Starting an upgrade. From Mazzer Mini to what? - Page 2

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.

#11: Post by portamento »

I would be interested in hearing from anyone else that has made the upgrade from the Mazzer Mini to the Super Jolly.

I have also been contemplating an upgrade from my Mini. I'm often trying to chase defects out of my espresso... darker roasts can tend towards ashy (especially in the crema) and light-roasted single origins are more likely to give me lemon peel than candied oranges. This is with fresh, properly-rested beans from marquee roasters, clean equipment, and plenty of experimentation with the key parameters. I also replaced my burrs recently to ensure I wasn't suffering from dull burrs.

This forum has convinced me that the Cimbali Max Hybrid would result in a large change in taste profile (for the better, generally)... however I have grown accustomed to the aesthetics and ergonomics of a hopperless Mazzer.

With the SJ being a commercial-use (albeit, entry-level) standard, I'm holding out hope that it will outperform the Mini in a noticeable way. I also note that very few forum regulars still use Minis, though some key contributors are happily humming along with their SJs.

On the other hand, it's hard to justify the purchase if I'm only going to get a very slight improvement over the Mini as indicated by Endo.

Any testimonials would be appreciated.


#12: Post by Endo »

I'd be interested in hearing reasons why going from 58mm burrs to 64mm burrs, in what is essentially the same grinder design, would produce such a huge difference in taste.

I think someone mentioned something about speed and burr design being different. I assume slower is better here? Even if the rotation is slightly slower, since the burrs are bigger, wouldn't the tangential speed at the burr perimeter (exit) be almost the same?

I did some "back to back" taste comparisons when I had both machines. I didn't notice much difference. Maybe my tastebuds are not as good as others here? Perhaps I needed to try a few more blends?

Unfortunately, I have since sold my Mini, so I can't do any more comparing.
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#13: Post by HB »

Endo wrote:I'd be interested in hearing reasons why going from 58mm burrs to 64mm burrs, in what is essentially the same grinder design, would produce such a huge difference in taste.
Who claimed there's a huge difference in taste?

If you're an accomplished barista, I think the difference is small for anything from the Super Jolly and up. However in terms of ease of use and consistency, I found the difference between the Mazzer Mini and the Titan Grinder Project class conical grinders plainly obvious.
Endo wrote:Perhaps I needed to try a few more blends?
Some blends do indeed reveal more than others. I intentionally avoid "forgiving" coffees when testing grinders.
Dan Kehn


#14: Post by Endo »

Who?? Are you kidding? Here's just one of the quotes from the "Titan Grinder Project":

"The other reviewers liked the Jolly as much as the conicals. Personally, after all this, I'd be loath to go back to the Mini or grinders in that class; but I would have no problem living with the Jolly or any of the other review grinders."

There are lots of other similar quotes in the 16 pages or so of the TGP.

The general impression to many people is that the Super Jolly is amazing and the Mini now sucks (although it was rated a perfect 10 only 5 years ago, it now can't win one round in the TGP style grinder wars).

I'm just saying, people are getting a very one sided view these days, and buying huge expensive grinders based on these comments. I feel a little more realistic perspective is definitely required.

I wonder if others share my opinion?
"Disclaimer: All troll-like comments are my way of discussing"

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#15: Post by Arpi »

When I upgraded from the Ascaso i-mini to the Compak K10 I saw a huge difference. So yeah, size makes a difference in the kitchen and in the cup :)

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#16: Post by HB »

Endo wrote:The general impression to many people is that the Super Jolly is amazing and the Mini now sucks.
I wouldn't say either.

I've said the Super Jolly represents the turning point of the cost/value curve, especially in terms of ease of use and consistency. You could spend more, but you'll realize proportionally smaller benefits. The difference between the Mini and Super Jolly is not huge, but it's clearly demonstrable. The difference between the Mini and big conicals is more dramatic (again, especially in terms of ease of use and consistency).
Dan Kehn

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#17: Post by drdna »

Given the equipment you are using now, I would not hesitate saying that upgrading to the VersaLab grinder would be an excellent investment. You will get the convenience of the hopperless grinder, the compact size, etc. It is a no-lose situation, if you can afford it.


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#18: Post by Endo »

If you want to see a significant improvement, you'll have to make a significant jump.

In that regard, I would choose the Compak K10 WBC (if you like the taste of conical), or the Anfim Super Caimano (if you prefer flat burrs) over the Versalab, if money is no object.
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#19: Post by chang00 »

I recently received the Versalab M3 and have put the two Macaps away. I was crazy enough to purchase both the doser and doserless Macap M4's.

I find myself using a brush to remove the left over coffee with both Macaps, which I don't do anymore with the Versalab. Because space is a premium in San Francisco area, the Versalab is more suitable for me due to its compactness. I home roast and have commercial coffee frequently, so with the Versalab, I can change coffee on the fly, without resorting to two grinders.

Another_jim had a less then stellar experience with Versalab. I only have the Versalab for one month, so I can't say much for its durability. Laura at Versalab has always answered my e-mails and questions. So far, the grind has been excellent. When I first used the Versalab, the wife thought it was a different coffee.

I also have got a re-badged Bregant with 64mm burrs from craigslist inexpensively and restored it to taste the difference larger burrs make. There is a difference. Not good nor bad, just different. The pours are more forgiving, in that I get less side squirts without elaborate distribution procedures as seen with the naked portafilter.

Often I wonder if the taste differences are just placebo effect, once the grinder is of certain quality. I still have yet to conduct a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, prospective study to confirm my hypothesis. But in the meantime, I am happily enjoying the coffee.


#20: Post by samgiles »

Hi all. At the risk of flogging a dead horse, I'd also be interested in hearing any comments from people with experience with Minis and Super Jollys. I've been on the lookout for a second hand SJ but have just bought a second hand Mini only because the asking price was criminally cheap. I know I can recoup the money by onselling it. My attempts at using it suggest it needs new burrs and I wonder if I should bother or keep pursuing the SJ. Of course I'd love a higher end grinder but I am constrained by budget and availability here. So any further comments on the Mini vs. SJ would be greatly appreciated by me.
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