You're a CoffeeGeek - otherwise, you wouldn't be reading a review about a grinder that costs between $400 and $600. That dollar amount is double what a normal person would even consider spending on an espresso machine AND grinder, together.
So taking it as a given that you are a CoffeeGeek, I'll make this brash, bold statement: if you are seeking the best possible grinder for home espresso, the Mazzer Mini simply cannot be beat. This is the bar, the grinder which all other grinders for the home must be judged against, and from now on, the Mazzer Mini will be the standard which this website will use to judge other espresso grinders (the Rocky previously held that lofty position).
Hey, some grinders can come close to the Mazzer Mini. Others even beat the Mazzer in some areas, but none can beat it in terms of overall design, quality of build, quality of materials, output, and longevity.
I've spoken to some repair techs who specialize in repairing grinders, and the same thing gets repeated every time: in terms of the best overall grinders out there for longevity and lack of repair issues, the Mazzer lineup (under the brand names of Astoria, Rio, Mazzer and others) are the best. One major repair depot on the east coast says that for every 20 grinders they get in for repairs, maybe one is a Mazzer. And Mazzer grinders make up a sizable portion of commercial grinders in use today, that's saying something, and is something to consider in your purchase decision.
At six hundred dollars, the price the Mini used to sell at around the USA, this is an exceptional value when you think of it as an investment. This is truly a grinder that you'll have to make future plans for: who gets it in your will.
Thanks to the efforts of Chris' Coffee Service you don't have to pay $600. You can pay as little as $275 for it, if you buy it along with a quality espresso machine, or you can pay $375 for it at a variety of vendors because Chris' Coffee Service was the first major internet retailer to push this price down to what could be considered "thinkable" by any serious espresso hound. Other vendors match this price, but our supplier was the first to bring it to this pricing level, which moves the grinder from "exceptional value" to "one of the best investments in coffee equipment you can make".
(note, pricing is as of this writing - due to currency fluctuations and other factors, this price may chance in the future).
I always have to compile ratings for products, so here's how the Mini stacks up against some competition, keeping in mind that the Mini is my new standard bearer.
|Mazzer Mini Ratings Comparison|
|Grind Tuning||Grind Quality||Doser||Motor||Noise||Build||Overall|
|Innova Flat Burr||12.0||9.0||7.5||6.5||6.0||7.0||7.0|
Once again, I would like to thank Chris Nachtrieb of Chris' Coffee Service (website) for giving us a Mazzer Mini back in early April of 2002 to review and evaluate long term, and to provide us with a machine that we will be testing against many to follow.
Chris' Coffee Service currently sells the Mazzer Mini for $375 with shipping included in the lower 48; however, a sweet deal can be had for someone who wants to buy both a Mini and a quality espresso machine like the Isomac Tea or Millennium: buy either of those machines, and get the Mini at $275! Wow.