The hand coffee grinder. How about a workout plus a caffeine boost and a delicious fresh beverage. With a hand crank coffee grinder you get all 3 benefits in one little package. Join me won’t you for just a few minutes as we discuss the hand coffee grinder and why you may want to choose one for your own home, cabin or even just as a back up unit. I’ve had some personal experiences with a wide variety of coffee grinder that I’ll draw upon and share. I’ve had some winners and some losers. I hope that you will benefit from my toils and tribulations so that you can choose a manual coffee grinder that is best suited for your needs and you can side step the misery and angst that almost bought me to tears. Please forgive the last bit of hyperbole 🙂
Really, choosing a hand coffee grinder or any coffee grinder for that matter is not a huge deal. Though there are some factors to consider so that your grinding those espresso coffee beans is seamless. So let’s get right to it.
Benefits of the hand coffee grinder
The first thing that is of a benefit in choosing a hand coffee grinder is the fact that these grinders are almost always in the style of a burr coffee grinder. I’ve spoken about this before, the importance of having a good burr coffee grinder. Whether you have a KitchenAid coffee grinder, a commercial coffee grinder, Cuisinart coffee grinder or any other for that matter you really want to choose a burr coffee grinder and here’s why. A burr grinder squeezes and crushes the coffee beans like your Brazilian coffee beans and it does this at low speed. This does 2 things. First of all, the beans are not heated, thus limiting the chance that the beans can be burnt by high speed blades like you’ll find in blade coffee grinders.
The second thing is that because the burrs squeeze, crush and mash the beans you get a very even grind more so than what is possible on a blade coffee chopper. If you’ve been around coffee for more than 2 minutes you’ll appreciate the fact that the more consistent your coffee grind the better the flavor extraction.
A manual coffee grinder is almost always, and I say always because I have yet seen one that isn’t, a burr coffee grinder. So this is the first and biggest benefit of a hand coffee grinder. A couple of other benefits would include the fact that you never have to worry about finding a plug, which can be a problem when you’re camping out in the woods for example! Or you’re trying to enjoy your espresso on the eve of the Armageddon 🙂 A hand coffee grinder also only grinds a bit at a time, oftentimes the base will only hold enough for a full 12 cup pot of coffee. This is a good thing because you’re using fresh coffee all the time. That is if you are grinding fresh beans every day.
A few drawbacks of the hand coffee grinder
Okay, so what about some of the drawbacks, surely everything isn’t rosy in the land of milk and coffee. Well you’re right friend. A hand crank coffee grinder takes a bit of work. And I must warn you that you’ll be surprised at the amount of work that is required to grind a coffee carafes worth of beans. Not that the work is hard, it’s just that you’ll be cranking that handle on your hand coffee grinder for several minutes to grind enough coffee for the day’s pot. And of course there might be a bit of mess that you have to clean up after depending on spillage as you’re trying to extricate the ground coffee from the manual grinder.
You’ll have a renewed appreciation about just how terrific electricity and the convenience of appliances are in our modern world. And lastly, I must warn you that you get what you pay for. Especially in this instance, perhaps more so than in electric grinders like you might find in grind to brew coffee makers. I’ve bought some cheaper hand coffee grinder that I eventually just gave up on. One was from Turkey and the other was from China. Friends, it really isn’t worth it to try and save a few bucks this way. As my grandmother used to say. Don’t be penny wise and pound foolish.
A good hand coffee grinder can be had for around one hundred dollars or less. So it isn’t an extravagant expense. And like with some of your espresso machine accessories like the espresso tamper, you want to get a decent mechanical product. A brand that I really like is the Zassenhaus coffee grinder. The Zassenhaus coffee grinder can be a little hard to come by, but I know that Sweet Maria’s keep a stash of them and there are other places you can find them online. And I’m pretty sure you can find them at your local upmarket and boutique kitchen stores.
Zassenhaus as you can imagine is German. And I don’t know what it is about them Germans, but they make good quality products. Knives, cars, coffee grinders and other things just seem to be of great quality. If you’re looking for another option for your hand coffee grinder from Amazon, you might want to try the Danesco manual coffee grinder. It’s had great reviews and is priced around fifty bucks as of this writing. A good value.
There you have it, a not so short review of hand coffee grinders and some of the options that you can find. And of course once you have ground your coffee you can make your own coffee pods or coffee pads including the ESE coffee pods. There is nothing quite like having your own hand crafted espresso beverage in the morning made from your very own espresso pods. So whichever coffee store you choose to shop from, I can recommend a hand coffee grinder as an excellent first or backup grinder for you.