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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 6:38pm
Subject: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

Hello all -- When I bought my hand grinder 3-4 years ago, I somehow thought it would last me forever, or at least for several years down the road.  Recently, however, I've been having trouble getting it to grind beans to a consistent size.  In the past, 8-9 clicks to the left from the locked position gave me a reliably medium grind that worked well with my Chemex.  But with each passing  year, I've had to crank up the number of clicks.  Now I'm up to what seems like a ridiculous 14-15 clicks.  The answer may seem obvious, but since I'm no coffee expert, I just have to ask:  Is it time to buy a new grinder?  Thanks in advance for your help, everyone!
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,051
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 7:04pm
Subject: Re: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

uh...what grinder do you own?  have you ever taken it apart for a thorough cleaning?

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Unhookthestars
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Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Feb 15, 2014, 7:57pm
Subject: Re: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

emradguy Said:

uh...what grinder do you own?  have you ever taken it apart for a thorough cleaning?

Posted February 15, 2014 link


Hi emradguy -- I had intended to post the make/model of my grinder but had a senior moment of forgetfulness!   But now I remember -- it's the Porlex mini-mill, which as far as I know, is highly regarded.  As for giving it a thorough cleaning, I guess it depends on your definition of "thorough."  I try to remember to take it apart after getting through a bag of 12-oz beans -- usually once a week -- but there have been times when 2-3 weeks go by before I remember to clean it.  My cleaning regimen, if you can call it that, is to simply rinse the metal parts (the container, lid, and the hollow middle section) with warm water and to use a brush to dust off the ceramic parts.  I've always meant to try Grindz but never gotten around to it.  Is this routine enough to keep the grinder in tip-top shape?  Should I be doing more?  I always assumed that the grinder would eventually wear out and thought that perhaps that has been happening for a while.  What do you think?
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sweaner
Senior Member
sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,125
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 9:45am
Subject: Re: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

Pick up a Pharos before they are gone. OE may stop building them soon. Last hand grinder you will need. another option would be their new Lido 2.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,208
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Tue Feb 18, 2014, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

sweaner Said:

Pick up a Pharos before they are gone. OE may stop building them soon. Last hand grinder you will need. another option would be their new Lido 2.

Posted February 18, 2014 link

Sorry, no.  Horses for courses.  The Pharos is widely regarded as great for espresso, but not for brew.    

The Lido 2 is currently in beta, is getting great pre-reviews, and should be available soon (Spring?) for around $200.  Another excellent alternative in the same price range, and being sold now, is the "Hausgrind," made by Knock.  The Lido 2 is metal, plastic, and industrial modern; while the Hausgrind is made from wood, appearing like a streamlined peppermill.

People who've had the opportunity to use both grinders rate them as equally excellent for brew.  I've never used either, and am just passing along the love.

Orphan Espresso and Knock are both well-liked, innovative companies with equally excellent (there's that term again) reputations for quality, service, and just plain goodness.  If I had to choose between the Lido 2 and Hausgrind, I couldn't do it rationally.  I'd go for appearance, nationalism (OE is American, Knock is Scottish) or toss a coin.  

None of the less expensive alternatives, like Hario, Kyocera or Porlex grind nearly as well.  On the other hand, they're (wait for it) less expensive.  Let's face it, grinding for a Chemex isn't that critical, and you may well find them good enough.  However if you ever use a press, forget about them.    

If you're going to spend $200 for a drip grinder, you might also consider the electric Breville Sharp and Baratza Virtuoso.  I've used both extensively.  While there are some differences between them, they end up at the same level of "very good" (but not "excellent" like the Hausgrind or Lido2).  While they won't give you quite the same level of quality in the cup as either the Hausgrind or Lido 2, they're a lot more convenient.  

Rich
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Unhookthestars
Senior Member


Joined: 8 Jul 2012
Posts: 25
Location: San Francisco, CA
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Sat Feb 22, 2014, 5:53pm
Subject: Re: Is it time to buy a new hand grinder?
 

Thank you, sweaner and boar_d_laze for the tips!  I checked out the grinders you recommended but I'm, unfortunately, not in the market for one at those prices.  But you're right, boar_d_laze, that with the Chemex, the cup usually ends up being satisfying regardless of the grind consistency.  The only hitch is that it's hard to reproduce the excellent cup I made today the next day or the day after that, so I have to settle for whatever flavor my Porlex mini-mill has in store for me on any given day.  ;)
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