Mazzer embraces 75 years of grinding expertise


Mazzer explains how it embraces 75 years of grinding expertise to continuing making new models and adaptations to grinders that move with the evolving needs of baristas– on and off the stage.

When baristas take to the stage in this year’s World Brewers Cup (WBrC) in Athens, they’ll know their routine inside out, have their speech rehearsed, and be confident that the Mazzer ZM grinder – the official grinder sponsor this year’s WBrC – will be ready to perform with them. Just as competing baristas strive for excellence in their routine, Italian grinder manufacturer Mazzer feels the same way about delivering a product of the highest level.

“It starts from the high quality of the materials we choose, the accurate in-house creation of each metal component, the thoughtful process behind the design of our new products, not to mention endless quality tests. We look at our grinder as a promise made to a barista. We feel committed and excited at the same time [to share the stage with them],” says Luigi Mazzer, Vice President of Mazzer.

Mazzer was born in 1948 as a local company focused on Italian style espresso grinders. Over decades, its grown to serve a global community of different coffee cultures and brewing methods. Luigi says Mazzer’s sponsorship of this year’s WBrC competition will be an opportunity to showcase how the Mazzer ZM grinder can help baristas brew stunning filter coffees.

Luigi says this device embodies technological innovation and engineering craftmanship to make the grinding process more precise and easier for the barista.

In the last few months, Mazzer has released a set of tool steel 83-millimetre flat burrs into the ZM model to grant a more precise geometry with better planarity and parallelism, together with a longer lifespan. It’s also gives baristas the power of choice to use the burrs that best suit their needs.

“These burrs are specifically suited to guarantee the best grinding experience for different brewing methods, in terms of particle size distribution and dimensional homogeneity of the coffee particles,” Luigi says. “Barista can choose the most suitable burrs ranging from the highest to the lowest fine production: k151B for espresso; k151I hybrid burrs for espresso and filter coffee; k151F for a good bodied filter coffee; or k151G for high clarity filter coffee (lower quantity of fines).”

In the ZM, the number featured on the display is the actual distance in microns (1/1000 millimetre) between the burrs. Luigi says such a small step allows almost infinite settings and consistent grinding for all brewing methods.

It’s most impressive feature, Luigi says, is its patented stepper-motor-operated digital grind adjustment system.

“In 1977, Mazzer patented the stepless system, which became a standard for the industry. Now, we have designed another revolutionary tool that allows baristas to adjust the distance between burrs with micron-level precision, to have a clear, accurate and repeatable setting. Thanks to tight tolerance machining and strict quality controls, the ZM has no need for manual burr alignment. Its automatic True Zero calibration ensures that the grind settings are consistently identical from grinder to grinder, from cafè to cafè. This is something unique,” Luigi says.

“While sharing the same name of ZM and the same attention to aesthetics, this grinder still embraces our 60 years of technological advancement.”

Luigi says the ZM’s low coffee retention (under 0.45 grams) and the possibility to record up to 20 grinding positions for quick recipe recall, also allows baristas to switch seamlessly among different origins and brewing methods.

The ZM double fan cooling system with electronic control and the 900 revolutions per minute (at 50 hertz) is designed to respect the beans preserving flavour and taste compounds.

The ZM is easy to maintain, with the electronic flipping display allowing quick access to the grinding chamber for cleaning and burr replacement.

The ZM model was born in 1958, first as an “old grocery” vertical-burr shop grinder.

“The old ZM was an inspiration for our engineers who transformed it into a modern grinder while keeping its soft lines and vintage design. It’s a tribute to those who made Mazzer history with commitment and hard work,” Luigi says.

The new ZM version released in 2015 was a traditional mechanical grinder featuring low retention and consistent output.

In 2017, Mazzer decided to keep its vertical-burr design and add a digital motor-operated control to guarantee utmost precision and consistency. The digital ZM can be used for espresso and filter, but at the beginning, baristas had to use different sets of burrs. The only option was to collect coffee using the lockable canister or the bag holder.

In 2022, ZM Plus introduced an important upgrade for espresso users: a chute with lever and a multi-adjustable portafilter holder. It allows barista to grind hands-free and centre the flow of grinds directly into the basket without clumping or static charge in the ground coffee, nor the barista having to transfer coffee from the canister.

“It is the one and only commercial single dose grinder which grinds straight into an espresso filter with no spillage,” Luigi says.

If baristas want to switch to filter coffee, they can simply fold the portafilter holder and substitute the chute with the fast lock canister to collect ground coffee.

ZM plus also features the Mazzer Grind Flow Control (GFC) system, which Luigi says is Mazzer’s answer to four main issues.

“It reduces the static charge which causes the coffee powder on tray and counter, prevents the clumping, improves the dose consistency, and allows ease of cleaning. The system dynamically responds to the coffee grinds flow with a superior control level along the entire chute,” Luigi says.

“With the recent release of the ZM hybrid burrs (k151I) to be used both for filter and espresso, the grinder is even more flexible. [Thanks to] its extremely low retention, you can use it for any method, passing from one origin to another without contaminations of coffee.”

The target market for the ZM Plus are espresso specialists looking to offer a wide range of coffee tasting opportunities in their café, and flexibility in offering multiple beans and extraction methods.

“Having just this grinder on the counter enables baristas to quickly serve customised coffee beverages to demanding customers, while purity and clarity of taste in every bean are preserved, as ZM Plus retains no grinds,” Luigi says.

Whether it’s a competition barista or an experienced café looking to use the ZM or ZM Plus, Luigi says the core purpose of the grinder is always the same: to help them get the most out of their coffee beans.

“Quality in the cup is the first requirement but it’s not enough,” he says. “They need equipment for consistent results, precise, easy to use and to maintain. Less time spent in taking care of the grinder means more time to take care of the customer. We see technology as a way to help baristas reach the maximum quality with the minimum effort.”

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This article appears in the June 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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