Cheap KitchenAid and Krups burr grinders, blade grinders
Ascaso Mini won't disappoint (almost)
Positive Product Points
- Fantastic grind quality and tuning for the price - Solid build and excellent finish (polished aluminum) - Good looking and not too tall
Negative Product Points
- Inflexible - No portafilter fork, slippery "on" button - A little loud
...rocks, if you use it ONLY for espresso drinks (it is probably an overkill for anything else)
...sucks, if you looking for flexiblity in grinding for different types of coffee drinks
As some reviewers noted, iMini uses a worm-type adjustment screw. It takes a minute of turning the knob to change from drip coffee to espresso. And then it takes another 15-30 minutes of fine-tuning to get a perfect shot (since this grinder is stepless, the sky is the limit here.) In the end, you do achieve perfection: the grind is consistent and produces great crema. Also, on a plus side, unlike cheaper grinders, iMini can work way beyond espresso, all the way down to a very fine dust-like grind that's perfect for Turkish coffee.
Other positives include nice build quality, handsome design, and careful packing by Ascaso. Unlike noted by other users, I haven't noticed coffee grinds getting stuck in the chute.
Mini is not perfect: it doesn't offer a portafilter fork on which you can leave/rest the filter. Instead you must press the portafilter against a slipery "on" button located in the center of the grinder without any support. The shallow recess is not enough to keep the filter in place which results in spilled coffee grinds all over the counter. Quite useless actually. To me, this is the worst aspect of iMini's design. To solve this, instead of grinding directly into the portafilter, I use a small stainless steel cup (originally for steaming milk) which works out much better. Obviously, this results in occasional stale left-overs for your next shot. iMini is also fairly loud.
Nothing notable except, again, I'd like to point out exceptional packing by Ascaso.