Product Review – Hario Skerton

October 13, 2011


My first foray into serious appreciation of coffee included the purchase of a blade Bodum coffee grinder. With time, however, I began to realize the inadequacy of this device to making coffee with any real consistency; when using the blade grinder I would get significant variations in the size of the grounds, from some being ground to an almost powder to some large “boulder” like chunks of barely ground beans.



Knowing that it was time for an upgrade I started doing some research online, and found that the next logical step was a burr grinder. A burr grinder works by crushing the beans to a pre-determined size thereby giving a very high degree of consistency. This sounded great, but I was shocked by the jump in price between a simple blade grinder (mine cost me maybe twenty dollars) and even an entry level burr grinder. The lowest priced one I saw for sale in a local café was a Baratza Maestro, for 200$!



Further research brought me to the Hario hand grinder. I was surprised at how relatively affordable it was, and what’s more I really like the thought of manually grinding the beans. Getting physically involved in the process somehow seems more intimate, if that makes any sense. I kept hinting to my (awesome) girlfriend that I wanted one, and she picked one up for me for my birthday from a local, fancy, kitchen equipment retailer.



My first time using it I was struck by how solid it felt, and really like the ability to fine tune the grind simply by tightening the wingnut (or whatever that piece of hardware is called).  I can honestly say that even the very first time I made a cup of coffee in my French press using the Hario I could taste the difference, maybe its being snooty but to my taste it was better. I will admit that at the larger grind setting there is more variability in the grinder than at finer settings (I will go into further details in follow up reviews), but even then I feel like I have much better control than when using a blade grinder.



I look forward to using my Hario Skerton for many years, including as possibly my first espresso grinder as I’ve read that it can grind fine enough (and importantly consistently enough) for an espresso machine.



Thanks for reading,

-Ross



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