Porlex Mini Hand Coffee Grinder Review
There is nothing quite as wonderful as having a kick-ass coffee brewing set-up (besides actually drinking kick-ass coffee), but what is one to do when traveling?
Find a local coffee shop happy to overcharge you for a cup? What about when you go camping?
Lucky for all of us traveling coffee lovers, great coffee can be taken on the go with the Porlex Mini Hand Grinder.
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.
Do Not Buy the Porlex Mini Mill If…
You regularly grind coffee to brew more than 4 cups at once.
As we mentioned, the drawback to the fantastic portability of the Porlex Mini is the limited grinding capacity. So if you plan to grind a large amount of coffee, you should expect to spend a few minutes turning the handle.
Grinding the 20g maximum amount of coffee at a medium grind setting clocked in a 1 minute and 18 seconds, according to Chris from Cat and Cloud Coffee. (1) This means that, assuming you are making just one coffee from each grind, it would take nearly seven minutes just to grind enough coffee.
So, if you need a larger capacity grinder, maybe check out the Porlex JP-30, the big brother of the Mini Mill. This grinder has a 30g capacity, an incremental step up from the 20g capacity on the Mini.
However, if you need a tool for grinding a lot of coffee at once, take a look at the Skerton Pro, which we reviewed in this post, and the HandGround, which you can read about here. Both grinders have a 100g capacity. If you’re looking for a grinder that can hold lesser than that, there’s the Lido 3, which can hold up to 70g of beans.
You need to stick to a low-budget.
If you are looking for a small manual grinder that flies under a tight budget, the Porlex Mini is not the best option for you. On Amazon, it goes for about $60, not including shipping, so we understand that it may not be in your price range. For similar but more cost-efficient options, check out the Hario Slim Mill and the Javapress.
You don’t plan to travel much and just want something you can set up with your home coffee station.
So you don’t travel much, or consider yourself a minimalist? The Porlex Mini may not be the best grinding companion for you.
However, there are plenty of other options with different aesthetics that may suit your needs and match your style. We love the HandGround Precision Coffee Grinder for its sturdy build, clean look, and super grind. If you are looking for a more old school design, though, you may like the Zassenahus Santiago Coffee Mill
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