Since the creation of this blog I’ve been a firm supporter of the Hario Mini Mill as one of the best entry-level, inexpensive hand grinders.
When I was just beginning to appreciate coffee, I purchased one and used it daily for nearly a year before I came across an electric burr grinder. I even created a simple modification to improve its grind consistency.
It was a great little grinder to start out on, but new grinders are stepping up to bat. How do they stack up?
The Kuissential EvenGrind’s Kickstarter
Some time ago, two hand grinders battled it out on Kickstarter at the same time.
The Handground looked beautiful and seemed like a powerful new player in the hand grinder world. The EvenGrind had a less sensational campaign, although it included something that the Handground’s did not: proof that terrible grind inconsistency, common among most hand grinders, was not going to be an issue.
I backed the Kuissential EvenGrind and finally, after a series of production delays, received it in December.
Does the Kuissential EvenGrind Deliver?
Every Kickstarter product causes you to doubt at some point: “Will this deliver as it promised? Will this product stand to its claims?”
Despite the compelling campaign and research conducted by Kuissential, I had my doubts. It would take a lot from the grinder for me to switch my hand grinder recommendation away from the Mini Mill.
Kuissential EvenGrind Design
The first thing I noticed was the size.
The EvenGrind is produced by the same manufacturers as the Hario Skerton, so it was a good 50% larger than the Mini Mill in width, although about the same height. This added width enabled Kuissential to install some extra components, particularly the burr stabilization cage, to improve the grind consistency, solving one of the widespread hand grinder flaws.
The downside to the size was noticeable when I began to grind.
The Mini Mill fit perfectly in my hand. The EvenGrind is just large enough to be slightly uncomfortable while grinding, requiring me to grip harder. Though a bit inconvenient, it’s not a deal breaker at all.
Adjusting the grind is a simple ordeal. Beneath the handle lays an adjustment ring with a series of notches and a lock that fits in the notches. By turning the adjustment ring, you move the burrs downward. The adjustment setting can then be locked into place without the fear of it moving (a problem I had with the Mini Mill after 2 years or so).
Kuissential EvenGrind Performance
I was skeptical that the EvenGrind could outdo my old Hario friend. The claims of Kuissential had to be put to the test.
Test 1: Visually, it seemed clear that the Mini Mill (modded) was producing far more boulders than the EvenGrind, even at a grind size smaller than I would use in my Hario V60.
Test 2: When brewed, the first indication of the greater grinder was the sight of the drained coffee beds in the Hario V60. The bed with grounds from the Mini Mill contained an astounding amount of boulders around the edges of the filter. The next V60 using grounds from the EvenGrind contained almost no boulders at all. Upon tasting, the EvenGrind’s brew was marginally better tasting, although not amazingly dramatic.
Test 3: The French Press test revealed the true winner. At a coarse grind, the EvenGrind outperformed the Mini Mill. There was no contest. The brewed coffee revealed that the consistency granted by the EvenGrind would produce a more balanced extraction than that from the Mini Mill.
It took nearly three years, but I’ve finally found an affordable hand grinder that I cannot help but recommend over the Hario Mini Mill. My Hario and I had a good run, but it’s time to move on.
For an incredible $37.99, I cannot suggest the Kuissential EvenGrind enough.
It is a well-designed hand grinder with the consistency of a more expensive electric grinder.