Grinding coffee is probably one variable that we should take very seriously when we brew our coffee. As a coffee enthusiast, creating a great cup is essential. Good automatic grinders are awesome but take up a large amount of space, cost a mini fortune and are pretty ugly. What if you could get that same grind precision in a hand grinder? I'm pretty excited to be reviewing this new hand grinder that has just hit the market. Over the past week I have been testing the Helor 101 and making countless brews with it.
So why am I so excited?
Helor have put a lot hours of research into creating the Helor 101 Coffee Hand Grinder. They started with a vision to create a grinder of precision, consistency, minimalism and of lasting quality, which they have executed perfectly.
The Helor 101 is very different to other hand grinders. The main body of the grinder is all one piece of metal crafted from 6000 Series aluminium block. Having this piece all-in-one means that the grinder is a lot more sturdy and precise when grinding. Ceramic bearings are used instead of steel so that the bearings will not corrode and no lubricating oil is required for the moving parts, which creates minimal friction therefore less wear and tear.
The most interesting part about this grinder is the interchangeable burrs. There are two versions of conical burrs on offer. A Contemporary Burr and a Conventional Burr. The Contemporary Burr uses a special type of metal alloy rated 64 HRC, which is designed for espresso and not washable. The Conventional Burr is made of martensitic stainless steel rated 54-58 HRC, which is washable. It is also capable of grinding finely, but it's better for brewing filter.
The Helor 101 is a beautiful and well designed piece of equipment that makes brewing coffee enjoyable and a lot more flavoursome. What I love about the Helor 101 is the way it grinds coffee so effortlessly. The consistency of grind size is incredible, ranging from espresso to plunger.
I also asked the team at Helor to answer a few questions to get a little insight on who they are.
1. With a few hand grinders on the market already, what made you want to make another one?
We believe that there are so many coffee enthusiasts like us pursuing the perfect home-brewed cup. It all started with a question - what can we improve when it comes to home brewed coffee? Despite the filter coffee pouring techniques and the espresso machines, the first thought we came up with was the hand grinder. Consistency and precision are so important for hand grinders and we couldn't find anything that was perfect on the market, so we decided to make one.
2. What sets the Helor 101 grinder apart from other hand grinders?
To our knowledge, Helor 101 is currently the only hand grinder that offers a unibody design and ceramic bearings. The unibody design means that it ensures the best possible manufacturing and assembling accuracy, which is fundamental to achieving perfectly precise grinding results. To take it even further, we use ceramic bearings to avoid any possible impact on the flavour of the coffee.
3. I noticed that part of the Helor 101 grinder is made from the same material as an iPhone 6. How did this come about?
The material we used for the Helor 101 body is 6000 series aluminium alloy, one of the eight series (from 1000 series to 8000 series) of aluminium alloy materials available. It's solid and easy to be machined to a very high precision with solid character, yet it feels smooth on the hands. It happened to be the same material used for the iPhone 6 when Apple launched it, which proves this was a wise choice.
4. Offering two burr sets for the Helor 101 grinder is genius. What are the differences between them?
There are so many brewing methods and everyone has their own preference. This idea was based on two main categories of brewing: filter and espresso. Each of them produces different characteristics so we sourced two different styles of conical burrs calling them Conventional Burrs and Contemporary Burrs.
Technically, Conventional Burrs made of stainless steel are better for coarse grinding while the Contemporary Burrs are sourced from a commercial electric machine made of alloy that is designed for fine grounds. We think they are both great for everything, they just have different characteristics similar to the different coffees that you can choose.
We want our customers to pay less for more, so we designed them to be interchangeable. Customers can buy the other set from us without having to buy a whole new grinder.
5. What is your favourite brewing method?
I prefer the classic V60 at home and an espresso base from coffee shops. At home, you get to control every variable based on your understanding to make it perfect for yourself. You are not just enjoying the coffee itself but the brewing process too. Espresso based coffees are not easily achieved at home, so this could be a time to support baristas and coffee shops. Plus I love to visit local coffee shops and explore.