So, here's the deal.  I just got an espresso machine for my house and decided not to skimp on the grinder.  I know these options are overkill for home but I want something I can take to competitions and will do the best job possible.  I have it narrowed down to the Compak K10 Conical, Mahlkonig V30 Vario, and the Anfim Super Caimano.

I've had my heart set on the Compak for a long time and absolutely love the conical burrs but now that the time has finally come to get my dream grinder, I want to get your input in case there's something about these grinders I haven't considered.  Keep in mind that this is not going in a shop so volume is not an issue.  Also, I'm ignoring the Robur because I don't think the extra cost justifies the perks in a home setting - just want to nip that in the bud before everyone yells at me for overlooking it.  ;)

I know that this is an extremely subjective topic and that all 3 of these grinders will do an incredible job so I'm not trying to nail down an objective best.  I would just like to know what you guys like and dislike about them and which you think would be most appropriate for home and competition use.

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Ryan-
I see that I'm late to the game but I did not see the post when it originally was posted, only now.

Whomever told you that the Compak K-10WBC is "cheap, plastic trash" is someone who is ignorant of the grinder, and I don't care how "well respected" you say this person is - in fact, tell us this persons name so I can respect that person less.

I've been using the Compak K-10 since 2006 and it has been a workhorse. It quickly replaced our Mazzer Majors as our "primary" grinder and I specified the K-10 WBC for the new Spro Hampden that we opened this past March as our primary grinder. The K-10 is a hardworking, reliable and proven performer that's not quite "loved" by some of these "well respected" "professionals" because they're pushing some other grinder that they think is "hip."

I care less about "hip" and "cool" and more about quality of grind, reliability, performance and consistency.

The other grinder you mentioned (Anfim Super Caimano) deserves a little bit of history for you to appreciate it's position within our craft today. Clean dosing has always been an issue in a shop environment, but dosing really came to the forefront at the WBC/USBC. Specifically, the problem of the Mazzers to "throw" ground coffee to the left and spilling onto the counter - which results in more work and burning more time, or lower scores in competition.

Competitive baristas back in 2004-2005 were looking for a grinder that would eliminate the dosing "problem" - enter the Anfim. I believe it was Philip Search (the guy who really pushed for grinder timer development) and Vince Piccolo who discovered that the Anfim doser dropped the coffee straight down - eliminating many of the dosing problems.

In other words, the Anfim only came to light because of it's doser. It was never a contender because of grind quality - grind quality was secondary.

While all grinders are compromised, the Anfim is more compromised than others. 1) it uses flat burrs as opposed to the greater consistency conical burrs like those found in a K-10, 2) it uses stepped grind settings. The first compromise isn't too bad. I've used and liked Mazzer Major grinders for years. However, the second problem is one that completely eliminates the grinder from consideration.

Quite simply, Stepped Grind Adjustment is INFERIOR to the "infinite" friction adjusters found on the Compak and Mazzer grinders. Invariably, the grind you need will be exactly the point BETWEEN grinder steps. It is why there was such a backlash when Mahlkonig introduced the K30 - eventually, they had to relent and modify the K30 to friction adjust.

A few years ago, Philip Search posted to Coffeed.com what I joking call his "white paper" - a diatribe defending the Anfim against critics (like myself), giving reasons why the Anfim was superior to all grinders and why the stepped grinder was not only not a problem but better than other grinders. He argued that the stepped adjust was not a problem because you could simply adjust the grinder timer plus or minus to compensate. In other words, his argument was that you could simply use a little more or a little less coffee to compensate for the problem.

This was the most laughable thing I have ever read in my eight years in this industry. Ludicrous comes to mind. Evolution brought us away from stepped adjustment and this guy is trying to tell us that it's better. Ridiculous and a complete load of BS. Bottom line: all grinders are compromised in some way. The point is that we need to understand those compromises, work around them and continue to improve. The Anfim hasn't improved its' design since 49th Parallel introduced it to the marketplace (the K30 quickly changed to friction). To my mind, the Anfim is the poor choice. Better off with a Mazzer Major than the Anfim.
Jay,
Thank you for sharing your history and experience here on this topic. Aside from many other shop factors and element being in place, I believe the grinder is the single most important tool I have in our shop.
Jay, do you have any experience with Mazzer SJ Titanium burrs?
I will be buying new burrs soon and just wonder if you get extra miles for the extra cost.
Joe

Jay Caragay said:
Ryan-
I see that I'm late to the game but I did not see the post when it originally was posted, only now.

Whomever told you that the Compak K-10WBC is "cheap, plastic trash" is someone who is ignorant of the grinder, and I don't care how "well respected" you say this person is - in fact, tell us this persons name so I can respect that person less.

I've been using the Compak K-10 since 2006 and it has been a workhorse. It quickly replaced our Mazzer Majors as our "primary" grinder and I specified the K-10 WBC for the new Spro Hampden that we opened this past March as our primary grinder. The K-10 is a hardworking, reliable and proven performer that's not quite "loved" by some of these "well respected" "professionals" because they're pushing some other grinder that they think is "hip."

I care less about "hip" and "cool" and more about quality of grind, reliability, performance and consistency.

The other grinder you mentioned (Anfim Super Caimano) deserves a little bit of history for you to appreciate it's position within our craft today. Clean dosing has always been an issue in a shop environment, but dosing really came to the forefront at the WBC/USBC. Specifically, the problem of the Mazzers to "throw" ground coffee to the left and spilling onto the counter - which results in more work and burning more time, or lower scores in competition.

Competitive baristas back in 2004-2005 were looking for a grinder that would eliminate the dosing "problem" - enter the Anfim. I believe it was Philip Search (the guy who really pushed for grinder timer development) and Vince Piccolo who discovered that the Anfim doser dropped the coffee straight down - eliminating many of the dosing problems.

In other words, the Anfim only came to light because of it's doser. It was never a contender because of grind quality - grind quality was secondary.

While all grinders are compromised, the Anfim is more compromised than others. 1) it uses flat burrs as opposed to the greater consistency conical burrs like those found in a K-10, 2) it uses stepped grind settings. The first compromise isn't too bad. I've used and liked Mazzer Major grinders for years. However, the second problem is one that completely eliminates the grinder from consideration.

Quite simply, Stepped Grind Adjustment is INFERIOR to the "infinite" friction adjusters found on the Compak and Mazzer grinders. Invariably, the grind you need will be exactly the point BETWEEN grinder steps. It is why there was such a backlash when Mahlkonig introduced the K30 - eventually, they had to relent and modify the K30 to friction adjust.

A few years ago, Philip Search posted to Coffeed.com what I joking call his "white paper" - a diatribe defending the Anfim against critics (like myself), giving reasons why the Anfim was superior to all grinders and why the stepped grinder was not only not a problem but better than other grinders. He argued that the stepped adjust was not a problem because you could simply adjust the grinder timer plus or minus to compensate. In other words, his argument was that you could simply use a little more or a little less coffee to compensate for the problem.

This was the most laughable thing I have ever read in my eight years in this industry. Ludicrous comes to mind. Evolution brought us away from stepped adjustment and this guy is trying to tell us that it's better. Ridiculous and a complete load of BS. Bottom line: all grinders are compromised in some way. The point is that we need to understand those compromises, work around them and continue to improve. The Anfim hasn't improved its' design since 49th Parallel introduced it to the marketplace (the K30 quickly changed to friction). To my mind, the Anfim is the poor choice. Better off with a Mazzer Major than the Anfim.
+10 :-)
Jay Caragay said:


A few years ago, Philip Search posted to Coffeed.com what I joking call his "white paper" - a diatribe defending the Anfim against critics (like myself), giving reasons why the Anfim was superior to all grinders and why the stepped grinder was not only not a problem but better than other grinders. He argued that the stepped adjust was not a problem because you could simply adjust the grinder timer plus or minus to compensate. In other words, his argument was that you could simply use a little more or a little less coffee to compensate for the problem.

This was the most laughable thing I have ever read in my eight years in this industry. Ludicrous comes to mind. Evolution brought us away from stepped adjustment and this guy is trying to tell us that it's better. Ridiculous and a complete load of BS. Bottom line: all grinders are compromised in some way. The point is that we need to understand those compromises, work around them and continue to improve. The Anfim hasn't improved its' design since 49th Parallel introduced it to the marketplace (the K30 quickly changed to friction). To my mind, the Anfim is the poor choice. Better off with a Mazzer Major than the Anfim.
Joseph-
I do not have any experience with Mazzer SJ Titanium Burrs. My only understanding is that the titanium should last longer. However, I presume the titanium burrs come at a premium. Perhaps that extra cash is better spent towards a new grinder? No offense, but I'm really not a fan of the Super Jolly in a production environment. The size of the burrs creates greater heat friction and I prefer the grind quality out of a Major or Robur over the Super Jolly.
Yes,
No offense taken Jay. I'm only a fan because I don't have the ready $ for the grinders you mention.
I would not be surprised if titanium burr sets were not just specific to the SJ Mazzer. They cost about $80 instead of around $40 for standard. Metallurgy was a major in college so I do know some of the advantages of using titanium over hardened steal. Just not sure if you get twice the millage in the coffee grinder world.
Joe

Jay Caragay said:
Joseph-
I do not have any experience with Mazzer SJ Titanium Burrs. My only understanding is that the titanium should last longer. However, I presume the titanium burrs come at a premium. Perhaps that extra cash is better spent towards a new grinder? No offense, but I'm really not a fan of the Super Jolly in a production environment. The size of the burrs creates greater heat friction and I prefer the grind quality out of a Major or Robur over the Super Jolly.
From my experience (I'm a proud owner of a sc, using robur-e every day at work, spent hours with compak) all of them are excellent grinders but I think some of your criticism against anfim is a little harsh :)

Allthough the grind quality might have been a secondary feature, it's absolutely no problem with anfim. I'd say the coffee ground with SC is fluffier than with k10 or robur (all tested within the same room, similar temperature, same coffee, ceteris paribus :))

When it comes to conical vs. flat burr-debate, the differences between the burr set-types get lost in the differences between grinders. I can't understand how conical burrs were somehow more consistent? The conical burrs are usually cheered because they produce more fine particles and according to S. Rao and D. Schoemer that does not contribute to consistency between shots.

The Anfim does use steps but the step interval has been decreased on the latest models and there's about 90 points now. It's a compromise, yes, but not a big one. The stepped mechanism on the Anfims should not be compared with k30 (used one before robur). Besides I personally find it easier to loosen or tighten the grind with one step instead of plain inaccurate "just a little bit".

Although the "White paper" on the coffeed was a little bit Steve Jobbish solution it's concerns all the timed grinders to some degree. There's a correlation between grind speed and grind size (I tested this few weeks ago, p<.05), so when in need of a fast adjustments timers are the solution.

Other points that never get mentioned are the size of the SC: it's easy to pack and carry to places and when the doser and doser fork are removed, it's delightfully small and compact. Where I'm from, the Anfim was also cheapest of the bunch. The whole burr carrier is made out of a heavy block of bronze (I think the upper carrier is heavier than on robur) and it's thermal conductivity is low. That together with the ventilation means that in modest use, the anfim is one cool grinder.

Allthough I'm a die hard Anfim-lover, those three grinders are still just about the best one can get.

Jay Caragay said:
Ryan-
I see that I'm late to the game but I did not see the post when it originally was posted, only now.

Whomever told you that the Compak K-10WBC is "cheap, plastic trash" is someone who is ignorant of the grinder, and I don't care how "well respected" you say this person is - in fact, tell us this persons name so I can respect that person less.

I've been using the Compak K-10 since 2006 and it has been a workhorse. It quickly replaced our Mazzer Majors as our "primary" grinder and I specified the K-10 WBC for the new Spro Hampden that we opened this past March as our primary grinder. The K-10 is a hardworking, reliable and proven performer that's not quite "loved" by some of these "well respected" "professionals" because they're pushing some other grinder that they think is "hip."

I care less about "hip" and "cool" and more about quality of grind, reliability, performance and consistency.

The other grinder you mentioned (Anfim Super Caimano) deserves a little bit of history for you to appreciate it's position within our craft today. Clean dosing has always been an issue in a shop environment, but dosing really came to the forefront at the WBC/USBC. Specifically, the problem of the Mazzers to "throw" ground coffee to the left and spilling onto the counter - which results in more work and burning more time, or lower scores in competition.

Competitive baristas back in 2004-2005 were looking for a grinder that would eliminate the dosing "problem" - enter the Anfim. I believe it was Philip Search (the guy who really pushed for grinder timer development) and Vince Piccolo who discovered that the Anfim doser dropped the coffee straight down - eliminating many of the dosing problems.

In other words, the Anfim only came to light because of it's doser. It was never a contender because of grind quality - grind quality was secondary.

While all grinders are compromised, the Anfim is more compromised than others. 1) it uses flat burrs as opposed to the greater consistency conical burrs like those found in a K-10, 2) it uses stepped grind settings. The first compromise isn't too bad. I've used and liked Mazzer Major grinders for years. However, the second problem is one that completely eliminates the grinder from consideration.

Quite simply, Stepped Grind Adjustment is INFERIOR to the "infinite" friction adjusters found on the Compak and Mazzer grinders. Invariably, the grind you need will be exactly the point BETWEEN grinder steps. It is why there was such a backlash when Mahlkonig introduced the K30 - eventually, they had to relent and modify the K30 to friction adjust.

A few years ago, Philip Search posted to Coffeed.com what I joking call his "white paper" - a diatribe defending the Anfim against critics (like myself), giving reasons why the Anfim was superior to all grinders and why the stepped grinder was not only not a problem but better than other grinders. He argued that the stepped adjust was not a problem because you could simply adjust the grinder timer plus or minus to compensate. In other words, his argument was that you could simply use a little more or a little less coffee to compensate for the problem.

This was the most laughable thing I have ever read in my eight years in this industry. Ludicrous comes to mind. Evolution brought us away from stepped adjustment and this guy is trying to tell us that it's better. Ridiculous and a complete load of BS. Bottom line: all grinders are compromised in some way. The point is that we need to understand those compromises, work around them and continue to improve. The Anfim hasn't improved its' design since 49th Parallel introduced it to the marketplace (the K30 quickly changed to friction). To my mind, the Anfim is the poor choice. Better off with a Mazzer Major than the Anfim.

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