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Manual Grinders

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  • Manual Grinders

    In our research for a new grinder, I have been looking at the manual grinders. Have gone through the forums, but not really found an answer......

    Can a manual grinder produce adequately fine and consistent grinding for espresso? And how would a good one compare to something like a Mazzer Mini?

    The ones that look most promising to me are the Lido range, also the HG 1, but not sure where to get this in Australia. I like the look of the ergonomics of the HG, but haven't tried out any of them yet.

    We make two (usually double shots) espressos in the morning and lunch. We are not looking at portability, and if we had guests, would either drag out our back-up Sunbeam or get someone to operate the grinder while the barista does his work.

    My concern at this stage is the grinding quality and reliability - how would an HG1, or Lido, compare with, say, a Mazzer Mini on these? The espresso machine is an HX - VBM Domobar.

    And are the other manual brands better performers than the HG or Lido?

  • #2
    Yes- a high quality conical can and does do top end grind quality. OE Lido E grinder | Talk Coffee


    • #3
      Hi Kay

      Second the above. I have been using a Lido 2 solely for 6 months now for espresso on a Diadema Reale, with a Robur sitting idle next to it Normally one of two doubles.

      I find the flavour virtually identical to the big conical. Built like a rock - absolutely consistent and reliable. I'm never hunting for consistent results. Just back to back perfect pours.
      The technique is very simple. Weigh 19-21g coffee (I keep the grinder setting the same - just adjust the pour for change in beans and bean age with the dose and tamp). Grind (takes not much more than 20sec - very fast). Dump the coffee in the portafilter. Settle & tamp.

      The only thing I will say is that my wife struggles with the grinding - it can be quite an arm workout, but with these sorts of times it is understandable. 20secs is pretty comparable to many electric grinders! However, from what I've read, the new Lido 3 above has a different burr set, making it easier on the arms.

      No trouble recommending the Lido. And you can take it on holidays to do your plunger / aeropress!

      Cheers Matt


      • #4
        I've had an HG one for a long time and it really is fantastic. You purchase it direct from the manufacturer. I have a Lido 2 at work for pour over but have not tried it for espresso nor have I experienced the Lido 3.


        • #5
          Morning Kay, as others have said, hand grinders can certainly do an excellent job, I have a Portapresso Roscoe commercial link removed per Site Posting Policy no complaints at all re grind quality, having said that, the time messing around and cleaning up is a real pain in the rear end, I use the Roscoe when traveling, after a few weeks on the road the messing around grinding by hand becomes a real pain, its always a pleasure to arrive home and fire up the Mazzer Mini, for home use I would choose an electric grinder every time.
          Super Moderator
          Last edited by Javaphile; 11 January 2016, 10:43 AM. Reason: Commercial link(s) removed


          • #6
            Thank you very much Chris, Matt, kwantfm, Yelta. Yes, I was wondering abut the ergonomics of it all - that is why the HG 1 looked so appealing. But its price plus postage presumably puts it up in the Mazzer Mini league - an expensive experiment to try sight unseen. And I like to have support in the country. I will look further into number of turns needed for a double shot of the Lidos. Thanks Yelta for the tip re Rosco - hadn't seen that one.


            • #7
              What roast level of beans do you normally consume? If you're doing the lighter end of spectrum, grind difficulty may be a concern over the long term.

              Also, grinding on a small conical burr grinder like Lido will take about 40 sec +-15 sec (not including measuring the beans and transferring the ground coffee) - about 90 revolution with a Lido 3 for 16 g dose. A big conical burr grinder such as the HG-one will grind in about 15 sec+-5 sec - about 16-20 revolution, but takes a bit more effort.

              Something to think about if that's your thing and best if you could try it out hands on. Hand grinders are great value and excellent performer but it might not be everyone. If the hand grinding ritual is fine for you then by all mean go for it. It's great (I've been hand grinding for close to 3 years now!)

              Consistency is much better in my experience with hand grinders than its electric counterpart due to lack of retention and measured dose.


              • #8
                As has been answered above - good hand grinders are as good and probably better But like Yelta - I have one of Ross's exquisitely made grinders. It is really a thing of engineering beauty We've compared the grind with a Mazzer Mini and a Macap grinder. It is just as good, and verges on better. My Macap grinds the same dose in 20 seconds, the Rosco takes 40, plus you have to crank it The grinding effort is not huge. I prefer this grinder to the other I looked at (the Lido) simply because my great grandchildren will still be using this. The Lido has breakable bits. The Rosco could hammer in tent pegs without significant damage! (We use it when camping, but not for tent pegs...).

                The mess with the hand grinder I find is not quite so bad as Yelta clearly finds it though! But Mrs KJM always accuses me of being a messy sod, so maybe he's right..



                • #9
                  No mess with the HG one (I use a dosing funnel and grind direct into my portafilter)... and I prefer the results to my Mazzer Mini E.


                  • #10
                    Samuellaw, medium roast - have bought roasted beans from Andy - just had a look - since 2008. Usually end up with the South American varieties.

                    The feedback on manual grinders has been very reassuring - thank you again - KJM too. Could even cancel gym membership - exercise AND coffee. Guess budget is coming into it. If I bought something like a Lido, and after a while we got tired of the regime, buying an electric grinder later would be manageable. But this would be very painful if we had bought the HG1 - that would be a real commitment to hand grinding. Food for thought.

                    Last edited by kay; 11 January 2016, 04:21 PM. Reason: aditional info


                    • #11
                      Hi Kay , how many times a day would you be using it ?
                      You could always start with say a lido e and get an electric later if you tire of it ( you could sell the lido and recoup probably 50% easy enough )
                      If your in the market for a commercial grinder later on , I'll have one for sale , as l have 2 atm and have to make a decision which to keep , both l bought used and in great condition , ones a 75mm flat burr , the others a 83mm



                      • #12
                        I don't have firsthand experience with Lido but I have an OE Pharos and since I got it I stopped using my commercial 64mm flat grinder. It's a bit of a workout to grind the coffee and the ergonomics are not ideal but it's silent (big plus for me in the mornings), it's quick (25-30 sec for 18g of coffee) and on par with big conicals in terms of grind quality. I developed a workflow that ends up with very little mess on the table.
                        I also tried a HG-One for a short session and I loved it especially in terms of the results in the cup.


                        • #13
                          Thank you Kesa and roburu - good suggestions and good to hear your experiences. Food (or coffee) for thought. Will let you know what we end up doing.