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Ascaso iMini - Bluey Too's Review
Posted: September 22, 2008, 4:09am
review rating: 7.7
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Ascaso iMini Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Ascaso iMini has 21 Reviews
Arrow The Ascaso iMini has been rated 8.01 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since October 26, 2007.
Arrow Ascaso iMini reviews have been viewed 156,344 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Mike Zatt 9.00
Theron Georges 8.80
Ken Dang 8.66
Max Rudolph 8.25
Sebastian Storholm 8.00

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Manufacturer: Ascaso Spain Quality: 9
Average Price: Varies Usability: 8
Price Paid: $240.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: dibartoli Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Champion Mill
Bottom Line: Nearly perfect for home espresso.
Positive Product Points

Small.
Fine tunable espresso grind quality.
Minimalist styling.
Same burrs as Ascaso i2 conical and others.

Negative Product Points

Noisy.
Retained grounds in chute and grind chamber.
Slack in adjustment knob (can be tweaked).
Minor manufacturing/engineering quality gripes.

Detailed Commentary

Packaging and documentation tend to suggest great attention to detail. Double boxing ensures the lovely internal box arrives in perfect condition. A piece of cake to assemble - the hopper is a snug press fit in the grinding chamber. Instruction manual is generic for all Ascaso grinders and nicely typeset.

Can easily grind fine enough to clog up the portafilter. Slight popcorning can be reduced by pulsing the motor button. The conical burr set is apparently the same as used by Lux, Ascaso I-2 Conical, La Pavoni PB, Iberital, Isomac, Sunbeam EM0480 & EM0450, and others. The burrs look beautifully machined. No shortage of adjustment options with the worm screw. One full tun of the knob = 5 degrees rotation of the burr set. (For comparison one click stop of other grinders using the same burr set = 1.25 degrees.) So for rough tuning, suggest two turns at a time being equivalent to a click stop. Plastic ribs on the hopper make good pointers for gauging burr adjustment. Would be nice if Ascaso put some graduations on the top cover.

Slack in adjustment knob is confusing when trying to fine tune, because unless you know it is there or fix the slack, will see no change at all for up to 90 degree knob turn. So 90 degrees of back and forth could result in no movement at all of the burrs.  Adjustment is more simple if the slack is removed - see link below for detailed photos and description.

15 seconds to grind a double shot seems plenty fast enough to me.

The gearbox is certainly a bit noisy, but not annoying enought to justify spending twice as much.

I really like the modern minimalist look. Easy to keep clean as long as you get the grounds out of the chute (otherwise they tend to fall out later and leave a mess). A bamboo skewer is good for that.

I have written detailed notes with pictures of the inside here:
Click Here (www.home-barista.com)
With a few engineering design tweaks by Ascaso, i-Mini could be perfect.

If I needed to upgrade, I think I would be looking to Mahlkoenig/Ditting that costs nearly 10 times more, can fill a portafilter in 2.3 seconds in relative silence and is meant to be really easy to clean inside - hope to see reviews here in future.

Buying Experience

Excellent. Super fast response to email and fast delivery. Got a lovely surprise of a packet of coffee beans from Di Bartoli too.

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review rating: 7.7
Posted: September 22, 2008, 4:09am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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