Third generation Mazzer family member, Luigi Mazzer, unveils his first official product launch, and explains how the Philos grinder looks simple and sleek on the outside, yet technical and advanced on the inside.
The big ‘M’ symbol on the building entrance is a giveaway sign that industry renowned Mazzer grinders are manufactured at the Venice factory in Italy.
If that wasn’t enough, coffee bean symbols are scattered around the facility, from the factory floor to office doors. Most impressive, is the 75-year-old company’s showroom display of grinders, and a level dedicated to its evolution of grinding technology and design spanning across decades from the 50s and 60s, 70s to 80s.
In the history of production of flat burr grinders, the Super Jolly remains one of Mazzer’s most iconic grinders. In Italian, Jolly means “the Joker”, which, when used in a pack of playing cards, is considered a “versatile and reliable” symbol. Mazzer has taken that versatility a step further and unveiled its latest grinder edition, Philos, at the Host Milano expo in October, along with the Kony Sg grind-by-weight grinder.
“What I really like about Philos is how very versatile it is. You can grind for espresso, cold brew, or filter, using light or dark roasted coffee. The idea is to grind for any type of coffee you like,” says Mazzer Vice President Luigi Mazzer.
Philos is a light commercial single-dose grinder with a design inspired by Mazzer’s ZM model, and adapted into its own unique, compact, and vertically oriented version. It is best suited to small coffee shops, micro- roasteries, and restaurants.
Weighing about 12.5 kilograms, the grinder is made nearly entirely from steel, brass and anodised brushed aluminium (in silver or black) with 64-millimetre stainless steel flat burrs.
Luigi says the grinder may look simple from the outset, but on the inside, features very advanced characteristics which required a long length of time to design and engineer using Mazzer’s experience and know-how.
One such feature is the auger (pre- breaker) that ensures a consistent, steady feed of beans into the grinding chamber, and prevents clogging, regrinding and non- uniformity of particles.
“It took months to design. It is optimised to work together with the motor, and with the shape of the burrs to ensure the right throughput rate,” Luigi says.
From the user’s perspective however, the Philos is simple in application. A single on/ off switch on the side of the machine fires up the grinder. The user can take a dosing cup, measure the desired amount of beans, place them into the hopper, and open the hopper gate to release the beans and begin the grinding process.
Users can simply set the coarseness of the grind by turning the step grinder dial in single-step increments. Located at the back of the grinder, users can navigate the dial left and right in six-micron increments, which can also be set to a stepless adjustment with the removal of three pins. Clear measurements and markers help to navigate the direction of the step grinder, with an index ranging from zero to 145 to cover all extraction methods in one round.
To improve user workflow, neodymium magnets help to hold the dosing canister in place. Such magnets also help to keep the counter clean, ground electrostatic charges, and avoid dispersion of coffee particles.
Luigi says around one-tenth of a gram of coffee grinds typically ends up left in the grinder. To clean the chaff, a “dose finisher” can be used to extract any residual coffee particles. When not in use, the dose finisher is neatly stored behind the front plate via a dedicated magnetic clip.
For further servicing, users and technicians can easily access the grinder chamber with just two butterfly screw, and no tools required. Once open, users can clean the internal components with a brush or easily substitute burrs. Putting the adjustment dial at the back of the grinder allows this operation to be performed quickly, and without losing the grind setting. Baristas are able to resume brewing coffee precisely from where they left off. Low retention of the grinder chamber means it also avoids contamination of coffee, allowing users to switch easily between different origins or brewing methods without waste.
Users can select between two sets of 64-millimetre, hybrid flat burrs. The I189D burr is the evolution of the Mazzer Mini burrs, which Luigi says is great for customers who prefer a more “traditional” style of coffee, suited to medium and dark- roasted beans with a full-body extraction and velvety mouthfeel.
On the other hand, the I200D burr is a modern, high-clarity burr, that produces uniform particle size distribution.
Luigi says these burrs generate low fines, with a geometry suited to lighter roasts, and enhancing floral, aromatic, fruity notes of coffee. These burrs have long, continuous sharp teeth that gradually refine the particle, and reduce the noise frequency of the grinding operation.
“They’re both great stainless-steel burrs that don’t get rusty, that come already seasoned from day one. I think the market will appreciate having the option to choose the burr that suits their needs best,” Luigi says.
Pete Licata of Nomad Coffee Group, and 2013 World Barista Champion, demonstrated Philos’ capabilities on stand at Host Milano. He says he is most impressed by the simplicity of the machine, and the work Mazzer has done with its materials to eliminate static in the grinding process.
“It’s a lovely new single-dose grinder designed to make tasty coffee super easy,” Pete says.
“The result is uniform, and a beautifully articulate flavour. It’s doing a lot of really good things; producing a sweet, clean flavour profile, which is what you expect for a really high uniformity grind. It delivers an excellent texture and mouthfeel. The grinder does its job incredibly well. Then it just comes down to the barista technique.
“Shots are quite consistent as well. In my time working with the Philos grinder, I have not had fluctuations due to heat or other grinding inconsistency.”
Philos and the Kony Sg are Luigi’s first official product launches since permanently joining the family business in January 2023. After completing an industrial engineering degree in Milan, and working for some years outside the family business to gain industry experience, Luigi says he has entered the business at the right time where he hopes to add meaningful value.
“I’m motivated and excited to put my energy into the family business. I am looking forward to the next chapter of the company’s evolution, with the expansion of the factory, and more investment into its research and development sector,” he says.
Mazzer’s manufacturing facility has to be seen to be believed. Its internal designs and production of all components of the grinders, including its burrs, are done on- site to ensure the highest level of quality and durability. This includes every screw, pin, and cable.
Taking BeanScene through the production factory, Luigi’s eyes glisten as he handles a freshly polished bolt straight off the conveyer belt, holding the steel piece like a prized jewel.
“Sure, we could outsource production of components to get them cheaper, but in order to have full control over the quality of our products and parts in the value chain, we aim to manufacturer everything ourselves,” Luigi says. “We are the ones responsible for the functionality of our grinders, and their overall quality.”
After the manufacturing of each internal component, largely controlled 24 hours a day, seven days a week by highly-advanced robotics, highly skilled technicians are responsible for the assembly of each grinder from start to finish.
“It’s quite a unique structure, but we want to give our people ownership of the product they create, and to feel the impact of their work. It helps improve quality control, and at the same time, is more rewarding for our team,” Luigi says.
“We’re manufacturing grinders with a purpose to assist the barista community. It’s all about passion, doing something you love, and doing it well from start to finish.”
For more information, visit Australian Mazzer distributor Coffee Works Express www.cwe.com.au
This article appears in the December 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.