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Ascaso Grinders - Jeff Spirer's Review
Posted: April 23, 2011, 10:38am
review rating: 0.0
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Ascaso Grinder - i1, i2 Models
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More About This Product
Arrow The Ascaso Grinders has 31 Reviews
Arrow The Ascaso Grinders has been rated 8.39 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since December 13, 2001.
Arrow Ascaso Grinders reviews have been viewed 219,437 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Julien Labelle 10.00
Sespe33 Sespe33 8.88
James Schulman 8.59
Douglas DeHart 8.33
Laura Taylor 8.21

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Product Reviewed: I-Steel I-2
Manufacturer: Innova Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $0.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: 1st Line Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Rocky Doser
Bottom Line: Great grinder for espresso that does exactly what you want.
Positive Product Points

Doserless - less to break.
Stepless adjustment.
Easy disassembly.

Negative Product Points

Stepless adjustment.

Detailed Commentary

A comment on the price - this came for "free" with my Ascaso Steel Duo Pro espresso machine from 1st Line, a special running in April 2011.  However, I will still recommend this at the standard price around $300.

My last grinder was the Rocky with a doser.  The doser broke three times in the first five years of ownership, so I stopped fixing it and used my fingers to turn the vanes.  I decided that unless I had a lot more to spend, a doserless machine was going to be a lot better.

Operation is very simple, as with most grinders.  The stepless adjustment means you waste a lot of beans finding the right grind region the first time, and I don't really like how little one turn of the dial does.  However, when I finally got to the right area, it was fine, and I can make very fine adjustments to compensate for different beans and for age and humidity of the beans.

The grinder looks nice and complements the Ascaso Steel Duo Pro.  It's easy to disassemble (tried that even though no maintenance was necessary) and reassemble.

One odd thing about this is the on/off switch.  I don't understand why it's necessary given that the machine is essentially off when not pushing the portafilter switch.  Also, many reviews here say the hopper holds 1.3 pounds of espresso, as does the 1st Line website.  I can fit a little over a half pound of beans.  I'm not sure where the 1.3 number comes from.

Don't confuse this with the Acaso non-Steel I2.  I have no idea why their naming conventions seem so confused.  The Steel I2 has a stainless chute that does not have a static problem with ground coffee.  A small amount of coffee stays in the chute but it's easily brushed out.

Buying Experience

1st Line is a great vendor.  Great pre-sales support on the phone, happy to talk about every minute detail for a purchasing decision.

Three Month Followup

After three months, nothing has changed, the grind is terrific.  A few comments though.  I am still both happy and frustrated with the stepless adjustment - I changed beans for a while and it took forever to find the right spot.  It's noisy.  The portafilter doesn't quite fit right under the spout, and I'm using an Ascaso portafilter.  However, the grind is great and it is very easy to take apart, so I'm happy.

One Year Followup

Things are still working great with this grinder.  The only real issue is that the "fork" that the portafilter rests on is too high and you have to take out the portafilter after grinding some coffee, smooth it out and then add more.  Otherwise it just piles up on one side.  This would be an easy fix, I'm not sure why it hasn't been done.

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Posted: April 23, 2011, 10:38am
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