For those of you who are following the coffee forum, you probably have heard about OE Pharos hand grinder that was released this year's April (on the April fool itself!) This is one of the huge breakthrough in coffee thus far in my opinion. It was the first commercially available hand grinder that incorporate titan conical burrs of 68mm. This alone speaks sheer quality, and plus the stellar reputation of OrphanEspresso (OE) among coffee enthusiasts, it seems like a really promising invention!
So what’s the big deal with these 68mm conical burrs? It’s very simple- these titan sized conical burrs are the ‘soul’ in the high-end café grinder that delivers arguably the best espresso grind quality. On top of that, the Pharos is being sold at a price of $245, which is almost nothing when compared to its electrical counterpart, that could costs up to $1.3k+. At less than $300, Pharos really beats up most of the home espresso grinders at that price range. It really sounds like a poor man Compak K10 that only requires extra hand cranking to get that stellar grind quality from K10!
As if that's not enough, this particular grinder is designed to give excellent grind across all coarseness level. Most hand grinders have a serious wobble play in the burrs especially at coarse grind, giving very inconsistent grounds. This results in the uneven extraction and undesirable silts in French Press. Pharos was designed with a rigid central axle holding the inner burr to address this problem. With the stepless adjustment, Pharos could possibly be an all-rounded grinder all the way from Turkish fine to French press. Sounds too good to be true? I think so too! Well, read on..
Picture: The highly regarded 68mm commercial conical burr set
By putting the ‘soul’ of the Titans into the body of Pharos, do we get a winner? For sure, we consumers now have a great option to own the highly regarded 68mm conical grinder, at a fraction of the electrical counterpart. (A blessing especially to us poor students) As for the cup results, well, the jury is still out there on whether by putting a Ferrari engine in a Honda will make a Ferrari. Though, there are already many favorable reviews out there from the early adopters. Well, I could give you a heads up from personal experience that the Pharos indeed delivers grind quality that's like a dream! One of the very outstanding reviews was from two professional coffee enthusiasts that did a side-by-side comparison against Macap M7 and Compak K10
“At the end of this, I have little doubt that the Pharos can stand up to any other grinder in terms of pure output grind quality, consistency and repeatability of grind setting. "
"The taste differences between the Pharos, Macap and K10 are consistent, but not very important. They are similar to the differences I got in the TGP among the best grinders, i.e slight differences in style, not substance. The Pharos had more defined, less integrated tastes, and would have probably won if we had paired the shots at a gram less (i.e the other grinders would then have tasted too dull, and the Pharos would have pulled together). ”
Now, after all those introductory background, it's back to my own experience:
After following closely the Pharos owner’s thread even since it’s released, I finally took a plunge and placed an order after a 5-month-wait. Why so? Because of my situation, I would need to move back to my country that has an electrical requirement of 220v in a year. As much as I love my Mazzer Major, there’s probably no way to ship an elephant halfway across the globe and to use it there. At that time, Pharos seems to fit all the bills at that time. It gives the best grind quality without electricity requirement, semi-portable (could fit in my luggage if I want), and durable with easily sourced parts. It really sounds like the grinder of my dream! Could it be true? Stay tuned for the next post: My impression of the Pharos.