by Josh Fields, COMPAK AMERICA LLC
We at COMPAK are obsessed with engineering better coffee grinders in the pursuit of making coffee better. We run on an endless hamster wheel of re-engineering, tweaking, and testing in our goal of product improvement and optimization.
In this pursuit of the elusive grinding utopia, we have found that the factors that have historically plagued coffee grinders are unfortunately intrinsic to the grinding process; speed, friction, and traditionally sub-optimal materials. These deleterious by-products of the grinding process contribute to damaging the delicate nature of exceptional coffees, and must therefore be minimized in order to enhance the quality of the grind.
As one continues to peel the proverbial onion, it becomes apparent that these damaging by-products can be narrowed to one principal condition, which is the generation of HEAT. We believe that the reapplication of heat to a product that had already been carefully crafted using heat (roasted coffee beans) is critical to avoid. Minimizing the undesirable by-product of elevated temperatures resulting from the grinding process is a precise dance that plays an outsized roll in the final characteristics of how the coffee tastes in the cup.
Our mission to improve upon every step in the grinder bean flow process where opportunities for heat reduction are present, include but are not limited to; internal air flow, burr speed, friction reduction, and materials used. Below are some of the controls in place that ensure our Cool Grind design:
Increased Internal Air Flow: By placing strategically located air vents, along with a dual fan system which draws internal, warm air out the upper section of the unit near the motor, and a second fan drawing cool air up through the bottom of the grinder, temperature stability is greatly enhanced.
Low Burr RPM: Slow burr rotation speed should be precisely configured to optimize quick production while minimizing heat generation. This has played a huge part in striking this critical balance of performance and low temperature stability.
Large Flat Burrs: Using large diameter, deeply cut burrs increases ground coffee rate per revolution, and fewer revolutions means reduced heat and friction.
Burr Material Optimization: We have selected materials such as K-110/D2 steel for our burrs which is a low friction, high strength cold work steel. Commonly used in the Pharmaceutical, Medical, and Oil drilling industries, this material is optimal for temperature control and stability for high friction applications.
The end result of this exhaustive process of purging heat generating factors was the impetus behind the design of extraordinary temperature stability and Cool Grind.