Id go the Robur. Not sure why... but I think it counts as a suggestion anyway doesnt it? :P
After a couple of years of suffering the local coffee emporiums grinder giving me inconsistent grinds, my desire to get a decent grind coincided nicely with a tax return sizeable enough to buy either of the above-mentioned grinders.
So, which should I buy, and why? I am looking at this as a long-term investment and whatever I buy will be the grinder Im buried with, so no suggestions of buying cheap and building up, please.. :)
My espresso machine is an admittedly fairly rubbish Nemox Cafe Junior, which I plan to replace in a few months once I have gotten to grips with grinding. I dont mind having a grinder thats far better than my espresso machine for the time being - as I said, this is an investment for the future.
Thanks for any suggestions.
Id go the Robur. Not sure why... but I think it counts as a suggestion anyway doesnt it? :P
Sure does! Im a bit frightened by the size of it, and if my girlfriend finds out how much it cost... well, Ill remind her how much we spent on our bed. :)Originally Posted by Sammus link=1218366695/0#1 date=1218367451
It does seem like the build quality is higher, and thats probably going to be the deciding factor, assuming that the grind quality of both units is essentially identical (or so close as to make no difference).
I will go a little each way
Both grinders are fantastic
My Category Rating - Robur (heavy industrial)
The Robur will I believe last a lifetime of many espresso machines
Unsurpassed grind quality but is very large and heavy (will it fit )
My Category Rating - Compak K10(light industrial)
The K10 has grind quality as good or equal to the Robur but is a little easier on the eye
and will also outlast many espresso machines
So in reality both are fantastic grinders and the only missing ingredient is your own user preference
Personally I would be happy with either of these grinders
If you look over in the review section, the review on the k10 mentions it catches a lot of ground coffee in the throat, which could be a problem for a domestic situation (admittedly this review is quite old and this issue could be solved by now) . Either way I suggest a call to Chris for Talk Coffee or Di Bartoli is in order (both are a great resource for any coffee related purchase).
Mmmm... I dont feel comfortable calling and asking advice from a vendor unless Im definitely going to be giving them money. I hate the idea of leeching advice from them without giving them something in return.
I was planning on chasing Chris up when the time comes to buy a new espresso machine though, so maybe its acceptable. :)
I had to decide between them both for my cafe and in the end I decided to go with the K10. A big part because its a whole lot cheaper whilst being able to do as good a job as the Robur.
The grind quality between both is about the same. IMHO a cafe doing more than 40kgs p/wk just through the one grinder will start to notice temp issues with the k10, but no so much with the robur, but for home use, both the same. The build quility of the robur is better than the k10, though still not perfect (for that, youll need to get an elektra nino). The chute on the k10 does collect more grams of coffee (+/-3.8g) but this is easily cleaned and even used if you find a thin plastic object to use to scoop the grind forward.
My pick, for home use is the k10, for the cafe, still k10 or for serious volume, elektra nino (that was the question wasnt it?) ;)
I have the K10 WBC and have no experience with the Robur.
Yes you do get grinds in the throat, so each time I make a coffee I put through about 8 gms of beans to push through the stale grinds first, and clean out. ( I am really fussy)
Then I put in the measured bean amount for a double shot.
Apart from this waste (I understand some wont be prepared to waste this amount) I love this grinder.
I previously owned a Macap M4 (great grinder too) but I find I have no clumping issues now and dont bother with the grind stiring technique.
If you pre weigh the beans and dump only enough for one shot into the hopper, The burrs will shift towards the end of the grind and the last 1/3 of grinds coming out will be coarser than the rest.
I sold my K10 to move back down to something smaller (new house)....BIG MISTAKE!
Within a week I realised the error of my ways and I have another now.
In a home, I dont think youd see a great deal of difference (if any) between a K10 and a Robur. Where the differences will be evident is in extreme high volume situations.
I think the finish of the K10 is brilliant and I added a K3 hopper to mine so I have grunt in a package only 100mm taller than a Mazzer mini....
Would I do it agai- befinitely!
Nevertheless, if you want and can justify a Robur, go for it....The view is terrific at the top ;)
We all can justify anything if we wanted to :D
Unfortunately my girlfriend shot me down in flames on the Robur, so it looks like Ill be having to make do with a Super Jolly for the time being.
What a fine example of a first world problem, having to suffer with only a Super Jolly.
Haha, yeah, even though the SJ is no conical burr, it sure aint no slouch - especially for the home.
Several months ago I had the same dilemma...K10 WBC or Robur.
I seriously thought about buying Chris K10.
Some of the factors that led me to purchase a Robur were:-
*reading about stale grounds caught in the delivery chute.
To me, if someone is going to shell out a fair dollop of cash in the pursuit of caffeine nirvana, the last thing that that someone would want would be to taste yesterdays caffeine nirvana.
*the K10 is from all readings that I made quite a fabulous machine but at the end of the day it is , simply not a Robur.
I didnt want to have doubts down the track and the thought that I should have invested the extra $$ to get the Robur.
*the Robur LOOKS the goods.
I have heard people describe their mobile phone as dead-sexy....they should see a Robur! (On this matter I really agree with Gavin1 when he said "We all can justify anything if we wanted to" ).
To me the Roburs cosmetic appearance is of a purely functional nature yet crafted beautifully to look streamlined and aesthetically pleasing. I really admire this.
For the first week or so of ownership (sad confession) I occasionally got out of bed and wandered to the kitchen and turned on the light to admire it....kinda like the guy on telly sitting on his outdoor dunnie, admiring his new roof!
*the Robur has a proven track record and has been a visible presence in cafes around the world for countless millions of coffees.
It is the one that all others are compared against.
*the cost of the Robur was not that much extra.
It is all relative...you talk about the cost of your bed....good point. Like you, I wanted a grinder that I would never feel the need to upgrade.
As it is I have set mine up so that I grind just what I need for the espresso that I am about to make.
I brush out the chute so that none remains there to get stale. This takes about 10 seconds each time.
Daily I vacuum the under the hopper (original removed and stored in a box), in the dosing chamber and in the bottom of the doser. I use a modified $15 dustbuster-type vacuum. This takes less than a minute.
Every fortnight I remove the top burr and clean its under section with a brush and the vacuum. I clean the threads that locate the top burr and lightly grease them again with foodgrade grease. A piece of cake. This takes around 5 minutes.
The bottom line is that the shots that I am pouring now are truly superb. I only need to make minute alterations to the grind setting every few days on average to get the excellent results that I crave. ( Before I had an ECM Best, which is a quality grinder similar to a Mazzer Mini....no slouch but simply in a different class.)
My partner laughed out loud when I first placed the Robur on the counter in place of the Best. She called her son in to have a look! We all laughed!
It truly is a beast of a grinder!
I can honestly say that I have not regretted buying my Robur for one instant and actually class it as one of the best things that I have ever bought.
It is a personal choice. Im sure that the K10 would be just great too.
Good luck with the decision-making!
Great post, Paolo. Makes me feel like running out and buying a Robur (almost ;D).
Squozen, if a Robur is out of reach, have you considered a Kony? I think theyre a similar (smaller AND cheaper) conical burr set-up to the Robur, rather than a flat burr SJ. Check out Talk Coffees CS only page.
Damn you, Paolo.
Damn you all to hell.
Now I want the Robur again. *:)
Greg, I was originally thinking of the Kony, but the Titan Grinder Project made me think, If a Kony is only a bit cheaper than a Robur, Ill always be wishing I had the Robur for the rest of my life, but I wont be able to justify the upgrade after spending $1500+ for a Kony.
My current thinking is that I should buy an ebay Super Jolly along with a Giotto, and then buy a Robur down the track and resell the SJ. Ill lose a few hundred dollars doing so, but I end up with a great combination...
...the only hurdle now is convincing my girlfriend, who doesnt drink coffee. She didnt understand why I needed the turbocharged car either...
Going fishing in the bay, eh? Take care, theirs been a bit of discussion on the "grey import" SJs here before. Great pricing, but with risk.Originally Posted by Squozen link=1218366695/0#16 date=1218510624
Ive been trying to decide between the K10 and the Robur too... I prefer the look of the Robur but the price of the K10.
And the Robur is big... That just makes it more impressive :-)
Yeah, Im not a fan of ebay but Im about $300 short of being able to afford one at full retail price, and theres no point buying a new machine without a grinder.Originally Posted by GregJW link=1218366695/0#17 date=1218512461
The other option is going back to what I was going to do originally (buy the grinder now and then wait a few months for a machine), and I dont think I can tolerate that after reading up on espresso machines of late.
Ill see if I can find those discussions...
Buying a good grinder first then a machine and not going near eBay for either is the best option.
Compak have certainly put a lot of effort into marketing and have made a lot of improvements and all, but, IMHO, if you have to have the best it is still the Robur. I am constantly in awe about how easy it is to walk up to a Robur and pull relatively good shots with it with absolutely no effort and very good shots with relatively little effort. The only two negative things that I have ever heard about the Robur have been that the dosing chamber is bad and that it heats up. The first point might be true of some of the older ones, but the recent dosing chambers seem to be quite good. As far as I know, some may have a little more left shoot than others - I used one that had a slight left shoot and another that dropped perfectly straight. The dosers could probably still use the tape mod. I would make two observations about the second point. First, it only applies in a high volume situation. Second, I simply do not believe that there is a better alternative - particularly given that the new Roburs have even more inbuilt cooling stuff and that the three phase is available.
There are a few innovations that the new Roburs have that give it a bit of an edge over the K10, particularly for home use. First, you can buy the doserless version now. I havent used it, but if it is anything like the mini E it should be pretty sweet - although I would prefer a portafilter activated version. Second, there is now an auger above the burr sets. This means that it ought to deliver a consistent grind from the top of the hopper to the bottom - great news for those of you that like to only add one shots worth of coffee at a time. MACAP have already copied this feature; its probably only a matter of time before Compak also jump on the bandwagon. Third, as mentioned above, the grinders now come with built-in fans. For home use, this really just jacks up the price without providing a real benefit.
I think that the Robur is also basically equal or superior to the Compak in pretty much every other way. The Compak doser is supposed to be better. I suppose that it might sweep cleaner in stock state. I think that its more or less a draw in terms of how cleanly they dose. The real thing that creates mess is dosing so that the mound goes above the rim of the basket, as coffee invariably bounces or slides off it. The Robur tray is huge enough to catch everything that bounces off, or you can use the grinder without the tray and have the doser hang directly over the knock box or just brush the mess off the bench. The Compak tray is tiny and is largely obscured by the portafilter itself. The practical upshot is that if you dose up and coffee bounces off the mound, it will end up either sitting on the side of the foot of the grinder or sitting on the bench next to the foot of the grinder. You cant move the doser above your knock tube because the foot sticks out and the tray sits in the foot. The Robur doser and fork are also higher up, which makes it all a bit more ergonomic. The Compak doser might give you slightly more visibility than the Robur doser, presuming that you operate both without lids, but I believe that at least some of the Compak K10s now come with the Diamond C logo in the exact right spot to obscure your view of what is going on. Its pretty amazing ... the Robur seems to hold almost nothing in the exit chute, whereas the K10 holds a fair bit. This might be worthwhile thinking about in terms of the cost difference between the two - if you lose 20% more coffee to the throat in the K10 compared with the Robur, how long does it take until the coffee that you have to purge and throw out eats up the cost difference between the two? (I dont know.) The Roburs have a pretty solid return spring on the doser; the K10 feels a bit weaker to me. I am scared that the K10 hopper will shatter if I drop it, whereas the Robur hopper appears tougher to me. The Roburs floating collar system makes sense to me; the K10s system intuitively looks a bit more wobbly to me. I also happen to think that the Robur looks awesome, whereas the K10 looks a bit plasticky. The Roburs have a long track record of reliability, whilst the K10s have a short track record of problems coming up and being promptly fixed by Compak.
Believe it or not, that was my genuine attempt to make a fair and unbiased comparison between the two. At best, the Compak might come out ahead in the doser, but I think that thats pushing it. All of this is not to say that the Compak is a bad grinder. I think that its pretty good, but the Robur is just plain better. The Compaks value proposition is that it is cheaper than the Robur. The real question is in working out how much more the Robur is worth to you than the K10. Frankly, I think that once youre up in this territory, youre probably reaching a point of diminishing returns. The biggest bang for your buck might be in spending some money on training with one of the barista champs or on sourcing absolutely mind-blowing coffee. That said, having a Robur on the bench is very satisfying.
Ian, I cant say that I share your enthusiasm for the Nino ... particularly given that stepped adjustment mechanism.
Im sure that its only a matter of time until a better grinder than the Robur comes along, but I simply dont think that were there yet, particularly with the new crop of Roburs.
Hope that helps,
If the price difference between the two is $600 and you pay $40/kg for beans then you need to waste 15kg of coffee.Originally Posted by luca link=1218366695/20#21 date=1218637035
If the K10 wastes an extra 5g? per shot then you need to make 3,000 coffees before you break even.
Assuming 8 coffees a day then it would take just 1 year to make the Robur worth it *;)
(Yes I know you can get coffee for less than $40/kg but then it takes longer to make the Robur pay off *::) )
Well, my decision was made. Ive bought an ebay SJ (I know, I know), and Ill be buying a machine from Chris at TalkCoffee this weekend. If the SJ proves to be inadequate Ill upgrade to a Robur next year and return the SJ to the fetid pit that is ebay. :)
Thanks to all for the suggestions, and Im sure youll see more stupid posts from me in the future.
Dont forget to offer it up for sale here first "Squozen", many a CSer dreams of upgrading from their current EMO480 or similar to something more substantial... "quid pro quo" for all the helpful advice youve received, ;)Originally Posted by Squozen link=1218366695/20#23 date=1218675973
The auger makes no difference. When I run the robur out of coffee, the last pour is always significantly faster.Originally Posted by luca link=1218366695/20#21 date=1218637035
I agree about the return spring, but the hopper is quote hardy. Ive dropped mine at work heaps of times. No problems there. We have a spare compak hopper at work. Lets drop it and see what happens. Nothing, would be my guess!The Roburs have a pretty solid return spring on the doser; the K10 feels a bit weaker to me. I am scared that the K10 hopper will shatter if I drop it, whereas the Robur hopper appears tougher to me.
Looks aside, the 2nd generation of K10s now have a floating collar.The Roburs floating collar system makes sense to me; the K10s system intuitively looks a bit more wobbly to me. I also happen to think that the Robur looks awesome, whereas the K10 looks a bit plasticky.
Do you think Mazzer got everything right on their first gen grinders? One thing you can credit Compak with over Mazzer is listening to customers. That and they have rocking customer service. phone them up in Spain and theyll bend over backwards to help you.The Roburs have a long track record of reliability, whilst the K10s have a short track record of problems coming up and being promptly fixed by Compak.
Ross from Elektra actually left the Nino at Venez for a while and asked me to use it so I could provide some feedback.Ian, I cant say that I share your enthusiasm for the Nino ... particularly given that stepped adjustment mechanism.
1) I asked for stepless adjustment
2) I asked for a LM pf holder retrofit
Guess what. 1 month later, Ross had a brand new grinder from Elektra with those exact changes.
Yeah, its really great to see when big companies listen to those on the front lines. Ross was telling me that all new Ninos will be stepless.
whats the damage on the nino?
about 3.5k? Dont quote me...plus its a really heavy bugger...oven heavier than the robur....and carrying it hurts your hands because it has rolled edges at the bottom.
Can I throw a B.N.Z conical into the fray? Ive seen some good results with these also. No real experience with them though.
Not 100% sure its in the same category though.
Well, if nothing else the BNZs are definitely in the same price category Dan.
From what Ive heard, drop dead centre, stepped :o, and seriously chunky piece of bench hardware.
There are so many mods floating around with the BNZs and theyre definately worth a look at.
Last I checked the rrp of the nino was $3300 but a quick google will knock a couple of houndred dollars off that (non site sponsor).
The BNZ conical was David Makins grinder of choice for the World Championships. One grinder he had modified to be stepless, the other was stepped and it was fine. I had modified his grinders to be timed as well just in time for the World Championships.
Serious grinder and the best thing about it is the dosing.
Gday Squozen - I suspect that you will enjoy the SJ. Have a look at the full Titan Grinder Challenge on Homebarista - interesting reading when the SJ is pitted against the Robur and Major.
As Mal says if you still feel its inadequate please stick the SJ up for same here fist.
Just a thought...
If thinking about a super jolly ,What about a Macap electronic - I changed my Mazzer mini for one and am delighted with it
Anyone had any experience with the Versalab M3? I know its like 1/3 of the price, but in theory it should do really well.
I know, I know, it didnt go great in the titan grinder project followup (Can it beat the robur?), but they also said the rocky is better than a robur when underdosing - not sure how that came about, and I cant bring myself to believe it.
Regardless of the Titan Grinder project (which has its holes IMHO), Id probably chose a Robur over anything else most days of the year.
So is that from experience Yeeza or just the rep (probably justified) the Robur has. Personally I would love to try them all side by side, not gonna happen in the near future tho.Originally Posted by YeeZa link=1218366695/20#36 date=1219289248
I think the main thing about the titan project that produced such suprising results was the method used. They went to every length to produce the "best" cup off coffee from each grinder, aiming to remove or control as many variables as possible. So many steps were put into action for every grinder including sifting the grinds to remove any clumps and reduce fines.
In a cafe this whole project has absolutely no relevance. And even for home use, I doubt youd find too many home baristas who go to these lengths on every shot they pull. Side by side a robur would kill a rocky if you just dosed, tamped and pulled a shot. Though (according to the tital project), if you put in these extra steps ((like sifting grind particals) then the rocky may, just may beat a robur.
Sure, if you feel like doing 45 seconds worth of work just to prep every shot (and using around 8 different tools) then maybe a SJ will suit you. If instead, you have the extra cash and prefer to just dose and tamp (taking around 8-10 seconds to prepare your shots), then something like a robur or k10 will dominate everytime.
10 second shot prep...wow you must be fast in competition ;) Thats twice as fast as I go....I had a laughOriginally Posted by psaigh link=1218366695/20#38 date=1219291690
Mostly street cred; I have played with one (Robur) and taken it partially apart - its just built so well. I guess build quality is massive in my mind. And the grind quality has a record that speaks for itself... but the BNZs (especially modded) catch my eye also. I jsut want them all.... with no real need to. :-/Originally Posted by Martial Monkey link=1218366695/20#37 date=1219291314
Originally Posted by Wushoes - David S link=1218366695/20#39 date=1219292318
The secret is to go with pre-gound, or even instant if time is really pressed, hehe.
And I personally have used the k10 lined up against a robur (single phase) pulling shots through a synesos sabre. Shot for shot, i prefer the flavour of the k10. A lot more consistant pours, both during the pour and shot after shot. Granted were really just splitting hairs here. And the robur will outlast a k10 (would hate to think what would happen to a k10 if you dropped it, but i reckon the robur would bounce at least once or twice ;))
Is there evidence of that?Originally Posted by psaigh link=1218366695/40#41 date=1219570518
Wouldnt like to drop either really, and dont think theres much chance of them sliding off the bench.Originally Posted by psaigh link=1218366695/40#41 date=1219570518
Having dropped a few grinders in my time - in the course of running exhibitions, events and coffee carts etc: I can say quite categorically that neither Mazzer or Compak (or any other brand of grinder for that matter) survive unscathed.
So its pretty useless point of comparison if thats what your buying point consideration is between the two.
Because I am near buying a Electra Nino,I ask if youhave any experience of this.Originally Posted by psaigh link=1218366695/0#7 date=1218490775
I also found this video in youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu59wyEvSvQ
I have a offer of €1680.00 including postage.
I believe that Elektra grinders are made by Macap
And I dont have a problem with Macap build quality
Just had a look at the video and a few reviews
Yes I would own one
For mine, their stuff is massively overpriced and underdone in specification...
3.3k in Australia for a grinder which is matched in spec. by the K10 diamond at half the price....
Their machines puzzle me as well. Why would you build a 2 litre boiler and then only have 800W of element....Bizarre IMHO...:-?
OOOps my bad itsEuros not AU dollars€1680.00 including postage.
K10 or Elektra’s Macap equivalent in your area of the globe would be a more prudent choice
Eh,I have read this post by Mark Prince, which is, I think, usefull to see someone, the specs of the Nino grinder.
Elektra should be commended for its design & grinding innovations
All grounds expelled by exposed chute and motor cooled by fan @ 500rpm
But like a lot of Elektra products you pay for the finish a lot of that is probably due to a many hours of hand polishing to produce that ultra shine surface
So the question is do you want a grinder that grinds well
Or a grinder that grinds well and pay the extra Euros for its style and looks