A great value and impressive grind quality bundled in a small attractive package.
Positive Product Points
-Grind quality is superb and stays consistent at very fine settings, can easily grind for turkish. -Stepless grind adjustment is very precise. -Attractive and has a small footprint. -Good value -Conical burrs
Negative Product Points
-Retains a large amount of grounds -Loose fitting hopper, jumps around during grinding. -Noisy. -A few build quality issues.
I purchased this grinder after much research into getting a consistent espresso grind without breaking the bank. So far the I mini delivers. It grinds the beans to a very fine and even particle size. The grounds chute actually doses very nicely into my portafilter with minimal clumping. The adjustment is infinite and makes its easy to dial in some amazing shots. To be quite honest, I could end the review right here. I found very few grinders in this price range with these sorts of features, but it can't all be good right? Right.
The ground retention is pretty bad, as many other consumers have pointed out. I can see this being as issue for people who are un-willing to be constantly cleaning out the grind chamber. I tend to clean it out daily. I remove the top cover and use a small brush to clear out as much grounds from the inside of the chamber as I can. I then run the motor and this sweeps out a bit more. I repeat this process a few times until the chamber is fairly clean. The other way to thoroughly clean it would be to remove the upper burr, but that means loosing the current grind setting. Overall it's not a big deal to me. It takes about 5 extra minutes to do this cleaning, but the results in the cup make it worthwhile.
Other issues are a loose fitting hopper, it jumps about quite a bit. I just place one hand lightly over the hopper while grinding, not too big a deal. The aforementioned top cover doesn't fit very well ( the metal covers might fit better, not sure, but mine is plastic).
This is a good entry level grinder and if Ascaso can somehow fix the simple( or not so simple?) issues it has. I believe it could be a true champion.
Horrible, likely the worst part about this grinder. I purchased from Creative Cookware. They had it advertised on their site for an attractive price. I'm usually a careful buyer over the internet, but this time I got scammed. The grinder advertised was the I-mini black in aluminum. The description said it was aluminum, so I purchased expecting a black aluminum grinder. When the package arrived, guess what?, it was a black PLASTIC grinder. At the time of purchase Creative Cookware did not even advertise the plastic version of the I mini anywhere on their site. I emailed them immediately after trying to call their bogus 1-800 number. Someone named Joe gets back to me the next day through email and after explaining the situation the ultimate response was "we made a typo on our website, sorry about that, but the price you paid was for the plastic version and there would be no compensation". I check the site a few hours later and lo an behold there is another i mini listed, a plastic version listed at the price I had paid. The aluminum version was now an extra $40. I wonder how many more people this has happened to. I'm sorry but this is just a very bad and dishonest way of doing business. I will never ever purchase from them again no matter how good the deal might seem. I am very sure, especially after corresponding with this Joe guy that I was scammed. I hope others take my advice and stay away from this retailer. There are many others that run legit professional businesses and truly love coffee, I would gladly pay a bit more now to buy from one of these reputable retailers.