Zassenhaus "Knee Mill", Various Consumer Electric Conical Burr Mills
Surprisingly Sturdy but not as portable as some other turkish mills.
Positive Product Points
MUCH quieter than electrical burr mills (or any other electrical mills in general). Much easier to clean than electric equivalents. Easier to operate than my other Zass Mills. Much cleaner and more convenient post-grind containment compared to the drawers in my other Zass mills. Very compact: good for travel and general storage.
Negative Product Points
Small capacity. Inconsistency with coarser grinds unless great care is used during operation. Inability to easilly repeat grind settings after any kind of change. Unlike some other turkish mills I've seen and tried, the handle does NOT fit inside the mill for compact transport.
I wasn't too impressed with the Zass Turkish right out of the box for two reasons: 1) While the "working parts" struck me as over-constructed and 'engineered as I've come to expect from any German product, the materials used in the housing's construction seemed flimsy and "sketchy" during my initial handling. But in all honesty, I've yet to be truly impressed by the design and construction of any of my Zass mills. I'm much happier with the overall construction of my Camano Coffee Mill (see note below) even though I'm not sure how well the "guts" (milling components) compare to the machined tool steel used by Zassenhaus. 2) The lack of any kind of spindle to anchor the base of the moving burr made me feel a bit apprehensive about the mill's ability to produce a consistent grind when used for anything other than an Ibrik or perhaps espresso.
After years of using this mill on an almost daily basis, I've been able to ignore the first concern and have seemingly found a way around the second.
I regularly clean my mill using Urnex Grindz at least once a month and typically disassemble for a much more thorough scrubbing and cleaning twice a year and haven't ever had any issues with the materials from which this surprisingly robust mill was constructed.
Relating to my apprehension relating to the consistency of grind, I've found that while the nature of conical burr mills helps in maintaining consistency due to the overall nature of what I assume to be general principle of things, I can help matters out to a noticeable degree (at least to my anally-retentive and near obsessive-compulsive nature) by keeping firm, gentle, consistent pressure on the grinding handle in an attempt to provide consistent force down along the spindle. This seems to help keep the base of the impeller (central, rotating portion of the grinding mechanism) against the flat plate attached to the adjustment screw.
While the smaller capacity of both the input and output hoppers requires me to grind in multiple batches if I'm making more than four or six cups (I make my drip brews very strong), I find that I don't really mind so much since it makes me brew smaller batches. On the other hand, this is something of an inconvenience for me since my palate really isn't that developed. I don't pay enough attention to the subtleties between a truly fresh-brewed cup and one which has been sitting in an insulated flask for half an hour or so.
On the other hand, I've always appreciated the design of turkish mills in general when it comes to both portability and the fact that the catch hopper works so cleanly (compared to the drawers which just beg to be over-filled and cause a general mess) and is so easilly emptied.
Note: I'll be posting a review of the Camano Mill in the semi-near future after I've had a chance to torture it for a while.
Sweet Maria's rocks and I buy from them whenever possible!