Sunday, February 09, 2014

Hario - The Fancy Pants Coffee Grinder

I used frugality as a label for this post which some of you might think is funny or just simply wrong, considering the title of this post.  But hear me out.

We have had a few coffee grinders over the years.  Our current setup includes a Proctor Silex coffee grinder.  it's OK.  Manuel likes it, but I find it a bit irritating because you can't get a uniform grind - it's all by look and feel.  Manuel often over grinds and I definitely under-grind.  This over/under scenario can leave us with coffee results that are lacklustre ... so sad because we really love our coffee.

While I was researching for our new Windows Phones (and Nokia's in particular) I happened open Andrew Kim's Minimally Minimal blog.  You might disagree with his views on certain products, but this 22 year old visual designer from Microsoft can truly open your eyes to the concept of design and esthetics ... to form and function.  I love how he writes about objects that we use and, sometimes, lust for.  So, after reading his post on the Nokia 1020 I continued to read through his blog.  Which is how I happened to read about the Hario Skerton ceramic coffee mill.  At the time we weren't even thinking about getting a new coffee grinder, but after reading Andrew's post I got curious ... and then forgot about it.

Just before Christmas we were in Crate and Barrel in Oakridge and I happened to see the Hario.

At $50 CAD it wasn't cheap, but it was beautiful and well made.  Andrew's post had already convinced me that it would be a wonderful grinder to own, and because it's manual and doesn't require electricity to use I figured it was both frugal and practical.  I could even take it when we went camping since it wouldn't require power.

It's taken me a bit of time to get the perfect grind.  Since you have to remove the knob at the base of the handle, remove the handle, and a little metal footer beneath the handle before you can manually adjust the coarseness/fineness of your grind it does take time to arrive at the perfect grind.  I finally reached that yesterday.  Wonderful.

Now, I'm thinking we need a new coffee machine.  Why, you ask?  You see that string?  That's holding the basket from flinging open.  The clips been broken for eons.  We have to shake the lid of the thermo pot to make sure it's moving - if we don't we often get freshly brewed coffee all over the place (and none in the pot) ... which is why the coffee machine is placed inside a tray.  Yes, it's decorative, but it's real function is to contain that overflowing coffee.  That tray saves us at least 1-2 a month.

I've been contemplating the Technivorm, a made in the Netherlands coffee machine that is supposed to make the perfect cup of home brewed coffee.  I've hesitated because it's about $400 CAD.  Is it really worth that much?  Despite the string on our machine, it still makes a good pot of coffee ... when we get the grind right.  We've been looking around for several months now and can't decide.  Go cheap and get average coffee or take a chance on an expensive machine?

What do you use to grind coffee?  How far are you willing to go to make the perfect cuppa?

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