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Mazzer Mini E and the cursed chunky clumpyness

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  • Mazzer Mini E and the cursed chunky clumpyness

    Hi All,

    Been playing around with my Mazzer Mini E doserless unit tonight cos i've had a gutful of the clumping that has started to rear its ugly head,resulting in bad shots channeling etc etc...
    Plus my missus was complaining about my coffee tasting like a McBarista made it,and I had to agree!

    Thinking it had something to do with humidty, I did a few forum searches, and found a few threads relating to this issue

    First suggestion- Throw way the finger guard.......done
    Second suggestion Throw away the small wire mesh sheet attached to the back of the hopper/feeder.......done.

    In removing this little mesh grid, I found something abut the design of these units that concerns me, I mean they're not cheap eh!
    My discovery was that not only did this meh sheet extrude the coffee into little blocks, but the horizontal orientation of the exit chute from the burrs, actually retains stale coffee grounds of about 4-6 gms

    The whole idea of buying this unit was to eliminate this issue, but it seems Mazzer has forgotten about the design.

    IMO the exit chute should tilt out of the burrs at a heavily raked angle,so a not to retain any grounds, I am sure you are with me when I say I don't want To waste my Precious stash by discarding 6 gms for every shot.
    I will add at this stage , I have not had any issues relating to static at all.

    So it got me to thinking,why don't I "port out" the little sucker to prevent grounds retention?
    Pull the unit apart, get the die grinder out,create a nice angle,polish it smooth VOILA!!!

    The only issue I could see, is that the thick Aluminium cast body might not have enough meat in it to achieve a sharp angle, creating a lovely view of internals

    SO MY QUESTION IS- Has anyone tried this, or pulled one apart to know f this can be achieved?

    Don't worry about advice on warranties,not an issue for me.

    I have had the pleasure of running a kilo or so through an EK43, and it has not dawned on me until now how bloody good this direct feed of grounds is after looking at me Mazzer (not that im thinking of EK43 Heaven though, only cos it wont fit under cupboard HA HA !!!)

    Anyway,was hoping for some feedback from fellow snobs, Thankyou in advance

    Steve

  • #2
    Mini-e's aren't my favourite grinder in that price bracket......but 4 gms retention is a worry?

    Not in my book.

    Comment


    • #3
      I have been wondering the exact same thing. Most grinders have a decent length horizontal section of the chute before it hits the angles section. I have no idea why, perhaps to control the way the grinds fall? I can't think of another reason.

      Can't help with you query but your theory seems sound to me. If you do break through to the innards you could always fit a stainless false floor to fix it?

      Cheers

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't think I have ever seen people done that mod, you'd probably be the first one. Most people I've seen had the doser version and sweep it out. I don't like retention too and 4g is alot(don't forget about the ground coffee under the burrs too). That's about ~20% of a 18g, and even more for smaller dose. Taste aside, it will affect the flow and making you believe your grind is too coarse when it's not. Purging is probably your best bet, or make more coffee per day. :P

        We talked about how great coffee can be, how much care was done at the farm level(read $$$), how fresh coffee should be, and then we proceed to stale it in the throat? Not cool. ;p

        Comment


        • #5
          Off the top of my head I'd guess the chute isn't angled because the grounds, especially when using dark roasted/oily beans as so many do, would stick and build up where they impacted the wall. Not immediately when the machine is new, but once it had some time on it. Plus with a horizontal chute it's much easier to clean it out with a little brush.


          Java "Horizontal is calling me" phile
          Toys! I must have new toys!!!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by samuellaw178 View Post
            4g is a lot
            No, it's not, Sam. Your comment re wasting any coffee is pertinent but 4g? My Robur-e retains more than 25.

            One of the issues is lack of competition at the high end of the market, which, in turn, has led to low R&D. .... It's only recently that

            something is being done about it but outfits like Mazzer have been taking the easy road for ages as they have been at the top

            of the heap for a long time and have ridden the wave of growth in the café industry without changing anything much.

            The EK43 is a big$$ planar grinder and not designed for espresso (lacks portafilter holder and dose timing), the Versalab

            is close to the pinnacle of espresso grinders but are only made when the Versalab people feel like putting one together. Almost zero retention <0.5g

            but not designed for a 70kg/week operation.

            I'm still waiting for someone to take the grinding game by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shake up. Then we might see some

            meaningful R&D resulting in some new kit.

            In the meantime, I'd be thankful for a grinder that only retains 4g...................

            Comment


            • #7
              Yes- it's important to keep in mind that 4 grams may represent all of about 15c (half that if you're roasting your own)- all in the context of thousands of dollars of espresso gear.

              Comment


              • #8
                Seems like you're going through a lot of coffee - it comes down to usage and perspective then. For someone who pulls 1-2 shots a day, 4g wastage (owner quoted 4-6g without counting the coffee under the burrs) translate to about >50g in a 250g roasted beans.

                Yup, it's not bank breaking, but doesn't mean we should waste mindlessly, surely not when we can avoid it. If everyone does that, the coffee price will be driven up fast. Just like fossil fuels(electricity and petrol) in general, they're dirt cheap, doesn't mean we should applaud wastage.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Buy an appropriately sized/shaped artist's brush and you can clean the chute out in a couple of seconds.


                  Java "Waste what?!?" phile
                  Toys! I must have new toys!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Javaphile View Post
                    Buy an appropriately sized/shaped artist's brush and you can clean the chute out in a couple of seconds.


                    Java "Waste what?!?" phile
                    Yep...

                    What I and probably several thousand other CSers do every day. Takes all of 5-6 seconds at the end of each coffee session...

                    Mal.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by samuellaw178 View Post
                      Yup, it's not bank breaking, but doesn't mean we should waste mindlessly, surely not when we can avoid it. If everyone does that, the coffee price will be driven up fast. Just like fossil fuels(electricity and petrol) in general, they're dirt cheap, doesn't mean we should applaud wastage.
                      You need to buy a Lido or HG1. You can provide the elbow grease and not a bean will be wasted. You'll save fossil fuels as well. You may however need to crack a bean in half in search of that perfect dose

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Talk_Coffee View Post
                        You need to buy a Lido or HG1. You can provide the elbow grease and not a bean will be wasted. You'll save fossil fuels as well. You may however need to crack a bean in half in search of that perfect dose
                        Haha, I do have a Lido. And in the meanwhile when fossil fuels are still dirt cheap, I'm using a dosered Compak grinder which I manually and religiously sweep every time. There I have my almost zero retention...(for making more than 3 shots in a session a doserless will make sense) But yeah, it's true that all electric grinders especially one runned with hopper are going to have a few gram minimum in the system. For a doserless grinder run with the hopper, sweeping the chute kinda defeat the purpose (it will cause inconsistent dosage).

                        So yeah, I agree it's just a matter of purging it out and problem's solved. It's just that I don't agree 4g twice a day(for my usage) for two daily shots is an insignificant number. Maybe the solution to that, is to drink more coffee each session and make that retention becomes negligible.

                        Anyhow, back to our OP's topic. There's also a go-around solution posted by our CS member saoye for the retention - that is if you don't want to go deep into modifying the grinder(all I know it's not an easy mod and easily eats up your hours, and still may not work as you expected).

                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76ffYo2m-c0
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAX0yzeX3hQ

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I flush 5-10seconds in my sm90 and put that in a container for later(for the breville) just to avoid waste so I can get that better shot now for me
                          But Chris's leftovers worked better than my charcoal at any life point

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by samuellaw178 View Post
                            ...I don't agree 4g twice a day(for my usage) for two daily shots is an insignificant number....
                            I disagree with the sentiments expressed. The problem does not lie with the equipment or even with the retention as such, it lies with incessant cyclic theoretical discussions that somehow convince people that grind retention is in fact a problem, when in practice it may well NOT be. And then the next problem lies with people buying overly "large" (for home use) commercial equipment, to use at home, which is outside the design brief for the equipment.

                            Lastly, I'll bet my bottom dollar that on a blind cupping, most people would not be concerned with the character of a well made coffee containing almost any amount of older grinds up to even say...half the required dose. Given that *most* punters drink milk coffee anyway. All these discussions are participated in and read as if everyone in the room is a professional Q Grade Cupper and is drinking only the very very best espresso when that is simply not the reality, and we well know that the way the milk is handled to make a "cuppa" is extremely important to the overall character of the brew.

                            I am not talking comparing two "coffees" side by side where one has no older grinds and one has...I am talking simply being offered a coffee "blind", and adjudicating it for what it is.

                            There is far too much discussion of academics to the nth theoretical degree, without regard to the realities of drinking a cup and observing whether it is "good" or not, "blindly", ie without knowing the mechanics of how it was produced for you. And there are of course, the miriad of other variables in the coffee making technique of individual baristas, that will make or break the cuppa regardless of the theoretical effect of any grind retention or not.

                            That would be, the *reality* of a cup of coffee to any particular individual. I walk into a cafe. I order a coffee. I have no idea how it was produced because I am not looking over the grinder or the working side of the machine. I dont know how the grinder and machine are set up together. I dont know what the barista's technique is like.

                            All I know, is what the brew cups like when it hits my palate, and odds are if there is something wrong, it wont have anything to do with so called "grind retention".

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Well, I have no intention to derail the topic further, but this is a worthy topic itself.

                              Without purging the 4g, it will affect the flow, lesser crema at that even if the flow is right. That was proven in and through my own experience. I spend good efforts in sourcing excellent beans. and I enjoy a well-made espresso and do appreciate the fine subtleties. Thus I have no intention of drowning my coffee in milk. If I choose to do so, I will happily do so with cheaper beans(Starbucks even, with some condensed milk or sugar) and a cheaper equipment. The forum is Coffeesnobs which I assume most people are in for the same spirit as mine, but I may well be wrong based on the responses here.

                              But yes, there're way too many individuals out there with different preferences to make a brushed statement. This doesn't make the difference nonexistence, just irrelevant to those people that have a different drinking habit.

                              Let's agree that we are all different and I shall excuse myself out of OP's way.

                              Comment

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