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Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Vario or Mazzer...  
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Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 5:20am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

NobbyR Said:

Take a look at the Eureka Mignon Istantaneo then. It's also a solid stepless grinder with 50 mm flat burrs. It's availaible with and without a timer. As far as the quality of grounds and longevity is concerned, I'd say it's on par with the Mazzer Mini, but it's cheaper.

Posted September 5, 2012 link

Thanks for the suggestion - I've started getting coffee supplies from Bella Barista in the UK and they stock 3 grinders, the Eureka Mignon, the Mahlkonig Vario and the Mazzer Mini-E.

They reckon they sell a lot of Eurekas because they're the cheapest in their line-up, and a lot of Mazzers because they're "the best". Apparently they don't sell that many Varios because they're the middle of the range...

I think the only way I'm really going to resolve it is to try and get a demo of the grinders and make my decision after getting hands-on.

I suspect analysis-paralysis is the real problem here and I'd probably be 100% pleased with whatever I pick!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 5:34am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

As you can see in my profile I own the Eureka, and I'm fully satisfied with it. I even wrote a review on it:

NobbyR Said:

Unfortunately the Eureka Mignon Istantaneo (aka Nuova Simonelli MCI) isn't in the CoffeeGeek database so far. That's why I have to write my preliminary review here:

The first thing you notice about it is that this stepless grinder is very compact. But don't let size fool you! It heavy and soldid with a nice, shining, chromium-plated steel body and shoot and a 250g cubic plastic bean hopper (a 500g hopper is available). I got the version with a switch for manual or timer controlled grinding which is located on the side of the grinder. It's activated by a micro switch as soon as you place the portafilter underneath the shoot. Unfortunately the dial for setting the timer is on the bottom side which I find unpractical. There's a simple mod, however, by attaching a cogwheel (see picture below).

The next thing you notice is that it's very quiet. Conversation doesn't have to stop when the grinder is working.

The Eureka MCI grinds very consistently and without any static. At it's finest setting a floury powder comes out that will probably choke any espresso machine. The dial for changing coarseness setting is located on top of the casing and easily accessable. However, if you have to change between corase grinding for French Press and fine grinding for espresso, for example, it might be hard to find your settings again, because the scale has no real reference point. For me that's no problem, because I only use the grinder for espresso. The finer the grounds are, the more they tend to come out in little clumps that have to be redistributed.

There are two negative product points: the grinder tends to make a little mess (but then again which doserless grinder doesn't?), and there's about 2g of residual grounds left in the grinding gear and shoot, which you have to remove it by tilting the grinder when you change the settings or don't need it anymore.

All in all, it's a great espresso grinder that doesn't have to hide behind commercial grinders as far as excellent built quality and grinding performance is concerned ...

Posted October 9, 2011 link

NobbyR Said:

... The mess and clumping somehow gets less after a few pounds of coffee, and the mess can be reduced to none by using a funnel.

Posted July 30, 2012 link


 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,672
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 6:09am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

The biggest issue communicated to me relates to the Vario retaining a consistent setting from day to day while that is not an issue with Mazzer.
I have used the SJ and the Major but not the Vario. I prefer a doser to doserless for several reasons and I have not had clumping issues with dosered grinders. For me, doserless is much more of a mess and is lest convienient for me as I like to grind while doing other things, a doserless grinder will not let you do that.

The issues with the Vario may be specific to a small sampling of grinders, it may by personal preference. I like a solid all metal grinder but it is not space friendly for a lot of people so that maintains a factor for a lot of people. YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 6:54am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

NobbyR Said:

As you can see in my profile I own the Eureka, and I'm fully satisfied with it. I even wrote a review on it:

Posted September 5, 2012 link

Thanks for that - it's really helpful! :o) One question - I've read some reviews on the Eureka and the one thing that stood out was that the timer is limited to about 6 seconds grind time - is that right? It seems a little fiddly to my mind to have to run the grinder a couple of times to produce a double shot...

I really feel anything to do with making espresso should be big, heavy and very shiny... I really like the art deco looks of the Mignon - there's something a little too "modern" about the Vario that just niggles at the back of my mind!

That said, it's the quality of the coffee that really matters so looks are a bit of a secondary consideration...
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 7:07am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

It's true, the timer can only be adjusted for a single shot. For a doppio you can simply run the grinder twice. If you don't like that, you can always take the model without timer, which again is a little cheaper, and use an external timer connected to the plug. Personally, I don't use the timer very often, because I feel confident dosing by visual judgment: I fill the filterbasket until there's a small heap, so that the basket is full to the rim once that heap is leveled out, then I tamp. I checked this rule-of-thumb-method by weighing a larger series and came within 0.2 g of the desired dose. That's about as accurate as a timer or the Vario-W works.

I wouldn't recommend this method though, because it takes a little experience to get the hang of it.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 11:30am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

OK - that's useful to know and certainly not a deal breaker! Being able to set the grinder to produce enough coffee for a single shot makes sense but one or two of the reviews suggested that you'd have to run the grinder at least three times to make up a double shot...

My current grinder is seemingly about as effective as beating individual beans with a hammer so I'm starting from a long way back in comparison!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 10:42pm
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

It depends, of course, on the dose you use for a double shot. Some people take up to 21 g!

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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waroros
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Oct 2010
Posts: 7
Location: Bkk
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Wed Sep 5, 2012, 11:16pm
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

What about grind quality of eureka? The price is so attractive. I've tested it once in the tradeshow. It seems to produce a bit clump and not as fluffy as vario did.
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Mandheling
Senior Member


Joined: 31 Aug 2012
Posts: 35
Location: United Kingdom
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Gaggia Evolution
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Instantaneo
Posted Thu Sep 6, 2012, 1:22am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

NobbyR Said:

It depends, of course, on the dose you use for a double shot. Some people take up to 21 g!

Posted September 5, 2012 link

I normally use 18g for a double, but I'm sure that will change when I replace my grinder. At the moment the volume is more about compensating for a grind that's too coarse rather than tweaking the taste!
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NobbyR
Senior Member
NobbyR
Joined: 10 Jul 2011
Posts: 2,023
Location: Germany
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Poccino Opus One, Ariete
Grinder: Eureka Mignon Istantaneo
Vac Pot: N/A
Drip: Melitta Linea Unica de Luxe
Roaster: N/A
Posted Thu Sep 6, 2012, 2:43am
Subject: Re: Vario or Mazzer mini-e for espresso only
 

waroros Said:

What about grind quality of eureka? The price is so attractive. I've tested it once in the tradeshow. It seems to produce a bit clump and not as fluffy as vario did.

Posted September 5, 2012 link

The quality of the grind is very homogenous. The finer you grind the more there is a tendency towards clumping, but as I wrote the phenomenon somehow gets less after a few pounds of coffee, and the clumps dissolve easily upon distribution. They don't really pose a problem.

 
***
"This drink of the Satan is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it to the infidels." (Pope Clement VIII on coffee, when he was urged to ban the beverage)
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