What’s The Deal With the Mazzer ZM?

Mazzer unveiled the Mazzer ZM at this year’s SCA Global Expo. Here are all the new features it has to offer and why it might be the most exciting new coffee tool coming to market.


Photos courtesy of Mazzer

The name Mazzer is kind of ubiquitous in the world of coffee grinders—chances are if you peek behind the bar at a cafe, you’re going to see a Mazzer. At the 2017 Global Specialty Coffee Expo, Mazzer unveiled its newest design, the Mazzer ZM.

The Mazzer ZM is notable for a number of reasons—the first being that Mazzer hasn’t released a new grinder with this many innovative changes in years. (Mazzer released the Kold grinder three and a half years ago.) That’s because Mazzer has been producing high-quality and high-functioning espresso grinders for decades. “Mazzer has been producing coffee grinders during the last 69 years; we have seen many changes in this long timeframe,” shares Cristina Scarpa, marketing manager for Mazzer. “We started producing grinders back in the ’40s for a market with a traditional Italian coffee culture. We grew bigger and we started exporting first to France and the U.S. back in the ’70s. In the’90s we started supplying the big international branded chains earning a deeper knowledge on baristas’ needs and consumer preferences.”

The Mazzer ZM is the newest grinder from Mazzer and features a number of new functions.

As their grinders became more and more popular in the specialty coffee industry, Mazzer noticed that the community needed a grinder with different specifications. “What we got as feedback was the wish for a grinder with a micrometrical control on the distance between the burrs, a grinder able to create a consistent extraction and profile across multiple locations,” Cristina shares. “In addition, this ideal grinder had low retention, consistent particle size distribution with each dose and a cooling system to preserve coffee aromas. Possibly it was easy to clean and with low costs of maintenance (burrs replacement).” With all these ideas in mind—and a team of engineers working in research and development for the last three years—Mazzer came up with the ZM.

So what can you do with the Mazzer ZM?

You can grind filter coffee. Mazzer grinders have been synonymous with espresso, but the ZM is designed to grind coffee for filter purposes (you can order espresso burrs for the grinder as well). “Today we export to more than 90 countries worldwide; our customers are people from very different places and cultures, they can have their espresso in the morning and their filter coffee in the afternoon,” Cristina notes. “Filter coffee has become a must for us simply because our customers asked for a grinder to be used for other brewing methods besides espresso.”

You can replicate grind settings. As a former coffee educator, one of the most frequent questions I received about the Mazzer grinder was what the numbers on the collar mean. Or perhaps someone would try to remember precisely where our grinder was set so they could replicate that on their grinder, which I had to unfortunately tell them wasn’t quite how it worked. “ZM 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,” Cristina says.

The digital screen on the grinder allows you to set grind settings that are replicable and programmable.

You can calibrate multiple grinders. Remember that person who would try to replicate a grind setting based on what you had it set at in training? The ZM features an Electronic True Zero, which means the grind setting you like on one grinder can be easily replicated on another. “Electronic True Zero calibration ensures that the ZM grind settings are identical from grinder to grinder, from cafe to cafe,” says Cristina. If you like a particular grind setting, you can also program it into the grinder—you can program up to 20 different grind settings.

You have improved coffee retention. You know when you make a grind adjustment and you have to ‘purge’? Every shop has a different system—I was taught to purge at least two shot’s worth of espresso—but the ZM makes waste minimal, holding onto less than .45g of espresso in the chamber. “As this grinder is meant to be used for specialty coffee, low retention and a system to keep the coffee cool while grinding were included among the priorities,” says Cristina. The chamber dispenses into a narrow chute that keeps your counters clean (grinds don’t fly all over the place), and the digital display flips easily to the side, allowing for easy access to the burrs for cleaning and changing.

The digital screen flips open, so you can access the burrs to clean and change.

You have improved particle distribution. In the last few years, Mazzer has grown dramatically. “Our factory doubled last year; this gave us the chance to further enlarge the production area and the laboratory dedicated to quality checks and metrological tests for which we bought new machines and equipment featuring cutting-edge technology—very useful when you are talking in terms of microns,” shares Cristina. With this technology, Mazzer was able to focus on particle distribution and make a set of burrs that would create the most ideal particle distribution for brewing coffee.

The goal of the ZM is to address the needs of the specialty coffee industry. “It’s all about using our passion for mechanics, technology, and grinding,” shares Cristina, “to provide the barista with the best possible equipment to get the best possible cup of coffee.” The ZM will be available in September, but you can check it out now on the Mazzer website.

About Ashley Rodriguez 413 Articles
Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at ashley@baristamagazine.com.