Recently I decided to offer some of the accessories that go with making coffee at home. So I brought in some small manually operated coffee mills (grinders). When a friend/customer noticed them he asked why I hadn’t announced their arrival.
I have to admit I am intimidated by marketing. I personally don’t like having things “marketed” to me. Having something shoved at me. “Buy this!” Then there is the whole thing about “Buy this because it is better/bigger/faster/cheaper etc!” — even though it may be just that! Finally “you should buy this because I am an expert and I know what I am talking about!” — I am the expert but……….. With these types of feelings on ‘marketing’ I find it hard emulate that in what I do personally.
This was the response I gave as to why I hadn’t announced the arrival of my grinders. And then there was the following.
My own story on coffee grinders goes back a good ways. At home we have been using a hand grinder for close on 20 years. In between we have tried one of those grinders that uses a blade in it much like a food processor, but it made a lot of noise, the grind was uneven, my own ability to guess at how long to grind it was poor at best and finally one side of the blade broke. The hand grinder continued to work well.
At some point I started becoming more serious about my coffee. I discovered that consistency and size of the grind was important. I learned about blade grinders, conical burr grinders and flat plate grinders. I learned that they can cost any where from $20.00 to $2000.00. I realized that I had good reason to not like that broken food processor/grinder. Consistency is an issue with them. They chop rather than grind the coffee.
When I started looking for grinders to use here in the shop I decided to go with two grinders. One main, heavy duty one for grinding bags of beans and another smaller one to do duty for espresso and coffee drinks. The larger one is on the high end of the $$$ scale. It has precision ground grinding plates and is made by one of the best grinder manufactures there is. It is a great machine and does a great job. The smaller one, also a well known and trusted name, was still pretty costly had a ceramic conical burr grind mechanism and did a good job until it started giving me trouble and quit. When I asked the manufacturer if their repairs to the machine could guarantee it would not quit again I received no response. The hand grinder at home still continues to work well!
If someone asks me about grinders I give them a shortened version of my story. It bucks the “high-tech” trend, but I then point out that a good hand grinder has a conical burr grind mechanism costs under $100.00 and will out last most electric grinders. A good electric grinder with a good grind mechanism will start at well over $100.00 and very few have a warrantee that goes far enough.
So I brought in two versions of a small coffee grinder made in Japan by Porlex. The Porlex Mini and the Porlex Tall. The following is a review by the Epicurean Cyclist that compares the Porlex with another grinder the Hario which I have special ordered in the past. I may bring in more in the future.