Most efficient speed for a hand coffee bean grinder
I did that thing you do a while back – buy some beans at a cafe, but not be convinced that I’ll get into single origin beans in a big way, so I bought the cheapest quality grinder I could – a Hario MSS-1B hand grinder. The idea was that if I found I was enjoying freshly ground beans (read: have time to actually bother enjoying them), then I’d buy an electric grinder.
That ‘thing you do’, is using it once, then putting it away, until, a few months later, I’m completely out of ground coffee, and find myself needing to use my beans and grinder to get a cuppa.
But one thing bothered me when I was using it: should I turn the handle at the speed that ‘feels like it’s doing the most grinding’, with the most resistance, or should I just turn it as fast as possible, even though it feels like it’s not doing as much work. I had theories about the beans not falling into the grinding stone gap as fully at max speed when compared to the highest resistance, etc.
Well, I did a quick test. I counted 40 beans into the grinder, and ran two grinds with each approach – coarse and medium. The results were pretty demonstrative:
At highest resistance: Coarse grind: 20s. Medium grind: 2min30s
At fastest speed (2-3x): Coarse grind: 15s. Medium grind: 50s
So, yeah, even though ‘as fast as you can’ doesn’t feel like it’s doing as much work, evidently that’s because of the lower resistance per rotation, but the number of rotations more than makes up for it.
So, grind like the wind.