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After first unveiling its PK product line in 2017, grinder manufacturer Compak continued to refine the machines, which finally this year have been brought to the international market with fresh new designs and capabilities in the high-end commercial coffee category.
The trio of machines in the Compak PK line — the PKE, PKF and PK100 — mark a major release for the 24-year-old Spanish company with a United States headquarters in New Jersey, yet each machine is unique.
In the PKE and PKF, the same 83-mm flat steel burrs are spun by well-ventilated 950-watt motors at a cool 350 RPM. The essential difference between them is the adjustment mechanism, with the PKE having a more traditional stepless adjustment collar at the top of the body of the machine, as opposed to the knob on the side of the PKF.
The Compak PK100, meanwhile, marks the company’s first stride into the single-dose-specific design, coming standard with an aesthetically streamlined single-dose hopper that holds no more than roughly 55 grams of coffee. Inside, huge 98-mm burrs are driven by a 500-watt, 230-volt motor at 900 RPM, and the company says its low-retention design traps less than half a gram of grinds between doses.
All three burr sets are of innovative “blind” design, whereby partial holes on the backs of the burrs allow them to affix to the burr carrier without screws so that there are no screw holes interrupting the cutting surfaces. The company said this helps lower retention and waste while promoting better particle distribution, while their unique cutting patterns aim for increased extraction yields and accentuated flavors and aromas.
“The PK Line is definitely focused on the super-premium segment of the coffee market,” Compak America Managing Director Josh Fields told Daily Coffee News. “Within specialty coffee, there is a clear demand for breakthroughs in flavor amplification, and the PK Line was conceptualized to do just that. We feel that the line delivers on that goal, and more.”
The goals of low retention and even distribution of grinds are additionally supported by a redesigned static-reducing clump-breaker on all three exit chutes. Receptacle forks on all three machines feature universal hands-free designs, either for portafilters or, on the PK100, retail bags or dosing cups.
Back in 2017, the original reveal of the PK line included machines with load cells built into the portafilter holders, for grind-by-weight capabilities. While the lineup currently for sale does not include that feature, Fields said that its arrival is not far off.
“What we have today are all further refined versions of our initial concept of big flat burrs turning at low RPMs with a focus on flavor amplification,” said Fields. “Our grind-by-weight technology is still in late development, but we are expecting to have early units on the market later this year.”
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.