Porlex Mini Hand Coffee Grinder Review
For frequent travelers with a love of great coffee, a portable hand grinder is a must. Luckily, the Porlex Mini Hand Grinder has a lot to offer. If you’re looking for a lightweight, durable burr grinder that you can take on the go, it might be just what you’re after.
To find out more, keep reading as this review has all the details.
SUMMARY: The Porlex Mini Hand Grinder
- The most portable hand grinder on the market
- Durable, high-quality materials
- Precise, consistent grind
“It’s really easy to adjust the grind…[and] gives you a pretty even and consistent grind.”– Chris Baca, Cat and Cloud Coffee
The Porlex mini review
The Porlex Mini Mill is the coffee lover’s ideal travel companion. It is durable enough to accompany you on any kind of trip you may be taking and can grind consistently from espresso to french press. Though it has a grind capacity of just 20g, it is a fantastic tool for people who typically brew just one or two cups of coffee at once.
Lets take a look at what makes this seemingly simple grinder so popular. Here’s how we’ve rated it overall, and below we’ll explain why.
Grind Consistency – 5/5
The grind consistency of the Porlex Mini is nothing short of excellent, especially given its ultra-compact design. The spring-loaded burrs virtually eliminate wobble in the ceramic grinding mechanism so that the fine grinds come out just as consistent as the coarse grinds. (1)
The spring loading keeps the burrs from floating around and moving all over the place while you’re grinding, which is a problem on some of the other hand-crank grinders.
This consistency is key for those of us who like to mix up our brewing methods rather than sticking to one brew. That being said, even if you are golden-retriever-loyal to your favorite brew, you will love the consistency that the Porlex Mini produces with every use.
It is also quite easy and intuitive to use the dial to switch between the many grind settings on the Mini.
Burr Quality – 5/5
Though typically sharp, high-quality burrs are found in the most expensive automatic grinders, the small but mighty Porlex Mini boasts a set of excellent ceramic burrs.
Ceramic burrs as opposed to steel, help keep your delicate coffee beans from unnecessary heat exposure, preserving the natural oils and aroma of the beans. The Porlex’s ceramic burrs stay cool to the touch as you grind, guaranteeing a fresh, great-tasting cup of coffee.
The ceramic burrs on the Porlex Mini are naturally static free.
The static that tends to annoyingly interrupt your grinding process when using a plastic grinder is a non-issue with the great ceramic burrs and stainless steel body on the Porlex Mini.
We also love the sharpness of the burrs on the Porlex, allowing the mini to grind faster than many other hand grinders on the market.
Build Quality – 5/5
The Mini is smaller than all other hand grinders on the market standing at roughly 5 inches tall and less than 2 inches in diameter, making it smaller than a soda can.
It has a durable, cylindrical stainless steel body with a rubber grip and detachable handle. When coffee expert James Hoffmann compared and contrasted the top budget-friendly hand grinders, the Porlex Mini ranked #1 on build quality, not bad Porlex! (2)
Rather than the more elaborate style of other similar hand grinders like the Comandante, which you can read about right here, the Porlex Mini has the ultimate minimalist aesthetic.
Capacity – 3/5
It should come as no surprise that the Porlex Mini has a very limited grinding capacity. With a maximum of 20g of coffee at once, you can only get about 1-3 cups of coffee per grind, depending on your preferences.
However, given the sharpness of the burrs and the way the grinder fits in your hand, it is not too hard to grind out another batch if you are brewing more coffee at once. While brewing upwards of 4 cups with regularity may be challenging, if you are a traveler who most often brews just a couple cups of coffee at a time, the Porlex is about to become your new best friend.
Portability – 5/5
The Porlex Mini is the most portable hand grinder on the market. The stainless steel exterior provides a high-level of protection to the ceramic burrs on the inside, so you can toss the grinder into your travel bag without a second thought.
Aeropress brewers in particular love this grinder, given how it fits right inside the Aeropress for super-convenient travel.
Though some may expect the stainless steel body to make for a heavy grinder, the Porlex Mini is actually quite lightweight. In fact, at just about 8 ounces, it weighs even less than the Hario Slim, which is made entirely of plastic.
Russ at Path Less Pedaled, an online community of cyclists and outdoors-people, discussed his own use of the Porlex Mini over the past several years, concluding (3).
It’s well worth the money if you’re really into coffee and want to up your coffee outside game.
With this handy grinder, everyone from cyclists to digital nomads can grab their gear and embark on a trip without missing out on freshly ground coffee.
Maintenance – 5/5
Thanks to its minimalist design, the maintenance on the mini is simple is simple. Once you disassemble the grinder, use a soft brush to remove old coffee grounds and run the burrs under warm water, if needed.
This grinder was built durable enough to go the distance, but it can only do that if it is kept clean and in good shape, so give it some love once or twice a month.
Things we liked:
- Super small and lightweight for travel
- Fits inside an AeroPress!
- Excellent grind consistency
- Durable stainless steel design
Things we didn’t like:
- Very low capacity
- Relatively expensive
Do Not Buy the Porlex Mini Mill If…
- You regularly brew more than 4 cups of coffee at once – The drawback to the Porlex Mini is its limited grinding capacity, which means it takes a long time to grind enough for multiple cups. If you need a larger capacity grinder, check out the Mini Mill’s big brother, the Porlex JP-30, which has a 30 g capacity.
For even larger capacities, consider the Skerton Pro, reviewed in this post, or the HandGround, discussed here, both of which have a 100 g capacity. Or take a look at the Lido 3, which can hold up to 70g of beans.
- You need to stick to a low budget – The Porlex Mini is not the cheapest portable manual grinder. For similar but more cost-efficient options, check out the Hario Slim Mill and the Javapress.
- You don’t plan to travel with your grinder – If you don’t need your grinder to be easily portable, there are plenty of other options to suit your needs and aesthetic taste. We love the HandGround Precision Coffee Grinder for its sturdy build, clean look, and super grind. Or for a more old-school design, check out the Zassenahus Santiago Coffee Mill.
- You want better burr quality – While the Porlex is affordable, its burr quality isn’t at par with higher-end manual grinders. If you want one with better burr quality, material, and more grind settings, check out the VSSL Java coffee grinder.
The Porlex Mini Mill is the ultimate grinding tool for the traveling coffee enthusiast. Though skeptics may not have thought it possible, the designers at Porlex managed to build a lightweight, precise, durable, and consistent grinder that is still small enough to fit inside an Aeropress. While the size definitely means sacrificing capacity, it’s well worth it for campers, digital nomads, and vacationers who want guaranteed delicious coffee on the move.
Porlex makes only one other hand grinder apart from the Mini Mill, the Porlex Tall Grinder. This grinder is the “big brother” of the Mini Mill, with a 30g coffee capacity as opposed to the 20g capacity of the Mini Mill.
While an extra 10 grams of grinding capacity may make a big difference for some, if you are looking for a hand grinder with a more robust capacity, you won’t find it at Porlex. Check out our comprehensive run-down of the best hand grinders to find one that will suit your grinding and brewing needs.
If your Porlex Mini breaks or you find that a part is not working up to par, you can easily order replacement parts through the Porlex website. (4) Every different piece for both the Mini and the Tall is available for individual purchase, allowing you to mend whatever issue arises without needing to buy a whole new grinder.
Given that it uses an unmarked dial grind adjustment system, the Porlex Mini Mill does not have a finite number of grind settings. You can adjust the grind size by turning the dial until you hear a faint click, signaling that you have altered the setting. Based on our experience, you can count on about 12 distinct settings ranging from fine to coarse with enough precision to easily grind for both espresso and french press.
- Baca, C. (2015, October 14). Porlex Mini Mill Grinder Review | To Hand Crank or Not To Hand Crank. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsAFnboXExY
- Hoffmann, J. (2019, April 23). The Ultimate Hand Grinder Showdown. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dn9OuRl1F3k
- Path Less Pedaled. (2015, October 21). REVIEW: Porlex Mini Grinder – PathLessPedaled.com. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7pAYkad8lE
- Replacement Parts. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.porlexgrinders.com/search?q=replacement+parts