If you’re looking for some of the most inexpensive espresso grinders out there, you may have come across the name Compak before. They offer a range of grinders that work for those on restrictive budgets in addition to luxury models.
In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at two of their budget-friendly models: the Compak E5 vs E6. We’ll zero in on the following subjects:
- What features both grinders have.
- Any differences there are between the E5 and E6.
- How much both the grinders cost.
- Which considerations to make prior to choosing either grinder.
Let’s jump right in…
Are you searching for a compact and affordable grinder that doesn’t sacrifice convenience and quality? The Compak E5 is an excellent choice for you. Its petite size and high-quality burrs make it a grinder for at-home espresso lovers or small businesses.
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The Compak E6 is the next in the Compak Essential On Demand line. As the E5’s successor, it makes a few improvements, such as a larger hopper and burrs, and a built-in cooling fan. Due to these upgrades, we’d suggest you grab the Compak E6 if you’re a small to medium restaurant or coffee shop in need of an affordable grinder.
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Stepless Grind Adjustment
If you really want to be able to accomplish what the best specialty coffee shops can, you need complete control over the fineness of the grind. Various types of coffee are best when ground to particular textures.
The E5 and E6 give you the maximum amount of control with their stepless grind adjustment systems. Instead of having to choose from a small number of pre-made settings, you’ll have a range of options to choose from by turning the collar at the base of the hopper.
This gives you far more options for fineness settings. No matter which type of coffee you’re preparing, you’ll be able to find the perfect setting for it.
A tough motor is essential to a high-end grinder. More power in the motor allows a grinder to push through long hours of grinding while maintaining a lightning-like speed.
The power of a motor is measured in watts. These grinders aren’t perfectly even in their wattage, but we felt they were close enough that the difference was ultimately negligible.
The Compak E5 has a 650-watt motor and the E6 has a 610-watt motor. While we wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re the most powerful grinders out there, they still have a respectable power level that can deal with high volumes of coffee and espresso orders.
A touchscreen LCD display on the front panels of either the E5 or the E6 isn’t just stylish – it’s convenient.
Instead of having to hunt all over the machine for hidden buttons and levers, most of what you need to operate the grinder is accessible by the touchscreen. With just a few easy taps, you can make quick adjustments to the majority of its settings.
Flat Grinding Burrs
Conical and flat are the two shapes that grinding burrs come in. Flat is the type of burr used by the Compak E5 and E6.
While there are benefits and drawbacks to either type, we’ll focus on describing flat burrs here. Flat burrs are two serrated grinding discs that sit on top of each other.
Their greatest benefit is their ability to create perfectly even-sized coffee particles. As a result, coffee and espresso produced by flat burrs is sweet and rich.
Beyond the shape of the burr, material is something worth looking at, as well. These Compak grinders both have burrs made from steel.
Steel burrs are often used instead of ceramic ones because of their durability and sharpness. You can expect that these Compak grinders will effortlessly pulverize coffee beans and last for a long time.
Read Also: Mahlkonig vs Compak
Adjustable Portafilter Fork
Similar to how drinks come in various sizes, so do portafilters. Portafilters can be large, small, or anything in between, which means that portafilter holders need to be flexible to accommodate them all.
Luckily, the portafilter forks on the Compak E5 and E6 are adjustable. Since you can adjust them, you can fit portafilters of a range of sizes in, allowing you to grind into the center of them all.
With some grinders, users must grind batches of coffee grounds in advance. These batches are then used over time as the need arises.
There’s one big problem with this setup: coffee gets stale very quickly once it’s been ground. Unless you’re going to use that batch fast, you’re likely to have stale leftovers to dump out at the end of the day.
That’s why we love the on-demand grinding system used by the E5 and E6. Rather than grinding into a container, they grind directly into your portafilter, allowing you to get only as much as you need to-order.
Because of this, you both eliminate your waste and guarantee that every single shot of espresso you grind is the freshest possible.
Hopper size matters. As the part of the grinder that holds your coffee beans, you can quite easily see how much of a difference a large hopper makes.
With a larger hopper, you can store more coffee beans nearby. This is what makes the E6’s extra-large 3.75-pound hopper so useful. Fill it up, and you’ll be able to grind nonstop for awhile to come.
In comparison, the E5’s hopper is a little over half a pound. It may not be enough to get you through a long rush, but it would easily be enough for the average prosumer making espresso at home.
Read Also: Mazzer Major vs Compak K10
In terms of width and depth, the E5 and E6 are pretty similar with only small differences of around an inch. The big difference here is in their height.
At 25 inches tall, the E6 towers over the 16.5-inch-tall E5. The reason for this is the E6’s hopper capacity, of course, but there are ways the E5’s shorter height could benefit you. If you don’t have much space, for instance, you’d find it easier to squeeze the E5 under cabinets than the E6.
Compak E6 Preset Time Settings
What if you or your employees are beginners? Or what if your employees have so many other tasks to do in a day that they don’t get much time to master an espresso grinder?
The Compak E6 is an excellent choice in those situations. Choosing the right fineness setting can be difficult and takes expertise, but the E6 makes it easy for you. It comes with three preset time settings that grind single, double, and triple doses of espresso.
The benefits of this are obvious. Employees won’t need to be trained extensively on how to properly time a shot – they can just immediately start grinding espresso.
Compak E6 Integrated Fan
Grinders often get hotter the longer they’re used. Unfortunately, overheating can cause damage both to the grinder and, of course, to delicate coffee beans.
Since you probably don’t want to provide your customers drinks that taste burnt, you’ll want a grinder that can handle the heat. Thanks to its integrated fan, the Compak E6 can.
The fan is self-explanatory. As it grinds, the E6 will cool itself down, promoting its own longevity and ensuring your beans don’t get burnt in the process.
Read Also: 5 Best Commercial Espresso Grinders
Compak E6 Burr Replacement Alarm
It’s a simple fact of the espresso world that grinding burrs need to be replaced. As much as we might wish otherwise, even the best burrs don’t last forever.
Knowing exactly when to replace your burrs is the tricky part. If you don’t know what you’re doing, it can be all too easy to forget to replace them on time.
With the Compak E6, you won’t be able to forget to replace your grinding burrs. When it’s time to replace them, you’ll get a notification from the machine’s burr replacement alarm.
Majesty Coffee’s mission is to give our customers the best prices for the best coffee and espresso equipment. That includes our espresso grinders like the Compak E5 and E6.
We’re offering our Compak E5 for $1,057-$1,092 depending on which color you choose. Our Compak E6 is $1,444.10-$1,486.10, with the price also being dependent on the color.
Which Grinder is Right for You?
Either the Compak E5 or E6 could easily be a great grinder for at-home baristas. As far as commercial use, however, there are reasons to choose one or the other.
The E5’s significantly lower price makes it an attractive option for those who need an economical model.
Another thing to consider beyond price, however, is you and your employees’ skill level. If they’re not as experienced with espresso grinders or you need to train new hires often, consider the E6. Its pre-programmed dosage times makes it so simple to use.
Will you often need to grind espresso for drinks nonstop? Then you’ll need a grinder that can keep cool like the E6, which has a built-in fan.
Furthermore, the E6’s large hopper is perfect for busy establishments. You won’t need to stop as often to refill it, and it will have no problem carrying you through rushes.
Our suggestion is this:
The Compak E5 is a fantastic budget pick for home baristas or small businesses that occasionally need to prepare espresso.
But if you need something that’s a step up and can fulfill high volumes of espresso orders, the Compak E6 is the best choice for you in this comparison. Its larger hopper and fan will allow it to endure long lines of customers easily.
Majesty Coffee Technical Sales Expert - Meet the Team
Tony Barlow, with over a decade of experience in the coffee industry, is the go-to technical sales expert at Majesty Coffee. He's passionate about helping businesses find the right espresso equipment for their needs.