MC2 is probably impossible to beat at the price point. Look towards Mazzer prices before you will find better for the home.
Positive Product Points
Iberital MC2 Auto - Solid Metal Constuction - Stepless Grind - Consistent Grind - Low grind retention
Negative Product Points
- No instruction manual available - Timer adjuster can be imprecise - Fiddly to dial-in
Iberital MC2 Auto
I purchased this item from happydonkey in th uk. At £105 inc postage it was the clear winner in my search for a good, professional quality grinder on a budget and the unit does not dissapoint in any way.
The grinder arrives well packaged and initial impressions were of quality as it features a mostly metal body and is quite heavy. The bean hopper is easy to fit and while there was no instruction manual supplied it was self-explanitory to setup and operate.
The hopper holds around 500g of beans easily and with a smoked plastic body and snug fitting lid should be suitable for storing beans assuming a decent rate of use.
The stepless grind makes this machine stand out from others around the price point and, while taking some time to dial-in, is a great feature for small adjustments once the dial-in is achieved. Grind appears consistent with no significant dust.
The plastic forks attached to the front of the unit will not hold a portafilter by themselves but serve to help position the basket under the chute while depressing the grinder initiation button. I had some initial fears about mess and static but the ground coffee chute is well designed and once the timer has been suitable adjusted delivers 2 x 9oz grinds into a European basket with little or no mess.
After grinding around 2oz of coffee is retained beneath the burrs to go stale but this can be removed with a thin brush or vacuum cleaner. I have to admit the having come to accept this retention and simple using the coffee on the next grind so long as it doesn't sit for more that 24 hours.
I had also looked at the Gaggia MDF and Macap M4, in my opinion there is little to chose bar aschetics between the MC2 and the M4. When compared the the Gaggia you gain a more solid constuction and stepless adjustment while you loose a doser.
As a side note I tried a doser model before the auto model and beleive that for home use the automatic, doserless model is superior due to the ease of cleaning and low waste.
Happydonkey are a consistently excellent company to deal with. Excellent comms with owner Scott and good advice. The inappropriate doser model I initially ordered was accepted back for only a small restocking fee for which I was greatful, having made a poor initial purchasing decision.
Three Month Followup
It has been a good first quarter with the MC2. In general the grinder behaves reliably and continues to deliver a good, consistent grind. The grinder certainly shows up the qualities of different beans and roasts - I've gone through quite alot of coffee dialing the grinder in when I've changed coffee's - A Brazilian espresso blend was quite oily and required a considerable adjustment over my previous African blend - the stepless adjustment is very fine and so you find yourself pulling lots of shots that clog up the Espresso machine until you get down to the sweet spot. The grinder is more impressive for it though, and the purchase of a naked portafilter really showed what it could do. A good decision and a great product.