Burr grinders, again--am I doing something wrong?
I am ready to return the Cuisinart DBM-8 Supreme Grind Burr Grinder I just purchased and go back to my reliable Bosch blade grinder. The Cuisinart unit is heavy and well-designed, the motor is smooth and not too noisy--but the resulting coffee has been consistently watery and flavorless, far less satisfactory than when using an *identical* amount of grounds from the blade grinder. The Cuisinart grinds are too large and irregular: Medium setting produces grinds the size of cracked peppercorns, second-to-Finest setting produces grinds suitable for a Melitta drip but still too coarse for espresso machines. The bottom line, however, is that even with the finest available grind, the resulting coffee is very weak-tasting unless I double the amount of grinds otherwise called for (which is unacceptably costly). Is it the Cuisinart model, my method of preparation,or something else?
if you're saying it's worse than the blade grinder, then it's probably your machine. i bought a capresso burr grinder and although it's not fantastic it's ten times better than my blade grinder.
it sounds like the cutting burrs are not calibrated correctly. if the manual has instructions on how to recalibrate the burrs then i would try that. otherwise definitely take it back and try another burr grinder.
i agree that if you're looking for a smooth espresso grind every time you might want to upgrade to one like a solis maestro. if you're looking for drip or presspot then i don't think you need to spend that much.
I think you are expecting too much from your Cuisinart grinder. It will do a perfectly fine job for coffee made in any number of ways, but for espresso, we found that one really needs a better grade of grinder to be used only for espresso. These grinders are always expensive, sad to say, but it is the only way to get the job done right. In other words, if you have both breakfast type coffee and espresso with any degree of regularity, you will want to bite the bullet and have two different grinders.
It doesn't sound like you're doing anything wrong. Finding a home grinder that does a good job on for espresso grinding isn't an entirely easy task. I've known people who removed/snapped little bits of metal or plastic off various brands to get the fineness required, but that's obviously not for everyone and probably can't be done on all brands anyway. I would Google around for one the coffee sites/forums and look for grinders that people are happy with for that specific task.
I can't offer any suggestions about grinders you're likely to see these days, I'm still holding on for dear life to the old Braun-made-in-Germany grinder I've had for years.