Beautiful industrial design, always gets comments. More importantly, it grinds very consistently Infinite grind adjustment
Negative Product Points
Infinite grind adjustment Takes a slight rap on the spout to clear out all grinds
As a designer, it is always my quest to find the best compromise between form and function and value. In the case of the Ascaso iMini grinder, those three aims were met. It's a gleaming piece of polished aluminum industrial design. Every aspect of it was thoroughly thought out.
It's not an idiot proof machine. The infinite grind knob can cause those who need to reset the machine some difficulty, but not if you set up the grinder prior to searching for the perfect setting.
Since the grind knob is small in diameter, it would be frustrating to mark its position and remember the number of revolutions to make a significant difference in the grind. But, if you buy the iMini, you'll notice that inside the bean hopper, there is a removable plastic bean distributor piece. Basically this just manages the flow of the beans through the grinder in an even fashion. The reason I mention this is that as you adjust the grind setting, the whole hopper rotates clockwise (finer) or counter-clockwise (coarser). So, if you begin by setting the machine at its finest setting and marking the bean distributor at 12 o'clock, you can spin the grind knob and use the number of revolutions of the distributor piece to remind you where to set for a certain grind.
With a bit of setup, it becomes very easy to reset your grind setting for different purposes.
I will say that it would have been nice to get a reflex hammer with iMini as you'll need to give the grind chute a rap or two to get all the grinds out from the machine. No big deal, but save your knuckles and spend a few bucks on the rubber hammer.
I would most certainly recommend this machine to anyone looking for a more reasonable alternative to the big gun grinders, especially if you care at all about the design of the piece.
I can't say anything but good things about Seattle Coffee Gear. Great service. I am currently using my iMini for french press coffee, but the sales help from SCG was very helpful in advising me on espresso makers, one that I hope to get to augment my french press. I will buy the maker from them, and I expect it will be an Ascaso!
Three Month Followup
Still functioning perfectly
One Year Followup
I have done a thorough cleaning on the Ascaso, essentially taking it apart and cleaning all of its parts. The grinder still operates as perfectly today as it did last year. Very pleased with this purchase other than the grinds that must be unstuck from the chute before every use.