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Porlex tall hand coffee grinder

Pros: elegant design, great grinding performance
Cons: difficult to load beans in, requires full disassembly for thorough cleaning

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Buy from Amazon (£68.18) and Maxi Coffee (£49.50)

The construction and grind quality of this superb Japanese grinder are a cut above any other hand-operated grinder we’ve tested. Its stainless-steel body is light and strong, and its ability to remain stable while its long, elegant handle rests on top of it is a minor miracle of product design.

To start with, we took apart the grinder and tweaked its grind setting. This is done by turning an adjusting nut within the grinder through 13 settings, each of which is represented by a satisfying ‘click’ of the mechanism.

The first and second settings produce some of the most finely-ground coffee made by any of the grinders we’ve tested, ideal for Turkish-style brewing, while the coarser settings produce lovely, chunky grounds, suitable for use in a cafetière.

We found this grinder easy to use with one hand holding the grinder vertically and the other hand operating the handle. This way, you can apply some opposite force to make the handle a little easier to turn. The Porlex Tall also works comfortably faster than most other hand grinders we tested; we managed to grind a few cups’ worth of coffee within about a minute, keeping the job less of a chore, more a pleasurable ritual.

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This grinder is relatively powerful compared to other hand-operated options, and you may notice the sound of the beans being split and crushed. In terms of capacity, it is at the lower end of the spectrum, so bear in mind that you’ll need to keep emptying and refilling it if you have a large amount of beans to grind.

Porlex hand coffee grinder being tested

There are a few minor negatives to the Porlex Tall. To thoroughly clean it, you’ll need to take the grinder apart entirely – including its ceramic grinding components – and clean it with warm water and a toothbrush. The ceramic components must then be fully air-dried.

Another minor frustration is that it can be quite tricky to pour coffee beans into its narrow opening. However, this can be made easier with a suitable funnel, so coffee lovers shouldn’t be too put off by that.

In many ways, this grinder is a very obliging item to have around the kitchen, with a tiny footprint and a simple design that promises easy storage. It is very safe, with a concealed mechanism, and perhaps best of all, the burr grinding mechanism is ceramic, so it is invulnerable to the rusting that affects metal grinders.

Packaging is kept to a minimum of textured, recyclable card.

Buy from Amazon (£68.18) and Maxi Coffee (£49.50)

Grinder type: burr (ceramic)
Grind settings: 13
Time settings: manual
Power: manual
Capacity: low-medium
Dimensions: H22.6cm x W4.9cm x D4.9cm

Read our full review of the best coffee grinders

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This review was last updated in July 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at

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