La Marzocco Swift Mini · Grinder User Review

Coffee and espresso equipment reviews by the site's members.
From the Team HB review of the La Marzocco Swift Mini:

Image In a commercial cafe setting, La Marzocco has offered the Swift grinder for many years as a solution to simple operation and improved consistency. But it's huge. What about the home barista who would like an idiot-proof espresso prep workflow? Introducing the La Marzocco Swift Mini, which grinds, doses, and tamps with the push of a button no waste and no mess.

The Swift Mini is compatible with all La Marzocco Home machines. Moreover, the Swift Mini can function as a standard on demand grinder. In this way it is possible to grind for single espresso, or for filter brewing method featuring:
  • 32mm conical burrs
  • Automatic grinding, dosing and tamping Swift system
  • 18" tall
Three available finishes: Black, White and Red.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)

Reviewed on January 2nd, 2021

The Swift Mini is a call back to a bygone era. The original Swift grinder was a beast standing 26 inches tall with twin hoppers and 64mm ceramic flat burrs. It manages to pay homage to its namesake retaining the spirit of the original with modern updates.

The Swift Mini uses a 32mm steel conical burr set with a rotating outer burr but retains the dosing/tamping function of the original Swift. The Mini has been shrunk to a kitchen counter or coffee catering friendly platform with a friendlier half-pound hopper.

The grinder produces a mellow balanced shot in my opinion with the ease of simply pressing a button. All one has to do is dial in the grind and dose for your given coffee. From that point on, it is a simple matter of locking in the portafilter, pushing the start button, and removing the portafilter once the grinder finishes. The grinder has a very low grounds retention and a relatively accurate dose. The beauty of the grinder is its simplistic operation.

That is not to say it is a perfect grinder. For those wanting a grinder suited for multiple brewing methods, this is not your option. While the Swift Mini does have the ability to bulk grind into a container using a 'push and hold button' operation, making large grind adjustments is cumbersome. Those wishing to dose and grind per shot will not find the Mini an optimum solution. While the volumetric dosing is close from puck to puck, it is not exact. The grind and dose adjustments are stepped and you can find yourself needing a setting between the two, but I did not have any issue finding an agreeable compromise with a combination of grind size and dose setting.

I enjoyed using the Swift Mini. Being in the IT field, I have an affinity for gadgets and the Swift Mini has a certain cool factor. I especially grew to enjoy the ease of use. I found it to be a good grinder producing good and consistent results with a simple push of a button.

Reviewed on December 18th, 2020

We've had other really close shootouts, but I don't recall any exact ties. As we puzzled over this unexpected result, a couple other Counter Culture employees filtered in. Since it was still early, we pulled 2 pairs as a "bonus round" tie-breaker. And yet the result was the same: An exact tie. :lol:

While the participants' thoughts were fresh, I asked for a short recap of why they picked one over the other:

Adrian: I preferred the slightly mellowed Swift Mini espressos; the others had a bit more "bite".
Brian: I tried several rounds; to my taste, the Peak was notably sweeter.
Penelope: The Peak espressos were slightly more complex, more sweet and higher acidity.
Dan: I preferred the balance of the Swift Mini, though I thought I was picking the Peak espressos. Go figure.
Brett: I don't even like coffee.

So there you go! Another blinded taste test and again unexpected (?) results.