Posts Tagged ‘coffee equipment’
So you love great espresso?
We do too – that’s the whole reason for Crema Magazine’s existence. So is it all about spending $2,000 + on a fancy espresso machine? Well it may be, but before you go shelling out all that money on a fancy espresso machine, think about your grinder. In fact, one of Australia’s leading espresso authorities maintains that you should spend almost as much on a grinder as you do on your espresso machine – it’s that important.
Why is this most important piece of equipment so often overlooked and its importance underestimated? Well, it’s just not sexy, is it!
Confusion and error still plague the history of the espresso machine and its inventors. Coffee expert Ian Bersten has gone further than anyone else in getting to the true story in his book ‘Coffee Floats, Tea Sinks’.
We publish the first of a three part piece comprising edited extracts from the chapter entitled: ‘The Espresso Coffee Machine Revolution’.
From the first days of brewing coffee, inventors were confronted with the interplay of grind size, water temperature and brewing time, the interaction of which they never fully understood. These critical factors had to be just right for a complete extraction of the coffee flavour.
The KS is ECA’s doserless offering and again is well-targeted to the home espresso market. It is slim, weighs only 5kg and stands at 38cm high, making it easily assimilated into the kitchen setting. It houses tempered stainless steel flat burr grinding blades and has a similar stepped adjustment to the Best, with somewhat large increments, although again we experienced no problem in setting the grinder to an accurate grind for espresso.
While a little noisier than its counterpart and not quite as fast, the dispensing chute was very tidy, ensuring a minimum of mess/waste. Targeted a little more towards the mid-range of the domestic grinder market, the KS performed well and certainly had the power and finesse to grind finely enough to service a high-end domestic espresso machine without any hesitation.
Our reviewers were impressed by the capacity of this unit to do the job with a minimum of fuss. Even though it’s nudging into the light-weight category, it kept its cool at a maximum grinder blade temp reading of 31°C through pretty rigorous testing. The consistency of grind showed in the resulting shots of espresso being very good with a clean flavour profile.
VERDICT: a well-performing and stylish domestic unit. Recommended for the home espresso enthusiast for moderate volume.
Flat Burr (tempered steel)
Speed of operation: 27.4gm in 30 sec
Temp of grinder blades at end of test: 31°C
RRP: $599.00 (incl GST)
We continue to showcase our line up of high-end grinders reviewed late last year and featured in the latest issue of Crema Magazine. Whether you are starting out or planning to up-grade, this review is designed to highlight the features and functions that you should be taking into consideration.
This unit from Wega is a ‘re-branded’ Compak K3 Touch so this grinder comes from an impressive heritage of commercial grinders.
ECA (Anfim) ‘Best
RRP: Silver – $699.00 Chrome – $769.00 (incl GST)
This unit has the look and build quality of a commercial grinder but with significantly smaller dimensions, which lends itself to the domestic kitchen setting. With its polished alloy exterior and weighing only 8kg, it’s slim and stylish with pretty much all the benefits of a larger, heavier commercial unit. Standing at 38cm tall, it has 500gm bean hopper with a hopper-stopper. It has tempered steel flat burr blades, a dosing chamber and utilises a stepped grind adjustment mechanism.
The Best performed very well and our reviewers were particularly impressed with the speed of operation, even when lined up against the bigger semi-commercial grinders. It showed an excellent consistency of grind and dose. The resulting espressos were excellent, with a consistent flavour profile.
There were a couple of minor niggles which were picked up by the reviewers, the main one being that the increments on the stepping collar were quite big – therefore not allowing for ultra fine adjustments to the grind setting, but in practice, this did not present a problem in setting an accurate grind for espresso. The only other main issue was that the tamping disc on the front of the unit gets in the way – in fact, it is often unscrewed and left off by operators ‘in-the-know’!
The build quality and performance make it an excellent grinder to compliment a high-end home espresso machine while its smaller dimensions make it a stylish and reliable grinder for the home espresso setting.
VERDICT: High performance unit for the serious ‘prosumer’. Recommended for the home espresso enthusiast who needs a grinder to handle a moderate to high volume. Also suitable for low volume commercial use (ie: back-up/decaf grinder).
Flat Burr (tempered steel), Stepped, Dosing Chamber
Consistency of Dose: Max variation range of 0.1gm (average dose was 5.0gm)
Speed of operation: 39.2gm in 30 sec
Temp of grinder blades at end of test: 31°C
For more information on this review and to read about other grinders click here.