The Anfim Best is a extremely well built grinder. Nicer than the Anfim Haus/Pasquini Moka. Excellent competition for the Mazzer Mini and for less.
Positive Product Points
Solidly built, all metal construction, excellent grind quality, somewhat quiet, no static, good price new, easy to work on and clean, easy to use, will probrably last forever, very precise doser, stop gate on the bean hopper, does not slide around, better than the Paquini Moka for $100 less, comparable to the Mazzer Mini for $40 to $100+ less.
Negative Product Points
Industrial looking and not very attractive (but not ugly), hard to find (I fixed that: see below). Grind is not stepless like the Mazzer Mini.
I just hit the jackpot. While driving home from work I was compelled to stop at a yard sale. My eyes were instantly drawn to a large dark grey coffee grinder. Upon close inspection I found that it was a ~15 year old Anfim Best. I purchased it for $25. It was very dirty and it took about 2 hours to clean up. The doser did not work either. I found that the spring for the doser release rod (part 114) was broken. A bicycle spoke cut to length did the trick and now the doser works as precise as a clock. The grinding burrs were not as sharp as they could be, so I replaced them for $32. This grinder grinds noticably better than my 1 year old Gaggia MDF and about 30% quieter to boot (not quiet, quieter) and at a lower pitch. It is a little quieter, due to the slower grinding speed (1200 rpm), than the Pasquini Moka/Anfim Haus (1300 rpm) and Mazzer Mini (1600 rpm) which are both 76 db. The Moka/Haus has the lowest grind temp--75 deg-- for a prosumer grinder (Mazzer Mini 77 deg). The Best should be even lower due to its lower speed. For an initial setting I followed the advice in several other reviews. I adjusted the upper burr in until it touched the lower burr and backed it off 6 clicks. This produced a very flourlike Turkish powder. I had to adjust the grinder an additional 8 clicks coarser. This setting worked perfectly. I have pulled my best shots ever with this grinder (on my Olympia Cremina). The grind appears to be even fluffy little flakes. There is very little powder and almost no grinds in my cup. The shots are a deeper color than with my MDF. The flavor is markedly richer.
General Description\Comparisons\Performance: Anfim ( http://anfim.net ) has been building exclusively high quality grinders for over 50 years--under their own name and for others. Anfim's motto is "ANFIM - coffee grinders in the heart of a good coffee." Anfim produces primarily relabeled grinders for other companies for sale in the US (the most recognized is the Pasquini Moka). That is why the name is unfamiliar to most people. They also manufacture and supply some of the parts that go into the Mazzer Mini. Mazzer does this also (i.e. the Astoria and RIO grinder lines).This machine is built to last. It is rock solid. Like the Mazzer Mini, it has a massive 250 Watt 1/3 hp motor with sealed cartridge bearings, and is all metal construction. The lower burr mount is solid brass and has no slop. The upper burr mount adjusts with micro fine threads which makes it impossible for the upper burr to shift around and compromise grind quality. At 1200 rpm it grinds 400 rpm slower than the Mazzer Mini (1600 RPM) and 100 rpm slower than the Haus/Moka which reduces heating the beans while grinding. The Mazzer does however have 4 mm larger grinding burrs (58 mm) and stepless grind settings. The Best has 25 grind settings with half steps making 50. Each half step is a very small change compared to my Gaggia. I alway wished my Gaggia had a setting in between its current settings. This grinder does just that. Now I no longer have to grind coarse and tamp hard or grind fine and tamp light because I cannot get just the right setting. To adjust you just pull down on a small lever on the left side just under the adjustment ring (upper burr holder #116) and align the numbered grind settings with a sticker on the side of the grinder by turning the bean hopper using the tab on the side for leverage. In spite of the fact that the anfim spins slower than the Gaggia, it grinds considerably faster. The Anfim Best takes ~15 seconds to grind a 14g dose vs. ~27 seconds for my Gaggia MDF. This is probably due to the additional 4mm diameter of the grinding burrs (50mm vs 54mm). The hopper has a stop gate (like the Mazzer) so you can remove the bean hopper without spilling any beans. The Best is fairly easy to service and clean. However, I have been informed by a technician at Vision Espresso that the Mazzer is easier to service and clean. I find it very impressive that a poorly maintained 15 year old grinder is still this solid and works this well. Now that it is cleaned up and has new burrs it works like a new grinder.
The Doser: The adjustable doser sweeps the grounds out almost clean and drops them in the portafilter almost straight down a little to the left and forward. The doser is adjustable from 6 to 9 grams. To adjust the doser you just hold the dosing mechanism still and screw in the adjustment screw (part #3) in the middle in for a smaller dose and out for a larger dose. The mechanism has an upper piece (upper star #103) that sweeps the sweeps the coffee grounds off of a small metal plate (the dividing sheet #104); a middle piece (middle star #105) that slides on top of a matching lower piece (lower star #106). The middle star overlaps the lower star allowing the middle and upper stars to raise and lower making the doser depth deeper or shallower to fine tune the dose size. Since I only grind coffee as needed per shot and do not use the dosing feature as designed, I just grind the amount I need and hit the dosing lever until all the coffee fills the portafilter. View the numbered parts here: Click Here (www.aristoservice.com)
Anfim Best vs Anfim Haus/Pasquini Moka: Reading many reviews I found that many are comparing this to the Anfim Haus/Pasquini Moka grinder or saying it is an older version of it. It “is not” the same grinder at all or an older version. It is actually a higher end model. The Anfim Haus comes with doser and doserless. I think people assume, because the Haus is usually found doserless and the Best always comes with a doser, that the Best is the Moka. To be clear, the Moka is the Haus with a doser. The Best is the model above the Haus/Moka in the Anfim product line. They even look different. The Haus/Moka have smooth curved edges. The Best has flat surfaces and angular lines. It is very monolithic looking. In the Anfim line they have 5 grinders (below):
Haus (Moka) Best Super Best Lusso Super Lusso HP .13 HP .30 HP .35 HP .40 HP .60 Burrs 50mm Burrs 54mm Burrs 54mm Burrs 64mm Burrs 75mm 1300rpm 1200rpm 1200rpm 800rpm 800rpm Wt. 6Kg Wt. 7.5Kg Wt. 9Kg Wt. 15Kg Wt. 18Kg Ht. 380mm Ht. 380mm Ht. 540mm Ht. 570mm Ht. 570mm W 145mm W 145mm W 165mm W 195mm W 195mm L 240mm L 240mm L 300mm L 370mm L 370mm Hopper 400g Hopper 400g Hopper 1kg Hopper 1kg Hopper 1kg (Sorry about the formatting here. It is very difficult to get the rows to stay lined up)
The Anfim Best is a much better grinder than the Anfim Haus/Pasquini Moka grinder as you can see by the above specs. Anfim considers the Haus/Moka grinder their home/office or light duty grinder. The Best is considered their medium duty or light commercial grinder. Their Lusso is their heavy duty pro grinder.
Anfim Best vs Mazzer Mini: If you are looking for a new grinder, the Best is certainly worthy of considering along side the Mazzer Mini. If you consider that the Anfim Haus/Pasquini Moka grinder competes very well with the Mazzer Mini, the Best should be an even stronger option to the Mazzer. However, I cannot directly state how it does perform compared to the Mazzer Mini because I have not used one on my machine--only in a cafe. Visually I cannot tell the difference in the grind. I can only infer by the comparisons between the Mazzer Mini and the Pasquini Moka/Anfim Haus, and the fact that this grinder is nicer than the Pasquini Moka/Anfim Haus. The doserless Haus sells for about $300 the doserless Moka $425--for the same grinder. The Moka with doser goes for $500. The Best with doser sells for about $400--$100 less than the Moka and the next model up to boot.. This makes the Best a fantastic value if you can find one.
Anfim Best vs Mazzer Mini Conclusion: I do think that the larger burrs, stepless grind settings, ease of cleaning and maintenance, and reputation do make a good argument for the Mazzer Mini at $440. However, the Anfim Best's lower price of $399, and slower Grind speed, lower grind temp, and lower noise make a great case as well. It is about a wash. They are just too close in performance and features. The Mazzer features would have to be worth alot to you to pay an extra $100+. That said, they are both great grinders and you cannot go wrong with either one. Where the Anfim will definitely be the best value is used. Because of its name and reputation, the Mazzer will go for quite a bit more. At this point the Anfim becomes the best value hands down.
Drove by a yard sale and found the grinder. I offered $25 and she accepted.
Three Month Followup
The grinder is still going strong. I have had the opportunity to use professional equipment at some local espresso shops and at a local roaster (Cafe Doma) and have come to really appreciate just how good this grinder really is. I no longer feel any need to upgrade. However, I do still wish it was stepless.
One Year Followup
I have had the chance to pair this grinder against the Mazzer Mini and Joly. Grind quality was very comparable--very consistent fluffy flakes. I have found no temptation to part with my Anfim Best. I really like the lower grind speed (less heat). It makes a slightly sweeter shot. I also like the smaller footprint, but I really still wish it was stepless. However, the Anfim Caimano Special 450 knocks its socks off.