If you're looking for a hands-on approach to coffee making, you might consider a manual coffee grinder. With so many styles of modern-day hand grinders in the marketplace, there's no need to purchase a pricey antique grinder to enjoy the pleasure of manually grinding your own beans.
Also known as coffee mills, hand coffee grinders are commonly available in two styles:
Box Mills: With a box mill, you pour beans into a top hopper, and then rotate the handle to grind; ground coffee is collected in a removable drawer beneath. Most box mills will grind enough coffee to make about six cups.
Turkish Mill: With a bean consistency similar to talcum powder, Turkish mill can't be ground finely enough in a box style manual coffee grinder. To grind beans for Turkish coffee by hand, you'll need a Turkish coffee mill. Designed similarly to a pepper mill, most are cylindrical and crafted from brass, often serving double duty as spice mills.
Regardless of whether you're choosing a box or Turkish manual coffee grinder, be sure to purchase one that's intended for use rather than just decorative purposes. While prices vary widely, you can expect to pay between $60 and $80 for a quality box mill with a hardened steel grinding mechanism and between $75 and $100 for a top-of-the-line Turkish mill.
While grinding coffee by hand is not an easy task, most serious coffee drinkers agree that the reward is well worth the effort. Incorporate a hand coffee grinder into your own preparation ritual, or present it along with a pound of gourmet beans as a unique gift for the coffee lover in your life.