Compak K3 Touch Doserless

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Niko
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Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:47 am

I just ordered one of these grinders yesterday.
Does anyone else here own one? Has anybody ever used one?
Long story short: I moved my S1 to another location and I couldn't part with my MACAP or Mazzer. I like having 2 grinders next to each other, it makes life easier when switching beans :grin:
So....I was ready to order another MACAP but Chris' was out of stock on the stepless doserless, so the Compak is on it's way.
Full report to follow with pics soon 8)


I can't believe the price jump on the Mazzer Mini Type B!!! :shock:
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
Hottop P, Behmor, iRoast2 and Gene Cafe

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Thu Nov 20, 2008 2:46 pm

Niko wrote:I just ordered one of these grinders yesterday.
Does anyone else here own one? Has anybody ever used one?
So....I was ready to order another MACAP but Chris' was out of stock on the stepless doserless, so the Compak is on it's way.
Full report to follow with pics soon 8)
I can't believe the price jump on the Mazzer Mini Type B!!! :shock:

Specs wise it is almost identical to the Macap except the rpm is lower so it should be similar. My Macap is going on the market in a day or two but it has a doser. Just got the Super Jolly yesterday but haven't had a chance to try it out yet. That Mini B is extremely pricey! Several other grinders in that price range I'd consider first.
Speedster/Bosco Sorrento/ K10WBC/K30/Bunnzilla
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Tue Nov 25, 2008 3:37 pm

I'm a doserless kind of guy so there aren't many choices out there. Besides, I really like the Mini Type B (uses same burr set like the Super Jolly) and I'm so used to it. I got mine for a fraction of that latest price :shock:

Just checked UPS tracking and the Compak is out for delivery today, woohoo! :grin:
I just re-plumbed the good 'ol S1 last night, the 3rd time I moved it! I'm really good at this now ;-)
Time to play with the Compak tonight, it remains to be seen about the clumping. I don't expect miracles since doserless grinders are known to clump.
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
Hottop P, Behmor, iRoast2 and Gene Cafe

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Wed Nov 26, 2008 2:06 pm

Pictures to follow soon.
The grinder finally arrived at 6:40pm last night which gave me enough time to pull only 20 shots :grin:
Packaging was very nice, cool grinder graphic on the side (kind of like the Hottop Roaster) box. Within minutes it was plugged in and grinding sink shots in no time, the first two were literally throw-aways without even going through the Vivaldi. I knew by rubbing the grinds between fingers that it wasn't quite there yet. Moments later I was pulling shots that were too fast and runny and just a couple more shots the machine was choking nicely for a double ristretto.
I really like this grinder, it's simple with no bells and whistles - I guess the dose settings makes it somewhat more advanced than the MACAP doserless (the non-electronic version). This is a feature I can do without, the ON/OFF switch is just enough for me. One thing I noticed with this grinder is that I have to use more coffee...? Kind of strange but I guess the little burr gremlins need that extra 1.5 gram as a toll charge :lol:
This grinder isn't much less clumpier than my MACAP but that's no surprise to me since I have a weird technique to get the clumps out as they fall into the basket. I don't use any sharp tools to stir grinds, just some quick jabs with a chopstick and it's done with a quick finishing move into the chute kills the rest of the clumps off in no time. If I were to pick in order which of the 3 grinders was less clumpy it would go like this: 1. Compak 2. MACAP 3. Mazzer Mini Type B. They're all very close in the clump factor so there's very little difference between them. So far my best shots come from the Mazzer for some reason (I think this is due to technique, not the grind quality). The Compak can certainly grind as good as the other two but it's the build quality that separates them. The more you pay, the more quality you get. There's much more plastic on the Compak, though it certainly doesn't make it an inferior product - the grinder simply rocks the house with ease of use. Then you move up to the MACAP and there's hardly any plastic on that thing, hence the 20 lbs vs. 16 for the Compak (listed as 19lbs but it feels lighter). I won't even mention the build quality of the Mazzer but I know it can take a direct hit by a stinger missile and still grind coffee afterwards. I've known people to drop these things onto really hard surfaces and suffer only slight cosmetic damage. If I had to shop all over again for these grinders today it would almost be a no-brainer, the Compak would do the job and I'd certainly not pay the Mazzer price since it's up in the stratosphere. Nice grinders but the wallet can't handle this with the current state of the economy. The MACAP would be a close 2nd, the chrome one is so pretty and it's a good grinder for french press also, the grind is very even throughout the range. We don't grind really coarse like some do for their press coffee but certainly not too fine either, it doesn't go through the screens. The french press setting is a couple of numbers coarser than espresso for us. The Mazzer is certainly a luxury item and also not as versatile when it comes to grinding for other types of coffee, it's doable but not without some effort and besides, with those larger burrs found on the Super Jolly - the motor can't run forever like the MACAP and push out coffee by the pound. It needs a rest between shots but it's perfectly fine in a doserless environment (to grind only as needed).
I would recommend the Compak K3 Touch to anyone looking for a doserless grinder who's looking to save some money but isn't willing to sacrificing the grind quality.
I would rate it about a 7.9/10 :thumbleft:
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by chas » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:14 pm

Niko, thanks for the review. The length of the post was a dead give away as to the large number of trial and error shots you sampled! :bounce:

There has always been a lot of discussion as to the clumpiness of the Mini Doserless models. I have never had that issue with mine and it leaves me scratching my head as to why others do. I went from the Mini Doser to the Mini Doserless since, like you, I much prefer doserless models. The first thing I noticed was that the doserless had a substantial grate over the chute so I could no longer poke in there to clean the grinds out. So I immediately dismantled the doserless "cone" to get at it and remove it. It was a real pain in the :bootyshake: to do so. When I got it back together and pulled a shot it was clump city. I quickly discovered that the grate had a higher purpose that to make the lawyers happy.

I assume that Mazzer didn't get a lot of complaints and remove this grate since it is required to break up the clumps. But if it is in place, I am amazed that so many are experiencing clumps. Of course, I always roast my own and never go really dark and oily which can tend to exacerbating clumpage.

I am currently using the Cimbali Max Hybrid. I consider it a reasonable place holder while I wait for a doserless model in this class. The earth didn't move for me when I got it. I went from the Mazzer Mini B to this and may have experienced the same effect as you with having mastered use of the former The CMH would be a clump monster if not for the fact that the doser breaks them up.
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:56 am

The Compak sure held up for the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a real "grind" - no pun intended :lol:
We put about 3 lbs through that thing! (No sink shots).
Here's what it looks like next to the S1:
Compak.jpg
It has a nice low profile and it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. And yes, I'm referring to most grinders especially dosing ones;-)
Compak.jpg (75.48 KiB) Viewed 9917 times
After a very long day of grinding, I've really grown attached to this little grinder. It must be the "new" factor so I won't act like a fanboy just yet ;-)
Adjustment-wise I'd give the MACAP the edge here, the Compak is rather pedestrian when it comes to grabbing that collar thingy and twisting. I did flip the grinder over to change the dosing settings to the max, it still rather seemed low but then again I was grinding what I needed - it really needs the weight of more coffee to work correctly. We use way too many different types of beans to be married to one setting so I left on the max setting and still grind manually with the ON/OFF switch.
I will report back after a week or so but until then I can say that I do miss using the Mazzer.
chas wrote:I am amazed that so many are experiencing clumps. Of course, I always roast my own and never go really dark and oily which can tend to exacerbating clumpage.
Same here, I have no real issues with clumps - at least not enough to go to a grinder with a doser.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.
We had an espresso throw down, some of the guys in the family tried their skill on the Vivaldi and some latte art.
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:12 am

Almost forgot, here's some shots of our Vivaldi showdown.
Enjoy :grin:
dripdrip.jpg
dripdrip.jpg (48.67 KiB) Viewed 9921 times
Attachments
throwdown SM.jpg
throwdown SM.jpg (97.25 KiB) Viewed 9916 times
throwdown01.jpg
throwdown01.jpg (64.14 KiB) Viewed 9916 times
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
Hottop P, Behmor, iRoast2 and Gene Cafe

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by chas » Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:32 am

So did you win the throw down?
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:31 pm

chas wrote:So did you win the throw down?
Of course I did, :grin:
Those (old) fools having nothing on me :lol:
....not that I'm much younger :roll:

One thing to note about this grinder that I REALLY, really like is the short neck (chute), not much gets trapped there like the MACAP. The latter can pull another double shot-worth of coffee with the amount that gets trapped in there. Once again, a little technique overcomes that. These newer grinders hitting the market (newer MACAP electronic, etc..) have a much smaller chute that gives it an advantage over the older, but then again the older doserless model is designed as a bulk grinder - not to pull espresso shots ;-)
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
Hottop P, Behmor, iRoast2 and Gene Cafe

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by admin » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:08 pm

niko, congrats on your recent "promotion". exalted one now you are, mmm?
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:04 pm

admin wrote:niko, congrats on your recent "promotion". exalted one now you are, mmm?
Hopefully he's better looking!! :lol:
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:11 pm

The worm adjuster on the Macap definitely has it all over the collar on the SJ. I asked Les to make the handle longer then stock to give a little more leverage. Even with the threads well lubed its tough to make small changes smoothly. What is it you dislike so much about dosers? Just the looks?
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:50 am

JohnB wrote:
admin wrote:niko, congrats on your recent "promotion". exalted one now you are, mmm?
Hopefully he's better looking!! :lol:
I look just like Yoda sans the green :mrgreen:
JohnB wrote:The worm adjuster on the Macap definitely has it all over the collar on the SJ. I asked Les to make the handle longer then stock to give a little more leverage. Even with the threads well lubed its tough to make small changes smoothly. What is it you dislike so much about dosers? Just the looks?
All right...you mentioned those other thingys Les is going to make for the Super Jolly on another thread - You're nuts :grin:
...and post pics ASAP when he's done :thumbright:

I'm not sure what it is about the dosers (that I don't like), maybe it's several reasons - one I can think of right off the bat for me is usage, it's so overkill for my low bean usage to need a contraption such as that (like the mini E doesn't have a sore thumb sticking out :roll: ). Size is another thing, those dosers really stick out when compared to a lean and clean doserless grinder.
Why on earth would I want nice fluffy grinds that the doser creates by busting up the clumps :lol: ??
Actually a doser would require more work for me because it would give me another chore by having to sweep the doser often. I am pretty lazy, so the doserless is very clean and easy to maintain for me.
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by Niko » Sat Nov 29, 2008 3:54 am

Ooh, almost forgot again...
I signed in to upload a pic of the Compak's Chute showing what residuals are left behind after a shot.
Here's what it looks like without swiping it clean (which is easily done in one quick move).
I should get a colonoscopy of the MACAP soon also :lol:
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Compak Chute.jpg
Compak Chute.jpg (53.32 KiB) Viewed 9882 times
La Spaz VII (with timer) S5 Steam Arm & Passive Pre-Infusion, Mazzer Mini E Type B, MACAP MC4 Doserless,
MACAP Autotamper, 3 Thor tampers, Espro convex & CoffeeLabs tamper.
Scace Device, Alessi steam pitchers, Motta Steam pitcher, etc..

La Spaz S1 S5 Steam Arm w/ progressive preinfusion, Compak K3 Touch Doserless, Espro flat tamp
Hottop P, Behmor, iRoast2 and Gene Cafe

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:08 am

Looks like the SJ chute before I attack it with the chopstick. As to cleaning the doser I'm the same way. I have a vac near by & suck out any stray grinds several times a day along with the chute & burr throat. Who wants old, stale grinds in their next shot?? :-(
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by GideanYates » Wed Nov 25, 2009 9:16 pm

Hi All,

About a month ago I said hello to my Mini Vivaldi and explained to my Sylvia that we grew apart but I'll never forgot my first real espresso machine. So, I just sold my old set up and need to buy a grinder.

I think I've talked myself down from spending $$$$ on a Mini E type B, Macap M4 digital, etc. I'm strongly looking at a K3 Touch but lately have been reading about the Vario. Given, I'm looking for a doserless model and I only do espresso what grinder would you all buy? Are the more expensive Mini E or M4 digital worth the extra cash outlay. I appreciate any feedback. I've scoured the boards and net and you can find great things written about most of the grinders so I thought I solicite opionins prior to purchasing...which I'll have to do fairly fast as I ground a bunch of coffee to bridge my grinderless gap.

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:21 am

I only know what I've read about the Vario on the forums but I'm seriously thinking of replacing one of my Majors with one. For me it would be used primarily for vac pot & back up espresso grinding. If it turned out a nice coarse Press Pot grind I might sell the KA Pro also. With a larger machine due in next week I need to free up some counter space so a smaller grinder that can turn out SJ quality espresso grounds & also easily adjust to coarse grinds is very appealing.

If you do buy one check to make sure you are getting the latest "built in Hamburg" version. They moved production there to improve quality & have added a memory & a sleep function. Now if you lose power your settings are not wiped clean. If you've seen the photos of the amateur soldering done on the earlier boards you know that there was definitely a quality control issue. I would only consider the newest version & would wait until they show up in dealers stock before purchasing a Vario. http://www.mahlkoenig.de/events/news/17 ... uage=en_EN

The Mini E is grossly overpriced for what you get. According to all the reviews the Vario does a better espresso grind & gives you the same control for what? $400? Half the price of the MiniE??
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by DDA » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:08 pm

Hi,

I dont intend to drift this thread or anything but I just thought I'd post my question since the grinder price was mentioned.

I too am in the market for a new grinder. Although I still have my rocky and silvia they will soon be in the market as I am extremely happy with my new Mini V2, not that the rocky and silvia didnt serve me well, I'm just ready to move on to a new level.

My hunt for a new grinder begins and so as confusion. I have heard a lot of good things about the Vario especially if someone would switch from coarse to fine grind frequently and that it's comparable to Mazzer SJ. My question is, if I grind for espresso only, and I'm choosing between Vario, SJ and Major, where am I better of with? It would be nice to not to have spend a lot of $$$ but putting that aside for now and just focusing on better grind for better shots.

Thanks
Dave

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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JohnB » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:13 pm

If you are just going to use it for espresso I'd suggest looking for a used Major.
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by JmanEspresso » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:35 pm

All reports of the Vario put it about dead even, in the cup, to the Super Jolly.

Big points to Baratza for making a consumer priced grinder, with commercial grade grinds. Its something MANY Home Baristi have wanted for a while.

I think the Vario is awesome, and If I didnt own a Bunn G2 bulk grinder, I would be buying one for my bench, to do those random shots of something real light and bright, and for french press, vacpot etc etc. The SOLE reason Im not buying one, is because the Bunn G2 is easily the best brewing grinder I have ever used, and would only even CONSIDER replacing it with a Mahlkoenig VTA 6.

If you're looking at a:
Baratza Vario
Super Jolly
Major

. . . Purely for espresso use, and concentrating solely on grind quality. . . The vote goes to the Major, hands down.

Huge 83mm burrs, FAST as a demon, and a pleasure to use, day in, and day out. It is easily the best flat burr grinder in existence. . . If there IS a grinder which could even start to compete with it, it would the Anfim Super Camiano, now with a timer mod. But, given the price of the SC, the Major still wins in my book.

Not to say that the superjolly isn't good, it surely is. And comparing the two side by side, the major isn't going to blow the SJ out of the water, but it IS going to win. With larger burrs, one of the nice things you get, is less day-to-day adjustment for a given bean. If you dial in Coffee X, for X grams, to run in X seconds, at X ounces, on Monday, and Tuesday morning you wake up, your grinder needs no adjustment. Same for Wednesday, and on Thursday, you might nudge the collar coarser a teence. The speed of the Major is addicting. 4 seconds for 14grs. Im very, very spoiled by it. I have a Doser Model, and honestly, I love it.

I am looking to buy a large conical to add to the setup, but, with that purchase, the Major will STAY PUT. I dont want to replace the major, I want to supplement it. Im looking towards something like the Nino... In general Im not a Doserless fan, but some of the new doserless designs are really great. But I digress.

IF you simply want the best grind quality out of those three, the Major is the one for that. If you want to save a little money, go with the SuperJolly. I think the Vario is awesome, but if I wasnt going to be also grinding for coarse/brewing methods, I wouldn't buy it. Id get a "true" stepless. Minutia, yes, but hey, its espresso gear we're talking about!
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Re: Compak K3 Touch Doserless

Post by DDA » Thu Dec 03, 2009 12:05 am

Jman, thanks. I think not having to dial in as frequently as beans age hits the spot. At some point it has to be done but the least you have to do it is just one of the things I want. I have been leaning towards the major and I think this just solidifies it.

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