EK43: Taste the rainbow
It's been a little while since we've posted anything on the blog and so it's time for us to put fingers to keys again and bring up a subject which has been bubbling up in conversations over the espresso machine this week.
As a lover of coffee I will of course always hone in on a concept which may make my delicious brew even more flavoursome and there are new ideas all the time, but one has got me a little excited and has led me to start experimenting with something else in the shop.
Now there's been loads of talk on the speciality coffee scene about Mahlkonigs EK43 coffee grinder since Matt Perger used one for his whole routine in the World Barista Championship (WBC) last year, again this year we have seen a couple of people in the United Kingdom Barista Championships (UKBC) heats use the EK43 for their performance and its made me want to have a play with one too.
So for those of you who aren't coffee geeks and don't have any idea what I'm talking about, the EK43 is essentially a deli grinder, used for grinding beans for customers who don't have their own grinder and all the other filter options that may be on offer within the coffee shop. Rarely is it used for espresso in a normal coffee environment, but that's whats so interesting some of the coffee gurus of the world are not only using it for espresso coffee they have even adopted it as their main grinder for espresso within their coffee shop setup.
It may be a crazy thought to use a deli grinder rather than your nice silent running purpose built espresso grinder but it's got my interest, the idea of weighing out a whole days coffee into individual servings of varying amounts and stacking them somewhere doesn't drive me wild but the step forward for coffee as we know it could be enormous.
I already think the coffee I make tastes pretty great from espresso to a flat white, so I'm not trying to find a magic bullet to fix all my problems but if there is a chance to make it even tastier I'm game.
Are we getting an EK43 at Strangers then? The team would love to get their hands on one to test drive, me especially, but it's early days for the concept and the £1500ish price tag for the grinder means it's not something you can just rush into buying, I would be bankrupt if I were to jump on every new toy that reached the market place, but that doesn't mean no. I think that currently though we are just not ready to have the EK43 as our main espresso grinder, but with some modifications to the design of the current grinder a more suitable stronger model for espresso will appear on the market in the near future which I will definitely be interested in purchasing.
So for now we are experimenting with our own deli grinder which has resulted in some very tasty espresso and with a little practice I think we will be able to offer multiple coffees from different origin countries with very little waste and very little dialling in and I think if I can do that with my set up, I wonder what I can do with an EK43, what amazing flavours can I extract from my coffee? I'm sure time will tell so watch this space for some updates on the subject.
Words by Alex
Illustration by @williamaddocks