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Feb 26, 2008 01:33 PM

Anyone have a Camano Coffee Mill?

It's very pretty -- and apparently hand crafted -- as good as a Zassenhaus?

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  1. Thanks for the idea. I looked it up. Indeed a beauty. It could easily become my 3rd manual coffee mill....

    2 Replies
    1. re: HLing

      I had to look this up because I have a Rustic Coffee mill, and it comes from Camano Island. Turns out we are talking about the same thing. The workmanship is very nice. I have the one that fits on the glass jar and gave my brother the larger wooden one for Christmas. The people at Rustic Coffee Mill are very nice. Camano Island is north of Seattle.

      1. re: Jane917

        "... people at Rustic Coffee Mill are very nice. Camano Island is north of Seattle..."

        I went to Bellingham's Western Washington U for a couple of years...if it's anything like that place, it must be beautiful! The coffee craze in Seattle happened after I left Bellingham though, so I didn't get into the coffee culture then.

    2. No reviews in Coffeegeek, so maybe you are onto something. The Zassenhaus is hard to get, and somewhat costlier, but both devices remain very simple and depend on good workmanhip.

      2 Replies
      1. re: jayt90

        thanks all -- i've bid on one at ebay (if i don't win, i order one from company anyway -- and report back

        1. re: SGFoxe

          Zassenhaus grinders aren't hard to get at all, though they were for a few years. They're sold new by Sweet Maria's and Espresso Zone at prices that are often less than auction-possessed people bid for the same model used grinders on eBay. Model 169 in particular often sells used on eBay for nearly double its new retail price. The least expensive new grinder will run about $75 including shipping.

      2. I just ordered one; I'll let everyone know how it works out...

        2 Replies
        1. re: bigdaddyrox4574

          I love it!!! It was the only conical burr grinder I could afford, and if you don't mind injecting a little "elbow grease" into your coffee, espresso etc., it's a hell of a bargain. It takes a while to grind enough for a shot (of espresso), but the resulting quality of the shot makes it well worth it; I haven't used it to grind beans for conventional drip coffee, but I can imagine that the same holds true. Hope this helps.

          1. re: bigdaddyrox4574

            That is good news. I got a used Zassenhaus on eBay last January. It was $35 plus $15 shipping from Germany.A good deal, and it works well, but it honestly looks like it was made 50 yrs ago and not used much.
            BTW it is great for grinding pepper,and fennel. Doesn't seem to interact, one bean or seed to another.

        2. Just got one woth new Bodum french press and am very pleased. Coffee mill very easy to use adn produced excellend cup with french press.

          1. I just received one of these bad boys about a week ago. The craftsmanship and build quality are superb, but after examining the contraption further I came across a concern. I noticed a paint thinner like odor coming from the cast iron portion. I contacted the company and was told that the cast iron is treated with a "black finish" inside and out, but I don't know what is in this finish, and the company seems reluctant to provide any details. I was told it was "100% lead-free and safe," but that's it. The odor and lack of information about the finish concern me especially since this is a device I'd likely use every day. I'm not sure why a finish is even required on the inside since the coffee oils would surely prevent the cast iron from rusting.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Nate650

              Update: The company responded with details about the finish. The finish used is called "Good Stuff."

              1. re: Nate650

                I must say that, after owning mine for nearly 4 years now, my biggest issues are two things.

                1) The arch on top is made of plastic and broke a little over a year ago. The finish gives it the appearance of metal, but it is in fact plastic. The company sent me a new one free of charge with no hassle, but it seems like a significant weakness and odd place to cheap out considering how much stress is on it.

                2) I find that I have a lot of sludge when grinding with it for a french press. Reason? Same as other similar grinders like the Hario Skerton. I.e., the courser the grind the more uneven due to a "rocking" motion between the two burrs. In this ( ) video review of the Hario, at about 5:40, the reviewer gives a demonstration of what I'm referring to.

                If the company can correct these two issues by replacing the plastic arch with metal and adding some sort of second bearing to stabilize the burr, they would basically have a perfect product (in my very humble opinion!).

                1. re: bigdaddyrox4574

                  Quit screwing around and just spring for the ultimate manual coffee grinder.


                  1. re: bigdaddyrox4574

                    Hi, bigdaddy:

                    Since you've had yours a long time, maybe you know: Is Camano claiming they *make* these, or are they just putting their name on a manufacturer's product?

                    I ask because: (1) I live not far away, and drive by their location with some frequency, and the facility looks to me to be 100% coffee roasting and retail. And (2): manual coffee mills, like wooden kaleidoscopes, letter openers and pens, seem IME to be almost always *kits* that the seller assembles from others' parts.


                    1. re: kaleokahu

                      Poser: That thing is insane! They have, most assuredly, solved all of the faults I mentioned with the Camano... and then some! I just got a Gaggia MDF for Christmas but, had I known of the Pharos, at the time, I might have asked for it instead. They are about the same price and I can't see that thing ever wearing out and it seems to actually get the job done faster than my Gaggia!

                      Kaleo: I regret that I don't have a good answer to your question. They do suggest that, at least, they assemble them themselves but,. I imagine, they problably do source the parts from elsewhere. When I bought mine they did have photos on the site of the inside of a shop where somebody was making the wooden parts, but I don't even know if those were taken at the facility you are familiar with.

                      1. re: kaleokahu

                        The Camano coffee grinder is made in Taiwan. Red rooster only makes the lid to fit to it. The grinder is part plastic even though it is made to look like it is all cast iron. I would not recommend this product as the part that is plastic comes in contact with moving parts thus creates plastic shavings that get into grinds. When I told the company about this they said its BPA free plastic. As if BPA free means you can eat plastic. Very disappointing.

                      2. re: bigdaddyrox4574

                        I have two manual grinders:

                        The first is Czech Zassenhaus look-a-like and the bottom burr floats - the finer the grind the more evenly it slices - it can produce an acceptable espresso grind and perhaps drip, but it is a disaster with a coarse grind because the bottom floating burr wobbles and results in such an uneven grind that it is rendered useless for french press.

                        The second is a Birchleaf, with two fixed burrs, and does a decent job fine to coarse.

                        Of course, the Rolls Royce of hand grinders, seems to be the Pharos, recommended by 'poser' in a post below. I can't comment on it because I've never seen or used one.

                        The downside to manual grinders is the time it takes - fine, a longer time and coarse, less time.