next shot.  If you are in a busy café this coffee is still fresh.  If you are at home it usually was not just ground and so it is not fresh.  


It is huge.  It is big enough that it dwarfs small children.


Most important, though, is the question of taste.  It uses huge conical burrs that are like those used in grinders from the K10 (sold here on Roaste) to the Macap M7K and M7D.  All of them have incredibly similar taste profiles to my taste.  You can even get the burrs in the Pharos hand grinder sold by Orphan espresso for nearly on tenth the price, which I have not tried, but have heard good things about.


In summary, it is a great grinder, but I think grinders like the Super Jolly that can be gotten for a fraction of a cost can produce slightly different, but equally good coffee.  The Robur is a bit like upgrading from a 60,000 car to an 80,000 car.  It may be better but you are paying a lot for a minimal return and you can argue that at home and under daily use it is arguably no better.  If you have used one you probably like it, but if you have not you need not covet it.  I love using one in a cafe, but I don't want one for my home.






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