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By: Ollie Sears 15 June 2021
Finally the La Marzocco team have released the Swift Mini into the hands of UK coffee lovers. We first saw this grinder in the USA, built to streamline your preparation of both espresso and filter coffee at home, all in one grinder unit.
For years we have all been struggling to get an all-in-one grinder that can confidently grind, dose and tamp. We didn’t think we’d then find it being capable of use for both espresso and filter, saving the common nuisance of having two units clogging up the kitchen or bar counter! The Swift Mini makes a huge impact on the budding home barista now that it is possible to grind, dose and tamp from your home grinder with minimal waste and mess. The grinder is on-demand like any great model, but with the Swift Mini there is barely any old coffee retained in the grinding area of its build, so you’ll be experiencing your coffee at peak freshness. Having no stale coffee lingering around the grinding area makes a big difference to flavour over time, particularly in the months after you’ve begun to ‘get used to the flavour’. Keeping flavour at peak levels keeps your home coffee exciting, so we were extremely impressed with the flavour you can create from this model, without even doing the ‘espresso prep’ by hand yourself.
To put this in perspective for any curious home barista – on a commercial scale, to produce this sort of flavour consistently at speed, it would normally require an investment of at least £1,800 for a grinder this quick and quiet, and a further £850 to have an automatic tamper underneath such a grinder unit. If you also wanted to use that grinder for filter coffee service, you couldn’t and would in fact usually need a separate grinding unit of at least £150 in cost just to do the job half right at even a low level of coffee output!
It goes without saying that the Swift Mini is compatible with all La Marzocco machines, as its built-in tamper is calibrated to fit 58.4mm espresso baskets perfectly. This also means the Swift Mini can function nicely alongside a commercial La Marzocco model too. We recommend looking into the Swift Mini as a suitable backup grinder for commercial service at a small to medium scale, where you may use it regularly for decaf, filter and retail bag grinding on a small scale, but for main espresso needs if a main, larger grinder failed during service. Worth a thought just to build some resilience to your coffee service in the face of any future issues too!
With the Swift Mini it is possible to grind into single or double espresso baskets, as well as manually into your filter brewing baskets or filter papers for your other needs at home.
One of the major features the Swift Mini provides is the freedom to make café quality coffee accessible to anyone at home, by integrating grinding, dosing and tamping coffee in one operation. This removes the challenge of learning complex preparation techniques for high quality espresso, and importantly the Swift Mini makes the entire manual brewing process accessible to those unable to complete key barista tasks at a kitchen counter, for example anyone with reduced or impaired mobility on either a temporary or permanent basis. it is possible for anyone to make delicious coffee with minimal training. The Swift Mini simultaneously grinds the coffee while tamping at consistent pressure until the correct amount of coffee has been put in the portafilter, and it has been nicely distributed and properly sealed into your basket. Not only does this make a thorough job of the tamping part, but it takes the guesswork out of whether you have pressed hard enough at varying dose levels. The grinder simply always presses hard enough to seal coffee correctly, whereas humans simply do not guarantee that consistency, particularly with a household that could include a varying barista skill. The La Marzocco system in the Swift models is patented and ensures the ground coffee is tamped correctly and consistently, every time.
Stepped adjustment for any type of coffee – it must be noted that it is possible to achieve the perfect espresso recipe with near zero wastage due to the low level of retention in the vertical design of the grinder. Adjustments are easily made and repeatable with a stepped mechanism; though this seems less flexible than a stepless mechanism, the Swift Mini’s burr set is precision engineered to allow you to still have that precise control over espresso and filter coffee brewing times, for accuracy to meet any barista’s needs. Remember also that a stepped mechanism makes troubleshooting easier. It allows you to speak confidently about where your grind setting is on the range available on its scale to anyone technical that might be helping you get the most out of your coffee. Usually for example, knowing you are at setting 4 or setting 6 would be useless on many grinders in the market (they all arrive with a different ideal setting for espresso for example). However, with the Swift Mini this really does communicate more to a technician or supplier that’s helping you out with your La Marzocco machine and grinder!
Keep in touch with Ollie and the team if you’d like more info on the Swift Mini, and perhaps book in with us to try it at La Marzocco’s Leeds showroom and office. We’d be happy to taste some espresso and filter coffee with you from this little beauty! 🙂