Mahlkonig K30 Air Review: Is This Grinder Right for You?
Mahlkonig makes a variety of some of the finest espresso grinders in the world. There are baristas in just about every country familiar with this company’s name, whether they’re professional or home enthusiasts.
So, just what exactly makes Mahlkonig so great? We’ll explain by conducting an in-depth review of one of their models, the Mahlkonig K30 Air.
Here is what you can expect to learn about it:
- Key features of the Mahlkonig K30 Air and how they impact users.
- Comparable alternative grinders for your consideration.
- A brief history of Mahlkonig as a brand.
- Information regarding the price of the K30 Air.
The Mahlkonig K30 Vario Air was an espresso grinder clearly designed to withstand a high level of demand. Its large burrs and robust motor are capable of grinding up to 4.8 grams of coffee per second, meaning it can produce shots of espresso in approximately two seconds. Best of all, its high-quality fan cooling system allows it go all day long without breaking a sweat.
Within every high-end espresso grinder, you’ll find burrs. Burrs are the sharpened grinding discs that crush your coffee beans as the beans pass through them.
There are two main types of burrs: conical and flat. The Mahlkonig K30 Vario Air has flat burrs. That means it has a pair of flat serrated discs that stack up on top of one another.
Flat burrs have their own benefits that are different from conical burrs. The greatest benefit they offer is an unparalleled consistency, producing coffee particles that are all the same size. Many espresso experts say that coffee produced by flat burr grinders has a decadent and sweet flavor.
Burr shape isn’t the only important quality to mention here, though. The Mahlkonig’s burrs are quite generously sized at 65mm in diameter, giving the grinder a nice speed boost.
Read Also: Best Commercial Espresso/Coffee Grinders
Preparing espresso is a task that requires a surprising degree of precision. There are multiple steps that go into every single espresso-based drink, such as grinding beans, brewing, and frothing the milk.
Each of those steps can be subdivided into other steps, and that includes grinding the coffee. Baristas need to be able to carefully monitor what they’re doing at all times to ensure that every drink is up to a quality standard.
The Mahlkonig K30 Vario Air is designed to guarantee baristas can always clearly see what they’re doing with its illuminated display. Its illumination makes it easy to program doses or access settings because it’s crystal-clear.
Do you often have lines of customers at your counter? If so, you’ll need a grinder that can keep up with such demand, and not all grinders are equipped for it.
Fortunately, the Mahlkonig in this review is designed to meet high levels of demand. It has an integrated fan cooling system that controls its internal temperature, protecting it from overheating.
Not only does this protect your grinder from potential damage, but it shields your coffee beans from dangerously high temperatures. No more burnt-tasting cups of coffee here.
Large Capacity Hopper
Another quality you’ll need to be concerned about if you have a high volume of espresso orders to fulfill is your grinder’s hopper capacity. The more beans your grinder holds, the longer it can grind for before you need to stop for a refill.
This is one aspect where the Mahlkonig K30 truly shines. Its hopper holds up to 3.3 pounds of beans, which makes it perfect for helping your baristas power through rush hours.
Whether it’s the morning rush for coffee or the post-work bubble, your baristas will be able to work uninterrupted for the longest possible time. Refills will be few and far between.
Related Article: Ceado E37S vs Mahlkonig K30
Any experienced business owner knows that you need to have a good grasp on your average expenses. You’d never understand how much supplies you need or how much you’re making in profits if you don’t know how much you’re going through.
That’s why the Mahlkonig’s electronic shot counter is so useful. At any time, you can determine exactly how many shots of espresso have been prepared by checking the grinder’s record. You’ll have a perfectly clear snapshot of your espresso expenses and can adjust your supply or prices accordingly.
Restaurants, cafes, hotels, and other businesses that offer espresso to customers are packed full of daily duties employees need to complete. At any time, there are likely dozens of other jobs your employees could be doing other than simply grinding espresso.
Multitasking is something the Mahlkonig K30 is prepared to help you accomplish. It has a portafilter holder built onto the front of the machine, so your baristas don’t have to hold the portafilter basket in place the entire time while grinding.
Doserless grinding is oftentimes also called on-demand grinding. The concept is simple: rather than grinding a stock of coffee in advance, you grind single servings as you need them.
This is a concept the Malkonig K30 adheres to. As a result, every single shot of espresso or filter of coffee you prepare is as fresh and aromatic as possible.
Your customers will notice the difference in flavor when their espresso is prepared completely to-order every time.
If your business has a high volume of espresso orders or high rate of turnover, then you won’t want an espresso grinder that takes forever and a day to train employees on. You’ll want something that’s quick, convenient, and easy to learn.
That’s where the Mahlkonig’s programmable dosing functionality comes into play. Instead of forcing your employees to learn the times for each dose and then carefully time the grinder themselves, you can program the durations for single and double shots in advance.
After the single and double shot doses have been programmed, getting the precise amount you need is as simple as pressing the right button. Aside from being user-friendly, this function also allows baristas to multitask, since they won’t have to meticulously time each shot themselves.
Additional Reading: Mahlkonig E80 Supreme vs K30
Stepless Grind Adjustment
We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Mahlkonig K30’s impressive stepless grind adjustment system. Basically, it means that the fineness options you have to choose from are endless.
To understand why, it’s best to compare a stepless system to a stepped one. A stepped grind adjustment system will give you a dial that clicks into place at specific fineness settings created by the manufacturer. It’s the easier setup, but it’s significantly less flexible, as you’re stuck using only the pre-made fineness settings.
The Mahlkonig K30 will have much more flexibility. You can turn its grind adjustment collar to literally any point on the fineness spectrum.
If you go online and search for the best Mahlkonig grinders, we can almost guarantee most lists will include the Peak. The Peak is one of Mahlkonig’s most beloved models, built with speed, power, and flexibility in mind.
So, what makes this grinder great? For starters, consider its impressively sized 80mm cast steel grinding burrs. Such large burrs allow it to quickly and effortlessly grind doses of espresso.
Then factor in the Peak’s amazingly precise stepless grind adjustment system. This system gives you absolute control over the texture of the grind, making the adjustment possibilities endless.
Here are some other benefits offered to you by the Mahlkonig Peak:
- An adjustable spout so you can grind into the middle of any portafilter.
- Spout illumination that clearly lights up your workspace.
- Double ventilation to keep your coffee beans cool during grinding.
- A live temperature readout that helps baristas keep tabs on the grinding conditions.
Ceado is another reputable espresso grinder manufacturer with tons of options you can rely on. Their E37 series grinders are excellent, suitable for a wide range of settings. We especially like the E37T, which makes many improvements to the series.
One improvement is the increase in size to the grinding burrs. With burrs that are now 83mm in diameter, you can trust that the grinder will make short work of your coffee beans.
We can’t help but mention the steady lock design, too. After you choose your ideal fineness level, the grinder locks it into place, preventing your settings from gradually shifting over time.
These are some other noteworthy features of the E37T:
- Three programmable buttons that allow you to save three different doses in advance.
- An integrated shot counter, so you can keep track of your expenses.
- A beautiful touchscreen display for user-friendly operation.
- An extremely powerful 740-watt motor to help the grinder crush beans quickly.
The Fiorenzato Evo may not look anything like the Mahlkonig K30, but open up these grinders and you’ll discover they’ve got a few striking similarities.
For one thing, the Evo has generously seized 64mm flat burrs. Just like with the K30, you can demand total consistency from the Evo, thanks to its sturdy burrs.
It also has a large capacity hopper that can hold up to 3.5 pounds of coffee beans. This is one grinder that won’t need frequent breaks, empowering your baristas to grind for as long as they need to.
Here are a few additional benefits provided by the Fiorenzato Evo:
- Four different color options to make it easier for you to find a version that matches your settings.
- A precise stepless grind adjustment system.
- On-demand grinding design that promotes freshness in all your drinks.
- Attractive design that will look great on any counter.
About the Brand
Mahlkonig is a company with almost a hundred years of experience manufacturing coffee and espresso grinders. This is how you know that their models are top quality; the company has had plenty of time to perfect their formula.
Their long history of trustworthiness and innovation makes Mahlkonig a favorite among professional baristas. If you don’t believe us, look up what home enthusiasts and professionals alike have had to say about Mahlkonig online. You’d be hard-pressed to find anything that wasn’t positive.
It’s easy to tell with just a quick look at its features that the Mahlkonig K30 Vario Air was designed with commercial-scale use in mind. Qualities like large burrs, a cooling fan, and large capacity hopper make it uniquely well suited for settings with a high volume of espresso demand.
For that reason, we feel the best applications for this Mahlkonig are in small to large businesses, such as coffee shops, restaurants, and hotels.
That being said, there’s no reason you couldn’t get this for your home if you really wanted one of the best espresso grinders out there. It would just really shine in a busy commercial setting where its high-end features can be put to the test.
What Customers Say
Our customers who have purchased the K30 Vario Air and left feedback have all consistently had positive things to say about it. We’ve had customers say that it’s extremely fast, quiet, and powerful.
Because of this, we’re confident in the power and efficiency of this grinder.
For home grinding, the Mahlkonig K30 Vario Air’s $1,700 price tag may seem a little hefty. In a commercial setting, however, this is a very reasonably priced grinder considering all the top-tier hardware inside it. Many grinders with similar features go for a much higher price.