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Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder

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Product Description

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.

Both the black and polished aluminum are the I-2 model.

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.
  • Mon Petit - Small enough to fit in the most crowded of counter spaces, light enough to be stored in a cupboard when not in use.
    • No Reference Marks - Because there is no end to the turns on the stepless knob, there are no markers to help you recall your grind settings from each use.
    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

    Additional Information

    Model Number I-2: MCSpa (polished aluminum), MCSdb (black)
    Manufacturer Ascaso
    Width 4.9 inches
    Depth 8.9 inches
    Height 12.20 inches
    Watts 140 watts
    Volts 120 volts
    RPM of Burrs No
    Volume (Decibles) 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
    Material Aluminum

    Ask a Question

    Browse 6 questions and 5 answers
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    Hi. Is this the I1 or I2 version? Thanks.
    Nick P on Feb 2, 2015
    Best Answer: No, this is a different model from the Ascaso I1-I2. Since we don't carry that model, unfortunately I can't tell you the difference between this and the i-mini. However, size-wise, the i-mini is smaller in stature than the I1-I2. Hope this helps!
    Reply · Report · Stephanie AStaff on Feb 9, 2015
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (2)
    Have the older model Ascaso mini. Experiencing channelling during brew and grinder calibration recommended. How to??
    mike B on Apr 20, 2016
    Best Answer: We only got ours 2 weeks ago. After 3 days of use, during which it clogged after each use, and after on-line assistance, we gave up and sent it back. - So: can't hep with your problem. Good luck. (We traded for a Rancililio - terrific, so far.)
    Reply · Report · john and susan r on Apr 22, 2016
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
    I noticed that the photo shows the grinder "without" the bars for holding the portal filter. That is the model I am looking for. Is that the model you have for sale?

    A shopper on Sep 1, 2015
    Best Answer: I'm sorry, the pictures do show the support bars for the portafilter because both colors come with it. The previous older model (which is what the video below displays) did not have those support bars, but all the newer versions have them. Sorry, and good luck in your search!
    Reply · Report · Miranda GStaff on Oct 8, 2015
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
    Ascaso i - mini black, is it the aluminum powdercoat version or the abs plastic version?
    Mark L on Apr 13, 2015
    Best Answer: The black grinder has a solid plastic construction.
    Reply · Report · Michele BStaff on Apr 23, 2015
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
    is this grinder appropriate for rancilio silvia?
    VInsl on Feb 24, 2015
    Best Answer: This will not go quite fine enough or be consistent enough to work with a non-pressurized portafilter like the Silvia has. With machines like that, consistency and the range is very important, so that no matter what blend of coffee, you can find the right setting to be able to dial it in and get your shots out between that 20-30 seconds. The i-Mini would be fine to use with a machine with a pressurized portafilter or basket, such as the Saeco Via Venezia or Aroma.

    If you're looking for a grinder that would be appropriate for the Silvia, I would suggest looking at the Rancilio Rocky, Nuova Simonelli Grinta, Breville Dose Control Pro, or Baratza Preciso. The differences between those will be in how many settings they have available, and the length of the anticipated lifespan, as well as appearance and how grinding is engaged.
    Reply · Report · Miranda GStaff on Mar 11, 2015
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)
    how can I remove the plastic part?
    how and how often should I clean the inner part of the grinder?
    A shopper on Jul 26, 2016
    · Add Answer · I Have This Question Too (0)


    Warranty Information for the Ascaso i-Mini Conical Burr Espresso Grinder

    What it Covers: Ascaso equipment
    Length: 1 Year
    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

    Ascaso Grinders User Manual

    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.


    Perfect MatchReview by Silvia's Bitch
    I love my Ascaso Mini! Have had mine several years and have only the picky little issues previously mentioned. I consider them personality. Having a Rancilio Silvia as it's mate, I obviously apprentice personality. This machine does exactly what it's supposed to do, does it well, consistently, and for a reasonable price. It is indeed "built like a tank" and I fully expect it to last well into the future. As to the flimsy hopper, I've quite grown accustomed to it, and tend to place my left hand on it for additional stability while pressing the portafilter to the button tjat engages the grind. It's quite natural. The infinite, stepless adjustment is perfect for keeping dialed in grind. A full hopper only lasts me a couple days, and as a matter of course, give the knob a turn or 3 each morning until I add fresh beans, that tends to be just about ideal allowance for the sadly rapid change in freshness.
    Great grinder.
    Great form factor.
    Great value
    Great personality.
    Pairs well with any quality espresso machine (Posted on 7/18/2016)
    Great Grinder Review by Coffeeman
    Had this grinder for 5 years and it still works just as well today as it did the day I bought it.
    It does retain some grinds in the spout but a gentle shake during grinding shakes most of that out. It makes a very fine grind so Turkish coffee is a possibility. (Posted on 7/2/2016)
    Best low budget grinder for espressoReview by Michael Madsen
    Far superior to the Rancillo Rocky because of it's extremely precise fine adjustment. This is a grinder you can really dial in and get just right - also it doesn't tend to lump the grinded beans as much. Also, it's very well built (yes i've taken it apart) - simple rugged, robust and precise. It takes a little while to dial in and get a feel for, but it's a bang for the buck! (Posted on 11/25/2015)
    Exactly What It's Supposed to BeReview by Mike from Brooklyn
    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 7/26/2014)
    Great value grinderReview by Brett
    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 1/22/2014)
    Good machine for a good price, and it looks good too!Review by Paul in Eugene
    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 6/3/2013)
    Very capable basic grinder that wont break the bank.Review by Jim
    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.

    Other thoughts:
    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 11/25/2012)
    Perfect for espressoReview by Michel
    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 2/5/2012)
    Excellent grind quality, shoddy hopperReview by Mike
    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 1/28/2012)
    Beautiful MachineReview by MVB
    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 1/12/2012)
    Ascaso i3-mini (black)Review by Kurt_H
    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 12/29/2010)
    It's a keeperReview by Ms.Swift
    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 8/16/2010)

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