To Mazzer or Not to Mazzer….that, is the question?
I don't know if you are like me and sometimes browse the parts supply pages for coffee accessories on the Internet from time to time. If you have and you own a Mazzer grinder (I have a Mazzer Mini E), curiosity will no doubt have led you to look up the price of your burrs. You may also have read statements like this one: When buying new blades for your grinder it is important to know the size and rotation of the grinder blades. By golly, I didn't have a clue, I just knew mine were 64mm burrs for the Mazzer Mini E.
To continue with the story, I thought I would buy a spare set of blades and because you read everywhere that the Mini E blades are the same as those used on the Mazzer Super Jolly (I don't believe they are!), I grabbed a set for a super jolly. They came wrapped in a bit of rag type paper, in a Ziplock bag and with the name of a well known trade spares supplier on them. When I got home I whipped the top off my grinder and had a quick check…..hmm, they didn't look the same. Sure they fitted OK, but didn't look the same as the ones I had on my Mazzer Mini E. This needed a bit of investigation and luckily I had a coffee meet coming up that weekend and Paul was bringing his Mazzer SJ.
On examination of his SJ burrs they looked very similar (the same) as the ones on my Mini E, so the game was definitely afoot. As another aside, I had been asked by a commercial supplier who keeps being supplied 58mm burrs for the Mini E what the right part numbers were…and they are Mazzer ref 189D. I said that there seemed to be aftermarket burrs and genuine Mazzer burrs available and that they should only order Genuine Mazzer burrs for Mazzer grinders.
So I now received genuine Mazzer Mini E burrs and the pictures and text below are my impressions and views on the differences/quality vs aftermarket burrs.
So here is the genuine Mazzer packaging, note the logos and blister pack
The back of the pack with the mysterious specifications we all wonder about.
OK here are the aftermarket burrs beside the genuine article (click to enlarge)
Now I think in the picture above it becomes clear that there is a much larger cutting surface on the genuine burrs and the "blades" are much longer. What is not so apparent in the photo, is how the central "throat" that feeds the beans through the burrs is cut much steeper in the aftermarket burrs. This I would imagine would put a far higher load on the grinder motor of a Mini E, but not a larger Super Jolly. A few other things that are not very obvious from the photo….the genuine burrs are much, much sharper, better finished and also the metal looks a different colour. My guess is much harder/better quality steel.
Below a close up shot of the burrs (click to enlarge)
Lastly, the differences on the back of the burrs, the genuine burrs (marked with an arrow), have two concentric grooves in the metal, whilst the aftermarket ones do not, also the holes are slightly better finished, so less chance of misalignment when fitting the burrs.
So whats the point of this article?
The aftermarket burrs were from a quality company and were not real cheapies, are they representative of burrs supplied in the Market, I don't know, but can't see any reason why they would not be. On the forum a question was raised about Mazzer burrs and reading the answers it seems that many suppliers may have aftermarket burrs.
I compared the Super Jolly burrs with Genuine Mini E burrs (however the Mazzers SJs I have seen all have burrs that looked like the Mini E genuine burrs), so I am confident that the difference is not in the grinder the burrs were intended for (apart from the larger throat for increased feed rate in a super jolly)1.
I also understand the cost savings in buying aftermarket burrs vs genuine burrs is only a few pounds!
To summarize the differences Genuine Burrs are:
- Sharper than aftermarket burrs
- Better finished2
- Larger cutting surface
- Look to be of a higher quality steel
- Appear to fit more snugly onto the burr carriers
- Only a few pounds more
If I had to buy more Mazzer Burrs I would ask if they were genuine Mazzer burrs (and if they didn't come in branded packaging, I would be inclined to reject them)