6 Best Mahlkonig Coffee and Espresso Grinders (2023 Reviews)
Known in the industry as the “King of Grinders,” the Mahlkonig brand is globally famous for high-end commercial grinders, and now they’re making exciting inroads into the prosumer grinder market as well.
If you’re looking for the perfect Mahlkonig grinder for your home or coffee shop, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve researched Mahlkonig’s new models, old favorites, and latest upgrades to bring you this list of the brand’s top grinders this year.
The 6 Best Mahlkonig Coffee Grinders in 2023
Mahlkonig is such a storied brand, you might be surprised to learn that they continue to innovate. Each year sees new and/or revamped models that have been better engineered to meet the demands of modern baristas.
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The Mahlkonig EK43 is among the most sought-after commercial coffee grinders, with its iconic form found in top cafes all over the world. Mahlkonig has crowned it the Queen of Coffee Grinders, and it has become synonymous with specialty coffee.
The EK43 has a massive 98 mm cast steel flat burr set. However, it stands out because the burrs are vertically aligned.
Flat burrs are known for their remarkable grind consistency, with fewer fines and greater clarity in the cup. But they’re also generally known for higher grounds retention versus conical burrs, and vertical burr alignment eliminates that problem.
With a step-less grind adjustment covering a wide range of grind sizes, plus the ability to recalibrate the zero point, the EK43 is a do-it-all grinder. You can use it for everything from Turkish coffee to cold brew. And speaking of doing it all, with plenty of hopper options and a 25 g/s grind speed, this grinder is just as practical for preparing a single espresso as it is for grinding pounds of beans at a time for retail sales.
Of course, you can count on any Mahlkonig commercial grinder to deliver impeccable build quality, with a stainless steel body and internal components designed to be put through the ringer. The EK43 is available in three colors: matte white, matte black, and showy copper.
The new Mahlkonig E65S GbW is a dedicated espresso grinder built on the popular E65S, a close relative of the now-discontinued Mahlkonig K30. Though it lacks the huge burr set of the EK43, the E65S instead packs in some high-tech features that make it easy to use and more compact. This is a fantastic choice for a small or midsize shop that does not need the super-fast grind speed of the EK43.
The E65S GbW has 65 mm flat steel burrs designed explicitly with espresso in mind. While this limits the grind speed to around 4 or 5 g/s, if you’re grinding a typical double shot of espresso, you’re still looking at only about 5 seconds of grind time. On the other hand, this grinder is probably the wrong choice for retail grinding if you plan to grind pounds of beans at a time.
GbW stands for Grind-by-Weight, one of the new features of this grinder. This is the first espresso grinder with this technology. It adds a load cell with a precision of 0.1 gram, giving a far more consistent dose than grinding by time.
The other new addition to this grinder is Mahlkonig’s patented Disc Distance Detection, which lets you set the grind fineness based on the actual distance between the burrs. This extra degree of precision makes it easier to reproduce the perfect extraction once you’ve dialed it in.
The E80 Supreme espresso grinder is yet another example of an update to an old favorite, building on the reputation of the storied Peak grinder. This is a dedicated espresso grinder, and the 80 mm flat steel burrs have been specially engineered to achieve uniform grind sizes even at the finest settings.
The burrs can output 6 – 7 grams of espresso-ground coffee per second, making this the fastest espresso grinder in its category. And lest you worry that all that speed inevitably leads to heat, the E80 Supreme uses two fans for active cooling, a huge upgrade from the Peak, according to Mahlkonig’s USA Vice President of Marketing Marcus Boni (1).
Compared to other grinders it is far more heat resilient due to two fans, one on top pulling into the motor and one below the motor pulling out.
Like the E65S GbW, the E80 also features Mahlkonig’s new Disc Distance Detection, which allows you to dial in your espresso grind with incredible fineness and to reproduce with near-perfect accuracy. This is coupled with a step-less adjustment mechanism to produce the ultimate consistency and control for grind size.
The brand-new X54 is the first Mahlkonig grinder designed for home use, a direct competitor to other high-end home coffee grinders like the Eureka Mignon series or the Turin DF64 (2). While the X54 still has some room for improvement, it already offers considerable value for the right type of consumer.
Mahlkonig names this an Allround grinder. It distinguishes it from its competitors, most of which are espresso-focused. This grinder is competent at both the fine and coarse ends of the grind spectrum, and it is one of the most affordable flat burr grinders to make this claim. True to its general nature, it comes with both a portafilter holding fork and a dosing cup that you can easily swap in and out.
The X54 keeps the classic Mahlkonig aesthetic, with a matte black finish, cylindrical body, and towering height. It has two buttons for programmable timed grinding, plus a manual option.
It’s a little disappointing to see that the metal body of the commercial grinders has been replaced with plastic here, though it’s an understandable choice as the X54 won’t face the same demands. However, what it lacks in build quality, it makes up for in tech. This grinder is WiFi-enabled, allowing you to access settings and notifications directly from the Mahlkonig database.
For all the details, read our Mahlkonig X54 coffee grinder review.
As I’ve already mentioned, Mahlkonig is not a brand to rest on its laurels. They are constantly taking already popular grinders and making them even better, and the latest iteration of the Guatemala is a prime example (3).
First let’s talk about what’s sticking around from the original. The new Guatemala still has a 71 mm steel flat burr set, which, like the famed EK43, is vertically aligned to minimize grind retention.
The Guatemala is available in three different configurations, one reason we’ve awarded it Most Versatile. There’s the Standard model, designed for bulk grinding into retail bags; the Filter model, designed for batch brewing; and the Lab model, designed for single brewing and cupping. The helpful guide to grind sizes for different brew methods on the front adds versatility.
So what’s new and improved?
The plastic body of the original has been replaced with aluminum for light and long-lasting grinder. They’ve also improved serviceability. You can open it from the back and reach all components without removing the motor. Lastly, the capacity has been increased, with the hopper size growing from 1.1 pounds to 1.9 pounds.
For home use, a double grinder would likely be an overpriced novelty. But this design makes a lot of sense in a commercial setting. Maybe you want two different grind settings, one for drip and one for espresso. Maybe you want to feature two different beans, a dark and a light roast. Maybe you want one grinder for decaf and another for regular coffee. No matter the reason, the EKK43 allows you to do it at a fraction of the cost of buying two grinders, not to mention taking up less of your valuable counter space.
Everything about this grinder matches what we already said about the EK43; it just doubled. You’ll get the same vertically aligned 98 mm cast steel flat burrs, the same ultra-fast grind speed, and the same wide grinding range from Turkish coffee to cold brew.
How to Choose the Right Mahlkonig Coffee Grinder
Mahlkonig does an excellent job of designing specific grinders for specific use cases. So finding the right one for you just comes down to identifying exactly what you need.
Home, commercial, or retail grinding
There are three common uses for a coffee grinder: home, commercial, and retail. While there may be some overlap between them, it makes sense to buy a coffee grinder designed for your primary need.
First, there are grinders designed for home use. They are the smallest, slowest, and least expensive, but not necessarily lower quality. They’re designed for lower capacity because home users don’t make as much coffee as cafes. So far, Mahlkonig has one grinder designed for home use, the newly released X54.
Next, there are grinders designed for commercial use in coffee shops.
Commercial grinders are the main focus of the Mahlkonig line.
These grinders are faster, more durable, and also more expensive. Some keen home enthusiasts will put grinders like the EK43 or E65S on their coffee bars, but they are usually overkill. Most of the grinders on this list – the EK43 and EKK43, E65S, Guatemala, and E80 – were designed for commercial use.
Lastly, there are grinders designed for retail grinding. These are sometimes found in coffee shops but more often found in roasteries for roasters selling pre-ground bags of coffee. They have huge burr sets, which allow them to grind very fast, a necessity if you grind pounds. They are costly and often very loud, making them impractical for a cafe.
Considering what sort of capacity you need is another way to decide which style of grinder is for you. A home user might want a commercial grinder if they plan to make a ton of coffee. Likewise, a small-scale commercial endeavor might be able to get by with a domestic grinder.
Capacity comes down to hopper size and grind speed. Mahlkonig grinders are generally known for having large hoppers; that tall, thin, transparent hopper is a key part of their aesthetic. But you can buy replacement hoppers, both larger and smaller, for nearly every model.
Unlike the hopper, the grind speed isn’t easy to modify, so it should be a key factor when buying. For a home user making an espresso or two a day, a 5-second grind time difference is no big deal. Still, for a professional barista preparing 1000 coffees a day, that’s a lot of time wasted. And for a roastery, a slow grinder might be useless.
The importance of burr size, shape, and material
They also all have steel burrs. Compared to the ceramic burrs often found in cheaper burr grinders, steel is sharper, less brittle, and dissipates heat faster. You can upgrade Mahlkonig grinders to longer-lasting burr materials, such as tungsten carbide or titanium alloys, which can be an excellent way to extend the life of a grinder in a high volume setting.
Burr size is the biggest differentiating factor between the grinders on this list, from 54 mm for the prosumer X54 to a whopping 98 mm for the EK43 – and they’re even bigger on retail grinders. While many factors dictate a grinder’s quality, bigger is better when it comes to burrs as a rule of thumb.
Burr size is the biggest differentiating factor between the grinders on this list, from 54 mm for the prosumer X54 to a whopping 98 mm for the EK43 – and they’re even bigger on retail grinders. While many factors dictate a grinder’s quality, as a rule of thumb, bigger is better when it comes to burrs.
A bigger burr set means faster grinding and thus less heat generation, which translates to better flavor in the cup. Bigger burrs have other advantages as well, according to home barista expert Bas van de Steeg (4).
Grinders with larger burrs are more stable, quicker, and more efficient, and generally require fewer grind adjustments.
Burr alignment is another consideration. Most flat burr grinders have horizontally aligned burrs, but the Mahlkonig EK43 and Guatemala buck this trend by having vertically aligned burrs. The major advantage of vertical alignment is less ground retention, the main downside of flat burrs.
For nearly 100 years, Mahlkonig has survived – and thrived – due to constant innovation and consistently high-quality grinders. There are no bad Mahlkonig coffee grinders; there are only the best and worst for your needs.
Our top pick this year is the EK43, the iconic all-around grinder you’ll find in top cafes worldwide. With massive 98 mm burrs, ultra-fast grind speeds, and consistency across a wide range of grind sizes, there are few demands this grinder can’t meet.
Mahlkonig grinders are built in Hamburg, Germany, where they have been manufactured by hand since 1924. In 2020, the company expanded the Mahlkonig factory to improve workers’ conditions and increase the premium brand’s demand (5).
The best brands for home coffee grinders, as opposed to the commercial and industrial grinders for which Mahlkonig is known, are Baratza and Eureka grinders. These companies specialize in prosumer quality grinders, and both feature in our round-up of the best burr coffee grinders.
Seasoning a coffee grinder is the process of grinding a few pounds of coffee with a new coffee grinder to “break-in” the burrs. This dulls any overly harsh edges and angles on the fresh burrs, ensuring that you will have a more consistent grind size and more uniform grind distribution (6).
Mahlkonig grinders come with a 1-year warranty, but they should last many years if treated properly. The steel burrs should be cleaned approximately every 5000 shots of espresso and replaced every 100,000. If you upgrade to the tungsten carbide burrs, you can easily hit 500,000 shots before they need replacement.
- Bryman, H. (2020, May 18). Mahlkönig Unveils E65S GBW and E80 Grinders, Adds Stefanos Domatiotis. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2020/05/18/mahlkonig-unveils-e65s-gbw-and-e80-grinders-adds-stefanos-domatiotis/
- Bryman, H. (2021, May 6). Mahlkönig Re-Entering the Home Market with X54 Allround Grinder. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2021/05/06/mahlkonig-re-entering-the-home-market-with-x54-allround-grinder/
- Bryman, H. (2021, February 15). Mahlkönig Updates Guatemala Grinder with New Look, Larger Hopper. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2021/02/15/mahlkonig-updates-guatemala-grinder-with-new-look-larger-hopper/
- Mott, J. (2021. June 28). Coffee grinder burrs: What should home consumers look for? Retrieved from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2021/06/coffee-grinder-burrs-what-should-home-consumers-look-for/
- Brown, N. (2020, August 3). Hemro Group Expands Mahlkönig Grinder Factory in Hamburg. Retrieved from https://dailycoffeenews.com/2020/08/03/hemro-group-expands-mahlkonig-grinder-factory-in-hamburg/
- Gagne, J. (2019, May 27). Seasoning Grinder Burrs and Burr Quality. Retrieved from https://coffeeadastra.com/2019/05/27/seasoning-grinder-burrs-and-grind-quality-2/