Hario Clear Coffee Grinder Review [Video]
My roommate and I have been using the Hario Clear Coffee Grinder for the past two weeks now. We used to have a similar grinder. It was a no-name brand wooden box grinder. The ones you may see in an antique store or maybe at your grandmas house, which was true in my case. It looks like a wooden box with a tiny drawer on the bottom. On the top is usually a metal funnel where the beans go and a metal handle connected to the center that rotates the burrs. The whole beans go into the funnel and the grounds fall into the drawer on the bottom. I first used one of these grinders at my grandmas house when I was a kid. I have fond memories of it. It was kinda like a Jack in the Box game where you wind up the box and the puppet pops out, but instead, you’re surprised with the smell of ground coffee. I loved that as a kid. We used to have a grinder because when my roommate broke up with his girlfriend, she took her grinder with her. We were without one for a week, and my friend was resorting to grinder beans with an improvised mortar and pestle, a bowl and the end of a wooden spoon. He looked like a caveman, so it was time to try out the Hario Clear Grinder. It’s a modern version of grandma’s wooden box grinder. Instead of wood it’s made out of tinted plastic, stainless steel, ceramic and silicon. It also seems to fix some of the problems that the old grinder had. Everyone who has used a hand grinder knows that grinding coffee by hand can by a little difficult because it can take a long time, especially if you’re grinding fine, and you need to turn the handle to crush the beans and hold the grinder in place. You’re not only using energy to turn the burrs, but you also need to put in power to counter act that turning force so the grinder stays in the same position. This can be tiring and also a little frustrating, but it’s actually not that bad. I think the nature of it being not that bad has actually contributed to no one really focusing on the issue and solving it. Instead we just put up with it. I like that this grinder has made a good attempt at making the hand grinding experience more enjoyable by offering a simple solution. On the bottom of this grinder is a silicon suction cup that is activated by a lever on the left hand side. Pull the lever forward to release the suction and push it back to activate it. It works best when the surface you’re trying to attach it to is smooth, hard and clean. I’ve tried many times to attach it to our counter top which is just raw wood (no sealant or finish on top) and after a couple of turns the grinder pops off. It can be kinda scary at first when the grinder detaches suddenly, you realize how much force you’re exerting on those burrs as the grinder jerks erratically. In my case it was really scary because the drawer started to open and the coffee powder almost spilt on the floor. My stomach dropped but I was able to grab the grinder before the drawer slid all the way out. Thank God… good coffee is expensive and hard to come by. It can be heart breaking to see the last of your coffee spilled on the ground. When I do spill the beans sometimes, I pat myself on the back by claiming they’re for the fallen homies. Kiss my fist, peace sign to the sky. The grinder isn't anything without burrs of course, and I have to say that I like the burrs on this grinder. They’re made out of ceramic and they’re plenty big. So unlike my grandma’s grinder, I can grind a lot faster and have a more even grind. More even grinder means better tasting coffee. They actually look like the same size burrs as some electric grinders. The large ceramic burrs in combination with the suction cup makes for a pretty quick grind session compared to other hand grinders I've used. I like that this grinder has a large opening on the top. In other hand grinders I’ve used like the Mini Mill and the Porlex, the opening is not as large and it can be more difficult getting the beans in there without spilling any. However, those grinder are meant more for travel, and the Hario Clear Grinder is not, so that’s understandable. I’ve been really enjoying the process of putting the whole grinder on my scale and measuring the beans in grams as I put them into the hopper. In the past I would weigh out the beans on the scale then put them in the the grinder. I think that was because the grinders I was using were either to heavy for the scale or the opening to put the beans into wasn't wide enough. The Hario Clear Grinder works well for this though. I’ve been using the Hario Scale and Timer combo for this because it can carry the weight and still have the accuracy to 0.1 grams, which is good for coffee making. Overall I really enjoy this scale. One because I think sometimes electric grinders are just overkill in a space, and in my space, it would be overkill. An electric grinder would be a pain to takeout, plug in, unplug and put away everyday. The Hand grinder kills this problem because it’s like taking out a book and putting a book away. It’s so small and light and it does everything it’s supposed to do, and from the looks and feel of it, I highly doubt that it will be breaking anytime soon. The biggest complaint about this grinder is going to be that the housing is made out of plastic. I've found that the plastic's strength holds for what it's meant for, however, I would take care to not drop it. I could see it cracking if it fell from a counter top. On the bonus side the plastic can be cleaned spotless under a sink and if the housing was made out of wood or aluminum you may encounter some water damage or you would probably never get it as clean. The grinding mechanism, handle, suction cup all come apart from each other, leaving the shell of the grinder wide open to clean up any coffee grounds that have gone astray. This one aspect is something that I think is absolutely awesome because I like keeping my shit really clean. In putting an end to this review, I’m going to say that this grinder is staying put and we’re going to be using it for many brews to come. I may even try and travel with this grinder next time.