Mahlkonig Vs Compak: Who Makes The Better Coffee Grinder?
Even with the best coffee beans a coffee connoisseur could dream of, you’ll still need a top-notch coffee grinder to get the most flavour out of them and into your final cup. With Mahlkonig’s reputation and Compak’s variety, how do you pick between Mahlkonig vs Compak?
To simplify your decision, we’ll compare these two brands’ product selection, pricing, suitability for coffee or espresso, hopper capacity, and other special features.
Mahlkonig first made its mark on the coffee scene in 1924 and claims to be “the first choice of baristas” (1). With its iconic crown logo, it has been proclaimed “The King of Grinders.”
Mahlkonig has long been known for its ability to innovate. In 2005, the team created the first Grind-On-Demand grinder, and they were the first to advocate for the importance of using fresh coffee grounds. In 2019, the company released the E65S GbW with Grind-by-Weight technology to quickly and reliably dose coffee as accurately as 0.1 grams.
Mahlkonig specializes in commercial, shop grinders, and industrial grinders with bean hopper capacities of 30 kg, and it now has one home model. These at-home and commercial coffee grinders vary in burr diameter sizes from 54 mm up to 180 mm. They are compatible with various brewing methods, including cold brew, espresso, filter, French Press, Pour Over, and Turkish.
- Greater burr diameter.
- Generous hopper capacity.
- Even extraction.
- More expensive.
- Large and heavy builds.
Jesús Ascaso founded Compak in Barcelona in 1952 with the goal of making quality coffee gear affordable for the masses (2). He believed everyone should be able to craft the perfect cup of Mediterranean coffee.
Compak grinders are suitable for use at home and in cafes, including espresso grinders and multipurpose grinders. They have intuitive multilingual touch control screens. The burr sizes range from 53 mm to 140 mm, and the bean hopper capacities vary from 800 g to 2.2 kg.
Compak prides itself on its business philosophy known as Corporate Social Responsibility. This means reducing harmful impacts on society while supporting local communities. It also means achieving environmental and sanitary certifications, like ISO 14001, Food Contact, and Ecotic.
- Environmentally responsible.
- Convenient compact design.
- Affordable options.
- Slower to grind.
- Fewer colour options.
Compak Vs Mahlkonig: The Face-To-Face Showdown
Now that we’ve covered the bigger brand pictures, let’s dive into the details. We’ll compare a few Compak and Mahlkonig grinders head-to-head on key specifications to see where each company shines or falls flat.
Variety Of Products Available
Compak makes 22 different grinders dedicated solely to espresso, which they divide into four classes:
- Bolt (83 & 64)
- On-Demand (E6, E6 DBW, E8, E8 DBW, E10 Conic, E10 Master Conic, F8, F8 DBW, F10 Conic, F10 Master Conic)
- Traditional (K6, K6 Silenzio, K8 Silenzio, K10 Conic, K10 Master Conic, K6 Pro Barista, K10 Conic Pro Barista, K10 Master Conic Pro Barista)
- Mini Pro (K3 Touch Advanced, E5, K3 Elite)
Compak also has two types of multi-purpose options:
- PK Series (PK100 Single Dose, PK100 Shop)
- Shop Models (R8, R120, R140)
Mahlkonig has four espresso grinders total: E80S GBW, E80S, E65S GBW, and E65S. It also features three all-around (X54, EK43, EK43S), two industrial (DK15, DK27), and one shop grinder known as Guatemala. Overall, Mahlkonig offers 10 total coffee grinders. Not bad, but this is a comparison piece. So…
Winner: With nearly thrice as many options, including more than five times the variety of espresso grinders of Mahlkonig, Compak reigns supreme over the “King” in this case.
The Mahlkonig X54 was released in 2021 as the brand’s first home grinder. It sports a 54 mm flat stainless steel burr set and a stepless grind adjustment, making it suitable for everything from an espresso shot to cold brew. For the ultimate at-home barista, it connects to the Mahlkonig app to improve your dial-in skills, track your coffee stats, and program specific time presets. Disappointingly, it is mainly plastic, lacking the legendary build quality of Mahlkonig commercial machines.
The most obvious comparison on the Compak side is the K3 Touch Advanced, which has the same stepless micrometric grinding adjustment and a slightly larger 58 mm burr set. Its 800 g hopper capacity is larger than the X54’s short hopper, which is unlikely to be a factor for home users. Both options can grind directly into a portafilter hands-free. The K3 is priced lower than the X54, making it a better value; you’re not paying for the Mahlkonig brand name.
For more, read our full review of the Compak K3 grinder
Winner: Compak. It’s hard to argue with a larger burr set for a lower price, especially given that the X54 seems to rely too heavily on the Mahlkonig logo for sales.
Compak offers the option of swapping out standard flat or conical burrs with more durable and friction-resistant Lucidate Speed Red burrs. These burrs keep their cool while grinding, deliver more uniform grounds, and stay sharper for longer. If you keep what you’re given, the burrs are still pre-wear treated, so they perform at their best from day one.
Some Compak models have a smoked plastic short hopper to protect your coffee beans from your bright home kitchen or sun-lit cafe.
In addition to Mahlkonig’s Grind-On-Demand and Grind-by-Weight technologies, it has also patented Disc Distance Detection. This functionality is meant to help you set and keep your preferred fineness setting to the utmost accuracy since it is based on the true distance between its burrs. The Mahlkonig 80S, consequently, has raised the bar in the espresso realm.
Mahlkonig features models with noise-reduction, self-managing motor temperatures, and lit-up spouts. Plus, many models offer wide-angled displays to better see what you are doing and easily adjust as needed.
Winner: Mahlkonig. For the espresso enthusiast, Mahlkonig’s innovations will have you experimenting all day long with more nuanced settings to optimize for accuracy.
Mahlkonig and Compak are big names in the coffee grinder world. They have an impressive array of grinders for home and commercial use. They are compatible with most brewing methods and have other special features, the utility of which depends on your individual needs.
Use Mahlkonig if:
- You want to guarantee a precise grind.
- You have a bit more to spend.
- You often brew in batches.
Use Compak if:
- You are environmentally conscious.
- You are worried about the price.
- You have limited counter space.
Mahlkonig grinders are manufactured in Germany. Each burr is said to pass through seven production stages. Mahlkonig has a rich history of burr design and development. Their quality is unparalleled in durability and longevity.
The difference between conical vs flat burrs is their shape. Cone-shaped conical burrs produce more fines, yielding coffee with a heavier body. They also tend to generate less heat and have lower grind retention. Flat burrs are used because they produce a more consistent grind, resulting in more clarity in the cup. Many coffee experts prefer conical burrs for espresso and flat burrs for filter coffee (3).
No, Mahlkonig doesn’t make a single-dosing grinder. However, most Mahlkonig models can be purchased with a short hopper. There are also after-market options for single-dose hoppers and bellows.
The difference between the Compak K10 and the Mahlkonig K30 is no longer relevant, as all Mahlkonig K30 models are discontinued.
- Mahlkönig. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://www.mahlkoenig.us/pages/team-about
- Compak. (n.d.). About Us. Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://www.compakgrinders.com/en/dna-company
- Petrich, I. L. (2020, May 12). Coffee grinders: What’s the difference between conical & flat burr grinders? Retrieved May 1, 2023, from https://perfectdailygrind.com/2020/05/conical-vs-flat-burr-coffee-grinders-difference/