Hario Clear Ceramic Coffee Mill – Acrylic Box [REVIEW]
The Hario Acrylic Box is a nifty little coffee grinder. If you travel all the time like me, then you’ll love the convenience when you bring it with you.
A few weeks ago, I lost my old portable coffee grinder, so I thought it’s time to find a new one. After conducting in-depth research, the Hario Clear Coffee Mill – Acrylic Box stood out. Here’s what I thought about it:
The Acrylic Box Features
The Hario Acrylic Box looks unique. The coffee mill has a see-through plastic exterior, and you can see the hopper, burr set, and container inside. It’s a good conversation starter, and it sits well next to a Siphon or AeroPress.
Hario designed the Acrylic Box specifically for travelers and adventurers. The coffee mill is very portable; it measures 5 x 7.1 x 3.2’ (12.7 x 18 x 8.2cm) and weighs 1.5lbs (680g). There’s also a place for you to store the handle away when you’re not using the grinder.
This burr mill is also easy to use; you can adjust the grind size with ease at the top and on the bottom, there’s a silicon suction pad that helps in keeping it in place. Again…it’s a convenient feature.
Is This Right For Me?
This coffee grinder is a good choice for travelers – whether it’s for work or an adventure. More precisely, I think this ceramic coffee mill is most suited for those who prefer an Espresso or AeroPress.
What's Good About This Hario Grinder
- Seamless storage of the crank handle
- Silicon suction frees up one hand when grinding
- Easy to use and clean
What I liked most about the Hario Clear is the convenient design. Throughout my entire coffee career, I’ve never seen a grinder that stores the crank handle inside. It’s genius! Just like storing a stylus in your mobile or the NDS (back in the old days), your chance of losing it drops dramatically, especially when you bring it with you everywhere you go!
I’ve also never seen a grinder that uses a suction pad to keep it in place. The Acrylic Box is definitely a first. It’s simple to use, all you have to do is place the grinder on a surface (preferably smooth, hard, and flat), pull a lever, and you’re good to go. This feature keeps the grinder in place to a good extent, and when used correctly, it frees up one hand.
Please keep in mind that the suction pads won't work on wooden surfaces. They’re not smooth or flat enough.
What's CLEARLY Wrong With This Hario Burr Mill
- Quite messy, grounds stick to the plastic part of the grinder due to static
- Loose washer, not stable enough for French press or brews that use coarser grinds
Although there are many convenient features, the Hario Clear is not perfect. Since the grinder’s exterior is mostly made from plastic, there’ll be lots of grounds stuck on it because of static. They’re not easy to clean, so be prepared to give it a good rinse if you want to remove it.
However, what concerns me most if the grind performance. When I was still researching, I noticed people complained about the washer being too loose. The loose washer will create lots inconsistency in the coarser end of the grind spectrum. If you’re planning to use it for an espresso or AeroPress, it won’t be a problem since they use fine grinds only. However, if you prefer French press, then the inconsistent grind will definitely be an issue.
Alternative & Similar Products
If you’re looking for something more convenient and more powerful, then you should perhaps consider the ROK Coffee Grinder. The ROK offers superior performance across the entire grind range, and like the Hario Clear, allows you to grind with only one hand. It’s more of an indoor device, you won’t be able to bring it out much.
Alternatively, if you’re more concerned about the capacity, even at the slight expensive of portability, then you should check out the Hario Skerton Ceramic Coffee Mill.
Lastly, to all the French press travelers out there, have a look at the Hunt Brothers instead. For a manual coffee grinder, the coarse grind it produces is excellent.
The Coffee Barrister's Verdict
In summary, the Hario Clear Coffee Mill – Acrylic Box is unique, compact and convenient. It performs well in the finer range but deteriorates relatively quickly on the coarser side of the spectrum. It also creates a mess at times, but I feel that the convenient factors should outweigh it.
Due to the reasons above, you should only go for this product if you’re always on the road AND prefer brews that use finer grinds (Espresso, Siphon, Vacuum, Drip Pot, AeroPress).