Hemro on its Mahlkönig X54 grinder and the rise of the home barista


The Mahlkönig X54 grinder from Hemro Group is an all-in-one grinder with cutting edge burr technology, designed to meet the needs of a new target audience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of connectivity and resilience of the retail coffee market, but one area that can still be improved is access to high-quality domestic grinding equipment.

As such, premium grinder manufacturer Mahlkönig has launched its multipurpose X54 Allround Home Grinder that produces optimal grind sizes for a comprehensive range of brewing methods, including espresso, AeroPress, v60, Chemex, or French Press.

Anne Krahmer, Head of Global Marketing at Hemro Group, parent company of internationally recognised brands Mahlkönig, Ditting, Anfim, and HeyCafé, says the X54 is designed to meet the needs of a new demographic.

“As an one-in-all grinder, it meets the home barista’s needs by allowing them to experiment with all brewing methods,” Krahmer says.

For Hemro, designing the X54 came from the realisation its target audience no longer remains only in the commercial sector, but has expanded into the domestic market.

“The home barista is someone who is curious and quality aware. They can encompass a lot of different personas,” says Krahmer. “It could be someone within the coffee industry who loves their craft that much that compromising on coffee quality at home is not an option. It could also be someone new to coffee, or someone who wants to experiment with different brewing methods.

Anne Krahmer, Head of Global Marketing at Hemro Group.

“I believe everyone within the coffee industry can benefit from this rising demand for [retail] beans and gear.”

For home baristas that want to experiment with high-quality beans and brewing techniques, but don’t want to buy separate grinders for each brewing method, Krahmer says the X54 is the answer.

In responding to consumer demands to consolidate the grinder into a single unit, the Mahlkönig design team started with the burrs – the revolving discs responsible for cutting the beans into the desired particle size.

Mahlkönig has one of the longest histories in designing burrs, with each burr undergoing seven stages of production at its Germany-based facility.

The X54’s burrs are 54 millimetres in size and made of individually conceived alloy and “special steel”.

To Mahlkönig, burr design is a combination of technical knowledge in size, teeth and material, mixed with sensory skills such as smell and taste.

“To design [the X54], we defined the burr size and teeth geometrics then narrowed it down to 10 versions. From there, we had our sensory team conduct testing to determine the best product,” Krahmer explains. “Having this sensorics testing is so important because you can never calculate sensorics. You can come close with mathematics, but it won’t match human taste.”

The motor size was also key in determining the optimal burr size in the compact grinder.

“It was also one of the key challenges, finetuning the size, depth, and angles of the burrs’ metal teeth to get the perfect espresso shot as well as the perfect cup of pour over,” says Krahmer.

With intuitive design always a bonus for customers, the X54 comes with four pre-settings to allow customisation of grind size, and two “swappable fronts” to collect the grinds. Baristas can use a portafilter support to collect the grinds or alternatively, can remove the front completely, swapping it for a stainless steel Mahlkönig cup placed beneath the grinder chute.

The ability to move the dial in between pre-selected grind settings is another feature of the all-in-one approach.

“Having the possibility to adjust the grind size without the limitations of fixed steps is important to any brewing method,” Krahmer says. “Since the X54 is meant to be perfect for any brewing method, going for a stepless grind size adjustment was a given when we created its very first draft.”

Hemro’s Global Grinding Solution factory in Hamburg, Germany.

This feature gives experienced baristas a level of control but also caters to newer baristas who need more guidance. Considering the home environment, the X54 grinder has been designed with noise reduction, grinding below 70 a-weighted decibels. The housing of the X54 itself is made completely of aluminium which helps to absorb higher frequencies.

“And even though it’s one or two seconds slower than perhaps a commercial coffee grinder, it has more gentle grinding,” Krahmer says. “Also, too fast grinding heats up the motor and we don’t want to overheat the grinds, causing aroma loss.”

“Quality equals reliability. So, if you are using your equipment frequently, you do not want to worry about whether your gear might let you down,” Krahmer says. “We believe that the target market, which is people who appreciate high-quality coffee, are looking for products to last, and not just the latest market trends.

“With the new product category Mahlkönig Home, we have the opportunity to keep providing more products targeted at this consistently growing market.”

Krahmer adds that the X54 has already launched in Germany and is receiving an overwhelming amount of positive feedback.

“We expect to expand the grinder across Europe, United States, Australia, and more over the course of 2021, with pre-orders across Europe and Asia already exceeding expectations,” Krahmer says.

Mahlkönig is still in the process of designing online instructional videos to accompany the X54’s international launch. Local representatives will also make the video in their national languages.

“We understand with the home barista, English might not always be the first or commonly spoken language. We want to cater to our new demographic and provide the best assistance through these resources, our Mahlkönig dealers and trained technical network,” Krahmer says.

While the at-home barista market found its voice in 2020 and will continue to evolve, Krahmer is confident coffee shops will remain a community hub and have a place and purpose in the heart of the consumer.

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