As functional as they are collectible, antique coffee grinders add a touch of rustic charm to any kitchen, while providing a welcome “hands-on” approach to coffee making that’s sure to delight any coffee enthusiast. While the earliest coffee grinders date back to the mortar and pestles used by the ancient Egyptians, those that grace the kitchens of modern-day collectors were most commonly produced in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During this time, the antique grinder was manufactured in several styles, including:
- Box or lap grinders
- Canister grinders
- Upright grinders
- Wall post or side-mounted grinders
- Double wheel grinders
Today, one of the most popular antique grinder styles for both collectability and functionality is the upright grinder. Crafted from durable cast iron, upright grinders boast two grinding wheels and can produce a coarse grind in about two minutes, or a fine grind in approximately six. Highly sought after antique upright grinders include those manufactured in the United States by:
- Landers Frary and Clark
- Logan and Stonebridge
- Wilmot Castle
- Wrightsville Hardware Company
Antique grinders are widely available online, although they can also be purchased at antique shops, flea markets, or other second-hand venues. While pricing varies widely, expect to pay between $150 – $600 for an antique upright grinder that’s in original condition and in good working order.
Because there are no electronic components to overheat and potentially scorch the beans, many coffee enthusiasts find the taste of coffee that’s ground in an antique grinder to be second to none. If you’re looking for a unique gift for the coffee aficionado in your life, an antique grinder is sure to please.