Another feat in German coffee grinder design has come forth courtesy of Aachen-based boutique manufacturer Titus Grinding, which has rolled out its second major product, the Nautilus grinder.
Online sales are now open for shipments from periodic small-batch production runs of the new machine. There are currently two different sets of 98-mm flat burrs available, as well as two available machine heights. The Nautilus can also be inverted without any additional parts, for users to mount the grinder on a ceiling or strong shelf.
“After receiving extensive feedback from the coffee community, we decided to offer the Nautilus in a short version, 39-cm, [which is] easy to fit in tight spaces like under kitchen cabinets, and a tall version, 50-cm, for those who like to show it off,” Titus Grinding CEO Frank Durra told Daily Coffee News. “For a ceiling mounting, a site survey would have to be carried out, to ensure the mounting location would safely work and support the Nautilus.”
The two options for the vertically oriented flat burrs at the heart of the new machine come by way of Korean burr manufacturer SSP. One is designed for “high uniformity” espresso grinding, according to the company, and the other set is designed to be identical to the burrs made for Mahlkönig EK43 machines prior to 2015.
The pre-2015 EK burrs were of a geometry that delivered a grind distribution better suited to filter brews, according to Durra, who said the redesigned burrs that came later were made with espresso use in mind.
Fans of the prominent commercial grinder maker Mahlkönig may already be familiar with Titus Grinding through its catalog of complementary tools and add-ons such as a portafilter holder, single and double dosing sliders, and burr alignment kits for EK43 models, as well as for its modification and customization services for EK grinders and a variety of commercial espresso machines.
The first Titus grinder, a more conventional-looking machine built around a horizontal 68-mm hybrid conical and flat burr system, was released in 2014 and has evolved with subtle tweaks over the years.
The current base price for a Titus grinder with a nickel-plated finish is €6500 (approximately $7,700 USD as of this writing). With the Nautilus, whose first batch sold out over the summer, Titus Grinding takes a stride forward both in production volume and in the adventurousness of its designs.
“Releasing the Nautilus and literally doubling the Titus grinder segment is a great step for us as a tiny manufacturer,” said Durra. “As [with] any of the products within our portfolio, both grinders share entirely what we consider the ‘Titus DNA’: being deeply thought through and constructed from scratch in our Aachen workshop, with every single part being manufactured in the vicinity, except for burr sets, motor and electrics.”
Both machines maintain small countertop footprints by separating the grinding burr/motor assembly from external power supply units that users can situate in corners, under counters or in cupboards. Both are also engineered for minimal retention and for optimal distribution without adding either RDT (the “Ross Droplet Technique“) or WDT (the “Weiss Distribution Technique“) to the routine, according to Durra.
Both grinders feature variable RPM motors, and are built for easy access to the burrs and grind chambers for cleaning and for reassembly without losing the grind setting.
The base price for a Nautilus grinder with anodized silver or black finish is €2990 (approximately $3,545 USD). Production is expected to expand beyond small-batch runs in the first quarter of 2021.