Kafatek Monolith Conical - August 2017 version - Owners Thread

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Aug 16, 2017, 11:20 pm

Really hesitate to start yet another Monolith thread but it's better than to litter the other one with off-topic posts..

So I've received the long awaited Monolith Conical. First rate grinder and so easy to use! The hype is real. :D Though, don't expect it to do the impossible, and you can still screw up (aw, my lousy roast still taste lousy through the Monolith :evil: ) . The Monolith just makes the process much easier to get good results.

It was beyond impressive that the grinder was shipped on Friday, and arrived here in Melbourne on Monday by 5pm (it's like a next-business day delivery)! I know some of you guys in the States are still waiting for your delivery, but we paid more for shipping! :lol:

Some niceties/update I noticed:
i) new safety cap as designed
ii) new chute design
iii) new dosing funnel design - the shape is a bit flared rather than hollow cylinder-shaped
iv) WDT tool in matching black color

The new chute design does a great job dispensing the coffee ground. No mess no spill, unless I did not RDT.

The portafilter holder is just phenomenal for hands free operation. Initially it came from the factory adjusted a tad wider for my portafilter, so there's some resonance/vibration when grinding. An email to Denis and his to-the-point tips was 'tighten the portafilter fork until there's a bit of friction when the portafilter slides in'. Did that, voila! No more vibration - it's a dream to use!

I'm not sure what voodoo is it. But my bottomless pours look even better now and consistently, which I didn't know was a possibility. I did not even season the grinder and use it just as it is. I WDT all my shots, and scored what I think a 90/100 (bottomless pour) before the Monolith. Now, with the same procedure and even less WDT effort, the bottomless pour just turns out an excellent 95/100. Streams coalesce much faster, and no mini dead spots unless I grind way way too fine. The grind sweet spot feels larger as well, and I can micro-tune the flow a lot better.

As part of the new-owners rite-of-passage, the setting did slip on me once. Lesson learnt - it does need to be tight!

Without WDT, the pour is just okay, scoring an acceptable 80-85(out of 100). In comparison, non-WDT pours from many other grinders are easily 60-80. The little effort to WDT is worth bumping the result to 95/100.

I am still on the fence about the grooming tool. Really well made and feel nice to use. But I did not feel any improvement/advantage other than making you feel good (but one extra step). Maybe I am using it incorrectly?

Retention wise, I'm getting a little still even after RDT. In the neighborhood of ~0.2g that requires a few more palm-puffing to get it all out (first world problem indeed).

Image

Monolith owners, feel free to chime in for discussions!

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vberch

Postby vberch » Aug 17, 2017, 10:21 am

Hey Sam, here is my take on the grooming tool. I use the grooming tool only if I use the portafilter holder as intended and have portafilter forks hold the portafilter whille grinding. Since the coffee is not perfectly level even after WDT, I use the grooming tool to perfectly level the surface before temping. If I grind in the basket, which I do most of the time, (adjust the portafilter holder forks to hold just the basket and the funnel), then I WDT, tap the basket 2 - 3 times while rotating it and tamp and there is no need to use the grooming tool.

I hope it makes sense :).

mitch236

Postby mitch236 » Aug 17, 2017, 10:53 am

I read this about distribution tools and although I haven't used one, I was wondering what you guys think?

http://socraticcoffee.com/2016/12/examining-the-impact-of-the-ocd-on-total-dissolved-solids-extraction/

As an aside, I don't have a Monolith but congrats! Denis has really built a great grinder and it hits the high end home barista market perfectly!

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Almico
Supporter ♡

Postby Almico » Aug 17, 2017, 11:50 am

Found a flaw with the conical. It's far too quiet, making it very easy to leave it running for an hour without noticing it. That never happened with my Sette.

Filed under 1st world problems and cross-filed under "just can't please everyone" :wink:

wachuko

Postby wachuko » Aug 17, 2017, 2:20 pm

Almico wrote:Found a flaw with the conical. It's far too quiet...


My in-laws are going to be happy... my coffee station is right next to their room :D
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko

samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Aug 17, 2017, 4:49 pm

vberch wrote:Hey Sam, here is my take on the grooming tool. I use the grooming tool only if I use the portafilter holder as intended and have portafilter forks hold the portafilter whille grinding. Since the coffee is not perfectly level even after WDT, I use the grooming tool to perfectly level the surface before temping. If I grind in the basket, which I do most of the time, (adjust the portafilter holder forks to hold just the basket and the funnel), then I WDT, tap the basket 2 - 3 times while rotating it and tamp and there is no need to use the grooming tool.

I hope it makes sense.


Thanks Vlad! Makes sense! You're right about the M grinders, I did not regret getting it at all. :D

mitch236 wrote:I read this about distribution tools and although I haven't used one, I was wondering what you guys think?


That was an interesting article for sure. I think the consensus so far is that grooming tool is at best grooming the top 1/3 of the coffee puck. I noted greatest improvement came from using WDT. The OCD is pretty expensive btw, it must work well to justify the price but so far the results have been controversial about these grooming tools. :shock:


wachuko wrote:My in-laws are going to be happy... my coffee station is right next to their room


+111 not in law, but SWMBO... :D I thought I was the only one having coffee-near-bedroom problem.

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Almico
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Postby Almico » Aug 17, 2017, 4:58 pm

wachuko wrote:My in-laws are going to be happy... my coffee station is right next to their room :D


And what's really amazing is the decibel differential with and without the wooden cap on.

samuellaw178
Team HB

Postby samuellaw178 » Aug 17, 2017, 5:02 pm

Alan, are you going to use the MonCon for brew and compare it to the big boys? :D

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Almico
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Postby Almico » Aug 17, 2017, 5:41 pm

The big boys are heading to the coffee bar...soon?

I think it's harder to compare grinders for brew than for espresso. With espresso you know you're getting a similar grind when the flow rates match up. Grinding coarser for drip makes it harder to compare.

Does anyone know about how many burr carrier rotations to get to brew grind?

Zawaya_T

Postby Zawaya_T » replying to Almico » Aug 17, 2017, 6:04 pm

I have it on 3 1/2 for espresso (I use a Londinium R and aim for 25-30sec till first drop) . I've gone for french press with 3 full turns coarser and then took it to around 8 even coarser. for Aerorpress it was 2 full turns then pulled it finer back to 1. (hope you got what I meant)