An occasional post about long-forgotten household gems in my mother’s kitchen
I could feel it doing me good. Core muscles engaged and arms clenching the machine would produce great results. Am I in a gym? Hardly. I’m grinding coffee beans at the kitchen bench on my new obscure object of desire (apologies to filmmaker Luis Buñuel).
I’ve located our long-forgotten hand coffee grinder in my mother’s kitchen cupboard and it’s been getting a good workout at my house. I thought it had been donated to charity, but there it was, over 40 years old and looking at me with a downcast bottom drawer. Last used in 1989 by my dear late dad – and sometimes me (see older blogpost) it deserved to be rescued after I developed my hankering for a fresh daily grind.
Made in Holland, it’s a wooden “burr” grinder and still works like a dream. I love the soft crunching sound of the beans being crushed between the mechanisms. Much nicer than the screeching noise of an electric blade grinder that has me imagining a dentist’s weapon. And the aroma of the oils released by the ground beans is nothing short of heady.
I’m guessing my mother found it too much effort to use (my father being chief coffee bean crusher) and stored it away. Interestingly, she planted a coffee tree in the back garden about 15 years ago and it’s making a brave comeback after her indiscriminate pruning festival two years ago. Prior to that, we’d harvested its crimson beans and roasted them as an experiment. Then threw them away. Now, with the hand coffee grinder resurrected, we’re ready for the next stage of the ‘torrefazione’ (such a nice Italian word) process. Illycaffe – watch your back.
I’m liking the idea of calling our future crop Fairtrade coffee: if my mother promises not to go near the tree with any sort of hacking implement, I promise not to call her a terrible gardener. Fair trade.
But back to the workout. It’s quite a job turning the coffee grinder handle and keeping it steady on the bench. Multiply that by four caffeine fixes per day and hello rock-hard biceps. Ta-ta tuckshop arms.
More about manual coffee grinders
And for manual coffee grinder freaks, here’s a museum
Have also just found these many uses for leftover coffee grounds. Brilliant.
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