Sweet Maria's Selection of Zassenhaus Coffee Mills:

Zassenhaus are the grinders Ken David's calls "technically excellent" and are not to be confused with less functional, decorative box-type mills.

All of the box mills have nearly the same capacity and it takes between 1 and 2 minutes to grind enough coffee to make 6 cups of filter drip grind. Grinding finer takes longer - i.e. more revolutions of the crank. The grind is extremely even and adjustable. You can use all of these mills for a range of grinds, from stovetop espresso, filter coffee, and French press coffee. If a manual grinder interests you, we are more than happy to answer any questions about the different models, and will offer straightforward advice on which ones we prefer! Zassenhaus grinders have a 10-year guarantee on the entire grinding mechanism, and feature conical burrs made from tool-grade hardened steel.

Here are our care and use instructions for the Zassenhaus and newly updated Frequently Asked Questions on Zassenhaus

For Select Coffee Mills by Baratza, Mazzer, Rancilio and Bodum, see our Electric Grinders Page

We have some general tips about Brewing Fundamentals on this page.


The Box Mill is the traditional Zassenhaus design. Beans are filled through a small door into the hopper and then enter the patented Zassenhaus conical burrs. It's immediately apparent when you handle a Zassenhaus how remarkably functional and simplified they are: these are precision instruments built sturdy for everyday use and made of fine materials ... not an antique reproduction to decorate a kitchen shelf. The handle is designed for good leverage and, like most of the mechanism, is a heavy gauge chromed stainless steel. The Box Mill's drawer holds enough for 6 cups. Like all Zassenhaus grinders featured here, there is a 10 year guarantee on the grinding mechanism. 4.5" w x 4.5"l x 8" h.
  • Beech Box Mill, Model 151 BU (w/ chrome hardware)
    $72.50 (+ 2.2 lbs shipping) add to cart
  • Mahogany Box Mill 151 MA (w/ gold-tone hardware)
    $72.50 (+ 2.2 lbs shipping) add to cart


The Knee Mill features the same grinding mechanism as the Box model with an obvious improvement: the gentle indentations in the side allow you to hold the grinder between your knees while sitting. This model is narrower than the Box Mill but has more depth; the drawer holds enough coffee for a 6 cup pot. The beans enter the mill through a spring-loaded rectangular door on the top of the mill. A bonus on this mill is that the upper bean hopper is lined with a white porcelain or porcelain-like material. Like the other Zassenhaus mills, the fineness of the grind is set by turning a knurled nut on the handle shaft. It creates wonderfully consistent grinds for all methods of brewing. Mahogany features gold-toned hardware. 3.5" w x 5.5"l x 8"h
  • Beech Knee Mill, Model 156 BU
    $80.50 (+ 2.2 lbs shipping) add to cart

  • Mahogany Knee Mill (gold hardware), Model 156 MA
    $80.50 (+ 2.2 lbs shipping) add to cart

Zassenhaus Closed Hopper Mill

The Model 169 DG Closed Hopper Walnut Zassenhaus mill is perhaps a deluxe version of the closed hopper mills. It features a cast iron top end that is very sturdy, on a walnut finish base. The burrs are the same as the other box mills but it has the same cast handle as the 154 MA, my favorite because it is more rigid. The narrow neck between the cast top and the bottom allows you to get a good grip on the mill with your one hand as you crank with the other. Both the bean hopper and the drawer are larger on this mill than the box mills - as the scale of the whole mill is a bit larger (dimensions are 9" h x 5.25 " w x 5.25" d). It costs a bit more than the other box mills, but in our opinion is well worth it! Here is a view of the cast metal top. Here is a view of the burrs.

Model 169 DG - $105.50 (+ 3.6 lbs shipping) add to cart

zassenhaus turkish coffee mill

The Zassenhaus Turkish Mill is a recent discovery for me. I had heard that Zassenhaus used to make Turkish style mills 20 years ago, but had seen no recent examples. I desperately wanted to stock a Turkish mill, but the quality of 99% of the ones out is absolute crud. Then I found someone who was offering these coffee mills to topnotch restaurants and gourmets as "the ultimate pepper mill". It certainly is, because inside are chromed tool grade steel Zassenhaus burrs! This is the essential "mill for the road" in the original Nomadic spirit of Arabic coffee; roasted, ground and brewed in one sitting by merchants and traders. All coffee instruments were compact, folded into saddlebags, and were no less than sacred!

The handle and knob are solid cast brass. The side are solid brass with decorative traditional scroll designs. It holds enough coffee for a 4-6 cup brew. The grind is adjustable for anything for Filter Drip and finer. Not cheap but you will have it for a lifetime. Height without handle is 7 inches, diameter is 1.75 inches

$81.50 (+2 lbs. shipping) add to cart
Below is an image of the 4 parts the Turkish Mill breaks down to: the Handle (which you remove to open the lid and pour beans into the upper hopper), the Lid, the Upper Hopper/ Main Body, and the Grind Hopper that catches the grinds.
Here is an image of the burr assembly in the Turkish mill, stripped of the brass casing. You can see the brass lid at the top of the image, and the adjustment screw in the foreground --which would be inside the lower grind hopper. Here is a reverse image of the burr set so you can see the the auger end that drives the beans into the conical burr. The Turkish is a slightly smaller burr set that the other Zassenhaus mills.

Frequently Asked Questions on Zassenhaus:

Someone asked me once if Zassenhaus had a web site, which seems highly unlikely. Zassenhaus is an "old-world" company. Well, times have sure changed since we started this business: Zassenhaus can be found at www.zassenhaus.com! They produce hand-cranking pepper mills and coffee mills.

I have noticed that on the www.zassenahus.com web site sells coffee mills that say "Espresso" on them. As far as I know these mills are identical on the inside - they are no different in terms of the burrs. But they are not sold in the US - at least our distributor does not carry them.

Can I really use the mill for french press grind? My grinder seems to be very uneven on the coarsest settings - producing large chunks and some powder. Is there something wrong with the mill? What you will find with any conical burr mill - electric or non-electric - is that on the coarsest settings, where the burrs are farthest apart, you will get an uneven grind. This is due to the way that the coffee moves through the burrs. To get an acceptable grind for say french press, you have to set the mill so the burrs are closer together, pushing it toward a finer grind. In my experiments on a 169DG mill, from the point that the burrs are as close together as they can be (the adjustment nut turned all the way counter-clockwise), I turn the knob approximately one full turn clockwise to get a good starting point for french press grind. On these mills, when you go from a finer grind to coarser, you may need to tap on the top of the adjustment mechanism to drop the burr down. What you want in any brewing/grinding situation is to grind as fine as possible for maximum flavor extraction without causing over-extraction or an unacceptable amount of sediment in the cup. Obviously these can be subjective determinations - so you will have to play with the settings to find what you like.

Can these mils grind fine enough for an espresso machine? Yes it can ...you must adjust the burrs tight so they rub a bit (they won't wear though --mine is 3 years and shows no significant wear). Grinding takes longer when it is finer too - so if you make more than a shot or two a day - you probably want an electric mill. There is also a lot more resistance when you grind fine - so you have to grip the mill more tightly. For this reason, the knee mills are the easiest for to use in some ways as they are more narrow.

Can I use the mill on a daily basis? Will I look like a lobster, with one extremely strong arm, as result? Using a Zassenhaus on a daily basis is not for everyone. In the age of convenience, grinding coffee by hand makes sense for some folks, and would be an annoyance to others. If you intend to give a Zassenhaus mill as a gift, please think about this. Depending on how much coffee you make and how (i.e. for espresso or drip), a hand mill might be more of a work out than you bargained for. I know the way we grind and drink coffee here at the warehouse, it would be impractical to say the least.

Is one mill better than another? All the mills except the Turkish mill have identical burrs, so they will not differ in terms of the grind produced. Besides aesthetics, the designs differ primarily in terms of how you load the coffee, the volume of whole bean coffee it can hold (the 169DG has the largest hopper), and the dimensions of the mill, which effect how easy it is to hold it (which is why I think the knee mills are the easiest to hold as they are the narrowest) and how much space it takes up (the 169DG is the largest). The Turkish mill has a slightly different mechanism, and from my perspective has as its main advantage its compact size, which makes it ideal for traveling/camping/backpacking.