Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Grinders - Espresso
New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
Home Espresso Machines
Watch videos with Gail & Kat, Rocket, Jura Capresso, Saeco, Rancilio, Quick Mill, Nespresso
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > New title- K-30...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
Author Messages
CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 12:32am
Subject: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

So I've been obsessing ever since I decided to pair my Vario-W with a Pharos, and now it seems I could be waiting some time to get my hands on the Pharos. The Vario-W was a huge step up in convenience but no real difference in the end result, and I guess I've got my mind set to up my grinder game.

There's an espresso equipment supplier in the Seattle area that has 3 Mahlkonig K30 Vario WBC grinders they're selling, with new burrs, for $700 each. So I bought my slightly used Vario-W for a little less than a refurb, and could probably get my money back out of it easily enough. That with the price of a Pharos and I would be in the Mahlkonig for about the same money.

I was kind of excited at the idea of having an actually new piece of coffee gear. For all my coffee gear the only items I've purchased new are a tamper, frothing pitcher, knock box, and the Freshroast roaster. But that's neither here nor there. Fact is I'll probably eventually pick up a Pharos anyway.

So I'm just looking for some feedback from anyone who may have personal experience with the Mahlkonig, would the difference knock my socks off? Will I find myself in a new world of espresso nirvana? Do deals like this come along every day? Any feedback would be appreciated!

Thanks much,
Ron
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,313
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 10:05am
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

I've never owned one, but have used a few (one in particular) enough to know what's up.

In the cup:
  • Bottom Notes / Comfort
    Chocolate and Nuts is where the K30 shines.  Brings out the "comfort food" aspects of any coffee.
  • Top Notes / Sparkle
    Very good for a flat burr grinder, but not quite as good as a big flat or big hybrid, and even further behind a big conical. Fruit and floral notes are at least slightly dulled.
  • Nuance
    Very good for a flat burr grinder,  Fruit and floral notes are at least slightly dulled.
  • Separation
    Good for a flat burr grinder, but not quite as good as a big flat or big hybrid, and even further behind a big conical.  The K30's cup is more of an overall impression, than specific pin-pointing of this and that.  By way of example a bean ground in a K-30 would seem more cherries AND chocolate[x], as opposed to a bean ground in a Compak K-10, Ceado E92 or Mazzer Robur  which would seem more CHERRIES and CHOCOLATE.
  • Mouthfeel
    Very good for a flat burr grinder, but not as good as really big flats, and no comparison to the few, best, big conicals.  

Use:
  • Retention
    Excellent.
  • Texture
    Fluffy; lump free.
  • Messiness
    OK, but still messy.  
  • Ergonomics
    Very easy to adjust for grind; easy to dial in; excellent dose consistency with a load in the hopper; easy to single-dose; no pop-corning; very good control pad; great "touch;" very fast; easy to clean; approachable maintenance.  
  • User Friendliness
    Walk up, push the pf against the switch, get the right dose dead-center in the basket.  What could be friendlier?  The touchpad isn't as informative or as easy to use as a Baratza Forte, e.g., and doesn't display grind size like the Forte, Compak Fresh, and Vario.  
  • Noise
    Quiet
  • Build Quality
    Second to none.  Things which move, glide; things which don't move are rock solid.  

Overall:
The K30 vastly outperforms competitors with a similar, relatively modest, 65mm diameter burr size (about the same as a Mazzer Super Jolly) in the cup, but it has its limits.  It's a Titan/Near-Titan with a bottom end so good it ends up on a par with hybrids like the DRM and the La Cimbali Max Hybrid and Junior Max Hybrid.  It's very similar to, but a heartbeat behind big, Titan flats like the Mazzer Major.  

It lags behind the Compak K-10 in top end, separation, and nuance; and is behind the Ceado E92 and Mazzer Robur for all of those things and further behind in mouthfeel.

It's one of the few easiest and best grinders to use.  A pleasure to touch, it feels indestructible and smoothly precise. Noting overlooked. If you care about "use" things -- and you should, because you use them -- the K30 competes with anything at any price.

If Bentley built a grinder...

Bottom Line:
A monster step up from a Vario for everything "in the cup," and for build quality.  A legitimate choice at it's street retail price. $700 is a very nice price for a used K30 in good shape and with new burrs.  Unless you need a small footprint or have something very specific in mind, it's a very tough package to beat for the money.

Recommendation:
Snap it up for your espresso-only grinder.  Replace the ceramic burrs in the Vario with steel, brew burrs and keep it for brew.  

Rich
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 2:01pm
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

Thanks for the info Rich.

So I called and it seems only one was the Vario and it went quick. The other two are standard K30s. I'm not finding much on them, seems they're stepped? If I could find more info I may still be interested- I'll keep poking around.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 4:15pm
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

Verdict is in. Had a cup of drip and thought about it-just found out I finally pulled the chocolates out of the Conquista with my Behmor last week!

Anyways I think if I got the regular K30 I'd just be wishing it were the Vario every time I used it. Not sure if it was a bait and switch or what, the CL ad showed the Vario but I'm thinking they would have sold that one for more.

Think I'll chillax and wait on a Pharos.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Butterfinger_414
Senior Member
Butterfinger_414
Joined: 22 Jan 2012
Posts: 77
Location: Oak Creek,Wi
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quickmill Andreja
Grinder: Robur E
Roaster: Popper 1
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 8:52pm
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

@coffeeron just quick question regarding the two version regular k30 to vario series if you know about their differences.what gives? because I've already talk to guy who selling these grinder,like you said the vario version is already gone just the regular k30 are left.i almost pull the trigger but unfortunately the guy only accepting major credit cards no paypal.cheers!!!


Brent

 
Brent *_*
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 449
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Sun Mar 2, 2014, 11:36pm
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

So, I've owned both a K30 ES (stepped) and a K30 Vario.  My ES found its way into the shop of a friend of mine who I regard as one of the best baristas in LA, and we have some heavy hitters here.  He loved it.  I recently helped him replace it with a K30 Twin.  Despite being stepped, that ES spent almost 3 years pulling some very good shots.  Although the continuously variable adjustment of the K30 Vario is clearly preferable, the stepped ES is still highly capable...capable enough to please one of the most discerning and skilled coffee professionals I know.  If a Vario just can't be accommodated by your budget, but an ES can, I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up.  

As far a "taste in the cup" is concerned...your skill will be the determining factor, not the quality of the ES's grind or its stepped adjustment.  Some of the most serious coffee professionals I know are very happy with what the K30's 65mm flat burrs put out.  I've owned a lot of grinders, and it's one of the few that I would think about keeping around.

Some particulars about these grinders:  When buying used, try to buy in person and avoid shipping.  K30s are very well made, but full of small precision parts that don't take well to the bumps associated with standard shipping and sloppy packaging.  Leave a lot of room in your budget for new burrs, they cost a lot more than a $50 set of SJ burrs.  $700 USD is a very good price for a K30 Vario; it's a little above what I would pay for a K30 ES.  The big Mahlkoenig hopper can easily be cut down to just about any height you like, you just need to find the right lid - Compak hopper lids bring the whole thing down to a nice under-shelf height.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 11:16am
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

Russel, thanks for the feedback. I was having a hard time finding anything out about the stepped K30 at all. I was liking the fact that it would fit under my counter with a short hopper, and in the big picture I think I might actually prefer more of the bottom notes, although I don't really have any experience with the conicals. I may have to give him a call back and see how much wiggle room there is in his price.

Any good coffee shops in Simi Valley? I'm going there on business next week. Won't have much opportunity to get around LA but if something were close by Simi Valley it would be nice to have someplace to get a good espresso or cup of real coffee.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 449
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Mon Mar 3, 2014, 10:44pm
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

Sorry, there isn't anyone I know working Simi Vally...it's not a big place and kind of out there.  If you're flying in/out of Burbank you could pretty easily drop down to Glendale and check out Copa Vita.  Frank La is a great barista and did very well at Big Western this year, and Copa Vita is a really interesting place.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
CoffeeRon
Senior Member


Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 753
Location: Eatonville, Wa
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Wega Lyra, Europiccola(still...
Grinder: Macap M7D, Pharos, Vario W,...
Vac Pot: Sunbeam CoffeeMaster
Drip: Melita BCM-4
Roaster: FR SR500,B-1600, SC/TO
Posted Tue Mar 4, 2014, 1:37am
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

I am flying in/out of Burbank, I'll have to see if I can make it down there.
Thanks much!
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Coffeenoobie
Senior Member
Coffeenoobie
Joined: 11 Dec 2011
Posts: 3,036
Location: PNW
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: N S Oscar
Grinder: K30 & Vario W
Posted Sat Mar 8, 2014, 11:05am
Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
 

I gave you my thoughts via email.  And it turns out I have the stepped model. That is probably why small changes on the settings don't do anything.

 
Coffeenoobie

Buying advice: GRINDER GRINDER GRINDER. Don't cheap out on the grinder.

My coffee treasure map...
Click Here (maps.google.com)

Oscar trick out: http://s156.photobucket.com/user/GandBteam/story/14231
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
showing page 1 of 3 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > New title- K-30...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Cafe Solutions
Commercial sales and service, nationwide installation, equipment leasing options.
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.259313106537)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+