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Zassenhaus Manual Mill - George Silver's Review
Posted: February 1, 2003, 4:37pm
review rating: 7.6
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
Zassenhaus Manual Mill
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Arrow The Zassenhaus Manual Mill has 55 Reviews
Arrow The Zassenhaus Manual Mill has been rated 8.29 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Zassenhaus Manual Mill reviews have been viewed 339,751 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Dave Wire 10.00
Ryan Kavanagh 9.33
Michael Pruner 9.00
Tim Lake 9.00
M V 9.00

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.8
Product Reviewed: Beech Box Mill
Manufacturer: Zassenhaus Quality: 8
Average Price: Varies Usability: 7
Price Paid: $59.95 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Sweet Maria's Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 month Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: None (other than whirley blade grinder)
Bottom Line: Great value for money, but not as consistent as expected.
Positive Product Points

Low price
Quite quiet
Exercises arm muscles
Easy to understand and use.
Widely adjustable.  (Moka pot or finer grind, to French Press grind)

Negative Product Points

Adjustment nut drifts to finer grind settings unless held while cranking.
Slower than electrics.  About 2 minutes for  32g of  fine grind coffee (for moka pot)
Hopper holds only about 30g+ (1 oz. plus) of beans.
Drawer has similar small capacity, could be bigger.
Less consistent grind size than expected.
More affected by static electricity than expected.

Detailed Commentary

Other than a Procter-Silex whirley blade grinder, this is the only grinder I have owned.  I got it to use primarily with a moka pot, but also use it from time to time with an automatic drip machine and a French press.  I did compare the grinds with the output of a Bunn professional grinder and with ground coffee (suitable for moka pots) from Lavazza and Illy.  Comparisons were done by comparing brew times in a 6 cup moka pot and with a jeweler's loupe with a mm grid.

I had read so many good things about this grinder that my expectations may have been too high.  On balance, I'd buy this grinder again, but there were two areas in which it was somewhat disappointing:

Grinding is not as consistent as I had thought it would be from what I'd read in various reviews.  The moka pot grind that matched the pre-ground coffee I used as a standard had an average grain size about 2-3x larger than the pre-ground.  This seemed to result from the additional dust and shavings the Zass produced which slowed the flow through the moka pot's filter/funnel.  At the other end of the size scale, the output for the French press was much more varied than the coarse output I compared it with that came from a commercial grinder used by my local custom roaster.  I'd be interested in what someone more experienced than I thinks about this issue.  Comments anyone?

I never expected static electricity to be an issue at all.  It was though  after 2-3 days of outside temperatures around zero degrees Farenheit and very low humidity in a house with hot air heat.  Dampen beans very slightly,  grind slowly, or wait a while after grinding to deal with this.

Buying Experience

Good.  Sweet Maria's usual good service, price.  Came with helpful additional directions from Swee Maria's.

Three Month Followup

Having now used the Zass for about 6 months, I still like it fine.  I have now used it with a Gaggia Coffee for espresso with good results.  (Fine adjustments and consistency both seem good.)  I have also found that the static electricity problems exist only at humidities of about 25-30 percent--i.e. most of the time it's not a problem at all. All in all, the only thing I don't like is the small hopper and drawer size.

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review rating: 7.6
Posted: February 1, 2003, 4:37pm
feedback: (2) comments | read | write
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