You rationalized the purchase by adding up all the money you’d save not going to your local coffee house. Sunday morning lattes in your pajamas and appreciative dinner guests sealed the deal. Then you finally did it, you bought your first espresso machine. And soon after purchasing the espresso machine, you knew you needed a grinder.
Inevitably you heard the same advice from anyone who’d been bitten by the same bug. Don’t buy a grinder with blades, get one with burrs. Blades chop the beans spitting out a hodge-podge of various sized grounds. Burrs break and then crush the beans into a balanced blend of coarse and fine sized granules ideal for espresso. Unfortunately most advice tends to stop there–and this is where we’d like to start.
Pint Size Professional
We’ve built the HG one grinder around Mazzer’s conical burr set which can be found in their acclaimed Robur series of grinders. The burrs come in two sizes, a 71mm version which is common in the United States, and the 83mm 3 phase version found in Europe or countries with 240v as standard. We’ve opted to go with the slightly larger 83mm burrs in the HG one grinder. This set has the reputation of producing a grind unparalleled for espresso. Normally found in top of the line commercial machines twice the size of ours, we’ve squeezed these burrs into an elegantly compact hand grinder that doesn’t take over your counter top. We’ve also decided to apply a choice of surface finishes to improve the performance and durability on an already great set of burrs.
Slower Is Better
The majority of burr sets available today, flat or conical, have been designed to spin at upwards of 1,000 to 1,300 rpm. The downside is heat generated during the grinding process can adversely affect flavor. Our burr set has been specifically designed to operate at much lower speeds–in the range of 400 to 500 rpm–which in turn makes it ideal for a hand grinder. We’re estimating that the top speed for the average user would be around 100 to 120 rpm, resulting in a grind time of around 30 seconds for a 17g shot. And because of the large surface area of the burr set, the thermal stability is excellent.
Another distinct advantage to the HG one grinder is the path of the coffee grounds. With flat burrs, centrifugal force propels grounds out of the burrs sideways, and in most cases become compacted in a chute or against the wall of a grinding chamber. With our conical burrs, grounds exit straight downwards and gravity does the rest. This results in less clumping and a resulting ground which could best be described as fluffy.
And finally and most importantly is the quality of the grounds. Both of our burr sets are considered by baristas, home and professional alike, to be the best at producing a complex and rich tasting espresso. Paul and I have pulled some of the best shots in our lives with the HG one grinder and we want to offer you the chance to do the same. And our customers–they feel the same way.
We’d like to give you the right set of tools to start with. The rest is up to you.