Coffee Cup
"Espresso! My Espresso!"
An Ongoing Internet Novelette
by Randy Glass - Copyright 2002 - All rights reserved

Coffee Cup
37
Grinding by Hand
2/14/01 - It has been an interesting four days. Just as I had finished my nine roasts for blending espresso we got hit with a snow storm that lasted for three days. We got about 18 inches. On Saturday morning at about 6:00 AM the electricity went off and did not come back on until today (Wednesday) at about noon. Fortunately we heat our home by wood so had heat but we are also on a private well so we ran out of running water sometime on Sunday. We 'survived' by drinking much of the four gallons of filtered water I keep for Silvia and by using melted snow for everything else.

      By the second day we were both Jonesing for a cup of coffee. We had jars and jars of roasted beans and except for a hammer and a metal plate, no way of grinding them. I chained up the Ford 4WD pickup and we made it into town where we scoured the thrift shops and antique stores for a hand grinder.

      At the first thrift shop there were no hand grinders but I found a beautiful West Bend "The Poppery" popcorn popper. I wasn't looking for one, but there it was. I pulled it off the shelf and examined it. It appeared new and when I plugged it in to test it a "new roaster smell" came out of it. The price was so good I bought it. "The Poppery" is the model that is so popular with many home roasters. I figured that I could use it as a back up for my HWP if nothing else.

hand grinder       Next it was off to an "antique" and collectible store where I had previously seen some hand grinders. I found this KYM that had a very nice mechanism that appeared to be German Made but I couldn't read the stamp on the bottom. It was priced at $45 which was a little more than I wanted to spend, so I mentioned it to the clerk who marked it down 10%. That made it about the same as I remembered them being priced on E-Bay. This one was in nice shape with the chrome (nickle or stainless?) top still shiny and the wood clean. I bought it even though it was a but mor than I wanted to spend but I figured that I would auction off the popper (which I am doing/did) and use the proceeds to pay for the grinder. As you can see. It cleaned up great and looks just about new.
      Back at home I overhauled the grinder, completely disassembling and cleaning the mechanism, greasing the parts that needed lubrication, and reassembling it. That's the nice thing about quality goods- they actually can be taken apart (and this one is designed to do just that). The burrs, while dirty, were in good shape, and the only small rust spots I found were on the outer surface of the outer burr and cleaned up nicely.

      I used it to grind for three batches of press pot coffee, and it was sure nice. It is a real workout to grind that much coffee, but when the electricity is off and you're snowed in, the coffee just tastes that much sweeter for the effort. The details of the coffee I made will appear in a subsequent chapter.


Coffee Cup
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