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Compak K10 Doserless

Postby AndyinTexas on Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:18 pm

I have been waiting for the new Compak K10 Doserless for a long time (see Compak K10 compared to Mahlkonig K30 Vario), and now it's out.

I have heard very good things about this from a number of sources, but nothing is perfect. I have heard that there have been some soft clumping issues and a slightly messy dispersal into the portafilter basket that have resulted in minor variances in the grams dosed using the timer. Still, I do not know if this is signficant given the benefits of a large doserless conical at this price point.

Early adopters: please give us your take.
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Postby Dodger1 on Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:47 am

1x and I'd like to know why this model is $430 more than the K10 WBC?
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Postby shadowfax on Mon Jan 04, 2010 1:21 pm

Dodger1 wrote:I'd like to know why this model is $430 more than the K10 WBC?

Additional R&D & a digital timer, I would assume. I'd consider them the angels of the titan doserless grinder arena at that price. The Robur E demands a >$1000 premium over its dosered counterpart, and all the other electronic Mazzers except the Mini-E have similarly huge premiums. It sounds like they're jumping in at a bit less than the price point of the Elektra Nino/Mahlkönig K30, and that seems 'fair enough' considering.

I got to see one in action at a local café that got one a few weeks ago. I was struck by how much slower it is than a Robur or a Nino, but I don't know if its any slower than its WBC Dosered counterpart. It was also clumpy, but I was literally looking at the grinder on day 1; I don't think it had seen much if any action yet. I've read before that the Robur E sometimes needs to see a good bit of coffee through its burrs before it stops being clumpy, probably depending on your burrs. This may be the case with the K10 DL as well, and would explain spotty reports of clumpiness.

In any case, my initial take is that it looks like another doser grinder with a spout where the doser used to be. I'm assuming you're looking at ~30 grams of ground coffee retention in the chamber/chute if you operate it with a full hopper, and I'd love to see some stripped-down pictures of one or do so myself to confirm or refute this--I'm hesitant to believe anybody's claims unsubstantiated by visual evidence or trustworthy test data, and I've already heard some funny low-ball numbers from excited baristas.
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Postby another_jim on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:16 pm

I'm sorry to hear the Compak is another conversion. I hope the marketplace ends up making the Nino and Mahlkoenig, which are designed ground up to be doserless, a success, and sends all these elephant and aardvark grinders to oblivion.
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Postby shadowfax on Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:47 pm

another_jim wrote:I'm sorry to hear the Compak is another conversion.

Just to clarify my own comment, I don't have enough experience with the grinder to substantiate my impression; I have seen the grinder in person, but I haven't seen it taken apart. In other words, my guess is based mainly on experiences with similar grinders (Robur, Nino, M7KR) and the photos I have seen. Here's a couple of good ones I found via Flickr via Google Search:

Image
Looks like a prettied up version of John Weiss' Super Jolly elbow chute. (Flickr link)

Image
This is what makes me think it's gonna hold a bunch of coffee: same huge chamber as the Robur/K10 WBC/M7KR. (Flickr link)

Anyway, that's the evidence I've used to make my guess. Again, I am looking forward to seeing someone pull it apare a little more to see how it really works. In particularly, I want to know what they used to control static. If they use a mechanism that backs the chamber up like the Nino/Robur E, then it's really going to hold a lot of coffee (like the Robur E does, and the Nino would if they hadn't drastically shrunk the chamber). If they have a method that's less of an obstruction than a screen or a metal flap, it might be a lot more reasonable on held-up coffee. I'm pessimistic, but we should find out soon...
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Postby JmanEspresso on Mon Jan 04, 2010 6:26 pm

I was so excited for this grinder to come out. I was up at Chris' in July, and was considering walking out with a K10.. And Mary told me there was a doserless/timed model coming out soon.

So Im going to stay optimistic. I hope.
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Postby John P on Mon Feb 01, 2010 8:42 pm

I purchased a Compak K10 Doserless from Chriscoffee, and after arriving exactly when they said it would, I opened the box that housed the beast.

... sorry no original pics today, w/o camera.

Upgrading our grinder has been a long time coming. After five years with the Super Jolly (we got that from Chris as well), I had been looking to upgrade. When I saw that the Compak K10 was readily available as a doserless model, I couldn't resist.

In comparison to other massive conicals, it IS slower, but we are not a high volume shop, and if you can't wait the additional 3 seconds for great espresso...
But in terms of taste it has been eye opening. Clarity where I didn't expect it, a true revelation of the beauty within the bean.

We've barely been using it for a week so I can't yet intuitively adjust it as easily as the MSJ. The timer, good to one-hundredth of a second helps to deliver flawless shots time after time. No issues with clumping. We do occasionally get a few soft clumps which seem to have no effect on the the espresso. The thing that impresses me (other than the taste of the shots) is that I'm getting "perfect" bottomless shots without any additional distribution... just a settling of the grounds, three or four taps of the portafilter, tamp, polish, and go.

Thanks to Chris and his staff for once again offering great equipment at a kick @ss price!

Moderator note: merged thread with existing thread on the same topic.
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Postby zin1953 on Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:09 pm

Glad to read a report on it. I have two questions, however:

1) It seems like an odd place for the timer. You can't exactly see it easily if it is indeed near the bottom of the machine's left side. How easy is to to see, and to adjust?

2) How long does it actually take to grind a double?

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Postby John P on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:31 pm

Timer is fine where it's at. No need to see it while you are grinding, and it's easy to set.

Depending on dose, grind, coffee used, and a few other factors, 7-11 seconds for a double. We had one blend at 11.3 seconds for 22 grams and another now at 8.55 for 18.5-19 grams. I also imagine that if you are doing 14 or 15 g doubles, it would take less than 7 seconds. Of course if you are grinding finer, it takes longer to fill the basket.. so it's a bit of give and take there. Having only run two different blends through it thus far, it's really hard to say where the exact timing will fall in the long run. In comparison to the Robur, which is at 500 rpm, it's a bit slower. Although at 300 rpm it's VERY quiet and smooth. And to be honest, I never got the "I have to grind my espresso in 4.5 seconds or I will die". It certainly beats the hell out of the 22 seconds or so it takes me to test shots on my Mazzer mini.

The timer only has one setting, so no double and single shot settings simultaneously. But if you're needing to use a single basket you can easily start and stop the grinder using the button above the spout (much easier than using the on/off rocker switch) and touch the timer to reset to original time when done.
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Postby shadowfax on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:01 pm

Just as a secondhand followup on this grinder from the perspective of my friend/local café owner Max, I visited him last week on a coffee crawl and he mentioned that he'd taken out this rubber flap that was ostensibly there to declump and tidy the grinder's dosing, and found that it subsequently became far less clumpy and messy from static. He showed how it's dosing without this rubber flap, and indeed I was more impressed with how the coffee fell into the portafilter. Max says he's really happy with it now, whereas before he'd been rather annoyed by its dosing.

I'm curious if you've had any issues like that, John, or if you do take the flap off, whether that helps or hurts the grinder's dosing performance.

For reference, maybe someone can post a picture of this flap? It's nothing revolutionary, it looks about like the one on my Nino, except made of rubber:

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Flap is on the lower right; The Compak's is similar but made of rubber and of course thicker (Flickr link).
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