Posted Sat Mar 8, 2014, 11:58am Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
Thank you Helen, it's helpful knowing you also have the stepped one. I was just now drinking a cappa and getting ready to call the guy back. It's a bit of a drive up there for me (I'm in Spanaway) so I want to try and determine if we'll be able to settle on a price before I make the drive. Russels comments really made the difference for me in deciding i'd be happy with the decision (was still thinking you had the Vario of course). I'll post back later if I get it :)
Posted Sat Mar 8, 2014, 10:10pm Subject: Re: Mahlkonig K30 Vario owners/users please weigh in!
So I talked to the guy again. He told me the best had sold and of the two that were left, one had a small crack in the case and one had a pretty good size mark on the side where it had rubbed against something for some time. They had seen a lot of use in a shop and both showed their age. After telling me all this he said he didn't think the seller would be willing to come down any (they're on consignment from a shop that upgraded).
So... now I've decided... I want a new grinder! Not A grinder but THE grinder. It's my birthday this month and that's going to be my present to myself dang-it! I've been at this a few years now and I know there's no end to it for me. So that's it then.
I have it narrowed down to two. The K-30 Vario is still looking really good and may just be the one, but I'm considering the Caedo E92 as well now. Seems it's right up there with the Robur but a bit friendlier for home use. I've been doing a lot of reading- like the titan grinder project, and will have plenty of time next week in the hotel at night to read more. So I should have my decision by the time I get back. I would like to know how tall the Caedo is with the short hopper, I may just call WLL next week and have a chat with them.
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 10:50am Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
I always used to single dose my K-6, mostly because I didn't have room for a hopper anyways and I never bought a proper timer to do otherwise. I do 12 oz. roasts, which fit 8 oz. valved bags just right, and have been dumping one at a time in the Vario-W and blasting through it in about 3 days or so. Works out just right. Moving the cabinet above my espresso island isn't actually out of the question at this point, there's another place I could put it in my kitchen that would probably work out better anyways.
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 12:00pm Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
The E92 is 16" high to the top of the collar, not counting the hopper. It's definitely too tall to fit under any standard cabinet, even with the 6" mini hopper.
I've had a lot of opportunity to compare K30 Varios back to back with Roburs, and nearly back to back with K10s and the E92 on numerous occasions with my coffee, my grind settings, and me pulling the shots. I prefer all three conicals to the K-30 for their "in the cup" qualities.
To my mind, the best things about the K30 is how well its built and what a pleasure it is to use. But some perspective: There's no question that the K30 is an excellent "in the cup" performer. However, I haven't been able to try any of the other big flats under the same circumstances; nor do I recall reading anything by anyone who has.
The Mahlkonig K30 Vario is an excellent grinder for sure, but not the only game in flat-burr town. I'd consider the Ceado E37s (which is a few inches shorter than the E92) as well as the Anfim Super Caimano, Compak K8, Macap M7, Mazzer Major, and probably a few others which currently slip my mind.
khuzdul Senior Member Joined: 24 Mar 2009 Posts: 86 Location: U.S. North East
Posted Sun Mar 9, 2014, 9:20pm Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
I have a K30 vario at home, a Macap M7 and a Mazzer Major. At work I have a Ditting KE 640 (stepped) and a La San Marco SM-95. I haven't done a side-by-side comparison in a while, but the last time I did one variation in cup quality was more dependent upon mano, not macinazione. The workflow with the K30 made the entire process smoother, and thus the end cup result much more consistent. I use the K30 at home for espresso, and the KE 640 at work for manual pour over. I use a different grinder for manual pour-over at home and for auto-drip coffees at work.
Someone with mad numbchuck skillz might consistently coax out a better cup from one grinder or another, but I think for the average home user, the K30 is going to give as good a cup as any other of the large flat grinders (which implies that for the average home user, I think that if they consider getting any of the large flat grinders, then price, condition of the unit and how it fits into their coffee station, how it fits into their living/office conditions and how it impacts their workflow is more important than getting specific brand/model X over brand/model Y).
For workflow, the K30 with a canning funnel to replace the hopper is shorter than any of the large flat grinders, but fatter. You can't tip it easily, especially if you use a canning funnel with no secure lid to keep the coffee beans in. My K30 retains grounds such that I usually grind a single shot purge (set to something like 0.5 sec or 0.8 sec) before grinding my actual shot, which uses slightly more coffee beans. With the other doserless grinders I have, like the mini-e with a short hopper, I could tip the grinder forward and rock it to empty the grind path (doser grinders also, I run them hopperless, but it is still more work to tip and rock a hopperless Major or a SM-95 than a mini with a short hopper - the hopperless M7 was easier to tip and rock than both the Major or the SM95). It is faster to do the purge shot than it is to rock the other grinders to clear the grind path. Overall the entire process is much more efficient in both time and effort. The K30 is also much quieter than the other grinders, which is good if you have housemates/wife/cube neighbors who might be disturbed by grinding.
russel Senior Member Joined: 12 Mar 2010 Posts: 450 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 10, 2014, 2:01pm Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
The Mahlkonig K30 Vario is an excellent grinder for sure, but not the only game in flat-burr town. I'd consider the Ceado E47s (which is a few inches shorter than the E92) as well as the Anfim Super Caimano, Compak K8, Macap M7, Mazzer Major, and probably a few others which currently slip my mind.
So, I've owned a couple of Majors, a K8 Fresh, K30 ES & Vario, and I currently use an Super Caimano Barista and a Super Caimano On Demand. If you're a doser person, which I am, I would whole heartedly recommend the Super Caimano Barista...but then I remember to look at the price Anfim USA price sheet and am reminded that the 2014 MAP is $2275, and reseller cost isn't too far behind. It may help to pinpoint the actual cost of your options:
Super Caimano Brista - 74mm Ti coated - $2275 (MAP, Doser) K30 Vario - 65mm- $1665 (MAP) Compak K8 Fresh - 83mm - $1446 (MAP) Major E - 83mm- $1398? Caedo E47 - 85mm - $1,695 (WLL sale price $1,185.00)
Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 8:59pm Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
PTI, but I just wanted to commend all here for a VERY informative and cheerful thread. When I was a moderator here, I often liked to post such compliments.
Compared to a couple of the sports bogs I peek at (The Miami Herald for one) this thread, and others like it are paradise.
Apologies for the brief OT above, and to CoffeeRon for this question. Y'all have been cool so far. Question for Russel, and all who've had experience with the "Maht-zer" Major. (w'ere getting close to Passover.) LOL
I've owned a couple of SJ's, liked them very much, so I'm somewhat familiar with the general layout. A friend of mine asked about retention, as he wants to purchase a preowned (with a doser-less mod a local cafe was selling). I told him he'd need new burrs and such. my 2 SJ's were doser models. I imagine there's a bit of static? Also, how does the grind/taste profile compare to the SJ?
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