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Thread: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

  1. #1
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    Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Thanks to all who have given advice for my planned new cafe in Phuket. I have pretty much settled on the LM Linea semi auto unless I can get the importer to get the paddle version for me.

    The same dealer recommends the Ditting KE 640 as the accompanying grinder. I have done some research and found that this is the same as the MAHLKÖNIG K30. There is no dealer for Mazzer in Thailand and to get for example a Major E or Robur E (which were probably going to be my grinders of choice) I would have to import which could be too expensive with Thai customs duty and perhaps leave me without service & maintenance options here.

    Seems hard to finds much information about the Ditting/MAHLKÖNIG, *so I am wondering if any CS members have used this grinder. Retail price here is a tad over $3000, so I guess similar to Robur E.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Hi Dannyh,

    I have a Mahlkonig K30. I bought it 2nd hand some months ago for less than $1k (a bargain for a 2 year old grinder). I installed new burrs which cost approx $150 from a supplier in Sydney, but it didnt really need them. It is my favourite grinder. Although it is very large (with a 3kg hopper that I dont use), very heavy, and very fast (a double shot in approx 5 secs). I usually have no static or clumping issues. I use it at work as my main grinder, and use Rocky for decaf. As you can see from my sig I have some other grinders as well. What would you like to know specifically?

    Rose

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    its also reeeeelly quiet

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Quote Originally Posted by 55554455595A53360 link=1260103438/1#1 date=1260516913
    Hi Dannyh,

    I have a Mahlkonig K30. *I bought it 2nd hand some months ago for less than $1k (a bargain for a 2 year old grinder). *I installed new burrs which cost approx $150 from a supplier in Sydney, but it didnt really need them. *It is my favourite grinder. *Although it is very large (with a 3kg hopper that I dont use), very heavy, and very fast (a double shot in approx 5 secs). *I usually have no static or clumping issues. *I use it at work as my main grinder, and use Rocky for decaf. *As you can see from my sig I have some other grinders as well. *What would you like to know specifically?

    Rose
    Hi Rose

    I want a high quality grinder for a new cafe in Phuket. I am looking at getting a La Marzocco Linea and grinder to match. I kind of narrowed it down to the K30 or the Mazzer Robur E. I don’t think I can get the Compak K10 or Electra Nino here. The accurate dosing of the K30 is what appeals to me. From what I have read it is very accurate so time will be saved in ensuring consistent dosing and also less wasted grounds. What I am unsure of is the quality of the ground coffee as compared to the big conicals. I have read a lot about conicals v flat blade grinders and it seems that many consider the large conicals superior in quality. Have you had a chance to compare the K30 in this respect with a Mazzer Robur or other large conical?

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Have been watching this and your other topic with interest.

    Youve asked for opinion from the floor. Afraid mine differs from others. Who is "correct"?

    Apparently you are starting a cafe in a far away outpost from point of view of espresso culture. Ie where there are none of the regular services you would expect that will be able to back up your venture with good service.

    For that reason, why are you going to get into a very complicated piece of machinery like the LM? Why not go for a good, simply designed, tried and proven, conventional heat exhanger machine of good name. My opinion only, but simplicity and long term reliability are the key that goes hand in hand with a good operator and his coffee.

    If LM happens to be the only brand available with service back up close to you, then that is the choice, otherwise are you getting into hot water?

    You seem to have been influenced by the conical vs flat burr debate and what is "better".

    The only person who knows which might be "better", is the person offering you their opinion and that includes yourself. If you think one is "better" than the other, go for it.

    Bet ya 10 bucks your clients wont be able to tell the difference between one and the other once it gets to them in the cup. Blind tasting / opinion / reality / variability in coffee from cup to cup / and the list goes on. These are all variables that affect the end product. Only one of them is the type of burrs used.

    As mentioned above, my opinion is you need to look at simplicity, reliability and quality (of the equipment) first, given the area you are opening in. WRT the grinder it doesnt matter what type of burrs you get as long as the entire unit is a good one (same as for machine).

    The brands you have mentioned are all top brands. I bet no one here can answer the question about whether one is "better" than another. You need to talk to the vendors that sell them because they can tell you about reliability and longevity in service.

    The quality of the grinds (from conical or flat), is actually not really in question except in the internet-o-sphere. You can only venture your own opinion after doing a blind tasting from expertly / exactly replicated coffees. Who can do that?

    Above you are also comparing grinders that operate in different ways. Instead of worrying about the burrs on all these good name model grinders, what type of functionality do you want or require?





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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D4C47405A6364290 link=1260103438/4#4 date=1260570345
    Youve asked for opinion from the floor. Afraid mine differs from others. Who is "correct"?
    I dont know if any one is "correct", opinions are opinions and I am happy to hear them all and I appreciate the fact that yours differs.

    For that reason, why are you going to get into a very complicated piece of machinery like the LM?
    This is the first time I have heard this, so perhaps you can explain what you mean ie is it more complicated to operate? I perhaps naively assume that this higher end machine would have long term reliability.


    If LM happens to be the only brand available with service back up close to you, then that is the choice, otherwise are you getting into hot water?

    It is not the only brand but the range is certainly limited in Phuket. What do you mean "getting into hot water"?

    You seem to have been influenced by the conical vs flat burr debate and what is "better".

    I am influenced by many things I read on this and other sites as I try to learn from those with far more knowledge than me. And yes I admit i have a tendancy to want "the best" :)

    Bet ya 10 bucks your clients wont be able to tell the difference between one and the other once it gets to them in the cup.

    I agree, they wont.

    You need to talk to the vendors that sell them because they can tell you about reliability and longevity in service.

    I am travelling to Bangkok next week to meet the vendors and have a long list of questions including the ones you mention above.

    Instead of worrying about the burrs on all these good name model grinders, what type of functionality do you want or require?
    In terms of functionality I was certainly interested in a grinder with *accurate auto dosing as seems to be the case with the K30.

    I do appreciate your different views on this topic and I am still weighing up my options as the venture is still a few months away from beginning. I am looking forward to meeting vendors in Bangkok next week so that I can learn more about the equipment available here and whether any of them can be serviced in Phuket which is a one hour flight from Bangkok.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    I think you need to research the RRP of a K30ES outside thailand. Theyre almost universally closer to $1000 (often lower) than $3000. Sounds like youre being suckered.

    You can look at: Electra Nina, Macap M7K/MX(K), Compaq K10 WBC, Robur-D, Robur-E, Kony-D, Kony-E, BNZ MD-74, Fiorenzato Doge Conico - if you prefer a flat burr grinder, try the Mazzer Major or Fiorenato Doge 85. If you can pick the K30ES up for ~$700, its worth it, but dont expect to want to keep the dose the same throughout the day - your dose should vary with changes in ambient temperature in humidity (and with bean age), so it isnt a set and forget thing. You also need to be careful with dose repeatability - even the Mazzer Robur-E can start dosing more and more coffee into the basket with each identical dose. I cant see why a Super Jolly wouldnt be an equivalent alternative to the 700ES, and globally available.

    cheers,

    John

    PS. why not give us a list of available kit for you so we can give feedback? we only have part of the picture.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Quote Originally Posted by 163B3A312B362B265F0 link=1260103438/6#6 date=1260631500
    why not give us a list of available kit for you so we can give feedback? we only have part of the picture. *
    Thanks for the tips, I did so with the espresso machines and there was in the most a thumbs up for the LM Linea, but have found quality grinders a bit harder to find....so hard to find the vendors here and I have stumbled on a few in the past couple of weeks. Makes me realise how spoilt for choice CSs are in Australia. I am off to Bangkok next week to meet some. I have just found agents for Mazzer and Elektra. The quote on the Robur is over 3000..I think same as down under. The K30 I can get for *about 2700. I will meet the folks in Bkk next week and report back :)

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Some good points overall from coffeehorse but if the "electra" grinders mentioned a couple times in this thread are eleKtra they are only ever rebadged machines made by someone else and you pay a sizeable premium for the elektra badge.

    Also very good points about the variability in dosing of the "auto dosing" models. Not that any of them were mentioned here but some other "down market" auto dosing grinders are nightmares in the mechanical / service sense. I prefer a normal function high quality cafe grinder with which there are seldom problems and about the only thing you ever do is change burrs when required and get literally years and years of service out of them - simplicity is the key.

    The two areas to be anal about with a normal function cafe grinder is to threaten your basistas with death if they do the following:
    a) Hit the top of the dosing chamber with the pordafilda (many do and crack and break the perspex) and
    b) Pulling the dosing lever hard & fast and letting go without support. This eventually breaks off the lever. All they need to is change their technique slightly to support movement of the lever.

    These are bad techniques that damage equipment and it always breaks at the most inconvenient / busiest time and if you have no service support close by you are on your own which I believe is the underlying concern for your venture. *

    For the rest of it do remember you are asking for support for your commercial venture, in a predominantly retail end user coffee and equipment blog (no offence intended to anyone by the way). *The information you receive is written up by many that read a lot but dont have the commercial experience, and your location adds a further complication.

    Quite a few italian equipmnt manufacturers have SE ASIA representatives and export arrangements in place. It will probably be easier for you to email some esp machine manufacturers in Italy and ask them to get their Asia Pacific reps to contact you, than for you to look around from here or from Phuket. They can tell you who and where their Asian importers are, and from there you can work your way forward to Phuket.

    The info you get that way will be better than trying to start from here and working back the other way with brand names and models that may not be available over there.

    Hope this helps.

    And I will repeat, if Phuket is "remote" in an espresso culture & equipment sense, *I would be looking for good simple equipment and that includes a good name non electronically controlled (ie simple toggle switches and a basic auto fill box not the full kit electronic CPU & touch pads) semi automatic heat exchanger machine. The KISS principle...it rarely fails.

    *

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    You havent indicated the kilos per week you think you might go through (although its a new venture - who knows), and whether it will be a 5 or 7 day cycle.

    Something else to think about is whether you might experience peak busy periods that could put the grinder under a fair amount of stress. Smaller grinders can over-heat (thermal overload) in busy periods, especially if the ambient temperature is high, or there is poor airflow/ventilation around the grinder, or blades/burrs need changing.

    If your spending so much money on a LM, you can well afford a couple of grinders to pair with it.

    If you went with Mazzers, you might be surprised how much workload a Major can get through as your main grinder. Ive seen them in cafes doing 60kg a week run for years. You can then buy a Super Jolly as backup or for use with an alternate blend and then a small doser-less grinder for de-caffe.

    Similarly, for Compaks a K10, K6 and K3 combination will work just about as well.

    The reason you absolutely need a good mid-size grinder as backup is because you might get "rocks" or other foreign matter in your beans that will stop any grinder in its tracks........or cause some temporary outages/damage. Not all roasters use de-stoners, or have their de-stoners setup/operating properly.

    Order at least 2 sets of blades/burrs for each grinder when you buy them - blades are cheap.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    I saw a k30 for the first time today. All I can say is they are quiet.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Quote Originally Posted by 2A2A2A7B490 link=1260103438/9#9 date=1260706800
    You havent indicated the kilos per week you think you might go through (although its a new venture - who knows), and whether it will be a 5 or 7 day cycle. *
    Yeh I wish I knew how many kgs per week! I imagine we will be open 7 days. The business is still on the drawing board. I think because there is no decent coffee in Phuket and the fact that many expats and tourists are (in the area we plan to open) makes it promising. But I am under no illusions that it will take time and dedication to make this work. I guess that I do need to buy equipment in anticipation of becoming busy.

    I understand that I will need a workhorse main grinder and appreciate the issue re overworking and therefore overheating the grinder/s.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Hi Danny,

    I used a Mahlkoenig K30 for a little at work a few years ago. We had the stepped version and we found that it didnt allow for as fine an adjustment as we would like. Extractions seemed to run longer on the Robur, too. The K30 became the decaf grinder at the First Pour in Melbourne and it still does that admirably to this day! There is a stepless version of the K30 now available, called the K30 Vario. If you want a K30, that would be the one to go for.

    An option that no-one has yet suggested is the La Marzocco grinders. La Marzocco has a line of grinders that seem to be rebadged Conti Valerio grinders. The grinders by this manufacturer that I have seen have been nice little units that were fairly quiet, had really fine stepless adjustment and dosing chambers that swept quite clean. The MDL CON and MD80 have conical burr sets. I would expect these to be quite nice grinders. You might want to see if the dudes selling you your linea can get one of these for you. It might be advantageous to have everything supplied by the one company.

    One thing that you will have to work out for yourself is how to balance the doserless features of the K30 against what is probably a slightly better extraction from the conical grinders. On the one hand, it might be easier to get your staff to use the K30. On the other hand, if your staff rely on the K30 timers, you probably arent going to get great espresso out of it. Similarly, the conicals might allow you to get a better shot with a fair bit of work, but they could also result in a lot of wasteage and more inconsistency if your staff arent up to the challenge. Personally, after having used commercial conical grinders I would be loathe to use a flat burr grinder in a cafe, but James Hoffmanns victory in the 2007 WBC with two K30 Varios shows that even if these grinders arent as good as others, they are capable of producing great espresso if all of the other factors are there - including, critically, good roasted coffee. If you stay in the cafe game for long, you will probably find that you rack up a whole bunch of different grinders, so to some extent you can take comfort that if the grinder that you settle in doesnt turn out to be all that you hoped it would be, you can always relegate it to decaf down the track!

    Cheers, hope that helps,
    Luca

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Quote Originally Posted by 1B3A31362C15125F0 link=1260103438/8#8 date=1260653324
    Some good points overall from coffeehorse but if the "electra" grinders mentioned a couple times in this thread are eleKtra they are only ever rebadged machines made by someone else and you pay a sizeable premium for the elektra badge.
    This is the case for the domestic models, which are based on the Anfim Best. However the Elektra Nino being discussed is I believe a proprietary Elektra design.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Thanks for all the tips...much appreciated. I just spent two days in Bangkok and Pattaya looking at coffee machines grinders, one roaster and various beans. I will post separately about the commercial machines and other matters of interest. It has been very interesting and a lot of fun checking out all of the equipment online and in real life. I am the first to admit that I am influenced by online opinions and also by the "sexy aspect" . In the end though I do remind myself this is a commercial venture and that I need to weigh up quality, functionality, cost and value for money and make sensible decisions about all of the equipment. I started off feeling like I had to have an LM and a Mazzer Robur E and now my views have been modified.


    After looking around I felt that the best value grinder was probably the Compak WBC which was priced at about $1600 (AUD) about half the price of a Mazzer Robur E. I accept the view that mine and other palates here in Phuket may not appreciate the difference in the cup for conical v flat burr grinders I am still influenced by the view that if the cafe gets busy that a conical is better equipped to cope with high volume. I also agree that regardless of whether or not there is electronic dosing the user must develop repeatable consistent dosing skills. Initially that will be me and hopefully someone keen who I can train. The Compak WBC was not much more than the larger flat burr grinders available and definitely the cheapest amongst the conicals available here.

    I also looked at the Vario which was priced at about $2600, The La Cimbali Max (same price as the Compac), Eureka flat burr and conical grinders. I visited a café in Pattaya (see separate review) and the owner Narong was using a Robur and a Compac. He slightly preferred the Compak.

    I am still considering the options but it seems like the Compak will be a good buy and serve me well if the café becomes busy. I am still considering w backup/decaf/other blend grinder. Possible candidates include La Cimbali junior, Compak K3 or K6, one of the Eureka grinders or Mazzzer SJ.

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    Re: Ditting KE 640 - MAHLKÖNIG K30

    Well done.



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