I can’t think of how many “game changers” I have been exposed to in the last year.
Whilst we may be excited by the hype around a new product, so many of them are well-marketed and yet rapidly become early candidates for the recycling bin or even worse, landfill.
What if a coffee obsessed aeronautical engineer were to ask the question: “How do we make a better, more efficient and user friendly coffee grinder for the commercial/prosumer market?” What would that be?
Christian Etzinger put his mind to just that question and considered current commercial grinders and noted a number of issues:
- Hard to clean
- Large quantities of retained grind
- Often fiddly to assemble
- Service and repair require the skills of a technician
- Many cafes dose by weight, but few/no commercial grinders grind by weight (though some are promised)
The problems associated with current grinders presented Christian with one main challenge: To make an efficient grinder where all components are optimised. The solution involved substantial new thinking:
- Straight through grinding for minimal retention
- Design a burr set which minimises size to decrease retention but maximises performance for quick grinding (we’re talking <5 second doubles here) whilst efficiently managing heat. A revolutionary solution where the inner burr is stationary but the outer burr revolves was the solution and it all happens via a quiet, belt drive motor.
- Produce a design which the end user can safely service and clean and also upgrade for higher capacity as a cafe grows
So, the etzinger etzMax is the result and it will soon enter production. We have been honoured to have been chosen by Etzinger to evaluate and provide feedback on a pre-production etzMAX W Medium in raw Aluminium finish and it has has been with us for a week now. In that time, we have run a few kg of browns though it.
So what have we found?
- Wow. This thing is super accurate and it’s quick! We note that the delivered grind weight is often precisely what was requested and if not, within 0.2g of requested in a circa 5 second, 20g dose.
- It takes about 30 seconds to clean.
- 1kg beans fits easily into the large hopper and it’s still little over 500mm tall (420mm with 200g hopper).
- Shots? Brilliant. This relatively compact (when compared to the big conicals) grinder is so accurate that tiny adjustments of grind size can be tasted easily, but not identified by viewing pour rate/time. Get out those refractometers!
- We have a “need” for a new grinder for our warehouse and another for home!
Our etzMax is now heading out to do some real coalface duty in two busy Melbourne cafes and will then be heading to Sydney to for a similar evaluation.
Game changer? Who knows? It will be the end users of this lovely piece of engineered clever who determine whether they think the bar has been lifted and by how much. For now, we are very much enamoured which this great new grinder which can and does!