seeking to buy my first high quality 'all rounder' manual grinder


New member
Dec 13, 2022
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Hey gang, newbie here.
I currently have a 9 yr old breville smart grinder that is on the fritz,
so was thinking of replacing it with a Baratza Virtuoso Plus or a Eureka model.
That was until I began to read up a bit on manual grinders and boy have they evolved hugely in the last 5 or so yrs.

Primarily i do french press but also have an aeropress that' I have not yet used.
might even look into a manual expresso machine too.
So please feel free to suggest either some electric or manuals between $200-400 that can be good all rounders
...and (if a manual)then it can do a larger quantity @ 30 gm/18 oz cup for morning java.
Lastly if they're the same quality I guess that an electric model
would be considerably more $$$ since one is investing heavily into the motor etc.
Am I right?

thank you!


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May 14, 2012
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First thing, the AeroPress is nothing more than a French Press with a filter added. The filter in the AeroPress will remove oils that are left in a French Press, thus the flavor is a bit milder. I have a small French Press that just so happens that an AeroPress filter fits perfectly into the screen, I simply remove the nut, install the filter, used a knife to cut a slit so the bolt and hole can pass through the filter. Optionally you can always use a drip filter and trace an outline onto the filter and cut out the filter size you need. These filters can be rinsed off without taking the screen apart, and reused many times, I probably have around 40 uses on my AeroPress filter in my French Press.

Secondly, if you want a very well built manual espresso machine I prefer the Cafelat Robot, this thing is built so well it will last you several generations, there are a few small silicone (which lasts longer than rubber typically used by other manual espresso machines) gaskets that may need to be replaced as time goes which is typical, but they're cheap to buy. Plus it's easier to clean than others and cheaper than most. They also come in a variety of colors so you are sure to find one that will match your kitchen. One model comes with a pressure gauge and cost more of course, another one does not come with a pressure gauge, I think the pressure gauge is necessary if you want to pull consistent shots.

There is a far less expensive option to a manual espresso maker you may want to try first, since it's so cheap you won't be out much money if you decide you don't like it, but if you do like it could save you a lot of money, I like mine a lot. It is called a Bialetti Brikka, it's a moka pot with a pressure valve that all the other stove-top moka pots don't have, that pressure valve makes the coffee much more like espresso than a regular moka pot, plus it's more consistent than a regular moka pot, it is the original Italian way of making espresso.

Grinders, finally to your question! Depending on your needs, there is a pretty nice hand grinder that will grind from French Press to Turkish grind (which is a powder grind), it's called the Porlex Mini Stainless steel coffee grinder made in Japan, and it only costs $65. If electric is your preferred method of grinding then look at the Capresso Infinity Plus Conical Burr Grinder, this does a wide range of grinds from really coarse for cold brew coffee to powder for Turkish coffee; this will cost about $100. Both of these grinders were highly reviewed by users.


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Aug 15, 2005
Central North Carolina
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I had the Infinity for some time and it is a strong performer for the price point. It is a good all-around grinder, but not much range to really dial things in. Main complaint with it was the quite large grind chamber, leading to a good bit of retention to deal with daily.

This is the 1st time I've seen much praise over the Porlex as it's usually mentioned with the crappy Hario hand grinder as both being a joke. Suppose it's passable, but grinders in that range/build style can be a burden for some as I've seen grind times of 3-5 mins mentioned for a typical dose in the finer range. Then someone tries using a drill and destroys the cheesy 'bearings' in the process. Truth be told most hand grinders are better in the finer range due to conical burr design, some lack shaft support for more precise coarser grinding and end up with lots of fines, etc. These days some companies like 1Zpresso have gone above/beyond to offer different hand grinders for specific applications, but it can still be a crap shoot trying to find the 'right one'...