The MDH is the latest espresso grinder from Victoria Arduino and this one is specifically designed for home or office use. We’re already familiar with its more commercial siblings, the Mythos One, MDJ and MDXS so having put one to the test for a few days we thought we’d share our first impressions.
Out of the Box
It’s fair to say we like the design of this grinder. It has a distinctive tear shaped body which follows through into the hopper at the top. It almost appears as though it is wearing a beret! The matt black colour clearly shows off the Victoria Arduino logo at the back, something any home barista will be keen to show off!
Setup was straightforward. It is simply a case of attaching the hopper (there is a retaining screw to lock it in place but we always leave this lose) and adjusting the portafilter rest. This is achieved by loosening the screw holding the portafilter rest in place (see below) and moving the fork up or down.
Be warned it is possible to over loosen the screw! This allows the retaining plate inside to become dislodged. Not the end of the world but it does require you to remove the base of the grinder to realign the plate.
Continuous and Dosing Mode
The grinder operates in two modes which are accessed using the push button on the side. With the button ‘out’ the grinder operates in continuous mode, with the button ‘in’ the grinder operates in dosing mode.
Continuous mode is designed for baristas who want to weigh their shots each time. The grinder will only operate when the portafilter is in contact with the grinding button. Release the pressure and the grinding stops. This gives you complete control over the amount of coffee being ground.
In dosing mode the grinder can be set to dispense a set amount of coffee. As soon as the grinding button is depressed the grinder will continue to operate until as set amount of coffee has been delivered. You control the amount of coffee using the dial on the side – rotate clockwise to increase the quantity of coffee and anticlockwise to decrease the quantity of coffee.
Adjusting the Grind
One of my favourite features of the Mythos One is the ease at which grind adjustments can be made. This feature also appears on the MDJ and MDXS and I’m pleased to see it appear on the MDH. Granted the location of the dial is somewhat compromised by the hopper but nevertheless it is really easy to make adjustments. The dial is stepless allowing you to make the smallest of adjustments to the grind; clockwise for finer, anticlockwise for coarser. The numbers and arrow indicators on the dial are only visible with the hopper removed but this does not detract from the overall ease of use.
One feature of the Victoria Arduino range of grinders is that the bottom burr moves up and down when an adjustment is made with the top burr remaining static. This is particularly useful when you need to remove the top burr for cleaning and maintenance. Unlike other grinders your grind setting is maintained when the top burr is replaced negating the need to recalibrate the grinder.
The burrs themselves are 50mm steel alloy flat burrs. The grinding speed in the manual suggests 1g per second but in our tests we were grinding 18g in around 12 seconds. Obviously the grinding speed is directly related to the grind setting but we were impressed by this speed for a home grinder.
We really like this grinder. It has all the important features you could want from a very good non-commercial grinder and where compromises have been made they relate to less important aspects. The least polished element is the dosing adjust dial as it takes a few efforts to get a precise dose, but to be honest we would always suggest you weigh the doses anyway. If you are a home barista who is happy to spend around £500 on an espresso grinder then you’re likely to be weighing those doses and will probably never leave continuous mode.
If you’re interested in buying one of these grinders they are now available on our website. We’re selling them with a complimentary bag of our coffee (500g) to get you going and to help you calibrate the grinder with your existing machine.