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Thread: Which one: Comandante C40, Zassenhaus, Kyocera or others?

  1. #1
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    Which one: Comandante C40, Zassenhaus, Kyocera or others?

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hi all,

    I am new to this forum and quite frankly, new to "enjoying" coffee. So if in the process of my question I irritate someone due to whatever reasons, please accept my deepest apologies.

    So essentially the question is drawn in the title. Out of the three hand grinders, which would you recommend I get and why? Or have I missed out some something else that's even better?

    I did some reading on these, and all seems quite flattering. But then again I read many things about grinders, but I can't formulate a complete picture, so if anyone can draw some links for me, that would be great. Essentially I would like to get a grinder very soon as I've just acquired an aeropress, only using ground coffee from supermarkets at the moment.

    Thank you in advance,
    Brendan

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    Well, most of everything I've read on the C40 paints it quite poor for espresso.

    Not looked into the Zassenhaus.

    I have a Hario Slim and am quite happy with it. In fact I prefer it to my Breville smart grinder.

    I'm close to trying to buy a Rosco hand grinder, though. Seems to be the best mix of form, function and price in the manual world.

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    I guess with the limited knowledge I know about a grinder, I prefer one that is able to:

    • have variable grind size
    • output amount not too small (ie able to make up to 4 or 5 scoops for my aeropress)
    • good quality that I can use it over and over (as a full on coffee machine is not on the visible horizon so far)
    • and, has a classy look (like the Zassenhaus)


    As you see the look is place last as it is one of my selection criteria, but not the top priority. So if anyone (based on these criteria) can show me some ropes that would be very much appreciated.

    Meanwhile I'll have a look at what you suggested too thanks.

    Cheers.

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    I use a Hario Skerton with my Aeropress, which I pretty much only use when I'm travelling. Works well enough. Got it in a package deal with the Aeropress.

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    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    I've got a Hario Skerton and a Porlex Mini, which I use with my Aeropress when away from home (we can be for extended periods of time). Can't split them in terms of grind quality but the Porlex is easier for travel (which I note is not on your list of criteria), and is a little quicker to adjust the grind setting on. I'm unsure as to why you rate the capacity of the grinder so highly....it's not difficult to add more beans (and if you are planning on hand grinding more than say, the capacity of a Porlex mini, you'll probably feel like a rest). Most people dose an Aeropress with 15-21g of coffee, which basically any hand grinder will deal with. One handy attribute of the Porlex is that you can attach a drill to the shaft (using a hex socket connection).

    PS: The Skerton has a glass chamber, while the Porlex is all stainless steel housing.
    Last edited by Barry O'Speedwagon; 27th October 2013 at 02:10 PM.

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    Yea these names are the common ones I've been hearing when I was doing the reading. So any other suggestions? Particularly with the good old classy look ones?

    I understand from practicality point of view Porlex and Hario would be the best. By the way, where would you suggest that I get these from Brisbane? Customer service, reliability, pricing wise?

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    from what i've read and playing with only harios and kyoceras, i guess the thing to ask is how important is grind consistency to you. The only 2 portable hand grinders which seem to have consistent grinds are the rosco (very expensive) and lido (which is now out of production and we're waiting for the new lido2 to arrive...). i wouldnt call it completely fair to include the pharos .
    its a point of frustration for me when i travel and bring a aeropress/v60. the lack of consistent grinds make for coffee that's just all over the shop - some of the coffee is overextracted, some of it is under extracted and the slurry of it all is a bit confusing.
    Ive since thought of modding my skerton with the internal bearing mod oe came up with but it seems like a lot of effort for something that might not end up being properly installed with my inexperienced hands.
    ive not used the porlex or zennhaus but the build principals appear similar: without an assembly to hold both burrs in place while grinding but rather relying on the beans between the burrs to give consistency. This works very well for espresso (for a hand grinder...) but still produces a good amount of fines in the grind.

    from pictures ive seen the c40 appears to have an assembly fixing the two burrs in place but i havent really looked it up.

    another point to make is burr material. the harios and kyocera i have use ceramic and i cannot seem to ever wash them or clean them out enough to get the coffee smell/stains off them. the grinds produced from them have declined over time as a result but giving them a good brush and wash every so often still does help things along.

    id conclude with saying that whatever the case a hand grinder really does come in handy when you need something to tide you over. on hindsight i might have picked one which was slightly more portable like the porlex over the hario slim. but if i had known grind consistency issues they have i would have picked the lido over them all.

    hope that helped!

    just my 2 cents =)

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    So may I ask where could I get these from in Brisbane? These = Skerton, Porlex, Rosco etc.?

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    Senior Member deegee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brenchen View Post
    So may I ask where could I get these from in Brisbane? These = Skerton, Porlex, Rosco etc.?
    I recall seeing Hario Skertons at DiBella in Bowen Hills, and maybe at Merlo's in Coorparoo.

    Both list them at their online stores. DiBella is offering free delivery, and Merlo might be too - not sure.

    I got mine online from DiBella a couple of years back.

  10. #10
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    I've owned and used a number of hand grinders and until recently have used the PORLEX as my travel grinder. It fits inside the aeropress and is FAR better quality than the Hario grinders. (which I've owned and still own)

    Recently I acquired the Comandante C40 and it kills most hand grinders around, grind consistency included. I have a friend currently comparing his C40 to his Pharos from a "quality of grinds" perspective. The results in the cup are impressing me at the moment.

    The C20 will be avail soon, and like the porlex, will fit 'inside' the aeropress. Great for travel.

    My thoughts are, if you are feeling rich, a C40, C20 or perhaps OE LIDO. If not, then a Porlex mini (which is still a great little travel grinder, no question). I believe the Porlex is around 1/3rd the cost of the C40. I'm not sure how much the C20 will cost. I personally wouldn't go with the OE LIDO because of it's size, apart from size, great grinder!

    Secondary to the above, I recommend learning more about the aeropress... it's not an espresso maker, regardless of what the package says. Have a search for some good recipes and get ready to be mind blown!

    have fun!

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    Yea it's amazing what the aeropress can do! I went to DiBella today to taste their coffee and get myself a stainless-steel filter and the Hario grinder, the person was suggesting me to use another way from the way that was taught to me by a few other people. The salesman told me to try doing it upside down (with the piece preinserted).

    Got my grinder now, took it home and gave it a quick wash awaiting for it to air-dry. I got it for about 65 bux (I thought it'd be less than that) so trying to learn more about the grind size at the moment. Of course as always, any tips on grind size or just about anything would be great *sneaky smile/wink*

    I wasn't really a fan of the Porlex because the way it looked. I prefer a more traditional/classy look, but seemingly not many people had experiences with the Zassenhaus (perfect look), it's a bit too much to gamble (200+ bux from memory), maybe its something to look forward to later down the track.

  12. #12
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Congrats! Never wash your grinder again (don't wash grinders), just brush them out.

    the upsidedown method is called the 'inverted' method. stick the plunger in around 2cm, add 15gm med-fine grind, add 200-220gm of water that is 30sec off the boil, stir it at 30 sec, put the cap on, flip it at 1min and press for 20 or so seconds.

    There are a lot of different methods/ratios, etc, just experiment. Also try some coffee that is roasted for filter (generally lighter)

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    Recipe for tomorrow after morning exercise Thanks James.

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    Reporting back. My uneven workflow aside, the coffee is smooth, though a bit too weak. For tomorrow I might try to make the ground size a bit smaller.

    Just from observation, this grinder's grind isn't very consistent (or maybe my grind is too big). Essentially the way I set as a starting point is when the two burrs meet, then take it back out a revolution. Given the flavour today, I'll probably halve the revolution with the same amount. What are your thoughts about regrinding a not-so-fine grind to a finer size?

    The bean amount seems right to fill my usual 1.5 scoops that I like.

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    Inconsistent grind is kind of a 'feature' of cheap hand grinders. It's because of the way the bur is suspended allowing it to wobble out of alignment. Still makes okay coffee though! My Hario Slim is better than my Smart Grinder so I'm happy I had a laugh.

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    I heard lots of praises on the Hario Skerton that i thought itd be feasible.

    With this mornings brew its too weak for my liking after all, so playing with it a bit more next time

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    Just wondering, with the Skerton in particular, since there is no visible marking of how fine/coarse the grind is, does anyone adjust it and remembering how many revolutions from a certain setting for their different grind sizes? For example, I first adjust the fineness so that the little star washer thing is finger tight (so it doesn't damage the ceramic), then start counting by 1/4 of a revolution out, then if too bitter, half a rev out, still too fine, then a whole rev out until I find the balance?

    The reason I ask is after seeing a few review videos they don't usually talk about this, just say you need to remember how fine/coarse your settings are. Given also it's a glass chamber on the bottom, one (if feels like its needed) can always write down how many rev is for what kind of grind (to their taste) by using a niko which can be removed with metho if need be.

    I just thought this method you may get a reasonably accurate grind size if you need to change it for different brewing method.

    I'd like to hear what you think

    Thanks

  18. #18
    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    go for a raw sugar-like consistency. coarse enough to feel in your fingers



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