Our Valued Sponsor
OpinionsConsumer ReviewsGuides and How TosCoffeeGeek ReviewsResourcesForums
Espresso: Grinders - Espresso
K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
Rocket R58 Double Boiler
Rocket Espresso R58 Double Boiler -  Everything you need for the perfect shot!
www.seattlecoffeegear.com
 
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered  
Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > K30 Vario vs K8...  
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
Author Messages
Necrosis
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Evoluzione
Grinder: K30 Vario, Baratza Vario
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 4:13pm
Subject: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

I'm looking  to upgrade very soon from my Baratza Vario to something more commercial and have narrowed it down to either the K30 Vario or K8 Fresh (I am disregarding the ~$150 price difference for this decision). I anticipate this to be my final upgrade for life, and for reasons unknown I have a preference for flat burrs.

The single most important features for me is grind retention, I just want to grind and tamp avoiding rituals (sweeping chute, purging lots of coffee, etc). Both grinders sound like they have very low retention, and I'm leaning more towards the K30 in this regard, though I don't know how the two specifically compare.

Both grinders sound like they meet the bill with grind quality, I just want to grind and tamp without any distribution rituals (nutation, wdt, etc). K30's grind speed is of great interest to me.

Aesthetics is a tough one, the K8 is by far the better looking machine, slender and tall with a nice 'futuristic' look. The K30 on the other hand looks like a mini-keg, short and fat. The K8's display is more to my liking as well. I can easily see either on my counter though.

Adjustments is a weird one for me. I know both models are are stepless, so that part of dialing in is not my concern, but rather what happens when I need to adjust finer. The K30 manual (unless I'm blind) makes no mention about going finer with beans in the hopper/burrs and running or not running. The K8 manual flat out states to empty it all out before going finer. I'm sure both could be adjusted while grinding, that's what I do with my baratza vario, but then the K30's superior grind speed means adjusting may lead to more wasted coffee. In the end, I suppose once dialed in, only the most minimal of adjustments are needed at best, so it wont be a big deal either way.

Experience, for lack of a better word seems like the K8 is relatively new to the market vs the K30 which has been around longer. With coffee, I'm not too interested in 'early adoption' as new models tend to get fixes and upgrades over it's first few generations. It seems like the K30 would be the safer bet in that regard, and perhaps may be easier to service and get replacement parts for should it be needed.

-

In the end I am leaning more towards the K30, though I would love to hear any input anyone has on these two grinders. I'm expecting to make my order as early as Sunday night. Thanks in advance :)
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
gearbolt
Senior Member
gearbolt
Joined: 9 Aug 2007
Posts: 39
Location: San Jose, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Izzo Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario
Vac Pot: Kona
Roaster: TBD
Posted Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:23pm
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

First of all, I didn't use other quality espresso grinder before.

I got my K30 Vario for about one week.  I LOVE IT.  

I don't think you can adjust the grind on the fly.  You need to
loosen a lock nut before doing it and then relock it.  If not, when
it grinds, the adjust lid will be rotated to the right (the coarse direction).

My is short hopper version which is about the same height as my
Duetto.

The grinder is quiet and fast and most important is the accuracy of
the timer vs the weight.  I measured the weight of my grinds 3 times
today at different time and they are all the same, 16.5g in 3.3sec.
My scale is only down to 0.1g resolution.  

Cheers.

David
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,391
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 8:25am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

I've not used the Compak K8 Fresh, and so cannot comment on that machine other than to say the people who have the "higher end" Compak grinders (K8s and K10s) seem to be quite happy with them.

I have a Mahlkönig K30 Vario.  I purchased it in 2009, directly from Mahlkönig when they were still based here in California, rather than in North Carolina (I believe).  It was a trade show demo model, and so "lightly used" when I bought it.  It is my primary home grinder.

After four years of daily use, I can honestly say I have absolutely no need, and little desire, to upgrade.  

When I'm not traveling, my typical routine is to grind and pull 4-5 doubles every morning.  (This is what happens when you have teenage kids who would stay up late doing homework, and would love to sleep until one in the afternoon!)  The grinder has been completely trouble free, and has only needed routine maintenance (every so often I run some GRINDZ through it).  The grind is consistent, fluffy, and the damn thing is fast!  15.5 grams in a little over 3 seconds.

I'd buy it again in a heartbeat . . .

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Sylvain
Senior Member


Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 64
Location: Trois-Rivieres
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Marzocco GS3
Grinder: Mahlkonig K30 Vario
Drip: Technivorm
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 12:28pm
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

I have only experience with the K30 Vario.  Its a superb machine.  Very quiet and consistent.  A joy to adjust grind.  You can read my review on this site.  Sylvain
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Necrosis
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Evoluzione
Grinder: K30 Vario, Baratza Vario
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Sun Feb 17, 2013, 8:17pm
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

Very interesting, I hadn't even put thought into the timed dosing consistency but that's a pretty important one. My Baratza Vario can fluctuate with timed dosing so I'd just gotten used to it (though it improved once they sent me a new metal pulley to replace the plastic one).
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
russel
Senior Member
russel
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 448
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:15am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

OK, so I owned a K8 Fresh for about a month before it went back in favor of a Nino.  The Nino turned out to be too loud for my family, the timed grinding went out the window with less than 1/2 of bean in the hopper, and there was no pulse grinding to compensate.  I now use a K30 Vario, Anfim Super Caimano, and a HG71.  I agree that the adjustment on the K30 is super nice.  I found the adjustment knob on the K8 Fresh great for fine adjustments (better than the K30) but not as nice for larger changes.  I run through a very wide variety of coffee in a week and it's nice to be able to make "macro" adjustments easily (I'm dyslexic and can't connect the numbers on the K8 to different roasts/beans but can remember the position of the K30's little paddle).  Neither has the ease of grind time adjustment that the Anfim has, so they are equally deficient on that point.  In general the K8 Fresh is a more flexible grinder.  It does timed dosing, it pulse grinds, and it will do a full on manual grind.  I like the K8's PF holder more than the K30's.  For my uses the K30 feels more "right", although I still hate adjusting the grind time.  If all you want to do is fill the hopper full of you favorite espresso beans, I would go for the K8.  If you have trouble with numbers and often find yourself jumping from a dark roast (by west coast standards) to a very light single origin, I would vote for the K30.

Also of note, the K30 is very height-customizable.  Find the heigh you want, find a lid (Mazzer hopper lid, Mazzer doser lid, Compak hopper lid, whatever) that is a close fit, and then chop away. The whole thing can be brought down to a very reasonable height and still hold 12oz of beans easily.  

On the on other hand, the little Compak Fresh hopper is really nice as is.

If you single dose...I would get a HGOne, maybe a Verslab (no first hand experience here), or wait a couple of months and see what crops up...


EDIT:  You have to purge, get over it.  Don't want to purge...single dose.
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
Necrosis
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Evoluzione
Grinder: K30 Vario, Baratza Vario
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:52am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

Thanks for the comparison, along with the other replies, it helped me make my final choice. Went ahead and placed an order for a K30.

I don't have to worry about height clearance, but went with the shorter hopper anyways. I usually keep about 1/4lb of coffee in the hopper. I roast half a pound every other day and while I tend to stick with a bean/profile that I like, I do experiment with different beans, blends, and roast profiles so sometimes I do jump around.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
Necrosis
Senior Member


Joined: 30 Sep 2010
Posts: 55
Location: Arizona
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Evoluzione
Grinder: K30 Vario, Baratza Vario
Roaster: Gene Cafe
Posted Wed Feb 27, 2013, 1:09am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

So I've had my new K30 for two days now and am quite impressed. It's grinding my 14g of coffee in exactly 3.0 seconds, which makes it possible to dose and tamp before my machine is even done with it's cooling flush. Ended up increasing the bar pressure on the machine so it can rebound faster and keep up. Played around with a few different tamping techniques with my VST basket and seems a nutation still brings out something in the coffee that just tastes best to me.

Two things I've noticed that I think are worth mentioning. The first is that despite having light roasted beans (full city+ range) I'm seeing clumping towards the end of the grind (not a problem in and of itself), and it grinds so fast a little bit will actually hit the coffee in the portafilter and bounce off onto the counter. I'm only dosing 14g of coffee into a 15g VST basket so I don't really have a tall mound overflowing the basket. If I went up to 16g (this basket is designed for 14-16g), I imagine a good bit more would bounce out of the basket and on the counter. Maybe the burrs just need a few good lbs of coffee to break them in, or maybe it's some kind of static thing.

The second thing I noticed is quite interesting to me. Back with my old Baratza Vario, starting a shot gets a normal stream going in maybe 3 seconds at most and remains mostly constant to the end. With the K30, It takes 9-12 seconds before I get any drip drip drip, and it eventually builds into a steady stream that thickens until it's blonding and ready to be cut at the 30 second range that I'm calibrated for. Tastes good, appropriate volume, beautiful tiger flecking, it's definitely not ground too fine. It's like my Rocket's E-61 is actually performing a pre-infusion for the first time ever (not that I have a problem with this). I wonder if this is a characteristic of the K30's grinding, or if this is a general characteristic for grinders at this price range.

I think at this point, my only regret would be aesthetic (I really do like the look of the K8). But, I don't ground retention doesn't seem to be a problem and I'm getting both the speed and convenience I desire. In and out of the kitchen with my drink in under 2 minutes, and happily going about my day.
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,875
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 11:32am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

Necrosis Said:

Two things I've noticed that I think are worth mentioning. The first is that despite having light roasted beans (full city+ range) I'm seeing clumping towards the end of the grind (not a problem in and of itself

Posted February 27, 2013 link

Well, IMO, a FC+ is definitely NOT a "light" roast. City/City plus, yes. In the espresso world, I suppose you could say a "full city" stopped before 2nd crack might apply. :>D

As regards clumping, many are now doing something called a "RDT", especially when single dosing. It involves lightly water sptritzing the beans before grinding. This eliminates static.
Do at your own...and your burrs risk!

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
back to top
 View Profile Visit website Link to this post
greekespresso
Senior Member
greekespresso
Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 176
Location: Ptolemaida, Greece
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia V3, Gaggia...
Grinder: Mahlkönig Vario Home, Anfim...
Posted Fri Mar 1, 2013, 11:57am
Subject: Re: K30 Vario vs K8 Fresh, trying to decide
 

IMAWriter Said:

...

As regards clumping, many are now doing something called a "RDT", especially when single dosing. ...

Posted March 1, 2013 link


Hi Rob,
I do not know the RTD but I think it should be the opposite regarding clumping because at high humidity clumping is more pronounced. My understanding is that high humidity=clumping, very low one=static.

 
www.greekespresso.gr
back to top
 View Profile Link to this post
showing page 1 of 2 last page next page
view previous topic | view next topic | view all topics
Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > K30 Vario vs K8...  
New Topics updated topics   New Posts new posts   Unanswered Posts new unanswered     Search Discussion Board search   Discussion Board FAQ faq   Signup sign up  
Not Logged in: Log In to Postlog in
Discussions Quick Jump:
Symbols: New Posts= New Posts since your last visit      No New Posts= No New Posts since last visit     Go to most recent post= Newest post
Forum Rules:
No profanity, illegal acts or personal attacks will be tolerated in these discussion boards.
No commercial posting of any nature will be tolerated; only private sales by private individuals, in the "Buy and Sell" forum.
No SEO style postings will be tolerated. SEO related posts will result in immediate ban from CoffeeGeek.
No cross posting allowed - do not post your topic to more than one forum, nor repost a topic to the same forum.
Who Can Read The Forum? Anyone can read posts in these discussion boards.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post new topics.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered CoffeeGeek member can post replies.
Can Photos be posted? Anyone can post photos in their new topics or replies.
Who can change or delete posts? Any CoffeeGeek member can edit their own posts. Only moderators can delete posts.
Probationary Period: If you are a new signup for CoffeeGeek, you cannot promote, endorse, criticise or otherwise post an unsolicited endorsement for any company, product or service in your first five postings.
Donate to Coffee Kids
Coffee Kids works with farming communities around the world, improving lives. Donate today.
www.coffeekids.org
Home | Opinions | Consumer Reviews | Guides & How Tos | CoffeeGeek Reviews | Resources | Forums | Contact Us
CoffeeGeek.com, CoffeeGeek, and Coffee Geek, along with all associated content & images are copyright ©2000-2014 by Mark Prince, all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Content, code, and images may not be reused without permission. Usage of this website signifies agreement with our Terms and Conditions. (0.285578012466)
Privacy Policy | Copyright Info | Terms and Conditions | CoffeeGeek Advertisers | RSS | Find us on Google+