samgiles Senior Member Joined: 1 Oct 2007 Posts: 105 Location: New Zealand Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni Europiccola /... Grinder: Mazzer Major / Zassenhaus... Roaster: Hottop D
Posted Thu Jan 14, 2010, 3:44pm Subject: Re: Recommendation to buy a Mazzer Mini online
A couple of thoughts. How long are you keeping beans in the hopper for? The hopper isn't an ideal storage canister and the beans are likely to stale far more quickly if they stay in there for days. The Pavoni really doesn't like stale beans and will pull fast, thin shots no matter how good the grinder is if the beans are stale.
I think your 3 year old would have difficulty moving the adjustment collar with or without the lever in place. It's pretty stiff. You could keep the lever separate if worried or some people will make the adjustments without using the lever at all. It takes a little strength though.
Kaffeeliebhaber Senior Member Joined: 13 Sep 2009 Posts: 21 Location: St. Louis, MO Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: baratza vario Drip: Technivorm KBT 741 Roaster: skillet
Posted Tue Jan 19, 2010, 10:10am Subject: Re: Recommendation to buy a Mazzer Mini online
Don't let anyone question you about your decision for the mini. IMO, its the most durable and overall, best machine specific for expresso in its price range. In my experience, i would consider looking for one at a restaurant supply store. Ebay will have em used but it'll be a tuff win.
JasonBrandtLewis Senior Member Joined: 9 Dec 2005 Posts: 6,467 Location: Berkeley, CA Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -... Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -... Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup Drip: CCD, Chemex Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Apr 21, 2013, 8:03am Subject: Re: Recommendation to buy a Mazzer Mini online
Depends upon your usage patterns, and if you are comfortable with buying used or not. I had a Mazzer Mini and loved the grinder/hated the noise. You would get a better grinder if you bought a used Mazzer Super Joly, or a Baratza Vario.
Posted Wed Apr 24, 2013, 8:40pm Subject: Re: Recommendation to buy a Mazzer Mini online
I've done the evil "adjustment without it running" act on my Mazzer Mini and no, it won't implode afterwards. As others have said, if you reduce the grind size while beans are in the hopper beans "may" get jammed between the burrs during the adjustment. When you turned the grinder on, nothing would happen as the burrs were seized by the jammed up beans. I guess if you left the grinder on while seized you could burn something up- but you'd have to try to screw up a Mazzer. Just increase the grind size, run the grinder to clean out the burrs, and adjust again and everything will be fine.
Yes you can remove the adjustment lever to keep your daughter from playing with it, however as others have said the Mazzer is fairly firm to adjust down. The lever is just a threaded rod that screws into the collar- it has a tendency to want to fall out anyway.
I purchased my Mini at 1st Line. There are plenty of other retailers out there, but 1st Line had a big sale at the time so I bought it there.
I personally love my mini. Yeah, if I had to do it all over again I'd probably buy a used Mazzer Super Jolly- there seem to be plenty of them available, they are cheap used, and they are easy to fix. Of course at the time of my original purchase I had no grinder and had no real experience with the Mazzers so I didn't realize how bulletproof and easy to fix they were.
I saw someone recommend the Barratza Vario. I personally don't care for the construction of the Barratza line. I'm sure they do a fine job grinding- they are often recommended and plenty of people love them. I handled them a bit and thought they felt cheap and plastic-y (I know it's not a word). They just didn't inspire confidence that they would last that long. I also thought the adjustment levers on the Vario seemed cheap like I could snap them off. I purchased my Mazzer for about the same price as a Vario. When I got it and lifted it out of the box I knew it was a solid grinder. It's one big chunk of aluminum. The only plastic on the grinder is the hopper.
I think the Mazzer line would make you happy. For every person that loves a Mazzer, there is someone else on the forum that will tell you to buy something else. Read them all but know whichever way you go you'll end up with a good grinder.
You want to see a crazy discussion, search to see a comparison between Blendtec and Vitamix blenders- those blender folks are a bunch of violent crazy zealots..... I'd tell you which I purchased but I'm afraid someone would come to my house and crucify me. :)
I read some of those posts after my previous post on this thread.... I think they are mostly accurate and mostly positive about the mini.
I guess what the home user has to realize about the Mini is that it was designed as a small commercial grinder to be used in a commercial manner. The way home users utilize the Mini is quite different how it is used in a cafe. We tend to single does the hopper- only putting in enough beans for each drink we want to pull....this leaves the doser almost empty....an empty doser leads to quirky behavior... In a commercial setting the hopper would be full, I'd fill the doser, then I'd pull the lever twice to fill my portafilter and everything would be wonderful. At home I put two scoops of beans in the hopper, grind them, then have to pull the handle multiple times to make sure I get all of my ground beans out of the doser because the doser is nearly empty. Usually then I open the doser and brush any leftover coffee into the vanes so I can can keep it out of the doser.... This crazy handle pulling also has the effect of throwing the ground coffee out of the doser to the left which can miss the portafilter if it's not held to the left.
The Vario was made for home users- it doesn't have some of the quirks that the Mini has with left thrown grounds, and multiple lever pulls. The Vario does have some of it's own quirks with static throwing the grounds around.
It's all a matter of preference- either grinder would be great, but each has its own quirks.
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