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manual commercial grinder
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Senior Member

Joined: 10 Aug 2012
Posts: 1
Location: canada
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 12:41am
Subject: manual commercial grinder

Hi everyone, great forum. I am looking at doing an espresso cart and would like to know my options for a manual grinder.Something that is pretty quick. I would love to use one of those old timey looking grinders, just not sure of the grind quality. The HG one looks pretty good. looking forward to your replies.
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Senior Member
Joined: 21 Feb 2012
Posts: 32
Location: USA, Canada
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: la Pavoni Professional
Grinder: Mazzer Mini
Drip: Gravity Cone
Roaster: 49TH  //
Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 2:02am
Subject: Re: manual commercial grinder


Thank you for posting.  
Manual mill systems work well and provide a decent workout.  
If your cart theme is old school grinding, please consider customer wait time.
Most manual coffee grinders are novelty, yet capable of french press milling.
Achieving drip coffee or espresso grind consistency may require mortar and pestle.
eBay has dozens of manual grinders.  Check local thrift or antique store for discounts.
Lucky folks find artistic ones with character.

Coffee Mills
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Senior Member
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,681
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4, Pharos,...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 7:44am
Subject: Re: manual commercial grinder

I'd have to disagree that a mortar and pestle should be considered for espresso.  I would recommend considering the OE Pharos.  It's a very high quality single dose manual grinder that sells for $245 on the OE website.  The only downside I can see, considering what you asked for, is that it is high tech looking as well, not antique.  OE did used to refurbish antique grinders and sell them, but I don't think they do that anymore.
Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)

Good luck with your cart!

Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Senior Member
Joined: 12 Mar 2010
Posts: 480
Location: Los Angeles
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: Conti Princess 2grp, GS/3...
Grinder: Super Caimanos x2, Forte BG,...
Drip: V60, Kalita Wave, Clever,...
Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 8:51pm
Subject: Re: manual commercial grinder

I honestly don't think that a manual grinder would be appropriate for a business.  Unless you have a gigantic flywheel (and not the HGone), grinding will be slow and more importantly fatiguing.  Making espresso commercially is very different than making it at home.  Speed, reliability, and effort are more important considerations.  With an un-assistend manual grinder you or your employee wil be hurt at the end of a successful day.  Dosing will also be an issue.  Weighing a dose on demand from a large container of beans is both slow, equipment intensive (scale, scoop, container, counter space), exposes the beans to a lot of air, and introduces the constant opportunity to waste/spill beans.  You could pre dose many doses into little canisters...but that also requires time and double storage space.  I don't think that the aesthetic value of a manual grinder justifies the operational compromises.  If there were some sort of bean dosing machine that could measure out a single dose of beans at the touch of a button, then I might think other wise.

If electrical is an issue, well...I'm not sure...I guess you could pick up an HGone when it is available and find a way to manage dosing.  If lack of electrical isn't the reason you need a manual grinder, you may want to just look around for a really nice looking motorized grinder.  Some of the Elektra rebranded Macaps are vintage-y looking with a proper commercial warranty and service.
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Senior Member
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 6,161
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen+, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+
Posted Sat Aug 11, 2012, 10:20pm
Subject: Re: manual commercial grinder

The Mazzer line, especially the SJ, Major, Robur are classic grinders, with what I believe is a classic look. Anyone who has ever been in a quality cafe would have seen one, and they exude professionalism in a business setting.
Of course, other grinders like the K30, etc are of pretty equal grinding competence, but are of a slightly more modern appearance.

(to our OP)..
Are you using a more "artsy" machine, such as a 2 group commercial lever, with a flow jet, or a reservoir type double boiler?
If the latter, I'd not be concerned with how retro your grinder looks, as most likely the machine will dominate anyway.

Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
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