In 1958, Mazzer produced its first ZM machine in an old factory near Venice in Italy.
Back then, Mazzer’s Product Manager Silvia Marcato says the ZM was simply a grocery grinder, able to grind from espresso to moka and coarser.
Almost 60 years on, Mazzer has revisited its ZM model, and designed a new state-of-the-art coffee grinder specifically for the specialty coffee market.
The new and improved ZM grinder was unveiled at the Global Specialty Coffee Expo in Seattle, United States in April 2017, to which Silvia says it definitely “stood out” for its unique design and advanced technology.
“The most asked question from the coffee community was: ‘When can I have it?’” Silvia says.
The answer for the Australian community is, “very soon”, via Coffee Works Express (CWE), but once you’ve realised its capabilities, Silvia says, you’ll want to get in quick.
She likens the ZM to the movie Back to the Future.
“The new ZM connects the past with the future in one single appliance,” Silvia says. “Its design is inspired by the original 1958 grinder, and the technology leverages Mazzer’s 70 years of grinding experience combined with the latest technology for the ultimate coffee experience.”
Such technology includes a ventilation system with electronic control to keep coffee grounds cool in order to preserve flavour and taste compounds.
“There is a solid body of literature on coffee that confirms that the chemical compounds linked to freshness decrease at increasing rates of temperature,” says Mazzer’s R&D Lab representative Mirko Libralato. “Therefore, we have developed a double ventilation system that, together with low motor rpm (rotation per minute), prevents the heat of the motor and of the grinding process to affect the grinding chamber.”
Mirko says the new ZM features one of lowest coffee retentions ever seen at less than 0.45 grams, meaning minimal waste and no risk of contamination of different coffees used in the grinding chamber.
“The first time you grind, you get a maximum of 0.45 grams retention due to the grinding chamber tolerances. From the second ground onwards, the entire coffee bean is ground,” he says.
Thanks to the patented ZM lockable canister, baristas can also avoid wasting coffees on the counter.
The ZM features vertical burrs and has eliminated all unnecessary spouts so that the coffee makes the shortest distance from its whole bean state to ground. Mirko says it features “perfect” burr parallelism to get consistent particle size distribution.
“Digital grind adjustment allows the barista to control the distance between the burrs in microns so that the grind setting is understandable, accurate, and repeatable,” Mirko says.
ZM’s featured Electronic True Zero calibration ensures that the ZM grind settings are identical from grinder to grinder, and from café to café, enabling users to create a consistent extraction and profile across multiple locations.
“True Zero Calibration creates industry-wide cupping standards that can be shared among green buyers, judges, and teachers,” Mirko says.
Jem Challender, 2016 United Kingdom Brewer’s Cup Champion, says the ZM grinder is not an automatic pilot, but is more like a coffee chauffeur.
“Ask it to take you somewhere and down to 1000th of a millimetre, it will take you there,” Jem says.
“The point of a pin is on average 12 thousandths of a millimetre, about the same width as a piece of foil. So, if you’re looking for pinpoint accuracy when adjusting your grind setting, Mazzer’s ZM grinder can go 12 times more precise. This, together with a grind retention lower than any I’ve encountered, brings to the coffee world a level of control I expected to wait decades for.”
Furthermore, 20 pre-programmable grind settings can be recorded by the barista on the control panel via the liquid crystal display (LCD). Each position is customisable with the name of the origin.
The side smart knob allows the user to navigate the menu, dial in manually, or to make grinding adjustments. The ZM also has on-demand dosing capability (by time).
This grinder is easy to clean thanks to the digital display that flips to the side to allow easy access to the grinding chamber for cleaning and burr replacement.
Mazzer’s products are distributed in 90 countries worldwide, and are well known for quality, reliability, and design. Its products have become synonymous with excellence in the field of commercial coffee grinding and dosers, and its focus on research, development, and innovation is set to remain for years to come.
As a result of the ZM’s many functionalities and intelligent technology, Silvia says this new device could be considered a “turning point” in Mazzer’s product range.
“The ZM enables the barista to reach repeatable results thanks to its digital control system, ease of use, and extreme accuracy,” she says.