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Ascaso iMini - P-J De Boer's Review
Posted: March 30, 2011, 4:05pm
review rating: 0.0
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Ascaso iMini Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Ascaso iMini has 21 Reviews
Arrow The Ascaso iMini has been rated 8.01 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 26, 2007.
Arrow Ascaso iMini reviews have been viewed 166,333 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Mike Zatt 9.00
Theron Georges 8.80
Ken Dang 8.66
Max Rudolph 8.25
Sebastian Storholm 8.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.0
Product Reviewed: I-mini
Manufacturer: Ascaso Spain Quality: 8
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $270.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Café Négril Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Baratza/Mahlkoenig Vario
Bottom Line: Beautiful small grinder, good quality grinds, but lots get lost inside the machine and stepless operation is not the most practical.
Positive Product Points

- small footprint
- good looks
- well built, heavy quality
- good grind quality
- stepless grinding from very coarse to very fine

Negative Product Points

- a lot of grinds are retained in the machine. Really a LOT!
- impossibility to fix a grind setting in any way
- difficult to dial in

Detailed Commentary

This was the first grinder I bought, two years ago, coupled with my Gaggia Baby Twin bought around the same time. I wanted a good quality small grinder, and in the small category this was probably the best I could get. Grind quality is very good and works for any kind of coffee, but especially espresso because of the extreme fineness it can produce. That really sums up the most important points about this grinder.

The two negative points, however, get more and more annoying over time. When I first opened the grinder to clean it, I was shocked by the quantity of grinds it retains inside - that is, not just in the chute. Every grinder does this to a certain extent, but the I-mini seems to beat them all. This must compromise the overall quality of the coffee you grind at a certain point, and it's also simply a waste of quality coffee beans. The second point, the impossibility to fix the grind setting in any way, is especially annoying when opening the machine for cleaning. Taking out the burrs means losing your last grind position, and it is very difficult to guess where the espresso range is exactly. It can't be that difficult to imagine an indicator of some sort that will help you find the right settings more easily. I have lost a lot of possibly good shots while in search of the perfect grind setting.

But once it is found, the basic conditions for making good espresso are there, and small adjustments become very easy. For a first grinder, it was a very good choice; I have recently upgraded to a Mahlkoenig (Baratza) Vario, which takes grind quality and usability quite a few steps up.

Buying Experience

I have bought from Café Négril, a "torréfacteur" in Toulouse, France, who sell over the internet. Good overall experience.

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Posted: March 30, 2011, 4:05pm
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