Review of the Orphan Espresso Fixie Travel Grinder
Vacationing looks a little bit different for all of us these days. Most of us are avoiding hotels and flights for a while, so road trips, Airbnbs, and outdoor camping adventures are all great solutions for getting away and being safe.
But if you’re a craft coffee lover, how are you going to make sure you’re getting your favorite cup of joe when you’re on the road? Orphan Espresso had this question at the forefront of their minds when they created the Fixie Travel Hand Grinder.
What is the OE Fixie Grinder?
The Fixie Travel Grinder is Orphan Espresso’s most compact, light-weight hand burr grinder yet. If you love the precision and durability of their Lido 3 Hand Grinder but want something smaller and even easier to travel with, the Fixie Grinder may be a great addition to your coffee routine.
Steel conical burrs
The OE Fixie is made with Etzinger conical burrs made from durable, long-lasting steel. These burrs not only give extreme precision in the grinding process each time, but they’ll last years without wear and tear.
The conical burr shape helps with the precision, and it also controls more static and loud noise than the flat burr shapes you may find in some grinders.
The Fixie cone burrs can produce any grind setting from a fine Turkish espresso to a coarse cold brew grind, but they are especially helpful in a fine to medium grind size.
Delrin dual bearings
One of the most important aspects of a high-quality hand grinder is the bearing system. Orphan Espresso has perfected the dual bearing system to keep the burr axle in place and keep the burrs from wobbling.
With the dual axle bearing system in place, the Fixie will deliver consistently accurate coffee grounds every time with little room for error. Most dual bearings are made with a standard metal, but the Fixie dual bearings are made from Delrin, a durable plastic that produces a low amount of friction.
The plastic helps with the extra light weight of the Fixie grinder without taking away from the durability.
Delrin adjustments disks
Adjusting the grind on the Fixie Hand Grinder is a different process than any other Orphan Espresso hand grinder on the market. The Fixie comes with three Delrin disks that act as spacers between the burrs to adjust the grind.
You can use these spacers to lock in the grind at fine, medium, or coarse (Aeropress, Chemex, French Press). If you want a grind size that is more precise, you can use one of the four Teflon tuning pieces. These fit in the grinder to give you spacing as accurate as 0.1 mm.
The way that you load your beans into the Fixie is unique to any other hand grinder on the market. The Fixie comes with a side-loading hopper with a plug made of silicon.
This allows you to put the beans inside the grinder without having to take pieces apart. In other hand grinders, you sometimes have to take apart the body and the handle to load the beans. This makes the Fixie even easier to travel with.
Carbon fiber crank handle
The Fixie comes with a removable crank handle made of a durable carbon fiber. It will not break or snap while turning and will last you years. The crank handle also comes with a ridged knob at the top for a safe and sturdy grip.
Tyvek travel bag
Each purchase of the OE Fixie comes with a trendy, durable Tyvek carrying case. All of the parts of the Fixie can fit into this case, including the removable handle that fits into the side pocket of the bag. This additional feature with your purchase is the finishing touch to a perfect travel hand grinder.
The Fixie Travel Grinder is one of the smallest hand grinders on the market today. Not only is it easy to travel with because of its size and weight, but it is an extremely high quality grinder. This means that with the Fixie, you never have to sacrifice quality and precision for portability.
0.7 pounds (330 grams)
7.7 inches (196 mm)
Grinder Body Diameter
1.9 inches (48 mm)
Grinds Catch Diameter
2.1 inches (54 mm)
Is the Orphan Espresso Fixie Difficult to Use?
Once you get the hang of it, the Fixie Travel Grinder is simple to use anytime, anywhere. There are a few parts that require some getting used to, so it’s important to not get discouraged when you first start using the Fixie.
If you’re familiar with other OE hand grinders like the Lido E or the Lido 3, you may find the Fixie to be a much easier process to learn. If you’re new to the world of hand grinders, it may just take you a few tries.
First, you’ll notice that the grounds jar can be removed and attached back to the hopper end (the one with the handle crank). When the catcher base is removed from the hopper, you can see the spot where the adjustment disks are attached.
This will require some experimenting, which the instruction manual can help you with. Remember, if one of the three adjustment disks isn’t precise enough for what you need, you have the four tuning pieces to help.
Because all of the grinding pieces and disks can be easily removed, the Fixie is also really easy to clean and pack away for a road trip or outdoor adventure.
The Orphan Espresso Fixie vs the Orphan Espresso Lido 3
The Lido 3 is possibly Orphan Espresso’s most popular hand grinder. If you’ve ever used it, you’ll see many similarities in the Fixie. But one of the most defining differences between the two grinders is the size and weight.
The Lido 3 is still considered a travel grinder but it weighs almost three pounds, compared to the Fixie at 0.7 pounds. The Lido 3 is 13.5 inches tall, and the Fixie is only 7.7 inches tall. As you can see, the size and weight makes a big difference in its travel capabilities.
What is nice about the Lido 3 is that it has a fold-in handle at the top, which makes it easy to pack it up quickly. Both grinders make for excellent travel grinders, but the Fixie really is the best choice if you’re going to be taking it on the road often.