LUCCA Atom 75 vs. Eureka Atom 75: Grinding Reimagined

LUCCA Atom 75 vs. Eureka Atom 75: Grinding Reimagined

If you’ve never heard of LUCCA until now, this is a good time for a proper introduction. LUCCA is Clive Coffee’s product brand, born out of a desire to create dynamic, functional, and beautiful products for home and professional baristas. We collaborate with Italian espresso machine and grinder manufacturers so you can craft memorable espresso experiences. We even have a line of premium accessories to complete your espresso bar. Our products are meant to solve real problems experienced by real home baristas at all skill levels. Let’s dig into the guiding philosophy behind the LUCCA Atom 75, how the LUCCA Atom 75 can make you a better home barista, the differences between the Eureka Atom 75, and which grinder is best for your needs.

LUCCA M58 espresso machine (stainless steel) with a white LUCCA Atom 75 espresso grinder lifestyle photo by Clive Coffee

The Guiding Philosophy of Clive Coffee 

Clive Coffee’s bread and butter is talking espresso with our customers on the phone, figuring out their challenges and their coffee desires, and how we can realize them. Home espresso was still a relatively new concept in Clive's infant years. While our collective experience in the specialty coffee industry served our mission well, we spent overtime teaching every new home barista how to dial in their grinder. Thus, we started brainstorming ideas on how to make the initial learning curve much smoother. 

Based on hundreds of calls a month, we figured out fairly quickly that there was a sizable frustration with negative espresso outcomes out of the box. We collected the data and put together trends and patterns such as over/under extraction, channeling, improper dosing, not using a scale, not using an espresso recipe, and eyeballing their shots. However, the biggest issue we discovered was that customers, especially new home baristas, needed help finding a good starting point. Not having a guide meant we saw pounds of coffee waste before pulling their first good shot. 

talent tamping down coffee for espresso lifestyle by clive coffee

So, we got to work, started pulling thousands of shots, and the dial-in service was born. Eight years ago, we partnered with Verve Coffee Roasters to give you a bag of coffee with each espresso machine purchase and dial in your grinder for a smooth, out-of-box grinding experience. Now, the dial-in service endures, and you can choose your own coffee based on your own personal tasting preferences. What's better than a bag of freshly roasted coffee on your doorstep just waiting to be brewed? 

The Origins of the LUCCA Atom 75 & TrueGrind

The dial-in service was a huge success. Every grinder paired with an espresso machine was dialed in, and folks began to experience more success pulling their first few shots. A few key goals were achieved: fewer initial adjustments were needed, and less coffee was wasted as a result. 

bottom perspective of an espresso extraction with a bottomless portafilter lifestyle by clive coffee

Naturally, we needed more than the dial-in service, and we were insatiable with our goal of making home baristas better at making espresso. Of course, we thought of a crazy idea—let’s take the dial-in service to the next level and create a grinder that could dial in itself. Initially, we thought this to be an impossible task. Why?

  • Dialing in an espresso is something a skilled person can do reasonably quickly, but only after they've had many hours of training and experience.
  • Getting an espresso to hit a target recipe quickly requires tweaking several variables of a complex system all at once (dose, time, yield, temperature, grind setting, etc).
  • A skilled barista will bring equal parts logic and intuition gained from experience to the problem. The logic tells them which way to adjust one or more variables, and experience & intuition tell them how far they should adjust them.

Yet, while we hit a wall for a while, we realized that with the help of artificial intelligence, we could build a mathematical model of how an espresso shot is made from start to finish, which became TrueGrind. To make Truegrind, we exposed a machine-learning algorithm to a vast data set, which teased out complex relationships between the variables that go into making an espresso.

Thus, you can enter a target recipe (coffee dose, desired liquid espresso yield, and brew time) for the grinder to suggest a starting grind position as a numerical value. You only have to manually turn the adjustment dial in the direction of the arrow and stop when you reach the suggested grind setting. This predictive model constantly grows based on feedback, and data points are entered to improve constantly. Thus, TrueGrind, in a way, does dial in itself, you just have to turn the adjustment knob. Once we achieved results, we needed to materialize it in a grinder; we collaborated with Eureka and based our design on the Atom 75. Pairing the Atom 75’s massive motor, design logic, and large burr set with TrueGrind was a no-brainer. 

With the Lucca Atom 75, we sought to flatten the curve and make home espresso accessible to home baristas at any skill level while maintaining affordability backed up with the bones of a recognized brand and product. Making espresso can be complex and messy; we aim to help you make better espresso, one shot at a time.

Dial in Assitant, AI, & a Better Way to Dial In

Dialing in—a coffee industry term that simply means adjusting your grinder to make your burrs father or closer together with the goal of creating a coarser or finer grind particle size. Dialing in your grinder is one of the pillars of espresso fundamentals. The LUCCA Atom 75 makes espresso more accessible for the home barista by taking out the guesswork at any skill level. 

Take full advantage of TrueGrind by using grinding in recipe mode 

After selecting a coffee from the library, it is transferred to the grinder using the phone app. On the grinder or the phone app, you can enter the stats you want for your dose, weight, and time when you are in recipe mode. TrueGrind will suggest an initial starting point, so move the dial in the direction that is indicated on the screen by the arrow indicator. Sure, you could use the grinder in continuous or timed modes for those who don’t take advantage of the app, but why wouldn’t you use it? You’ll surely get better espresso. Don’t worry if you’re not using a coffee from the library, TrueGrind recipe mode can be used from any profile that you create!

The next logical step was to create the dial-in assistant as a central feature of the LUCCA Atom 75, making dialing in more seamless and interactive. Often, we don’t get that perfect shot on the first try. This is where the dial-in assistant shines. After pulling your first shot, press the dial assistant wheel under the pulse function, and you’ll come to a screen that prompts you to enter your shot weight and time from your previous grind setting. After entering those values, the dial-in assistant will recalculate the settings and tell you where to adjust your dial. Repeat this process if needed. Each numbered adjustment represents 5 microns or 0.005mm, which is a testament to how accurate TrueGrind is. 

The dial-in assistant is essential for daily driver coffees and home baristas who often like to switch and experiment with different coffees—switching from an espresso blend to a more challenging light roast. Use the dial-in assistant to help you find the starting point, get there faster, and waste less time and coffee. It doesn’t remove the art from the craft; it makes it more flavorful. 

How the LUCCA Atom 75’s Burrs Stand Out 

We have to give a shout-out to the heavy lifting (or grinding) that these special burrs do. The LUCCA Atom 75 are 75mm burrs use the same alloy as the Eureka diamond inside burrs but have a higher chromium content. Importantly, these burrs are lightly media blasted (sandblasted) first to pre-season them. 

Typically, with most grinders, it could take upwards of 5 lbs of coffee or more to season the burrs properly, depending on how large the diameter of the burrs and if they are flat or conical. Seasoning is important because flat burrs, especially, are initially extremely sharp, resulting in too many fines and uneven coffee particles. Once those sharp edges grind more and more coffee, they dull slightly and produce a more even partial distribution for a longer period of time. 

Since the LUCCA burrs are pre-seasoned, there is no breaking-in period, helping you with coffee waste and helping you dial in with more consistency. The LUCCA burrs are also long-lasting. After the burrs are media blasted,  they are cryo-treated, which creates carbide crystals, making them exceptionally hard and resistant to further wear. With normal everyday use, expect the burrs to last 10-15 years before replacing them. 

The LUCCA App and Coffee Library 

We touched on these two features a bit earlier in this blog, and they work in tandem to help make your grinding experience as smooth as possible. Here's a quick recap:

  • Coffee library—(able to switch between coffees easily and update current recipes and roast dates). You can use any coffee, not just coffee provided in the library. 
  • App—(helps keep the coffee library organized, make recipe adjustments, find resources, and search for new coffees. 

What about the Eureka Atom 75? A Comparison: 

The LUCCA Atom 75 is our baby, but we still love its base model—the Atom 75 by Eureka. The latter is for the home barista who wants a more manual grinding experience but still wants the convenience of hands-free grinding, timed and continuous grinding, and step-less infinite adjustment. Both are essentially commercial grinders spec’d out for home use, willing and able to grind anything, anytime, anywhere with the utmost precision and accuracy. 

LUCCA Atom 75 VS Eureka Atom 75

The LUCCA Atom 75 espresso grinder is a culmination of several years of talking to home baristas about their needs and specific goals—all coming from a place of passion for coffee and the people who love making coffee. Choosing the right grinder is the most essential part of your espresso setup, so we wanted to create an experience that is dynamic and exciting, where any home barista can pull great shots, no matter if they are a novice or a seasoned veteran. The LUCCA Atom 75 is not just a grinder, but a dream come true, born out of an idea that puts baristas first and helps them make the best espresso they can.