by Selmir Omic
It is 2022, and we have seen a lot of modern, robotic, and overly complicated coffee grinders come and go, and coffee technology has progressed to an almost Jetsons-level of sophistication and convenience.
But the old ways have not left us…
Coffee grinders, coffee brewers, fancy coffee doodads, coffee whatsits, and much more now permeate the java landscape, but none of those things would have been here today if their ancestors, the manual grinders - now considered antiques - weren't invented.
Personally, I love manual grinders a little more than the fancy futuristic electric auto-grinders because I think they produce the best results in terms of grind quality, and, if they are made in vintage or antique style, so much the better.
Finding the perfect antique coffee grinder can be a daunting task. With so many different makes and models available, it can be hard to know where to start. This guide is designed to help you find the best antique coffee grinder for your needs. We'll cover everything from the different types of grinders available to the features you should look for when making your purchase. So, whether you're a seasoned coffee aficionado or just getting started, read on for the inside scoop on buying an antique coffee grinder.
If they truly are old and have decades of work behind them, I would totally enjoy using them as well.
This is just my preference, and I love to collect different ones from around the world. I am originally from Cleveland, but currently writing this article from Macedonia, for your information, which is near to the lands which are very much known for their coffee grinders - Turkey and in that direction.
These wooden or metal antique grinders which you see for sale online these days aren't just meant to add décor to your kitchen; and this certainly isn't the case for me and my antique grinders - I put them to work!
Being made from steel or iron with different kinds of beautiful trim, as well as a wooden box with a drawer that catches the ground up coffee, these antique-style coffee grinders are not just the stuff of specialty shops and/or antique stores anymore.
You can get them brand new for quite low and reasonable prices, made with just as much craftsmanship and working just as efficiently as those classic antique models.
Alright, let's dive in!
Do you love the smell of fresh coffee in the morning? If you're like most people, then you probably can't start your day without a cup of joe. But have you ever thought about how your coffee is made? Did you know that there are different ways to brew coffee, and each one has its own unique flavor profile? In this blog post, we'll be discussing one of our favorite methods: using an antique coffee grinder. So if you're ready to learn more, keep reading!
If you want great coffee, you need to tick off a few boxes to make sure you get there.
You will need quality coffee beans to start, fresh and perfectly roasted, but it is the grind that has the greatest influence on the taste of our cup of coffee, and yet many people don't pay attention to this.
Electric grinders (particularly of the blade variety), if poorly made, can and will give you an uneven grind and more often than not you can end up drinking mud.
You might even have to deal with overheating due to motorized grinders transferring too much heat into the grind, and this can affect the oils and ruin your coffee flavor.
This is not to speak ill of either blade or electric coffee grinders, since they can obviously do a great job if you or I know what we're doing with them. However, my personal preference is for the older style, for a few reasons.
With antique grinders, provided they're well made, and which are always manual and always burr-driven (there is no such thing as manual blade grinders), you can avoid some of the problems associated with some of the new fangled stuff.
Not only that, but vintage grinders are not only functional but also decorative. They are pieces of art that will look amazing in your kitchen!
They also can be more durable than their modern electric counterparts. This is because vintage coffee grinders are incredibly simple, well made machines that don't conk out due to a fried motor and things of that nature. Hence, they're antiques. Things that aren't well made don't ever get to be antiques!
If you're really wondering whether these old grinders could possibly still do the work of their more expensive counterparts, the answer is a resounding yes.
Here's the thing - antique coffee grinders usually have a conical burr set which is the best for getting an even grind and a brewed cup of coffee without the bitter taste that some methods give you.
These vintage grinders also have a grind adjustment built-in so you can adjust the burrs for grinds from coarse to fine. This is not unlike many of the better electric grinders, but this is where the philosophical elements come into play, and the commitment to doing things the old fashioned way.
Yes, you might have to do the grinding yourself, but the results, at least to me, are always better.
It's the difference between something that's done by hand versus something which is done automatically. Some might argue there's no difference but I would posit that there is.
I always like the results when done manually, having taken the time to really get into the whole coffee making ritual. Its quieter, the grinds are more consistent, and even the smell is better.
I have made a list of several quality made antique / vintage-style grinders that I love and that you can purchase for reasonable price and I believe you'll get a good insight into what you can expect from your antique grinder, how to use it and so on.
If you're looking for the best antique coffee grinder, look no further! We've searched high and low and gathered the top five options for you to choose from. Whether you're a coffee connoisseur or just looking for a unique piece to add to your kitchen decor, we know you'll love these vintage coffee grinders. So without further ado, let's get started!
This antique coffee grinder is very easy to operate, simply because all you have to do is put the coffee beans inside the hopper, turn the handle and grind the coffee until you have your desired amount waiting inside the drawer.
This grinder is really simplicity itself.
This is a perfect little antique coffee grinder that in my kitchen has a special place on the counter and many people who visit me don't think it is actually used because they all think it is just part of the décor - until they see a few stray coffee grounds on my white counter, which always makes them say "Is that a coffee grinder?".
The Norpro antique coffee grinder weighs about one pound and has the following dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 x 8 inches.
It's quite inexpensive, and if you really don't like putting effort into the whole manual grinding ordeal (it's really not that hard though), you can keep it as a nice bit of design excellence in your kitchen.
No coffee drinker that I know would do such a thing, but it really is nice looking enough where you could get away with just decorating your house with it.
Many people who have visited me are convinced that it actually is a 50 year old grinder. Sometimes I tell them it isn't, sometimes not. 🙂
With my Norpro, I have tried to grind other things besides coffee, such as peppercorns and it worked just fine.
I should point out that this isn't a good idea if you are just wanting it for coffee - stray flavors can easily invade your cup and its not, shall we say, the desired effect.
I want to point out that if a coffee bean happen to get stuck somewhere between the hopper and the wooden grinds drawer, a simple gentle shake will do the trick.
It won't be stuck in there forever, so don't worry if this happens from time to time.
I think that the Norpro is perfect if you aren't ready to spend more money on an electric burr grinder or maybe you just like the antique look or are just starting out in the grinding world.
If you enjoy it, you may want to upgrade, but that doesn't mean you can't get great results from this grinder - it is adjustable and the results are excellent. I give five stars to this little guy.
And now for something a little bit different, here is the Musiclily vintage style coffee grinder. This grinder, if you ask me, is even more of a retro style machine as it harkens back to mills of old, with its large exposed wheel and metalwork design.
Yes, the name is super long, but that wasn't what caught my attention. The first time I saw this thing I couldn't take my eyes off of it. Look at it. It would seem like it made its way from some old German castle to my kitchen.
There's an actual mechanism that rotates as you spin the handle and grind the coffee. No matter how complex it looks, trust me - it is super easy to operate.
It has a ceramic iron burr set (as we said ceramic burrs are the best for manual grinders) to make grinding faster, easier, and better.
The Musiclily vintage style coffee grinder can be easily adjusted so you can get a wonderfully consistent grind, whether coarse or fine.
All you have to do is place the coffee beans inside the bowl, spin the handle and that is it - within minutes of spinning (and actually having fun while watching this thing work) you will have freshly grounded coffee inside the wooden drawer, ready for brewing.
Although it is twice the price of the Norpro grinder, it is really quite impressive to look at so I would say its worth it.
I don't know why, but the name 'Molmo' makes me laugh. Besides the funny company name, this "professional' ceramic burr made it on my list because this works just fine, grinding coffee, spices, and herbs too.
It has that traditional antique look that I enjoy so much - a wooden box with a small drawer where the coffee will fall down once ground and a nice, big handle that you need to spin in order to achieve that fine grind.
It is made from solid beech wood, which makes it stronger and more durable, absolutely great for everyday use. This is a grinder you won't want your dog chewing on, since scratches can be so visible.
The relatively small size of the grinder makes it perfect for little households (one to four people), or if you are going to use it for spices, you can grind one small jar with your favorite spices and herbs in literally one go.
Still, I don't recommend mixing spices and coffee.
Manual grinders do require a bit of physical effort - that's why they are manual, but once you get used on it a few times it does become easier to use.
At the beginning you might feel that burrs are tough to get going and it seems like you will need to put more effort, but with everyday use the beans will 'oil' the burr and it will go much smoother.
Make sure you have set up your grinder correctly so you get the best out of this manual grinder. It surely has a pleasing antique look, while the ceramic burr gives it durability and well-ground.
The dimensions are 3.8 x 3.8 x 8 inches and the entire item weights about one pound. It can be purchased for less than $20 in most places and makes it a perfect gift.
While it was mentioned above, the vintage manual grinder is not just for those who love all things vintage and original, it's also perfect for people who find themselves without electricity often.
That includes those people who live on their boat or in an RV. It's great for camping and hiking adventures, too.
To keep the grinder from being damaged during shipping, the manufacturer ships it with the mechanisms very loose. You'll need to adjust the grind out of the box. There are two screws located in the bowl that need to be tightened.
Remove the handle nut as well as the handle. The cog wheel is what needs to be adjusted to alter the grind size. Test it with a tablespoon of beans before making a full hopper.
Cleaning the Mechanism
The entire grinder can be dismantled to provide easy clean up for the best coffee. You don't want old, stale grinds hanging around inside the grinder. A brush will help you rid the grinder of old coffee dust and you can run a cup of rice through to clean the burr.
Next, we move on to XHHOME Vintage Roman Style grinder.
If you're looking for a vintage coffee grinder that will look like an amazing conversation piece on your counter, this is the right grinder for you. It's a stunning blend of bronze and wood.
This grinder will give you the ultimate control over the size of your grind for the perfect cup of coffee.
Add a small amount of coffee beans to the bowl of the grinder. Make sure you're ready to spend a few minutes turning the handle to get the perfect grind for your coffee. If you grind too fast, you'll end up with heat that can influence the flavor of the grind in the end.
Cleaning the Machine
One of the considerations for a grinder is getting inside to clean. You don't want to plunge the grinder into water since it can cause problems with the mechanism. Instead, use a damp cloth to clean the exterior but use a dry brush on the interior.
Next on the list is DGQ Manual Coffee Bean Grinder.
This has been included at the end of the list because while it's a vintage style coffee grinder, it's also a beautiful shiny metal that can blend a modern world with the vintage style you might love. It's a great compromise.
Upon arrival, remove the center nut and the handle. There are gaskets and a nut under the handle that can be removed, too. The hexagon screw is the one to be tightened or loosened to adjust your grind. The looser the screw, the coarser the grind. Tighten it fully to get a fine grind for espresso.
Cleaning the Grinder
This is a grinder that can be fully immersed in water to get it as clean as possible. The ceramic burr interior and stainless exterior means you don't have to worry about rust in the grinder if it's wet.
Make sure it's completely dry, though, before attempting to grind your beans. Otherwise, you'll end up with a wet clumped mess at the end of your grinding time.
Last but not least on our list is Foruchoice Vintage Style Grinder
If you are looking for a grinder with incredible vintage look, we highly recommend you take a look at the Foruchoice manual coffee grinder.
This retro grinder is fully capable of producing different sizes of coffee grind. You will be able to produce a fine coffee grind suitable for Turkish coffee or a coarse coffee grind for French Press.
The most amazing thing about this grinder is the big cast iron crank wheel that not only looks cool but also makes grinding incredibly efficient.
This grinder is also incredibly easy to use.
All you need to do is to place coffee beans inside the cast iron bowl and crank the handle for few minutes.
Within few minutes, you will have freshly ground coffee that is nicely stored inside of the wooden drawer at the bottom of the grinder.
Next, we bring you some tips on how to clean and maintain your vintage coffee grinder.
People from all walks of life have been known to appreciate a decent cup of coffee. In fact, many individuals make it a point to own an antique coffee grinder in order to get their coffee fix. If you are thinking about buying an antique coffee grinder, but still can't decide if that is the right purchase for you, then perhaps this article can provide you with some insight into whether or not you should make the purchase.
The very first thing that you must take into consideration is the price of the grinder. Like most other products, antique coffee grinders will come at a variety of price points. Thus, it is important that you do not break your budget in order to get the perfect antique coffee grinder.
You also need to take into consideration the appearance of the grinder. Even though this may seem like an unnecessary criteria, appearance can actually matter quite a bit when it comes to an antique coffee grinder. For example, if you are purchasing the vintage coffee grinder for your office at work, you may want to choose one that has sleek and stylish design so that it can fit in with the rest of your decor. The same can be said about buying a vintage coffee grinder for your home kitchen.
Not only does it need to fit in with the overall appearance of your kitchen, but you also want to make sure that it has a unique design so that everyone will know that it is yours. For example, if you plan on buying a vintage coffee grinder for your home and happen to be a big fan of the Roaring Twenties, then perhaps you may want to purchase one that has a flapper girl design.
The last thing that you must take into consideration when it comes to buying the antique coffee grinder is the material. The material of your grinder can affect not only its appearance, but also its durability. So, if you are someone who often ends up dropping their coffee grinder on the floor, then you may want to consider buying a vintage coffee grinder that is made of metal as opposed to ceramic.
An antique coffee grinder allows you to grind your own beans, meaning that it is possible to control the process. Since different brewing methods require different grinds, this can make a significant difference to your morning cup of Joe. Coffee ground in an antique grinder also tastes better because there is less surface area exposed when compared with pre-ground beans. This means that the coffee is less likely to lose its flavour before you have brewed it all.
Antique grinders are also more economical because they can be used for other ingredients in cooking, meaning that one appliance will serve several purposes. They are also durable and built to last. There are few things more frustrating than being forced to replace something you have just bought because it has broken down. People often buy antique coffee grinders simply because they are more cost-effective. There is also the added benefit that many of them are items that can be cherished and passed on through generations, thus ensuring they are built to last.
As its name suggests, the 'Grimoire' from Baratza is a modern coffee grinder that looks more like a gadget from a magic shop than an appliance you would use at home to grind your daily coffee ration. The idea behind this coffee grinder is that it can be used with a variety of grinding mechanisms, depending on the type of grind needed. This grinder also includes a timer and smart-chip technology, which promises to keep your coffee at peak flavour for longer.
However, despite these technological advances, modern coffee grinders do not offer customers the chance to control how coarse or fine their beans are ground; this means that they can often be wasteful. And if you are looking for an antique coffee grinder, snap one up quick because they are often snapped up by collectors.
There are several different designs of antique coffee grinders available, with their quality varying depending on the make. The majority of them are similar in appearance to a basic pepper mill that can be found in many homes around the world.
They can also be found in various Designs & Styles. There are several different designs of antique coffee grinders available, with their quality varying depending on the make. The majority of them are similar in appearance to a basic pepper mill that can be found in many homes around the world.
However, some of the higher quality antique coffee grinders feature a panel of bronze and brass that can be used to adjust the coarseness of the ground beans. The more expensive models often come with an in-built clockwork mechanism, which rotates through a number of different grinding settings when it is activated by hand.
Antique coffee grinders vary significantly in price, depending on the style and condition of the machine. Many can be found for under $100 but there are also higher-end models that sell for over $1,000. Although prices vary greatly between different makes and models, it is possible to purchase antique coffee grinders for under $200.
An antique coffee grinder allows you to grind your own beans, meaning that it is possible to control the process. Since different brewing methods require different grinds, this can make a significant difference to your final product and gives you a much more individual taste. This also means that people who like to experiment with all kinds of coffee blends will be able to get the most out of their purchase, not limiting themselves to just one blend or flavour.
No grinder will last long unless it is properly maintained and cleaned. If you are not sure how to clean your vintage coffee grinder, you've come to the right place.
We've made step by step instructions that will explain you how to clean your grinder, making sure it will last for years.
Coffee grinders should be cleaned on daily, weekly and monthly basis. Let's start with daily cleaning:
Let's get some things straight! You should quickly clean you vintage coffee grinder after each use. There is no excuse not to spend few minutes each day on cleaning and wiping your grinder.
Here is how you can daily clean your grinder in 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Remove the small bottom drawer or grind container. Give the drawer or container a vigorous shake to remove any remaining coffee bean grinds. Hold the drawer or container upside down and gently tap the bottom to remove any lingering grinds.
Step 2: Next, securely hold the entire coffee grinder in your hands. Turn the grinder upside down and give it a good shake.
Step 3: Use an appliance brush to brush out the inside of your coffee grinder. Make sure you sweep inside the grinder, around the blades and other hard-to-reach places. After brushing the grinder, clean the grinder with a dry cloth.
That's it! Your daily cleaning routine is done.
Next, we move on to weekly and monthly cleaning.
Here is how you perform weekly or monthly cleaning:
Step 1: Remove the small bottom drawer of container that collects the coffee grinds. Set this art aside for now. Next, attach a small hose to a hand held vacuum cleaner. Adjust the vacuum cleaner and set it to low power.
Step 2: Turn the vacuum cleaner and use the small hose to collect all the caked-on grinds. Make sure you move the house around thoroughly in order to collect all the remaining grinds. Place the hose into the interior of the drawer or container and vacuum any leftover grinds.
Next, place the hose on the top of your grinder and vacuum any remaining coffee bean remnants.
Step 3: Fill the top of your vintage coffee grinder with half of a cup of uncooked white rice. Turn the handle of your grinder vigorously for few seconds. The white rice will suck up and eliminate any remaining coffee odors or stains.
Step 4: Empty your coffee grinder and use an appliance brush to brush all the parts. Next, give your grinder a good wipe with a dry cloth. There you go! Your coffee grinder is now perfectly clean. Now you can treat yourself with a cup of freshly made coffee.
Thanks for reading!
Just like almost everything else, the first electric equipment to dispense ground coffee came into being in the late 1930s and early 1940s. There were no 1-Cups or K-cups at the time! Coffee aficionados had to grind their own coffee, and they were all too happy to do so.
Up through mid-century, there wasn't a lot of variety in how you ground your coffee at home. There were blade grinders and mostly-manual burr mills available. Blade grinders are just that: they use a spinning blade to chop up coffee beans. Burr mills, on the other hand, use two surfaces that rotate against each other to produce grounds of very specific sizes.
But for most families who loved their daily cup of joe, they used either blade grinders or manual burr mills. These were bulkier appliances, and took longer to grind out a cup of coffee. They were also louder in operation, and could be messy when it came to cleaning up afterwards.
The antique coffee grinder has been given a new life thanks to today's emerging coffee culture. Coffee aficionados of the world have a new interest in how they get their daily fix, and they've discovered there are more options than ever before. They can buy pre-ground store-bought beans if they want an easy morning brew. But they can also grind up their own coffee with an antique coffee grinder, ground to the specific fineness that will suit them best. For those who like to experiment with different types of beans and roasts, it only makes sense for them to have a trusted way of grinding up what they need each day.
From cast-iron mills to glass grinders, antique coffee grinders are a hot commodity in the early 21st century. Start checking your local thrift stores and yard sales for these throwback appliances, and you'll see what all the fuss is about!
Zassenhaus "Santiago" Mahogany Beech Wood Manual Coffee Mill - Etsy, eBay
Peugeot Antique Coffee Mill, 8-1/4" x 5" x 5" - Etsy, eBay
Coffee Grinder Foruchoice Vintage Style Coffee Grinder Spice Hand Grinding Machine - Etsy, eBay
ROK Coffee Grinder, Aluminum - Etsy, eBay
Norpro Coffee Grinder, 1 EA, Shown - Etsy, eBay
Foruchoice Manual Coffee Grinder Antique Cast Iron Hand Crank Coffee Mill With Grind - Etsy, eBay
Universal Housewares Gourmet Cast Iron Coffee Grinder - Etsy, eBay
If you are in the market for an antique coffee grinder, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, make sure to do your research and find a reputable dealer who can provide you with accurate information about the history and condition of the grinder. Second, be prepared to pay a fair price for a quality piece. Finally, take your time in making a decision and don't rush into buying something that you may not love or use very often. With these tips in mind, shopping for an antique coffee grinder can be fun and rewarding. Have you ever purchased an antique coffee grinder? What was your experience like?
About Selmir Omic
Selmir Omic is KYG's cannabis lifestyle writer. He currently resides in San Francisco and can often be found enjoying design-forward cannabis accessories, candles and seltzer simultaneously. When he's not writing about pot or waxing poetic about vape pens, Selmir can be counted on to offer sage advice about the best strains for anxiety or how to make cannabutter without a stovetop.
Grinder / Coffee Talk
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