Great grinder for the price, you just have to provide the motor :o)
Positive Product Points
Easy to use ; No waste, grind only what you will use ; Infinite grind adjustment ; Reasonable grind quality, much superior to the Braun KMM30 ; Drawer for the grinds has a snug fit ; Compact ; 10 year warranty ; Great grinder for under 100$.
Negative Product Points
Aesthetics: Inside of drawer that receives grinds is not finished ; Crooked nob on drawer, glued, not screwed on ; Finish on flat piece of metal connecting handle knob to grinder body is not the same as the grinder lid ; The handle knob doesn't turn freely on the handle ; A matte finish on the lid would probably help hide fingerprints ; Seams where the pieces of wood meet are not flush. Other: Burrs aren't fully aligned. Slight workout... but the caffeine will easily replenish any spent energy :o)
I don't know if I'm supposed to give tips for use in here, on top of the review, but I will anyways, at the end of the review.
Moving from the Braun KMM30, this is definitely a superior grinder. I notice a definite drop in bitterness and a smoother taste. I'm guessing it could produce Turkish, if you mesh the burrs close enough together. I haven't tried it for drip, and I don't plan on grinding for drip, on the basis that it takes a minute and a half to two minutes to grind enough solely for espresso.
It takes me 140 turns, on average to grind one and a half scoops of beans. The grounds can be considered "fluffy" (best way I can describe it) in the drawer, that's to say, a scoop and a half of beans will produce two and a half scoops of "fluffy" grounds. For espresso, I have the adjusting knob adjusted two to two and a half turns counterclockwise from the clockwise limit.
Other than my nit-picking in the aesthetics section (all minor stuff), it's a very good looking grinder, just don't look too close. If you are going to take the lid/burrs off from the base/body (cleaning, or looking at how it works), expect to have to replace the four screws, since they are made from a /very/ soft metal. I found some screws (#4, 3/4") that are a perfect fit, and the finish is very close.
As for cleaning, you will probably want to invest in a soft brush to clean out some of the dust/half ground beans that manage to stay behind in the hopper, as well as the ones that somehow manage to miss the drawer.
Of the burrs, I haven't managed to separate them (I can't seem to get the handle off), so I can't tell you of their quality, other than that the top of outer burr feels sharp. They also seem to be either a) the stator and rotor burrs are not perfectly concentric, or b) misaligned, since when turning the burrs without any beans, the sound varies (at some points, the burrs touch, at others they don't). If it's option b, there seem to be instructions on fixing this with a piece of plumbing and four thumbscrews at the bottom of page 8 of the "Hand (grinder) jive - a photo essay" thread on HB.
As for the tips, when you're lifting the lid to the hopper to add more means, lift it very slowly, because it'll hit the ridges of the adjusting cog and scratch very easily. And if you plan on entertaining often, either a) buy an electric grinder, or b) tell people that if they want coffee, they have to grind their own.
Excellent, I had free shipping (took 3-4 days to arrive, but it was the Holiday season, and Canada Post was backlogged), quick replies to my emails, would definitely shop from Terra Caffé again, especially since they are a Canadian company. The only thing I wish is that I didn't have to ask for the postal tracking number.
Three Month Followup
Same as the One Year Followup.
One Year Followup
Still works great... I don't know if I'm imagining it, if I'm more discriminating or if it's just the result of alternating between fine and coarse grinds, but the coarse grinds seem to have a bit more fines than they used to.
I found that a cotton swap with a bit of rubbing alcohol works wonders to clean the SS lid too...
The drawer is a dark brown now, fines are embedded in the grains of the wood, but doesn't affect anything to my knowledge.