The Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder is a compact and stylish conical burr espresso grinder from Ascaso. The compact size makes it ideal for home use, and it sports a very solid aluminum construction for the polished aluminum grinder and a solid plastic construction for the black grinder. This has proven to be a reliable and consistent grinder that works well with pressurized portafilters. It pairs well with Ascaso's Dream Up semi-automatic espresso machines.
Features and Functionality of the Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder
- Doserless Flexibility: The grinder features a coffee chute, which funnels the freshly ground coffee from the grinding chamber directly into a coffee holder for your espresso machine or into a coffee filter, or even a storage container.
- Stepless Grind Adjustment - To adjust the grind, turn the knob on the side of the grinder to adjust the grind finer, or turn it the opposite direction to make the grind coarser. Ascaso refers to this it's Micrometric Regulation System (MRS). The adjustment knob allows for infinite grind settings.
- Conical Burrs: Ascaso i-Mini Grinder is a powerful unit that uses heavy-duty 38mm conical blades for superior performance with all kinds of coffee beans.
- Little Buddy: One of the smallest quality burr grinders on the market, the i-Mini comes in at just more than 12 inches tall.
|Ease of Care and Maintenance||4|
|Ease of Use||3|
|Overall Value for the Money||3|
|How Does it Compare?||
It's cute! It's mini! And it's not too noisy. This is a noticeable upgrade from a blade grinder, without taking up too much counter space.
|Tips and Tricks||
This grinder can be unwieldy to dial in, it is best suited for a specific grind style rather than switching between French press and espresso.
|Suitable Applications||Coffee Press, Drip Coffee, Espresso, Fine Drip / Pour Over, Turkish|
|Model Number||MCSpa, MCSdb|
|RPM of Burrs||No|
|Case Material||Black: Plastic | Polished Aluminum: Aluminum|
|Bean Hopper Capacity||.55 pounds|
|Dosing Options||Doserless/Chute Only|
|Adjustment Configuration||Stepless - Infinite Settings|
|Grinder Style||Burr - Conical Steel|
|Burr Diameter||38mm Conical|
|Timer or On/Off Switch||On/Off Switch Only|
Submit a question directly to owners of this product and ask what they think about it!
Looking for warranty, care information, or videos of this product? You're in the right place!
Warranty Information for the Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder
|What it Covers:||Ascaso equipment|
|Who Supports the Warranty:||Espresso 4 Home|
|Warranty Contact Information:||732-866-1781|
A common failure point on single boiler models is boiler burn out, which can occur if the boiler is not actively refilled with water. Unfortunately, this error is not covered under warranty, so please ensure that your boiler is regularly and properly refilled by steaming, purging and then brewing. Not sure how to do this? Watch Gail perform this process on the Ascaso Dream UP.
|Eligible for SCG Extended Warranty?||No|
|Can SCG Repair?||Yes. Read more about our out-of-warranty repair services.|
Caring for the Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder
For detailed care instructions, please refer to your grinder's user manual. We recommend that you also incorporate the following into your cleaning routine:
- Use Urnex Grindz weekly to remove oil residue from grinding burs. Follow instructions on package.
- Remove and wash bean hopper with soapy water every couple of weeks.
User Manuals for your Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder
Note: The instructional manuals for Ascaso are printed for worldwide distribution and covers almost every model produced worldwide. With this in mind, there may be features, accessories or colors available in Ascaso equipment in other countries, but not available in models produced for the United States.
Exactly What It's Supposed to BeReview by Mike from Brooklyn
Price Value Quality
I used a Zassenhaus manual grinder for more than thirty years, except for a short time with a rickety Saeco electric. I bought the Ascaso to save time. As you would expect, it does that. It is also easy to use, can be adjusted precisely, produces consistent results, maintains its settings (unlike the pre-Industrial Zassenhaus), is less obnoxiously noisy than some other electric grinders, is compact, is less expensive than grinders of comparable quality, is sturdy, and is attractively designed. As others have noted, it scatters ground coffee on the counter, needs a few sharp raps to dispense all the ground coffee, and works best for people who stick with one type of grind. Since I make only espresso and deal with difficult co-workers in a similar way, none of this seems like a big deal.
(Posted on 7/26/14)
Great value grinderReview by Brett
Value Quality Price
Excellent grinder for the $$, grind is very consistent and has a tiny footprint. However I would agree the hopper is a bit wobbly and you have to keep pushing it back down as it works it way up. Other than that, very happy with it.
(Posted on 1/22/14)
Good machine for a good price, and it looks good too!Review by Paul in Eugene
Price Value Quality
I've just used this grinder for a few days but so far so good. It took awhile to dial in the correct grind because the settings are essentially infinite. There is some splatter of grounds while filling the portafilter, but that's not a big deal. I also use a Mazzer Super Jolly and I like the Ascaso just as well. It's actually easier to change the grind setting.
(Posted on 6/3/13)
Very capable basic grinder that wont break the bank.Review by Jim
Price Value Quality
When I made the move from a fully automatic espresso machine to a semi-auto I began my search for a grinder that could product the proper type of grind required for a good shot of espresso. My major requirements were...
1. Fine enough grinding ability to choke my espresso machine.
2. Small enough to fit under my cabinets while sitting on my counter.
3. Reasonably attractive to the eye.
4. Optional - Infinitely adjustable to fine tune the grind as beans age.
5. Priced under $300.
The hunt was on and eventually I found the i-Mini as on open box special. I figured I would give it a try as the reviews are generally positive. So here are my thoughts but keep in mind that this is my first grinder of this type...
- Can definitely grind fine enough to choke my machine.
- Very smooth and precise grind adjustment.
- Fits great under my counter.
- Has contributed to some terrific shots of espresso from my La Nuova Era Cuadra machine.
- Was priced very nicely being an open box unit, but the normal price is very competitive in its market segment.
- Easy to clean by just removing one screw and wiping out with a brush.
- Messy, but I believe all grinders make a mess.
- A little noisy, but also expected in this price range.
- The bean hopper is pressure fit and sometimes loosens after repeated usage. It's not a big deal to push back down into the housing but it is an annoyance.
- Lots of grinds left in the chute after grinding. This has not been a big deal to me but it might be a bigger deal to you.
- Insanely fine adjustment knob. I also have this as a pro, but it can take a while to figure out how to use the adjustment knob properly as it really does allow very fine increments.
I really like this grinder especially for the price. It works great for my needs as I don't switch beans all the time and I only use this grinder for espresso. If you switch beans often or want one grinder for espresso, coffee, french press, etc... this is NOT the grinder for you. If that is your use case you will spend all eternity adjusting and wasting beans.
One final thought, this thing seems to be built like a little tank so I am hopeful that it will last a very long time.
(Posted on 11/25/12)
Perfect for espressoReview by Michel
Quality Value Price
I've had my Ascaso I-mini for about a month, and I couldn't be happier with it. Its compact size is perfect for my small counter space, and the color (black matte) matches the color of my black Saeco Aroma. After a bit of practice, dialing in delicious espresso shots (with my non-pressurized portafilter) is easy to achieve and lots of fun. Not ideal for more than one type of grind, but I only use it for espresso, and for that, this is an amazing value for a grinder of this level.
Metal housing, Easy To Use, Looks Great, Commercial Grade, Compact Size, Great Value, Great Taste, Easy To Clean, Grinds for espresso
A bit messy, One type of grind only, Stepless grinder
(Posted on 2/5/12)
Excellent grind quality, shoddy hopperReview by Mike
Quality Value Price
This grinder provides a very consistent grind for espresso. It is relatively quiet. The latest model has two prongs to rest the portafilter on while grinding. The polished aluminum finish is beautiful, and compliments my Rocket Cellini nicely.
1) retains about one portafilter's worth of grinds
2) cheap, wobbly bean hopper that moves around while grinding. It comes completely off if the bean hopper is low. Appears to be a friction fit around the outer burr assembly.
Aesthetically pleasing, Quiet, Great Taste, Consistent Grind, Easy To Use
Wobbly bean hopper
(Posted on 1/27/12)
Beautiful MachineReview by MVB
Quality Value Price
Pros: Aesthetically very pleasing and pleasantly surprised to have received the updated model with the addition of the portafilter supports which does not figure on this website. Nice improvement! The body is sturdy and beautiful. Grinds beautifully, very fluffy. Some people think it's very noisy. I'll have to disagree there.
Cons: In terms of quality, the hopper is just OK. It does wiggles a bit when you're grinding so room for improvement there. It seems that with all grinders, some grinds are retained in the shoot and this one is no exception.
Summary: At this point, it's fair to say that I have limited experience with the I-Mini. I've yet to practice with different grind settings and have been using the factory setting which is at a medium grind. One reviewer of this machine practiced until he achieved the same grind as that of the Illy coffee resulting in great espresso. This may be a good idea. I find that the coffee you use plays a big role. I plan to purchase freshly roasted coffee but for the moment I used the coffees that I currently have in my pantry - Starbucks Espresso Christmas blend with HORRIBLE results after trying 3 times. I then tried Starbucks Colombian medium blend with much better tasting results. I've yet to achieve the thick crema shown on the videos but I'm waiting to receive a better tamper that I've ordered from SCG and perhaps that may make some difference. All in all, I still have a lot more experimenting to do but everything considered, I can say that I am not disappointed with the Ascaso I-mini and think it will do very nicely.
(Posted on 1/12/12)
Ascaso i3-mini (black)Review by Kurt_H
Quality Value Price
I give it a 5 star because I am impressed with the quality of craftsmanship (built like a tank) and grind control.
As has been noted in previous reviews, this grinder is not for those who are looking for a grinder for both drip and espresso grinds. Since this is a stepless the i3-mini does not have marks for grind settings (espresso or drip grinds). It seems to be exclusive for grinding espresso. The grind dial allows you to perfect the grind that is best for your espresso. Each turn on the dial makes minuet adjustments to the grind which is good for finding the "sweet spot". It will take some time to get used to but as you learn how to adjust your settings you will be pleased with the results. It is a quality machine and a good starter unit as it is not astronomically expensive yet still brings commercial grade results.
Once you get into a routine, cleaning the grinder is pretty user friendly. At first it may seem very messy. I find that putting a towel or cloth under the grinder helps keep the counter top clean. The grind shoot does get clogged but a little bump will help knock the leftover grinds out. You can also use a tooth pick or a cleaning brush to get grinds out. I just bought a little corded vacuum to suck the grinds out which works very well.
I use my grinder with a Saeco Aroma (black), and the i3-mini really complements the Aroma.
Commercial Grade, Easy To Use, Stepless doserless
(Posted on 12/29/10)
It's a keeperReview by Ms.Swift
Quality Value Price
We love how you can perfect your grind for the different espresso beans you are trying. It's lots of fun playing with the grind little by little and tasting the difference. It is very well built. Great size and beautiful. We have the polished one.
Its not any louder than any good grinder.
Grinds do get a little caught in the shoot. But, it seems like many grinders have this problem. We have a mini espresso spoon that we use to stick up the chute and loosen the grinds into the portafilter at the end of grinding. A little messy but, no big deal. You're not going to get perfection in any grinder in this price range and you do get a big bang for your buck with the Ascaso l-mini.
We did lots of research before making this purchase and are happy with it.
I would not recommend it if you are wanting to switch between espresso to drip or french press.
Other than that for the size, look, quality and function and if you're okay with the grinds getting stuck a little then get it, it's a keeper.
Infinite grind capability, Easy To Clean, Great Taste
Messy, Grinds get stuck in chute
(Posted on 8/16/10)