Weber Workshops Key Grinder - user experience

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

#1: Post by Mad Scientist »

I would like to hear from others, your experiences, with the Key.

I consider my renewed interest in espresso truly began in July of 2021 when I purchased a Londinium L1 spring lever on the buy/sell forum. It's a 2014 legacy model that uses boiler pressure for pre-infusion coupled with a Kinu M47 classic manual hand grinder I purchased in 2018. I've been pulling nice shots ever since using Klatch's coffee, anywhere from medium-light to medium-dark.

Today was my first day using the Key with Klatch Belle Espresso (a medium-dark roast)..

I will post my thoughts later, as I'm needing to adjust my workflow a bit.

What are you brewing with your Key? Experience?

MS
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day

stephenmsis
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#2: Post by stephenmsis »

I'm using the Key with a Rocket Mozzafiato R. I moved from a Niche to the Key. There is no doubt for me the Key is better, the difference is grind is visible. Importantly the visual difference in grind does translate to better tasting espresso. I can pick out flavour notes better.

So far I have used Gardelli espresso blend and Gardelli Mzungu Project. I'm no onto a Black Cat Las Palomas from Costa Rica.

It took me a while to get used to the workflow too. Plus a couple of embarrassing fails such as forgetting to put the mushroom back in the Magic Tumbler.

Great grinder, I'm pleased.

Jshot

#3: Post by Jshot »

I haven't received the Key yet, but coming from a Niche I'd like to hear your opinions on hopefully improved workflow and retention.

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yakster
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#4: Post by yakster »

Interesting Insta post on how Weber measures runout on their grinders today.

-Chris

LMWDP # 272

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Mad Scientist (original poster)

#5: Post by Mad Scientist (original poster) »

stephenmsis wrote: It took me a while to get used to the workflow too. Plus a couple of embarrassing fails such as forgetting to put the mushroom back in the Magic Tumbler.
Hey, I can relate to that! :roll: A few times (that's all I'll admit to) I started hand grinding without my catch cup apparently before my first coffee in the morning. Looking for my magic mushroom now...
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day

GFride

#6: Post by GFride »

I've been using mine for about a week and a half coming from the Niche. TBH, I don't think there's much that can improve on the work flow of the Niche. For me anyway, it was about as easy as it gets. The Key is a close runner up. There are a few minor differences that area bit less convenient with the Key. It also is going to depend a bit on how you use each of the Grinders. I didn't use either exactly as they were designed because I'm using a 49mm portafilter. With the Niche I ground into a Acaia dosing cup. After grinding, I put a funnel over the top of the Acaia cup, put the portafilter over the funnel and tipped the whole thing over. Then I removed the Acaia cup, WDT'd through the funnel and removed the funnel and tamped.

So far, with the Key, I've been grinding into the "standard Tumbler" then I pull the plug and WDT through the hole in the Tumbler. This has been pretty smooth, but I seem to get more channeling and sprayers around the perimeter of the basket. SO, I've experimented with using a funnel in between the Standard Tumble-r and the basket. This has been a little better, but not where I want it yet. With the Niche I rarely had channeling or sprayers. So, I'm going to give it a try next with the Magic Tumbler and a funnel.

To me the grind quality on the Key is more consistent and overall better than the Niche was. It seems like I need to grind just a bit finer with the Key and I like the flavor and overall complexity of the coffee better. Adjusting the grind and dialing in isn't quite as simple and intuitive with the Key, but it's also a machine that's designed for someone who's willing to spend $2000 on a grinder so I think the expectation is that it's not designed for the lowest common denominator user.

After the short amount of time I've had mine I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to the right person. It's not aimed exactly at the Niche User IMO, so trying to draw a direct comparison isn't exactly fair.

As far as retention goes, it is very low in my experience. Even the first few doses I ground were within .2 grams of the starting dose. The grounds that can stay trapped in the machine are pretty much limited to whatever clings to the burrs and the bit that sticks to the bottom from static electricity. Unlike the Niche there are virtually no areas where stale grounds can get stuck or correct.

I hope this helps.

Thanks

Update (2-21) After switching to using the Magic Tumbler and a tamp through funnel on my portafilter, the Key has become every bit as convenient to use as the Niche was and in certain ways even easier. The Magic Tumbler fits perfectly on the tamp through dosing funnel and I just pull the plug, remove the tumbler and WDT and tamp through the funnel. One thing that the Key almost requires is that you adapt your methods to work with their tumblers, but once you get used to them and find a system it's easy peasy.

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Mad Scientist (original poster)

#7: Post by Mad Scientist (original poster) »

GFride wrote:I didn't use either exactly as they were designed because I'm using a 49mm portafilter.
It seems that is an untapped market of what I'd call a proper step-down adapter. Give your 3D file a go and let us know! I can relate because my machine before my lever was 54mm.
“You haven't lived until you've lived with a cat.” Doris Day

Jshot

#8: Post by Jshot »

Thanks GFride for that update. Is it possible to make a fine grind adjustment with one hand?

Epicurus

#9: Post by Epicurus »

You can make fine grind adjustments with one hand but I find two hands provides a little more control. If you're going up or down a couple notches, one hand is definitely doable. If you're making large changes you really need both hands.

jmotzi

#10: Post by jmotzi »

I designed short and tall Tamp Through funnels for use with the Magic Tumbler and a Cremina compatible portafilter and then had it made at a 3D printing service. I would like them better machined out aluminum, but 3DP was quick and easy and cheap.


Short Version



Tall Version (similar to tall OE Funnel)




I don't know how to post STL files here, but I did post them on Feb 12 in this group https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeverFever
Short Version https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeverFe ... 272933238/
Tall Version https://www.facebook.com/groups/LeverFe ... 919599940/

JM
LMWDP #662