Yes, a Monolith is worth it - Page 6

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

#51: Post by Espressoman007 »

Monolith (declared as an espresso grinder) brought that fine taste that was missing in other grinders that promised the same and that I owned and bought on recommendation - "it's a bang for the money, you won't notice the difference, trust me, I owned a lot of expensive grinders
..." It wasn't like that at all!
If the title is about money, then I wouldn't even commented, because nobody can say is it worth or not for someone else or in general, because for one person spending 30k (or much more) can be just the same like $3 for another.
And here on HB (and worldwide whoever reads this) there are a lot of people who can not afford this type of a grinder, but their opinion is as worthy as anyone's and they are reading (this particular subject too) and exploring and participating as much as anyone else.
I don't consider this "Is it worth", in terms of money, but in terms of what it delivers (taste/espresso in my case).

Does it bring the taste (I am familiar with for some 30-ish years) that other grinders don't?
It does! It brings the finest taste that other grinders I previously owned didn't. (Perhaps their extracted coffee in "numbers" could match Monolith, but in taste... no way). And those grinders were not cheap. Especially the one I bought before Monolith Flat with Shuriken burrs.
I waited for that taste all the time, reading and hearing all kinds of things and experiences. And now I have it. If I could explain it the easiest way, I would say that taste is -delicate-. It's smooth, it's silky, it does have body even with light roasted coffee. But it's very pleasant to drink without adding a drop of milk, which I used to do (and I liked it) before owning Monolith. Actually now milk ruins the taste and delicacy of the espresso.
The issue is also that some grinders are trying to find a place in the same league (with big sisters and brothers) as Monolith and other similar grinders. But it's just not where they belong (taste wise). They are often being advertised like "for the money they are amazing". Hm, but it's not about the money here at all. It's about taste. Do they bring that taste or not?
I have two categories. The one is "Espresso", and the other one is "Well extracted coffee". It doesn't matter whether the "product" is delivered by espresso machine, but if it doesn't have that delicacy, then it's just a well extracted coffee and not espresso.
To be honest, I like both categories. I like coffee. I like drinking Turkish coffee as well, when it's good. My wife drinks it all the time, I stopped after I begun my home espresso journey. I never drink latte (too much milk, it's not a coffee anymore, more a milky drink for my taste), but I do add a bit of milk (10-20ml) when drinking "well extracted coffee" :) with darker roasted coffee.

But now, after getting Monolith, that habit of adding a drop of milk in coffee will be, hm, is cut. Espresso is way too nice when combined with Monolith that it's a shame to spoil it by adding milk.



#52: Post by BodieZoffa »

LewBK wrote:Worth it to whom? To many people, $2,500 or more is a few months rent or mortgage payments. To others, it's a rounding error. Whether a bump in quality is worth it to someone is completely subjective. I imagine there are many people who can be perfectly happy with a good hand grinder for their morning coffee. The interesting question to me is whether grinders at a comparable price point to the Monolith are better or worse. From that perspective, it seems from reading comments here, it is worth it.
Spot on with your assessment as I have what I consider to be the ultimate/compact hand grinder and it gets heavily used. Have a good electric as well, but it has been on standby for quite some time. One of the best attributes of hand grinding is being able to feel/smell the level of development I achieve when roasting. Just can't get that by pushing buttons...

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#53: Post by PIXIllate »

My 2021 Monolith Flat takes over a minute to grind an 18g dose. I didn't buy it for the convience of an electric grinder. I bought it for the in the cup improvement. It has delivered.


#54: Post by MOTOKI000 »

I got the latest model of the monolith MAX SSW last month.

After 3 weeks with the monolith MAX, I am really impressed with the excellent coffee grinding quality.
The grind quality of the monolith MAX SSW is very consistent.

I am an equipment designer for a factory.
I find that his grinder design is first and foremost about grind quality for the best espresso in a single dose.
However, I also know that in order to do so, his grinders sacrifice some workflow.

He has purposely developed a slow grind flat burr to get a high grind quality.
I can't say that his approach is perfect, but it surpasses the excitement I have gotten from the EG-1 and Lagom P64.
In my opinion, it is a good approach to problems such as the difference in grinding particle size between the first and second halves.
I find that other single-dose grinders still seem to only focus on things like coffee powder retention.

He also uses a Duo burr in his monolith conical to control the rate at which the coffee beans are fed in.
I am looking forward to the day when I can get my hands on a monolith canical.
I noticed that niche zero has a flow control option, but it looks cheap to me.

By the way, the motor of his grinder is of higher quality than other grinders.
It uses a motor for factory equipment from a Japanese manufacturer.
In general, motors for factory equipment are required to be more durable than usual.
However, the appearance of the cables, connectors, and motor shape is not so good.

I sold the EG-1 I owned.

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#55: Post by obfuscurity »

Owner of a Niche Zero and DF64 here, I finally managed to reserve a MAX yesterday for the April 2022 batch. Enjoying the thread here, but I'm also curious what other threads / forums exist for Monolith owners? I've had some difficulty finding relevant HB threads about the MAX ownership experience.

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#56: Post by iploya »

obfuscurity wrote:I'm also curious what other threads / forums exist for Monolith owners?
Kafatek has a forum. I'm new to it as well, so not much experience with it yet in terms of activity level.

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#57: Post by ira »

Considering there are probably less than 200 Max grinders in the world, only some of those owners are here, and it just works, I would not expect much discussion. It's also hard to search for as it's often just referred to as "Max," which is a rather common word. But comments are out there, though commonly in threads about other grinders. You purchased what is arguably the current best grinder for espresso. I use arguably as there are a small number of other grinders that one could argue are also best, but no others come with Shuriken burrs which are only available to Max owners and might turn out to be the best espresso burrs made so far. So, I wouldn't worry, it's just a grinder, when it arrives it will probably be amazing. Though depending on your vision of espresso, it might be more or less amazing. When my Flat arrived it was amazing, for me not so much for the flavor as for the work flow, dramatic reduction in coffee used due to no retention and all the pulls were good, no more gushers and no more daily adjustment.


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#58: Post by PIXIllate »

Received my SSW Flat earlier this year. Once I and 10-15lb or coffee through it and improved my already strong puck prep to the point where it was not a variable it's been a pleasure to use every day since. Not a single hiccup or odd behavior, which is saying a lot for an espresso grinder.

On a whim I decided to try to buy an MC4 yesterday when the next batch went on sale. Showed up on time, used Shop Pay and boom, before I knew it I now have a problem. A second espresso grinder and ZERO room on my counter for it. Oh well, either I'll decide on Flat vs. Conical once and for all for my taste or I'll have to get rid of the toaster oven.


#59: Post by Auctor »

PIXIllate wrote: On a whim I decided to try to buy an MC4 yesterday when the next batch went on sale. Showed up on time, used Shop Pay and boom, before I knew it I now have a problem. A second espresso grinder and ZERO room on my counter for it. Oh well, either I'll decide on Flat vs. Conical once and for all for my taste or I'll have to get rid of the toaster oven.
If you can, please try to find a friend who has a Key coming. Would love to see a shoot out. :)

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#60: Post by PIXIllate » replying to Auctor »

All of my coffee friends have Kafatek's except one oddball that insists that an EK43 is something that a person should have in their kitchen.