Grindenstein knockbox

A great accessory (but leave the code block below)

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A knockbox is not the most exciting of topics so let’s get this over with.

Do we need a knockbox?: Yes definitely, we need somewhere to dispose of coffee pucks.

Can’t we just put them down the waste disposal or wash them down the sink?: No, eventually you will have a blocked drain and as a result (unpleasant) water all over your path etc. You will then need to call out a plumbing engineer or your local services authority to unblock it.

Am I serious about this?: Yes, I did it when I first got into home coffee despite being warned against it.

We need a knockbox, simple.

So do I like the Grindenstein?: Yes, for home coffee it is small, convenient, easy to use, cheap, doesn’t seem to mind being dropped and does the job asked of it. I’m glad I bought one. There, that’s it, article over.


Doesn’t really tell you much though does it? I mean, why choose one over the larger fabricated stainless steel knockboxes that are sold as expensive (typically GBP 70 to GBP 120) accessories suitable for standing a coffee grinder on or installing under a counter-top? Lot’s of reasons to my mind so I will quickly run through them with the help of some pictures. If you can afford a stainless steel knockbox I personally feel you should still consider the much-cheaper Grindenstein for the reasons given below.

Hygiene: Every time I watch someone making coffee and using a stainless steel knockbox they open the sliding drawer and you are treated to the sight of mouldy pucks. Yuk. Now, thankfully those pucks are nowhere near the coffee being made for you but they are a reminder that coffee pucks decay and so if you give them a dark, damp environment they are going to take advantage of it. With a Grindenstein this does not happen, perhaps because the open design means moisture escapes and so pucks dry out.

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Size: It doesn’t hold much, maybe half a dozen pucks together with some grinding out from your grinder. You might expect that to be considered a disadvantage but in practise it combines with the ‘hygiene’ point above to mean you regularly and easily dispose of dry pucks. In my case into another container that I then tip into my outside bin once a week. This second container doesn’t suffer from mould either by the way. You can, allegedly, compost coffee pucks but I have not done so as yet. Emptying it is easy due to that light weight and shape and holding it upside down and shaking gently empties it quickly. I do not recall any pucks ever sticking to it or finding any signs of mould.

Weight: Being small, the Grindenstein is easy to pick up so no heavy knockbox to contend with.

Clean: Hand in hand with ‘hygiene’ again and regular emptying, the low weight means you clean it often and the plastic or synthetic material cleans away coffee grinds really easily especially when used with a dishwashing brush. It drains easily without taking up much footprint and dries quickly too.

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If I really want to dry it quickly (in minutes) I put it on my cup warming tray where it fits easily.

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Tough but kind: Having dropped it onto my kitchen floor occasionally I can say I have found the Grindenstein tough and it did not mark but just as importantly it did not damage the kitchen floor. I would not want to drop a stainless steel knockbox and dent either it or the floor! The knock bar of the Grindenstein seems well cushioned and so ‘kind’ to your baskets and nicely solid and up to the job. After about 18 months of continuous use I see no signs of the Grindenstein suffering in feel or in use of either the box or the knock bar.

Functional: All the above would be icing on the cake if the Grindenstein was not actually very good to use in practise but it is. I can see why ‘Dreamfarm’ are proud of having designed it as it is one of those items that feel right like a correct screwdriver or key for a lock. The shape means you pick it up easily and take it to wherever you need it at that time.
The cutout on one side makes knocking out easy by allowing you to hold the portafilter horizontal. Knocking out pucks is easy without using brute force and the knock bar surface is kind to your baskets.

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The cutout also means it sits nicely on the fork of a Mazzer grinder with the Mazzer funnel pointing straight into the Grindenstein so you can grind any first or stale grinds out as a natural part of your routine.

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The Grindenstein also stores under an E61 grouphead if you are so inclined.

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Conclusion: I struggle to find any negatives with the Grindenstein and wish I had designed and licensed it! It’s apparent weakness of size is in fact a strength and it just fits in and makes itself indispensable for all the reasons mentioned. At the price of GBP 15 or so it is cheap as well and if I had to I would immediately buy another.

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