August 10, 2007, Newsletter Issue #120: Hands-on Grinding Process

Tip of the Week

While most modern coffee grinders are electric, you can still find modern variations of the classic hand crank coffee grinder.

Like electric grinders, you can find both blade and burr varieties, but the major differences are that they are quieter and powered by hand.

Many of the new machines look like they always have, with a crank at the top of the hopper, where you put the beans, and a drawer at the bottom for the grounds.

Zassenhaus makes manual conical burr coffee grinders that look similar to antique models with wooded bases, cast iron hoppers and brass finish domes and accents. The top slides open for the beans and the grinds fall into removable wooden drawer below.

The company also makes Knee Mill Hand Crank Manual Coffee Grinders, with curves to fit between the knees while you are grinding beans. The top has a hinged door that lifts to fill beans, so it is closed during the grinding process.

Manual coffee grinders make you more a part of the grinding process and, u nlike electric grinders, they will work when the power is out and won’t add to your electric bill.

Before you grind your beans, check the grind setting to see if it needs to be adjusted. To adjust, locate the cog wheel or nut. You will find it just below the handle. Turn it to the right setting. For finer grounds, move the burrs closer together. For coarser grounds, keep more distance between the burrs.

Once you have the right setting and have placed the beans in the hopper, crank clockwise and soon you will be ready to brew your coffee.

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