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Thread: Porlex Tall Manual Grinder - A Newbies First Impressions

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    Default Porlex Tall Manual Grinder - A Newbies First Impressions

    Heigh-ho Chaps,

    Got the Porlex delivered a couple of days ago and I thought I'd give you my first impressions.

    The Porlex is made from Stainless Steel, it measures just over 7 inches in length and just under 2 inches in diameter. Empty, the mill weighs in at 210g (7.4oz) and has a nice, pleasing, heft to it, though slightly top-heavy. The mill can grind 30g of beans at any one time (dependent on the size of the beans). The ceramic burrs are also a nice weight and appear to be well made. All in all, the unit inspires confidence and although the instructions are all in Japanese it's simple enough to figure out how it works (Hey, I managed it!)

    But for those of you who have yet to learn the art of tying your own shoelaces... It works like this:-

    1. Seperate the upper and lower chambers from eachother.

    2. Set the ceramic burr to the fineness level wanted (see below) by turning the nut below the bottom burr the required number of clicks away from the nut being completely tight against the lower burr (Don't forget: "Righty/Tighty, Lefty/Loosey".) Make sure you don't touch the lower burr as you do this as this will compress the spring and you won't be able to feel the click when it happens.

    3. Re-connect the upper and lower chambers.

    4. Weigh out the amount of beans you wish to grind.

    5. Remove the lid from the upper chamber and fill with coffee beans. Replace lid.

    6. Attach the handle to the mill making sure the knob is pointing upwards.

    7. Take a firm hold of the mill with one hand, ideally where the two chambers join, and grasp the handle with the other.

    8. Move handle in a clockwise direction to grind the beans.

    8. Use the ground beans, which will be found in the lower chamber, to make your coffee.

    See? Simple!


    Grind Settings
    After looking on the internet, I discovered that a medium grind setting is 7 or 8 clicks away from tight and that coarse is 11 or 12. From this, I think it's safe to use the following settings as an approximate guide. (You will, of course, need to experiment to find out what works best for you.)

    Extra Fine (Turkish) = 1 - 2 clicks

    Fine (Espresso) = 3 - 4

    Medium-Fine (Fine-Medium?) = 5 - 6

    Medium (Filter) = 7 - 8

    Medium-Coarse = 9 -10

    Coarse (French Press) = 11 - 12

    cont. in next post...

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    cont...

    I only use a cafetiere currently and so I set the mill at 11, loaded it up with beans and gave it a go. Grinding is easy, especially at this setting (I don't know how easy it'd be at espresso as I currently have no need for such a fine grind.) To grind 25g takes about 2 minutes - about the same time it takes for my kettle to boil. (Which is useful. )

    I compared the grind produced to the coffee that was pre-ground for me a few days earlier on a commercial machine (for cafetiere) and it seems pretty close to my untrained eyes.

    The brewed coffee did appear to have a bit more mud at the bottom of the cup but not too excessive.

    The next day I decided to try grinding the coffee at 10 clicks to see how, or if, this changed things. It was still easy to grind. And the mud in the bottom of the cup was reduced, though I've no idea why.

    There was a tiny bit of static but it's certainly not an issue. A few grains stuck to the edge but that's all.
    The burrs are easy enough to clean. I used a cheap toothbrush and soapy water, rinsed well with clean water, dried with a towel then left them to dry completely before reassembling the mill.

    Oh - I just remembered... I wrapped two elastic bands (Cheers Postie) around the mill to stop the mill from slipping when I held it. They're also useful to keep the handle with the mill when out and about.

    This is my first mill and I've got to say that I'm very happy with my choice so far. If you're just dipping your toe into the world of coffee and are afraid, or are unable, to spend £100+ on a grinder (and don't mind doing it manually) - you could do a lot worse than the Porlex.

    I AM new to all this so please feel free to comment on, or correct, anything I've written.

    Regards,
    Buzz

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    I took a Hario mini grinder to the US with me and found that great to use. Might I suggest an aeropress instead of the cafetiere, just as easy to use but the sludge stays out of your cup and it doesnt cost the earth.

    Ian

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    Hi Ian,

    Thanks for the suggestion of the Aeropress. It's been added to my rapidly growing wish-list. Do you use the paper filters or do you have the metal one?

    The Hario was one of the other mills I looked at buying. As I understand it, the Hario and the Porlex have very similar, if not identical, burr sets and both are very easy to use and portable. (Important when your sister only drinks cheap instant. Even before embarking on this journey, I wouldn't drink it!)

    In your experience, how easy is it to grind at the finer setting required for the Aeropress? And how much is static a problem?

    To be honest, the only reason I chose the Porlex over the Hario was because I just preferred the look of the Porlex (shallow, I know ).

    Sorry for picking your brains but this forum is the only place I can ask questions like this.

    Thanks again,
    Buzz

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    Thanks Buzz. 30g is good. Given a (recommended) 17:1 ratio of water to coffee grounds that means the porlex can give you over half a litre of coffee ... well, a little less once it's brewed. But that's enough for two cups. I might have mentioned before, I'm a little disappointed with the Hario mini mill, so I think a Porlex would be my choice if I was buying a hand grinder right now.
    Your tip on what settings to use for each brew method is great

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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeHag View Post
    ...Given a (recommended) 17:1 ratio of water to coffee grounds...
    Huh? Dude, that is waaay too techy for me at the moment... I'm still at the Does-it-taste-nice-or-not stage! In a cafetiere, I've worked out that if I want to make 3 mugs of coffee I need 42g of ground coffee and 24oz of water for it to taste the way I like it. (I have just worked out though, that for 2 mugs I would need 28g of coffee and 16oz of water so it's quite possible that we're actually "singing from the same song sheet". Eureka! Progress! )

    Could you tell me why you were disappointed by the Hario mini mill? In what way did it not meet your requirements/ expectations?

    I'm glad you liked the grind settings I posted. I did it because I couldn't find the (full) information anywhere else. (I found my two references on seperate sites.) Are they close to your own experience with the settings for the Hario?

    Thanks in advance,
    Buzz

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    Hehe. Sorry buzz, getting ahead of myself Just for the hell of it I'll clarify, but you've obviously worked out the numbers anyway... 16 oz of water is 453g (ignoring temperature!!!), and if you're using 28g of grinds then that's a ratio of around 16:1 (water to grinds).

    The point of all that is... coffee bigwigs have found that most people like the taste best when the ratio is somewhere between 15:1 and 17:1, and that's just what you've found too

    What I don't like about the Hario mini is I find it difficult to get an even grind. The grinds are all different sizes and differ a lot too. Also I've tried quite a bit but haven't been able to pin down grind settings to particular brew methods with it to a degree that works well consistently. Too often I just find the coffee tastes crap when I use it.

    The porlex may be no different, I don't know. But I just don't like the Hario!

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    The user reviews I've read for the Porlex say that at the finer settings (espresso/ aeropress) the grind is pretty consistant but the coarser it gets the worse it becomes. This is a problem with all grinders of this type because as the tension of the spring lessens there is more play between the burrs. I'm not sure what the solution is, to be honest.

    Having said that... have a butchers at http://orphanespresso.com for their comments re hand grinders.
    They say that for press, drip and espresso the Porlex or the Kyocera CM-45 are ideal.

    I think it just depends how close to perfection you want to get.

    Buzz

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    Quote Originally Posted by buzzbuzzbuzz View Post
    I think it just depends how close to perfection you want to get.
    Never a truer word spoken. Like I said before, OCD abounds on this forum and I'm afraid I'm one of the biggest sufferers

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    In your experience, how easy is it to grind at the finer setting required for the Aeropress? And how much is static a problem?

    I used the paper filters and they seem to do the job perfectly. As for the grinding, apart from the time and effort required i didn't actually find it a problem and I didn't even notice any static.

    Ian

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