Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One UK Review 

 March 16, 2019

By  Enda McLarnon

Thanks for taking the time to check out our UK review of the Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One coffee grinder. This model is a hand grinder, and the beans are ground by turning the handle on the top of this grinder.

This type of grinder is for coffee lovers who like to gently grind their coffee beans easy and slow. Many coffee lovers who use this method state very clearly that the coffee always tastes better, then when using an electric grinder to do the same job.

This particular one from Kalita gets a high 86% buyer satisfaction rating, which is impressive. With a price of under £60, it also makes this an expensive option for many people.

So based on real life buyer reviews, we are certain that this does an excellent job of grinding coffee, and also does an excellent job of grinding fine grounds, which are of course required to make an espresso.

It is the style though that makes this one different, and it does have the classic "Retro" style, and there are many fans of that style in the United Kingdom. Let's take a closer look at this manual grinder, and see what it has to offer.

Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One Review

Who Would Buy the Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One ?

There are a lot of this particular style of manual grinder on the market. As you may know manual grinders come in three main styles which are glass, stainless steel and this wooden box style with a handle.

This Kalita model is of course the traditional wooden box style with a handle on top. As we mentioned earlier this style is also referred to as being traditional and even as antique.

People who choose to buy this particular model are those who have the time and patience to grind coffee slowly, and also appreciate the appearance of this and how it will look in their kitchen.

The best way we can describe the use of a manual grinder, is that it is a slow process, but buyers of these types of grinders, enjoy being able to take their time, and to make the coffee brewing process a thing of joy.

Almost every buyer of this type of grinder state that coffee beans ground using this manual grinding method, make much better tasting coffee, than the same beans ground by an electric blade or burr grinder.

There is truth in that of course, as blade grinders tend to quickly chop up beans, and in some cases may actually burn the bean slightly thanks to heat friction.

How Buyers Rate the Kalita KH-3 Retro One Model?


Overall buyers rate this model with an average 86% buyer satisfaction

  • 57% of all buyers gave it a full 5 star review
  • 4% of all buyers gave this one a bad review

These are considered to be good ratings, and it is always great to see that there are only a small number of poor reviews.

What Buyers Said About this Model?

We know from the above satisfaction rating that overall buyers rated this coffee maker with an excellent rating. In this section we look at what buyers had to say about why they gave their rating and why they awarded the score that they did.

To achieve this we have read the reviews, and then summarised those. We found the easiest way to present these was in the form of a pros and cons table, which we have included below.


  • Buyers said this machine looks great and does have a very traditional retro look
  • Buyers said that it did an excellent job of grinding coffee beans
  • You can adjust the settings for different types of grinds
  • Some buyers said they did use it to grind spices


  • Some buyers said this uses a metal burr and they would have preferred a ceramic burr

You can quickly see from the reviews above that buyers really like this grinder a lot. Overall it delivers a good quality and consistent grind, and buyers clearly liked the way that it looks.

Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One Specification

Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One Specification

Just below we have included the technical and specification details for those that want that type of information.

We have also included the main features and why these are important.

  • It measures 19 x 9.9 x 9.8 cm (7.5 x 3.9 x 3.9")
  • It weighs 590 grams
  • It is a manual grinder
  • Polished wooden container
  • Wrought iron hopper

What We Didn't Like

We always try and give you all of the information that we can find about any coffee product that we review. That is why we read every single review that we can find and then summarise them. Hopefully that saves you a lot of researching, and makes your decision that little bit easier.

In this section we include what buyers didn't like. There were no major complaints at all about this grinder, but we found niggly things that you should at least be aware of. We have listed those below:

  • No cover on the hopper - When grinding this does mean that some of the beans can jump out when the handle is turned too quickly. It isn't a game changer but may frustrate some users
  • Wrought Iron and water - If the iron hopper gets consistently wet, then over time this will rust. That will mean cleaning this with a dry brush or cloth
  • Grind Adjustment - Some buyers said this did a great job at medium to fine grinds, but was inconsistent for coarse grinds required for French Press coffee brewing

No buyers actually complained about any of these points, but a few mentioned that they happened or were risks, so we thought it was worth including these points.

Our Verdict on this Kalita Coffee Mill KH-3 Retro One

If you like this style of grinder, then this model is as good as anything else on the UK market, and in most cases it is even better than most. We found that it had a few draw backs, and we always like to mention those as well.

Overall though this is a good choice for anyone who is happy to gently hand grind their beans.

Buyers really like the "Retro" or traditional look, and polished wood and metal does make a great combination.

Buyers all say that is does make a very good grind especially for medium to fine grinds, but to be wary if you want to use this for coarse grinds, as the grind could be inconsistent.

There are no major complaints about this machine, and that is always a very good thing.

However if this is not the hand grinder for you, then please check out our top 15 list of all hand grinders available in the UK, by clicking here.

This Kalita KH-3 Retro One model gets great buyer reviews, and is certainly in the affordable price range for most buyers.

Enda McLarnon

Enda McLarnon has a Business Management Honour's Degree and applies his professional insight, to analyse and write helpful product reviews with tips and useful advice. I am also a coffee lover and enjoy tasting all of the coffee types the world has to offer.

Enda McLarnon

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