Tested: Espresso Grinds Sifted & Analyzed - Manual vs Prosumer Grinder

March 16, 2017


Using sieves, we analyze and compare grinds from a manual and prosumer level espresso grinder. Marc tests the particle size of grinds from the ROK Manual grinder and the Ceado E5P. Find out if the ROK can produce a grind quality matching the electrically powered Ceado. See how grounds particle size distribution above and below 500 microns compares between the ROK and Ceado E5P.

The ROK vs the Ceado E5P

Now off the bat let me say this is not a laboratory grade test, but it will gives us a good idea of whether the ROK manual grinder produces a quality on par with the Ceado.

So the ROK grinder claims to closely match the grind particle size distribution of espresso grinders like the Baratza Vario. Here’s a graph provided by ROK showing particle size distribution of their grinder versus the Vario as well as a manual Porlex and Delonghi grinders. Notice how closely the graph matches for the ROK and Vario and the concentration of grinds peaking at around 500 microns.

Now I stepped up the challenge a bit using the Ceado E5P instead of the Baratza Vario. The Ceado is a prosumer level espresso specialist. On paper, with a larger 64mm burr set it should produce an equal or better grind than the Vario.

So I’ll do the sifting in a minute and share the results. But first, how I arrived at the grind from each grinder to sift in the first place. So what I did was dial in each grinder to produce a double shot in 25 seconds using a 17 gram dose. I pulled the shots on the ECM Synchronika which is one of my favorite prosumer level dual boiler machines.

After getting the grind dialed in I ground again on each, weighed out 17 grams of coffee, and sifted through a 500 micron filter. Now the sifting took quite awhile. What I did initially was capture the grinds on top of a 250 micron screen sifting for about 2 minutes. Following that I sifted each set of grinds over white paper for a few more minutes until the amount of grinds coming thru was insignificant.

For each set of grinds I then weighed the amount above 500 microns and below 500 and here are the results.

Our Findings

As you can see the results are very similar between the grinders with around 15 grams below 500 microns and about 2 grams above 500. Now my original intention was to also measure the amount of grinds under 250 microns but I ran into a problem as the 250 micron sieve always clogged rapidly and let very few particles through.

Going back to the grind analysis graph provided by ROK, my somewhat unscientific testing confirms their basic results. My starting grind may have been a hair finer than theirs but the basic particle size distribution is very similar.

So what does all this mean? Well, in my opinion if you are willing to crank it out by hand the ROK manual grinder can match the grind quality of a prosumer level espresso grinder.

But is there a taste difference? Well, use the link here to watch our video comparing flavor of shots pulled using grinds from the ROK and a Baratza Vario. As it turned out, they were very similar.

You know you’ll hear a lot that after the coffee you’re using, the grind is the most important factor in producing exceptional espresso.

Thanks for reading be sure to come back soon for more of the good stuff on everything coffee brought to you by Whole Latte Love.