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Feld 47 Travel Review and Direct MBK Experience


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I reference my settings similar to you @Skizz

I do find this grinder shines in producing a very sweet espresso when dialled in at just under a full revolution from zero. (for example, I am set at 11.2.0.) Such a fine setting does require a very light tamp, and a controlled preinfusion. It does not choke if the tamp is light, and the result is a much sweeter, fuller textured shot.

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COMRADES! Don't forget! Remember REVOLUTION! A 12 mm wide Dymo-label near the upper rim of the catch cup can be a way to remind yourself how many revolutions you had on the setting when you

I have been using my Feld47 Travel for espresso daily for the last 3 weeks. Been no problems grinding takes a minute or so. It does have its limits fine tuning it but around setting 1.10/1.105 seems t

I can also hear clicking if I try to wiggle the shaft, but I can't measure the play - it's too small ? Guess it's less then 0.1 mm. There's very little info on how to check or maintain the Feld47

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COMRADES! Don't forget! Remember REVOLUTION!

1781737965_Feld47RevolutionEdition(P3131710).JPG.49794dbae63095d0a82cd67f483451b7.JPG626658145_Feld47RevolutionEdition(P3131711).JPG.a7aa8e7ea0448806fd8e69327c559712.JPG

A 12 mm wide Dymo-label near the upper rim of the catch cup can be a way to remind yourself how many revolutions you had on the setting when you finished your previous cup. Rotate the cup until the handle serves as a pointer to the number you need next time you pick up the grinder :) Had enough of zeroing it and start from scratch because of my bad memory...

I used a inexpensive standard label printer at work, but if you have one you can connect to a computer and get more fonts available, I think "Century Gothic" is the one MDK have used.

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Some of this is rehashing stuff already discussed but here's a warts-'n-all review of the MBK 'Feld 47 Travel' after just under a month's use. Sorry if it goes on a bit but I'm short on work, housebound and suffering from cabin fever. It was either write this or set fire to something ?

The good

  • Versatility & quality of grind: produces consistently usable grinds for espresso, Aeropress and pour-over (V60)
  • Consistency & repeatability: changing between grind settings is quick and consistent, with 2.1-2.4 for Aeropress (depending on the bean) delivering the goods each time regardless of where in the range I've been experimenting with espresso
  • Grind feel: pleasingly crisp when grinding, i.e. it cuts rather than crushes, if that makes sense?
  • Price: £144 all-in for a 'cosmetic 2nd' with no discernible cosmetic imperfections looks like reasonable value against its competitors. Regular (unmarked) versions currently selling at £168.00 GBP including VAT and UK shipping

The not so good

  • Fit & finish: although the grinder is pleasingly weighty and solid feeling, the poorly printed graduation-marking sticker on the lid looks cheap and the grinding-arm has some hard edges that are bloody uncomfortable if they catch your fingers when adjusting the grind setting. While the lid markings are undoubtedly a cost driven decision they could certainly be printed to a higher standard, and the hard edges on the arm really should be eased
  • Grinding grip: is too small for me and not particularly comfortable to hold, especially when grinding >20g for espresso. I recognise this point is subjective and it may be fine for others but I'd much rather it had a larger wooden grip (future project)
  • Grounds cup: is a pain in the arse on a number of fronts:
    • Annoyingly and consistently fiddly to fit, and worryingly easy to jam
    • Super staticky and doesn't like letting go of the grounds - you really need a pastry brush to get them all out each time
    • Has hard corners and a seam around the base internally that grounds just love to get stuck in
    • It's black inside, so difficult to see whether there are still grounds left in there. Hint: there probably are.
  • User guidance/information: there isn't any from the manufacturer so look elsewhere for support; on this thread for example

The uncertain

  • Value: is it better than a Porlex? Yes, absolutely. Is it better than a C40? No idea, never tried one. Does it offer good value overall? Hard to say. There's quite a bit I like about it but an equal number of things that would make me reluctant to recommend it to someone who was considering it against a C40, 1Zpresso, Kinu or other premium manual grinder. I'm still not convinced that I wouldn't have been better spending a few more quid and trying the 1Zpresso; maybe I'll pick one up some day and do a comparison, but there's a Niche Zero above that on the list, and then a Mara X, and then a Vesuvias, and...

The bad

  • Poor (read 'absent') customer service: I contacted them the day I received my grinder with a perfectly genuine and reasonable query, which they've yet to even acknowledge, let alone answer. I'd normally give a retailer the benefit of the doubt and try again but my experience is far from unique and there are too many examples of other MBK customers with similar experiences. Regardless of the potential value offered by these grinders or how passionate the people running the business are, you have to ask yourself if you want to give your money to them when they seem to have no interest in their customers beyond the initial sale.

Would I buy another one, or any other product from MBK? Probably not, and that's largely due to the complete lack of after-sales support. That's a real shame, as I can find workarounds for most of the other stuff, especially when the results of the grinder are so consistently usable.

I've spent far more money on specialist gear from other small/boutique manufacturers who actively seek out customer feedback and work to resolve issues quickly when they arise. Conversely, MBK seem to believe that so long as people keep ordering their products they're getting the nod to carry on as is. It would be unfair to not raise this when reviewing one of their products.

None of that's going to stop me having at go at a @joey24dirt style handle for it though ?

Edited by Skizz
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I've had a blade grinder for 7 years, a Porlex Mini for 5 years, an Aergrind (v1) for 2 years and a Feld47 for 2 months, and I definitely feel it has been a step up every time a new grinder arrived ?

But there has also been some unexpected draw backs. When the Aergrind arrived, it made the Porlex feel almost like a toy, but I liked the grounds cup better on the Porlex. Soft corners and stainless steel (conductive surface = low static) made it very easy to get the coffee out, and the fit on the body was perfectly snug. The fit was a tad tighter on the Aergrind, and hard corners and static (anodised surface is not conductive) made the coffee cling to the cup - at least until I learned to put a small amount of water in with the beans to increase conductivity and get rid of static charges. That helped a lot ?The other thing I didn't like about the Aergrind, was the plastic lid with "etched" graduation marks - this looked very cheap, as mentioned in numerous reviews at the time. And when v2 of the Aergrind was launched, the plastic lid was replaced by a metal lid, with the graduation marks on a sticker. Putting them on a sticker was probably a question of cost, but I also suspect it to be a question of simplifying design - it eliminated the need of shims underneath the upper bearing to get the zero calibrated correctly to the "etched" graduation marks. Set the grinder to zero, and then put the sticker on just right :) 

Before I ordered the Feld47 (I included a metal lid for my Aergrind in the order, btw), I've read complaints about the grounds cup being to loose - unless your hand gripped both the grounds cup and the grinder body, there was a risk the cup and the ground coffee would end up on the floor in a mess. Since I had the Aergrind, I thought it would be fixable with a thicker o-ring, if it at all was a real problem. And no - "loose fit" was not a problem at all ... It's a very tight fit, and it doesn't seem to loosen up with time. However, time seems to help on my technique, fortunately :) I find it helpful to put the cup on deliberately at an angle, until the rim reaches the o-ring, then straighten the angle while I'm pushing very lightly. I'm getting it right 9 out of 10 now, and improving!

Anyways, I think history shows that MBK are not immune to customer feedback, but they definitely do seem to have communication challenges. It seems MDK want the grinders to speak for themselves - but they don't, of course. The lack of user manuals, sporadic email responses etc are something they really should begin to care about. Their products deserve it, I think. :) 

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On 25/03/2020 at 21:29, a_aa said:

...static (anodised surface is not conductive) made the coffee cling to the cup - at least until I learned to put a small amount of water in with the beans to increase conductivity and get rid of static charges. That helped a lot ?

How are you adding water to your beans? Spritzing with a spray bottle or dropping with a pipette? Considering trying this but unsure if it would cause the burrs to corrode

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On 28/03/2020 at 18:05, a_aa said:

I use the handle or a spoon, just transfer a small drop or two. Inspired by the Hoffman ? 

Appreciate the tip, thanks. Doesn't seem to work for me though ?

Have tried loads of variations on that theme with differing amounts of time under the tap (the spoon, that is) and shaking the beans vs not shaking, asking them nicely not to cling after their hideous grindy death, etc. All to no avail. No matter what I try I still have to get busy with the pastry brush. Also, doesn't seem to matter if I'm grinding for espresso or Aeropress, it still sticks in the grounds cup like poo to a blanket. Ah well

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@Skizz Weird ?

Maybe  ...  If the air at your place has very low relative humidity, that could be an influence? If it rapidly absorbs the water without leaving traces to improve conductivity? But I'm guessing you're close to a sink when you're making coffee, so I would be surprised if the air there is desert-like. If the air is dry, some plants may be helpful as a natural remedy - but I cant promise it'll fix the static. Can be nice, anyway :D 

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I did consider it may be related to humidity but pretty certain there's nothing too weird going on there. There's always the possibility that my technojinx is actually a by-product of some odd high static medical disorder? Maybe I'm a walking talking Van de Graaff generator? Would explain a lot

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  • 5 months later...

I have been using mine daily for about 10 months now and its performed fantastic, no issues. I tend to switch between Aero and V60 and get great results with both. Current setting on the V60 is 2.9.

The catch jar can be a pain but some silicon gel helps alot, mainly is down the the angle and I have pretty much cracked it now. Static is very bean dependant in my experience, some beans are worse than others. I tend to slow grind, tap the bottom a few times and then boil the water. Static is usually minimal this way.

Solid bit of kit, repeatable results let down by poor customer service. How not to run a compnay!

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I've been using mine for about 7 months at work and I'm very happy with it. Used to do Aeropress (floated around 2.4-2.7 for my recipe) and V60 (3.0 to 3.3), currently brewing with a Clever dripper and using anything between 3.0 and 3.6 (again, recipe dependant). I have a Comandante at home and they're very close, the Feld47 produces more fines but it doesn't detract from any of the brews. 

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Similar experience here. Used since late Feb for 7-10 Aeropress brews (16g) and 5-6 shots (17g) a week and been very happy with the performance. Grinds are still consistent, adjustment remains accurate and cleaning is relatively straightforward once you know how. Issues with fit & finish and customer service remain but otherwise very happy. Static in the grounds cup also persists but easily fixed by bashing it with the same wooden pastry brush used for clearance and cleaning. Genuinely don't feel any need for a powered grinder, though that may change if I was pulling more shots.

Edited by Skizz
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On 25/03/2020 at 21:29, a_aa said:

I've had a blade grinder for 7 years, a Porlex Mini for 5 years, an Aergrind (v1) for 2 years and a Feld47 for 2 months, and I definitely feel it has been a step up every time a new grinder arrived ?

But there has also been some unexpected draw backs. When the Aergrind arrived, it made the Porlex feel almost like a toy, but I liked the grounds cup better on the Porlex. Soft corners and stainless steel (conductive surface = low static) made it very easy to get the coffee out, and the fit on the body was perfectly snug. The fit was a tad tighter on the Aergrind, and hard corners and static (anodised surface is not conductive) made the coffee cling to the cup - at least until I learned to put a small amount of water in with the beans to increase conductivity and get rid of static charges. That helped a lot ?The other thing I didn't like about the Aergrind, was the plastic lid with "etched" graduation marks - this looked very cheap, as mentioned in numerous reviews at the time. And when v2 of the Aergrind was launched, the plastic lid was replaced by a metal lid, with the graduation marks on a sticker. Putting them on a sticker was probably a question of cost, but I also suspect it to be a question of simplifying design - it eliminated the need of shims underneath the upper bearing to get the zero calibrated correctly to the "etched" graduation marks. Set the grinder to zero, and then put the sticker on just right :) 

Before I ordered the Feld47 (I included a metal lid for my Aergrind in the order, btw), I've read complaints about the grounds cup being to loose - unless your hand gripped both the grounds cup and the grinder body, there was a risk the cup and the ground coffee would end up on the floor in a mess. Since I had the Aergrind, I thought it would be fixable with a thicker o-ring, if it at all was a real problem. And no - "loose fit" was not a problem at all ... It's a very tight fit, and it doesn't seem to loosen up with time. However, time seems to help on my technique, fortunately :) I find it helpful to put the cup on deliberately at an angle, until the rim reaches the o-ring, then straighten the angle while I'm pushing very lightly. I'm getting it right 9 out of 10 now, and improving!

Anyways, I think history shows that MBK are not immune to customer feedback, but they definitely do seem to have communication challenges. It seems MDK want the grinders to speak for themselves - but they don't, of course. The lack of user manuals, sporadic email responses etc are something they really should begin to care about. Their products deserve it, I think. :) 

Did you see much benefit in the Feld47 over the Aergrind? Ordered the Aergrind, but now wondering whether I should save up for the Feld47 instead. Grinding for clever dripper, just 20g at a time... Thanks!

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