Ive obviously been muttering too loudly about the large step size on my grinder, and how the only tool for the job is a Mazzer Mini. Its my birthday today, and thanks to my wife I am now the proud, and slightly surprised, owner of a Mini.
What can I say that hasnt already been said? Its a brilliant grinder. Almost silent when running with no beans in the hopper (which is a very nice change from the old Lux Turbine), infinite adjustment, beautiful fluffy grind quality. I even think the dozer is great, it seems to end up with only minimal grounds left in it, and removes the "grind into a container" step I used to perform with the dozerless lux (I never liked grinding directly into the basket).
Only complaint is I dont think my wife bought it from one of our generous site sponsers. Tsk, tsk.
Required reading for new Mini owners
Every grinder has its own idiosyncracies, and the mini is included in that list. The main thing is that the grind quality is superb. It does take a little bit of time to get used to adjusting it, so dont get frustrated straight away. Any new piece of equipment will have a learning curve, and the mini is no exception. But if youre already thrilled, as you seem to be, youll be even more over the moon in a months time :D
In the cafe, it irritated me that it was so slow, but thats not a problem at all at home. Remember that the faster mazzers, like the robur, spit out grinds that are actually hot to the touch :o
Back to the idiosyncracies; pretty much everything can be remedied very easily. If I owned one, I would:
(a) Remove the finger guard to allow brushing out of the exit chute
(b) Extend the vanes with tape for a clean sweep
(c) Place an inverted cup over the central part so that grounds dont sit on top of the dosing star, but, rather, are directed into the volumetric chambers
(d) Remove the plate in the dosing star to halve the number of clicks required to dose by sight. (You can put it back in again if you want to dose volumetrically for guests, but otherwise its just an irritation)
Fortunately, all but the last modifications can easily be found on the webpage of our good friend Teemu: www.e61hx.com
The vane extension mod page shows the dosing mechanism in its disassembled state. For mod (d), above, simply reassemble it without the flat plate.
If you still have the lux around, Id absolutely love it if you could do a side-by-side comparison of the amount of sediment that you get in a plunger/french press.
Theres some discussion of how the dosing mechanism helps to eliminate clumping here: http://www.home-barista.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=292
Re: New toy
The finger guard went in the first 10 minutes of playing, with taped vanes planned for the next day or two. The other mods you suggets will certainly get a look soon.
The Lux is already promised to a friend, if he doesnt come around and pick it up before I can borrow a plunger from somewhere Ill have a look at the sediment levels.
Re: Required reading for new Mini owners
hmmm, I played with this one, but didnt stick with it. Ive found that about 4-5 slowish clicks of the doser lever gets the bulk of the coffee into the basket. Any coffee on top of the dosing star are easily thrown off the top of the star with some fast clicks at the end. So I do 4-5 slow clicks (to eliminate the throwing coffee to the left thing), followed by 7-8 really fast clicks. With the tape mod, things end up fairly clean. I also rotate the portafilter every couple of clicks- 90o right, then back to the left etc...
Originally Posted by luca link=1130447246/0#1 date=1130472185
Congratulations on your grinder, Mark! I hope you realise how lucky you are, and what a great wife you have! My wife just bought my a pullman tamp and a danessi espresso cup for our 1st anniversary!
Re: New toy
I just modded my Mini this morning with the sweep mod. I found that if you have the folded bit of tape the right length, you can keep your same dose size, as you dont have to adjust the doser down nearly as far. I used a pvc electrical tape, wide roll. Had to do a bit of trimming to get the length right for the "star," but I found 5mm depth as stated by Teemu a bit too short. Closer to 8-10 mm is a better length as the dose size isnt too small.
The doser is now clean as a whistle, and I dont have to spend heaps of time brushing and brushing to get stray grounds out.