In this guide, we're going to be comparing the Mahlkonig K30 Air vs Peak. We're sifting through the details and bringing you all the information you need to decide which espresso grinder is right for you.
We'll be covering...
- What makes the Mahlkonig K30 Air and the Mahlkonig Peak similar.
- The major differences between these grinders and how they'll affect you.
- Advice on which grinder to buy based on individual requirements and professional criteria.
Mahlkonig K30 Air
This is an ideal espresso grinder for medium to higher volume cafes, restaurants, and businesses that specialize in premium espresso beverages. Grab this grinder if you want fast grinding with high-quality results.
The more specialized your espresso service, the more you'll need the Peak with its high-volume adapted features and dual ventilation system. This is the best option if you want the most advanced features.
Flat Steel Burrs
Both the Mahlkonig Air and the Peak espresso grinders contain flat steel burrs, which will have a notable effect on the espresso.
These machines grind the coffee between two horizontally-oriented flat burrs. For comparison, in conical grinders the coffee is dropped in at a slight angle and ground with a cone-shaped mechanism.
What advantage does the flat burr type provide?
You'll get a uniform coffee particle distribution, whereas in the conical grinder, you'll have varying particle sizes.
The more uniform the particles, the more even the extraction and the more capable your grinder is of bringing out and balancing all of the nuances of the coffee.
Programmable Stepless Grind Adjustment
These machines are incredibly precise. You can program single and double doses with pinpointed accuracy with either grinder.
A stepless grinder lets you freely choose any setting withing having to work within preset notches.
This means greater control when dialing in the grind and a better chance of finding that perfect setting for each coffee profile.
A quick note about these grinders—the Peak comes with micrometric adjustments for the ultimate selection. You'll actually be able to adjust the grind by .01-second increments, versus .10-second increments with the K30 Air.
Grind on Demand
The grind-on-demand system in the K30 Air and the Peak guarantees freshness for close attention to quality.
The coffee is ground directly into your portafilter basket, limiting oxidation that can quickly degrade the espresso flavor.
If you want the freshest espresso, a grind-on-demand machine like the K30 Air or the Peak are your best bet.
Read Also: See our guide on the best commercial espresso grinders.
Hands Free Grinding
When you place the portafilter in these grinders, they'll hold it in position for hands-free grinding, allowing you to attend to other functions.
The grinder will begin automatically and stop according to programming for the perfect dosing, increasing consistency.
Each of these machines comes with a large hopper that can hold up to 3.3 pounds of coffee.
This is especially desirable for busy shops that don't have time to stop and refill the hopper in the middle of a rush.
If you go through a lot of coffee, choosing a machine with an ample hopper will help you maximize efficiency, one of the keys to business growth.
Short Hopper Option
Do you find a standard hopper a little too tall? One of the great things about the K30 Air and the Peak is that you have the option of choosing the shorter hopper.
The shorter hopper will shave about four inches off, reducing the height of these grinders from 21.7 inches to 17.5 inches.
If you have a small work space and you're worried about tucking a grinder under low cabinets, the short hopper can make all the difference.
Both of these machines have large burrs, which help them generate less heat while grinding as the larger surface area necessitates fewer rotations.
Less heat equals better espresso flavor preservation—overheating the coffee in the grinder can create burned flavors.
However, the Peak's 80 mm grinding discs are larger than the K30 Air's 65 mm grinding discs. For the Peak, this equates to higher extraction ratios and sweeter espresso.
With an idle speed of 1,350 to 1,650 RPM, the K30 Air is faster than the Peak, which has an idle speed of 900 to 1,100 RPM.
This allows the K30 Air to grind about four grams of coffee per second, as opposed to the Peak, which grinds three grams per second.
To be clear, three grams per second is still fast. But in case speed is of the utmost importance, you might like this about the K30 Air.
LCD vs. OLED Display
The K30 Air has an LCD display that shows the dosage and the timing. It's illuminated for readability and easy to work with when you're programming doses.
The new OLED display in the Peak shows single or double dose, time setting and internal temperature.
Both displays add to the user friendliness of these intuitively designed machines, but they do offer slightly different information.
Dual Ventilation System in the Peak
The K30 Air and the Peak are constructed with internal fans for optimal temperature regulation. The difference between the grinders is in the thermal management system.
The Peak has a dual ventilation system that runs all day long to eliminate heat, which can be particularly helpful for large cafes that have the grinder going pretty constantly.
The K30 Air also cools the coffee with high efficiency, and the fan will kick in when the grinder detects rising heat levels.
However, in a fast-paced environment where the fan needs to be going at all times, the Peak has the K30 Air beat.
Adjustable Spout in the Peak
The Peak's adjustable spout is a clever modification that allows you to reposition it for portafilters of different sizes.
If you have a larger portafilter, you can move the spout up a little so that the coffee will grind into the center of the basket.
This ensures even distribution, regardless of what type of portatilter you use. Even coffee distribution will ensure uniform extraction and a better espresso flavor.
Price is definitely something to consider when you're shopping for a grinder. Fortunately for your decision making, the Mahlkonig K30 Air and Peak are close in price.
We offer both of these machines at Majesty Coffee and price competitively to fit your budget.
The Mahlkonig K30 Air comes in Black or White for $1,900. With its advanced upgrades, the Peak is available for $2,375 in Black or White.
So Which Should You Buy?
These grinders are excellent additions to medium to large coffee shops, restaurants and cafes.
But they can also serve in offices if you're looking for a powerful machine to match a professional grade espresso system.
If you're a cafe owner, the busier your shop is, the greater the chance you'll benefit from the Peak.
Though the Peak grinds at a slightly slower speed than the K30 Air, its extensive ventilation system will ensure that the coffee is as cool as can be when the motor is running nonstop.
Specialty coffee shops may also be interested in the razor-sharp grind adjustment on the Peak, allowing baristas to dial in the grind with absolute precision.
Here's what we would suggest for these grinders.
For specialty coffee shops and high-volume establishments, consider the Peak (though the K30 Air could do well, too).
For shops with medium to high volume, offices and home espresso enthusiasts, the K30 Air will deliver impressive results.
For the best prices online, check out the Mahlkonig K30 Air and the Peak here on Majesty Coffee...