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As some of you may have seen I picked up an as-new condition white EK43s from [mention=3221]gman147[/mention] in late May. I managed to resist for approximately 3 hours before getting in the car and taking my little-one on a roadtrip to Cheltenham to pick her up.

 

As ever, it was great to meet a fellow forum member in person and have the usual hectic and excitable coffee chat about everything from machines, to grinders, to the recent forum upgrade! After about an hour chatting, we headed back to Bristol late afternoon, ready for some far-too-late-in-the-day espresso shots to run her in.

 

I didn’t want to note down my comments until I had time to reflect on this acquisition, which has been my end-game grinder for a few years now.

 

 

Noise

I don’t see this as a problem. She certainly has pervasive back hum when idling. Adding the beans gives the familiar noise level that you get in every third wave coffee shop these days, but my wife hasn’t complained.

 

 

Weight and size

It is beyond heavy. It looks hefty, but this is nothing compared to the reality. Made sure you have a strong set of kitchen cupboards!

In “short”, size really isn’t too bad. It’s bigger than my Ceado, but is relatively attractive in white and has wife approval. I quite like it, but then I have been in love with the EK since first understanding what they do, so this is possible clouding my judgement!

 

IMG_9045.thumb.jpg.1850b3d3b346b4995acfa43bde551e79.jpg

 

 

Cable length

Really long to give flexibility of placement, but I recently realised you can feed excess cable back into the base to avoid a coiling snake across the worktop.

 

 

Weigh-in-weigh-out

I have to admit a lot of head scratching for the first few days – this thing is supposed to be almost zero retention, yet I seem to be losing 0.5-1g on every dose?!

I was using RDT with a spoon, really thwacking the thwacker (as it were), yet every time grounds out =/= beans in.

Then one morning I realised the anomaly: I have one metal cup to feed beans in, and a separate one to catch the grounds out. It transpires that the grounds-out cup weighs 0.9g less than the beans-in cup – there we go – problem solved!

Thereafter a slight change in workflow to ensure I now weigh-in beans using the grounds-out cup, before transferring to the beans-in cup before RDT etc.

Retention is now predictably low. Invariably +/- 0.2g.

I am really enjoying the weigh-in-weigh-out process, allowing for tiny grind tweaks between shots. My wife knows the dial in at “8-9” on the scale for the Sowden and is (begrudgingly) getting the hang of weighing in.

 

 

Fluffiness of grounds

I formerly dosed 15.5g to 15.8g into my 15g VST using my Ceado e37s, I can only fit 14g into the 15g VST using the EK. This is with the same beans, from the same batch, and I have rechecked this.

Before every tamp, I give a couple of vertical settling taps then use my homemade patent-pending scraping tool, so I know that the basket is filled to the same level with each grinder. More than c. 14g dosed in the VST from the EK leads to overfilling. This is evidenced by shower screen indentations on the used puck, so I can’t ignore the facts.

I am putting this down to the various particle size analyses on the EK indicating it produces a higher proportion of larger particles, so less settling and compacting. Welcome thoughts on this point though, and whether anyone else has noticed the same?

 

 

Tamping

The big surprise is that my Torr Goldfinger Trap Convex no longer works. I am getting huge problems with side-channelling in the basket.

 

IMG_9153.thumb.jpg.d284627f2fe848fed5296408769b1a87.jpgIMG_9097.thumb.jpg.4a3785b941ec4549d6e836697779846f.jpgIMG_9096.thumb.jpg.b9bb182f9e3b9be0485a88ecd3f72174.jpg

 

As you can see from the above photos, this is a problem and, frankly, is a bit demoralising when you see channelling start halfway through a shot.

 

I have moved to using a lower PI pressure of 1.25 bar, which has helped, but not solved the problem.

 

There are two problems to overcome: in some cases you can see where the puck pulls away from the basket, in others you can see a “halo” forming around the edge, presumably where the grounds have been tamped less (the tamper base rim has a radius, and I am now seeing that this should be a sharp-edge) and this has allowed them to expand further. In some cases there is evidence of contact with the shower screen, so this may also cause the channeling.

I need to get my head around this issue and am currently investigating tamper options.

Again, I would be interested to hear if others found this same issue when moving to the EK?

 

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.....now wishing I had titled this thread “My EKsperiences....”

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Great write up Rob, would be interested to hear your observations in the cup.


Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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Great write up Rob, would be interested to hear your observations in the cup.

Well I did recently have the opportunity for a very interesting side by side comparison with another forum member....!!

I have read Boots repeatedly stating that nothing tastes like an EK shot. I have read about weak body and sweetness, I sort of knew what to expect, but had not appreciated some of the reasons behind these opinions.

Firstly, I tried with some surprisingly palatable medium-roast Brazilian beans that were prepared as a sample for a boutique coffee shop I know. I was given a couple of kilos to try. On my Ceado, these were surprisingly nice at 1:2.5 in 45s a decent flavour balance and quite tasty, if a little “flat”. Not my usual preference, but certainly better than any decent-size chain shop offering.

On the EK, using the same recipe, these beans were almost unplayable. The concentration of flavour was something else. You can immediately taste the increased EY with this grinder and, at lower ratios, you are almost chewing your way through the shots.

For me, this excessive flavour concentration was the reason to reduce the dose-in and pull longer shots. I am now around 14g in and 45-46g out on a spring lever. (I am probably also down at 35s ATM but this is partially due to the side channeling issue I mention above.) The higher ratio dilutes the excessive flavours, adds sweetness.

I found it entirely possible to pull a fairly thick and gloopy shot on the EK; it just tasted awful.

I am now on a fairly unusual high-altitude acidic Colombian from Triple Co (shameless plug - Jo’s coffees are superb - please try them).

We compared the e37s and EK back to back, at 1:3 ratio in about 45s. The difference in flavour was quite marked.

The e37s really does make a spectacular espresso. It is very easy to dial in on the flavours you want. The shot has great body. I loved everything about it, except it can’t filter grinding well at all (IMO).

The EK was different and definitely added clarity to the individual flavours. This brings its own unforeseen challenges - the dosing, distribution and quality of extraction needs to be bang on, otherwise your espresso will emphasise one flavour at the expense of the others, resulting in a less than balanced espresso and, frankly, a poorer drink than would be produced on the Ceado. The EK is much more frustrating in use and highlights areas where your skills or kit are lacking.

When you get everything right though, my does this grinder reward in the cup!

The Colombian tastes superb on both grinders, and a bit of me hankers after how forgiving the Ceado was to use, but the espresso thru to filter / brewed capability of the EK is a fantastic addition to my coffee repertoire and well worth the money....but then it should be, when a good used EK costs c. 4 times the price of a similar quality e37s!!

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So are you keeping the Ceado?

No, sold to pour the money into this.
The EK has to be my “do everything” grinder, otherwise wife would kill me.

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Good write up Rob. Always nice to read a review in basic terms. Always loved the EK.

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Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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3 hours ago, rob177palmer said:

 I loved everything about it, except it can’t filter grinding well at all (IMO).

Can you elaborate?

 


Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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He's talking about the e37s...
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Ve ve suvivius.... /E37s/ Eazytamp / tupperware pot / completely healthy relationship with coffee (and bank manager).

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I found the particle size range to be huge at a coarser grind.Loads of fines amongst the boulders.

You’ve had one - do you not agree?

More importantly was the fact that, to move from espresso to filter, you need to take the top off, unscrew the adjustment lever, reattach, unwind one wind, unscrew, re-attach, unwind a second wind and you are roughly in the range.

Not really workable in my view.

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Get a flat tamper

I know you are right. I just didn’t expect to have to spend 10% of purchase price on a new tamper when I thought I had that corner of my setup sorted

Ah well, I need to start a thread on recent tamper innovations.
From what I see, there are a few different new and approaches to base designs - Barista Hustle, Pullman, St Anthony - need to see current consensus on results.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, rob177palmer said:


I know you are right. I just didn’t expect to have to spend 10% of purchase price on a new tamper when I thought I had that corner of my setup sorted emoji23.png

Ah well, I need to start a thread on recent tamper innovations.
From what I see, there are a few different new and approaches to base designs - Barista Hustle, Pullman, St Anthony - need to see current consensus on results.

How much? You can get good flat tampers for under a ton. Perhaps just get a base 

Don't cover complicate it. 

Flat base 54.4 or above .

 

Edited by Mrboots2u
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I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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I know you are right. I just didn’t expect to have to spend 10% of purchase price on a new tamper when I thought I had that corner of my setup sorted

Ah well, I need to start a thread on recent tamper innovations.
From what I see, there are a few different new and approaches to base designs - Barista Hustle, Pullman, St Anthony - need to see current consensus on results.
They are expensive but I still have pullman big step and chisel for sale.

Would never have decided to sell. But got a decent deal on a puqpress. Am open to offers.

Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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They are expensive but I still have pullman big step and chisel for sale.

Would never have decided to sell. But got a decent deal on a puqpress. Am open to offers.

TBH i have been repeatedly looking at your thread but I couldn’t decide whether the adjustment features were worth it to me. I can see why they add to the cost, but I wasn’t sure I valued that enough, I guess.

I will ponder.

I love the handle on the chisel tho!

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1 hour ago, rob177palmer said:

 


I found the particle size range to be huge at a coarser grind.Loads of fines amongst the boulders.

You’ve had one - do you not agree?

More importantly was the fact that, to move from espresso to filter, you need to take the top off, unscrew the adjustment lever, reattach, unwind one wind, unscrew, re-attach, unwind a second wind and you are roughly in the range.

Not really workable in my view.

 

Agree - E37s isn't suited for brewed coffee whereas the EK is in a league of its own.

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Londinium-R - EKS43 running SSP Silver Knight burrs

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TBH i have been repeatedly looking at your thread but I couldn’t decide whether the adjustment features were worth it to me. I can see why they add to the cost, but I wasn’t sure I valued that enough, I guess.

I will ponder.

I love the handle on the chisel tho!
Yep. I totally get where you're coming from. They are expensive. There is no denying that. Do that add anything - I don't really know. But they do look better than pretty much anything else that I've used or seen. Both woods are amazing. The checker is awesome though.

I'm in no rush. Hence why I haven't revived the thread. Have a think and we can go from there.

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Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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13 minutes ago, Planter said:

Yep. I totally get where you're coming from. They are expensive. There is no denying that. Do that add anything - I don't really know. But they do look better than pretty much anything else that I've used or seen. Both woods are amazing. The checker is awesome though.

I'm in no rush. Hence why I haven't revived the thread. Have a think and we can go from there.
 

sorry to jump in how much would you want for the big step? any more details?

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Also this sounds very similar to my journey so far after switching from an E37s to EK43.

 

At first i could not get a decent shot. After a lot of playing i seem to be finding the sweet spot around 19g in 50g out around 35-40s. I have also found it really depends how well developed the roast is. For example i could not get any good flavours out fo five elephant beans. They tasted ok for sure but nothing special, it think they might just be too light for EK style shots.

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sorry to jump in how much would you want for the big step? any more details?
No need to apologise. They are for sale to anyone. I've tagged you into a link for them.

Cheers.

Machine - Currently a Londinium R. Grinder - Niche. Tamper/distributor - Puqpress and Pullman Distribution and Big Step Palm Tamper.

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sorry to jump in how much would you want for the big step? any more details?

Check the for sale thread

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I need to sort the channelling. That is the challenge. It is affecting 50% of shots right now; none are ruined and all taste astonishingly good considering, but I know I am missing the mark.

Tamper it is.

Then to finish off aligning burrs (static done, moving to do) so intrigued what that will bring. Suspect very minor improvement but then I will know it is perfect as perfect can be

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19 minutes ago, rob177palmer said:

I need to sort the channelling. That is the challenge. It is affecting 50% of shots right now; none are ruined and all taste astonishingly good considering, but I know I am missing the mark.

Tamper it is.

Then to finish off aligning burrs (static done, moving to do) so intrigued what that will bring. Suspect very minor improvement but then I will know it is perfect as perfect can be emoji1476.png

I'd not overly worry 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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I wonder if part of the channeling might be from the lower dose. Did you change basket or keep same one?


Everything my heart could desire (more or less). . .

 

https://cupperjoe.com

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48 minutes ago, jlarkin said:

I wonder if part of the channeling might be from the lower dose. Did you change basket or keep same one?

Its such a fine grind that you get micro channeling across the basket which is why the aeropress filter method works.its stops the basket getting clogged up .

 


I write a blog, it's nothing to do with coffee ...

https://rjwinc.wordpress.com

Instagram - rjw_inc

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