I didn’t have a great relationship with the Mazzer Jolly I had in the cafe. It was an older model, and the lever to adjust the grind setting would fall out and get lost. Without it, the stiff collar took herculean strength to move.

Mazzer seemed to be sitting on their laurels for years, content to market the same old reliable but increasingly outdated grinders. I commented to friends that they looked in terminal decline. Then Host Milano 2021 happened, and I was wrong.

This year they launched some of the most exciting grinders of any company, such as their lust-worthy ZM Plus. But the biggest surprise was the release of a hand grinder and not just a copy of existing designs, but a thoughtful, ground-up re-thinking of what a hand grinder should be.

First impressions are positive; although the design could be mistaken for a Terence Conran designed salt mill, it nevertheless points to a utilitarian minimalist approach. The kind of style that never looks old and tends to be appreciated more as time goes by. Nobody does this better than the Italians.

Ergonomic, and minimalist, the design will look good for many years

Mazzer could have been forgiven for designing a ‘me too’ hand grinder and sold it off the back of their reputation, but they didn’t do that. The Omega has a number of unique features that really make it attractive, although we’re waiting to hear the price.

But first, let’s talk about that name. Omega, by definition, means in one definition “the extreme”, or “final part”, and perhaps the company wants to communicate that this is the ultimate product, so let’s have a look at how it lives up to that name.

First, it can grind as fine as Turkish coffee or as coarse as a french press. It will be interesting to see how well it performs across the range, but being able to grind for a wide range of coffee’s is an essential feature for many, including me.

We’re expecting good performance from the burrs

The second striking feature is the use of neodymium magnets, which allow it to be partially disassembled and stuck together when it’s not being used! The top part handle attaches to the top and looks like it will lock in place well. The stick part of the handle attaches to the side, in what I think might be the only questionable choice.

Having used tablets in the past where the ‘pen’ sticks to the side of the tablet, I found it would often detach and potentially get lost when travelling. It looks nice in theory, but I’m not sure how much I’d trust it beyond my kitchen counter. A more robust design might have been to have a handle on a hinge at the top that locked into place.

Mazzer says the Omega can be taken apart for cleaning and then re-assembled easily and without losing your calibration! It sounds like the engineers at the company have understood and addressed the frustration in using other hand grinders.

Carbon fibre handle should be strong, light, and absorb vibration

I frequently have to calibrate my 1ZPresso JX pro after cleaning, which wastes time and coffee.
The materials look premium, with aluminium and stainless steel, and even the handle stick is made from carbon fibre to reduce weight. I’m interested to see how this feels and whether it makes grinding at a fine setting any easier. Carbon fibre is strong and light and also absorbs vibration, so it could be an inspired choice.

Details like the etched grind-size indicators are elegant and practical

Price has not been announced yet, but I’m bracing myself for it to be at the premium end of the market. The real question is how those burrs will perform, and I can’t wait to find out the results.

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