Posted Fri May 14, 2010, 12:45pm Subject: Hario Skerton and Espresso
Recently I purchased the Hario Skerton as an interim grinder to use for espresso until I am done saving for my "dream grinder". I had heard that it could grind for espresso and did it quite well, and I read that it couldn't grind for espresso. After talking to the barista at Gimme! in NYC, I decided to go for it.
Previously I had been using a modified Solis 166 and had a hard time getting that espresso grind, even with the mod. I would get good pours with BC, but with other blends, it would be 2oz in 15 to 20 secs - and that was dosing 20g of coffee. That prompted me to try the Skerton. When I first got it, I adjusted the burrs as tight as it could go. It choked my Francis Francis X5. After some trial and error, I found a setting I liked = 1.5 oz in 25secs with 16g of coffee - using Klatch's Belle Espresso. The bitterness was gone and it was sweet and delicious.
I love this little grinder. The only downside is that my arms get tired when grinding, but for $40 to get results like that - NOT BAD!
No questions really, just wanted to comment that I've found it to be a fabulous manual grinder for espresso and would HIGHLY recommend it to someone starting out that is on a budget. I see alot of people post that they are starting out and can't afford to drop cash on a grinder. Well, this is a good interim solution IMHO.
EDIT DOH! Just saw this post . Should be posted in there.
fwtechwiz Senior Member Joined: 19 Feb 2010 Posts: 530 Location: Fort Wayne, IN Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Gaggia Evolution Grinder: Hario Skerton
Posted Fri May 14, 2010, 2:16pm Subject: Re: Hario Skerton and Espresso
A tip when grinding with the Hario... It's all about leverage. Keep it low, waist high. Grasp the grinder body with your left hand, turn the crank with your right. That way the force will not oppose your wrist and cause extra strain. Put some rubber bands around the top of the glass to provide extra traction for gripping, it really helps! (it helps to have large hands too.) I'm thinking of using a large piece of velcro on the bottom to stabilize it to the counter also, but havent tried it yet. The rubber piece that comes with it helps, but it's still not that stable.
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010, 7:15pm Subject: Re: Hario Skerton and Espresso
I bought a Hario Skerton and it seems to produce a very uniform grind at the finer end, but I usually drink drip coffee or moka pot coffee, which requires a coarser grind. I've managed to get it decently coarse so that the coffee doesn't fall through the holes in the moka pot and the coffee tastes great, but the grind is not very uniform. The majority is small bits with a few large shards. No dust, though, which is good. I can't complain much. Especially since it was $25.
I was just wondering if you get the same results. I can post a photo if necessary.
Posted Tue Jun 15, 2010, 7:42pm Subject: Re: Hario Skerton and Espresso
When grinding for espresso, the Skerton functions reasonably well. There is some definite variation in particle size, even to the naked eye, but it is good for the cost of the grinder. It is also true that the grind fluctuated wildly in the coarser settings. I'd say a moka grind is an achievable level for the Skerton, but if you want a good quality drip grind, you had best look elsewhere. Obviously this means press or other coarse grinds are pretty much out. These comments, however, are strictly in regard to the stock, unmodded Skerton. I believe, but have not tested, that a drive shaft stabilization mod (nylon tube fixed to the struts in the hopper, perhaps), could fix the grind fluctuations to a point. The burrs, in the end, just aren't all that sharp.
Posted Wed Jun 16, 2010, 8:53am Subject: Re: Hario Skerton and Espresso
Thanks for the reply. I see a topic about modding the Hario posted this morning. Since my coffee flavor is fine, which is the most important thing, I probably won't do the mod. I've noticed that the majority of the larger bits are produced at the start and end of the grind, when the burrs aren't completely full of coffee. The inner burr on my hario doesn't line up exactly centre unless there is coffee between the burrs, so I guess the gap widens and allows some chunks out.
If Hario stabilized the centre burr to the frame on the bottom (with some plastic ribs just like on the top), it would probably fix the problem.
One more question: I've seen posts about the Kyocera hand grinder; does anyone know if the burrs are different than on the Hario? I looked at Hario and another brand (whose name I can't recall) while in Japan, and the burrs were identical. Hario is mainly a glass company, so they are likely sourcing the burrs from somewhere else, and Kyocera is a likely candidate.
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