We surprised ourselves to think that it was really only about a year and a half ago that Hiku as a uniquely ground-up, premium hand grinder was conceived. Prototype after prototype was created, tested, analyzed, cross sectioned, debated and updated. Designed in Canada, shown for the first time in the USA, and now gaining a little bit of attention around the world from retailers, distributors and individual coffee enthusiasts, Hiku has backers in more than 30 countries and we think that is pretty cool!
Making Coffee with Hiku
Grind distribution plots are cool to create, and geeky to explain, but they tell nothing about the user experience. They also don’t give any specific indication of the end result which is of course, the coffee that is created from whole roasted beans. What constitutes a superior plot for a certain style of coffee or flavour profile makes for interesting debate, but is one of many factors that weigh in an opinion that is formed both from the objective and subjective.
We played Hiku barista a bit more this week and made pour over, espresso and Aeropress. With the calibrated and stepless grind size adjustment ring, it was easy to experiment with different settings quickly. We settled on a setting for pourover of 1.2 as this seems to result in nicely balanced flavour for the beans we have at the moment (Modus, a local roaster, single origin from Ethiopia).
Then it was on to espresso grind, about 0.3 on Hiku’s grind scale. In this situation, Hiku excels with its large, efficient burr and uniform particle size output. The grinding output speed is notable and, oh, the sound! Yes, the sound is an additional tactile benefit that you can enjoy every day. It makes grinding feel good, sound good, and, when the finely machined cup is twisted off the bayonet-style mount, you have the aroma to remind you that it was all worthwhile.
Laser Etched Grind Scale Markings
As mentioned before, a unique feature of Hiku is the ability to set grind size with a simple twist of the stepless adjustment ring. No counting rotations and trial-and-error methodology! Simple things are often the hardest to achieve and we’re very proud of this patent-pending innovation. The production parts now feature a laser etched, calibrated grind size scale on the lower portion of the machined aluminum housing. Pictured here is the latest pre-production sample which we brought back several weeks ago. The manufacturing vendor has the final production parts which feature refinements to the alignment and quality of the etchings – so the real thing will be even better than what is shown here.
This is Update #21, which means we’ve been authoring regular updates and fielding questions and comments for the better part of 7 months. It’s a bi-weekly ritual that remains refreshing and fun to this day. We’re still pleased with the decision to use our own words as the voice behind Hiku rather than a marketing agency. There’s always something to highlight, and so many details and moments worth writing about!
It’s time to get on the airplane one more time. Thanks for following our campaign into the final phases of production. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing our journey.
By next update, assembly, inspection and packing will be all that remains. Hope you are all having a great summer!
Amanda and team