January 16, 2012

Porlex Coffee Mill

There are so many factors that go into finessing a better cup of coffee from your beans, and things can quickly spiral out of control into esoteric details and eye-watering expense.

One example: your coffee grinder. If you have one it's probably because you realize that pre-ground coffee quickly goes stale and that fresh-ground coffee greatly improves the flavour of your morning cup.


You may be as surprised as we were to find out that your reliable little $20 whirring-blade grinder is secretly acting against you, messing up your precious beans by chopping them unevenly.

So what? So when you add hot water the smaller pieces get "over-extracted" and larger pieces get "under-extracted". These quickly become very important terms when improving your coffee-making, and no, they don't average each other out.

A burr grinder works like a pepper mill, crushing beans between two rotating cones, and producing a nice, even grind which is essential for a good brew. This is what they use at your local café and why your nice, relaxing cup of coffee there is regularly interrupted by a mechanical, screeching aural assault.

If you start doing research on burr grinders you will find surprising things like this:
Spend at least the same amount on the grinder as you do on the espresso machine...
And shocking things like this:

The Espresso Parts' Mazzer Robur Competition Model: $3,564.00 

(That is only a grinder. You still need something to make the coffee.)

You may remember a post we made about Aya's Turkish coffee grinder. Some notable Japanese companies have been improving on that basic model and we recently bought one from Porlex.

Porlex Ceramic Coffee Mill

 Beautifully simple.

The deep grooves in the ceramic cone draw the beans in towards the relentless teeth.
Who can save them? No-one! This is their terrible fate.

Let's try with me!

The long handle transferred lots of power to the mechanism, making quick work of our test batch, and producing a consistent sand-like grind.

The four-pointed adjustment nut controls the fineness.

Not had enough yet? Here's a review of the Porlex, comparing it to others by Hario, at Sweet Maria's (another excellent coffee site).

Next time: can we please just have a cup of coffee now?
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