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Calgary: hand coffee grinders/mills

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bookley Dec 15, 2007 08:01 AM

Where can you buy a hand crank coffee grinder in this town?

Thanks for any suggestions.

  1. maplesugar Jun 7, 2008 09:07 AM

    I just picked up a Peugot mill at ATOI last weekend. I should have done more homework and read this thread before we went looking. FWIW I love the grinder... but I'm happy with anything that helps me make a better shot than the local Starbucks.

    8 Replies
    1. re: maplesugar
      can_i_try_some Jun 7, 2008 11:55 PM

      So YOU'RE the one who snagged it!!! I was just at ATOI today speaking with the wonderful folk there when I spotted the antique one they had on display. They told me they carried the Peugot mills, but just sold the last one. I hope you enjoy it!

      I actually scored a mini-version of it (German made Zass) at Crossroads a few weeks ago for $10. I had to disassemble it to clean it properly as there were years of grime all over. Fortunately the conical burr set was still in decent shape and quickly and consistently produces coarser grinds (it only takes me 2 minutes to grind for two cups on my Aeropress. I do have to re-adjust it occasionally and it would probably take upwards of 5 minutes to get the fine grinds needed for a shot of espresso, but for $10, it's stilll a steal!

      As a reply to one of the posts above, the Zass mills at Java Jamboree are for sale at about $90. Don't take that as a direct quote however, since the girl behind the counter seemed a little unsure.

      Another possiblity would be to talk to Luc (I think that's his name) from the Roasterie in Kensington. He has a fine collection of well over a dozen manual grinders on display at his shop. I don't know if they're for sale, but it's worth a shot! From what I've read, the older Zass grinders made in Western Germany are better quality that the newer ones of the same brand being produced nowadays.

      P.S. For anyone interested in home roasting, the Roasterie carries several varieties of green (unroasted) coffee beans. They're 40% off the roasted price.

      1. re: can_i_try_some
        maplesugar Jun 8, 2008 11:39 AM

        Guilty as charged lol. DH & I went in looking for an electric but the peugot was too cute to pass up (and the Brasilia they wanted to sell me looked more appropriate for a commercial setup in size and price). DH's Dad had a manual grinder so the purchase was part practical part nostalgia. They also gave us some beans to try suggesting if I like the sample to come back for more.

        I also have to say I loved the service at ATOI! When we walked in the door we were offered an espresso and some biscotti and treated like long lost friends even though it was our first time through their doors. I will go back and not just for the espresso. :)

        1. re: maplesugar
          John Manzo Jun 8, 2008 02:26 PM

          ATOI has been "repairing" my Brasilia Lady since LAST SEPTEMBER.

          1. re: John Manzo
            maplesugar Jun 8, 2008 06:49 PM

            At some point that's not so much "repairing" but holding hostage. Any reasonable explanation as to what's taking so long? Somehow I don't think there's any plausible reason to take almost 10 mo. to repair a small appliance...

            Ok...can I revise my over exuberant post...I loved the service we received at ATOI but my opinion of them goes down a few pegs when I find out repairs take THAT long.

      2. re: maplesugar
        a
        aktivistin Jun 8, 2008 03:25 PM

        Excuse my ignorance--what and where is ATOI?

        1. re: aktivistin
          can_i_try_some Jun 8, 2008 04:00 PM

          Sorry... lol. ATOI: A Touch Of Italy. It's a great little store in Bridgeland.

          1. re: aktivistin
            maplesugar Jun 8, 2008 06:52 PM

            Sorry aktivistin I didn't mean to be cryptic A Touch of Italy is at 8 - 606 Meredith Rd. NE (behind Il Sogno in the same building) http://www.atouchofitaly.net :)

            1. re: maplesugar
              a
              aktivistin Jun 9, 2008 01:46 PM

              Oh, no problem! I knew it had to be a pretty straightforward name--everyone else seemed to catch on right away.

        2. c
          Chingyul Jan 13, 2008 10:46 PM

          I saw 2 Zass grinder at Java Jamboree when I stopped by last week. They were on the shelf opposite the till, although I'm not sure if they're for sale. Couldn't find a price tag on them.

          1. h
            Hart50 Dec 23, 2007 04:22 AM

            This is somewhat off topic but I am in the market for a new drip coffee maker (sorry coffee geeks!) and I have seen good reviews for the Technivorm brand and I was wondering if it is sold in Calgary?

            Thanks!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Hart50
              John Manzo Dec 23, 2007 08:16 AM

              I don't think they sell it in Calgary- your best bet is at Transcend Coffee in Edmonton, www.transcendcoffee.com

              1. re: John Manzo
                h
                Hart50 Dec 23, 2007 01:44 PM

                Thanks!

              2. re: Hart50
                s
                stopdriving Aug 29, 2008 11:10 AM

                Probably too late for you but if you are still drinking drip coffee do yourself a favor and purchase a siphon coffee maker and find a local roaster. Your coffee experience will be exponentially better.

              3. b
                bookley Dec 20, 2007 08:51 PM

                Thanks for the advice. It turns out ATOI now carries Peugeot hand grinders. They've got two in at the moment, but $169.95 seems kind of steep. I THINK this is what they're carrying: http://www.paulsfinest.com/Peugeot-No...

                And while sweetmarias.com technically carries Zassenhaus, they don't have any in stock, and I have the impression it's not that frequent that they do.

                Elysiancoffee.com out of Vancouver seems like the best bet. Five different Zassenhaus models at $109 (+$12 shipping to Calgary) each. They throw in a bag of beans too.

                2 Replies
                1. re: bookley
                  John Manzo Dec 20, 2007 09:02 PM

                  Bookley, I paid 80euros for mine (the one that's curved for your knees), so I'd say $109 is a great price!

                  1. re: John Manzo
                    b
                    bookley Dec 21, 2007 05:08 AM

                    That's the one I ordered too (curve for knees). I thought it was pretty reasonable in the grand scheme of things. Thanks again for the advice.

                2. peter.v Dec 16, 2007 09:53 PM

                  For most serious coffee folks out there, the only hand grinder worth investing in is the Zassenhaus. Burr quality is equivalent to a commercial/prosumer electric grinder.

                  Zassenhaus grinders are on the shelves at Elysian Coffee in Vancouver. It's not Calgary, but at least they have stock and you won't be paying the duties if Sweet Maria's ever gets stock in again. Send an email over to Elysian and they should be able to hook you up if you're interested.

                  If you just want a cheap, passable hand solution, MEC has a little ceramic burr hand grinder designed for backpacking. I used one for french press for a couple years when I was (still am) a poor student. It's made from polycarbonate plastic and has a single spring loaded axle mounted to the top burr and the bottom burr is attached to the grinder. You need to find a good solid cup to fit the grinder in, as no base is provided . With a bit of searching, I found a mug that I could grind in to without any slippage. It's nowhere near as consistent as the Zass, but it's better than a blade grinder, and for $18 it's worth a try.

                  1. John Manzo Dec 15, 2007 09:24 AM

                    Hi bookley-

                    I bought a Zassenhaus when I was in Germany in October, and while there does not appear to be a Canadian supplier, you can get them online from sweet maria's: http://www.sweetmarias.com/

                    You'll have to poke around the site a bit.

                    I've also seen Peugeot mills at Kilian in Kensington- these aren't as good as the Zass by reputation (you can read all manner of consumer reviews at www.coffeegeek.com) but they seem to be a good build. Most manual mills are really just toys.

                    If you can get your hands on a hand grain mill with steel parts, that's a good option too.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: John Manzo
                      b
                      bookley Dec 15, 2007 11:00 AM

                      Thanks for the link. Was at Kilian yesterday, and learned there are some Bodum hand grinders on order (probably a couple weeks away, though). The Zass look great. Have also seen a few random cranks at the antique stores in Inglewood.

                      1. re: bookley
                        b
                        buddah cabaret Dec 16, 2007 08:30 AM

                        Have you called A Touch of Italy to see what they have or call Cappuccino King and ask for Peter Izzo and ask him if he knows, he is the most knowledgeable person in Calgary as far as coffee, and espresso goes, that I am aware of

                        1. re: buddah cabaret
                          John Manzo Dec 16, 2007 09:14 AM

                          ATOI has been holding my brasilia hostage for something like three months now- I have to find out what the problem is. I don't recall seeing any hand mills there.

                          Cappo King doesn't have hand mills either.

                          No offense to Peter or for that matter the boys at Fratello or Mr Cap for that matter, but when it comes to home equipment, there are no great sources in this town. Every store has a line that they specialise in and try to sell you, and for all these stores, their business clients are their first priority. Compare that to what you find at Caffe Tech in Edmonton and we have nothing similar here.

                          1. re: John Manzo
                            Sorbethead Dec 16, 2007 11:03 AM

                            looking at krupps burr grinder or starbucks barista burr grinder. using grinder for expresso. Any info on burr grinders.

                            1. re: Sorbethead
                              John Manzo Dec 16, 2007 03:38 PM

                              Starbucks is the Baratza Virtuoso? The $200 one? Very nice grinder, and it can handle espresso.

                              I don't think any Krups is up to the challenge. The Baratza has very positive reviews.

                            2. re: John Manzo
                              b
                              buddah cabaret Dec 16, 2007 05:17 PM

                              I should have said Peter would probably know where to find one, I know they have limited selection for household equipment. My mistake

                        2. re: John Manzo
                          sharonanne Dec 16, 2007 11:54 AM

                          Sweet Maria is sold out at the moment even though it says "in stock" under the beech wood model. There is a note at the top of the page.

                          1. re: sharonanne
                            John Manzo Dec 16, 2007 03:41 PM

                            Seems like they import three units at a time or something...

                            Caveat: I only use my Zass for french press anymore. It will not grind for espresso without constant re-adjusting. Yes it is probably defective, but there's nothing I can do since I bought it in Germany :(. I was really looking forward to my low-tech pairing of a lever espresso machine and a manual grinder, but I am back to only using my Rocky for espresso, which is what I drink 99% of the time.

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