Get it, set it, then leave it alone. I would buy it again.
Positive Product Points
Sized just right for a semi-pro machine, not too big for the kitchen. Chrome looks, angular shape is attractive. Doser very slick. Clean sweep, highly adjustable. Large 58mm burrs really put out! Pretty quiet.
Negative Product Points
Quality of the plastic hopper could be a bit better, thicker maybe like the Macap. Getting picky though. Stepped settings mechanism could be tighter (its a round pointy pin that fits into a square hole).
The Shopping: After 17 years of faithful service from my Faema Family espresso and grinder combination, I thought it was time to upgrade. I spent months reading everything on grinders (thanks to all you CoffeeGeekers!). It seemed I was going back and forth between the Mazzer and Macap. Then it was the stepped vs. stepless mindgame. After actually seeing them in real life, I realized these were pretty big machines compared to what I was used to. I looked at the Rocky and it seemed a bit small and not as beefy as the M&Ms. Enter the Anfim. I saw them advertised at 49th Parallel and I really liked its appearance. The size also seemed to be somewhere in between the Rocky and the M&Ms.
Arrival: I placed my order on line and in a week it arrived at my door. It was well packaged for shipment with lots of paper packing (no popcorn!). However when I finally got it out of the box, the beanhopper was cocked to one side and jammed tight at that angle. Oh-oh, thanks UPS. Was it broken or just stuck? I called the seller but it was already the weekend. I couldn't wait. I applied a little force and the hopper popped off. I reinstalled it, no harm done. The Instruction manual is pretty good, but some of the Engtaliano caused one to read the odd sentence more than once. Anyways, its a grinder, right? Plug it in and go, which I did.
First Use: The Anfim uses a stepped setting ring and the settings are quite fine. What's this? The setting lock mechanism looks a bit mickey mouse. It consists of a thumb-tab that you press down to release a steel pin. It feels loose. The assembly does not reflect the precision of the rest of the machine. Looking at it more closely, it consists of a round steel pointy pin that fits into the square slots of the base of the hopper adjustment ring. I think this could be tightened up very easily by reducing the tolerance between the pin and the sleeve it slides in. Maybe the machinest had one too many espressos that day. Anyways in practice it works fine, i just think it could be perfect with the littlest of effort on this particular item.
The coffee beans i use is (surprise) Presidents Choice Espresso Blend, which I have found beats most of the commercial espresso beans (like S*B$) hands down at 1/2 the price of the other guys. It took me a few grinds to get it right for my Nuova Simonelli Oscar, but I settled down to the #5 setting. The setting positions are very fine and frankly I cannot understand how one could find a "stepless" setting in between and taste a difference.
I have found it is a real balancing act between getting the grind just right and the dosing just right. A little too much of one or the other and you can go from blonding too early to choking the machine. This is where the Anfim really shines with its adjustable doser. There is an adjustable setting on the center axle of the doser mechanism. A 1/4 turn = 0.7 gram adjustment, either + or - depending on the direction you turn the axle. Multiply the clicks by 0.7 grams. for my 18 gram portafilter, I was able to easily adjust to exactly 3 clacks to fill it exactly. Cool!
Two weeks after purchase: I really like this grinder! I fiddled a bit more with it to fine tune it. I think I have extracted all the possible flavor I can from my coffee beans. It certainly makes my NS Oscar perform amazingly well. Now to improve it further, I am going to move to "artisan" beans for the next stage of my enjoyment. I like the appearance of the machine and its performance lives up to expectations as well. Actually, I think its appearance seems to fit well with the angular shapes and appearance of the ECM Giotto. Hmmmm.
Pretty straightforward. 49th Parallel did not have the unit in stock when I ordered, but they kept me informed and followed up with a phone call to me after the machine arrived. That's okay by me.
Three Month Followup
I still like this grinder and my first impressions have held true. It is a powerhouse though and you cannot turn your back on it. You will find it goes through 1 pound of beans really fast. I haven't had to change the setting from 5 at all.