Switching from flat to conical grinder?

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

#1: Post by Moxiechef »

I've been running a Monolith Flat for the last three years or so. Truly a great grinder.

The question is, should I switch to a conical, will things taste appreciably better? We drink mostly medium to medium-dark roast. Nossa Full Cycle to Blue Bottle Hayes Valley is kind of our roast range, rarely do we enjoy A roast much lighter than something like Passenger's Montecarlo.

Since Kafatek just announced his new conical, I thought it might be time to try them.


Thanks,

JB

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another_jim
Team HB

#2: Post by another_jim »

The 75mm Eureka/Mythos flat used by earlier models is identical in taste to large conicals. I do not know about the SSP or Shuriken 75mm burrs. Nor do I know how the new Kafetek conical will taste. Unlike what all the mavens are telling you, not all flats taste clearly alike, nor all conicals bodily alike.
Jim Schulman

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Jeff
Team HB

#3: Post by Jeff »

Jim is spot on.

What would you like to improve in the flavor of your espresso? Are there specific defects you'd like to reduce or things you'd like to bring out more strongly?

erik82

#4: Post by erik82 »

The greatest improvement in my experience is the superb consistency of big conical burrs. Tastewise for medium to medium-dark both are great and you don't need a flat burr grinder. I've owned a Eureka Olympus with the same burrs as your Kafatek and a perfectly aligned HG-1 and both do a great job but the conical does it so easily. If I buy medium or a bit darker roast I tend to favour my Commandante over the SSP burrs in my EG-1, but I must say they're an entire different beast compared to the burrs in your flat and are way more finicky to work with.

We still need to wait how the new Kafatek burrs will perform. For me personal, if I didn't like light roasts so much I'd definitely switch back to big conical burrs for the sheer ease at which they pull great consistent shots.

CamBam_HB

#5: Post by CamBam_HB »

I've wondered about this as well, to see if there are any apparent differences between my Anfim SC 75mm flat (I've been using for almost a decade) and a Weber Key 98mm conical. I expect some differences but don't know whether they are significant enough to swap one for another.

NelisB

#6: Post by NelisB »

The value of a Kafatek grinder will always remain high. His new conical burrs are seriously different from the original Mazzers. And the conical Kafatek has always been a hit. So I would definitely try to get one.

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EvanOz85

#7: Post by EvanOz85 »

CamBam_HB wrote:I'a Weber Key 98mm conical.
The Key uses 83mm conicals, which is as large as conicals come. Only flats go up to 98mm (and beyond).

BaristaBob

#8: Post by BaristaBob »

Moxiechef wrote:I've been running a Monolith Flat for the last three years or so. Truly a great grinder.

The question is, should I switch to a conical, will things taste appreciably better? We drink mostly medium to medium-dark roast. Nossa Full Cycle to Blue Bottle Hayes Valley is kind of our roast range, rarely do we enjoy A roast much lighter than something like Passenger's Montecarlo.

Since Kafatek just announced his new conical, I thought it might be time to try them.


Thanks,

JB
I agree with most of what has been said so far. Interesting enough, I've scratched the itch that had me move in the other direction...from a MonoCon v2 (68mm Mazzer TiN coated) to the newest MFlat with 75mm SSW burrs. Two months in, going over my range of coffees (medium-light to medium-dark), blind taste testing has resulted in me choosing the MFlat EVERY time. It has certainly surprised the heck out of me. And actually while dialing in the espressos before the actual blind test, both tasted tremendous. I thought surely, the MonoCon would come out on top one of those times, especially as I moved to the darker roasts. But it didn't. For me, and I must repeat for me...I'm looking for that balance of lower acidity, fruity sweetness, lingering dark chocolate notes without bitterness, layered in clarity. There...I said it! And before the side-by-side comparo, I didn't really know exactly what I was looking for until I tasted it. I know many like body, which I believe is a characteristic of conical burrs, but that's obviously low on my preference list.

I'd say get the new MonoCon and experiment with your go to coffees, if you have the cash. The loosing grinder goes to the Buy/Sell list. Win-Win for all.

Enjoy!!
Bob "hello darkness my old friend..I've come to drink you once again"

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EvanOz85

#9: Post by EvanOz85 replying to BaristaBob »

Similar experience to BaristaBob, though it's with the newest 2022 MC4 versus a 2022 Flat Max w/SLM burrs. I've only had the grinders for two months, but so far I've preferred pretty much every shot from the MAX over the MC4.

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JohnB.
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#10: Post by JohnB. »

I think that the "conical shots have more body" is a bit over stated unless you are talking about the huge flat burrs favored for light roasts. I've compared shots ground with my k30, Anfim SC Ti & K10 many times using the same medium roasted blends & single origins. While the K10 shots might be just a little creamier the flat burr shots were creamy with a nice mouthfeel. One thing I do not like about the conicals is that they can bring out sharp/harsh flavors that I don't get with the flat burrs. Denis mentions this several times when he compares his new Shurikone burrs to the Mazzer conicals. For the C+ to FC+ roasts I enjoy I definitely prefer the shots from either the K30 or Anfim over the K30 shots.
LMWDP 267