Last year I backed a Kickstarter project for a hand coffee grinder. I have written a few posts about them since as I have had the opportunity to provide feedback on the project and coffee making in general. The people behind Handground have done a great job to get the backers of the project involved and I am proud to have helped out in a small way. Just the other day my Handground grinder arrived in the mail. I pulled it out of the box and immediately looked at everything. It is a beautiful coffee grinder and looks great with all of my other coffee making implements.
This morning I took it for my first experience with grinding coffee by hand. In all of my coffee brewing adventures I have used my electric grinder, which has been great in cases where I am making bigger batches of coffee. And I still think I will use my electric grinder for bigger batches, but the hand grinder will be great for single cup pour overs. There is something about the mechanical process and using human power that is really interesting to me. Plus, it is super quiet compared to my electric grinder which is a big plus.
In the box there is a yellow piece of paper with some helpful info, like to not spin the grinder without coffee in it because the coffee oils help lubricate the burr. I am glad I read this first because as I was unboxing it I really wanted to grab the handle and spin it a few times to hear it go. But, I controlled my enthusiasm. When using my electric grinder I do like to let it go for a couple extra seconds once I hear all of the coffee go through and I even spin it a couple of times with the button to make sure all of the grounds got through. On my first grind I felt it when all of the coffee was done and spun it a couple of extra times for the same reason. I hope this isn’t harming anything because I just want to make sure all of my coffee grounds get through to keep my ratio as accurate as possible.
Overall, I am really happy with the grinder. I did about 10 grams of coffee on the number 2 setting as it is suggested to break it in a little before use. This was easy to get going in the grinder. My biggest concern with a hand grinder would be getting it started and grinding away. But, the Handground easily gets going and keeps grinding the coffee. I’m not the strongest person, so a grinder that I can lean on to hold steady really helps. The bottom has a grippy pad that sticks to the kitchen counter well. The grinding motion worked really smoothly and only got caught up on bigger, tougher beans a couple of times. Even then I was able to push through and grind them down.
The grind consistency was awesome. I got an even grind across 20 grams of coffee for my pour over without any random sized chunks from what I could see. Based on that alone I am super happy with the grinder. This thing could have a hundred other features, but if the grind wasn’t as consistent I wouldn’t care. The grind looked beautiful. I ground my coffee on the number 4 setting and this worked really nicely. I should be able to dial in a nice grind for any coffee with Handground.
There are a couple of things that will take me some getting used to with the grinder. Firstly, the top screws and unscrews backwards, if you ask me. This was something that was an issue in manufacturing that requires the top to be unscrewed by being turned clockwise, to the right, and screwed on by turning counter clockwise, to the left. This was weird as most everything I have dealt with in my life is tightened by turning to the right and loosened by turning to the left(righty tighty, lefty loosey). I remember this being brought up in a backer survey and it was explained to us that due to how the grinder is assembled it has to be this way since the main post in the center can be loosened by the top being screwed the other direction. There was a much more convincing and technical reasoning in the survey , but that was the basics. Secondly, the opening at the top is a little small for pouring beans in. I was only doing 20 grams worth, but I could see trying to pour more beans being an issue causing some to fall away unless you have a small spout to pour them through. It’s nothing a small funnel couldn’t solve though.
In the end the Handground grinder is awesome and I’m glad to have been a part of the project. If you want to learn more about the grinder and see it in action you can check out their website here.