Manual Coffee Grinder
Good And Bad Points About Manual Coffee Grinders
Once upon a time the hand crank coffee grinders were pretty much the only way to grind coffee. Nowadays people use mostly electric coffee mills. But the hand coffee grinder still has some fans. These grinders are not for everyone. To enjoy grinding your own coffee manually you have to be the sort of person who likes to be involved in the brewing process.
Grinding coffee using a high quality manual burr grinder is going to give you the best cup of coffee. If you are after quality than this is the best way to grind coffee. You grind your beans slowly so there is only a minimal loss of flavor. A high quality hand coffee grinder (such as Zassenhaus or Lodos) will give you a better grind than most electric burr coffee grinders.
The ritual of manually grinding your coffee can be actually a very enjoyable experience. If you don't mind the effort involved, there is simply nothing that compares to the smell of coffee ground in the manual coffee mill. There is something strangely relaxing in manually grinding coffee in anticipation of the cup that you are soon going to enjoy. It feels that there is nothing between you and the coffee.
The manual coffee mills grind coffee quietly without any noise. They are portable and they don't need electricity. You can easily take them on a camping trip if you want.
It is rather time consuming to grind coffee in the hand coffee grinder. You will also need quite a bit of energy to grind coffee for more than a couple of cups. If you are using a manual coffee mill when entertaining friends then definitely ask them to help you with the grinding.
Beware of getting one of the cheap hand coffee grinders. They are usually designed more as a decoration than as a functioning grinder. The burrs on these cheap grinder are of low quality and the handle is often too short for you to have much leverage. You should plan to spend at least $50 on a hand coffee grinder that has conical burrs made of hardened steel. Most people agree that Zassenhaus coffee grinders are the best manual grinders around.
A big problem with some of the manual coffee grinders is that it is difficult to keep them in place while you grind the coffee. Some of the Zassenhaus coffee grinders are designed in such a way that you can hold them easily in between your knees while grinding - that definitely helps. There are also hand crank coffee grinders that you can mount onto your counter or onto a wall. Again, that makes grinding that much easier. Unfortunately this type of manual coffee grinder can be quite difficult to find.
Further ReadingTurkish Manual Coffee Grinder
Burr Coffee Grinders
Blade Coffee Grinders
How to Grind Coffee
23 May 2011
I remember the coffee mill my great grandmother used to have. It was a beautiful wall mounted coffee grinder made of white porcelain. There where some small pink and green flowers painted on it. She had it on the wall in her kitchen and used to grind coffee in it every morning. I still remember the smell. I have been trying to get a coffee grinder like that for quite a while now, but it seems that no-one really makes this type of mills any more and those one can get in antique shops often do not work. It is such a pity. Marc
24 May 2011
I share your sentiments about wall mounted coffee mills. I have seen some being sold on ebay, but most sellers seem to have a "no warranty, no returns" policy - so I am a bit wary about buying them since they may not work. But I would absolutely love to have one of these. ngbil
29 May 2011
Great photo you have on the top of the page. Really love it!