This $1,495 Coffee Grinder Makes You Work for a Great Brew
(Bloomberg Businessweek) -- When it comes to coffee-making tools, a high-quality grinder is at least as important as the brewing apparatus itself. The HG-2, which Weber Workshops released this month, mills beans to a perfectly uniform grind, but you have to work for it: The $1,495 machine (as shown) is powered only by hand. It’s 23 pounds and 18 inches tall, and fabricated from 20-millimeter-thick plates of aluminum that have been heat-treated for maximum strength. HG-2’s size and weight are necessary to support the massive 83mm grinding burr. (A two-speed transmission gearbox between the 8.5-inch flywheel crank and the stainless steel drive shaft lets you downshift for tough beans.) All this heavy metal avoids friction heat, which, as coffee devotees will tell you, is important because high-speed electric grinders can diminish the taste of the final product.
• Peugeot has been making coffee mills since 1840. The $125 Brésil model looks and works much like the original: Pour beans into the steel hopper on top of a walnut-stained beechwood box and turn the crank.
• Hario Co.’s Skerton Pro ($58) is the muscle-powered favorite of many coffee geeks. The plastic-and-glass compartment can hold a full day’s worth of grounds.
• The compact $84 Mini Grinder II from Porlex has a precise, adjustable ceramic conical burr safely sheathed in a stainless steel body. It weighs less than 10 ounces, ideal for elevating your campsite brew.
Before co-founding Weber Workshops, Douglas Weber was a 13-year veteran of Apple Inc.’s product design team. Unsurprisingly, a Jobsian obsession with detail and ergonomics informs the HG-2. To keep grounds from accumulating and growing stale—which can make a mess and change the flavor of your pour—the inside of the exit funnel and tumbler are anodized and then polished, a process Weber says he learned at Apple. Should an occasional speck stick around, a walnut-handled boar-bristle brush will take care of it. There’s even a switch on the front that lets you “shift” when you grind lighter-roast beans, which are less brittle than darker ones. It’s all enough to get your heart racing faster than a perfectly pulled triple espresso. $1,495
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