Robur at Home - Final Thoughts

So I've lived with the Robur for a bit. I think I have a pretty good handle on it now. Time for some final thoughts and my conclusion.

Note: These thoughts (and the conclusion) are purely focused on considering the use of a stock Robur (dosered) grinder at home. I'm not taking into account suitability for on-bar work. And I'm not considering how the Robur could be modified in any way, shape, or form.


1 - fantastic grind quality. The grind quality is on par with if not better than what I've seen with an Alinox. Far better than any home grinders I've ever seen.
2 - great shot clarity coupled with great shot density. Perhaps largely due to the grind quality, the Robur enables the hard act of producing shots that have both clarity and density. No "home" grinders really do this in my experience.
3 - forgiving on prep. Again, perhaps due to the grind quality (or the grind quality combined with the lack of clumping in the coffee), working with coffee from the Robur allows a certain amount of sloppiness in distribution.
4 - quiet, fast, clean. As compared to almost all grinders the Robur is pretty easy to live with. There are no rattles and minimal grinding or motor noise. Grinding a shot is very (VERY) quick. And it's (reasonably) clean.


1 - wastes a lot of coffee. I'm a reasonably efficient barista. But I'm wasting about 1/4lb out of every pound of coffee I use. Between adjusting the grind when changing coffees and the periodic overfill (it's a FAST grinder as I said) and the amount of coffee trapped in the grinder and the issues with minimum volume of beans in the hopper (see below) it's nearly impossible to be truly efficient with your use of coffee.
2 - significant learning curve. For me the learning curve was a couple of days - but that is largely because it consisted of remembering all the stuff I was taught when I worked at Stumptown. From the timing with the grind (reasonably quick to learn) to the amount of coffee required to flush post grind change (slow to get nailed) to tricks for adjusting the grind (hard to learn) and for keeping the grind consistent (very hard to learn) - there are a lot of things about working with the Robur that are challenging. Most of these are minor issues or non-issues on bar as you're just working them into the flow. At home... I'd guess that many baristas learning to use this machine would be pulling a lot of frustrating sub-par shots with wildly varying extractions for quite a while unless they really didn't change coffee.
3 - grind impacted by volume of beans. With a stock Robur you cannot do the home barista trick of weighing a single dose, dropping it in the hopper and grinding. Or, rather, you can do it but it negates the single biggest advantage of the Robur (the grind quality). I found a sweet spot that started at a little less than 1lb in the hopper. Variance in the grind was minor from full hopper down to about 1.25lbs. From 1.25lbs down to a little less than 1lb variance started to increase but was still manageable. Below that minimum (say 0.85lbs) it seemed like I would have to adjust the grind with each shot - endlessly chasing an ever-changing and unpredictable target. Once down below 0.5lbs not only was the grind constantly changing, the grind quality started to degrade.
4 - enormous. It's huge. Massive. I've got a small kitchen but honestly, I can't see this really "fitting in" to even the largest kitchen.
5 - expensive. Sure, if price is no object then this is not a con. But realistically, for most people the price point of the Robur is the biggest negative.


I love having the Robur in my house. My shots are easy to pull and are as good if not better than what I'm used to. The shots are slightly less consistent due to the wandering grind issues with volume changes, but that's just something that requires more discipline. I love the quiet of it. I love the speed of it. I love the simplicity of it.

But.... I pay for a small fraction of the coffee I make espresso from. If I were paying full retail for all the coffee I use - I'd be pretty seriously unhappy about this grinder. Wasting that much coffee.... yeah that would be tough.

And.... I know how to work with this grinder. I've had a few folks over who don't have the same experience and training and their frustration with just trying to get the grind into something close to the sweet spot for a specific coffee was illuminating for me.

In other words -- I love the Robur.
But I'd never suggest that the imaginary "average" home barista buy one.

It's still probably the best bar grinder out there.
But there are far cheaper, far easier to live with and far less demanding grinders for the home.

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