Try though I might, I can’t get past my irrational coveting of new coffee gear. It doesn’t matter if I already have pretty much the exact same piece of equipment—or two or three different versions thereof—when it comes to coffee stuff there’s a direct link between my eyeballs and my left butt cheek where my wallet is that completely bypasses the logical parts of my braincenter. And yet again visual sensory data is taking a hot route to my money place VSSL Java hand grinder now on Kickstarter.
I wish I wasn’t like this.
I’m going to be painfully honest here. I have in my possession at this very moment both a Porlex Mini and a Commandante C40, hand grinders that by all lights of reason outpace the offering from VSSL (pronounced “vessel”), a tech-bro outdoor brand with no history of making coffee equipment. The Porlex is much smaller and lighter—just 235g compared to VSSL’s 360g—and has pretty much double the 20g grind capacity touted on Kickstarter, all for $65 less than VSSL’s $145 MSRP.
The C40, while clocking in at a hefty $250 and weighing 593g (NOT the 740g VSSL states it does), is almost dimensionally identical to the VSSL—which is not a Duracell D battery, despite all empirical evidence to the contrary. Commandante has a 50g grind capacity, and is frankly one of the best hand grinders on the market; I even use it to make espresso because my electric grinder just can’t handle that fine of a grind. All this is to say, there is no situation where the VSSL would beat out both hand grinders I already own.
And yet, I just want it.
Maybe it’s because I’m VSSL’s target market wheelhouse with the Java: an avid coffee drinker always looking to buy some stupid new gear for their next outdoor climbing trip. Or maybe the COVID cabin fever has supercharged my spending sprees in hopes of one day being to put all my purchases to good use (soon, please be soon). Or maybe it’s the Java's grinder handle that doubles as a carabiner-type clip to lower wind resistance. And the orange stripe around the middle I feel is pretty sharp. Whatever the reason, it is by no means enough to justify even spending the $99 reduced Kickstarter price tag for another hand grinder. But then why is my hand shaking while I hover over the “select this reward” button?
You know what, no, I don’t need this bullshit. I won’t be tricked into buying a middling piece of gear made by some glamping-chic outdoor company with no track record of producing coffee equipment who cherry picks all the features they are “better” than their competitors to exert some false sense of dominance; VSSL, you can’t list both an “integrated handle” and “integrated attachment” referring to the handle as separate features BECAUSE THEY ARE THE SAME THING. And listing your Kickstarter price instead of your MSRP in the comparison is disingenuous. And what does “built for the outdoors” even mean? I’d bet all these other companies would say their equipment is adequately built for outdoor adventures.
But perhaps you don’t have a glut of hand grinders and want to jump on the $99 Kickstarter price before the VSSL offering makes it to market. In that case, you should definitely head to their Kickstarter page and reserve one of the few Early Bird offerings available. The campaign has already tripled it $18,990 funding goal, and backers can expect their rewards to start shipping out in February 2021. But it’s gonna be a no for me.
Unless, and hear me out…
Top image via VSSL