James Hoffmann hand grinder comparisons [video]

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
User avatar
Supporter ♡

#1: Post by baldheadracing »

Part 2: OE Lido 3 - Commandante C40 mk2 - Helor 101 - Timamore Chestnut - Aergrind (Feld was OOS) - Kinu M47 - Porlex mini (Porlex mini won the budget grinder comparison)

The ranking metric is which grinder he would want to keep ... which was the M47 - but if you are actually thinking of purchasing one, then I think that it is worthwhile watching the whole video.
Part 1: Budget comparison - Porlex Mini - Hario Mini - Rhino - Javapresse - Henry Charles
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann

Supporter ♡

#2: Post by mdmvrockford »

I watched then entire seven hand grinder (ultimate) video review. I appreciate and am glad that he said in summary (excluding the Porlex) if one own any of the other six there is no strong reason to get another. I would be curious how the Bplus Apollo would have faired with the Kinu M47. I really liked the former when used it briefly at the last Chicago-Milwaukee get-together. Chicago-Milwaukee Spring 2019 get together
LMWDP #568

Flair Espresso: handcrafted espresso. cafe-quality shots, anytime, anywhere
Sponsored by Flair Espresso
User avatar
Supporter ♡

#3: Post by jbviau »

Right, so this was exciting to see in my Twitter feed early this morning! I've watched it, and I'm grateful to Hoffmann for the work he put into it. One could quibble about which grinders (or versions of grinders, or accessories) were left out, and one could drill down on certain details, but I'm not going to do that. Instead, a quick take:

What rang truest to my ear: Hoffmann's comment to the effect that once you're in this rarified air with respect to hand grinding, "upgrading" from one unit to another is much more about feel/ergonomics and other related factors than it is about cup quality.

Where I think he missed the mark: I've already made this point on Twitter, but it's worth repeating: framing Comandante as having "kickstarted the whole high-end grinder thing" is wrong. Orphan Espresso was first out of the gate in the modern era with their Pharos (released in April 2011). Rosco came soon afterward, and that was the only real [though prohibitively expensive] alternative I could consider for filter coffee when I got my newly released Lido 1 in March of 2012. IMO Orphan Espresso is responsible for the subsequent explosion of interest and innovation in this domain. It's great that we have so many options now when shopping for a hand grinder, but let's not forget how we got to this point.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias
★★ Quite Helpful


#4: Post by RyanJE » replying to jbviau »

I was also surprised about the comandante comment. I thought it was Doug at OE but maybe I was wrong. Hand grinders have of course been around much much longer, but it seemed like OE really made them high quality and practical.
I drink two shots before I drink two shots, then I drink two more....

User avatar
Supporter ♡

#5: Post by redbone »

J.H. best and most pointant line 2:21 "I'm not sure I'd recommend hand grinding for espresso". Good to know someone shares similar thoughts.
Between order and chaos there is espresso.
Semper discens.

LMWDP #549

User avatar
baldheadracing (original poster)
Supporter ♡

#6: Post by baldheadracing (original poster) »

OE definitely deserves all the credit for using big conical espresso burrs in a hand grinder. The Pharos proved the concept - and also, I believe, the concept of an espresso grinder designed and built for single-dosing. It wasn't ergonomic perfection, but it had - and has - a frankly astonishing price point. Still my primary espresso grinders (yes, I have two).

I'm pretty sure that the Rosco - which I've also owned - was the first to use the 'small' (38mm) conical espresso burrs in a hand grinder. The build quality and design reminds me of something created to be the best at something, and ignore the cost. Ross was way ahead of his time - have a look at the pressure profiling experiments that he did with his Portaspresso way back then; and if you take a Rosco apart, then look at the painstaking measures he took on the Rosco to get great burr alignment.

I give JH the benefit of the doubt as he is coming from a Euro-centric perspective. His statements about the Commandante might make sense with that qualification - although the first publicly-available Commandantes had significant issues IIRC. OE has distributors world-wide now, but not back then.

However, all of the grinders in the tests descend from Turkish hand mills from 100+ years ago. Look at today's Sozen and you can see genesis - from form factor to burr design.
What I'm interested in is my worst espresso being fantastic - James Hoffmann


#7: Post by malling »

I don't think we can say that OE is the reason for handgrinders popularity worldwide, they definitely play an important part but that is mainly in america. In Europe I wouldn't say that Comandante is the the one who should be given the credit, instead I would actually point in the direction of Made By Knock who although strictly speaking first launched the grinder the same year, made allot bigger impact the first few years than Comandante did, thanks to the latter ones massive failure that took them years to solve.

Decent Espresso: espresso equipment for serious baristas
Sponsored by Decent Espresso
User avatar
Supporter ♡

#8: Post by jbviau »

^^^ I agree Peter deserves credit as well, especially in Europe, though by the time the Hausgrind came out OE's Lido was already up to version 2. I remember beta-testing the Lido 2 and Hausgrind simultaneously in early 2014. At that point, there were already a fair number of Lido 1 discussion threads on Coffee Forums UK and elsewhere outside of the U.S.

Edit to add the following: (source):
orphanespresso wrote:Today I did a little diving into some old records & found that the original Pharos grinders were sold to people in 41 different countries, and the original Lido 1 to people in 34 diff countries -that's before Dec 2013! Time flies!
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias


#9: Post by Yan »

After 2 years using Lido 3, I was thinking to upgrade to Kinu 47, but after I got the Apex from OE, I doubt the Kinu 47 will be better then the Apex in manual brew.

Thanks to JH for the comparison at least we know other than porlex all the grinder result in the cup almost equal in manual brew...


#10: Post by Dopey32 »

redbone wrote:J.H. best and most pointant line 2:21 "I'm not sure I'd recommend hand grinding for espresso". Good to know someone shares similar thoughts.
May I ask why? I'm curious about it as it is the quietest way of grinding.....although my eureka atom is pretty darn quiet