Top positive review
A lateral move from electric on the whole, but much better suited to my needs
April 12, 2016
After two electronic grinders crapped out on me despite being well cared-for, I decided to go with something more mechanically reliable.
Let's get this out of the way: a powered grinder, even a cheap one, does in 45 seconds what this grinder does in about five minutes of continuous cranking. This alone is why I consider this grinder to be a lateral move rather than an objective upgrade, as it's far, far less efficient. If you're the kind of person who wakes up in a panic and needs their coffee made a scant few moments before you're out the door, or simply don't like the sound of coffee taking a long time to grind, then this is not the grinder for you.
But do the merits of this grinder outweigh its seemingly archaic design and net it a recommendation? For me, absolutely, yes.
For one, there's no static charge making the grounds cling to everything. My old electric grinders had an incredibly obnoxious habit of sticking half the grounds up under the lid so it would go everywhere when you open the receptacle, and the grounds would cling together and fall in uncooperative chunks that seem weirdly aware of the fact that they're about to be doused in boiling water. Compare to this, where the grounds flow into the receptacle and pour out like a brand new bag of playground sand.
Another huge plus is that it's quiet in its own right, and a ghost compared to powered grinders. The old grinders wailed in agony and sent the cats scattering to the other side of the house, and as someone who prefers to work at night, I woke up my significant other more than a few times in my quest for a 2am brew. This hand-grinder makes a soothing white noise-type sound when operated.
The design of this grinder is actually quite elegant and mess-free. The plastic hopper screws easily but securely onto the glass base. The ceramic components on the inside are actually very thoughtfully made from a mechanical standpoint, and it's fun to throw in a small amount of beans at a time and watch them get crushed. Y'know, if you're weird like me. The beans don't always feed as well as they could on their own, but a gentle shake always fixes it and makes it a trivial issue.
Lastly, I have no concerns about this thing breaking. I can't identify a single likely point of failure on this thing (besides dropping the glass part) and it would probably stand up to some fairly horrific owner abuse.
The wait (again, about five minutes of consistent cranking) isn't really an issue once you accept that there's no rushing things, either. It's low-effort to operate as long as you're patient, and I've come to look forward to sitting in front of netflix or a youtube video or two while grinding up my beans. It's a weirdly satisfying activity.
Overall, I must restate that this grinder isn't for impatient or inhumanly busy people. But if you're fed up of noisy, messy electronic grinders finding new and exciting ways to drop dead on you, or maybe you want to your coffee brewing to be more involved and ritualistic, this grinder excels.