Is The Orphan Espresso Lido 3 the hand Grinder for you? (A Review)
Tall, dark and handsome…
Oh no, we weren’t talking about our ideal man, just the new Lido 3 Manual Grinder by Orphan Espresso.
This grinder, the third iteration in Orphan Espresso’s Lido hand grinder line, is stirring up quite a lot of conversation and has been recognized as one of the top options on the market today. (1) It has a plastic body in contrast to the metal or glass bodies of some of its fiercest competitors, proving that there is more than one way to achieve an excellent grind.
An Overview: The OE Lido 3 Hand Coffee Grinder
The OE Lido 3 is a consistent and durable grinder with updates from the Lido 2 that make it easier to take on-the-go.
Summary: The Lido 3 Hand Grinder
- More lightweight and portable than previous models
- Vast, step-less grind settings
- High-quality, durable body and burrs
I’ve used all the travel-style hand grinders and the Lido 3 outperforms all of them without question. It’s now part of my travel kit.– Alex, Editorial Team
Though some people may feel that the plastic body lacks a certain element of class, it does lend the grinder greater resilience, making it easier to add to your traveling coffee station. The step-less grind adjustment allows users to be incredibly picky and exact with their grind size, and the steel conical burrs produce a really consistent grind.
Lido 3 Hand Grinder – full review
Lets take a more detailed look at the Lido 3 and break it down based on the criteria that shows you how it performs
We’ll start by looking at the most important thing of any coffee grinder – what kind of consistency does it deliver?
Grind Consistency – 5/5
The grind consistency on the Lido 3 is pretty spot-on, thanks to the double ball bearings stabilizing the steel burrs. From the finest to the coarsest grinds, we found the results of this grinder to be uniform and precise.
The grind adjustment mechanism is step-less and uses an aluminum locking ring in tandem with a grind size ring to set the desired grind size. Though it may take a moment to accustom yourself to the unique grind selection system, it is far simpler than unscrewing pieces of the grinding mechanism to make your adjustments from the inside.
The diversity of grind sizes available on the Lido 3 is impressive, allowing you to grind fine enough for Turkish coffee and then make a quick adjustment to grind for a coarse french press. While plenty of grinders may boast that same range, few can deliver the consistency and precision that the Lido 3 does with every single grind.
Burr Quality – 5/5
Don’t let the plastic body of the Lido 3 deceive you, the burrs are 48mm Swiss-made steel. Orphan Espresso’s choice here to use steel rather than ceramic also increases the grinder’s portability, since steel is less likely to chip or dent than ceramic. The steel burrs on the Lido 3 are quite large and definitely powerful enough to facilitate a smooth grinding process. (2)
[The Lido 3] is a wonderfully quick grinder, those are big burrs inside of it. They definitely chew through coffee at a pretty fast rate, which meant grinding for espresso was pleasurable.
While these are excellent burrs, we recommend that users take care when grinding straight through a full hopper of beans, given that steel burrs can warm up when used without pause. (3) Exposing coffee beans to heat before the brewing process can alter the natural oils and aromas of the coffee you are about to enjoy, so try to take it easy while grinding.
Build Quality – 4/5
The OE Lido 3 is a solid grinder, that much is clear. While competitors like the Comandante C40 MKIII and the Porlex Mini use steel bodies around the grind mechanism, the Lido 3’s body is almost entirely BPA-free plastic.
Though some users of other high-end coffee equipment may not like the look of plastic next to their ceramic and stainless steel tools, the plastic still gets the job done while reducing the total weight of the grinder. It was designed for a traveller – it can take a beating and will still perform as it did on day 1.
Capacity – 4.5/5
Designed as a portable grinder, the OE Lido 3 out performs most other travel hand grinders when it comes to capacity. The hopper on this hand grinder can hold up to 70g of beans, allowing you to grind for 4+ cups of coffee at a time. (2)
The bean hopper is relatively well-designed. There is no issue with ‘bounce out’ where you put coffee in and the beans hit the stabilizing pieces and bounce back out again.
Portability – 4/4
Based on our other comments about the Lido 3, it should come as no surprise that this is a grinder designed for portability.
The combination of durable plastic, sleek shape, and newly foldable crank handle make it exceptionally suited for travelers of any kind.
The folks at Orphan Espresso also trimmed down the weight of the Lido 3, making it quite a bit lighter than its most recent prior model, the Lido 2. While we love how lightweight this new grinder is compared to its predecessor, we know that the size and weight will still be prohibitive for some people who need a grinder suited to super light travel.
Maintenance – 5/5
Maintaining the Lido 3 is not much of a chore, and the grinder even comes with the necessary tools for cleaning the burrs. Naturally, the grinder can only function as well as it is maintained, so we recommend disassembling and cleaning out your grinder once or twice a month.
The Lido 3 comes with a soft brush and a hex tool for easy grinder maintenance.
Unlike grinders with ceramic burrs, the Lido 3’s steel burrs cannot be cleaned with water, as they can rust if not dried properly. Stick to brushing old coffee grounds out of the crevices between the burrs and you should be fine. (5)
Do Not Buy the OE Lido 3 Hand Grinder If…
You are a super-light traveler and need a grinder to match.
Although this grinder is certainly more portable than the Lido 2, it still is quite a bit larger and heavier than other portable hand grinders. If you need a grinder to be your go-to travel companion, you may want to check out the Porlex Mini.
You want a grinder to match the aesthetic of your coffee set-up.
While the tinted plastic and sleek, cylindrical design of the Lido 3 may be exactly what you vibe with, we get it if you don’t love the aesthetic of this grinder. Call it shallow, but we love visual harmony in our coffee set-up! For more artfully designed alternatives, take a look at the Zassenhaus Santiago Coffee Mill, the Handground Precision Grinder, and the Comandante C40 MKIII.
You are operating on a tight budget.
If this is you, we feel you. While the Lido 3 has probably the most competitive price among top tier hand grinders, it is still a bit steep if you are just getting into grinding your own coffee. Great, freshly-ground coffee doesn’t have to cost a fortune, so perhaps you should consider something like the Javapresse or the Hario Skerton Pro.
The updates on the Lido 3 from the earlier Lido 2 make it far more portable, but it is still a large hand grinder and has some weight to it. That being said, it produces a fantastic grind that is both consistent and precise across a wide range of grind settings.
Though we aren’t totally sold on the look of the grinder, the handle turns smoothly, the hopper is large enough to grind quite a lot of coffee, and maintaining the grinder is no great feat.
Yes, replacement parts are available on the Orphan Espresso website.
There should not be any issues with static with the Lido 3, since all the plastic making up the grinder is certified static-free. Typically plastic grinders have been afflicted with annoying static cling, but no more!
Orphan Espresso is a small company run out of rural Idaho in the United States. They produce a handful of different coffee grinders at a facility in Montana. (4)
- OE Manual Coffee Grinders. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.oehandgrinders.com/OE-Manual-Coffee-Grinders_c_1.html
- Hoffmann, J. (2019, April 23). The Ultimate Hand Grinder Showdown. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn9OuRl1F3k
- Rossi, R. N. (2017, December 15). A Brewer’s Guide to Choosing a (Good) Coffee Grinder. Retrieved from https://www.perfectdailygrind.com/2017/12/brewers-guide-choosing-good-coffee-grinder/
- About Us. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.oehandgrinders.com/About-Us_ep_7.html
- Lido Grinder Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved From https://www.oehandgrinders.com/Lido-Grinder-Parts_c_40.html