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New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > New title- K-30...  
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boar_d_laze
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Joined: 21 Nov 2006
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Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 9:01pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

CoffeeRon Said:

Looks like EPNW has the anfims for $1750. Doser and timed dose together? Sounds cool, I may have to go see it for myself when I get home.

Posted March 11, 2014 link

Anfims get great reviews, especially in a commercial coffee bar setting, but I hear they're very noisy.

The Caedo 37 looks pretty sweet as well (don't see a 47- does someone else sell one?).

"47" was a typo, my bad.  The grinder you want to look at is the E37s.  The "s" is important, because it has 81mm burrs, and there are still some non "s" grinders with 64mm burrs for sale.

That is, the older E37 competed with the Mazzer SJ E, while the new E37s competes with the Mazzer Major E.  

FWIW, Prima lists the Anfim for $1687.  I'm sure that if you bring that to EPW's attention, good things will happen.

Rich
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russel
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russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 448
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Tue Mar 11, 2014, 11:52pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

So, I adore my Anfims, the same sort of "you can pry this out of my cold dead hands" feeling that a lot of K30 Vario owners feel.  They're full of downsides, but the results in the cup transcend any draw backs there may be (for me at least).  

  • They're loud, and there's a fan that you will probably want to disable for home use.
  • They retain a lot of coffee, 10g easy.
  • The adjustment is stepped

I don't care about the noise anymore and beans come with my job so I don't have to worry about retention or stuff going stale in the hopper.  I'd buy EP's stepless mod if they still offered it, but I don't feel that I'm missing anything yet...if I started training for competitions I might feel otherwise...but I'm not heading down that road.  I feel pretty strongly that the doser is a really key element; I get these nice little mountains of clump-less fluff delivered straight down into the center of my PFs.  Since I've had the Barista model, I've had a Compak K8 Freesh, a K30 Vario, a Nino, a Max Hybrid, a Pharos, and an HGOne.  Those are all gone, replaced with the Super Caimano On-Demand model that Prima and EP are selling, and recently an EK43 that handles my single dosing.  I do everything by weight in and out but don't care for single dosing, and these are what work for me.  Now, obviously I'm a little biased, but I will say that these things aren't for everyone, actually for very few.  Most people seem to prefer the super quiet doser-less-ness of the K30 or K8 Fresh, or the "forgiveness" of big conicals (something I don't value really at all).  I guess I'm just all in on the Anfim doser and the big Ti coated burrs, conveniences be damned.

As far as Major VS SJ goes, I wouldn't go out of my way to move from an SJ to a Major, but certainly as a first time purchase the Major is preferable and worth a premium.  New burrs are required, and I think an Elvinator/Schnozzola is required to get the grounds into the PF evenly.  From a practical standpoint, the Major is much better at single dosing than the SJ, the grounds are sort of projected from the chute in a quick stream.  I don't recall a big static issue with a doser smoothing things out...but the E's do tend to collect grinds on the funnel.  I'm not sure what to say about taste...I used a Major E on bar for a while, but left the bar right before we switched to K30s (one of which was mine) that everyone preferred despite being of smaller burr size.  I spent years looking for a cheap but trustworthy SJ, found one coming out of a lab setting, only to have it be replaced maybe a year later by a Compak K6 Silenzio that was one of my favorite grinders ever.  So I'm not a huge Mazzer person, not as a knock on Mazzer, just always seemed to find other grinders I liked more.  

I'm very biased in favor of barista skill over mechanical influences in the cup (given a sufficient baseline of performance).  I favor equipment that compliments the way I used my hands and gives me a feeling of control.

Is that helpful?
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 7:04am
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

russel Said:

As far as Major VS SJ goes, I wouldn't go out of my way to move from an SJ to a Major, but certainly as a first time purchase the Major is preferable and worth a premium.  New burrs are required, and I think an Elvinator/Schnozzola is required to get the grounds into the PF evenly.  From a practical standpoint, the Major is much better at single dosing than the SJ, the grounds are sort of projected from the chute in a quick stream.  I don't recall a big static issue with a doser smoothing things out...but the E's do tend to collect grinds on the funnel.  I'm not sure what to say about taste...I used a Major E on bar for a while, but left the bar right before we switched to K30s (one of which was mine) that everyone preferred despite being of smaller burr size.  I spent years looking for a cheap but trustworthy SJ, found one coming out of a lab setting, only to have it be replaced maybe a year later by a Compak K6 Silenzio that was one of my favorite grinders ever.  So I'm not a huge Mazzer person, not as a knock on Mazzer, just always seemed to find other grinders I liked more.  

I'm very biased in favor of barista skill over mechanical influences in the cup (given a sufficient baseline of performance).  I favor equipment that compliments the way I used my hands and gives me a feeling of control.

Is that helpful?

Posted March 11, 2014 link

The last sentence is especially helpful. I've had a Forte for 7-8 months and before that,a Vario W. For the home, I'd really miss the convenience.
Down the road, as much for curiosity as anything, I might want to get a Pharos, just for the variety.
Thanks much.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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russel
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russel
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Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 12:51pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

Yeah, you'd be amazed.  If you're being really picky about things, every barista's pulls are different, so you can't actually have more than one person dialed in on a group/grinder at a time.  My shots where routinely slower than the barista I usually worked with.  Just something about how I manipulated the grounds or the pf or the tamper.  Consistency is always a goal here, but once your'e pulling shots for 8 hours, control becomes the goal.  Shots destined for milk are often best with a longer extraction to keep the flavors from getting lost (at least if you're pulling light roast), and it's not like you can adjust the grind on a per shot basis - I never had the luxury of a dedicated milk drink grinder.  So you change your prep just enough to draw out the extraction and make a more punchy shot.
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JasonBrandtLewis
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JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
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Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Wed Mar 12, 2014, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

Chiming in late, as usual it seems . . .

I've had my Mahlkönig K30 Vario for 5-6 years now, and am still in love with it . . . if one can be in love with a grinder, I guess.  It still grinds my doubles in just over 3 seconds, and is the quietest grinder I've ever used.  Grinds are fluffy, with little to no clumping.  (If it starts to clump, it's time to clean it, and then there are no more clumps . . . )  And on and on and on . . . it truly is the last grinder I'll ever own/need.

I find I agree pretty much with everything Rich (boar_d_laze) said, and being a fan of chocolate and nuts ("comfort food"), if the K30's top notes ("sparkle") are "at least slightly dulled," I find absolutely nothing wrong with that!  ;^)

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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CoffeeRon
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CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma 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 Sat Mar 15, 2014, 2:11pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

I would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to my thread. I feel that I have  now made a much more informed choice for a grinder, and I can only imagine how much you have all saved me in later second guessing if this grinder or that grinder would have been a "better grinder".

After some consideration I finally ruled out the conicals. I think a flat burr will suit me fine. When I think of chocolate and nuts I think, "Brasil Conquista- Mmm, Mexican Chiapas-Mmm" :)
I'll still look to get a Pharos and might find certain beans here and there I especially like with it, will be fun to play around with anyways- and I'll have a travel grinder.

Russel- I believe with your experience and skills you could probably pull a little extra out of any grinder you chose to make your own. The Anfim was head to head for a bit though, it does look good. Next was the Caedo and K-8 fresh.

But in the end, I've decided I like the looks and features of the K-30 Vario- black w/ short hopper. I am confident that with it the only limiting factors to my espresso will be me, my beans, and my machine (which btw I FINALLY put a group head thermometer in last month thanks to Erics adaptor, really helps to see what I'm doing).

As for beans, while the percentage of my roasts that are "wow that's good" steadily increases, it's a work in progress. Don't be surprised if you see a similar thread this time next year on roasters- and I don't mean Hottop vs. Gene!

I believe I'll take your suggestion Rich and pick up a set of steel burrs for the Vario-W. And thanks for the pretty good list of the grinders I would have been second guessing myself on later!

I called Seattle coffee gear this morning but they're out of stock right now, I would have made the hour drive each way today- oh well. Gail said they are supposed to have more in any time. I'll call EPNW on Monday and check back with SCG. If no luck there I'll order from Chris'. Birthday Thursday- maybe I'll have it?

Thanks again,
Ron
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CoffeeRon
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CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma 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 17, 2014, 10:54am
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

So I ran across the M7D Macap yesterday- 68 mm conical for $1500? Mulled over that for a while... what a monster- Bigger footprint than the Vario! In the end I decided my plan was good, I won't have to remodel the kitchen for the Vario :) Ordered from Chris' this morning, won't be here for my birthday but next Monday. Man I can't wait!
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CoffeeRon
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CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma 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 24, 2014, 1:33pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

She's here!! What a beautiful machine!

I started with a little breakin- sorry Rob, but with my equipment maint./ machinist background I felt very comfortable running some rice thru her. 3 cups, poured in one at a time with a break in between. She didn't even flinch- just laughed- Ha Ha bring it on! I'm thinking three cups of rice probably did what like five pounds of coffee would have done, probably just took the sharpest edges off.

Then for dial in. Took me four tries to get 18 gr. (in a 18 gr. VST) to pull 2 oz. in 26 sec. from first drip. The beans are a bit fresh but tasted pretty good last night all the same. I'm already tasting flavors I've never tasted before!

She looks awesome in her new home. Need to go to work in a bit- just a little overcaffeinated :)
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Mon Mar 24, 2014, 1:45pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

[quote663169
I started with a little breakin- sorry Rob, but with my equipment maint./ machinist background I felt very comfortable running some rice thru her.
[x]
No worries...be happy. LOL

Ron, wishing you a VERY happy life with your new "baby."
In about 5 years, you'll have to gently place her over your shoulder and "burr" her.
Sorry.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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CoffeeRon
Senior Member
CoffeeRon
Joined: 26 Apr 2009
Posts: 749
Location: Tacoma 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 24, 2014, 5:11pm
Subject: Re: New title- K-30 Vario or something else for my new end all grinder.
 

IMAWriter Said:

No worries...be happy. LOL

Ron, wishing you a VERY happy life with your new "baby."
In about 5 years, you'll have to gently place her over your shoulder and "burr" her.
Sorry.

Posted March 24, 2014 link

LOL- thanks Rob! Going on when the computors going to tell me "change burrs" she'll prolly just be out of diapers and broke in nicely in 5 years :P

My "bIrthday beans" from Counter Culture are just 6 days post roast today- think I'll swap them in tonight and see how I do with them.
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