Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Espresso Machines
Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Stepless...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
dawgcatching
Senior Member


Joined: 27 Feb 2004
Posts: 101
Location: Japan/Washington
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 1:01am
Subject: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

I have been playing with my new Rocky for a few days, and the only thing that frustrates me is that the steps between settings seem rather large for espresso.  I was tying out 2 different settings (next to each other) and neither seemed quite right.  I held the adjustment in between numbers (it wants to turn cockwise during the grind, so I turned it counterclockwise against the next notch and held it there).  Result was a much better shot, but a pain, and there would be no way to fine-tune it further.  

I notice the Mini is "stepless", which seems like a big advantage.  How exactly does it work, and how much of an improvement in espresso quality will that result in when fine-tuning a grind?  How much "fine-tuning" is noticeable on the Mini (in terms of the step-wise adjustment on the Rocky).  For example, if you were between settings 7 and 8 on a Rocky and were at the same grind size on a Mini, how many "virutal" settings on the Mini would result in a tasteable difference in espresso grind (I realize there are infinite settings, but those infinite settings won't produce infinite taste results).  I was thinking of it in these terms-if comparing the Rocky's grind settings of 7 and 8, the Mini's stepless adjustment would yield a noticeable fine-tuning of the grind at what would be a setting for Rocky at 7.2, 7.4, 7.6, 7.8, in other words, an extra 4 useable fine settings?  Or would it be more like 1 useable setting (equivalent to a Rocky 7.5) with the other settings not producing a difference in grind that is noticeable to human taste buds?  I hope I am making sense!    

Any other grinders with a stepless or finer step setting than the Rocky?  Any tricks to bypass the step settings when they just aren't accurate enough?
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Luca
Senior Member
Luca
Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 2,658
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Espresso: H: Maver W: FB-80
Grinder: H: Super Jolly W: Brasilia...
Vac Pot: Hario TCA-2
Roaster: Sample Roaster at Work
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 3:14am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

Great post!

I've had a rocky for about a month now and I've definitely wanted to grind at a setting ending in 0.5 on several occasions!  My rocky is DL (will go change details to reflect this ... not sure if they do now), so let me tack a further Q onto this; how does a Mini E compare with a DL?  What's the deal with it?  Does it use a timer to grind the right amount, or go by weight ... or what?  Are you left with grounds in the wierd-looking dosing chamber ... and should we be upgrading to it?

Cheers,

Luca

 
General ramblings about coffee: http://www.pourquality.blogspot.com/

Reviews of Australian coffee: http://www.coffeereviewaustralia.com/
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
JavaJay
Senior Member
JavaJay
Joined: 5 Dec 2003
Posts: 95
Location: Central Maine
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra MicroCasa SXCD
Grinder: Mazzer Mini, Gaggia MDF
Vac Pot: French Press
Drip: Chemex
Roaster: Heat Gun/Dog Bowl
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 4:27am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

Hi,
Between numbers on the Mini there is a huge difference. Between 6-7 there are 10 notches on the grind adjustment dial but they are really just reference points since it is a stepless system. I grind Malabar Gold at 6.4ish and SM's Monkey at 6.7ish. If the 6.7 for the Monkey blend runs a bit long I can rotate 1/2 a notch finer. You are only limited by the steadiness of your hand when adjusting the mini. I frequently set the dial between notches (ie. notch +1/3 or notch -1/3) which means I have atleast 30 useful settings between 6 and 7 (probably more). By useful I mean that I can tell the difference. With the mini I've never had a problem getting  exactly '2 ounce/25 second' shots. Easy to get 1 ounce/25 second ristrettos as well.
Stepless=Infinite, Check out the Detailed Review on this site to see the internals and understand the workings better. It's really an incredible grinder (not that that's news around here!).

Jay
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
MrFollies
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2003
Posts: 98
Location: Amsterdam
Expertise: Just starting

Espresso: Isomac Tea
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Roaster: Prima Popper
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 4:48am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

Between numbers on the Mini there is a huge difference. Between 6-7 there are 10 notches on the grind adjustment dial but they are really just reference points since it is a stepless system. I grind Malabar Gold at 6.4ish and SM's Monkey at 6.7ish. If the 6.7 for the Monkey blend runs a bit long I can rotate 1/2 a notch finer. You are only limited by the steadiness of your hand when adjusting the mini. I frequently set the dial between notches (ie. notch +1/3 or notch -1/3) which means I have atleast 30 useful settings between 6 and 7 (probably more). By useful I mean that I can tell the difference. With the mini I've never had a problem getting  exactly '2 ounce/25 second' shots. Easy to get 1 ounce/25 second ristrettos as well.
Stepless=Infinite, Check out the Detailed Review on this site to see the internals and understand the workings better. It's really an incredible grinder (not that that's news around here!).

Umm  yeah but that is all relative.
It's not like the Mazzer delta (between 6 and 7) is the same as a Rocky delta(between 6 and 7).

I had a rocky and upgraded to the Mazzer Mini after about 2 days.  Thankfully I had an understanding salesman.
One of the main reasons I upgraded is because (even at newb status) I noticed a huge difference between the steps.

If I had to guess, I'd say you've got at least 5 more increments with the Mazzer, but  as Jay said, you are really only limited by the steadiness of your hand.  It seems the slightest adjustment can give a noticible change.

One liner: The infinite step is worth it.
back to top
 View Profile Contact via ICQ Contact via MSN Messenger Link to this post
HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 5:23am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

What surprised me when I upgraded to the Mazzer Mini was how little the adjustments were.  I expected with its huge dial, I'd be rotating around several inches along the dial (as compared to about an inch on Rocky between 2 and 8).  On the contrary, the actual dial rotation between various espresso grind settings is very small.  A minor tweak is 1-2mm either way.  As a rough rule of thumb, one notch of rotation adds / subtracts about 5 seconds of pour time.  I wouldn't mind a worm drive to make micro-fine adjustments (but only one that engages when needed, thank you  :-).

It isn't hard to zero in exactly where you want, but as others have said, it requires a firm grip with two steady hands.

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
hamm
Senior Member
hamm
Joined: 22 May 2003
Posts: 530
Location: Kettering, Ohio
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto (1st gen)
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Vac Pot: I'm not that kind of guy...
Drip: From the faucet occasionally
Roaster: I buy from several
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

dan_kehn Said:

...As a rough rule of thumb, one notch of rotation adds / subtracts about 5 seconds of pour time....
-- Dan

Posted March 9, 2004 link

Dan,

EXCELLENT point.  I learned something early today! I spent a few months changing the amount of tamp pressure without actually tweaking the grinder.  I had a hunch something like that would work, but since I tend to do espresso more on intuition than anything else, I never processed a thought that was as well stated as your rough rule above.

I tried a shot this morning where I got about 7 drops in 30 seconds.  I don't blow 'em that bad very often but my second one was perfect.  25 sec. roughly 2 oz. shot.  Of course I'm using old beans because my latest order of Black Cat hasn't gotten here yet...  looks like a grinder tweak of about 1/2 an inch come Wednesday :D

Hamm
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 6:22am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

dan_kehn Said:

--- It isn't hard to zero in exactly where you want, but as others have said, it requires a firm grip with two steady hands.

Posted March 9, 2004 link

Hi Dan...
Does your collar ring have threads in it for an adjusting handle? For $10 I added the 2.25 inch handle to my Jolly and it is tons easier to adjust.

L  a  r  r  Y

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
bish
Senior Member
bish
Joined: 24 Mar 2003
Posts: 203
Location: Bellport, Long Island, NY
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Giotto Premium
Grinder: Mazzer Mini & Maestro+
Vac Pot: No counter space left!!!
Drip: Technivorm MoccaMaster
Roaster: Gene Cafe, FrankenRoaster
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 6:38am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

The last comments are well made... the stepless MM adjustments become a matter of intuition.  I've started to think of leaning on the adjustment rather than rotating by a set amount.  The stepless nature lets you think more like this as opposed to setting a numerical value.

For the last week I've been flipping back and forth between Black Cat regular in the mornings, and the decaf in the evenings.  I've been critical of the BC decaf, but I was finding I could lean on the MM and get a perfect grind for both.  This morning was another story... the SM Monkey Blend had rested for 48 hours and my first pull was way off... I almost completely choked the Giotto and ended up with a 60 second triple ultra-ristretto :)  I "leaned" on the setting and the next shot was nailed.  How much did I lean... a bit more than a tad, maybe a tad and a half, but certainly less than two tads :)

My point is that stepless becomes intuitive after a while.  It's like racing a motorcycle (when I was young and foolhardy)... trying to quantify the lean on high-speed cornering is difficult... just enough, but not too much seemed to work for me most of the time!  Thankfully, getting it wrong with a grinder is far less painful... a choked or gushing shot never sent me bouncing across the infield at Brands Hatch :)

Cheers
Peter
(Ouch... that brought back some painful memories)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
ljguitar
Senior Member
ljguitar
Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 2,805
Location: Cheyenne
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Expobar Pulsar
Grinder: Mazzer SuperJolly • Baratza
Drip: Bunn • AeroPress
Roaster: Behmor•Variacs
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 6:38am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

It is possible to mod the Rocky to make infinite adjustments. Just take a round toothpick and roll it in scotch tape till it just fits under the back of the hopper and top of the grinder. The friction keeps it in place between detents. Used mine this way for months before buying a Mazzer, and it worked great (and often lived between stops).

Boy was it dusty back there when I shot that?



L  a  r  r  Y

ljguitar: Toothpick.JPG
(Click for larger image)

 
L  a  r  r  Y          J

<°)))><
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
HB
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Apr 2003
Posts: 2,913
Location: Cary, NC
Posted Tue Mar 9, 2004, 6:57am
Subject: Re: Stepless adjustment on Mazzer Mini-how important to making a good shot
 

ljguitar Said:

Does your collar ring have threads in it for an adjusting handle? For $10 I added the 2.25 inch handle to my Jolly and it is tons easier to adjust.

Yes, it came with that little bar and it helps quite a bit.  It's when I want to adjust by a half-tad (using Peter's terms) that I tend to overshoot.  ;-)

-- Dan

 
www.home-barista.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Machines > Stepless...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Rocket Espresso Machines
Free extended warranty & free shipping. Contact us for best prices.
espressooutlet.net
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.411861181259)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+