Have you been searching high and low for an espresso grinder that doesn’t need much space?
In that case, we’re here to help you. We’ll be taking a look at two wonderfully compact grinders, the Baratza Forte vs Mazzer Mini.
If, at a glance, you can’t tell which one is right for you, we’ll make the decision a little easier. Here is what you can expect to learn about these grinders:
- The features that are similar between the Baratza Forte and Mazzer Mini.
- Which features in these grinders differ from each other.
- Information regarding the prices of the Forte and Mini.
- How to figure out which grinder you should buy.
What we love about the Baratza Forte is that it takes many classic Baratza features, such as the macro/micro grind adjustment system, and upgrades them. Now the grinder has a beautiful touchscreen that makes it incredibly easy to use. Buy the Baratza Forte if you’re looking a user-friendly, compact grinder to use in a small business or at home.
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A low blade speed that protects your coffee beans during intense grinding and a slightly increased hopper capacity gives the Mazzer Mini a surprising amount of power. Despite its compact size, the Mini could be a great fit in smaller coffee shops or the home kitchens of espresso enthusiasts.
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Don’t know much about how espresso grinders work? Allow us to explain to you what burrs are and why their shape matters.
The Baratza Forte and Mazzer Mini have flat burrs. Picture them as two serrated discs that are flat and sit in a stack inside the grinder.
Flat burrs are treasured for their ability to produce coffee grounds that are uniform in size. Because all the grounds are equally sized, the resulting drink is well-rounded and sweet.
Conical burrs are the alternative, and there are many staunch supporters for either type of burr.
After their shape, the next most important quality of burrs is their size. The larger your burrs are, the faster you grind coffee beans, leading to quicker shots of espresso.
This is obviously important in environments where you’re providing drinks to customers and clients. However, it can also be a game changer for home baristas who don’t want to have wait long for their morning coffee.
The Baratza Forte has 54mm burrs and the Mazzer Mini has 58mm burrs. While not equal, the sizes are close. These are not the largest burrs, but they are serviceable in settings with a low volume of coffee and espresso orders.
On either grinder, you won’t have to hold your portafilter in place. That’s due to the fact that they each have holders on the front that will keep your portafilter basket secure while you grind.
By freeing up your hands, the Baratza Forte and Mazzer Mini give you the ability to multitask. It’s another valuable quality for business settings in which you often have multiple other things you could be doing at any given time.
Read Also: Mazzer Major vs Mazzer Mini
Although their burrs may be more similar in size than dissimilar, the overall size of these grinders is quite different. The Mazzer’s name may be Mini, but it’s truthfully quite a bit larger than the Baratza Forte.
We’ll demonstrate with their exact measurements. The Baratza Forte is 5.25 inches wide, 7 inches deep, and 14.25 inches tall. In comparison, the Mazzer Mini is 6.25 inches wide, 13.25 inches deep, and 16.50 inches tall.
It is wider, deeper, and taller than the Baratza. If finding the smallest grinder is your topmost concern, the Baratza will be the better pick for you.
Ceramic vs Steel Burrs
There are numerous aspects of burrs to consider. Another important thing to factor in is what they’re made from.
In this case, the Baratza Forte has ceramic burrs while the Mazzer Mini has steel burrs. There are benefits to either material.
Ceramic burrs are well-known for their ability to stay sharp even longer and to keep your coffee beans cool. Steel burrs, on the other hand, are sharper and resistant to cracking or chipping.
Stepless or Stepped Grind Adjustment
You’ll have to adjust the fineness of your grind regularly when you’re using an espresso grinder. How you make such adjustments will depend on the type of adjustment system your grinder has.
With the Baratza Forte, you’ll have access to a stepped grind adjustment system. You’ll have a dial to turn that clicks into place at a number of pre-made fineness levels.
Typically, stepped grind adjustment systems are easier for beginners but more limited. However, the Forte removes some of the restriction that naturally comes from such a system with its macro/micro grind design. After you choose one initial setting, you’ll have another dial you can twist to make further adjustments within that setting.
The Mazzer Mini uses a stepless grind adjustment system. You’ll have a collar at the base of the hopper to twist, but it lacks the notched settings of the Baratza Forte. This gives it a much wider range of settings to select.
Read Also: Baratza Forte vs Vario
Hoppers are another integral part to espresso grinders. A larger hopper can hold a greater quantity of coffee beans, which means you can grind for longer stretches before needing to stop for a refill.
This is one aspect in which the Mazzer Mini excels. Despite being called “mini,” its hopper capacity is surprisingly generous at 0.9 pounds. The Forte’s hopper, on the other hand, holds just over half a pound of beans.
If you foresee yourself having to grind for longer periods of time, then the Mazzer Mini is the better option for you in this comparison.
Mazzer Mini Multiple Color Versions
Some people are concerned about getting appliances that match with a certain decorating scheme. If you’ve spent all this time and money decorating your business or kitchen a particular way, it’s reasonable to demand a certain look from your appliances, too.
Fortunately, you can with the Mazzer Mini. Available in both black and silver, you’ll have more visual flexibility with it to ensure it fits in with your settings.
The Baratza Forte is only available in one color. While this may not be important for everyone, it does mean that it’s not as visually versatile as the Mazzer.
Baratza Forte LCD Touchscreen Controls
If you’ve ever used a touchscreen before, then you’re already used to the way the Forte’s controls feel. It has an LCD touchscreen display on the front that you’ll use to access the majority of its settings.
Beyond being beginner-friendly, we think the touchscreen panel has another use: it cleans up the look of the grinder. Because it’s not covered in buttons or switches, it looks more modern than other alternatives.
Further Reading: Baratza Forte vs Eureka Atom
Mazzer Mini Low Blade Speed
Here’s another aspect that helps the Mazzer Mini handle long grinding sessions: a low blade speed. Initially, when we say “low blade speed,” it sounds like it might be a bad thing.
However, this is quite the opposite of being a detriment. Coffee beans are very vulnerable to high temperatures and can get easily burnt in some grinders. You know what the result is: a singed-tasting drink that you or your customers will be disgusted by.
A lower blade speed protects you from this possibility. It reduces the friction caused by higher speeds, therefore reducing the heat produced by said friction.
Baratza Forte Portafilter or Grounds Bin Compatibility
Do you plan on using your grinder to grind coffee grounds for drip coffee, French press, or any other brewing method aside from espresso extraction? Then you’ll need a larger amount than what does into your standard shot of espresso.
The Baratza Forte allows you to handily grind larger batches of coffee. It comes with a grounds bin you can grind into that holds up to eight ounces of coffee. This is typically more than enough for alternative brewing methods.
Our espresso grinders are in the Majesty Coffee store for the most competitive prices online. We’re pleased to include the Baratza Forte and Mazzer Mini in our store, as well.
We have the Baratza Forte for $899 and the Mazzer Mini for $695.
So, Which Grinder Should You Buy?
As you may have seen from this comparison, these grinders have many more differences than they do similarities. Because of this, there are clearly specific settings either one would thrive in.
Due to its slightly lower price, the Mazzer Mini could be a wiser choice for you if you’re on a stricter budget. However, the price difference between them isn’t significant, so that may not be as important.
One thing you can consider is the different grind adjustment systems in this comparison. The stepless grind adjustment system of the Mazzer Mini is best for skilled baristas who know how to make precise adjustments. On the flipside, the stepped system of the Baratza Forte is easier to learn if you’re new to grinding espresso.
Similarly, you may find the Baratza’s touchscreen more appealing if you’re a beginner. It’s reminiscent of a smartphone or tablet and may therefore feel familiar.
Consider the types of coffee you’ll be making, too. If you want to brew drip coffee often, you’ll appreciate the grounds bin that comes with the Baratza Forte.
But what about situations where you’ll frequently be grinding for long stretches? Consider the Mazzer Mini, then, which has a low blade speed that will help protect your coffee beans from burns. Its slightly larger hopper will also be able to go for longer without refills.
This is our advice:
Get the Mazzer Mini if you need the more affordable grinder of the two or if you’re looking to grind for longer periods of time.
But the Baratza Forte may be better for you if you want a beginner-friendly grinder with a touchscreen and stepped grind adjustment system.