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This is a decent grinder for the price. I have been using one of these for about 3 years, having upgraded from a Sunbeam EM0480. Much more consistent grind and less mess. The only slightly annoying thing is the pause function - if you do not resume the grind within 5 seconds of pausing, the timer is reset. In practice this means that when you pause to distribute/compact the coffee, you need to do it quickly, without playing with it. This is mostly not a big issue. Even if the timer resets, you can just grind whatever amount of coffee you want, simply by stopping and starting as required.
If you want to pause to redistribute, just set the timer to half-dose, and then run another half-dose on top.
(Although personally I weigh my dose rather than use timer-based dosing)
I've got my process fine tuned well enough to not be bothered by the 5 second timeout. However, your tip has a slight drawback. You normally need to redistribute/compact somewhere at the 75% stage of the grind, rather than at 50%. In my case, the total grind time is around 20 seconds and I usually pause with about 5 or 6 seconds to go.
I used to weigh my coffee for the first couple of weeks until I got a good feel for the process. The total mass of the coffee is just one variable and it can/should be tweaked. After a few years of using (predominantly) the same beans from the same supplier you get to know what settings to dial for a fresh lot of coffee and how to adjust over the next 5-7 days as you finish that lot of beans. You need to adjust both the coarseness and the time.
When I was roasting my own beans I'd be half way through the batch before I figured out what the optimal grind setting was for that lot. ;-)
You can set "1 shot" as 15sec, and set "2 shots" as 5sec to achieve what you are after. :)
Or if you want it to still make logical sense, set each "shot" as 5 secs, and then use "3 shots" (15sec) followed by "1 shot" (5sec).
I mean, do whatever works for you! I'm just saying that the machine is capable of being programmed to solved the issue you raised. :)
@caprimulgus: Oh this is game changing. I use to let it reset the timer and just go with it.
@caprimulgus: Lateral thinking! I like it. :-)
Weight is always more consistent and accurate way of measuring ground coffee in comparison to time spent grinding.