The ROK coffee grinder presents an exciting option for the espresso lover. It is a manual hand grinder aimed at espresso brewing. The ROK uses a vertical hand crank, rather than your traditional horizontal one, to make grinding easier.
ROK Espresso was founded by Patrick Hunt, inventor of the ROK espresso machine. He later released the ROK coffee grinder, which was funded via Indiegogo. This grinder pairs perfectly with the ROK espresso machine but equally is a good grinder in itself. The grinder has been revised to improve grind consistency in the last few years. While ROK Espresso is a relatively small company, they offer excellent customer service and continually improve their designs.
The ROK coffee grinder has a beautiful, striking design, very similar to the design of the ROK espresso maker. There is no doubt; this grinder will become the centerpiece of your kitchen, should you choose to invest in one. Made of shiny Aluminum, it has a sturdy build that should last a long time.
The grinder has a relatively large footprint, considering it is a manual grinder. It measures 8.27 x 6.81 x 11.02 inches and weighs 2.7 kg. Unlike traditional hand grinders, the ROK has the crank lever on the side, with a longer handle for better leverage. This unique design makes it easier to grind with.
A few thoughtful features to improve use include a sticky bottom to keep the grinder stable while grinding. The grinder also comes with a bamboo cup to catch the grinds.
Ease of Use
The ROK coffee grinder has a unique design, with a large hand crank on the side. This vertical crank makes the grinding process efficient and straightforward. The ROK grinder requires only about half the revolutions and takes half the time that a conventional hand grinder would grind the same amount. It takes around 30 seconds to grind a double dose of espresso.
Some users have found that some coffee beans can escape the hopper if you are grinding quickly.
Being a manual grinder, the ROK coffee grinder is very quiet to use. Measuring around 75 decibels of sound when in use. In comparison, a typical electric grinder is up around 95 decibels.
The ROK coffee grinder has a stepless grind adjustment via a dial under the burrs. You hold the crank arm and turn a numbered wheel to change the grind setting. The wheel has 12 numbers on it to use as a reference point. The stepless adjustment makes it easy to dial in an espresso dose precisely. Alternatively, some users prefer using a stepped system, and ROK has made this possible. To change it to a stepped adjustment, you remove the washers.
The ROK coffee grinder is loaded with 48mm hardened steel burrs on a double bearing shaft for stability. The burrs are conical burrs- which aren’t in vogue for espresso, but they allow for a large grinding surface within a small space which is why they are commonly used in hand grinders. The ROK coffee grinder produces a good grind consistency, particularly at the fine to mid-range. While it is marketed as being able to grind for French press, the grind consistency does reduce at the coarser levels.
The ROK produces quality grinds that are uniform and fluffy.
Cleaning the ROK coffee grinder is a simple process. You can unscrew the grind adjustment wheel until the burr falls out. It is then easy to brush the burrs out thoroughly. Unfortunately, the grinder suffers from static issues (as is common in grinders). This means residual grinds need to be brushed out from the hopper and adjustment wheel. This problem can be mitigated by adding a few drops of water to your coffee beans before grinding.
Unfortunately, one of the main drawbacks of the ROK coffee grinder is the price. This grinder does cost a pretty penny, retailing at around USD 220. With the explosion of quality hand grinders entering the market in the last few years, we would say that the demand for this grinder is limited. This is a good option if you love your ROK espresso maker and want a grinder to compliment it. However, if you are after a hand grinder for espresso, there are better options on the market now.
The Lido 3 is a premium hand grinder that is an excellent all-rounder. The Lido 3 is well built, has good burr stability, and has excellent grind consistency. However, what makes this grinder stand out is its large capacity and speed of grinding. The Lido 3 can quickly grind up to 70 grams in a go.
The Lido 3 can grind fine enough for espresso or coarse enough for French press. If you are looking for an espresso grinder specifically, Orphan Espresso has the Lido E and Lido E-T, geared towards this. See our full review here.
The ROK coffee grinder offers a simple design, striking aesthetics and easy grinding. It is a good option to complement your manual espresso machine. However there are now a variety of quality hand grinders on the market that are more affordable and better suited to travel. See our guide to the best hand grinders for some other alternatives.