This morning over my third (or fourth?) cup of coffee; I started to think about coffee grinders. Not for every day use in the home, but a manual grinder. One I could use if the power went out, I was camping, or to put in my emergency storage gear and other emergency preps. I've talked about this over coffee before, but I have to admit, I haven't invested in a manual grinder yet because, well, frankly? There is never any 'extra' in the budget to purchase it. This is what I get for having two kids currently in college and one more not far behind.
I started my search pretty simply with just 'coffee grinder' and the results brought up hundreds, but my eye was caught by this one as it was 'mini' 'slim' and 'manual'. So, let's check this out. It's called the Hario Mini Mill Slim Coffee Grinder and sells for about $34 on average, depending on where you buy it. (The $34 is the Amazon quote as of today.)
The Hario Slim product in a nutshell is described as such by the company;
- Easy to clean / easy to mill coffee
- Size: 70 dia × 220mm H for a cup of coffee powder 24g (2 for full)
- Space saver with slim design / it can be a stored without handle
- Cap hopper grip handle: polypropylene / mill: ceramic / mill seatspring handle shaft: Stainless
So, let's get down to the English version of what this product is about. It's only about 7 inches tall and is about 2 inches round. Small. Very small. If you are looking to pack it into a backpack for camping or as backup in the cupboard, this is a good thing. If it's for daily use, just be prepared to hold it in a pretty strong grip when you use it each morning. I actually think the smaller size is better for my hand, but probably irritating to my husband.
In general, the reviews are good and it has about 4.5 stars out of a possible 5. That's not too shabby when you consider there are currently 282 reviews on Amazon and only 17 of those were low stars. The one and only complaint the 17 low reviewers gave was the inside of the product being 'stripped' and not grinding correctly after a time. In comparison however, many of the other reviews had been using this grinder daily for 6 months, 8 months and even 2 1/2 years. Like most products made in this day and age, you get what you get. Sometimes you get a lemon. I'm going to say that the ratio of people happy with the product verses the handful that have the grinders break is low so I would go into the purchase 'aware' of this issue but I wouldn't let it dissuade me from the purchase if this is the model I decided to try.
Grinders are pretty self explanatory - good thing since apparently the instructions for this one only come in Japanese. It's just like a pepper grinder. Unscrew, add product, screw and turn - using the nut to adjust the grind.
Over and over the 'consistent grind' was praised for this model; good to know if you have a certain grind you like best for the strength of your brew. Since it's a manual grind, you are going to work for your morning coffee - not as quick and easy as the touch of a button with an electric - but if you are interested and reading about manual grinders, then you already know this.
Truth be told, since I am looking at manual grinders for emergency storage and camping, I'm not in a hurry to purchase one, so there are other places my $35 will go right now... but I do like this one for the small, slim size, the consistency of the grind and the storage option of the handle remover. I'm giving it a thumbs up.