Recently, we’ve purchased an EKK43 to compare the sensory and extraction differences between the turkish burr and coffee burr sets.

For most baristas the coffee burrs have been the preference between the two and they are what we’ve used for quality control and the espresso service at the tasting bar since it opened. This was our first chance to test them side by side during an average day of service to see and taste the difference for ourselves.


Both burr sets were allowed several weeks to become seasoned until we noticed stabilized performance from each side of our EKK through reduced channeling and more predictable flow rates.

When beginning to pull shots on each burr set and compare, we noticed right away that the coffee burrs had more clarity and sweetness, with a softer and fuller mouthfeel.  The turkish burrs had a moderate amount of sweetness, a metallic-like tinge to the acidity and were often tasting less concise. The feeling was that these attributes were emphasized by the reduced sweetness. These are the sort of sensory attributes we anticipated to find and so as we continued to work on both over a period of weeks we felt compelled to add some numbers to the discussion.

Because there became such predictable sensory differences between the two, we decided to get out our refractometer and record some t.d.s and extraction yield data over the course of an average day of service. The same coffee was used on each burr set; our honey processed Gesha from Catalan de las Mercedes that was aged 17 days off roast.


Throughout the day as the grinders went through various stages of being warmed up and cooling back down again, the brew times would change. Below I’ve paired 3 sample sets that performed similar to one another.


We can see that under these circumstances the pattern and trade off is clear. The turkish burrs are less efficient than the coffee burrs.  The coffee burrs make shots sweeter and objectively allow more flavouring material to dissolve from the same amount of dry coffee. The trade off that we see is a tighter grouping from the turkish burrs. Meaning that although  the sensory results aren't as appealing to us, it is easier to achieve a more consistent result through the use of turkish burrs.
We've long been advocates for using the EK43 and its coffee burrs both for our QC measures and for the espresso service at the tasting bar. Through a more uniform particle size distribution we're able to achieve higher extractions while enhancing sweetness and the balance of shots. The sensory evidence was always there but this provides additional insight into why coffee burrs are a better choice when pursuing the sweetest, fullest shots possible from any given coffee.
Yours in coffee - Pilot.