If you, like me, enjoy a coffee to start your day, let me introduce to you the best travel coffee grinders that I’ve come across! Both are small enough and are able to grind fine enough to produce a coffee better than most cafes, wherever you are. I use these small hand grinders daily to induce a beautiful aroma in the kitchen and allow for my first, but not final coffee hit to do its thing. When touring, I use an Aerobie Aeropress espresso maker to obtain the smoothest, richest, purist and fastest cup of coffee. More on the Aeropress in another this post…
Hario are a Japanese company known more famously for producing glassware for tea and coffee drinkers, however their range these days extends to food containers, condiment cruets and sake coolers. Amongst coffee geeks, Hario is a brand that producers exceptional quality coffee syphons, drips, kettles and grinders.
There are two Hario grinder models which I have owned and tried, and that I am happy to recommend.
Mini Mill Slim
Price: $55 AUD
Length and Width: 18cm and 5cm
Skerton Hand Grinder
Price: $65 AUD
Length and Width: 18cm and 7cm
I started off with the Skerton hand grinder a few years ago. I was immediately drawn to how fine the ceramic, conical burrs were able to grind my coffee beans. This small coffee grinder was the real deal! I was able to take it camping or to towns that I knew wouldn’t be able to give me the flavour I was after.
The Mini Mill Slim is a new addition to the kitchen. It wasn’t a product of the Hario range when the Skerton was purchased. The Slim seemed like the perfect travel grinder when I saw it in a prominent cafe in Melbourne, with its slim plastic body, easily removable handle and lid. I had been looking for something smaller and lighter than the Skerton for the World trip…
Both grinders work in the same manner. The beans get dumped in the top, they feed through the ceramic, conical burrs and end up as a nice grind. Both grinders are adjustable; you can make your grind everything down to espresso-fine. They seem to grind at similar speeds, with the Skerton moving the beans through just a tad quicker. The Skerton also has the extra capacity to grind more beans without re-filling, making the Skerton the better grinder for at home.
I have had no issues with the fact that the handle on the Mini Mill Slim does not permanently connect to the grinder. Once pressure is loaded on the handle, it is not moving.
The Mini Mill Slim tends to work better in your hands. Its slimmer profile allows you to get a good grip on the cup. The Skerton is definitely a bench top grinder, relying on a space where you can gain the assistance of your body weight to grind.
Mini Mill Slim – Travel, as a handhold grinder, smaller grinding quantities
Skerton – Home, as a benchtop grinder, larger grinding quantities
The Mini Mill Slim is my preference between the two. Being a better grinder to hold than the Skerton, the Mini Mill able to grind your beans into a very fine coffee for excellent results with various coffee filters, wherever you are. The handle does not attach onto the grinding cup, resulting in a fast, packable product. The plastic container (as opposed to glass) is both lighter weight and smaller than the Skerton. The coffee grind is just as fine and consistent on both products.
The Skerton is great for grinding at home, as you can plant it to your bench and grind larger quantities at a time. From a travel perspective however, I will only be making 1-2 cups at a time, meaning that the Skerton is a bit of overkill.
If you’re looking at making the smoothest, most flavoursome coffee you can whilst cycling about, look no further than the Hario Mini Mill Slim for use as your coffee grinder.