Do you like to go camping? I do, and I take my Porlex Hand Grinder with me. That’s why I’m writing this Porlex Hand Grinder review. I can’t live without it. Even though it’s tough to make a proper cup of coffee while camping, because I can’t exactly plug in a coffee maker where there’s no electricity, I do the best that I can. This means starting with freshly ground beans and water that’s been boiled in a metal pot over a campfire. Really, there’s nothing quite like “roughing it” with a stainless steel coffee grinder in hand.
Yes, it sounds strange to grind coffee while camping, but when you consider the alternative – instant coffee – pulling the Porlex Hand Grinder out each morning sounds heavenly in comparison. My Porlex does stand out a bit among the other things that go camping with me – beat up pots and pans, a rusted metal grill to over the campfire, and of course, a tent, air mattress, and sleeping bag – but when I can’t have the comforts of home, at least I can have a good cup of coffee. That is one of the reasons why I’ve put together this review – it’s a must-have, no matter where I go.
For the most part, sophisticated coffee equipment comes from Italy. After all, that is the place to go for finely ground coffee, the best espresso machines, and interestingly smooth blends. Coffee and Italy tend to go hand in hand. This is why it’s nice to see an excellent piece of coffee-making equipment come from someplace else – in this case, Japan. The Porlex has many high-end details that illustrate the amount of work that went into designing and manufacturing it. Perhaps some excellent coffee blends will begin coming from that country as well? Hopefully.
Features of the Porlex Hand Grinder
- Made of stainless steel
- Weighs 2.4 ounces
- Has ceramic grinding burrs
- Holds 4 tablespoons of coffee
- Measures 7.5 inches tall by almost 2 inches in diameter
- Multiple grind settings
- The ceramic burrs stay sharp over time
- Grinds coffee amazingly fast for a hand grinder – under two minutes
- Has adjustable grind settings
- Uses ceramic grinding burrs which won’t add a metallic taste to your ground coffee
- For true coffee purists or people who want to grind coffee on the go (or while their camping in a tent and have no electricity)
- The fine craftsmanship of the device
- The exterior is designed to prevent your hands from slipping while grinding your coffee beans
- The price is one disadvantage; it is not an inexpensive machine
- Grinding coffee by hand isn’t always easy or convenient
- The Porlex Hand Grinder only holds four tablespoons of coffee
- The small size is hard to clean
- Not dishwasher safe
- The grinding nut needs to be physically adjusted in order to change the settings
No review would be complete without a comparison. The Porlex is a finely made piece of equipment that’s small and lightweight. It is easy to tote around, even when it is full of coffee beans. However, it doesn’t grind a lot of coffee at once, so if you want another cup or two, you’ll need to go through the process again. This makes it inconvenient for large parties – like those around the campfire (unless you’re camping with two people max). According to this review, the device is extremely useful, even though it doesn’t have the array of options or the sheer size of something like the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill Grinder. This Mr. Coffee grinder has multiple settings – 18 to be exact – and runs on electricity. It also holds half of a pound of coffee beans, which is a lot compared to small amount that fit into the Porlex model. The Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill is also made mostly of plastic, as opposed to the smooth stainless steel of the Porlex Hand Grinder. Last but not least, the Mr. Coffee grinder is much easier to clean than the Porlex, because it has a bean hopper and grind collector that come off. The Porlex is smaller, so it can be tougher to get a sponge on the inside to clean out any leftover coffee bean debris.
Now, onto the verdict section.
When it comes to reaching a verdict, it should be no surprise that as much as I love the Mr. Coffee Automatic Burr Mill, I like the Porlex Hand Grinder just as much. Both serve very different purposes in my eyes, making it necessary to own one of each. Although it seemed as though the comparison favored both… well, to be honest, it did favor them all! Both of these coffee grinders are excellent and fall into the “must own” category. I find that this review points out plenty pros and cons of this particular device.
Thanks to this review, you hopefully agree with me and think that this device is useful to have around. It comes in handy when you need it most, and its small size makes it easy to toss into an overnight bag or keep on your kitchen counter. Although it doesn’t grind a lot of coffee at once, it serves its purpose. You’ll no longer have to worry about grinding coffee when the power’s out, because you’ll you have one of these lying around. (Of course, actually brewing coffee without power is an entirely different topic.)