Is Mahlkonig EK43 worth it for home use?

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.
Capac

Postby Capac » Dec 05, 2018, 6:23 pm

Hey,

I've been using LIDO ET for the last couple of months, and (apart from the threading on the plastic jar wearing down so it doesn't stay in place anymore) I'm pretty happy with it.

I'm making pour over a couple of times a day, not very large doses so I'd obviously want to single dose.

i was thinking about going electric and while doing so, upping my game a bit.

I looked at some commercial grinders and EK43 comes to mind - but it's a bit pricey.

Is it worth it or should I look for something like a refurbished guatemala?

Thanks.

mivanitsky

Postby mivanitsky » Dec 05, 2018, 6:38 pm

Mahlkonig Tanzania is excellent, and $1000 less expensive.

Capac

Postby Capac » Dec 05, 2018, 6:39 pm

In Europe, it's still pretty expensive, only a couple hundred less than EK.

CwD

Postby CwD » Dec 05, 2018, 6:39 pm

Easily worth it IMO. You can get pretty close with a Bunnzilla for a lot cheaper, but having used them side by side, the EK's still significantly better. I find my EG with tungsten burrs is about as substantially better than the Bunnz as the EK was, but I've never gotten to try it and an EK side by side, unfortunately. But that's more expensive than an EK anyway so it'd be a touch silly for just brew.

Bunnz is ~600 all in, and a bigger upgrade over the Lido than the EK is over a well done Bunnz. So it's a question of if the EK is worth the extra to you. IMO it is, but it's going to depend on how much you care about getting things as close to perfect as possible.

Edit: Oh, Europe. In that case substitute "Bunnz" for "Used Ditting 804" and raise that $600 to whatever. If it's Europe than even more likely EK's your best option.

Capac

Postby Capac » Dec 05, 2018, 6:46 pm

Some grinders are pretty hard to find (in good shape at least) here.

Refurbished guatemala is like 1300eur, tanzania around 1800 and ek around 2300eur. I'm sure tanzania is a great grinder, but for the price, it just doesn't make much sense in my case.

animus128

Postby animus128 » Dec 05, 2018, 7:33 pm

Used Mahlkönig grinders can be bought for relatively cheap in Europe (at least that is the situation in Germany). I got my Tanzania in pristine condition (and in stylish red color) for 750€. Especially Guatemala grinders are often sold via ebay for 300€-600€ depending on condition.

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russel

Postby russel » Dec 05, 2018, 9:46 pm

Capac wrote:I'm making pour over a couple of times a day...

I looked at some commercial grinders and EK43 comes to mind - but it's a bit pricey.

Is it worth it...?


The answer to this question is "no". If you're making coffee with primary goal of drinking a cup of coffee, then spending anywhere near the 2700USD price of an EK is not a good value...you're spending most of your money on "quality in the cup" that you're not going to get when making coffee in such a casual way. The EK is an excellent tool, but it's only better than other tools if you're using in a way in which the difference matters.

For home coffee makers, the EK is solidly in the realm of "if you have to ask if it's a good value...it's not a good value for you".
russel at anacidicandbitterbeverage dot com

CwD

Postby CwD » Dec 05, 2018, 11:03 pm

russel wrote:you're spending most of your money on "quality in the cup" that you're not going to get when making coffee in such a casual way.


Aaaaaaand what exactly indicates that the OP is brewing casually? Low volume doesn't indicate low attention paid to each cup's quality or wanting anything but the best for those one or two cups. For that matter there's ways to tweak more quality from your brew (Melodrip or other time intensive methods, custom water for each and every coffee, etc) that would be completely non-viable for anywhere with any kind of volume. Is this just more of the Home-Barista dismissive attitude toward brewing where only quality espresso is a worthwhile goal?

If you do actually care about quality, then there's nothing that matches the EK for less money than the EK. Not like it stands alone as the best grinder, there's grinders that can go toe to toe like R120s or Kafatek Maxs (and I do believe the tungsten 80mm matches up as well), but you're paying substantially more than you would for an EK with those. Personally, I care about brew quality as much if not more than espresso, and I wouldn't be ok with knowing there's something better I could get but don't have as anything but a temporary measure as I work toward the best.

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russel

Postby russel » Dec 06, 2018, 3:12 am

CwD wrote:Is this just more of the Home-Barista dismissive attitude toward brewing where only quality espresso is a worthwhile goal?
...
Personally, I care about brew quality as much if not more than espresso, and I wouldn't be ok with knowing there's something better I could get but don't have as anything but a temporary measure as I work toward the best.


It's funny how one can share some rather unpopular view points with someone and at the same time disagree with other aspects of their perspective in ways that just can't be reconciled. I too am unsatisfied with what feels like a home barista preoccupation with espresso that leads to an underinvestment/underappreciation of brewing. I often find the rather detached process of high pressure extraction to be notably less engaging than encountering beans through brewing, or maybe it that it can feel somewhat artificial or contrived at times. Espresso is weird, and although filled with a delightful transformative sparkle, I'm not convinced of it's honesty. I think maybe we share some of these viewpoints, even though they are unpopular in home enthusiast communities. However, we are divided by our very different relationships with the notions of "quality" and "perfection". After a decade of professional experience I find that I don't value these things in the same way you have stated you do...which is fine for both of us...or at least for me.

I would be very interested to know how the OP would characterize their relationship with coffee making and what it is they want to get out of it. These are the things that will determine the "value" that various bits of equipment have to offer.
russel at anacidicandbitterbeverage dot com

jpsm

Postby jpsm » Dec 06, 2018, 3:55 am

Capac wrote:Hey,

I've been using LIDO ET for the last couple of months, and (apart from the threading on the plastic jar wearing down so it doesn't stay in place anymore) I'm pretty happy with it.

I'm making pour over a couple of times a day, not very large doses so I'd obviously want to single dose.

i was thinking about going electric and while doing so, upping my game a bit.

I looked at some commercial grinders and EK43 comes to mind - but it's a bit pricey.

Is it worth it or should I look for something like a refurbished guatemala?

Thanks.


The whole worth it thing is really subjective. If I had enough money right now, I would get the ek43 also. In my area(philippines) Mark up on mahlkonig grinders are crazy high so it was out of the question(paying above srp/retail is something I cannot accept). Definitely the ek43 is pricey but I think you will be happy with it! and of course if you have no priorities atm(like paying bills,cars or sending children to school) I suggest getting it!

Btw, I am also getting into pourover after the holidays maybe and since I went over budget on my espresso machine and grinder, I am not willing to spend much on a 2nd grinder so I am just eyeing an encore or virtuoso :(