The Gaggia MDF coffee grinder may be just the ticket. For an under $300 coffee grinder, the Gaggia grinder has features that will jumpstart your quality coffee making experience.
In this review we’ll talk about some of the things that make the Gaggia a good value and a good grinder.
If you’ve been looking at the MDF or similar grinders, then you know the importance of fresh ground coffee. Even more, you probably know that consistency in grind is paramount. Especially if you’re making espresso.
How do you get that consistency?
Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Coffee Grinder
Gaggia 8002 MDF Burr Coffee Grinder
What Type of Grinder Is the Gaggia MDF Grinder?
This is how. The Gaggia has a 50 mm flat steel burr that’s coupled with a strong motor. The grinder can power through a hopper full of beans and give you the consistency you want.
Burr grinders are considered to be the best way to grind your beans. There is some debate on whether to use a conical or flat burr, but the jury is out and has been for years. As long as it’s not a blade grinder, you’re in good hands.
The thing to be aware of is that the MDF is a bit slower than comparable units. This is due to the gear reduction system Gaggia uses in the grinder.
The good news though is that the trade-off for a little slowness is less heat. This slower grind lessens the chance that your beans will become overheated or burned.
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Heat is a showstopper
This can be an issue with faster grinders if you’re not paying attention to how long you grind. The overheating is like roasting the beans again. The result being poor quality and bitter coffee. And the thing is, it can happen before you know it.
One more advantage of a slower grind is that the unit is quieter than many on the market. Not silent, but at least it won’t sound like the local coffee shop moved into your kitchen.
I don’t know about you but I’ll take it. It may take 20 seconds or so longer, but the coffee will be much better.
How Many Grind Settings Are There?
There are 34 click stopped adjustments. The adjustments are made by twisting the hopper. A lot of readers have found that the steps between five and seven tend to be the best settings for regular coffee. The coarser ground works well for French Press and drip coffee, while the finer grinds are best for espresso.
If the hopper has beans in it, you’ll want to do the adjustments while the grinder is running. This keeps the beans in motion so that they don’t get in the way of the burrs where they can block your ability to make the adjustments. The alternate choice is to change the settings while the machine is off and the hopper is empty.
Does the Gaggia Grinder Have a Doser?
Yep, the MDF is a doser grinder. The 10oz capacity hopper feeds beans to the grinding mechanism. As they’re ground, they drop into a holder. This holder has a rotating carousel that has six chambers of 7g each.
In theory, you pull the handle, the doser rotates and dumps 7g of coffee into the portafilter. Unfortunately, it’s not always that precise and sometimes you need to give the handle another yank or two to fill the portafilter. This is one common complaint about the MDF. But in my research, that’s a common complaint about non-commercial doser grinders in general.
That, and the mess they can make…
Why do Coffee Grounds Always Get Spilled?
Unfortunately, it’s this problem that seems to generate the most ill feelings toward the Gaggia. The biggest complaint is that the doser assembly is poorly designed and messy. Most people treat it pretty lightly, but there are some that are pretty militant about it.
Which is completely wrong.
Thing is folks, grinders are messy. It doesn’t matter whether they’re doser or doserless. Coffee grounds are small, prone to static cling and lightweight. It’s like dust – it just happens and can get everywhere.
Then of course, there’s general coffee grounds spillage. A spill is going to occur on any grinder whether it has a doser or not when you’re using a portafilter. Imagine you overfill it and you’re pulling the filter out. A bump, a jerk or a jiggle and you’ve spilled coffee.
A couple of solutions I’ve come across are to set the grinder on a cookie sheet or tray. When grinding is done, collect the spilled grounds and use them later in your French press or regular drip coffee. Another alternative is to use a paper towel. Then wad it up and toss it out when you’re done grinding.
Don’t let some spilled grounds turn you off from buying a separate grinder. This didn’t stop the satisfied buyers from giving the Gaggia MDF good recommendations.
Fill ‘er up…
While, it’s possible to grind the full hopper capacity, it’s not a good idea to leave the grounds in the doser. It doesn’t have an air tight seal and air is the enemy of fresh ground coffee. The coffee will start to go stale.
So much for great coffee.
Can I Store My Ground Coffee?
Yep, you can grind and then store the coffee in an airtight container like the Vacu Vin Coffee Saver Starter Set.
Overall, I don’t recommend grinding more than you’re going to use at any one time. At the risk of beating it into the ground, fresh ground coffee really is the best cuppa.
If the doser gets full, there will be some left over grounds when it’s emptied. This means you’ll have some old coffee mixing with the new.
We don’t want that.
But the issue of getting to the grounds that are left in the doser is also easily fixed. Just use a small brush and sweep them out through the downspout.
On your tray, don’t forget the tray…
Psst… Want a Secret Tip?
Here’s the secret to making great coffee. Fresh ground coffee, clean water and a lot of experimenting. We’ve already talked about burr grinders. This is really how baristas get so good, they make a lot of coffee.
Coffee and espresso are meant to be enjoyed. Make it a fun experience with friends and family. You might even come up with some fun and tasty results.
Here’s another tip if you want to minimize grounds in the doser. Time your grinder. This is where your experiments pay off. You may find that 15 seconds of grinding gives you just the amount of ground coffee that you need. This also helps keep your coffee cost down because you’re not wasting beans.
Can It Give Me a Turkish Coffee Grind?
Yes, you can set the MDF to grind the beans down to the real powdery type of grounds that you need for Turkish coffee. In fact, some feel the grind settings below 5 are getting pretty fine, so you have a lot of room to experiment on your Turkish brew.
Where Is the Gaggia MDF Coffee Grinder Made?
The Gaggia MDF is made in Milan Italy at their Robecco sul Naviglio factory. The grinder is serviced by Gaggia USA in New York.
Can I Use the MDF in a Commercial Setting?
The MDF is perfect for home use and would possibly work out for a small office. Though it’s called a prosumer unit, it isn’t a commercial grade unit and isn’t meant to be a choice for the heavy usage of larger offices or a cafe.
While we’re talking about where to use it, this might be a good place to bring up the light weight of the grinder. While not a problem while it’s grinding, it does tend to slip around on the counter when you’re trying to dispense the coffee. A quick fix is to stick on some rubber feet or non-slip pads you can buy at the local big box hardware store.
What’s the Warranty?
The Gaggia MDF grinder is covered by a one-year parts and labor warranty. For information on replacement parts, repair or refurbishment services, you can contact their customer service desk at 888-389-4123 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Hours of operation are Monday – Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST.
Who’s it for?
It’s for the coffee or espresso drinker who wants to take their coffee experience up a notch without gouging the wallet. Paired with a good coffee maker like the Gaggia Classic espresso maker, the combo will serve most users very well. And for the coffee drinker who wants to experiment with other coffees like Turkish style.
Is The MDF Worth the Price?
The Gaggia MDF coffee grinder is marketed as a good entry level grinder and it is. There are some minor issues to deal with but for the majority of buyers, they haven’t been deal killers. Take a look above and you’ll see there are easy workarounds for what are actually common grinder problems, not specific product problems.
It’s more expensive than a blade grinder or a manual grinder. What you’re getting in return is a much higher quality and consistency of ground coffee and time savings. Well worth your coffee bean investment.
Where can I buy the Gaggia MDF Coffee Grinder?
The Gaggia can be found in many large kitchen specialty stores. It’s also carried on Amazon where you can take advantage of Amazon’s after sales support and free shipping (btw, now’s a great time to take advantage of that shipping and do your other shopping too.)
Are you ready to step up your coffee and espresso game? If you’re ready to do it, here’s what you need to do next:
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