Best in Class:
The new Porlex JP-30 and Porlex Mini Mill set a whole new standard in portable coffee mills. We were thrilled when the Hario Skerton/Kyocera ceramic burr hand mill became available and have used it faithfully and sold many of them. When the Hario Slim Mill was introduced it offered a great second option in a portable mill that some liked better. But the new Porlex Mills leave no doubt as to their superior fit, finish, and functionality. They are sleek and seductive, beautifully engineered and superbly built.
Like the Hario/Kyocera models the Porlex mills are made in Japan and utilize ceramic burr sets that we presume are also made by the cutting edge, cutting tools company, Kyocera. The burrs on the Skerton/Kyocera conveniently adjust on the top of the burr set but the burr set has some stability issues that affect the consistency of particle size. Despite this, the Skerton works well…but it can’t be compared to the Porlex. The Porlex mills use stabilized burrs that have a grind adjustment on the bottom like the Hario Slim Mill. But where both the Hario Slim Mill and the Skerton each are difficult to steady in grinding in different ways, the Porlex Mills are much more easily steadied and easy to use. The cranks on both of these grinders are removable and the Mini has a convenient slot in a rubber ring on the grinder to hold the whole thing together in a portable shape when not in use. Most importantly, in the cup the Porlex grinders display all of the advantages of ceramic burr grinders: we find that aromatics are at their most vivid through ceramic burrs, and we theorize that the low heat grinding helps preserve the delicate oils that produce aromatics in brewing. As far as the results in the cup, there isn’t a grinder of any type that I have used that I prefer to the Porlex.
Each of these grinders is incredibly slick and portable. Despite owning both the Kyocera and the Hario Slim for my personal use I couldn’t resist adding the Porlex to my tool kit: I know it will be my go-to travel grinder. Almost everyone who sees the Porlex can’t help but want one, so seductive is the form and function. They are more expensive than their Hario cousins but a tool this beautiful and functional at less than $75.00 is cheap luxury. I don’t think any card-carrying coffee geek will want to miss having one of these fantastic pieces of super coffee equipment. Easily purchased at our cafe or here.