Some of the oldest coffee grinders started as mortar and pestle ones. The mortar and pestle slowly started to morph into grinders that people used for spices as well as coffee beans. They became more refined like the Turkish grinders with cylinder and pocket.
As time went on, patents were given for coffee mills from a variety of inventors. They were box or lap grinders, upright ones, canister grinders, double wheel, and wall post grinders.
Why You’d Want to Buy an Antique
If you’re a collector, you’d want to purchase an antique coffee mill because they’re stunning. They can be expensive yet worth the price for those who truly appreciate some of the older types of coffee grinders.
While some collectors want to purchase vintage mills because they’re beautiful, others want to buy and refinish grinders. It’s like buying and restoring an old car to its former glory.
Old, Vintage Mills from the United States and Europe
In the 19th and 20th centuries, there were quite a few manufacturers from the US. They included Enterprise, Parker, Steinfeld, Wilmot Castle, and Wrightsville Hardware Company. A few of the European companies were DeVe, Elma, Armin Trosser, and Kenrick.
If you’re looking for antique mills, those are a few of the names you’ll want to search for online or in other places. Next, we’ll talk about where you might be able to find grinders that won’t be too expensive.
For those with money to burn, you can always pick up a vintage mill at an antique shop. These places are ones that you might not have considered for your search. They’re also less expensive than an antique shop. They may require some repair, though. You likely won’t find them in the best shape in some of these locations.
With a search string like vintage coffee grinders or antique coffee mills, you can find people selling grinders. You will likely have to do your research to find a real antique, though. Make sure you’re looking for the manufacturers listed above. Do your research and don’t get caught up in a bidding war for a grinder that you are not sure about.
Etsy is a place where you’ll find vintage items. You’ll also find people selling items they call vintage or antique. This is where your research and knowledge will come in handy. Look for the markings of a company that was making these back in the 19th century. Sometimes vintage might refer to a 1982 grinder. Be aware of the years that make sense.
Online Collectible Marketplaces
If you have the cash and don’t want to search for yourself, there are online collectible marketplaces where you can find auctions. The company will have already investigated and research the claims of the person selling the grinder. You’ll know exactly what you’re buying because experts have made assurances.
In flea markets, you’ll need to know your stuff. At the same time, you can afford to make mistakes if the price isn’t too high. Someone might be cleaning out their attic or the attic of their grandmother and stumble across an old grinder. That person might not know the worth of their find. You can pick up the vintage mill for a steal. While that person don’t know the exact worth of the item, you’ll need to know prices and names to get the best deal possible.
In antique shops, you’re unlikely to find a grinder that’s underpriced. Antique dealers will research their inventory before placing a price tag on it. This is a good place to find a grinder or mill if you’re looking for something specific for your collection.
Garage or Estate Sales
Lastly, we come to garage or estate sales. Sometimes you can cruise garage sales to rummage through other people’s junk for a prize. They probably don’t even know what they have in their pile of junk from grandma’s basement. That’s especially true at estate sales where older people have left children and grandchildren to clean out their effects.
Fixing an Old Vintage Grinder
Picking up an old grinder at an estate or garage sale means that you could have to fix it. It will involve removing screws, removing rust, and giving everything a good dose of oil. If you wonder what’s involved, you can get an idea from this video. Old metal can get incredibly rusty when not cared for properly.
If you love coffee and want to find a vintage grinder, there are quite a few places to look. You’ll have to do your research to find a good deal, though. As you’re searching for a grinder, you’ll have to know when to pass up ones that are not really vintage. Often, they’ll look vintage, but really, they’re just styled that way. For a truly antique grinder, it has to be made by a certain company.