The first step towards drinking better coffee is to purchase quality coffee beans.
The second step is to purchase a hand grinder so that you can grind your coffee fresh whenever you are making your cup of coffee.
As such, we feel the need to introduce an entry-level hand grinder that is affordable and easy to use for the beginners to explore the world of specialty coffee.
The Hario Mini Slim Plus is an upgraded version of the Hario Mini Slim. It looks sleek with its black exterior and its light weight makes it convenient to bring around for travel.
The Hario Mini Slim Plus is ready for use out of the box, but we do advise grinding through some old coffee before use to slightly season the burrs for the first time. The user manual introduces the parts of the grinder and there is also a simple chart to recommend the grind size for various types of brewing methods.
Determining Grind Size
Grind size is determined by the number of “clicks” you go on the adjustment nut. To start counting from zero, turn the adjustment nut clockwise until you can no longer go tighter. From there, turn the adjustment nut anti-clockwise and count every time the adjustment nut clicks.
We did a simple grind size test to see how fine is fine and how coarse is coarse on the Hario Mini Slim Plus. The number indicates the grind size.
Grind uniformity, or the distribution of grinds between fine and coarse, is not a strength of the Hario Mini Slim Plus. The grinder works well for finer settings, but grind uniformity becomes an issue in its coarser settings. This can be seen in the large mix of fine and coarse coffee grounds in the same grind setting for numbers 13 and above.
Practical User Experience
We brewed a cup of coffee, 8 days from roast date, to test the grinder’s performance during our brew. We threw in 14.2 grams of coffee beans into the hopper and used grind size 7. The slim center of the Hario Mini Slim Plus made it easy to hold, although the smooth plastic exterior requires a firmer hand grip over it.
The resultant coffee grounds we have weighed 13.8 grams, which meant there was about 0.4 grams of coffee grounds retained in the burrs. This number is significant although not unexpected from a low-cost, entry-level grinder.
At grind size 7 and a brew ratio of 1:14, the total brew time for a V60 method was 3 minutes and 15 seconds. That is decent for a cup of filter coffee.
If you do not have a grinder yet, the Hario Mini Slim is a great companion to kickstart a fresher coffee experience at home. It is easy to use with minimal moving parts and performs decently at fine grind settings. At coarser settings, grind uniformity may be an issue, but it does not matter much if you are using your coffee for the French press or cold brew. The plastic body may make it feel cheap, but the black exterior gives it a sleek look that looks good in your kitchen.
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