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Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
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TrevorHyam
Senior Member
TrevorHyam
Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Cardiff UK
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Work: Astoria Plus4U 3 group...
Grinder: Work: Anfim Super 2nd...
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Numerous pourovers and other...
Roaster: UK microroasters
Posted Thu Sep 6, 2012, 12:59pm
Subject: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

Hi there,

Does anyone have any experience of the quality of the grounds produced by the Compak R series of grinders (R8-140)?

In particularly with regards the coarser filter and press grind range, and in comparison to the other usual top-end suspects like Guatemala's and Tanzania's, Dittings, and the Uber?

A few months ago, I bought a used KR 1203 with old style pressed burrs.

Disappointed with the grind, I paid for the burrs to be resharpened by Ditting in Switzerland.

However, I have still been hugely disappointed with the grind quality (both before and after resharpening) and am surprised that it is not better. Fairly uneven. Lots of fines.
My little Rocky consistently outperforms the Ditting at the drip-press coarse ranges!

I assumed something must be slightly amiss with the grinder, and so I have recently had grind samples from the newly resharpened burrs checked by Mahlkonig in Germany.
But they report that there is "no abnormalities to the normal curves", which I assume means the grinder is functioning as it should, with these burrs.

So now I am looking at the options for getting the best possible grind, without spending 1.5-2k on a new top-end grinder. But I would consider something approaching that.

So, I could try new style milled/machined burrs for the 1203, at a further 300, but I don't fancy having to then put 100-200kg of old beans through to season them, before finding out if they're actually much better or not!!!

I could look for a used Tanz or Guat in good condition.

But then I found the Compak R's. The smaller ones are slightly more affordable brand new. They look like they could potentially be brilliant and compare to the likes of the Tanzania, etc. But it all comes down to how well the burr design REALLY works for the coarser ranges, and what the retention is like for single dosing.

The basic set-up looks roughly like a Ditting or Tanzania (horizontal), but I haven't found any close-up pics of the burrs themselves yet, or any real discussion about them at all.

For the time being, these grinders are primarily for home use for me, not at work. Excessive, I know, but this is my obsession!

Any thoughts?

Thanks!
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,854
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Sep 7, 2012, 6:12am
Subject: Re: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

I am sure you know that there are different grinds for different brew methods and I am not referring to fineness. Espresso requires a Bi or Tri modal grind while methods such as drip do not require this.

You are talking about bulk grinders, not method specific grinders and perhaps your expectations are higher than the designers of the grinders were intending. I have different grinders for different methods. I find for more coarse grinding, I really like Bunn grinders designed for drip. For espresso, I use espresso grinders and I do have 2 bulk grinders that I picked up along the way that are not used much at all.

You MIGHT be past the point where a one size fits all grinder no longer "does it" for you. Just thinking out loud YMMV!

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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TrevorHyam
Senior Member
TrevorHyam
Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Cardiff UK
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Work: Astoria Plus4U 3 group...
Grinder: Work: Anfim Super 2nd...
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Numerous pourovers and other...
Roaster: UK microroasters
Posted Fri Sep 7, 2012, 1:30pm
Subject: Re: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

Hiya,

Thanks.

Yes, precisely. I use an espresso grinder at work (a very good one, along with a couple of other, much less exceptional, dedicated grinders for other methods), but I only make pourover (numerous types) and press brews at home.

It is for this medium-coarse range specifically that I am using the Rocky, and more recently my 'new' Ditting at home.

I am interested in the large bulk grinders detailed in my initial post (Bunn also, didn't list that one), not because of their speed/capacity, or for any 'one size fits all' alleged capability, but because these grinders are well known (renowned) for the potential quality of the grind they produce - specifically for this coarser range of the spectrum.

They are known to have smaller/tighter particle size spread/distribution (as you mention regarding espresso grinding), focused around a 'single peak' at these coarser ranges. And significantly more so than cheaper options, like the Vario, etc.

Which is why I invested in the Ditting. And why I am so surprised my Rocky is producing a better (more even) grind than the Ditting. But with the new style machined burrs, perhaps the Ditting might produce better results (eventually, after huge seasoning!)...

It might well be that I simply expect too much of grinding (I appreciate there will always be a % of fines and a degree of particle size spread with any grinding process), but I am sure that one of the options I listed should produce much higher quality results than I'm currently getting from either of my existing grinders, as they stand.

It might be (despite the analysis by Mahlkonig) that my Ditting is not operating 100% perfectly. And this is always the worry with any used equipment. Which is why I am looking at the options, of either upgrading the Dittiing further by fitting milled burrs, or trying to stretch to something new.

With regards the Compak R's that I'm specifically curious about, I know they are used and enjoyed by a certain leading US cafe/cafe owner... which is a wonderful endorsement. But there is very little information around about them yet. And I was interested in hearing a little more information/discussion about them (burr pictures, grind analysis graphs, anecdotal evidence, etc), if anyone has any experience of them, and also of how they compare with the other very best options (like the Tanzania, Uber, etc), in terms of producing the very best, most uniform, grind quality, at the coarser ranges. Together with any information about grounds retention.

Many thanks again,
Trevor
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Takusan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Astoria
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Wed Jan 22, 2014, 4:51pm
Subject: Re: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

Hi Trevor,

I was looking for Compak reviews and came across this thread. Did you end up getting a Compak?
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TrevorHyam
Senior Member
TrevorHyam
Joined: 28 Jan 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Cardiff UK
Expertise: Pro Barista

Espresso: Work: Astoria Plus4U 3 group...
Grinder: Work: Anfim Super 2nd...
Vac Pot: Hario
Drip: Numerous pourovers and other...
Roaster: UK microroasters
Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 12:40am
Subject: Re: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

Hiya,

No, in the end I just couldn't find enough information anywhere to judge it. Even Compak themselves were very unhelpful in providing details about their R series.
So I went for a Tanzania.
:)
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Takusan
Senior Member


Joined: 3 Oct 2012
Posts: 13
Location: Astoria
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Thu Jan 23, 2014, 7:25am
Subject: Re: Searching for a great filter/press grinder. Compak R's?
 

Thanks for the reply!
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