Compak K-10 Fresh - First Impression
Making an appearance at the SCAA's National Event in Houston in a couple of weeks will be Compak's new line of Fresh Grinders. This line, and specifically the K-10 Fresh, has piqued a lot of interest in the coffee world over the past few months. We've gathered as much information as we can about this grinder and wanted to update everyone as to what we've found out. We know that this grinder will feature: three grinding modes (Automatic, Manual, Pre-Programmed Single and Double Shot), low RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) for less heat, stepless grinding adjustment, and an electronic display to monitor and control functions. Other than the ability to monitor and control the grind setting and grinding modes, the electronic display also includes: total and partial coffee counter, promotional message, ability to set password, and configurable burr change warning.
Many people have asked about how this grinder compares to the previous Compak K-10 Doserless model. According to Compak the mechanics such as motor, burr set, and body are the same whereas the dosing system, electronics, and control system are completely new. Perhaps the biggest upgrade to this machine are the three different grinding modes and its integration into the electronic display. There are a handful of espresso grinders on the market that are equipped, or can be equipped, with a dose timer, but to my knowledge none of them integrate the timer in such a way as the K-10 Fresh. The Automatic mode is as it sounds automatic, you can set your time and go. For the Pre-Programmed Single and Double Dose modes you can preselect each respective dose to within a tenth of a second. This should provide pinpoint control with for a grinder with a low RPMs(400) like the K-10. Perhaps one of the nicest features for the K-10 Fresh is that when in Manual mode, the display will keep the time dosed when using the pulse button below the display.
So what's the big deal on having these grinding modes integrated with a dosing timer? The answer is two-fold. First of all, dialing in your espresso (pinpointing the dosage amount that brings out the best taste in your espresso) in relation to dosage time allows you to reproduce your ideal shot. Once you've done the work to calculate what time to set your double and single shots to, you can program the grinder and won't have to worry about dosing the same amount each time. This helps to keep one of the variables in producing a great shot constant. Secondly, it helps cut down on waste. Programming your desired dosage amount ensures that you won't have a heap of extra grounds to scrap off into the trash. This ends ups saving a lot of coffee waste and in turn saves you some money.
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We've looked long and hard for a scale that we can recommend for our avid manual brewing friends. The scale needed to have a high weight capacity, fast response time and precision calculations, and the ability to disable the auto-off feature to ensure the scale would not shut off mid-brew. The Jennings CJ4000 is the first scale we have offered that meets all of these requirements. With a 4000 gram capacity, accuracy to .5 gram, and the ability to disable the auto-off feature, the Jennings scale is the perfect companion to manual brewing.
$81.98It can be difficult in the world of specialty coffee to find a brewer that not only looks fantastic but also produces a fantastic product. Eva Solo has done an exceptional job of combining both elements into the Cafe Solo. The Solo seems a little strange upon first glance for the very reason that it may be the first coffee brewer of its kind: one that is clothed. The designers at Eva Solo had the ingenious idea of using the same material that keeps divers warm (neoprene) and wrapping it around the glass carafe... thus keeping the coffee hot during the 4 minute brewing period.
Not only are its looks something to take seriously, but the Solo's coffee is not to be underestimated. Because of its use of "total immersion" brewing (similar to that of a french press), the grounds are evenly and completely submersed in water. This provides extraction that is difficult to achieve by other methods of brewing. It is advisable, however, that once the 4 minutes of extraction is complete, the coffee should be immediately served or transferred into a thermal pot (we recommend one of the Zojirushi carafes). This will prevent over-extraction from taking place which results in a bitter tasting coffee.
The Cafe Solo is unquestionably a unique and exceptional specialty coffee manual brewer. Because of its simple usability and superior design, the Cafe Solo is a force to be reckoned with in the specialty coffee world.
Few advancements in espresso machine technology over the past fifty years could be called revolutionary. The latest advancement featured in La Marzocco's Strada Electronic Paddle (EP) is one that has earned that title. Pressure profiling was first introduced into the mass market in 2009 by the Slayer Espresso Machine. The La Marzocco Strada takes this new technology to the next level by allowing the barista to save up to four pressure profiles at any given time. Along with the ability to save profiles, each group has a digital display that shows the temperature (±0.1°C), shot time, and current bars of pressure (±.1 Bar). The Strada perfectly combines the durability and workmanship of La Marzocco with the technology of the future.