EK43 Workflow and best practices

(German D Salamanca) #1

Hi Again!

Two of our cafes have an EK43 grinder on the bench, and we will be getting one for a third location.

However, we noticed that the owners of the 2 current cafes are not really using the EK43 but rather just using their normal Mythos 1 grinders.

When I ask them why they are not using the EK43, they say because no many people order filter coffee, but then I ask why they are not using it for their single origin espressos… and their answer is: the system of pre-weighting, grinding, using the funnel, distributing, etc… is way to slow when they have 10 Lattes to make as well.

I’m suggesting the get the Volumetric dosing tool for the EK, but it’s quite a big investment for them.

Can you guys share how your workflow is with the EK43 when 70-80% of your coffees are white coffees? in a 1 barista makes all coffees shop.

I’d love to hear how you make the most out of your EKs!

Hope my question is clear :slight_smile:

(Ali Can) #2


You can use bean cellars. You can weight the beans in the morning and put them in a cellar so you won’t lose time when you have to make 10 lattes, just throw the beans from the cellar to EK. I know Lyn Weber produce them but you can also make yourself some.

Hope this will help.

(Felix McCarthy) #3

Yeah we just preweigh each close and shift change, just like with pour over. Labeled “EK Kenya” or something to reduce confusion.

(German D Salamanca) #4

Thanks Ali. Yes, we just introduced Lyn Weber cellars, and I believe it changes everything for the better. Still our guys are a bit stuck on to the old systems, I believe it’s also a change of thinking that needs to happen!

Thanks a lot for all your replies.

(winn) #5

We use an EK for everything & we offer up to 6 coffees at any given time. We pre-weigh doses in little canisters, grind into Lyn Weber “Blind Tumblers,” & then dose into portafilters. I’ve also used a jam funnel, but I like the tumblers better; they take up very little space & are much less awkward. I don’t think it takes any more time than using a Mythos and weighing doses after grinding. When I was working on a Mythos, there was a dose variance of +/- 1.5g; on the EK is it less than .5 grams usually.
Frankly, dialing in on the EK is way easier than the Mythos because you have only one variable to change: the grind setting. I liked the mythos, but I felt that messing with the timer every time I changed the grind setting was a waste of time.
The primary problems I encounter with the EK are:

  1. It is quite loud.
  2. It obstructs my view.
  3. It is more messy.
  4. When shuffling between multiple coffees, I have to keep around small amounts of each coffee to flush out the previous ones. This is more a symptom of our multiple coffee setup than the machine itself.
  5. I have to make time to weigh out more doses when I’m running low.
    I think these are minor trade-offs compared to my previous experience with a Mythos. I value the simplicity & versatility of the EK way more than the convenience of the over-engineered Mythos.
    This is not to mention that I couldn’t possibly offer customers a choice of six different coffees without buying six grinders.

(German D Salamanca) #6

Thanks a lot @uudbo ! I agree with you and really trying to get the guys at the cafes to do this.

I’m also thinking of getting the DUAL smart doser for the EK, with 2 hoppers.

(Mike Shevnin) #7


We are using a EKK43 for all our coffees
We have a dual volumetric doser for espresso and grind into a small metal jar that fits into the basket nicely.
That routine is as fast as mythos.

(Jono Niclair) #8

Hey guys, aside from the Lyn Weber bean cellars what containers do you use to pre dose your EK shots. Had a look around the shops today and couldn’t find anything small enough. Never thought to ask places I’ve worked at in the past where they got theirs. Any help would be appreciated. I’m in Australia by the way…

(Kyle Papai) #9

Hey, go to home-barista.com and do a search for “single dosing container”. Lots of talk about that. If you’re in the states, it seems Amazon has heaps of suotable containers.

(John Michael Cord) #10

My cafe also uses the EK exclusively for espresso and “filter” grinding. We pre-dose all our coffees into small containers and keep our dose the same between espresso and filter so we don’t have to check to make sure we are grabbing a specific tin for a specific brewing method. We also only run espresso and coffee shots. We don’t have a batch brewer or a pour over bar. Everything is run through our single group espresso machine, which is why using only the EK works well for our simple set up. We also keep a laminated “recipe” card adhered to the EK with parameters of dose in, dose out, time, and grind setting for each coffee. When we reach volume at our cafe (40-45 espresso drinks/hr), we can easily manage workflow as long as we are prepped with the proper amount of tins.

We use tumblers to grind into, a jam funnel to distribute, and we also keep a demitasse spoon on bar to remove or add grounds to the dose (as @uudbo stated above, we do see a variable of -/+ 0.2g, and -/+ 0.5g when switching to coffee shots from an espresso or visa versa).

Definitely willing to talk more about EK workflow as I see it becoming more prevalent in the US market.

(Will Woodhouse Banks) #11

Tell me about your coffee shots! Are you doing something like 18g > 300g? Running at the same pressure as you would for espresso?

(Ben Fitt) #12

I was also wondering if people are using the same EK to grind for espresso and then for other applications pour over/ batch brews then back to espresso. Is it pretty reliable to just run off numbers on the dial and get it right back to the perfect grind size for your espresso or is there some dial back in period?
Was hoping to use an EK for single origin espressos and all other grinding needs and a peak for our house blend so only needing two grinders in a small cafe rather than running multiple grinders.

Any experience out there? People running this set up?

(Michael Cameron) #13

I used it for all purposes, but mainly single origins for espresso. I found around a 0.4g retention for most grind styles, so grinding a few beans first to “purge” the chute worked well. Honestly, the all-purpose nature of an EK along with just how well it works negates any downside to retention. Running off the dial numbers was very consistent (especially when you freeze your beans!) though it’s pretty damn important to have those numbers written down somewhere for each origin / brew method.

(Ben Fitt) #14

Sounds like a good option for me.
I have heard so many arguments on both sides but why do you freeze your beans? What advantage do you see? Is it all about humidity?

(Michael Cameron) #15

Doesn’t really have anything to do with humidity. The main argument for freezing beans in my mind is a) freezing and vacuum sealing stops oxygen degradation dead which b) allows you to store beans for a longer time while c) freezing also has the added benefit of 1) narrowing your fines spread — more fines, of an even size — which leads to 2) giving you a known and consistent grind temperature and grind profile, allowing you to stay fairly closely dialed in this week, next month, and next year. Which all results in some damn tasty shots of coffee.

(John Michael Cord) #16

We run 15g VST baskets in our portafilters, and we are pulling a final weight of 225g. If you include the water retained in the espresso puck, we are using a 1:17 brew ratio for our coffee shots. We also pull all of our shots, coffee and espresso, at 6 bars of pressure.

(John Michael Cord) #17

We use our EK when we grind batches (8lbs) of cold brew first thing in the morning before open. Once we are ready to start dialing in for the day, we will start from the last grind setting used, to help reduce the amount of coffee retention and to increase consistency. So, when we grind for cold brew first thing in the morning, I’ll drop the dial down to coffee shot size and purge one shot before saving the next for dialing in. Next I’ll drop the dial to the next largest espresso grind size (dependent on our spec sheet) and toss a few beans through to purge. Lastly, I’ll pull a shot of the espresso with the smallest grind size. This method has helped increase consistency for the retention issues with the EK.

We also dose 15.1g of beans in all of our tins, as the extra 0.1g helps to account for any retention as well.

(Alan Bruce) #18

Hey Michael,

Dragging the thread off topic a little here, but do you find that the cooler temperature of your grounds affects the brew temperature negatively? Or do you give them a little time to acclimatise before extraction?

(Michael Cameron) #19

It depends on the grinder. Frozen beans at -19°C when ground through an EK, come out of the grinder between ~15°C to ~20°C - with a far higher ratio of fines to boulders than you would if ground at a higher temp. So we’ve got this neverending “pull one end of the string, it pulls several others in a different direction”.

Isolated, I’d say the lower grinds temperature would have an effect on flavour, potentially negative if all other variables were held constant. But they’re not, and the lower grinds temp is balanced out then pushed into the positive by the higher amount of fines, resulting in a net gain in flavour.

What can mess this up however is poor distribution. Those same “strings” also pull in the direction of creating an environment for clumping. Static and other environmental conditions can conspire to create clumps out of all those fines, creating barriers to the flow of water and espresso out of the basket.

So to benefit from grinding frozen, therefore creating more fines, which will mitigate the slightly lower grinds temp, you need to ensure you’ve distributed really well in the basket. For me, I grind into a pre-weighed cup, adjust the dose if needed, then pour the dose into the basket using a jam funnel, and from there I use a small whisk to break the grinds up if any clumps have formed. Palm tap, tamp, and pull : )

Then just make sure you’ve lowered your pump pressure, you’re using a controlled tamp force, around 58.3mm tamp circumference at least, your grinder is cleaned and aligned, you’ve built your own water — and of course you’re freezing beans ; )