K30 v. Robur E

grinders for home and commercial

K30 v. Robur E

Postby danPabst on Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:10 am

Hello all,

We're looking to make a big switch on grinders. We've been using a SwiftEPS for a few years but with recent advancements in automatic timers, we're looking to go back to hand tamping as the norm.

It seems we've honed in on two: the K30 from Mahlkonig or the Mazzer Robur E.

I've heard a few things about the K30 clumping issue, but that's been about it as far as positives and negatives about either.

I suppose one major difference is the conical vs. flat burr set and that seems to be pretty open to just personal preference.

We're looking to use this in a high volume location and any experience/comments from both a Barista / Ease of use perspective as well as quality of the grind would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby phaelon56 on Tue Apr 21, 2009 12:32 pm

I have not tried the Robur E but have heard and read only good things. I did have a chance to use a K30 a handful of time over several days at the Roaster's Guild Retreat last summer and agree with the clumping as being an issue (that was August 2009 - don't know if the machine has changed at all since then).

I did like the fact that the K30 was very compact and remarkably quiet for a commercial grinder - also has a very intuitive interface.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby JaanusSavisto on Tue Apr 21, 2009 11:42 pm

found this thread to answer Your question about clumping issues re: K30: posted a week ago

Anyhoo, used and liked the older vers aswell, just looking forward to have my paws on a "new" configuration K30.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby jpscoffee on Wed Apr 22, 2009 8:52 am

We have been using the k30 for about a month or so. Although the clumping is an issue, it is not a make or break one for us. I don't have experience with the robur though, so can't compare. My staff really likes the k30 a lot.

I know they are also working on an aftermarket adapter to eliminate the issue as well, it's just not available in production yet. I heard a few months.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby IanClark on Fri Apr 24, 2009 5:55 am

The "fixed" K30's they deployed at the WBC were significantly improved over those I've worked with the past few years. They were running with far less waste and clumps.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby Matthew P. Williams on Fri Apr 24, 2009 11:35 am

I've used both grinders, though not in a busy cafe setting. The Robur, and any other Mazzer E grinder, dispenses virtually clump free grounds. Though the coffee does not come out of the chute straight down as you might think, a forward tilt of the portafilter gives you near perfect distribution into the basket - no finger redistribution required. The K30, on the other hand, necessitates finger redistribution to break clumpy coffee. Beyond that, I think the Mazzer's controls are more intuitive.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby Poul Mark on Sat Apr 25, 2009 10:17 pm

We have them both, and have for almost a year now. In short, we use the K30 as our decaf grinder. The Robur E is on the front bench, and as we look to open a new shop this year, we will be putting the Robur E into production there too. It is not just a clumping issue for us, on the Vario, it is also a flat burr issue. I think that if the K30 would move to a conical burr, it would probably rival the Robur. Until then, we will likely remain fans of the Robur. Used both, and without a doubt, the Robur comes out on top in our shop. Mind you, if you are going to buy one, make sure you save 100lbs of coffee to break that Robur in.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby Klaus on Thu Apr 30, 2009 1:19 am

Poul Mark wrote:I think that if the K30 would move to a conical burr, it would probably rival the Robur. Until then, we will likely remain fans of the Robur.

This is what I've said to Mahlkönig since they released the K-30 and we had one in the shop to try out. I think there's so many great things about the K-30, usability, build quality, the way the portafilter holder feels and so on. But I am really looking forward to see how the new versions are and how it has improved the taste.

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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby David LaMont on Fri May 01, 2009 6:23 pm

We just received a Robur E at our Training Center last week and have been playing with it a bit, so my observations are still mostly anecdotal.

1. The grinds are DAMN hot when they leave the chute in comparison with our older, non-auger-fed Robur. I wasn't even expecting or looking for the difference, but I didn't have a doser chamber lid to empty grounds into, so I put my hand under the spout to catch the purged grinds. It caught me off guard it was so hot. A bunch of folks have verified the differences. We have 3 Roburs in the TC right now-- the older, non-augered model, a non-E, doser augered model, and this latest one, brand new Robur E. Can anyone out there verify or confirm?

2. We DID see some clumping at first. And then we took the anti-static screen off and away went the clumps without any real static problems. It may have been the coffee we were using, but the screen acted like a Play-doh extruder that forced the grounds into one another. They would tend to clump and throw off the shot-to-shot dose consistency. So far we haven't really had any major static problems without the screen...so far...

3. Although this is purely speculative, there is something unnerving about the hard-wired timer lid. I've seen enough keypads of that style go bad after some repeated hard use and I'd be scared of a day when the keypad went south and there was no alternate method for using the grinder. A bypass would be nice, no? Or at very least, a quick-connect cable on the keypad.

I'm looking for feedback/advice. My initial reaction, with all 3 Roburs staring back at me from the bar, is to change the switch on the old, non-augered machine to an "on/off" style, plug in a $100 Fischer Scientific timer, and call it a day. When my arm gets tired of dosing, I'll put on a doserless chute and we're out the door for about $1200 less than the E.

What am I missing here?
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby phaelon56 on Mon May 04, 2009 8:01 am

1. The grinds are DAMN hot when they leave the chute in comparison with our older, non-auger-fed Robur. I wasn't even expecting or looking for the difference, but I didn't have a doser chamber lid to empty grounds into, so I put my hand under the spout to catch the purged grinds. It caught me off guard it was so hot.


Are you comparing the grounds you caught with your hand to those that come out of the doser after you thwack it or have you stuck your hand inside the doser chamber to catch and feel temp of the grounds as they exit the chute instead?

Apart from the augur and the timed grinding - which should not make any difference - are there design changes in the E model that would cause the grounds to be hotter?
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby David LaMont on Mon May 04, 2009 3:58 pm

Both were caught directly off the chute.

Does anyone know if the auger can be removed and the machine run without it? I want to see if that makes a difference.

Also, for what its worth, today I started getting a little bit of static. The last 2 grams or so seem to be repelled a little by the grounds in the portafilter. There is now a little bit of spray that wasn't there before.

Again, I'm just getting started with these....
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby phaelon56 on Tue May 05, 2009 10:08 am

David LaMont wrote:Does anyone know if the auger can be removed and the machine run without it? I want to see if that makes a difference.


You may need to use a shorter bolt to go into the hole where the augur attaches but it won't hurt the grinder to do it. I'd love to buy that augur from you if you decide to remove it and leave it out. Mazzer won't sell them as a parts item - says it must be factory installed for safety reasons (i.e. they're worried people will start the grinder when the burrs are exposed enough for fingers to get down in there). I've been wanting to add the augur to a doserless Major conversion.

AFAIK the augur is a positive thing - it pulls the beans down into the burr set at a constant rate - thus minimizing (in theory) the need for grind adjustment that is caused by varying weights of beans in the hopper.

Also, for what its worth, today I started getting a little bit of static. The last 2 grams or so seem to be repelled a little by the grounds in the portafilter. There is now a little bit of spray that wasn't there before.


Was there a change of humidity in the environment or did you switch to a much lighter roasted coffee?
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby Paul Germscheid on Sun May 10, 2009 5:54 pm

Klaus wrote:
Poul Mark wrote:I think that if the K30 would move to a conical burr, it would probably rival the Robur. Until then, we will likely remain fans of the Robur.

This is what I've said to Mahlkönig since they released the K-30 and we had one in the shop to try out. I think there's so many great things about the K-30, usability, build quality, the way the portafilter holder feels and so on. But I am really looking forward to see how the new versions are and how it has improved the taste.


Good point Klaus to not forget about the tast.
When training with brazilian barista champion Yara, we compared the new version K30 tastewise with the Compaq K10 WBC. As time was very tight it was certainly not so extensive as you like to do the testing, but we couldn't find any reason not to use the K30 Version 2 for the WBC.

I am extremely curious to find out what you will think about the new version.

Perhaps one day you will finally convince Nils to do a conical burr set....
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby Michael Phillips on Sun May 10, 2009 8:06 pm

Yeah, Augers are certainly coveted. In my experience they cut grind times in half compared to roburs without the Auger. It does seem as though there is less hopper drift as well but that could all be in my head.
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Re: K30 v. Robur E

Postby danPabst on Mon May 11, 2009 8:47 am

Interesting comments, from everyone. Thank you for your feedback.

From everything I've been reading, here and elsewhere, it looks like the Compak K10WBC w/timer mod would be my best 'value' option as I save up the funds for Roburs.

The compak can be gotten for cheaper than the K30 and with Concial burrs, it seems to be a better match for an eventual move to the Rober. Although, I'll be watching the evolution of the K30, as it does appear to be well built and thought out.
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