Excellent grind quality Fast Quiet Repeatable doses for single & double shots Sturdy & heavy Strong motor Adjustable portafilter holder
Negative Product Points
Retains some grinds if single dosing expensive for home use but is priced similar to most other large commercial grinders No doser if you need or want a doser
Not a lot is mentioned about this espresso and coffee shop grinder that is the subject of this review. The Mahlkönig K30 ES Grinder is not offered for sale used as often as Mazzer Super Jolly. These have not been out nearly as long. The earliest reference I can find goes back to 2006. Since the cost of this grinder was over $2,000 when introduced there were not many early adopters either. Astoria offered this grinder with their badge on it and the one I have for review wears the Astoria label. These machines still cost over $1,000 new so they may never be common place. Eventually though some will trickle out into the wild as shops change brands, upgrade, or go out of business. If you can find one priced out close to a used Super Jolly then snap it up.
The grinder uses 65mm special steel alloy flat grinding burrs powered by over 500 watts of power. The end result is raw speed. It will turn 14 - 15 grams of light roast hard bean Ethiopian Gedeo Worka beans into powder in 4 seconds. That is fast. The grinder motor is nestled in a thick shell along with rubber bushings to dampen vibration and reduce noise. The grinder is quieter than anything with a motor I have heard so far either on YouTube or in person. This noise issue was the main reason I went looking for an upgrade in the first place. My old grinder is more than capable but is very noisy and slow by comparison.
The Mahlkönig K30 ES grinder features two programmable shot timers - one for a single shot and one for a double shot. I have the double shot button programmed for 4 seconds so when I press my portafilter into the button under the built in half funnel the grinder will run for 4 seconds and then stop. The portafilter basket will be full if you set it up right and this timed measure will be repeated over and over till the grinder is reprogrammed.
One nit pick for the K30 ES model I hear is that it is stepped so it isn't as good for espresso as a stepless grinder. With burrs this large the space between steps is very small. I have yet to hit a spot where I need something different than what is provided. Even with marked steps this grinder is essentially stepless if necessary. If you can work an Allen wrench to loosen two bolts the grinder becomes stepless and a fine tuning can be made without opening the machine up should a different setting be needed. Another ding that comes up is clumping. I modded (taped open inside the machine) the chute so this is a non-issue. Humidity and bean choice play a role in clumping too. Not a complaint but for home use finding a smaller hopper might be something to consider since the standard hopper holds three and a third pounds of coffee beans.
The best feature is the grind quality - it is outstanding. The powder packs and shots pull without channeling giving up flavors not found in other grinders I have tried or own. The deep chocolate and nut middle and finish is emphasized with this burr set but if the espresso is bright that will come out as well. The shot will be balanced as well as multidimensional. For my tastes I think this is close to a perfect grinder. For home use it could literally last a lifetime too.
Very nice - got to try out the grinder at the coffee shop selling the machine. Owner filled the hopper with a couple scoops of fresh out of the roaster beans after I tested the unit.