German grinder maker Mahlkönig has expanded upon its iconic EK grinder platform with the launch of the high-tech Mahlkönig EK Omnia.
The company debuted the new commercial machine on the eve of the HostMilano 2023 trade show in Italy earlier this month. (Read DCN’s complete coverage of new grinders launched at HostMilano.)
Built with the familiar angular form and centered around the same 98-millimeter vertically oriented flat burrs as Mahlkönig’s classic EK43, the EK Omnia adds digital and mechanical features such as volumetric pre-dosing of beans from the hopper, as well as an automated adjustment mechanism.
“Some variation is to be expected,” Hemro Group Head of Innovation and Technology Arnaldo Rodrigues told Daily Coffee News of the automated dosing feature. “The pre-dosing unit is designed to assist and not meant to replace [weight-based dosing], in case there is requirement for greater precision.”
The three operating modes of the EK Omnia include a “Classic” manual mode, a grind-by-time mode and the “Library” mode, which involves the user selecting one of up to 10 stored “recipes.” Each user-defined recipe contains settings for burr distance — affecting grind size — and the desired weight in grams.
The grinder automatically adjusts to the specified distance between burrs and the PDU doses to a volume-based approximation of the designated weight. Burr gap is determined by an encoder tracking the positions of parts within the burr adjustment system.
The same encoder is used inside the Grind-By-Sync E80W, which was also unveiled at HostMilano as part of a new “Sync System” that wirelessly partners grinders with La Marzocco espresso machines.
“It is not a direct measurement on the burrs, but it is also not a calculated measurement,” said Rodrigues. “It consists of an encoder similar to those used on high-precision electronic measuring devices. The technology is our patented and proven Disc Distance Detection technology, but it is now enhanced with the addition of a small electric motor, which automatically adjusts the burrs to the desired burr gap.”
When adjusting the grind manually, big changes are made quickly through the grinder’s large front knob. An LED touchscreen on the front of the knob allows for finer adjustments, down to the micron of burr gap.
A light beneath the exit chute illuminates a catch cup, retail bag or the optional magnetic portafilter holder. The power knob is illuminated with LED, and the machine is wi-fi-enabled for software updates.
“The EK Omnia is designed with future compatibility and can eventually transition to the Grind-by-Sync and Sync Systems platform, if we see a great demand coming from the market,” Lena Battegay, head of Marketing for Mahlkönig parent company the Hemro Group, told Daily Coffee News.
For now, the Omnia sits prominently in Mahlkönig’s flagship grinder line alongside the EK43 and the shorter EK43 S.
“Omnia stands tall,” said Battegay. “However, we are starting to get market feedback on demand for an S version and will surely consider this for our future product pipeline.”
Pricing on the EK Omnia will differ by region and distributor, Battegay said. Machines are slated to begin shipping to the United States in the first half of 2024.
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