By Shane Harold.
The Mythos 2 is the newest iteration of the very successful Mythos grinders for Victoria Arduino, building on the Mythos one in the form of stability (namely temperature), consistency (namely dosing), on demand grinding, and precision.
Whilst the Mythos 1 had few adaptations, the Mythos 2 has been released into three tiers:
In this review, we wanted to look at a grinder which wouldn’t break the bank, would be a considerable upgrade from the Mythos 1, and (most importantly) would fit straight into a café’s workflow with minimal fuss, training and compromise – that being the mid-priced Mythos 2 Premium.
Clima Pro 2.0
Improved temperature control is achieved in the form of Victoria Arduino’s Clima Pro 2.0. Fans have also been repositioned to the back of the unit, which works well for cafes wishing to closely line-up multiple grinders whilst not compromising airflow and temperature regulation. The Mythos 2 claims to hold temperatures between 30-50 degrees by either heating or cooling the chamber. This is a significant difference compared to the Mythos 1, where the chamber was simply heated up to a fixed temperature. Now you can manually adjust the temperature of the chamber in increments of 5 degrees, via the touch screen. Initial impressions suggest that the Clima Pro 2.0 will rectify a few operational issues that the Mythos 1 had – namely the clumping issues it suffered if the heating element was plugged in during high kilo hours. By regulating the temperature by heating AND cooling, it creates a stable environment and more controllability.
The Mythos 2 has the ability to change its motor speed in both the Premium and Gravimetric models, enabling the barista to alternate between speeds ranging from 700-1200rpm. By controlling the grinding speed at the touch of a button you potentially unlock the below benefits:
Adjustable motor speed can also benefit workflow. Irish Barista Champion and 3fe Managing Director Colin Harmon claims: “You could say the Mythos 2 is 19 per cent quicker than Mythos one, which equates to about two to three seconds faster in dose speed”. Colin is not only referring to the ability to grind at faster speed, but also the increased diameter 85mm Titanium burrs that have been added to the setup; a 10mm difference compared to the Mythos 1.
Whilst the adjustable speed feature is an exciting one (as it creates another opportunity to control the quality of your end product- espresso), the clear and tangible benefits are yet to be utilised on a wholesale level by the coffee community. Variances such as boiler temperature and coffee particle size/ evenness have by and large been understood, embraced and practiced by baristas, however, that the same cannot be said for adjustable speed at this point in time. Hopefully the relative ease to change motor speed will encourage this variable to be embraced and explored by more baristas in the near future.
The Practical Ins & Outs
The Mythos 2 features an improved design with less screws (and higher quality, more durable ones at that), relative ease of access to the grinder internals (motor and fans), and also an increased hopper capacity of 2KG. Another welcome addition is the 2.8” touchscreen. This feature positively surprised us in many ways; namely its responsiveness and its intuitive navigation. However, the most anticipated change of the Mythos 2 is the re-designed clump crusher cradle. If you have ever used a Mythos grinder you would understand how integral this little plastic piece is. We have all had a moment whilst changing a clump crusher on the Mythos 1, where the cramped space and the low tolerances made you want to throw the grinder off the bench. We can happily report that our cries have been answered, in the form of a newly designed cradle that houses the clump crusher and the chute. This assembly unclips from the body, which enables you to origami the crusher and neatly place it in the cradle. This improvement will seal the deal for most baristas!
It’s easy to assume that a new release of a product will improve upon its previous iteration, but we wanted to put the Mythos 2 Premium through its paces with the Veneziano Training Department and test it in ways in which a barista working in a regular cafe might. Aside from the question of whether or not it makes delicious espresso (it does), we wanted to focus our bench test on aspects of its functionality, consistency and reliability. We believe that if we can validate this grinder based on these principles, it would justify an upgrade from the Mythos 1, or even convince you into buying your first Mythos grinder.
In this bench test we pitted the Mythos 2 Premium up against two regular favourites of the café world: The Mythos 1 and Mazzers Robur E. All have their own unique reputations, strengths and weaknesses. However, we wanted to ascertain how the Mythos 2 Premium stacked up against these competitors in terms of:
One of the main talking points with Mythos grinders is how quickly you can dial coffee in, the relative little waste when dialling in and changing grind settings, and also how consistent it is in regards to dose. Our tests suggest support this, with both the Mythos 1 and 2 showing dial in times under 10 minutes. The Mythos 2 took a little longer however, that is mostly due to it being straight out of the box and not being seasoned. The largest amount of wastage during calibration was attributed to the Mazzer grinder, with the Mythos 2 being not far behind. The Mythos 1 wasted a measly 88g! Where the Mazzer fell short in this regard is the amount wasted whilst re-calibrating during ‘service’. In terms of grinding speed, the Mazzer was the clear winner at around the 4 second mark – the Mythos’ were almost double that (we kept the Mythos 2 motor speed at 900rpm).
The biggest talking point however was the Mythos 2’s reliability and consistency. Its data spread in relation to dose and extraction time was impressive, with a median dose of 21.2 over 20 doses (target of 21.5) and a median extraction time of 28.8 (target of 28 seconds). It is also worth noting that we only ever needed to adjust the grind on the Mythos 2 once, which emphasises its reliability and consistency.
Consistency and wastage results are summarised below;
The Mythos 2 range is definitely progressive in its outlook. It is clear that Victoria Arduino has listened to the feedback from Baristas that have used the Mythos 1 and improved upon certain aspects of the grinder to produce a reliable, consistent and practical product. It is also great to see that Victoria Arduino has expanded the range to accommodate for a broad range of budgets, interests and needs. Whilst it might be an imperative for all of your doses to be weighed, on the other hand it might be speed in a higher volume environment that drives you. We believe that the Mythos Premium will be a very popular choice, as it appeals to a wide range of business owners, barista skillsets, and café kilo volumes. The Premium is a viable solution come upgrade time – it looks great, it is markedly easier to maintain and clean (compared to other grinders), and will deliver consistency and speed from open to close.