The coffee connoisseur is a growing breed of urbanity with coffee shops springing up like mushrooms on every high street in the land. There are chains, independents, delis, supermarkets and pubs selling their own coffees for their choice-bewildered customers. But sometimes, in fact often, you don’t want to go outside in the rain just to get a coffee. And so, with the inevitability of the smell of coffee in the morning, coffee machines, grinders, blends, whole beans and a myriad of other related products have gradually crept into the market.
Why Grind your own coffee Beans At All?
Coffee beans are ground to increase the surface area of the grinds. The larger the surface area (in other words the smaller the ground particles of bean), the easier and quicker it is for the flavour, the water soluble compounds in the grinds, to infuse the hot water. Buying pre-ground coffee grinds is easier than grinding beans yourself but has the penalty that once the packet is opened the air and the moisture in the air will act upon the small particles of bean and leach their freshness. You may have notices that a packet of pre-ground coffee will smell different when you first open it (nice) to when, a few days or weeks later, you smell it again (not so nice). Grinding beans, which are available in most supermarket these days, is a cool way to guarantee the freshness of the grinds.
How to Grind Coffee Beans
With this there is also differing thoughts. Electric grinders tend to use blades to grind coffee. This is more like cutting the beans into little bits which might be easy (if a little noisy) but the resulting grinds tend not to have a consistent size, with some particles being dusty and some largish lumps. This has an impact on the flavour according to the brew method. One answer to this is to use a manual coffee grinder which will give a more consistent particle size of the grinds from a burr grinder rather than a blade grinder and which can be adjusted for variation of of fineness to be consistent with the brew method. Different brew types require different ginds size, for example expresso needs a very fine grind.
The Top 10 Best Manual Coffee Grinders in 2016 Reviews
1. Khaw-Fee HG1B
A hand coffee grinder with ceramic burr, glass jar and storage lid in black is a neat small little unit with a ceramic burr grinder to assure steady grinding, an adjustable setting for fineness and a rubber prime to prevent bean spillage. It will come apart easily to make cleaning a breeze so you could decide to use it for pepper or spices, and has a glass bottom to see the results. A silicone collar added to the bottom stops it moving around when grinding and silicone lid for the glass receptacle to seal when the grinder is taken off.
A ceramic burr manual coffee grinders hand crank grinding mill is a very similar product with a ceramic burr, adjustable for fineness, silicone prime to prevent spillage and a glass bottom to see the results. Free coffee spoon and silicone bottom collar to secure it while cranking. Lid for the receptacle for transport after grinding.
3. The Steel Coffee Grinder
From Steel Coffee is made of a higher grade professional 304 stainless steel and will not warp easily or rust. The handle is removable and settings are adjustable. Comes with a measuring spoon with a clip on the side and is easy to take apart to clean. A window at the bottom allows you to see the results and the super sleek design is a pleasure to look at.
4. Clara’s Coffee
A manual coffee grinder likewise has a stainless steel body & adjustable ceramic conical burr. The handle is removeable and the package comes with a handy carry bag and a brush for cleaning. Also has a window at the bottom. Elegant sturdy design.
5. BRU USA
A ceramic hand crank burr grinder with a sealable glass jar, silicone bottom collar to stop it moving around when grinding, silicone primer to stop beans falling out, adjustable for fineness.
6. Hunt Brothers
A manual coffee grinder, adjustable with 18 settings and removable crank handle. Stainless steel design with a bottom window and a handy rustic carry sack. Apart from that it is a fairly minimal package.
7. The Hario MSS-1B Mini Coffee Mill
This is one of the smaller options out there with capacity for two cups of coffee ground with its adjustable ceramic burr. A spring loaded shaft keeps the burr in position and the clear plastic receptacle makes it easy to see the results but seems cheap. Neat little product but probably not the most sturdy.
8. UYIKOO ® Manual Slim Coffee Grinder
This another stainless steel body ceramic burr grinder with detachable handle. Window at the bottom and easy disassembly. No extras provided but no quibble money back if not satisfied.
9. The JavaPresse Manual Coffee Grinder
This is very similar with stainless steel body, bottom window, simple design and a lifetime money back guarantee.
10. Hario Skerton
A ceramic coffee mill. In Japanese, HARIO means “The King of Glass”. This Japanese company has been manufacturing glassware since its founding in 1921. Silicone primer, bottom collar and lid for the glass bowl.
I would separate these into two types: those with transparent glass or plastic bottoms and those with stainless steel bodies. The former are suited to staying in the home, the latter are more for travel and camping. My personal favorite of the former is the Bru USA and of the latter is the Clara’s Coffee steel grinder which is equipped for camping with its cleaning brush and mini carry sack. Really, there are very minor differences between them if you are sold on the concept of manual coffee grinders which any coffee connoisseur would be.