loan me not one but two! Time for an update to the Mazzer Mini, Cimbali Junior, and Macap M4 review...
Feature Spotlight on Espresso Grinders, Reloaded
Mazzer Mini E - Type A & B
They arrived today and I've just unpacked them. Both are similar in form to the standard Mazzer Mini and have the new "shorter" hopper that makes them very kitchen cabinet friendly (not shown in manufacturer photos above). You'll have to look closely to see the difference is the on/off mechanism:
- Type A = touch pad on top of funnel lid (left),
- Type B = metal push-click switch below funnel and above portafilter rest (right).
I've not seen much information on the Type B, so the update will include a section specifically explaining the differences between these two models. I'll use both for a couple weeks and hopefully provide enough distinctions to help potential buyers decide which suits their preference; I'll also contrast them to the other three grinders already covered in the Spotlight: Mazzer Mini, Cimbali Junior, and Macap M4.
In the meantime, below is an excerpt from my comments on the Mazzer Mini E (Type A) from last year's Counter Culture Coffee EspressoFest:
Every review I've read about this grinder just raves and raves. So needless to say, I was anxious to see what all the excitement was about. At first glance it appears to be a $200 funnel accessory for the stock Mazzer Mini, plus some touchpad buttons. After a few uses, the pricing still seems excessive, but I see why owners are so pleased -- Mazzer nailed a great doserless design.
To fill the portafilter, you place it in the MME's cradle and press the single or double doser button atop the funnel. In about 12 seconds, a perfectly centered pyramid of grinds fills the basket. For those of us who have resigned ourselves to the "left throw" tendency of most doser grinders, watching this spectacle is a small miracle (indeed, geeks are impressed by the darnest things .
The burrs and carrier on the MME are larger than its Mini sibling (64mm versus 58mm), although both share the same-sized housing. That means the MME's exit chute is shorter, which allows less room for grinds to hang up. The finger guard is an angled stainless-steel grate. It looks like it may be dual-purpose, i.e., preventing curious fingers from entering the chute and also dispersing the grinds more evenly for their death-spiral to the bottom of the funnel. I didn't test my theory by removing it.
Mazzers are built rock solid -- so well in fact that I believe a warranty is an unnecessary gesture. The MME, as nice as it may be, complicates the reliability picture by adding electronics. I have no data to support the assertion, but in general I prefer simple switches to fancy buttons, if only because I can repair them myself if need be. Quibbling aside, if the MME were available at the time I upgraded from the Rancilio Rocky DL, I would have seriously considered it despite the eye-bulging pricetag.