A quick disclaimer before we dive into the upgraded burr set – this post won’t include any *EY% numbers, no total dissolved units, no brew ratio figures, nothing insane. I’m not into getting caught up with numbers and prefer to stay focused on the experience and taste. Not that these measurements and numbers aren’t helpful, but they don’t communicate what the cup tastes like, so I’ll be leaving these out. Besides, we already know that SSP burrs affect extraction yield in a positive way. I’m making this upgrade in order to improve the taste of my cups, not to be obsessive about numbers. I will be updating this post as I go, the experience may change overtime as I put more coffee through the burrs. Now, with our expectations set, let’s proceed!
Firstly, I knew this day would come the moment I decided to buy the Mazzer Mini Electronic B as my “endgame” grinder. I intended to upgrade the stock 64mm Mazzer 189D burrs all along, but wanted to really get to know what style of espresso Mazzer burrs offer and what is/isn’t possible to achieve. Please don’t misunderstand – Mazzer burrs are excellent for a certain type of coffee and a certain style of espresso. They are precise, sharp, but even if aligned still produce a high amount of fines and boulders. More fines means more over-extracted coffee, more boulders means more under-extracted coffee.
Though I had my eyes on the Super Jolly V Pro, I simply didn’t think such a big grinder would fit into the home environment too well. The SJ V Pro has a powerful motor, but is really big compared to the Mini Electronic B. There are grinders out there with similarly powered motors as the Mini Electronic B (250 Watt) that run SSP burrs effortlessly while single dosing, but there was a strong prejudice that the Mini Electronic B wouldn’t handle SSP burrs while grinding on demand with a hopper and would stall and burn out – that’s what they say on the internet, right? Hansung Lee, SSP Grinding Solution CEO, doesn’t share this conservatism and neither do I.
Here are a few things I can safely say for now! I haven’t experienced any stalls in the past almost 4 weeks and 4kg of coffee, the grinder sounds totally different while grinding and it’s much faster. I’m more and more impressed.
Changing a burr set is almost therapeutic of a process if you like taking things apart, cleaning them and putting them together. I’ve cleaned the grinder thoroughly until it looked as it did when I bought it. I first aligned both burrs on the x-axis, then I went ahead with the marker test. First result was inadequate, so before going into shimming I tried to rotate the top burr carrier clockwise once, which resulted in just a little area not rubbing off completely – totally fine with me. I decided not to mess with it further. Once I made sure burrs are aligned and put a fresh rub of food safe lube on the threads, screwed everything together and found the zero point, I pulled my first shot.
The grind time of light/light-medium beans dropped from around 12-13s to around 9-10s for 18-18.5g while keeping the same recipe for the coffee I brewed at with the Mazzer burrs. But the 64mm SSP High Uniformity burrs are very different from the stock Mazzer burrs and require a different style of brewing. We can grind finer. Having less fines and boulders allows me to grind finer with much higher uniformity and extract more flavors from the coffee more evenly, resulting in tastier, more pronounced flavors and more balanced cups without harshness. I can grind really fine and still grind faster than I would with Mazzer burrs at such fine setting, not to mention Mazzer burrs never produced drinkable results at really fine settings. Light-medium roasted coffees taste from my perspective significantly better with the SSP High Uniformity burrs. Whether it’s a ristretto-style shot or my favourite 1:3+ ratios, these burrs deliver cups that outperform stock Mazzer burrs in every aspect. Sweet notes are sweeter, floral notes are more pronounced, fruity acidity is fruitier – you get the picture.
The first thing I noticed was how much the sound of the grinder has changed while grinding and how uniform the coffee appears to be. Second thing was the speed at which it ground 18g once adjusted for a decent shot. Third was the taste – not even dialed in properly, same coffee and completely off brew time and ratio tasted actually very nice! At this point I knew that these burrs exceeded my expectations.
It’s been little over three weeks since I got these burrs and I really wasn’t sure if I should go with the Multipurpose burrs instead. After these three weeks and around 4kg of coffee I’m happy to say that I’m glad I went with the High Uniformity burrs. I only drink espresso and I can see why the Multipurpose burrs are better suited for someone trying out different brewing methods and those clarity-over-mouthfeel super clear long ratio espresso style of cups. The cups I’m getting with the High Uniformity are clear, balanced with really nice body at whatever ratio I try. One thing is for sure – these burrs don’t go well with traditional 9bar shots, at least for me. It seems brewing 6-7bar pressure goes well with the style of coffee I like to enjoy.
In regards to seasoning – I don’t think they come pre-seasoned, but I’ve read on CoffeeAddicts that they don’t need seasoning at all. I’ve also read on Fellow’s website that they do require at least 3-5kg of seasoning. I’ve noticed that the consistency improved after the first kilo, but that’s maybe because I really cleaned the grinder to be absolutely spotless before putting the new burrs in and coffee is getting re-stuck everywhere. This topic of seasoning burrs (especially these Red Speed coated burrs) is somewhat bipolar in my opinion, so I won’t be digging into this topic here. Maybe someone with better understanding will chip in. I’ve read a reply on Sprometheus’s recent video in regards to seasoning burrs that I find to be convincing enough to keep an eye on how these burrs change over time. I still haven’t noticed much of a difference in taste or workflow after 4kg.
SSP burrs in general seem to be mostly out of stock in most places in the world at the time of this post. I was lucky enough to order one of the last two pairs from a major US based shop which I won’t mention by name because this isn’t a paid sponsorship and the experience was somewhat rocky. Leaving a few issues aside, ordering and having them delivered to Ireland was really easy and relatively fast. I ordered them on Friday, they could’ve been here earlier but arrived on the next Friday with DHL Express. The cost with shipping, tax and duty was 300€. Not to brag, but so that you know what you have to expect if you’re ordering from the US as they still aren’t in stock anywhere I looked at in Europe currently.
Lastly, my advice to you is that if you’re sure the burrs you’re currently grinding with aren’t providing the grind quality you’re looking for and are thinking about upgrading to SSP burrs, consider this as my recommendation to upgrade. If you’re looking for numbers, this thread on Home-Barista should provide enough measurements and results. I’ll share more thoughts as they come. Thanks for reading!