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Thread: ecm best vs mazzer mini

  1. #1
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    ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I have just bought a Rancilio Silvia and am now on the hunt for a good grinder, something that I know will give excellent coffee and also last for many years. I would rather not live with the desire to upgrade my grinder, so am prepared to spend up to $800-$900. Because I do not have a lot of space I have discounted machines like the gino rossi, and have narrowed down my hunt to the above 2 grinders, as they are both about similar size. I do have some questions about them.

    Firstly, how important is the step vs stepless grind in these 2 machines?

    Also, with the mini, what is the main difference between the mini and the mini electric? (I am not quite sure what the electric does, and if it is worth the extra money).

    Is there any significant difference in build quality between these 2 machines?

    What would people chose if they had to out of these 2 machines.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Welcome to Coffee Snobs.
    With a serious budget like that there are plenty of machines you could consider.
    Contact the Sponsors on the left.
    Theyll do the right thing by you.

  3. #3
    Senior Member robusto's Avatar
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Yes, ditto, welcome to Coffeesnobs Prosongha.
    And, adding to Thundergods theme, if you look back through the threads under "grinders" you will see what the sponsors have posted and reviewed about various machines, including your price range.

  4. #4
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Hi there,

    Personally, I sit firmly in the stepless grinder camp, particularly now that I have started experimenting with getting the same volume/pour time from different doses. I think that this would have been much more difficult with my previous grinder. I find it difficult to see what you lose by going stepless. The mazzer and compak grind adjustment system is about as easy to move between french press and espresso as a stepless grinder. The flip side is that you might well find a stepped grinder to be good enough. To be brutally honest, I think that it does actually take quite a while to get dosing down pat and there will probably be enough variation there to mask the effect of a limited adjustment range for the first few months, at least. After that, you might well find that a stepped adjustment still suits you fine, but you might not. One of my co-workers bought a $2500 grinder with stepped grind adjustment on advice that the steps "werent a problem." It was quite funny to see him then take a drill to the grinder and build his own stepless adjustment mechanism! So Id always err on the side of stepless adjustment if I were buying a grinder.

    In terms of build quality, I dont know a lot about the Anfim (ECM) grinders, but I believe that the burrs are manufactured by Mazzer, so I dont think that burrs are really going to be a significant difference. In typical domestic use I find it hard to believe that either grinder is going to play up.

    The mazzer doser is often criticised as being messy. Personally, I havent had too many problems. There are modifications that can be done if you feel that it doesnt perform well enough out of the box, but the idea of modifying something that expensive sounds pretty absurd to me. I havent used the ECM grinder for quite some time, so it is probably worthwhile finding out more about the doser from someone who has used both extensively.

    The mazzer mini electronic has a rather elegant doserless mechanism. Basically, there is a stainless steel funnel on the front of the machine that directs the ground coffee directly into the portafilter, which can be rested in the portafilter holder without having to hold it yourself. The funnel is very clean and the tray seems to collect the small amount of stuff that bounces off (although 2mcm has reported static problems with one that he had). The grinder will either grind for a single dose, grind for a double or grind on demand if you hold the continuous button down. Grind adjustment is via a screw for each timer. At its best, you can dial in the dose and the timer will grind the perfect amount, although you might have to make adjustments as your beans age and as you change blends. At its worst, the timer wont grind quite enough for your basket and you will have to top up the basket manually. That isnt such a bad thing because it means that you dont have to worry about adjusting the timer as well as the grind. The grinder also sports the same size burrs as its bigger cousin, the super jolly, so it grinds faster and has less room for stale coffee to accumulate in the grind exit chute. That said, it is still best practice to grind a small amount and throw it away with this grinder, as with any other. For all of these wonders, you pay a hefty price premium. I dont know if you have done any research, but the mini E is probably a bit more than you want to spend.

    I seem to remember that the ECM grinder was quite a bit shorter than the mazzer mini. The doserless version of the ECM grinder was really compact.

    If money werent an object, Id go with the mini E. Its probably the only grinder that I have used that is sensibly designed for the home user, although it is expensive. In fact, if I could have found one at a decent price, I would have gotten one instead of my super jolly.

    Anyhoo, I hope that that gives you some useful information. There are other grinders that are probably worthy of consideration - have you already dismissed them?

    Cheers,

    Luca

  5. #5
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Wow.

    Thanks for the replies.

    I have gone through some of the earlier threads, but obviously I still have some searching still to do, and as a bit of a newbie I am on quite a steep learning curve as I take in everything.

    In terms of my progression I originally was thinking of a Rocky, but as I started to do a bit of research the Mazzer Mini kept cropping up, as did the Mini E. I have a friend who works for a Coffee Roaster in Sydney who stock ECM and a few other brands, and the Best looked like a possible choice as well. Size really does matter in this case, I do need something that is not overly large. As I am only drinking several cups of coffee a day I am also not looking for large hoppers and dosers.

    I will have a look at some more options in this price range... I know the Mini E comes in a little more expensive than my range but if it was really worth it then I would consider stretching the budget. I have no wife and I dont think my cat is really going to take me to task if I spend the extra.

    I would also love it if people had any good reccomendations for grinders in this price range... probably doser (thanks Luca). I saw a mention on another thread about the LaSpaziale Junior comparing very favourably to the Best- any word on this grinder?

    Thanks again.

  6. #6
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    "sensibly designed for the home user"

    Luca, please explain.

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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Foolproof.

  8. #8
    TC
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    My advice would be to grab a Mazzer mini/Macap M4 *if* you have the space...If not, the ECM Best is a very good option and the LaSpaziale does it at least as well as the Best- it just doesnt look as sexy ;)...If you choose to spend up, we have Mazzer mini-e at 10% discount for CSers....

    Chris

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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Thanks again.

    the Mini/Macap are fine in terms of their size... its just when they start getting over 50 cm that they will begin to get to big.

    Am looking into both of those options above. 2muchcoffeeman I have PMed re this.

    ps Loving the website. Just what I imagine heaven to be like.

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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    Quote Originally Posted by Thundergod link=1188904439/0#5 date=1188909565
    "sensibly designed for the home user"

    Luca, please explain.
    Clean!

  11. #11
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    Re: ecm best vs mazzer mini

    I have had an ECM Best for two years now. I love it! I am really happy with the way that it works and the way that it looks.

    It is really easy to remove the top burr in order to gain access to and clean the innards. It is attached to the slotted wheel that is numbered to grade the grind. The whole wheel simply unscrews.

    I have a small paint-type brush to clean out the area adjacent to the bottom of the burr are. I do this after each grind..the small amount that collects ther becomes part of the coffee for the shot. (If you dont clean this out, you get a small amount of stale coffee in your next shot.)

    The Mazzer mini burrs will physically fit but the rotation is in the other way.



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