For generations, millions of people have relied on coffee to help maintain a productive life. Today, we use an electric coffee grinder that grinds the roasted beans in mere seconds, or visit the local Starbucks to have one made for us. An entire culture has formed from those little precious caffeine beans!
However, the pioneers of yesteryear had to actually grind their own coffee beans by hand in a coffee mill. Today, these antique coffee grinders are highly collectible items and much sought after by collectors and individuals who love the country kitchen look that comes with having an antique coffee grinder on display. Although many purchase these beauties to complete the look of a vintage country kitchen, many antique coffee grinders are fully functional and are used every day by their owners.
Antique Box Coffee Grinders
Large wooden box coffee mills were most commonly found during the late 1800’s on a country store counter top. This style of antique coffee grinder is literally shaped like a box. The shopkeeper turns the crank on top of the box to grind the coffee beans, and the box beneath stores approximately one pound of coffee.
The box style vintage coffee mill is easier to use when it has a handle on the side. The user can hold the handle when turning the crank, keeping the box stationery on the counter while the coffee is being ground. Ground coffee collects in a handy little drawer that can be pulled out and dumped in the coffee pot. This style was very popular as a home mill until around the 1930’s.
Antique Wheel Coffee Grinders
These large cast iron coffee grinders have two grinding wheels and were initially designed as a store floor-standing model in the 1870’s. The single wheel was patented a few years earlier, making both models highly collectible due to their age and visual appeal.
European Coffee Grinders
Collectors who have exhausted the U.S. market search for antique coffee mills made across the Atlantic in Europe. These charming mills are sometimes lettered with “coffee” in their native tongue: koffie, or kaffee. Porcelain Dutch grinders feature Delft patterns of windmills and canals. Many of the European styled coffee mills look different to what we are used to seeing here in the North America, but their demand by collectors still remains the same.
Antique Wall Mount Coffee Grinders
Wall mounted coffee grinders were especially popular from the very late 1800’s through the 1970’s. They were available in a variety of styles, including Delft Blue ceramic coffee grinders, glass jar grinders, wooden wall mount coffee grinders and cast iron wall mount coffee grinders. The cast iron grinders are our favorites 🙂
What Is My Coffee Mill Worth?
As anything collectible, supply and demand determines the perceived value. However, actual value is what one person is willing to spend to own that particular item. Coffee mills are no different, but to give you a rough idea of what to expect should you decide to expand your collection, or sell a mill that you already own, here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:
We recommend Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2019
Some collectors choose wooden coffee grinders, cast iron coffee grinders, or porcelain coffee grinders, while others collect all three kinds.
Better Tasting Coffee
Does an antique coffee mill make a better cup of coffee? Ground coffee purists believe that the heat today’s electric coffee mills generate damages the coffee and robs it of part of its taste. There is no coffee, they say, like hand-ground coffee that has been roasted and then never exposed to heat until it meets the boiling water that turns it into a steaming cup of magic energy. Consider adding an extra grinder to your collection for actual personal use – we do!
Add To Your Antique Coffee Grinder Collection!