Ask the Alchemist #70

I’m so glad you have the Premier Grinder now. But I now don’t know which one to pick. Which is your favorite?

One day in, and I’ve already had this question multiple times. Fair enough.


It’s kind of like asking which of your children you love more. Or for those of you without children, which parent. Or brother. Or sister. You get the idea. You might get along with one more than the other. You might go to one over the other in certain situations. But one rarely is a ‘favorite’.

It’s the same thing here. Really, it’s your call. But here are my thoughts on them laid out.

I like the price ($195) of the Premier vs the Spectra 11 ($479)

I like the 9 lb capacity of the Spectra 11 vs the Premier at about 6 lbs.

I don’t like that the Spectra 11 seems to have a tendency to go through belts faster than I like.

I don’t like that the cone on the Premier’s bowl strip its threads after some time (mine was over a year of heavy use) (they are looking at addressing this – and keep in mind this is an unmodified Grinder, not officially a modified Melanger).

I like that they both have Warranties.

I like that they both can grind nibs, although I’ll admit because of the Spectra’s belt appetite, the Premier does do a more efficient job.

I like the foot print of the Premier.

I like the larger grinding area (larger wheels) of the Spectra.

That’s about it. And counting up, it’s basically a wash. It comes down to preferences, budget and need.

4 Responses to “Ask the Alchemist #70”

  1. Hello. Have you any thoughts on using the Premier to grind hazelnuts into a paste? I’m truing to make a gianduiotto and am looking for alternatives to a food processor to get a smooth paste. Think it would work for that?

    Also, in one of your posts you referenced that it refines 80%. Could you elaborate on that?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. There is no reason at all that the Premier should not grind hazelnuts. They are soft. My rule of thumb is anything that will do a nut will do cocoa, so the reverse is true.

    If you can point me to the 80% reference I’ll explain, but it does not ring a bell. Maybe I meant it holds 80% of the Spectra? If so, that number is a little off. More like 70%.

  3. Do you have any experience with cocoa towns melanger ecgc12slta? It seems most people are going for the less expensive refiner/melangers, but I have usually found that you get what you pay for. I’ve started selling my chocolate to some small local businesses and want something reliable that will make more and finer chocolate than my vitamix. I also have no mechanical talent if something goes wrong. Thanks!

  4. Sabrina,

    I really can’t speak much of cocoa town’s melangers EXCEPT to say in this case price does not mean better quality. It just mean more expensive. I won’t deal with them any longer for a myriad of reasons. Mostly I don’t like how they deal with their customers and support.

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