I finally decided to buy the DF64 as my first electric grinder (deciding what to get was pretty difficult… I wrote about this in this post)
So it’s now time to actually buy it!
Depending on where you are in the world, you may not have local distributers who will sell the DF64 to you.
And as with anything espresso related, there are no local distributers in Japan…
I ended up importing the grinder directly from the manufacturer. Let me share my experience doing this.
Ordering the DF64
I decided to order the grinder though this DF64 website. I’m pretty sure it’s the manufacturer’s website.
There were other options like Alibaba, but the price was a little bit cheaper from this website, and as I will mention later, I could buy SSP burrs together here, so that was rather convenient.
(I will mention this again later, but I had a bit of trouble getting the grinder to work initially. But the customer support of this website was awesome and I was able to get it working in a week or so. I recommend buying here if you are buying from another country)
The website looks like this.
Clicking on the CHECK NEW MODELS brought me to this page with all the models.
About the new models
To tell you the truth, I bought the grinder a couple weeks back, and it was just before they released these new models.
I only noticed these new models when I checked back into the site to write this post.
I got rather scared that I may have bought my grinder at the worst timing possible… but I had to take a look at the new models.
As far as I can tell, the DF64E and the DF64P are the new models. (I think the ZF64 existed from before but it seems that it got updated)
The DF64E and P seem to be the same base design, with the E having a grind to order capability with a timer.
Both use 64mm flat burrs like the original DF64.
The notable change is in the grind adjustment mechanism. The original as a rotating disk at the top, where as the new models have this knob on the bottom.
The product page clearly states that these new models are design for espresso. I would imagine that with the constrained range of the knob, it may have some issues when you want to grind coarse for filter coffee. (Please note I have no experience withe new models, so it may not have any issues)
The adjustability and the control of the grind size would be affected by this new mechanism. I would assume it’s an improvement from the original.
Another concern might be the range of the grind size when you put different burrs in it.
Visually, it changed from the slanted design of the original to a straight up design. And it had new wooden accents, which is a nice touch.
Personally I kind of like the original slanted design a bit better.
A major improvement can be seen in the placement of the power switch. There are many complaints for the original which has the switch below the grind catch, which is rather awkward to reach. The manufacturer listened to the feedback and put the switch to the side on the new model!
(But I have no idea why they decided to move the cable placement to the side as well…)
The size seems pretty similar to the original, so I guess they use the same motor.
Overall I think I would have chosen the proven original model even if I was given the choice, so all good in the end it.
Choosing the options
Sorry that was a long detour, but back to ordering the DF64.
You can choose the color of your machine. The DF64 is not painted, but it’s wrapped in vinyl, so they give you quite a few options. I just went with black.
For the burr option, you are given the choice of standard Italmill Burrs or the SSP burrs with added cost.
I chose the standard. And bought the SSP burr separately.
The main reason is that I wanted both burrs to compare. And as an added bonus, its actually slightly cheaper to buy the SSPs separately. I assume it has to do with the labor cost of replacing the standard burrs with the SSPs.
The final option is the power supply. I am in Japan so I chose the 100V 60Hz.
Actually, we have 100V 50Hz in East Japan, and 100V 50Hz in West Japan. There was some issues at first but in the end I was able to use it with 100V 50Hz. Make sure you choose the right one for your country.
Buying the SSP Burrs
As I mentioned, you can buy the SSP burrs together with the DF64. The fact that the DF64 uses standard 64mm burrs is one of the major advantages of the DF64. So naturally, I have got to get one of the SSP burrs.
They sell the standard Italmill burrs as well as a titanium coated version of it. But what I’m here for are the SSPs.
There is a note here saying shipping for the burrs only costs about 50USD. So you might as well get one together with your grinder.
There are 3 burr types from SSP, the Unimodal, Multipurpose, and the Lab Sweet.
I am no expert in burrs but the mulitpurpose seem to be the most popular choice. They emphasize the clarity to give you both excellent pour-overs and modern style espresso.
The checkout process could not have been easier.
Entering your address immediately shows the shipping cost. For my case the shipping to Japan was $60.
All in all with the grinder itself + SSP multipurpose burrs + shipping cost totaled to $665.
The dollar is strong right now so it ended up as about 90,000 yen. Not the best time…. but can’t do anything about that.
After confirming the purchase, they send you a notification email.
I use gmail, but in my case it got sorted into my promotions folder and did not notice it for a while. If you don’t see it, you may want to look in different folders.
About the Shipment
I ordered on Wednesday midnight, and on the next day I got a tracking number from FedEx.
The tracking number originally said it will take 12 days until arrival. Seemed a bit long but with the current situation of logistics, can’t complain.
My grinder got shipped out of Singapore, moved to China on Saturday and by Monday morning it landed in Japan. Then it arrived at my house on the same day. 5days earlier than the expected 12days. Awesome!
I was also half expecting some customs tax, but thankfully there were no extra costs needed.
The ordering and shipment was so smooth that I was amazed how easy that was.
I will post a unboxing and first impressions article next.
Actually I have already had the grinder in my hands for a couple of weeks already.
At first the grinder did not spin at all…. So that was very devastating, but after some investigations I was able to come up with a fix for the issue.
Also I contacted the manufacturer thought the website, and they were extremely helpful.
They took a couple of days to figure out what the issue was, but after that they immediately sent me a replacement circuit board with some adjusted parts. Apparently there are some issues with using the DF64 in some parts of Japan.