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Ascaso iMini - Hans Kristian Mork's Review
Posted: December 19, 2009, 7:27am
review rating: 7.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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 158,370 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
Manufacturer: Ascaso Spain Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 4
Price Paid: $239.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: espressocoffeeshop.com Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 6 months Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Baaad chepo grinder from deLonghi
Bottom Line: Grinds very good. Infinite grind adjustment. Very annoying, but also very rewarding. Best bargain out there. Would buy again in a heartbeat
Positive Product Points

Makes you able to create a marvelous cup of espresso
Very fine and consistent grinds
Infinite grind adjustment
Very Compact
Looks the part

Negative Product Points

It's very, very, very clumpy
Kind of slow (takes about 7-8 seconds to grind for one cup)
Kind of loud
The hopper could have been more steady

Detailed Commentary

Me and my grinder, we have a very passionate love/hate relationship. This grinder always produces a grind good enough to make a fantastic espresso. The way it does that is however the problem. And do not get me wrong here. I would buy this grinder again in a heartbeat. For a budget grinder, this is quite the bargain.

This grinder do what a grinder is supposed to do superbly. It do grind a very fine and cosistent grind. And since it has a infinite grind adjustment, you can play along and get the exact grind you want. And I believe this is very important for a espresso grinder. I am not a pro barista or even close, but I have really found that getting the extraction timing right (which directly comes down to your grind setting) is key to creating the perfect cup of espresso. Based on what I have read here about grinders not having infinite grind adjustment (which I have absolutely no  personal experience with..) I do not believe they have a wide enough variety of grinds to let you get it exactly like you want. I know this will create a debate, but to my experience -to get the exact correct grind which for me is so important in the quest for excellent espresso, grind adjustment is just that important. Enough said.

So this grinder lets me make an excellent cup of espresso. Which is the important thing about grinders. BUT.. this grinder is very annoying. The biggest problem with this grinder is the clumping. This grinder is the clump master. When grinding, lots of grinds are stuck inside the chute of the grinder. If it is a long time since my last grind I let the grinder go for a little while and throw away the first grinds. I know that other users knocks and shakes it to get the grinds out, but for me that's just too much of a hassle (and this grinders is already enough hassle as it is).  This obviously leads to spilling coffee and if you are not spilling it, you ruin the espresso.

If only that had been the only problem with clumping. But, it is not... The worst is that when you grind you get lots of clumps in the portafilter. So in order to get that perfect cup, this problem has to bee dealt with. My solution: I use the WDT Click Here (www.home-barista.com) When doing this I get a perfect cup of coffee. Every time. Period. This makes me very happy obviously, but this necessary procedure also frustrates me A LOT. Because this procedure takes time. Not a lot, but it brings more hassle to the espresso making process. And since this grinder already is a little bit slow grinding, this means that every cup takes a little time. When making one cup for mee only, I am quite happy with it. I like the whole ritual and on the flip side I find it a little espresso-nerdyness-rewarding :) But most of the time I also make one for my girlfriend as well -and then.. I do not find it much rewarding. And when we have guests, let alone a pary, the espresso machine and grinder are reduced to decoration.

Now, the two other things that bother me about this grinder. The sound it makes and the hopper. This grinder is a little loud. You could talk to someone while grinding, but I end up not to. But you could :) Some do complain about the hopper being a little unsteady and not too solid. To mee, the hopper feels sturdy enough, but it could have been a little more steady (moves a little bit around when grinding). To me, that is not a problem, if they had fixed it I would have been happy, but to mee it is no big deal.

So to sum things up. This is the grinder I would have bought if I were to buy once more. It is cheap, looks good, it is very compact, and although it has some annoying faults I can extract a perfect espresso with this thing any time I want. For me, that is the bottom line. I also believe you have to live with some annoyances with almost every grinder, and to get the perfect one, you have to shell out a lot more:)

And lastly, a little tip. Apart for grind adjustment, I find that the freshness of the bean is the most important for my espresso outcome. To me I find that this parameter is the one that in greatest part determines the excellence of the espresso. I find that the beans are best two-three days after roasting and hold their quality fairly good until the sixth day (mind I do not have a vacuum canister for the beans).

Buying Experience

Will not buy from again. They didn't have in stock what they said they had, and it just took forever. And, they have a lot to learn about communication. espressocoffeeshop.com is not the vendor to choose

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: December 19, 2009, 7:27am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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