Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Spain Loves Me

Every once in a while, a package comes to your door that you're just excited to see.

Today a package from the Spanish coffee grinder company, Compak, arrived today filled with goodies.

The Spro is one of the very few coffee shops in North America using the Compak K-10, a conical burr espresso grinder. I got ours after the 2006 SCAA Conference in Charlotte and have been working with it ever since. It's a great grinder and has easily replaced our Mazzer Major grinders as our primary espresso grinder. Even, consistent and fast - it's a solid performer and one that I like over the Mazzer Robur that so many of my friend prefer.

The K-10 is a spacey, curvy and good-looking grinder that works like a champ but has some lowpoints. Unlike the Mazzer, if you remove the dosing hopper cover, the K-10 loses it's curvature and sex-appeal. It just doesn't look as good naked - much like many females I have, ahem, known. But the true bane of the K-10 is it's bean hopper made out of a very stiff polycarbonate that is very prone to breakage. If I drop the Mazzer bean hopper, it bounces and flips around. If I drop the K-10s' hopper, it breaks. My first hopper broke and I super-glued it back together and got it to work for over a year.

Why didn't I just replace the hopper? Well, that's been the rub. Great grinder but no distribution in the United States. Which means that parts are hard to come by.

Happily, the guys at Compak are more than accommodating. When I brought my K-10 to Long Beach for the 2007 USBC, they gave me a hopper to use. Then when I saw Emilio in Tokyo for the World Barista Championship, he promised to send me another hopper and a new burr set for the grinder.

That box arrived today and inside was a DVD of the video they shot of my performance at the USBC. The same one that Chiarra told me she had seen. Hmmm, I wonder if I look good...