Anfim and Compak
I had the opportunity to try out these grinders at the Jam last week and I wanted to post a few observations I had and to ask about anyone else’s experience with them.
I’ll start with the Compak:
I used this with the Biloya for SO espresso. I was trying to use a low dose, about 15 grams. The grinder has a massive conical burr like the Robur but is slightly smaller in width and hight. It is also a bit lighter, which made it easy to move around the counter. It ran very quietly, which was very nice. It has a stepless grind adjustment that is much more sensitive than the Mazzer adjustment collar. You have to turn the dial more to achieve the desired result, but that means you can make even more subtle changes. The adjusting ring itself if very large in the palm of your hands and is smooth and rounded. This makes it feel nice. It has to be loosened and tightened with a set screw for every change, which is a little bit of pain. Overall I like it better than than the Robur for it’s size and weight and infinite adjustment. And the icing on the cake is that the grinds fall straight down. You don’t know how much of a luxury that is till you use it.
Which brings me to the Anfim:
This machine does posess all the qualities that have been attributed to it as of late. It has great visibility into the dosing chamber, the wheel sweeps the chamber very cleanly, the grinds fall straight down. It is also a very quiet grinder and has those big flat titanium burrs. The grind adjustment is a click setting, so no stepless changes. This is where the timing device comes in. I was at first really thrown off by this grinder as to how to achieve the proper balance between grind setting and timed dose. But I reallized it is like the old days when I use to use a stepped grinder. I had to use my dosing to get those “in between” adjustments by uping or downing depending on how the coffee was flowing. I figured out that with the Anfim you have to chose one of two options. If you have a coffee that benefits from up dosing, you must find the next best coarse setting and adjust the dose up to the right flow rate. If your coffee is better at a lower dose, you set it the next best fine grind setting and adjust the timer down to achieve the right flow rate. All the training we do with stepless is geared towards leaving the grind adjustment as the only variable to play with. With the Anfim, you find a close grind setting and use the dose as the changing variable.
After using both of these grinders over a three day period I am convinced that the dynasty of the Mazzer as the industry go-to grinder is fast coming to a close. They are either too loud, bulky, hot, or messy when compared to others coming out on the market. I believe that the Barista community needs to take a serious look at both of these models. I first thought that the recent rash of Anfims out there was a quaint and trendy ripple in the business, but I am definitly a convert.