The best and last grinder you'll ever need - buy this one first - skip the upgrades!
Positive Product Points
Built like a tank (a stylish and really good tank!), remarkably quiet, incredible grind consistency and great, solid feel to the components. Stepless adjustment makes precise dialing in for bean and humidity changes a breeze.
Negative Product Points
Might be nice if an all stainless steel finish were available. Power cord should protrude from back but does not. Portafilter forks are too low and cannot be raised. Doser shoots grinds out at 45 degree angle (higher forks would make this a non-issue).
This is truly the last grinder I'll ever need or want to buy. It looks great and does an incredible job. It is so quiet that it's hard to believe. It's a commercial grade machine that fits well and looks good in the home.
I use mine on a kitchen cart so height is not an problem but for those with cabinet clearance issues, a good fix is available. Do a Discussion Forums search for details but the short version is this:
Cut about 3.25" off of the hopper with a hacksaw and get an extra doser lid to cover the now smaller diameter of hopper lid. Carefully done, this will be indistinguishable from a stock machine except for reduced height.
Nice solid button for start/stop. Convenient feature is that it's reputed to grind one gram per second. Easy way to know how much to grind per shot but I use a scale so haven't checked this out to verify.
The cord protrudes from the left side at about a 45 degree angle towards the back. I use a kitchen cart for my gear and as a right handed person with a machine (Isomac Tea) that has steaming wand on left side, the logical place for grinder is to the right of the espresso machine. Cord gets in the way just a bit - wish it came out of the back or the right side.
Have never had any static problems but the portafilter forks under doser are way too low. I removed base plate to see if they can be raised - this thing is really built- you should see the innards - impressive. By the way.... they can NOT be raised (contrary to a Forums post I read from someone who claimed to have raised them).
When I first began using it, grinds would spew out all over the place as they disperse at 45 degree angle when doser handle is pulled firmly. I've adjusted my pull technique and now tip basket slightly towards the right when filling first 3/4 or so of my double basket. This tends to eliminate spillage (I probably waste no more than one gram for every 4 - 5 doubles that I grind and pull). It did take awhile to get the hang of this and I found it to be very messy and frustrating when I first began to use it. I even contemplated returning it to get a smaller doserless grinder but am VERY PLEASED that I waited before making a rash decision and so glad I kept it.
Can't overemphasize the value of stepless (infinite) adjustment - my friend has a Rocky and frequently find that he needs a grind level that is between two of the indents on his adjustment collar. With the Mini it's never a problem - minute adjustments are possible and easy to execute - just be sure the grinder motor is turning when you adjust it.
It's hard to verbalize what a pleasure it is to use this machine - remarkable engineering and build quality. I may not be able to afford a Porsche or Rolls Royce but I can afford the best grinder available for the home and believe me.... this is the one!
Purchased this as a package deal from Chris Nachtrieb at Chris Coffee. He knocked $100 off the total price when I bought the Isomac Tea and the Mini as a combo. Can't say enough kind words about Chris' Coffee - they are in a class of their own and deliver customer service not only second to none but far superior to any other vendor I've ever purchased any product from. See my Isomac Tea review for the reasons why I feel so strongly about this vendor or just search the forums for threads that mention Chris Coffee - you'll quickly understand that WHO you buy from is just as important as what machine you buy.
Bought it from Chris' Coffee - need I say more? The buying experience just doesn't get any better.