Great looks with the best quality grind on the market. A fantastic machine.
Positive Product Points
Accurate and reliable grinding, good looks, easy to use controls, makes my coffee taste even better.
Negative Product Points
Price (expensive grinder in Australia), Not much else.
For the past five years I have been grinding my coffee with my Saeco grinder which I was quite happy with. I always found the Saeco noisy and if I wanted to adjust to a very fine grind, the outlet would block and I would have to dig out compacted grounds with a long skewer which was a time consuming and messy business (and a terrible waste of good coffee). Nevertheless, I was happy with the Saeco because I had not used any other grinder and as they say, 'ignorance is bliss', so I was blissful, I suppose.
I recently updated my Saeco coffee machine with a prosumer model from an Italian company called San Remo. I have not seen this machine on any American sites so assume that it may not be available in the US at this stage. If I am wrong here, I would love to hear some feedback. My San Remo is an E61 HX machine which I am overjoyed with - perhaps more about this on another day. One immediate problem for me though was that the San Remo required a finer grind than my old Saeco machine so after dialing the grinder to pretty much its finest setting, off I went - or didn't actually. The Saeco almost immediately clogged and ground to a halt. A few days of this became very frustrating so I called my mate Lance from Withams Coffee in Sydney (withams.com.au if you are interested) and talked to him about my concerns. The short story of it all is Lance personally delivered a brand new Anfim Best to my place and talked me through its operation.
My first impressions of this machine were all positive, and remain so. The grinder is good looking and angular and looks purposeful. The angular design almost clashes with the curves of the San Remo, but the high quality chrome finish overcomes this. I was impressed by the ease of adjustment of both the grind and dose and the accessibility of the on/off switch. I have read complaints re this machines stepped grind adjustment but have found that the increments are so small that stepless design is pretty much unnecessary. In keeping with all things Italian, the instructions appear to have been translated by one of the factory workers and are delightfully inadequate but make for some good reading. Fortunately, coffee grinders are a simple affair so instructions are very much relegated to the bottom drawer.
The Best is a fairly quiet machine and consistently produces the grind that I expect. I do have to adjust during the day as the humidity alters (sydney is well known for that), and as I roast my own beans, I have to adjust for different blends and bean types. The Best copes well with everything that I have asked it to do so far, but it is still very early days. It sill be interesting to see how I feel after three months.
Would I recomment this machine? Yes. It looks good in the kitchen, the consistent grind makes my coffee predictable and very pleasant. My friends all comment on the 'coffee corner' in my kitchen which has been enhanced by the inclusion of the new grinder. The only down side is the price. The Anfim cost me $au700.00 which is pretty heavy for a grinder but the cost is on par with the competition. I suppose that you have to pay for quality. It certainly out performs the old Saeco which results in a much better looking and tasting brew - and I suppose that is what it is all about.
Withams Coffee offers the highest levels of service and support so the buying experience is always a pleasure. When dealing in a specialised world, it is best to deal with people who know what they are doing. I would recommend Lance and his team to anybody.
Three Month Followup
Three months later, I am still as pleased with the grinder as I was the day I bought it. This tells you little so let me expand a bit. I have found that the grind adjustment is critical to a good cup and a notch either side of perfect usually results in a broken dribble finding its way out of the filter, or a gush of watery coffee that fills the cup in no time at all. I have also learnt that the adjustment has to be altered for each type of bean I use and for different temperatures throughout the day. The good news is that I now know which way to turn the hopper for the result that I need. The adjustment is easy and smooth.
One minor point though is that at times, I end up with coffee all over the table after I have dosed. It sometimes just gets 'out and over'. Not sure if this is usual but I am happy to simply clean up any mess and carry on.
I have found that it is very easy to keep the grinder clean and a weekly brush and polish is all it needs to keep it bright and shiny. On another sort of weird note, I find that when I am grinding and making coffee at the same time, the two machines, which are adjacent to each other, harmonise! That's right, they sort of strike up a chord and the place sounds great. I have had a couple of people comment on this. Totally out of left field, but there you are.
I have now put many kilo bags of beans through the grinder and it works just as solidly as I would have expected. No faults, no problems, just great coffee. I have no hesitation in recommending this machine to anybody who wants a heavy-duty, good looking grinder that gives the impression that it will, at some time, be handed on to the grand-kids. A+ to the Anfim.
One Year Followup
One year on and the Anfim is performing without fault. The grinder has proved itself to be reliable with several uses each week day and our weekends have turned into a 'coffeefest' with friends and family dropping around and fully expecting to be served a great coffee.
The importance of having a fully and easily adjustable grinder has been reinforced over the months with the grinder being switched during the day between three settings. My only change of heart (and it is a minor one) is that I now believe that a stepless adjustment would be preferable than the Anfim's stepped setup. 90% of my grinding is done using only two of the grind settings and it would be good, at times to be grinding between two of the steps. Although the steps are very close, they make a big difference to the final result. Having said this, I can, at no time, blame the grinder for the occasional less than perfect cup that i produce. (these are quietly thrown out, hopefully without anybody noticing). The bottom line is that a great coffee is the result of every stage being handled in the best possible way. The grinding and dosing are critical to the operation and the Anfim is more than up to the task. I am happy to recommend this grinder to anybody who wants a great looking, great performing and reliable grinder in their kitchen.