Coffee grinders are indispensable in the brewing process for both professional and home brewers, and a lot of brewers go for modern ones without knowing that old-fashioned grinders can rival these new, modern models in most cases. Classic grinders have something about them that the new ones don’t have.
The first important feature they have is durability. We all know that old machines and devices tend to last much longer than their newer counterparts. Classic models also feature exceptional quality, which means you can expect outstanding grind consistency from them.
If you’re interested in these old-fashioned grinding machines, read on to find out which models are the best to buy today.
How do Modern Coffee Grinders Compare?
There are modern models that are just as good as old-fashioned grinders, but they can be more expensive. Old-fashioned machines typically outperform their modern counterparts in the same price range.
So, for example, you may have to spend $250 to get a modern model that matches the performance of a $150 antique model, although the cheaper antique model could still surpass the modern one in durability. You can find the best modern coffee grinders to buy on the BurrGirl website.
What Brands Produce Old-Fashioned Coffee Grinders?
You might be wondering why people still patronize these brands and that’s okay. I did too until I discovered that these antique grinders produce unique flavors that you don’t get from modern machines. I also realized that some people choose to buy them for their historical significance.
Here are some of the top brands producing and selling classic grinders:
- F&S: A longstanding Italian coffee grinder brand.
- Dienes: This French company manufactures 1930s coffee grinders.
- PeDe: PeDe started producing grinders in the early 1900s. They are a Dutch company.
- Zassenhaus: This company has a 150-year-long history of producing excellent machines for grinding coffee beans. They are a German brand.
The Price of Old-Fashioned Coffee Grinders
It might seem like these machines cost a fortune since they are less common and antique items usually cost a lot more than modern ones, but that isn’t the case. The cost of an antique grinder depends on several factors, like its features, age, and current condition.
You can buy one for as little as $50 all the way to more than $1,000 or more. The brand also impacts price. For example, Zassenhaus grinding machines are in more demand than products from most of the other brands, so you’re more likely to shell out more money for an old grinder from this brand than you’d pay for models from other antique brands.
How to Identify Old-Fashioned Coffee Grinders
Old grinders are easy to identify as they usually have several distinctive features that you won’t find in modern ones. For example, the Zassenhaus Santiago has a beautiful Mahogany finish. You’d be hard-pressed to find a modern machine with that kind of finish.
They usually have this vintage look as well which makes it easy to identify them. A lot of them are manual machines, so they feature a crank at the top for manual hand grinding, like the Peugeot antique coffee mill (Peugeot is another well-sought-after antique grinder brand). They are a lot bigger than their modern counterparts too.
If you want an easy way to find them, just visit one of the top e-commerce sites on the web like Amazon and Walmart, and search for “antique coffee grinders” or do a quick search for them on your favorite search engine. You should be able to find what you want easily, or you can just pick one of the models I recommend below.
The Best Antique Coffee Grinders
There are a lot of models on the market to choose from just like the modern ones, but antique options are exceptional. They are capable of producing super-fine grounds that are perfect for making espresso, something that a lot of cheap modern models struggle with.
One of the best antique models out there is the Peugeot antique coffee mill, which features wooden construction, burr grinders, adjustable grind settings, a lovely vintage finish, and a lifetime warranty. If you don’t like this one, you’ll like the Zassenhaus Santiago. It features a beautiful mahogany finish, conical burrs, and adjustable grind settings.
Both of these are excellent models that are capable of producing super-fine grounds for espresso or Turkish coffee. The Zassenhaus is manufactured in Germany while the Peugeot is manufactured in France. These aren’t your regular cheap Chinese products.
Other wonderful antique models to buy include the Norpro, Defancy, and Foruchoice antique coffee grinders.