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Thread: Mazzer Mini Manual , first use impressions

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    Mazzer Mini Manual , first use impressions

    Cafelat Coffee Tamper and Accessories
    My Mazzer arrived last night from Coffee-a-roma, delivered next day which was great.

    Straight away i can taste the difference compared to my Rocky....that alone makes it a worthwhile upgrade.

    Another thing i noticed is that being a doser machine, i need to use far more beans to make my usual 2 cups. I guess being a bigger machine, more grinds are trapped in the spout and generally around the doser compared to the doserless Rocky I have. Maybe I should have bought the electronic ?

    I think it makes more mess that the doserless rocky too!

    As a side note, how long will beans stay fresh in the hopper? If I fill it, that will probably last me a few days but will the beans be OK?

    Anyway, the main thing is the taste and theres no doubt about the improvement.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Congrats.
    The first thing you ought to do is the doser sweeper mod. A bit of duct tape along 3 or more of the vanes and it will leave fewer grounds behind. Also, use a pastry brush or small paint brush to sweep out the chute leading into the doser.

    Finally, buy or make a doser funnel. The funnel sits on top of your filter basket to catch the grinds as you dose rather than spread everywhere. Much less mess and wastage.

    I have tried keeping beans in the hopper. It improves grinder performance as the weight of beans above helps push the beans through but the beans do go stale quicker. So if taste is most important, only add enough beans to make the coffee at that time. Others have come up with various alternative hoppers or just not use the hopper at all. The grinder neck will hold at least one shot and put a relatively light weight object to apply a little pressure above. I used a cylindric

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    the duct tape mod sounds like a must.....i have heard about this before.

    Are there any pics online re the funnel mod?

    Is it worth buying the smaller hopper? Or is this just for people who are cramped from room>

    thx

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    FWIW Tony, Iv'e been using a Mini for about 2 years, like you it replaced my 10 year old Rocky.
    As far as feeding it is concerned, I never use the hopper for storage of beans, I weigh each and every shot (18 grams) then dump it into the running grinder, when grinding finishes I switch it off, brush the delivery chute out then turn the grinder on again briefly to clear grounds from the burr/chute area then dose giving the area a quick clean up with a my cheap brush as I go, when I finish there is very little ground coffee left in the doser and I'm set to go for the next shot.
    As far as the funnel mod is concerned, many people have made them from plastic yoghurt containers, or you can buy a nicely made job from Orphan espresso in the US for $18.50 plus freight, expensive but they do a good job and look nice.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    The duct tape mode - some use electrical tape but I have found duct tape more durable. Plenty of info online if you google 'mazzer mini tape mod'

    There are two types of funnels - one is the type you attach to the doser outlet to direct the grounds down instead of throwing to the left. The schnozzola or schectermatic mentioned on HB is one of the most popular.
    The other type you insert onto the filter basket like the one available from Orphan Espresso in the US (I'll let you look it up). You could also make one out of a tapered container like a yoghurt tub for example. I am now using the Orphan one and it has cut the grinder mess by a huge amount.

    The small hopper is mainly for fitting under low cupboards but some might like one for its looks. Not really required otherwise, and there are other options like a jam funnel

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    Senior Member WiredArabica's Avatar
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    After the duct-tape mod (I use pieces of thin clear plastic inserted in the vanes, more durable but harder to do), you may find an upside-down shot glass over the doser adjustment bolt makes keeping it clean a bit easier - a quick flick around with the grinder brush is all it takes.
    I use a small hopper on my SJ, mainly because the larger one just looks quite out of place where it is.

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    After using a full 250g bag to make one decent coffee this morning and around 45 minutes of swearing, i am putting the mazzer up for sale today in the appropriate section. Doser machines are just not for me. If anyone wants a bargain, 3 days old with receipts, check it out.

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    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    There is a learning curve for dosers Tony, but it's not that hard!

    I think you really should give it a try for a month and see how you go. You have a great grinder and now you just need to learn how to use it properly.

    Some users find dosing funnels like the coffee catcha makes things easier.

    You are welcome to bring your grinder in and try our demo if you like.

    Chris

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    chris that is a very kind offer, but this just isnt the grinder for me I'm afraid.

    I agree its a brilliant grinder but I think the compak k6 will suit me better

    thanks again

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    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    Disagree Tony.

    The K6 is a doser grinder as well. You will have the same issues.

    C

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    Ah sorry, I had my models mixed up....I mean the K3 !

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony8028 View Post
    After using a full 250g bag to make one decent coffee this morning and around 45 minutes of swearing, i am putting the mazzer up for sale today in the appropriate section. Doser machines are just not for me. If anyone wants a bargain, 3 days old with receipts, check it out.
    I agree that 3 days is not giving yourself much time to get used to your new Mini. You may well have a similar problem with a new Compak K3. Expect somewhat erratic grind quality as new burrs wear in. It will take a few kgs before you start noticing consistent performance.

    One other suggestion is to dose through the grinder ie don't grind then dose, thwack the lever while grinding. This will reduce clumping.
    Last edited by flynnaus; 17th November 2012 at 09:01 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flynnaus View Post

    One other suggestion is to do dose through the grinder ie don't grind then dose, thwack the lever while grinding. This will reduce clumping.
    not quite sure what you mean by that?

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    Senior Member specialpants's Avatar
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    Tony, how are you using your grinder? What sorts of problems are you running into?
    This is a video I created a little while back - I only run the grinder for about 30 seconds which gives me enough for one coffee. You obviously need to make adjustments until you find the sweet spot.
    Mazzer Mini (Doser Grinder) at home - YouTube

    What Flynnaus is trying to say is user the dosing lever while the grinder is running.

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    Thanks for that...I will check your video out.

    Problems basically are.....insane amount of coffee beans required to make a single cup, lots of wasted grinds, I also find that the view of the portafiller is obscured by the hopper so you cant really see what you are doing....which contributes to the mess/waste.

    I went through a 250g bag of coffee this morning to make myself and wife a coffee.

    Yes I know there are mods that can be done, but I would rather by something that worked from the start.

    Agreed; all of the above is operator error and these unit received glorious reviews everywhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by specialpants View Post
    Tony, how are you using your grinder? What sorts of problems are you running into?
    This is a video I created a little while back - I only run the grinder for about 30 seconds which gives me enough for one coffee. You obviously need to make adjustments until you find the sweet spot.
    Mazzer Mini (Doser Grinder) at home - YouTube

    What Flynnaus is trying to say is user the dosing lever while the grinder is running.

  16. #16
    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony8028 View Post
    not quite sure what you mean by that?
    It's also called free dosing. Instead of waiting for the grinder to grind the beans and then fill your filter basket, fill the basket while grinding and stop the grinder when the basket is full. Or, even better, when almost full so that when you sweep out the dregs from the grinder throat and doser and dose into the filter basket, you have a full basket and a clean grinder.

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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tony8028 View Post
    Thanks for that...I will check your video out.

    Problems basically are.....insane amount of coffee beans required to make a single cup, lots of wasted grinds, I also find that the view of the portafiller is obscured by the hopper so you cant really see what you are doing....which contributes to the mess/waste.

    I went through a 250g bag of coffee this morning to make myself and wife a coffee.

    Yes I know there are mods that can be done, but I would rather by something that worked from the start.

    Agreed; all of the above is operator error and these unit received glorious reviews everywhere.
    I suspect that having realized early that this is not the machine for you is a smart move, I can see that the Mini would not be suited to those of us who don't have the time and inclination to tinker and clean.
    It's a shame your going to drop $150 on the deal, however, as they say realising a mistake, taking a bit of a loss then moving on sooner rather than later is the way to go.
    Good luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    It's a shame your going to drop $150 on the deal, however, as they say realising a mistake, taking a bit of a loss then moving on sooner rather than later is the way to go.
    Good luck.

    You are spot on - i love my coffee but dont have time (with a 5 month old in the house) to have to 'negotiate' my coffee each morning! I might even just go back to the rocky.

    re the $150 loss...Ah well...i always wondered about doser machines , so now I know. If i can pass this on to another CSer at a good price, then thats fine.

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    Hi,
    I too had a Mazzer mini doser and after a year I sold it for the same reasons you have outlined above. I replaced it with a Macap MD4 which I have been extremely happy with for the last 4 years. Have a look at them via one of the site sponsors. I have found mine to be fantastic
    Cheers
    Dr Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr_Dave View Post
    Hi,
    I too had a Mazzer mini doser and after a year I sold it for the same reasons you have outlined above. I replaced it with a Macap MD4 which I have been extremely happy with for the last 4 years. Have a look at them via one of the site sponsors. I have found mine to be fantastic
    Cheers
    Dr Dave
    Thanks Dave. Will check that Macap MD4 out for sure.

    There's no doubt about the quality of the coffee the mazzer produces - from the first shot it seemed to extract that extra something out of the beans the the rocky was missing....but for my needs I think something like the Macap MD4 will be the way to go - nice top.

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    Senior Member SniffCoffee's Avatar
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    There's also the Macap M2D, which I understand is a smaller version of the M4D - probably smaller burrs too. But definitely doserless!

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    Interesting thread Tony, I am a few weeks off getting my Mazzer. After reading all the doser vs doserless threads etc stll a bit unsure which way to go.

    While i don't really mind doing the mods, and could definatey 'live with' the doser it does seema little bit like you need to work around the fact its a doser for home use. (weighing beans, extra areas for grinds to collect etc)
    Not a big issue but when i use twice a day, every day year after year i think the $300 or so extra for a Mini e may be money well spent.

    Interested to know if thoses with the new style mini electronics are finding the dosing accurate with only a few beans in the hopper or are you still weighing the beans in?
    And with the bigger burrs does the mini e grind any faster or just run slower to reduce heat?

    Hope this is not off topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 61sg View Post
    Interesting thread Tony, I am a few weeks off getting my Mazzer. After reading all the doser vs doserless threads etc stll a bit unsure which way to go.

    While i don't really mind doing the mods, and could definatey 'live with' the doser it does seema little bit like you need to work around the fact its a doser for home use. (weighing beans, extra areas for grinds to collect etc)
    Not a big issue but when i use twice a day, every day year after year i think the $300 or so extra for a Mini e may be money well spent.

    Hope this is not off topic.
    I am wondering whether the electronic may have been a better option (it was actually my first choice) but there is a huge price jump from the manual.

    Its a shame you are not local, you could of had my mazzer for a steal.

  24. #24
    Site Sponsor Talk_Coffee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 61sg View Post
    While i don't really mind doing the mods, and could definatey 'live with' the doser it does seema little bit like you need to work around the fact its a doser for home use. (weighing beans, extra areas for grinds to collect etc)
    Free dosing is not hard. Many would consider it a rudimentary skill of any competent barista.

    Interested to know if thoses with the new style mini electronics are finding the dosing accurate with only a few beans in the hopper or are you still weighing the beans in?
    And with the bigger burrs does the mini e grind any faster or just run slower to reduce heat?
    They are larger burrs and run at the same speed. The cut is passive. Digital doserless grinders rely on bean mass to operate accurately when used in timer mode. If you are going to weigh beans, just get a Compak K3P and dispense with timers completely. FWIW, a Macap M4D is twice as quick, the same price and just as accurate as the mini-e.

    As always, buy as you prefer- but the criticism of this grinder and other doser grinders comes back to a reluctance of some to learn how to free dose. There is nothing wrong with either design and both can be used with great accuracy and repeatability.
    Last edited by Talk_Coffee; 17th November 2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
    ut the criticism of this grinder and other doser grinders comes back to a reluctance of some to learn how to free dose. There is nothing wrong with either design and both can be used with great accuracy and repeatability.
    I did make the disclaimer earlier on that all the issues I was having were pilot error. Its a great machine.

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    Nice thread of posts here guys. Although you couldn't persuade Tony with the Mini Manual, I have just taken delivery of one yesterday and learning the ropes as well. Will certainly look into the mods suggested, thanks!

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    Firstly I keep my beans in one-way valved bags. I use the black plastic measuring spoon (that came with my Giotto) for dosing. I use 18g-20g for a double shot depending on the bean type. I get almost exact 10g of beans for every leveled scoop. After a bit of practice, you'll be able to scoop out 18g, 19g,20g and etc fairly accurately without having to use a scale. Just make sure you practise with a micro-scale.

    Hope you find my method helpful.

    Cheers

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