What coffee-making gadgetry looked like 100 years ago, and why some still swear by it

Today, making a cup of wakeup juice is so easy a zombie could do it. You could even forgo all the machinery and buy the instant stuff, or hit up Starbucks.

Yet those who still practice the art of waking up — or just believe there's a better cup of coffee to be had — still seek out old school, hand-cranked coffee mills that use blades, rollers or burrs. It takes more time than using a mechanical coffee blender to make sure beans are evenly ground, but rumors abound that the high RPM of the blades can distort a blend's flavor as it heats up the beans, or that they simply don't do as thorough a job.

Whatever the reason, antique coffee mills, some a century old or more, go for hundreds of dollars on online auctions and antique sellers, and some purveyors of old-school hand-crankers, such as Zassenhaus, are still going strong today. Coffee mills come in a variety of looks and sizes, from wall-hanging units to canister-loaded ones, and they look a hell of a lot better than my $10 Mr. Coffee machine.

Check out the gallery below for a selection of antique coffee mills.




Via BoingBoing Gadgets