Aergrind vs Mahlgut (small burr vs big burr conical) comparison for espresso


#1

So … I will separate the comparison here.
This is mainly for you @jmuir2009, but I though it may be inetersting to others to expand this.
Aergrind:


Grinds from aergrind - clumpy and less fluffy, set at 1turn 1,5 marks


Dose and spreaded look …


Shot … was very short at 1:1 ratio, 14bar, at 30+ seconds


Puck shots

Mahlgut:


More fluffy grounds with more air


Dose and spreaded look


Shot also short at 1:1,5 ratio, started with a drip at 5 bar, maxed at 10bar, in 30s


#2

I will add a bit of description of these shots in a moment (had just 60g of this kenya kamagogo from gardelli … so could not set up my regular 1:2 shots … so for now these short ones will have to do :)))

And here is what happened and how it worked and tasted.

First what happened before those two shots.

I tried pulling two doubbles from ikawa Burundi I had roasted, but get two fast shots at 1:1,5 and 1:0,5 aergrind settings. Came to a conclusion that this one did lay around for too long probably and does not work well to use for the test. But though the shots were fast they were not bad at all and I used them in affogato .))

Then I picked one of those Gardelli - Kenya Kamagogo - that I still had some limited amounts at home.

I tried the same settings with this one and choked Rossa Air.

So shifted it little bit, reduced the dose, and the result was still a slow ristretto shot at high pressure … last 20g went for the mahlgut test, which at my regular settings was also slower and shorter.

The ground coffee was a lot different, from aergrind its more clumpy and has less volume for the same weight (thats what reinforced my mistake, as I am used to weight but check if the dose is correct from volume - which works very well with mahlgut but confused me due to the lower volume of the grounds), the mahlgut ground coffee was fluffy and having more volume, no clumping.

Grinding took about a minute on aergrind and felt like quite a workout with the light roasted dense beans … would not want to grind more than 4 doses in a row, and could not keep grinding smoothly… but the two doses I did in a row were quite ok. On mahlgut it took about 6seconds or so, and though it needed even more force, I could grind more before I would not want to continue … quite a lot more.

When leveling the grounds and tamping the aergrind ones felt less smooth, if that has some meaning for you. Not bad by any means but sort of felt “clumpy” when being moved and compressed.

The shots did not have that thick look to it, also after they settled the crema was quite thin a layer - but its a light roast, its been open for a while, and so for me important part is that both shots were simillar in that … though I liked the looks of the crema from Mahlgut shot better.

The Aergrind shot tasted very intense, deep, rich, fruity … but a bit rough or harsh, and I found a taste note that was the same as with many of my Cafflano shots done with the same grinder - so I think there may be a recognizable taste profile that this grinder generates. It was not a bad shot actually, just had some rough layer in it, non polished feel …

The Mahlgut shot was less intense (to be expected from the ratio) but more fruity. And simply smooth… silky smooth. Exactly oposit to the first one this felt very smooth refined and cultivated.

Other than that both tasted very much alike…the fruit notes, the “kenyan” taste …

So … even though it may look like aergrind did not perform well, I would not think of it along those lines - its 15 times cheaper, and has way smaller burrs. So I think the difference in shot qualities was way smaller than the difference in grinder prices … Mahlgut one was clearly better, but subjectively like 2-3 times better not order of magnitude better. I think Lido2 would make better shot closer to mahlgut, and am pretty sure commandante would be somewhere around lido2 if it could be dialed.


#3

Will do some more tests when I have fresly roasted coffee …


#4

Can I has a brownie?

The Mahlgut shot certainly looked silkier for sure.


#5

You may have it for sure ;))


#6

Thanks @pavel this is all very helpful.

Interested that the Mahlgut shot was 2-3 times better - if that is the case then it seems to me that Aergrind is more of an emergency stand-in (for my purpose anyway). And in this case it should make sense to to step up to perhaps the Hiku.

I will be very interested to hear how the comparison with other grinders goes.

And I am very interested in your subjective opinions about how the various grinders taste (rather than just how shots look). And please don’t feel a need to rush to “work this out” imho it is probably better to let the impression/feelings arise naturally over time.

And I will take a tastes better (but looks worse) shot any day :wink:


#7

Well, quantifying how much better one shot is over another is impossible … so I would not focus too much on what multiplier did I use - I ment to say its not 10+ times better but rather just obviously better (not slightly better) :).
But you are right - I would not get it as a main espresso grinder. But its great grinder to have for traveling and times when you need replace temporarily your main one for some reason.


#8

I did another set with Gardelli Congo … but this one was quite too fast (some 50g of espresso im like 20s) … still the rougher vs smoother taste profile was noticeable though lot more subtle difference … and I would say Mahlgut shot was more fruity and juicy … but the difference was way smaller than in the first set. I would say more like tens of percents … Will continue with these side by side shots untill I get a one or two sets of my ideal 1:2 shots …


#9

If more people are reading this - I have one question for you. Since I do have multiple hand grinders at home, would you be interested in some testing of their espresso abilities?
What I can do is somthing along the lines of what I just started here - there are two basic questions - can it grind for espresso? and how good espresso it makes? … the first one can be objectively confirmed, the second one I can subjectively compare how it differs from my main espresso grinder.
So if you were interested just let me know.