Apart from being portable, well-made and capable of true espresso, affordability has always been an equally key feature of the Flair line of manual espresso makers. Yet for consumers seeking high quality extractions on a budget, the grinder tends to be a costly barrier.
Flair manufacturer Intact Idea, based in Southern California, has heard the call. The company is preparing to launch its own solution, the Royal Grinder, an affordable manual grinder designed by the company to partner with the Flair or any other brew method at home.
“In our support department we get cries for help every week from new customers that struggle to achieve the results they had seen in online and in socials prior to buying their Flair,” Flair Head of Brand Andrew Pernicano told Daily Coffee News.
The culprits, he said, are almost always grinders that either can’t grind fine enough, have too few grind settings or suffer from significant burr wobble. Alignment of the Royal’s hardened steel Etzinger-made conical burrs is maintained by four stainless steel bearings at the top and bottom of the drive shaft, while a polycarbonate adjustment “crown” features a lift, turn and lock mechanism.
To adjust the grind, users lift the crown and rotate it for micrometric adjustments in increments of .02 millimeters. The setting is locked in place by pushing the crown back down. There are 24 clicks around the dial, and the crown travels three times around for a total of 72 adjustments to cover the range from Turkish fines to French Press, according to the company.
“We selected Etzinger burrs primarily because we believe that the exacting requirements of the automation process they employ ensures the highest level of quality and tolerances,” said Pernicano. “We also believe that the geometry of their burrs delivers the highest level of efficiency for hand grinding.”
The body of a Royal grinder is precision-milled aluminum wrapped fully in silicone for all-around grip. Its catch cup — stainless steel wrapped in a polycarbonate casing — snaps securely onto the body without a gasket that might wear down over time or threading that might gradually back out during use.
“There are some excellent hand grinders already on the market, but for many of our customers they come at too high a price point to be considered,” said Pernicano. “As there is no shortage of great hand grinders already on the market from $230 and up, the impetus for the Royal has always been to empower our customers to grind better so that they could brew better, without compromise, for an affordable price.”
The Royal Grinder is slated to launch for sale late next month at a retail price of $169, or for less when bundled with a Flair espresso maker.
Howard Bryman is the associate editor of Daily Coffee News by Roast Magazine. He is based in Portland, Oregon.
I’m a huge fan of a good grinder.
Although, I’m not sure that having a manual grinder, even at the entry price of $169, makes sense given an electric one of comparable capability and somewhat less price tag ($139) can be obtained.
Even if I were without electricity, I’d simply grind a ten day supply, if needed.
Perhaps, if I needed more than a ten day supply, and without electricity, I’d realize the value of investment?
Thanks for posting the product. I hope it does well.
You must not be too familiar with espresso. You cannot grind in advance and expect the grind to perform as it would when ground fresh. There is a lot that goes on over time, even a very short period of time, after grinding.
How many rotations does this grinder take to grind 20 gms for a Flair espresso?