Psssst. Hey, buddy. Wanna buy a Pasquini for cheap?
Positive Product Points
Consistant grinds. No "dust".
Huge discount for not buying the rebadged Pasquini version
Negative Product Points
Amount of grounds in chute after grinding (See work around below)
Hard to position porta filter under chute
When I bought my Giotto a while back, I spent more money than I had planned on. This left me without any money left for a grinder. I decided that I either wanted a Mazzer or a Pasquini, so I started saving for one, using my old Braun until I could get one. But then one day I saw in a forum that a Pasquini is a rebadged Anfim grinder. A quick search of the internet for Anfim, and I learned it was not only true, but home-espresso.com was selling a doserless version for $270.00, and a doser version for $325.00! I ordered a doserless version the next day. I figured the doser version wasn't for me considering I grind small amounts (I mostly make coffee just for me), and it would be easier to use to grind drip coffee.
There are 50 settings that the grinder can be adjusted too by pushing a lever down on the side of the machine (which releases a stop peg) and turning the dial (which is really the upper grinding disc). If you want unlimited settings, this lever (which also removes the peg) is really easy to remove. But remember, you'll be able to turn the dial until the grinding discs touch, so be careful.
The grinder produces incredibly uniform grounds compared to my old braun. When I first got the Anfim, I ground some coffee in each, and compared the results. The grinds didn't even look the same. Looking closely, the grinds from the braun were all different sizes, and were somewhat powdery, while the Anfim's grinds looked like uniform granules, kind of like sand. After drinking a shot, there are no grounds left in the bottom of the glass (which I figured was caused by non-uniform grinding and coffee "dust" production when I used the Braun). Besides not having small grounds that will leak through into the cup, the uniformity allows you to reduce variability between shots. It is amazing how much my espresso improved by just adding this grinder, both in absolute quality, and consistancy between shots. I really didn't think the grinder could affect things this much, but boy was I wrong.
Other good things about this grinder are that it is quiet, and it fits easily under my cabinets.
Now for the negative things. It leaves a fair amount of grounds in the chute. About 3 gms at the chute's elbow. And no amount of tapping or inserting things gets it all out. Luckily, the chute is attached with one screw. So, I removed it. Now what I do is slide the chute into place (there is a lip on the chute that slides into the grinder), hold it there with a finger while I grind the coffee, then pull the chute out and push the rest of the coffee through the chute into the porta filter with a brush. It's a pretty easy fix, and I don't have grounds stuck in the chute.
The other thing deals with positioning the porta filter under the chute. The prong that the porta filter rests on positions the porta filter very close to the bottom of the chute, and you can't really move the porta filter around to distribute the coffee as it comes out. Basically, it pours it into one spot, and then blocks the rest from exiting the chute. I have now removed the prong, and rest the porta filter on the grinder body while I grind. I am able to get the distance I need to fill my porta filter evenly with the coffee as it drops out of the chute.
Counting these things as negatives may be weird, but good design is really important to me (as I mentioned in my review for the Giotto). Neither one of the things would keep me from buying the grinder again because in the end it does a great job grinding coffee, and that is the most important thing, but it keeps it from being a 10 in my ratings. It annoys me that after designing such a great grinder, they didn't extend it to the delivery system, and seemingly just tacked these pieces on.
Minor problem which was quickly rectified. The web company basically notifies their distributor of the order, who is then supposed to send the machine. Except the distributor didn't send it. Meanwhile, I was wondering what the delay was. I called the customer service number for home-espresso.com, and they immediately investigated, found out it hadn't been sent, and second day shipped an unused display model they had on hand, and also gave me free shipping for the tamper I had ordered. Great service is defined when something goes wrong, and these guys did a great job. Will definitely do business with them again.
Three Month Followup
Still have the grinder and feel it is well built and reliable, but it has become my filter/french press/vaccum grinder and is no longer my primary espresso grinder.
A few months ago, the opportunity presented itself to buy a used Rossi RR45 grinder. At the time, I was not looking for a new grinder, but the price was so cheap, I could not pass it up. After I got the Rossi home, I discovered there was quite a big jump in adjustability in the espresso range and was able to get even better results. For the Rossi, I have one setting where I grind at if the machine has just warmed up, another if the machine has been on all day, etc. With the Anfim, there was pretty much one setting where I had to leave it, and then adjust the tamp to get the time right.
In the end the Anfim is a great grinder, and I would still be using it happily if the Rossi had not come along. I feel the differences between the two are the result of a commercial vs. consumer product, and not secondary to the Anfim being an inferior product.
Also, since I purchased the Anfim (and even the Rossi), the Mazzer has dropped within a hundred dollars ($349) of the price of the Anfim at several locations. To me, it is now at the same price point and in my opinion is a better choice than the Anfim given its greater adjustability. Overall, this is a good grinder, and I don't think it will disappoint anyone who chooses it, but I do feel there are better models that can be had either new (Mazzer) or used (Rossi) that are better products.