Which hand grinder for espresso works best?

Recommendations for buyers and upgraders from the site's members.
CoffeeOwl

#1: Post by CoffeeOwl »

I have had a read through the hand grinder jive thread and would like advice on getting a hand grinder. I feel a bit unsecure thinking of getting one on ebay, for I could have trouble verifing for sure if the burrs etc. are working as they should. But maybe it is irrational and buying hand grinder on ebay is the same safe as buying a lever machine? With both my machines I was lucky.
Anyway, advice on which one to get would be appreciated (so far I understand that best are Pe-De's).
Now if I'd want a contemporary one, are they the same good as the vintage ones? The Kyocera has my attention and Zassenhaus Lima. I'd like to hear about the grind quality, any particular issues, grind setting stability, clearing... I suppose that's all, if I missed something don't hesitate to add :)
Thanks!
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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cyclones

#2: Post by cyclones »

I had a Zassenhaus. It worked OK (but not great) for a month... Then it became very inconsistent and would choke my machine. I wish I could have found a decent hand grinder, but I gave up and got an electric. I am giving the Zassenhaus to my parents for drip coffee.
If given a choice between Starbucks and espresso, I'll choose espresso every time.

CoffeeOwl

#3: Post by CoffeeOwl »

Thanks!
With kind help of peacecup I made up my mind and I'm set on vintage manual grinder. Yet I found some short infos on the modern hand grinders and in some not far future will probably get one of them too. Then a kind of comparison may be likely! :)
'a a ha sha sa ma!


LMWDP #199

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yakster
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#4: Post by yakster »

Be careful, for some it seems a vintage hand grinder or espresso machine for that matter is like a potato chip snack, you can't stop with just one.

I've been eying the vintage grinders on Orphan Espresso for months and months, but I don't have the funds to do more then just window shop so I'm sticking with my Kyocera with the ceramic burrs until I can get more funds.
-Chris

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CoffeeOwl

#5: Post by CoffeeOwl »

Yep, you're absolutely right. Yet it's just the funds that stops me now from buying another mint condition La Peppina from the same source I got the yellow one. So probably I'll stay reasonable, eh :roll:
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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RioCruz

#6: Post by RioCruz »

yakster wrote:Be careful, for some it seems a vintage hand grinder or espresso machine for that matter is like a potato chip snack, you can't stop with just one.
Ohhh...this is way too little...way too late! :cry: Hello, my name's Rio...and I'm a Millaholic. I'm addicted to coffee mills. How I came to this sad ruin is a tale of woe and degradation that led, one small step at a time, down the primrose path to infamy, dishonor, and...ACME...the Association of Coffee Mill Enthusiasts http://www.antiquecoffeegrinders.net/. And it all seemed so easy. An email here, a bid on eBay there, and before I knew it I was enmeshed in a downward spiral of unending shame and debauchery collecting coffee mills. But I digress... :D

I use several different mills for different purposes.

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The double wheel Enterprise and the PeDe on the wall are what I use to grind my morning brew...and the wood Zassenhaus is what I use for espresso. The Enterprise uses plates to grind, and the PeDe has conical burrs...as does the Zass. The problem with the Enterprise and the PeDe is that neither one of them makes a consistent, uniform grind. They are good enough for regular coffee, but not for espresso.

For regular coffee I brew in an Aeropress and the puck shows the stratification of the grind with bigger chunks on top and the finer particles starting about half way down the puck. Not good for espresso. So I use the Zassenhaus for espresso because the grind is uniform and I can get it as fine as powder for Turkish coffee when I want...as well as for espresso. I also have an all brass, portable Zass that I use on the road that works really well.

Sooo...I guess what it comes down to when considering a hand coffee mill is what you want to use it for and what aesthetic requirements you have. I like the aesthetics of the Enterprise and the PeDe so I put up with their inconsistent grind. The Zass is OK aesthetically, but mostly I have it for the great grinding job it does...
"Nobody loves your coffee more than you do."
~James Freeman, Blue Bottle

CoffeeOwl

#7: Post by CoffeeOwl »

Hello Rio, welcome to the forums! madhouse :lol: , seems you're already well in.
My only purpose is to grind for espresso and so I may have it difficult to get a vintage grinder but then if I don't succed, be it - I'll get only the kyocera then. I'm set on a nice one but haven't received confirmation fom the seller about its condition and espresso capability.
'a a ha sha sa ma!


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RioCruz

#8: Post by RioCruz »

Hi CoffeeOwl-- Yeh...I think the Kyocera would definitely work for what you are looking for. If you haven't already seen it, a less expensive alternative...and maybe a bit easier to use...would be the Hario Skerton mill. Like the Kyocera, it has ceramic burrs but is a table top model so you can get better leverage with it. You can check it out here from Sweet Maria's:

http://www.sweetmarias.com/sweetmarias/ ... -mill.html
"Nobody loves your coffee more than you do."
~James Freeman, Blue Bottle

Kenntak

#9: Post by Kenntak »

I love my Kyocera, it has been working great. It's simple, no noise and not much to clean. Plus, it gives me a little bit of exercise in the morning! :) It is also very consistent, I have had it at the same setting for multiple types of coffee beans, and it has done well with each batch. I usually pull a 25-28 second shot with that setting.

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RioCruz

#10: Post by RioCruz »

The Zass I use for espresso is a style and model I really haven't seen much of. I've never seen one on eBay and I check eBay frequently. I got it many years ago at our local Peet's Coffee and Tea. It's crank is on the side--actually the back--and there's a worm gear that feeds the burrs rather than using gravity. What that does is keep a fairly constant pressure against the burrs and helps produce a very consistent grind. I can grind to a powder when I want Turkish. The body is a solid block of beach wood. I've modified the delivery so it grinds directly into the basket....as you can see. It mounts to the table with a clamp...something that REALLY helps make grinding easy...

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"Nobody loves your coffee more than you do."
~James Freeman, Blue Bottle