This is an awsome grinder as is. I ordered new burrs from Pasquini yesterday and I anticipate it will be even better!
Positive Product Points
I have the old version of this machine, its a bit noisier that the current release of the Moka, uses larger 54mm burrs, and is more angular. He does a bang on job of grinding for Livia, is still pretty quiet, and easy to use. Plus, he looks great next to Livia
Negative Product Points
A smidge of static, replacement burrs from Pasquini are $68, the doser is too big for my use... thats about it. I just love this machine
This is from my webpage - but I think it is relevant here.
Pretty early in the Espresso experience I realized that to make good espresso I needed a good grinder, or I would be doomed to a world of stale P¢¢ts, Charbuck$ or whatever the local roasters burned - since I would need to grind it onsite. While it may be unwarranted in a home grinder, I like a metal machine. So it began to look like I would need to scour the used world to find a suitable grinder.
I had a fairly short list of "must haves" for the grinder of my dreams: It had to be metal, fit under my cabinets, use burrs, and be quiet. That dropped the list of participants to La Toscana, the Moka, and a handful of smaller names that I couldn't find out much about.
After spending a considerable period of time crawling ebay, the classifieds, and all the regional restaurant supply stores, I found the perfect grinder: The Milano BEST (aka, old style Moka).
The burrs are set in a brass threaded sleeve mounted in the 1/4" metal non-magnetic (more brass?) body. The adjustment process is rather simple. Thread the top burrs in to the brass ring and, while holding down the adjustment pin , wind the top burrs down until they are touching the bottom burrs and the agitator cannot move. I then back them up 6 steps and start my fine tuning there.
The finish is a metallic powder coat that appears to be layered in cascading intertwined miniature silver smoke curls - as if from a pipe in the evening sky. The resulting pebbly finish hides fingerprints, coffee grounds, and other detritus very well and looks great in the process.
The grinder runs very quietly without load. Add beans and it gets a bit louder, losing no momentum and rapidly spitting out the coffee into an acrylic & chrome doser . The doser is my least favorite part of the grinder as, for it to function properly, I have to grind more coffee than I can immediately use, unless I have guests. The concept is great for a real espresso bar setting, each pull of the lever rotates a vaned turnstile and doses out 6 grams of ground coffee. Outside of that setting however, as in my kitchen, the coffee simply sits around going stale. I bypass the dosing feature and only grind 14 grams of coffee per session and repeatedly pull the lever to empty the doser into my porta-filter. The doser does neatly sweep most all the grinds out, which eases the morning cleaning ritual. The grind chute is quite short and only about .7 gram tends to accumulate there if I am doing LOTS of grinding. A quick sweep of the coffee brush there, and around the side of the acrylic doser and I can dose away.
The grind from the Milano is very even and smooth. The resulting grind is almost flaky - it appears to be thin slices. There is very little residue left in the cup after a shot.
Cleaning is simple with a daily brush out using a customized coffee brush, once weekly vacuuming, and a quarterly tear down and alcohol rubdown. This is an absolutely wonderful machine and I am thrilled to use it.
I have ordered a Mazzer Mini from Chris Coffee as an upgrade to the Milano, which will now be used for decaf.
Fun! This old pony-tailed guy was sitting with his wife in a set of plastic chairs in the sun at an outdoor Antique fair. He promised me it would work, stuck it in a double layered "Safeway" frocery bag for "Safety" and sent me on my way... gotta love it!
Three Month Followup
Since I wrote my review, I have rededicated the Milano to my weekend house. It still does a great job - but Chris of Chris Coffee made me a deal on a Mazzar Mini I couldn't refuse. Tra-La!