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Information Antique Vintage Coffee Grinders

Vintage Coffee Grinders


Choosing the Perfect Antique Vintage Coffee & Espresso Grinder

Vintage Coffee Grinder Vintage Coffee GrinderVintage Coffee Grinder

Vintage Coffee GrinderVCG collects only the finest top quality coffee & espresso grinders. All of the vintage coffee grinders on VCG are rare and exceptional due to quality, condition and age.
VCG coffee grinders are in perfect working condition, clean and ready for use unless otherwise stated in the descriptions.
We also have a nice selection of coffee & espresso grinders that are waiting to be added and many times never make it to the website. If you do not see what you are looking for
ask VCG there is a good chance that we have it.

We would be happy to answer any questions and help you find that perfect antique vintage coffee or espresso grinder for daily use, museum or private antique collection.

Contact us through the website contact form or email VCG on the
Vintage Coffee Grinders - contact page.


Vintage Hand Conical Burr Grinders - Still making the best coffee & espresso

There are a lot of factor involved to achieve great coffee. Besides the quality of the beans and the freshness of the roast, the grind has a great influence in the taste of coffee. When beans are ground with an electric grinder an uneven grind is produced along with a small particle dust. The high speed of an electric coffee / espresso grinder can also over heat the beans oils leaving a bad flavor.

Conical Burr Grinder

A vintage European grinder usually has a conical burr. The conical burr is the best to achieve a uniform particle grind that gives a more even extraction of flavors so that the bitter taste that comes from particle dust is not created. A vintage European grinder also has a grind adjustment making it possible to adjust the burr for grinds from coarse all the way to extra fine. This is a finer and more even grind than most electric or store grinders are capable of. This grind adjustment range makes it possible to adjust the grind to the proper preparation required for the chosen method of brewing.

The aroma of fresh beans ground by a quiet, beautifuly working antique also adds to the enjoyment of making that wonderful beverage we love so much every morning!
Vintage Coffee Grinder
An antique vintage coffee grinder makes the best coffee possible and our mornings more enjoyable.


Old World Quality

Coffee grinder production has evolved in Europe since the 16th Century. Starting in Venice then quickly migrating to Paris where coffee became part of daily life establishing Paris as the leading center for high quality coffee grinder production for over two centuries. In the mid 1700's a few towns in France and Germany also became centers for high quality coffee grinder production. These centers produced master craftsman at a time when quality was the number one priority. Design quality reached its zenith in the Victorian era and continued until the Art Nouveau period or late 1800's. Coffee grinder production continually increased and peaked after the Second World War until the mid 1950's meeting its fateful end with the modernization of the late 50's and 60's.

Due to the great evolution in design and quality and the use of high grade steel, it is still possible to find burrs & burr plates that are over 100 years old, like new and many times show no signs of corrosion or wear. This extreme attention to quality and detail by the old world masters makes it possible for us to collect these beautiful antiques that have stood the test of time.

As a result of the high level of operation vintage coffee grinders have had a resurgence in popularity with coffee connoisseurs all over the world. Many are finding that these wonderful antiques have a better place in our daily lives then modern manufactured grinders.


History & Makers

Pe De Dienes

Valuable information for antique collectors. Robert Zassenhaus, Pe De Dienes, Peugeot Freres, Goldenberg, Gesto, F & B, Tre Spade, B * T, Mutzig-Framont, Holtzendorff, ELMA, EREKA, Österreich-Ungarische Industrie, Alexanderwerk, C. A. Lehnartz, Leinbrock, Burg Mühle - Mathias H Schmitz, KyM / K & M - Kissling & Müllmann, Otto Wülfing, Geska, B & T, Armin Trösser and more.

Vintage Coffee Grinders - History & Makers


Model & Design Guide

Vintage Coffee Grinder

A general guide to the design style and time period for antique vintage coffee grinders. Modern Art Deco Box, Full Wood Box, Jugendstil Wall Mount, Jugendstil Half Rise, Classic Biedermeier Side Handle, Classic Biedermeier Low Rise, Full External Hopper, Classic Biedermeier, Open External Hopper, and Full Brass & Copper.

Vintage Coffee Grinders - Model & Design Guide


Frequently Asked Questions

Vintage Coffee Grinder

Where is the grind adjustment on an antique vintage grinder? Most German grinders have a grind adjustment that is located inside the grinders box. In order to adjust the grind it is necessary to remove the drawer first. There is usually a lever that can be turned for the desired particle size.
French and Italian grinders usually have an outside top grind adjustment that is easy to find. A few German makers also used a top grind adjustment on some models.

Why Beech hardwood? Antique vintage coffee grinders were usually made from Beech hardwood for a good reason. Beech which is native to Europe has a few special properties, Beech does not splinter! This makes Beech the ideal wood for an item that is used by hand. Also Beech has special oils that preserve the wood and makes the wood even more beautiful with age. Beech is also the wood that is used in Dutch shoes, ice cream and popsicle sticks for the same reason.

Does an antique vintage grinder labeled Mokka grind finer than other older antique grinders? The Mokka label was used by many German makers from the 1920's until the 1960's. Mokka was a marketing label indicating that the coffee grinders were capable of grinding fine for mokka pot & espresso machine brewing. Some coffee grinders with this label had a ball bearing grind adjustment making it easier to adjust the burr. The ball bearing conical burr adjustment was a Peter Dienes invention called Solida Kugal Werk that can be found in Pe De Dienes Solida model conical burr coffee grinders all the way back to the early 1920's. Many antique Mokka labeled grinders from the 1940's to 1960's also have a full metal housing which automatically centers the conical burr and burr plate. However not all vintage Mokka labeled grinders were made with the ball bearing and / or full metal housing. So in conclusion Mokka is not an indication of a higher quality but it is usually a finer grinding grinder great for espresso. Not all vintage Mokka grinders can grind fine enough for espresso and many much older antique vintage grinders like the Pe De Dienes Solida can grind finer for espresso than some Mokka labeled grinders.

Is a modern vintage hand coffee / espresso grinder better than an older vintage hand grinder for daily use? There were design changes in models, styles, burrs and grind adjustments however the quality that was achieved in France, Italy and Germany in the mid to late 1800's set the standards for most European coffee grinder production. The newer grinders usually cost less and are easier to find but the older antique vintage grinders in good condition are the real gems and some models can grind fine enough for espresso and beyond.

How do early American coffee grinders compare to antique European coffee grinders? Most early American coffee grinders such as Enterprise and Elgin for example were produced with plate burrs. Plate burrs do produce particle dust and were generally made for a coarser grind. European conical burr coffee grinders usually produce a more even dust free grind and can usually be adjusted to grind to a much finer setting. Even though the burr and grind is usually better for modern daily grinding with the antique European coffee grinders there are few European coffee grinders that can compare to the magnificent beauty of a six foot floor model Enterprise or Elgin.

What does D. R. G. M. mean? This mark can be found on many antique items that were made in Germany and Austria from 1891 until just before the end of the Second World War 1945. The mark D. R. G. M. stands for Deutsches Reich Gebrauchs Muster this is a utility model patent for commercially applicable inventions.
D.R.P. or D.R Pat. Deutsches Reichs Patent - Design Patent from 1877 to just before the end of the Second World War 1945.
Antique vintage coffee grinders with the patent markings usually have a higher value.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Daily cleaning for antique vintage hand grinders - Do not leave unground beans in the hopper. Grind coffee beans thoroughly then gently brush out the drawer and housing.

Weekly / monthly cleaning for antique vintage hand grinders - Vacuum the grinder from time to time this will remove the old coffee grounds.

General maintenance - Never grind anything other than coffee beans in a coffee grinder. Dry rice can be used to clean the burrs however the need may be an indicator that the grinder is not sanitary. If your grinder is not grinding like it should or if there is any question about its previous use the grinder should be disassembled and properly cleaned. Never wash a vintage grinder with water on the inside unless you completely disassemble the grinder first so that it can be thoroughly dried. Use only cold water and mild detergent to wash a vintage coffee grinder never use hot water that could damage the very old finish.
Espresso grinders will need to be cleaned more often - Freshly roasted coffee beans and the finer espresso grind settings will release a lot more oils that can clog burrs.

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