Mahlkönig’s newest grinders are changing the market with accessible and advanced grinder technology that is set to expand its presence in Australia and South-East Asia.
When Hemro Group, a strategic umbrella organisation of four grinder brands first banded together 15 years ago, they did so on the spirit of innovation. It was this principle, combined with nearly 100 years of experience, that has seen grinding manufacturer Mahlkönig’s continued success.
This year, Mahlkönig – translating to “the king of grinders” – is rounding out its grinding expertise with the launch of the X54 Allround Home Grinder into the domestic market.
Providing commercial grade quality in domestic equipment, the X54 can produce the optimal grind size for all common brewing methods, such as espresso, AeroPress, v60, Chemex, and French Press.
According to Mahlkönig, the X54 has a very long lifetime, roughly 25,000 grind cycles, before any burr changes are needed. To maintain grinding quality, the X54 relies on its German made, flat burr technology that is a unique selling point of the Mahlkönig brand.
“We only produce flat burrs over the more economical conical burrs because [flat burrs] allow greater accuracy of particle size which increases the quality of the coffee extraction,” says Ziya Boro, Hemro Group’s Chief Sales Officer.
“We’ve also invested substantially into state-of-the-art robotics at our factories to ensure that our premium burrs fit perfectly into any individual set of parameters.”
The geometrics of each individual burr are measured after production to promote quality and reliability. Additionally, all Mahlkönig assembly lines contain a coffee ground particle measuring machine to ensure each batch of grinders produces a specific particle size, adding another level of assurance in grinding consistency and accuracy.
The X54 has 54-millimetre sized burrs, formed from alloy and undisclosed “special steel”.
“Besides its burr quality, the X54 is defined by its ability to move the dial between pre-selected grind settings, offering greater control in grind size,” says Ross Quail, Hemro Group Sales Director South Asia.
“Even with four pre-grind settings, that fit most brewing methods, it was important for us to give home baristas this freedom. For the first time, they have everything they need without compromise.”
As another innovative feature, the area beneath the X54’s grind chute can be swapped between a portafilter support or stainless steel Mahlkönig cup to gather the coffee grounds, adding to the grinder’s flexibility.
On top of this, the X54 is made of aluminium to absorb higher frequencies, reducing the overall noise emitted to below 70-weighted decibels.
With features like these making the at-home coffee grinding process as convenient as possible, Quail expects the domestic segment to continue growing.
“Particularly in South Asia and Australia, we see rapidly maturing markets where coffee is as important at home as it is in the café,” he says.
In addition to the launch of the X54 home grinder, Mahlkönig has also set new standards for professional grinders in recent years. The latest highlights include the E65S GbW with weight-based dosing as well as the high-performance espresso grinder E80 Supreme, both launched in 2019.
‘‘Until recent years, grind dosing was mainly based on time and therefore changing parameters caused dose-to-dose inconsistency and uneven extractions,” says Boro. “We saw this pain point and, in the spirit of innovation, designed the E65S GbW espresso grinder to identify a group handle by weight and dispense a pre-determined recipe.”
Ultimately, Boro says that this feature saves baristas time because they no longer have to weigh the coffee for the desired volume manually.
“Baristas can spend the extra time steaming milk or providing better customer service which is a huge trend in Australia,” says Boro. “For chains, this innovation means decreasing the time needed to prepare a cup of coffee, leading into a high-cost saving opportunity.”
The E65S GbW’s advanced user interface also enables this time saving, in addition to the manual grinding function, which allows users to select up to six recipes through an easy-to-use dial knob.
“Baristas may have six identical portafilters in front of them, but in reality, they differ by about two to 10 grams. The grinder can weigh those within a couple of seconds, and knows what recipe is required,” Quail says.
“Mahlkönig is bringing up new technology that allows accurate measurements, but the brand also provides another facet by allowing customisable recipes which brings so much convenience to people.”
The E65S GbW’s menu grants access to critical and time-sensitive information such as the temperature of the grinder, particle size, and set weight of distribution.
The push-and-turn button further allows baristas to fine-tune the dose profiles, check the dose counter, and access the service log. The E65S GbW uses 65-millimetre stainless steel burrs, stands at 58 centimetres tall, and holds approximately 1.2 kilograms of espresso beans.
“Mahlkönig’s German quality extends to the hoppers which are made from a special polymer material. They are virtually indestructible,” says Quail. “The grinder performs at a speed of 1700 revolutions per minute, meaning it can produce about 4.7 grams per second, matching any commercial barista’s needs.”
Another new technology is the Disc Distance Detection (DDD), found in Mahlkönig’s E65S GbW as well as in the brand’s fastest grinder, the E80 Supreme.
“Thanks to its superior motor, large 80-millimetre ‘special steel’ burrs, along with the smart double ventilation system, the E80 Supreme is the fastest grinder in its league, making six double shots per minute,” says Boro. “This allows high volume cafés to perform good grinding quality even during rush hours.”
With a successful Australian café consuming anywhere from 80 to 90 kilograms of coffee per week, Mahlkönig is aware of the stress put on grinders.
“The more coffee you grind, the higher temperatures you get inside the grinding chamber, which affects the molecular shape of coffee particles and finally the quality in the cup,” says Boro.
In addition to increased volume, the DDD inside the E80 Supreme increases grinding precision, allowing baristas to set the distance between the burrs to an accuracy within three decimal points.
“It allows companies to say, ‘well, even if I’m in Melbourne and you’re in Sydney, if we both have the E80 Supreme and the same coffee, go to this setting and use this recipe with this many grams, and it will produce the same coffee’,” says Quail.
He says it’s this ability to use data to recreate a coffee that is particularly helpful in maintaining product consistency across chains and businesses.
This data is easily presented in the E80 Supreme’s large 88.3-millimetre display interface gives the barista simple and easily digestible information that also assists with machine troubleshooting.
With these new grinders globally launching in the past three years, Mahlkönig has set its sight on expansion within Australia and its neighbouring markets of South-East Asia and China.
“All our grinders are designed to operate in high temperatures and the extreme environments often found in these markets, thanks to our burr quality, aluminium material that diffuses the heat, and advanced motor and ventilation systems,” says Ziya Boro.
“These markets are demanding quality for their products, and are increasingly willing to invest in premium equipment, which the Hemro Group is ready to meet.”
For Ross Quail, he is most excited by the fast uptake he predicts to occur across the Asia Pacific.
“Within six to eight months, once these new Mahlkönig products have been further established in our focus regions such as Australia, we [expect to] see an influx of uptake in the surrounding countries, such as Asia, that brings our brand closer to people on the ground,” he says. “It’s a privilege to work alongside such passionate professionals and we love seeing coffee being enjoyed by people everywhere.”
This article was first published in the November/December 2021 edition of Global Coffee Report. Read more HERE.