Mazzer Mini in 2021

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
DamianWarS
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#1: Post by DamianWarS »

Specifically, the electronic doser type A. is this still a relevant grinder in a modern espresso market? there was a time when Mazzer was highly sought after but is the mini still a desired grinder in 2021 or can you think of a better purchase for your $1095

Nate42

#2: Post by Nate42 »

I use to own a Mazzer Mini, the original dosered model. There was a time where the mini was pretty much the only thing in its class, a good quality commercial built grinder that was small enough to not look completely out of place in your kitchen. It was a clear step above the Rancilio Rocky, which was its nearest competition. It also was about half its current price back in those days, which helped.

There's no denying Mazzer grinders are built like tanks, and if that's important to you it's still a pretty good choice. Unlike my original dosered model, the mini E is compatible with super jolly burrs, and I believe SSP makes upgrade replacements as well. This will likely improve your in the cup quality but will of course make it even more expensive.

As far as in the cup goes though, Baratza Sette, Baratza Vario, and Niche Zero will give you as good or better in cup quality for less money. And many more besides, lots more options in this range than back in the day. I find the mini hard to recommend now unless you need the commercial build (ie you are putting together a light duty commercial coffee cart, workplace coffee service, something like that).

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DamianWarS (original poster)
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#3: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to Nate42 »

I happen to be doing that, putting together a light-duty commercial coffee cart, except it is for training/demonstration purposes (it may overlap into an event coffee cart) but durability is a concern as it will travel a lot. I have the vario-w but I want something with traditional cafe style features which of course the mini is just that. what also is a concern is size, as I want something with a small footprint and the mini stands about as tall as the niche body to body but its hopper makes it quite a bit taller (I know there are short hopper versions available). There certainly are shorter grinders available like something like a eureka mignon.

I'm interested in knowing what is it about the mini that gives it such a bad rep today? is it the burrs? They use the same burrs in their newly release Mini Filter version and the only difference that machine has with the Type A is the adjustment is calibrated for filter and there are no PF forks otherwise it's the same machine (at least from what I can tell on paper). I know the top burrs are mounted on springs which is apparently a part of its stepless design but I would think there would be some uneven play with the springs while in operation.

does anyone have the SSP burrs in the mini? what are your impressions of them?

Nate42

#4: Post by Nate42 »

I wouldn't say it has a bad rep so much as a home user can get similar taste results for less money. I feel like my Monolith Flat give me better consistency, better flavor separation, and better performance for pour over. But it also costs twice as much and is a single doser, which isn't necessarily what you want.

For your application the mini might actually be a pretty good choice. I can't comment on the SSP burrs unfortunately. It's a bit more money, but you might consider a Malkonig K30? Its bigger around but not much taller, and has a very quick and easy workflow. I've had one side by side with my mini and found it to be easier, faster, and better. I'm no expert though, YMMV.

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#5: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to Nate42 »

Thanks for the suggestion, and you're right I'm not looking at a single doser for this specific application but want classic cafe grinder features, timed dosing for 1 and 2 shots, hopper, PF forks and on demand dosing which the mazzer does fine. For a Singler doser would probably look at the niche as it hits everything something like the mazzer is not (and it's small)

I would love the K30 but although it's short it's quite a bit larger than the mini plus it's over 2-3 times as much money (at least what's available to me locally). I want it small enough to put in a backpack (the mini is probably pushing it) For competition training I agree you want a machine that's fast but I won't be doing competition training and the slower work flow from the mini shouldn't be a problem.

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MTN Gert

#6: Post by MTN Gert »

That mazzer mini may be a tank but it does have some outdated tech
Large grounds retention
Losing grind setting when opening to clean
Threads can lock or strip of not perfectly clean
Above average clumping

For more modern choices I would suggest looking at
Eureka Atom 65
Atom 75
Ceado E37J

Those are also build for light Cafe use and use a smaller frame. Let me know what you think?
"Stop it....it's naughty and wrong" -James Hoffmann

cranberry

#7: Post by cranberry »

DamianWarS wrote: does anyone have the SSP burrs in the mini? what are your impressions of them?
I used to own a Mini E with SSP Espresso burrs.
With the SSP burrs, I could pull longer ratios than 1:1.5 without bitterness ruining the cup. (Which I could never do with the stock burrs.)
Taste was good, with origin notes standing out more. Body was also good; the shots held up well in milk.
Also, grind time went down from >20s to 12s, for a 20g dose of light roasted beans.

The only downside to the SSP burrs was that they'd occasionally stall the motor.
This only occurred when beans where in the grind chamber before I started the motor.
So, for single dosing it wasn't any problem. For hopper fed grinding it might have been a different story, though.

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Jonk

#8: Post by Jonk »

I have a Mazzer Mini E that I bought used from a small café. They had it for over 10 years but it's like new :!: So as far as reliability goes, seems stellar to me.

By traditional standards, the grind retention is low. About 2g behind the anti-static screen. Not sure how to measure it but of course there will be some partially broken beans as well.

The threads are not really exposed to grinds since they are high up in the grind chamber. Of course both Ceado and Eureka has much a better design, but it's still better than many other brands.

If you want to use quite a fine setting there will definitely be clumps, but it really depends on style and what you're comparing to. The Mazzer Major I had would not clump at the same setting and the Niche Zero doesn't even clump at a turkish setting.

Mine still has regular Mini E burrs because I don't think the Mini performs well for single dosing and don't want to risk stalling the grinder. Overall I think it was still a pretty good price/performance for home users who insisted on using a hopper and wanted something small that's not too loud. Until Eureka released Atom and upgraded the Mignon series a few years ago.

One thing not mentioned yet is that the adjustment is pretty stiff, so even though it's stepless it's more like small steps in reality. The "micrometric grind calibration" is mostly Mazzer marketing speech. Also, I think the Niche beats it in almost every way - especially if you want to put it in a backpack. Why not pre-weigh or teach people to use a scale?*

*disclaimer: the reason my Mini is still around is that my SO refuses to do just this :lol:

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#9: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) » replying to Jonk »

the teaching element is demand-driven and I'll be teaching people how to function in a cafe so I'm looking at equipment that broadly offers a similar feel to a cafe environment. I'm in a developing area of the world where these tools are not easily accessible and the teaching model is around partnerships with cafes/baristas in the region to teach at their own cafes using the baristas/cafe owners as the teachers. I would supply the equipment and realistically this would look like transporting this equipment on the back of a 110cc moped so they need to be small. Why don't they use their own equipment? because their budget for their entire cafe probably is about $1000 so a single grinder would be more expensive than their sum total, I'm partnering with locals for a local space and feel but with better equipment. It's about enabling local partnerships to use and teach on quality tools in their own spaces. (the DE1 will be the espresso machine)

I love the niche and to be honest, I would get it over the mazzer and just use single dosing as it has it's own unique elements but at the moment where I am available the mazzer is about $1000 and the niche is about $1400. I can get other grinders like the Vario/Forte are fine in themselves but I think they have features focused around home users that I'm not looking for. the Specialita certainly has the size down and I am seriously considered it too, as it has all the same features it's just smaller in size (and cheaper) but I'm concerned about the build quality. Since I've been looking into the mignon i've noticed it in the background of hoffmann's studio in his last video which is intriguing probably suggesting he's doing a video series for prosumer grinders and is including the mignon in this. Maybe I should just wait for that video and hopefully, he maybe he'll end up answering some of these questions.

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UPDATE: I'm not sure if hoffmann's studio setup is using the Specialita for his daily grinder or if it's going to come up in a review. It's small and black so it sits discreetly in the background and paired with his Eagle One Prima (which only was just introduced to the set appearing first Jan 22 despite it being promo'd back in September on set). It's no secret Hoffmann does work with Victoria Arduino which is a part of the Simonelli group and Eureka is a part of too. I don't think he's reviewing it because it's clear in his latest video he's reviewing a set of higher-end home espresso machines as they are all lined up sitting at the back (but I'm sure he can multitask) but to be honest due to a conflict of interest I'm not even sure he would review it or do a comparison of others of the same class. it however seems inevitable grinders at this class will be compared based on his recent videos.

Here are the videos that I can find that show the Specialita and it gives me more confidence with this grinder if Hoffmann is pairing it with his E1 Prima.

Should You Upgrade Your Grinder Burrs? - April 1
Six Interesting Coffee Brewers (Compared) - March 23
Drinking Donuts (In Coffee) - March 12

DamianWarS (original poster)
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#10: Post by DamianWarS (original poster) »

MTN Gert wrote:That mazzer mini may be a tank but it does have some outdated tech
Large grounds retention
Losing grind setting when opening to clean
Threads can lock or strip of not perfectly clean
Above average clumping

For more modern choices I would suggest looking at
Eureka Atom 65
Atom 75
Ceado E37J

Those are also build for light Cafe use and use a smaller frame. Let me know what you think?
those are great grinder but size is a concern. right now I'm leaning towards the Mignon as it seems to be a better fit with what I'm looking for and further research has indicated the grinder is built to commercial specs so it should be reasonable for my use.