Monday, December 8, 2014

The Lido 2 Grinder Review (by Bart)

The Lido 2 grinder review

As I told you last time, I have been reviewing two new grinders for Caffenation. In my previous review you can read about my motivation to getting a new grinder and my experience with the Rhino, a very decent portable grinder. Now it's time for something completely different: the Lido 2 grinder.

If you compare just the two boxes of the grinders, you will notice the Lido 2 comes from a different league. The box is very large and heavy compared to the small Rhino box. It contains the Lido 2 grinder itself, a stand to fit the grinder, a brush to clean it, the manual and a ball driver to deconstruct the Lido for thorough cleaning.
Certainly most striking is the design and the size of the Lido: this grinder is big and made of sturdy glass and metal. At first I was afraid that this glass design might make the Lido fragile, but actually it feels strong and reliable. 
Surprisingly for this price range the Lido does not come with a pouch. This confirms my suspicion on how I would use this grinder. This cool tool is not made for a quick cup on the road, it's made for a slow and perfectly tuned cup at home or even better at a competition.

As you would expect from a top range grinder, operation is more difficult. Fortunately after a short read you can easily use this grinder without having to refer to the manual continuously. Inserting beans in the grinder is simple: there is no lid on top, just pour your favorite beans in the grinder and you are ready to go. To collect your ground beans a glass jar is screwed under the Lido 2. At first this jar looks like a good old fashioned marmalade jar, but it feels more sturdy and reliable.

Adjusting your grind is much more flexible than with the Rhino, the Lido 2 gives you a much larger range of settings because it is infinitely adjustable. Because of this, I expect to see this grinder turning up at local Aeropress championships, where a perfectly tuned grind can make a large difference. The grind is adjusted with two rings, a larger ring determines how coarse or fine you want your ground coffee and a smaller ring locks the larger ring in place. The manual explains in detail how this works, including suggestions for different settings. The makers of the Lido 2 claim this grinder can grind your beans for espresso and I believe them, it will work. However, for daily espresso shots or in an espresso bar I would not recommend this grinder. Then you should look for a large volume machine.

This is an impressive tool, so what are the bad points? Weight and size certainly are not optimal for usage on the road, this is not a grinder you toss in your backpack when you go camping. Also important to note is that you will face a learning curve with the ring operation. The manual admits this, you will have to learn how to control this system to properly use it for perfect grinds. Finally, this is a professional grinder, which comes with a professional price tag. I believe it's worth its price and I seriously consider buying this one for perfect drip grinds at home. If you are a serious coffee amateur looking for a better grinder this is a good candidate.

To summarize, the Lido 2 is an impressive and high quality grinder, which is very powerful and flexible. It's not portable or cheap, but very powerful. I expect this grinder to show up at future coffee competitions or in the hands of passionate amateurs. If you want to invest in gear to get the best flavors from your beans, this grinder is for you.

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