Bentwood Vertical 63 - Page 4

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.

#31: Post by 111a111sk »

Yesterday I had a chance to compare the Bentwood with Mahlkönig E80 in a café. Dialed in, shots pulled on Slayer, unfortunately just a house blend, no single origin. Bentwood produced way fluffier grounds. But the taste difference left us disappointed. It was barely noticeable, took me a few sips to tell that the Bentwood cup was very slightly fuller-bodied and smoother. But I'd say dosing 0.5g more or doing wdt would cause a bigger difference. Perhaps single origin would show a bigger difference but the café owner said in a rush they're not keeping it because they're unhappy with the portafilter holder which kills their speed. Didn't have a chance to ask more.
Though he said they're extremely happy with both E80 and E65S GbW.

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#32: Post by lukehk »

I'm still in the process comparing the Bentwood to my EK, which is a positive thing. Some coffee's I've preferred on the bentwood some on the ek. I'm starting to find what works for both filter and espresso. Nearly all my espresso is SO but I am interested to see how the bentwood deals with espresso blends, something I have not had any success with on the EK and not had time to try on the bentwood. When you say you could barely tell the difference between shots on the E80, isn't that a good thing? I don't know the grinder but it seems like a solid espresso grinder? Workflow issues in a cafe aside.

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#33: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

lukehk wrote:... Some coffee's I've preferred on the bentwood some on the ek. I'm starting to find what works for both filter and espresso...
That is very interesting! Are you ready to share the details?

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#34: Post by lukehk »

I'd like to say I had worked out a pattern about which coffee is suited to which grinder but I haven't. 200-250g a bag need between 2 grinders, espresso and filter, sometimes aeropress, kalita, v60, Gabbi master a and a variety of profiles on the DE1. I spend most of the bag using the bentwood and then try if I can best it on the EK. Some times this is easy particularly for filter and coffees which have have flavor profile will suited to punchy clear sharp flavours. Let's say washed Ethiopians as a quick reference.... But I have had some great washed Ethiopians on the Bentwood too. The bentwood is definatly softer and more subtle. So for a similar brew recipe on a v60 or kalita I was left wanting with the Bentwood and it was easier to get flavor with the ek. However, I found that as I ground finer and used a different pour technique the bentwood had its own distinct and enjoyable character. Soft and smooth, clean and with distinctive flavours but not as crisp or with as distinct layers of flavours. I'm really enjoying using the Gabi A with 18-310g. 54+54ml free pour on each and swirl on then Gabbi on the dripper and finish with a straight 200ml. Currently on an Ethiopian guji oromia natural. For espresso on the DE1 the EK was nice but a bit aggressive and acidic (I could probably sort this out with playing around) and the bentwood was more mellow and juicy . I tentatively think the ek is harder to dial in and when it's wrong it's harsh, the Bentwood less so and maybe good across a wider range of profiles...... I am no good at explaining flavor profiles but the espresso seems softer and more buttery? Which I think may suit certain coffee. There is a roaster here called cupping room which I think used to be aligned with sweet bloom roasters in the US. Their house blend is pulled on an ek and yeah you can't beat the clarity and sharp but pleasant berry flavours on that. Oh and my home roasts seem to be more forgiving on the bentwood. Sometimes when you go too fine you get lots of flavor but it comes along with a powdery feel. Reminds of Royce chocolate if you have ever had that. The fact that I'm still comparing them a few months in says a lot. It's a great grinder. I could see some people having an instant like or dislike to the flavor profile of either.... I'm caught in the middle.....I have lots more testing to do on the espresso side particularly and to see how it copes with darker roasts or blend... Which I think it will be better than the ek. I'll update after more coffee is brewed
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#35: Post by coffeeOnTheBrain »

Awesome! Thank you for your super interesting impressions.


#36: Post by 111a111sk »

lukehk wrote:When you say you could barely tell the difference between shots on the E80, isn't that a good thing? I don't know the grinder but it seems like a solid espresso grinder?
Yes for my wallet, no for the fable of a grinder in a class distinctly above all others.

To be clear - Bentwood costs +10% compared to E80 and I think that's very reasonable for a home setup. It does taste very slightly better, though some might easily have the opposite preference, and I seriously couldn't tell a difference by memory of I hadn't had the cups side-by-side. And as a bonus Bentwood is supposedly pretty well suited for single-dosing.
In high-load café environment other aspects need to be considered and apparently E80 excels there, that's what you pay for.

Also for a home setup there is the E65S GbW which is imo the benchmark of convenience and user-experience. Anything above that price point should be ashamed of not having gravimetric dosing. And Bentwood costs 33% more. How much of a taste improvement you get for that money plus and convenience downgrade? [I'm trying to get an answer to that myself]


#37: Post by sethde »

As a single doser, I'm glad grinder manufacturers aren't all trying to figure out grind by weight, a feature I would never use but would expect to increase the cost of grinders quite a bit.

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#38: Post by lukehk »

It does have hopper feed with buttons for timed doses but I've never used it. I also always grind into a cup. I use maybe 2 different coffees a day, all for filter, espresso, aeropress and cupping. For my use at home it works very well with low retention and I think this is one of its advantages. So maybe the additional cost could be justified if you use it in this way? I do use a blower in the top towards the end of grinding and for espresso rdt. I also like the ek43 for these reasons and I know some don't like the EK workflow, especially pulling shots in a cafe


#39: Post by Pradyboy »

Hey! I just got my BV63 today morning, so just sharing my first impressions/thoughts. I was having some troubles at first, as I bought a demo unit, and there was a bean stuck inside (which I did not realise at first), so my shots were flowing super fast, and i was a bit confused. I took it apart, and cleaned everything, and managed to calibrate it to its proper 0 point. Used it for both filter and espresso afterwards, and I have to say it was amazing. The filter coffee from it was super clean, great flavour clarity, great acidity, and amazing balance. Espresso was also amazing, only had one shot, however. I used a very light coffee, and pulled it to a little above 1:2, and got amazing balance (I found this crazy), this was a coffee that I had to pull 1:3 for at the very least. Anyways, the espresso was super clean, and flavour intense, it had great flavour separation... no harsh acidity, whatsoever. I have to use this grinder more, but as of now it seems to be highly promising.

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#40: Post by lukehk »

Good to hear. I've found I'm not trying to tame acidity for espresso like I am with the EK. How are you brewing for filter?