To brew the perfect shot of espresso, you need to control the water pressure flowing through your basket, the extraction time, and what type of beans you are using. Your espresso grinder is the most important tool in your coffee bar for controlling these many complex variables.
A good coffee grinder will allow you to take fresh whole beans and turn them into consistent grinds, ready to brew a tasty espresso shot. If you’re shopping for a burr coffee grinder, you’ll likely have come across the Baratza Sette 270 and the Eureka Mignon Specialita.
While many other coffee grinders are on the market, the Sette 270 and the Mignon Specialita are excellent choices to add to your home espresso setup. We’ll walk through some of the main features, similarities, and differences between these two grinders and help you decide which one is right for you.
Baratza Sette 270 Overview
While searching for your first espresso grinder, you’ve likely come across the Baratza brand. Founded in 1999 and now owned by the Breville Group, Baratza is known for innovative, high-quality, user-friendly coffee grinders, such as the Vario, the Forte, and the Estatto. Many of their grinders feature weight-based grinding and easy-to-use macro/micro-adjustments.
Based in Washington, Baratza delivers great products and excellent customer service. Buying a Baratza grinder will give you access to their customer support team and an extensive catalog of accessories and parts to keep your grinder performing for years to come.
The Baratza Sette 270 is Baratza’s newest and most revolutionary conical burr grinder. It’s equipped with uniquely designed 40-millimeter conical steel burrs. Unlike most burr grinders, the Sette outer burr rotates around the inner conical burr, allowing for high-speed grinding and almost zero grind retention.
The Sette 270’s grind size is controlled by 31 stepped macro adjustments and a step-less micro adjustment. It is named “Sette” or seven in Italian because of its unique shape – look at it from the side to see what we mean.
Sette 270 Quick Specs
- Dimensions: 13 x 40 x 24 centimeters
- Burrs: 40-millimeter conical steel burrs
- Grind Settings: 31 Macro and Stepless Micro Adjustment
- Grind Speed: 3.5 grams per second
- Hopper Capacity: 10 ounces
Eureka Mignon Specialita Overview
Eureka has been an industry leader in producing high-quality espresso grinders since 1920. Founded in Florence, Italy, the company has long built espresso grinders for home and commercial use. Their grinders feature a “Stepless Micrometric Regulation System” for precise control of the grind size.
Eureka is committed to producing state-of-the-art grinders entirely built in Italy. They offer excellent customer support and post-market parts and accessories. Like Baratza, Eureka grinders are covered by a 2-year warranty.
At first glance, you will notice the Mignon Specialita has a compact and beautiful design. It is finished with all aluminum parts for added durability and is available in several colors. It will look great in a home or cafe setup.
The Specialita features 55millimeter flat “hardened” steel burrs and stepless wheel grind adjustment. It can grind coarse enough for French press and fine enough for espresso. It also has a very modern LCD screen for timed dosing.
Mignon Specialista Quick Specs
- Dimensions: 35 x 12 x 18 centimeters
- Burrs: 55-millimeter Flat Hardened Steel Burrs
- Grind Settings: Stepless Micrometric Adjustment
- Grind Speed: 1.8 grams per second
- Hopper Capacity: 10.5 ounces
Now that we’ve covered each grinder’s basics let’s dive into some of their similarities and differences.
Both the Sette 270 and the Specialita feature steel burrs instead of ceramic burrs. Steel burrs are sharper and more durable than ceramic burrs. Ceramic burrs are prone to cracking or chipping, but you won’t have to worry about that with your Sette or Specialita.
The downside of steel burrs is that they heat up during use and can transfer heat to your beans during grinding. This likely won’t make a noticeable difference for an at-home setup making one or two cups of coffee at a time, but it’s something to consider if you’re buying a grinder for a coffee shop.
A portafilter holder is a great feature for a coffee grinder; it allows you to grind directly into your basket hands-free and multi-task when you’re going through your workflow.
The Sette 270 has adjustable arms to accommodate 49 to 58-millimeter portafilters. The Specialita has an aluminum portafilter fork that is also fully adjustable.
A time-based dosing mechanism controls the amount of coffee you grind with the Sette 270 and the Specialita. Grinding time can be set down to the tenth of a second on the Specialita and down to the hundredth of a second on the Sette 270.
The Sette 270 has three timed presets to save you time when switching between recipes. The Specialita has only two timed presets, one for a single dose and one for a double shot.
Timed dosing is not quite as accurate as the grind by weight option offered in more expensive grinders. Grind retention or even the amount of beans in your bean hopper can give you some slight variation in grinder output using the same time setting.
Baratza Sette vs Eureka Mignon: Differences
The grind adjustment system in your coffee grinder will dictate how much control you have over how coarse or fine your coffee grinds are. It is an essential feature for perfecting your espresso recipes.
The Sette 270 and the Specialita are stepless grinders, but the grind adjustment mechanism is slightly different. The Sette 270 has 31 macro adjustments and additional stepless micro-adjustments, giving you theoretically infinite grind settings within its range.
The Specialita has a fully stepless grind adjustment system, giving the Specialita a slight edge over the Sette when it comes to exact grind adjustment. The Specialita has a slightly more versatile grinding range and can produce a coarser grind for French press, but the Sette is geared chiefly for espresso.
Regarding usability, the grind adjustment wheel on the Specialita can make it a little hard to remember your different recipes. Since you have to rotate the wheel several times to adjust the grind size, you might lose track of grind settings when switching between recipes.
Another complication with this system is that you need to have the machine running to adjust the grind size, which does waste a small amount of coffee.
Griding speed may not be a deciding factor for your at-home espresso setup. But for a cafe, or if you’re preparing espresso drinks for your friends and family, a fast grinder will save you a good chunk of time. Grinding your beans at 3.5 grams per second, the Sette 270 is much quicker than the Specialita, which grinds at 1.8 grams per second.
This higher grinding speed does come at a cost – The Sette 270 is a very loud grinder. The Specialita, in comparison, is a much quieter grinder. However, even though the insulated body helps reduce vibration and noise for a less noisy experience, it is certainly not silent.
Flat Burrs vs. Conical Burrs
While each of these grinders has steel burrs, they are of different sizes and shapes. The flat burr on the Specialita Mignon gives you a uniform and consistent grind for a more balanced extraction. The larger burr size will also reduce the heat transferred to your coffee while grinding. The Sette has conical burrs that create bimodal ground coffee particles, giving you a more complex and fruity flavor.
Each burr shape has its advantages, so it will be up to your preference.
Build Quality and Finish
The overall build quality of the Eureka Mignon Specialita might be enough to justify the extra price. The Eureka is a beautiful grinder with an aluminum housing that comes in a variety of color options. And it doesn’t just look great on the outside – the Specialita has sturdy aluminum internals that will last a very long time.
In comparison, the Sette 270 has a primarily plastic build. This means that the Sette might have some more issues with long-term reliability. While the Sette is also a unique and modern-looking machine, it only comes in one color. If looks are a priority, the Specialita will be more customizable to fit the look of your kitchen decor or coffee bar.
LCD Screen – Mignon
On the Mignon, dosing is controlled by a touch screen digital interface. The LCD screen is intuitive, easy to use, and gives the machine a modern and sleek look. While the analog programmable buttons on the Sette 270 get the job done, they are just not as modern as you might expect for a premium espresso grinder.
Weighted Dosing Option – Sette
Baratza offers the Sette 270wi for the most precise dosing. It is the best option if you need to grind by weight. The built-in Acaia scale will give you more precise dosing than the timer function on the 270 and the Specialita.
The 270wi is a little more expensive than the standard Sette 270 but is still significantly less than the Specialita.
While neither of these machines would be considered a budget espresso grinder, the Sette 270 is the cheaper of the two grinders. If you are looking for weighted dosing, the 270wi is still a bit more affordable than the Specialita but comparable in price.
The aluminum build, compact design, and LCD screen might be enough to justify the higher price tag, but the Sette 270 is a high-quality coffee grinder at a lower price.
Which One Should You Get?
The Mignon is the best option if you want a completely stepless grind, a more compact design, a beautiful and more durable aluminum build, and touchscreen controls. It’s an absolutely stunning grinder that will give you the most control over grind size.
The Specialita also works better as an all-purpose coffee grinder and grinds uniformly, even at coarser settings. To top it all off, the LCD screen gives the Specialita a more modern and sleek look.
The Sette is best if you are on a tighter budget or looking for a weight-based dosing option. The Sette is a superb coffee grinder, and the stepped adjustment system is easier to use for beginner baristas. If you’re looking to grind mainly for espresso, the Sette delivers excellent grind quality at a lower price.