Eureka is a reputable Italian manufacturer that has been producing espresso grinders for over 100 years. The Eureka Mignon Specialita is the culmination of a century of innovation that began in Florence in 1920. Does it live up to its Italian heritage and its manufacturer’s reputation?
If you love espresso, then absolutely. The Specialita offers a level of control and consistency that routinely delivers a rich, balanced shot. It doesn’t do the same for other brew methods, but it isn’t trying to (more on that later). It does one thing, and it does it really, really well.
In this Eureka Mignon Specialita review, I’ll explain the features that make it ideally suited for espresso. I’ll also describe the quirks that make it not so suited for other ways of making coffee.
Eureka Mignon Specialita Product Overview
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is a flat burr grinder built with espresso in mind. Its small footprint, and boxy shape allow it to slide neatly alongside most espresso machines in a countertop setting.
Eureka Mignon Specialita highlights:
- 55mm hardened steel flat burrs
- Insulated motor
- Touch screen
- Stepless grind adjustment
High grind consistency and balanced flavor profile
Very little clumping
Responsive to small adjustments
Small adjustment dial
High grind retention
Small portafilter holder
The internals are what set this apart. The large 55mm burrs provide a consistent grind sizeThe powerful 310W motor spins at 1350 RPM and grinds coffee to a fine and fluffy texture with minimal clumping. The grind consistency creates an espresso with a rich body, subtle clarity, and syrupy sweetness. Then, the Mignon Specialita allows for precise dialing in with a stepless adjustment dial located next to the bean hopper.
Despite the grinder’s power, it’s very quiet. The only espresso grinder that might rival the Mignon Specialita’s noise level is a manual coffee grinder, which (obviously) doesn’t have a motor.
There’s a simple interface for this grinder. There’s a lone power switch on the side, then a digital display above the grind chute is a touch screen. You can save two time-based dosing presets, and it has a third setting for manual dosing. The monochrome screen pairs well with any of the 29 color options available for the body and casing.
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is a premium quality espresso grinder with a price that reflects as much. It’s at the top end of mid-range home coffee grinders, but its capabilities as an espresso grinder rival that of some even more expensive commercial machines. It’s powerful, quiet, consistent, and easy to use. This makes it a popular option for bringing the cafe espresso experience home.
Eureka Mignon Specialita Feature Breakdown
Design and Durability
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is a compact coffee grinder. It has the design of a larger commercial grinder but is only about one foot tall and 5 in. wide. The square bean hopper is plastic and can hold 300g, which is less than a full 12 oz. bag of coffee beans. The entire grinder weighs about 12 lbs., which is fairly light considering the powerful motor required for a flat burr coffee grinder. The body is mostly aluminum, so it has a sturdy feel despite its lightweight feel.
The casing provides sound insulation for the 310W motor, making it one of the quietest grinders available. The noise level peaks at an average of 85 dB. That’s about the same volume as hearing traffic noise from inside a car. It won’t keep you from holding a conversation while grinding coffee beans, and it won’t wake up the rest of the house.
You adjust the grind setting with a small dial next to the bean hopper. There’s a touch screen with two time-based doss setting. A single button underneath the coffee chute starts the dose, and the setup is designed to be used with a portafilter.
There is one exception to the Mignon Specailita’s high-quality build: the portafilter cradle. I never felt confident leaving a portafilter there, as the grounds tend to mound up quickly in the cradle portafilter, even on 58mm baskets, and create a mess (especially for 54mm).
That’s annoying from a coffee grinder that’s designed for espresso use. Grinding into the portafilter is supposed to be simple and convenient, but usually I get a mess. I typically freehand the portafilter under the chute without an issue.
Burr Quality and Grind Consistency
The burrs on the Eureka Mignon Specialita are 55mm hardened steel flat burrs. Eureka uses a patented Diamondinside process on their in-house manufactured burrs. The burrs are treated at temperatures of -193 degrees Celsius. This ultra-cold freezing gives the steel a unique, crystalline structure.
Without getting into the weeds of the chemistry involved, this process prolongs the life of the burrs significantly. Diamondinside-treated burrs are meant to maintain their sharpness and precision through up to 1,600kg (3,500 lbs.) of coffee. For the average home user, that’s more than enough to make the Mignon Specialita last a lifetime.
The consistent grind those burrs deliver is top-notch. Most flat burr coffee grinders create a unimodal grind size distribution. However, the Eureka Mignon Specialita leans closer to a bimodal distribution. This means the coffee grounds are distributed evenly between two particle sizes rather than one grind size. This is more common on conical burr grinders. Neither grind distribution is inherently better than the other, but they do lead to a different flavor profile (more on that later).
The truly impressive thing about the Mignon Specialita’s grind consistency is its lack of clumping. The declumper inside the grind chute works wonders and delivers consistent grinds that don’t require a WDT tool. You can go straight from grinding, to tamping, to brewing.
The Mignon Specialita has somewhat higher grind retention. This is a common pitfall for flat burr grinders, and it’s more pronounced Mignon Specialita, where grind retention can reach up to 1g.
There are simple ways to reduce the grind retention on the Specialita:
- Purge the grinder for a second or so between shots. This is the obvious fix, but it is an extra step in your workflow and contributes to more coffee waste.
- Purchase a 3D-printed tilted base from online shops like Etsy. The burrs in the Eureka Mignon Specialita are parallel to the ground. By tilting the machine forward, you allow gravity to help move grinds through the burrs.
The tilted base is an easy way to overcome the one major complaint with the grind quality.
Flavor Profile and Use Cases
Most flat burr grinders produce espresso that highlights clarity above all else. This is due to their unimodal distribution (mentioned above). The Mignon Specialita is unique because its distribution is closer to bimodal, creating a different flavor profile.
Espresso from this grinder tends to have a richer body and sweetness that’s more forward in the cup. Some might complain this makes the espresso too muddy, but to me, it makes it more balanced. Body especially can add a lot of complexity to a coffee that is sometimes lost when clarity is prioritized. To me, the flavor produced by the Mignon Specialita holds all elements of a coffee in balance with each other. It doesn’t prioritize one piece at the cost of others.
While this is true of its espresso, it didn’t quite hold for other brew methods. What manifests as a pleasant body in espresso becomes gritty and muddy in something like pour-over. Whereas in espresso, crisp, sweet flavors are balanced by a rich body, in pour-over methods, those same flavors are buried by the body.
This is another example of how the Mignon Specailita is designed for sole use as an espresso grinder and is less than ideal for other methods.
Grind Adjustment Settings
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is a stepless adjustment coffee grinder. Adjustments are made with a small dial on the front-right corner of the grinder. The stepless grind adjustment allows you to dial in espresso with extreme precision. The burrs react to every tweak of the dial, giving you almost unlimited control over your coffee grind size.
This level of control is great for pulling espresso shots. However, the adjustment dial itself was a little small to make minute changes. The button is physically very small, at 1” in diameter with six settings total (including zero). Changing from a 2 setting to a 2.25 setting makes a difference in grind size, but that is under 0.25” movement which is hard to track visually. A larger dial would make it easier to take advantage of the burrs’ responsiveness and the detail the stepless grind adjustment allows for.
Update: there’s a dial add-on on Etsy that makes the grind setting much easier to read.
Also, the stepless dose is a hassle when making adjustments for drip coffee or French press. Eureka claims you can set the Mignon Specialita to grind for brewing coffee beside espresso. However, this grinder was clearly designed to be a dedicated espresso grinder. It takes several turns of the dial to get to non-espresso grind settings, and the quality isn’t as good on coarse settings.
If you don’t mind the small dial, the Eureka Mignon Specialita gives you detail and precision that lets you dial in espresso to your exact liking.
The Eureka Mignon Specialita is a grinder whose quality is reflected in its price tag. It’s one of the best espresso grinders under $1,000, but it’s also a long way from a budget option. Its sturdy construction and treated burrs mean it will last a very long time, so its price is a worthy long-term investment.
While it’s a high absolute cost, it’s a fair value for what you’re getting. Remember, you’ve already spent four figures on that nice espresso machine already, and you should pair it with the consistency, quality, and longevity of the Mignon Specialita.
Alternative Eureka Mignon Specialita Options
The Eureka Mignon Specialita isn’t the only option for home espresso grinders. It’s worth comparing the Mignon Specialita to similar grinders on the market and seeing how they stack up.
Baratza Sette 270
Baratza Sette 270 highlights:
- Same precision and versatility as the 270Wi
- Programmable doses
- Doesn’t have an integrated scale
- Doses by time, not weight
The Baratza Sette 270 has multiple programmable time-based dose presets. That’s about where the similarities with the Mignon Specialita end.
The Sette 270 is a stepped adjustment grinder instead of Mignon Specialita’s stepless adjustment. It’s also a conical burr grinder, while the Mignon Specialita is a flat burr grinder. These two differences are a matter of preference over performance. The Sette 270 does have an advantage over the Mignon Specialita: consistent quality across coarse settings.
The Sette 270 performs well as a pour-over grinder and as an espresso grinder. That makes the stepped adjustments an advantage of the Sette 270. Stepped adjustments allow for easy setting recall when switching settings.
However, if you only want to brew espresso, the Mignon Specialita is far more consistent in its espresso range than the Sette 270. It also allows for more fine-tuning than the Sette 270 using the stepless adjustment dial.
As an all-around grinder that can grind espresso and filter coffee, the Sette 270 is preferable to the Eureka Mignon Specialita. However, for the home barista in search of precision and detail for espresso, the Mignon Specialita is a better fit.
DF64 Grinder highlights:
- 64mm flat burrs
- Unimodal grind distribution
- Stepless grind adjustment
- Low retention grinder
The DF64 is also a stepless flat burr grinder. It’s designed as a single-dose grinder as opposed to the Mignon Specialita’s hopper. There are three major advantages that the DF64 has over the Mignon Specialita: versatility, grind retention, and value.
Like the Sette 270, the DF64 maintains a good flavor profile throughout all of its grind settings, from espresso to French press. Some muddiness is apparent on coarser settings, but not as much as the Mignon Specialita.
The DF64’s burrs are also angled toward the ground, getting gravity’s help improving grind retention. It includes a bellow that pumps air through the burr assembly and forces grounds out of the machine. This improves retention even more.
The DF64 is also significantly cheaper than the Mignon Specialita. In fact, its low price is one of its best selling points since it’s several hundred dollars cheaper than any other grinder in its class.
That doesn’t make it a winner over the Mignon Specialita. The espresso range on the DF64 is much smaller than the Mignon Specialita, and there’s not nearly as much room for precise dialing in. The DF64 is also prone to clumping, and a WDT tool is a must with this grinder.
The DF64 is a fine multipurpose grinder. Moreover, it makes an excellent espresso grinder as its value and ease makes up for the somewhat limited range. However, for dedicated use dialing in precise shots, I still prefer working with the Mignon Specialita because of the detail it affords me.
Should You Buy the Eureka Mignon Specialita?
If you’re looking for a dedicated grinder to bring your espresso to the next level, it’s tough to beat the Mignon Specialita. The level of fine-tuning, quiet grinding, consistency, and sleek aesthetic makes it my top choice for pulling the perfect shot. The complexity it produces in the cup is more desirable to me than other grinders that pursue clarity at the cost of balance.
If you want to make anything other than espresso, I’d recommend something like the Fellow Opus as an all-around budget grinder and a superior choice for something like pour-over or drip coffee.
However, the Mignon Specialita was designed to excel at espresso, and excel it does. It’s an excellent home espresso grinder, and working with the Mignon Specialita was my “Eureka!” moment. You can see our full list of the best espresso grinders for a broader comparison.