manual grinder for french press - what to get

French Press, Vac Pot, Drip or any other - air your views and results

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Postby SlowRain » Sat Jun 13, 2009 7:04 am

How much was the shipping (in Yen) from Japan to the UK? I want to buy one of these ceramic-bladed grinders and I'm making enquirers, but I don't want to get shafted on the shipping.
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Postby PhilT » Sat Jun 13, 2009 8:23 am

The grinder itself was about 3000 Yen from that yahoo shopping place, and the shipping from Japan to UK was 1500 Yen.

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Postby SlowRain » Thu Jul 02, 2009 3:17 pm

Has anyone seen the new Japanese ceramic-bladed grinder on Orphan Espresso's website? Not the Kyocera, the Porlex. That's the one I have waiting for my friend to pick up for me in Japan in August.

I tried long and hard to find a Japanese vendor who would ship overseas, either the Kyocera or the Porlex; but, to no avail. I found out a friend of mine was going there in August, so I had him contact a friend there.

It would be interesting to see the two compared side-by-side. I opted for the Porlex because it is stainless steel and I think the Kyocera is overpriced considering part of it is plastic. I think Kyocera is trading on its name more than the product's cost.

Anyway, I just thought people might like to know.
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Postby jon » Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:10 pm

Ooh - these ones? http://www.orphanespresso.com/index.php ... ae68d84517

If the $ wasn't high against the £ lately, I'd be tempted....
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Postby PhilT » Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:37 pm

Which reminds me - I tried the Kyocera on a coarse grind using James' FP technique (the lift and separate move...) with good results. No sludge and the kind of thing I was after.

SlowRain: How do you keep finding this stuff?! The internals look like the Kyocera, but with a stainless steel case. Would this place in Korea post you one? (local to you like Spain is to London...)
http://www.caffemuseo.co.kr/shop/list.a ... &pagenum=4

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Postby SlowRain » Fri Jul 03, 2009 4:50 am

Actually, truth be told, I can buy both the Kyocera and Porlex right here in Taiwan. I just like the challenge of getting it cheaper from as close to the source, and with as few middle-men and customs officials, as possible.

PhilT: I first became intrigued with the Kyocera when the Australians started posting about it on CoffeeSnobs.com.au. The fact that Orphan Espresso sells it sealed the deal for me. Then, in a little comment that I think went unnoticed by most people, Orphan Espresso said they were looking into importing a stainless steel grinder as it reduces potential static problems. I then started searching the Internet based on the Kyocera's part number. With the help of online translation websites, I narrowed down the Japanese characters for 'coffee' and 'ceramic grinder'. That's how I discovered the Porlex--and the IWAKI (yes, there's another one out there, too). There was more information on the Porlex than the IWAKI, so I pursued that one. I found a few websites that sort products based on price, and that's how I found the cheapest vendor. I also accidentally found someone on Home-Barista.com who had one, and I asked him a bit about his. It was all rather time consuming, but extremely fun.
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Postby PhilT » Wed Sep 09, 2009 9:28 pm

Took a bag of Finca La Fany, a cafetiere and the Kyocera hand grinder with us on holiday. Worked a treat each morning. A lovely coffee. Grinder even fits inside the cafetiere for packing into a bag. Definitely something to repeat on future trips.

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Postby SlowRain » Thu Sep 10, 2009 4:20 am

If anyone is interested in either the Kyocera or Porlex, there is someone from Japan on Ebay selling both. I think the price includes shipping. He or she is still selling them at a huge markup, probably because the person knows what they are going for in the US and Australia, but it makes the option somewhat more accessible for Europeans. Be warned: you're still being overcharged; these things sell for 2,100-2,500JPY.

I had an opportunity to play with the Kyocera last week when a member from CoffeeSnobs.com.au came to Taiwan. Internally, both the Porlex and Kyocera are identical, which shocked me a bit. The shaft, the burrs, the whole design are all the same. The only real difference is the outside. The Kyocera is easier to hold in the hand, but it's made of plastic and glass. The Porlex slides around a bit in the hand, but it's made of stainless steel. Make your decision based on the externals.

I've only tried it for French press a few times. I'm going to do a bit more playing before I pass judgement. However, I think these grinders work better for grinding finer rather than coarser.

I also need to correct a comment above: I said that these grinders corrected a flaw in the Hario Skerton design. That only applies to the MSCS-2TB (the bigger of the two Skertons). The smaller Skerton (MSS-1B) has a somewhat similar burr design as the Kyocera and Porlex, except the outer burr is (seems to be?) more fixed. I haven't played with the MSS-1B too much, but it does have a wobbly shaft when compared to the Kyocera and Porlex.

I still want to get more information on the one made by IWAKI, which seems to be a third, potentially-identical ceramic-burr grinder.
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Postby alwrjp » Thu Sep 10, 2009 12:13 pm

... there is someone from Japan on Ebay selling both.


Yes, we bought a Porlex (his first sale in fact). I checked the price on Amazon Japan
first, so I knew the markup was high, but still a lot less than the alternatives. The guy
is very good to deal with -- he even sent a photo of the package. Postage included, but
a little slow as it's SAL.

Interesting to know that it is identical to the Kyocera, I was trying to figure that
out from pictures.

I agree that it is better at finer grinding. Currently trying to compare (in Chemex)
with a couple of other hand grinders, a Hachaus HaHa with external grind adjustment
and a Dienes Mokka, but not having time time to do it properly. Will keep trying ...
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Postby Walter » Thu Sep 10, 2009 11:13 pm

I just detected the Porlex Grinder in the coffeehit webshop...it's in a bundle with an Aeropress, though...
fa' zoccu hai di fari e li fatti d'àutru nun guardari....

This week I are mostly playing with my new water kettle... :)
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Postby SlowRain » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:28 am

It looks like they sell it separately as well--but still overpriced.
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Postby PhilT » Fri Sep 11, 2009 7:53 pm

I think it's cool that Coffeehit are bringing these into the UK - a step on from there being no retailer here. I suppose the price reflects the small quantities air-freighted from Japan... Maybe I should write to Sainsbury's and suggest they stock the Kyocera in all their stores and sell it for £20. That would shift a few.

Same thing happened with the ACF cups as I recall. Last year, we were looking at Australia or Holland to mail order these blessed cups (and having them arrive in pieces on the doorstep). Now, they're a bit easier to get hold of.

It's almost like someone's reading this forum and helping us spend our money...

Phil

P.S. Clear bits on the Kyocera are clear acrylic, not glass. It's pretty tough.
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Postby SlowRain » Sun Sep 13, 2009 11:48 am

I wasn't aware the Kyocera bottom was acrylic. Thanks for mentioning that.

I don't know if this'll work with all AeroPresses and Porlexes, but my Porlex fits perfectly into the plunger of the AeroPress. If either the AeroPress is slightly smaller, or the Porlex is slightly larger, this won't work. How about the Kyocera?

I doubt the price is because of small quantities, and I highly doubt it was air-freighted. I think it's a current lack of competition. Remember, the Porlex is retailing in Japan for as low as 2,100JPY, averaging around 2,500JPY (apparently the Kyocera was as low as 2,100JPY in one store as well). Those prices already includes a markup for those Japanese vendors. Coffee Hit, and Orphan Espresso, and the Australian vendor selling the Kyocera are all buying directly from the manufacturer and taking a huge markup at the moment because there is no one to challenge them.

If £48 + shipping doesn't bother anyone, then by all means buy it. However, I think the price will come down in a few months, maybe a year.
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Postby Hugo » Sun Sep 13, 2009 2:08 pm

'Too expensive...'

Sounds familiar. :wink:
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Postby PaulR » Sun Sep 13, 2009 6:23 pm

I cant speak for Orphan but I can tell you there is no ''huge markup''.

Add time to find english speaking rep that I can understand, konnichiwa
Add Shipping Charges for Airfreight, that hurt
Add Import duty, ouch
Add VAT, damn
Add ParcelForce Crazy Clearance Fee, doh I didnt see that coming
Then I have to charge VAT to my customer, even more after New Year, double damn
And ill replace the item if any time in first 3 months something is wrong with it,

Now where did that''huge markeup'' go....?
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