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Knock Boxes - Kristin S.'s Review
Posted: April 10, 2009, 7:56pm
review rating: 7.5
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Knock Boxes
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Arrow The Knock Boxes has 12 Reviews
Arrow The Knock Boxes has been rated 8.83 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Knock Boxes reviews have been viewed 76,466 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Toto Di Torretta 8.42
Bruce Harlick 7.85
Kristin S. 7.50
Jim Pellegrini 7.50
Ken Fox 7.42

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.0
Product Reviewed: Motta Knock Box
Manufacturer: Motta (Italy) Quality: 10
Average Price: Varies Usability: 9
Price Paid: $59.95 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Chris Coffee Co. Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Grindenstein & generic commercial knock boxes
Bottom Line: The Motta  knock box looks stunning on the counter, is sized for today's large home HX machines, and built to take a lifetime of pounding from heavy portafilters. Probably the last knock box I'll ever buy.
Positive Product Points

Solid stamped SS construction, no seams or welds
Generous, large size can handle hard knocks from heavy 58mm portafilters, 20+ pucks
Anti-slip pad underneath bottom & thick rubber padding absorbs shock
Polished and finely-finished, looks great on the counter!

Negative Product Points

None, but the Motta's larger size (6 ½” x 4 ¼”) is perfectly proportional to larger home HX machines (i.e. ECM Giotto, etc), but may dwarf smaller home machines

Detailed Commentary

I splurged on this Motta knock box (60 USD) from Chris Coffee Co. over a year ago.  When I ordered it, I initially felt a little guilty about spending so much on a knock box, but having received it and having it in my kitchen for this time, I’m so impressed by the Motta that it was surely a bargain, probably the last knock box I’ll ever buy.

The Motta’s quality is apparent right out of the box.  I was somewhat surprised by it’s large size (6 ½” x 4 ¼”), or about the size of a 2qt saucepan.  It really does remind me of high quality cookware, like All-Clad: it has the same heft and fine-finishing of the metal. The bottom is padded with an anti-slip rubberized pad, and the knock bar is covered with thick, heavy rubber and attached to the box’s body with large, heavy screw-on knobs that are very well-machined: another detail that reflects the quality of this piece.

Using the Motta knock box is a pleasure. It’s sized to handle the hard knocks from a professional 58mm portafilter and, unlike smaller boxes, the Motta can handle the puck coming from any angle along with any stray grounds that would normally fly outside the container.  No need to carefully poise the portafilter over the box and tap-tap-tap out the contents with this knock box!  The Motta’s bar, covered with dense rubber, absorbs the shock of striking the bar rather than the wrist.  This is small accomplishment that contributes the user satisfaction of this unit.  In addition to home use, I think the Motta knock box would be ideal for use in small, low-volume bars that aren’t equipped built-in receptacles.

The Motta knock is perfectly proportioned to be paired with a larger home HX machine, like my ECM Giotto. With all its polished stainless steel, it looks like a million bucks on the counter.  This is indirect contrast to the generic metal knock boxes, which look like dirty dishes sitting on the counter.

The Motta is vastly superior to the other knock boxes I have owned over the past and, at the end of the day, I think also a better value despite its $59.95 price tag.  Over the past 7 or 8 years, I’ve had two of the generic commercial metal knock boxes, the first of which broke with the first year when the knock bar broke off near the edge of the pan.  I purchased another, this time with a wooden base that looked great, but it rotted completely in about three months.  

This was about the time that the Grindenstein knock boxes appeared in Australia and some parts of Europe.  Their bright colors and modern design represented a huge aesthetic improvement over what was available here at the time, and I had a bright red one shipped all the way from Australia.  When opened the box, I was quite shocked by its small size (10 cm x 10 cm, or about 4” x 4”) and that it was constructed of very lightweight plastic.  I remember thinking; I paid $30 for that?  A 58mm portafilter barely fit on its bar and, since the Grindenstein weighs about one half pound and my portafilter weighs about 2 ½ pounds, I couldn’t picture a long future for the Grindenstein in my home.

The Motta knock box is more than a match for full-size machines and their portafilters, and can tolerate more aggressive blows required to expel the hard, dry, and tightly packed pucks that these machines produce under ideal conditions.  Considering that cost of the lesser boxes I’ve gone through probably exceeds the $60 tag on the Motta that I originally considered too extravagant a sum to pay for a knock box, I wish it had been on the market much sooner.  But I probably wouldn’t be smart enough to buy it, and I know that I wouldn’t appreciate it as much as I do now.

Buying Experience

This was my first purchase from Chris Coffee Co.and I was very pleased.  The site's free shipping policy was an important factor in my purchase; as more and more online stores offer free shipping on minimum orders, the less likely I am to place orders on sites that don't.  There was a small problem with the credit card I submitted for payment, and I received a prompt email communication and the problem was solved quickly enough to get my order out the same day.

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review rating: 7.5
Posted: April 10, 2009, 7:56pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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