Mahlkonig EK43s worth it? - Page 2

Recommendations for espresso equipment buyers and upgraders.

Postby HRC-E.B. » Nov 09, 2018, 10:47 pm

CwD wrote:A good factory "aligned" unit, while a pale shadow (I'd say 70% quality at absolute most, being overly generous) of a properly aligned unit, is still better than almost everything else. Remember no major manufacturers bother to align their grinders, only the boutique people like Kafatek, Lyn Weber, Titus, etc.

I'd also say the EK is easily in the top 1% of least cumbersome grinders, beaten only by the same small boutique ones. I mean, it's big, but outside that it's hard to beat for single dosing. Next to no retention, easy to get apart for cleaning, one of the easiest designs to align yourself, etc.

... And while it can make great EKspresso, it can't really make espresso. I guess it all depends on what one likes to drink.


Postby CwD » replying to HRC-E.B. » Nov 10, 2018, 4:03 am

Completely false. At least for a well aligned one (and even moreso with SSP burrs). I've had shots from EKs that were far more syrupy and tight than anything I've ever had from a Robur or Mythos or Peak.

The EK is one of the few grinders that can make EKspresso. EKspresso is not the only thing the EK can make.


Postby happydaze » replying to CwD » Nov 10, 2018, 7:28 am

+1.. I make traditional syrupy Crema filled espresso all the time on my EK43S.


Postby bettysnephew » Nov 10, 2018, 9:31 am

I too have found my EK43S is not a one trick pony. I do not know how well aligned it is but it will at present grind for an EK shot or a conventional espresso that is thick and unctuous. As a matter of fact I am enjoying one of those while typing this. I do not know if mine will grind for a pour over as I have the Turkish burrs in mine and did not buy it for that use. I may try it sometime but have a KMonCon that will do that well if I choose to. Over the time I have owned mine, which is not all that long, I have seen several comments about it only being able to make thin but tasty shots. I fully suspect that these folks do not own one or maybe have never even had a shot ground in an EK43S, it can do both very well. I cannot vouch as to whether the big EK can do the same but if it has had the chamber and prebreaker updates like the S I suspect it will. Can the EK43S be improved with some TLC? Certainly it can and kudos to Terranova for his work in advancing the capabilities of these grinders! Eventually I will get around to checking its' alignment but retirement is keeping me too busy for the time being to worry about such a mundane thing when the machine works so well. :D I did recently readjust the zero point on mine but it was a very minor change so suspect it was similar to the changes in grind I saw as my KMonCon broke in after using it for a while. Likely some high spots on the burrs that were polished off by the beans with use.

I see many recommending the KMF MAX to folks that have floated questions about grinders on this site and know it will be a fine machine, but, 1. It is not yet available (soon I hope) 2. When it becomes available the chances of winning the lottery for one are relative to how fast your internet connection is and the luck of being in the right spot in the queue when they do come up for sale. A person could wait without coffee for a very long time before getting a grinder.

Will I try to get a MAX when Denis makes them available? Darn right, he makes great grinders, but I have been trying to get a flat since the second batch was offered to no avail as my internet sucks. Maybe my luck will change in the future but even if I get in line to own a MAX I doubt I will be throwing rocks at my EK43S. It is a wonderful Titan Flat grinder. Don't sell it short.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586


Postby gocanes » Nov 10, 2018, 11:04 am

Lol @ espresso acquisition syndrome, I suffer from that too, though I think the ek has gotten me to the tail end of it. I love the workflow and low retention on the ek and it looks the business, but words like clarity in the cup, flavors pop, extraction percentage don't mean anything to me on the day to day. To me, all of my grinders produce tasty coffee/espresso. Law of diminishing returns in full effect for sure. If I had to live with just the m47 for the rest of my life, I wouldn't feel like I'm missing out on anything other than sheer efficiency. Maybe if I sent the EK to get machined to align all whatever axis and upgraded to SSP burrs I'd experience true nirvana- but I'm beginning to doubt it. That's not a knock on the guy dropping knowlege on this thread, but it's well past due diligence for me personally. Ymmv.

Now, every time I think of spending more money on my already perfectly fine espresso, I think of Canada Bill Jones, "It's immoral to let a sucker keep his money."

Back on topic, apologies. Seems like most actual owners of the ek43s are satisfied with their grinders and the taste of their espresso. Worth it to me. I don't have advanced analytics to prove why though. It just tastes good, works well, looks like it will outlive me.


Postby CwD » Nov 10, 2018, 1:05 pm

I think the "EK only makes thin shots" stuff comes from the early ones not being so good at finer grinds, Perger popularizing the style, and nearly every cafe that grinds with an EK pulling long shots. (With a little reinforcement from the occasional worst end of the bell curve alignment units that slip out that can't pull shots at all out of the box.) Most cafes don't want to deal with the EK workflow if they're not making something they can't already do with their Mythos. So we don't get to see them do anything else unless we own one, know someone with one, or know a shop using them outside the ordinary way.


Postby swjeon » Nov 10, 2018, 9:46 pm

I made the transition over to EK43s from my K30 air and could not be happier. It is definitely true that pulling consistent syrupy espresso shots are bit more finicky, but the ability to handle pour over grind on the fly has been awesome for me.


Postby petervoet007 » Feb 02, 2019, 7:02 am

aecletec wrote:The newer Eks are apparently better, but this is a grinder intended for bulk grinding and people have repurposed it to single shot use...

Hi all, just a side not from an EK43s user. I checked the alignment of the burrs, and they were aligned perfectly!
Have the grinder in use since October 2018, and it fits great with the La Marzocco GS3

User avatar

Postby Denis » Feb 02, 2019, 7:36 am

Or maybe not.

for the static burr "perfect" would be under 0.010 µm.

For the rotating burr perfect would be to buy the burr carrier from Titus that does 2 major things:
a. it is aligned to 0.00 so you are sure that you wont have problems there.
b. the device on the burr carrier shaft, the one that bring the beans inside the burr chamber is modified so the beans are not getting crowded (better grinding control).

As for getting the max out of any ek43, after these alignment steps I would say that without changing the stock burrs to SSP it is not worth buying ek43.

There is a guy on other forum (Germany) owning 4x ek43 (one even limited edition) and did other ek43 and none was well aligned from factory, either old or the new models (made in 2018). Assuming that you get a aligned grinder from factory is just not caring about a real problem. But who am I to tell you that is not the way to use a product? ... ur-grinder


Postby ds » Feb 02, 2019, 11:04 am

Denis wrote:Or maybe not.

for the static burr "perfect" would be under 0.010 µm.

0.010 µm is 0.00001mm which is a ridiculous tolerance that very, very few in the world would possibly be able to achieve let alone measure. Aerospace/high precision tolerances are at and below say +/- 0.007 mm and even that is too much for a grinder.

Denis wrote:a. it is aligned to 0.00 so you are sure that you wont have problems there.

I hight doubt claimed tolerance of less than 0.009mm on flatness. How is that measured and with what kind of instruments? Run-out maybe, flatness over 4" area, I doubt it. Under 0.02mm tolerance will get screwed up by tolerances in bearings alone...

There is no point in making one part of the system with high tolerance if other parts of the system are not due to tolerance stack-ups. Tolerances of connected parts accumulate. It does not matter if you design one part on top with +/- 0.02mm tolerance if part that this is directly connected to has tolerance of +/-0.2mm. You can't put Bugatti Veyron tires on Yugo and go over 250 mph with it...