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Calgary: hand coffee grinders/mills

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

Thanks for any suggestions.

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  1. 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

      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

        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

          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

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

            1. re: Sorbethead

              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

              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

          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

            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.

        3. 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. 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

              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

                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. 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?


              3 Replies
              1. re: Hart50

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

                1. re: Hart50

                  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.

                2. 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. 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

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: John Manzo

                            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

                        Excuse my ignorance--what and where is ATOI?

                        1. re: aktivistin

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

                          1. re: aktivistin

                            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

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