Customer Reviews

237
4.4 out of 5 stars
Hario MSS-1B 1-Piece Coffee Mini Mill Slim Grinder
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 25 March 2015
This is a neat, dinky, attractive grinder, just the right size for my needs: I grind 24g of beans first thing, for two cups of filter; later I grind 15g for a single Aeropress cup. It grinds very well, and I like the adjustable grind feature. But.... My first thought was it felt rather flimsy. After a couple of weeks' use it shows no sign of breakage. But I think the central spindle is poorly designed - or uses low grade steel that's too soft. It might be Japanese, but it's manufactured in China...
The handle has a pentagonal socket which fits over the drive shaft: this gives good leverage and doesn't come off while grinding, unless you're clumsy. Getting it off is a different matter - a problem exacerbated by use. It is extremely stiff after use, stuck in place! The drive shaft top is becoming scored and gouged, very obviously damaged, even though I'm not overloading the grinder or using excessive force. I tend to leave it until next time, when the thing has sort of relaxed a bit, and even then it takes some fiddling and levering to prise off the handle. This makes the whole structure bend and twist, and I'm concerned it might break after a while.
Maybe I have a duff example - I don't know.
EDIT - two months later... Maybe I do have a duff example, or maybe this grinder is not what it's cracked up to be: the grind handle has scored the spindle so badly that it's slipping, and if I were to continue it would I am sure be useless within a couple of days. Fortunately Amazon is taking it back for a refund - but this grinder is very poor, to die after a mere two months' use. I haven't overloaded it: the manuf's spec is that it will grind up to 24gm of beans, and mostly I've used it to grind 15gm - not daily, in fact it wasn't used at all for over three weeks while I was abroad. I suspect poor steel quality - made in China....
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78 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2011
I bought this mill a few months ago, together with Aeropress, hoping to make excellent coffee without breaking the bank.

My expectation were fulfilled - this is an excellent grinder, and does everything exactly as you would want and expect.

1. Build quality: second to none, 5/5
You can really tell this thing is made in Japan and not in China. All parts fit together perfectly, the finish is flawless and the operation is smooth. Ceramic burrs will never rust and wear extremely slowly.
The person mentioning nut failures must have used it to hammer nails or something because this is a VERY SOLIDLY made item. Only way to improve it, would be to use wood or toughened glass instead of plastic (I am no fan of plastics in general) - but at this price you really couldn't ask for better.

2. Ease of use: very easy, but instructions are in Japanese, 4/5
It will take you a while initially to figure out how to use it, because it comes with no instructions in English. But because it is a very simple device, there is not a lot to figure out, really: the top handle comes off, the clear top cover comes off, the clear container screws on and off, and the adjustment nut is under the burrs. That's it.

3. Practicality: Very good 4.5/5
Let's start with the grind adjustment: the adjustment nut has locking "steps" and because of that it takes a bit of effort to turn it - but on the other hand it always stays in position, so this is a good thing. Also, the steps make it easy to aim for the desired grind coarseness.
Grinding itself is easy and only slightly tedious - will usually take between a minute and four minutes, depending on your coarseness and quantity and size of your beans (bigger will take longer). It can be quite fun too, and my guests (especially children) often enjoy grinding as a kind of novelty.
One very minor problem I have is that because the container is plastic it accumulates static charge, which often causes grinds to stick to walls. A strong tap usually helps, but occasionally I have to resort to a spoon to get all of them out.

4. Coffee quality: Excellent 5/5
Some people suggest that manual grinding is better as it doesn't heat up the beans, which harms flavour. I am not sure if this is true, but I always find coffee ground manually to be slightly better than the same coffee ground in an electric mill. It might be purely psychological (i.e. "I put a lot of work in it, so it has to be better"). But one certain fact is that the grind is very consistent, which is certainly paramount to achieving good coffee.

All in all, I am very happy with this mill. I consider grinding to be one of the cornerstones of great coffee (the other being beans, water and the brewing process), and this mill certainly fulfils its purpose well. Five stars from me.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2011
I have had this grinder for about three weeks. It is solidly built and has a quality feel to it.

It takes me about a minute to grind a double espresso so that is just about on its finest, and therefore slowest, grind. If you are wanting a coarser grind for a cafetiere it will be quicker. The grind is consistently excellent. I am very pleased with the price, quality and ease of use.

The order was processed and delivered very quickly, the grinder was very well packaged.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 25 September 2012
This is a very nice and lightweight coffee grinder. The only thing I miss about it is some form of visible indication of how it's setup. With my aeropress I go for maximum fine position and then "a bit back with the screw". It's ideal when you're making coffee just for 1 person. I would recommend looking for electric grinder though if you're planning to prepare coffee for 2 (or more) people, as hand grinding takes quite some time - but this is a general downside of all hands grinders I guess.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on 27 May 2013
I recently invested in a Gaggia Classic espresso machine and was struggling with pulling a perfect shot even with ground beans from Hasbean (if you haven't tried them then your missing out, best coffee on the Internet or indeed anywhere!) as the Gaggia is pretty fussy about its grind.
I would have liked to buy an electric grinder for ease, but having been advised that for an electric grinder to be any good your looking at a minimum of £200 I looked around for a temporary solution.
I bought this on the recommendation of Steve at Hasbean and numerous other interviews and am delighted! Grind is controlled with the dial at the bottom of the machine and even on the fiest grind, enough for a double shot is ready in a couple of minutes. And the taste of the resulting coffee is AMAZING!
I don't find hand grinding a chore at all, it's actually quite therapeutic. Ok, so you wouldn't want to be making coffee for more that 2 people or making ten cups a day, but for my cup or two a day it's perfect.
I certainly won't be replacing it with an electric grinder any time soon! Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 April 2015
There's never been a better time to be a home coffee drinker.

Every supermarket stocks a remarkable variety of blends, brands and styles. But, even with the choices now available, there's nothing to beat the enjoyment of fresh ground coffee.
Sure, you can buy coffee that's been ground already; but for sheer aroma, freshness and taste, nothing matches that made from beans that you've just ground yourself.

You can buy an electric grinder for a relatively modest outlay, but to use an appliance powered by the mains for a task that can be done by hand may seem like taking a sledgehammer to crack a walnut (or, indeed, a coffee bean!).
Which is where the Hario MSS-1B 1-Piece Coffee Mini Mill comes in.

The device consists of a handful of parts; a chamber where the beans go, two ceramic burrs that move against each other to grind the beans, fixed by a small nut, and a clear cup to collect the ground coffee. A thread runs through the middle and a detachable, ergonomic handle fits on top of this to turn the burrs. All parts are easily fitted together by hand, and the device can be taken apart and washed after use.

Once you've used it a couple of times, the process becomes second nature.
It's like this: pour your coffee beans into the chamber on top, place the burrs in (there are two; The larger, hoop-shaped one has slots to line up with tabs in the opening of the chamber, ensuring a perfect fit, and the second just drops into the middle). Screw on the specially-designed nut to keep it all together and adjust it to get the grade of coffee you desire.

The trick is to find out the setting you need to attain the coffee you want. The tighter the nut, the finer the coffee and vice versa. The best way to do this is to fully tighten it, then unwind it gradually; as you do so, it clicks. I personally find that around ten clicks will provide me with perfect ground coffee for my French press; as good as the stuff you can buy in any supermarket, with the additional pleasure of knowing that you ground it yourself.

Finally, fix the handle onto the nut on top and grind away! The best method is to turn the handle constantly, with an even, gentle pressure, while holding the assembly firmly lower down. The whole process will take less than a couple of minutes once you're used to it.

Criticisms? Well, the instruction leaflet does leave questions unanswered with regards to the best way to operate the mill, and if you want to make coffee for more than two you may want something a little more substantial, but these are trifles. As mentioned above, it shouldn't take anybody more than half-an-hour to get the hang of – probably much less – and most fresh coffee drunk at home will be consumed in small quantities, which the Hario MSS-1B 1-Piece Coffee Mini Mill is ideal for.

For a modest outlay, this delightful gadget will add layers of depth - aroma, interest and satisfaction - to your morning coffee ritual.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2013
After a week with my new Gaggia Classic of pulling slightly disappointing shots of espresso using shop-bought ground coffee, I decided to team it with the Hario Slim after reading the positive reviews on here. Everyone in the know seemed to suggest that not only is a decent grinder of paramount importance when attempting to make quality coffee, but that this hand grinder is of superior quality to several electric models more than 5 times the cost.

The Hario is easy to use and simple to adjust. Just measure your beans in the cup, pour into the top section, screw into the cup, attach the lid/handle and you're good to go! The main issue I had was that it took a while (and no small amount of beans) to get the Hario dialled in - this however is to be expected as instructions are minimal. I am currently using Lavazza Black Espresso beans and have found that the 6th finest setting produces a perfect 25 second double shot of lush, thick black espresso with a generous head of luxurious crema - certainly vastly superior to anything offered by any high-street coffee chain. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2015
I really enjoy using this coffee grinder and the options it gives me to get a grind that suits my espresso machine. However I'm glad I've waited seven months before writing this review and have been able to give 3 stars . The reason for this is what I see as a design weakness at the point where the handle fits on to the spindle. The metal on the handle is quite thin and over the months has been cutting/wearing into the spindle and now in is getting more difficult to remove as it becomes wedged on. It would have been far better if the thickness of that part of the handle matched the available amount of spindle (approx. 10m). I hope to raise the position onto an unworn area by putting a small washer on the spindle hence getting a few more months out of it. Otherwise this would have been a definite 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2013
This grinder is great and it's made by the original Hario brand rather than the almost identical third party manufacturers out there (that said, after a bit of reading, all of them seem to originate from China so you might be paying a few quid extra for the satisfaction of a label).

It grinds fairly well for the price - yes it's a laborious manual process and it doesn't produce enough to serve a party unless you're hell-bent on getting carpal tunnel syndrome but the even grounds compensate for the cons.

It to pull apart and clean out, unless you have issues with logic.

Nowadays, the flat's full of the aroma of freshly ground coffee every morning; it teases my housemate out of bed but he's only left disappointed when he realises there's only enough coffee made for one: me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2014
I've been using this product for a few days now and in the main have found it to be excellent.

I bought this to use at work to grind beans for an AeroPress and it produces a lovely consistent grind. I've been using 5-6 clicks back from finest/fully clockwise. To adjust the grind, unscrew the grinder/coffee bean hopper from the plastic grinds compartment below and on the underside of the grinder you'll see a wing-like nut that you can adjust with a click at each setting - clockwise for finer, anticlockwise for coarser. Ensure you have the handle attached and hold it steady whilst adjusting to keep the mechanism still.

I tend to find that 17g of beans (which give me enough for a double shot) come up to just about level with the top of the 4 dividers inside the hopper, so I don't really need to carry scales around with me either.

Compared to an electric grinder it may seem slow, but I think there are certain things in life we shouldn't need to speed up and this is one of them. Clearly if you ran a coffee shop, this wouldn't work for you, but for a home enthusiast it's great. Also, the slower grind will produce less heat and combined with the ceramic burrs will ensure there's no other tastes creeping in there.

My only real criticism is that the plastic/perspex container that your grinds fall into tends to not let all the grinds fall out when you try to tip them into your brewing device of choice. I've read that it may be static attracting them to the container. I imagine a coarser grind may not suffer from this as much. I've just bought a Hario Skerton for home and that has a glass container for the grinds, so shouldn't suffer from this.

It's still early days for me, but so far, so good. I'll update once I've been using it a bit longer.

For the money you can't go wrong with this really. Buy one!
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