OUT OF THE BOX
The Mazzer Mini Electronic Type B arrived double boxed from Whole Latte Love and in perfect condition. Upon opening, the first thing you see is a bright yellow paper that says, “Not for household use.” This, of course, in nonsense. Mazzer has publicly stated that the ELE was made specifically for home use, hence the lack of a doser. The grinder came with so many stickers it looked like a suitcase just back from a world tour. I removed all of them except the very important grind indicator. It was set a 3.9 (on a scale of 0 – 10) which proved to be very accurate. Unfortunately, there is one warning plaque that in riveted in place and cannot be removed.
QUALITY OF CONSTRUCTION
The materials, fit and finish of the Mazzer are ‘best of breed”. Construction quality does not get any better that this. The body of the grinder is clear-coated metallic silver that is better than any automotive finish I’ve ever seen. However, I prefer the polished aluminum finish of the Mini P only because it matches the look of most semi-commercial espresso machines.
The Mazzer is designed for function. It is a “commodity” item built to the nines. Is it beautiful? Not really. It looks like a funnel bolted to a 1940s blender. No one will mistake the industrial design for an product designed by Richard Sapper, Phillippe Stark, Raymond Lowey or Charles Eames. If you are looking for an artful product design, and money is no object, then investigate the Versalab M3 grinder.
USING THE MAZZER ELECTRONIC
The conical funnel is what most people are paying the extra $200 for. It is a nice piece of work and larger than it appears in pictures. The upper diameter of the funnel is approximately equal to the diameter of the grinder itself.
Another nice feature is the portafilter holder. Due to its length, the holder fully supports the portafilter with “no-hands” operation. Of course, in the Type “B” version you slide the portafilter forward to activate the machine. One click for a single shot, two for a double shot. The default timer settings were set much to low on my machine. The manual mode is much easier to use—just hold the button in until full, then carefully level the grinds with your index finger and you’re ready to pack.
I did have one problem—the forward mounted spouts on the double-shot portafilter of my Giotto Premium is not compatible with this grinder. The spouts hit the base of the grinder, preventing activation. The solutions are (1) replace the spouts with “on-center” spouts or (2) buy a bottomless portafilter. Both are available from espressoparts.com.
The grinder’s bean hopper seemed very large. You’ll never get this grinder under kitchen cabinets if you use it. WLL offers a much smaller one for $14.95, but I found the best option was not to use a hopper at all. The well in the top of the grinder will easily accommodate three scoops of beans which can be held in place with a stainless steel tamper.
$695 is a substantial sum for a grinder. Mazzer could reduce the price my making a manual version since the electronic timing is not especially useful. Is there a better grinder at this price point? If there is, I don’t know about it. The build quality is outstanding, the conical single-shot “non-doser” is the best of both worlds, the grind consistency is beyond reproach and the grinds form a perfect cone in the portafilter. The grind delivery is so precise, there is very little mess to clean up.