Next to my AeroPress, my Hario grinder has been the most significant contribution to my coffee repertoire. It’s a hand-cranked burr-grinder and it does a mighty-fine job, letting me make extra fresh coffee one cup at a time.
Before my last round of trips, the washer mysteriously disappeared. It’s literally the smallest piece of the assembly – a small translucent annulus that reduces friction between the rotating burr assembly and the stationary bearing. Technically I could still use my grinder without the washer, afterall, it’s just plastic and metal and hand-crank speeds, but the engineer in me couldn’t pull the handle.
Hario’s a big company and I didn’t have high expectations of reaching anyone who could help me. I thought about just picking something up at Ace Hardware, but the employee at the local Ace had been pretty rude to me a couple times and so I decided plan A would be better – call Hario and see if they could ship me a replacement.
In fact, after leaving an email explaining my sadness for losing my fresh grinds each morning, I received a quick response from someone who wanted to help. I ended up corresponding with two different people and both went out of their way to make sure I could crush once again. If you know how I usually handle these kinds of logistical things, you can imagine the obstacles they faced. Luckily Eileen was persistent with my sloth-like responses over the holidays and got what she needed – $1 for the washer, $1 to ship it, and an address to ship it to.
My washer just arrived in the mail and I can’t wait to pull out the AeroPress and see if my old bag of beans has any of its berry vigor left after sitting alone in the drawer these past couple of months. I was surprised and impressed when it came in a hand-addressed envelope with a personal message warning me about the dangers of opening a folded post-it containing washers. In fact, if it weren’t for M.L, God bless his or her soul, I might have lost the replacement and sighed anguish instead of relief over the empty mug in my hands.