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Grinders in Grocery Stores

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  • Grinders in Grocery Stores

    It doesnt seem all that many years since every good grocery store and all of the main supermarkets used to sell (reasonably) freshly roasted beans and they all had large commercial grade grinders which you could use to grind to your own needs, on the spot.

    Does anyone know when and why this practice was discontinued?

  • #2
    Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

    Scorpion, Id debate the relative freshness of those beans that used to be on offer, especially considering the dubious way that they were presented (total lack of air-tightness, for one, to prevent oxidisation).

    The practice was probably discontinued maybe due to hygeine concerns, Id hazard a guess ... the same with those hinged plastic cabinets housing assorted nuts & dried fruit for the customer to scoop into plastic bags - theyve disappeared.

    Welcome to the forum BTW ... may your journey be dotted with great espresso experiences!

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    • #3
      Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

      I think it was probably too much hassle for the grocery stores cleaning up the mess!

      Those loose nut cabinets are still going strong in NSW Tony - remember, we NSW folk arent called cockroaches without good reason! ;D

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      • #4
        Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

        hmmm, loose nut cabinets ... isnt that Morris Iemmas dodgy political team down there Dennis?

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        • #5
          Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

          My local supermarket still has one of those grinders but I dont ever see it getting used.

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          • #6
            Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

            I vaguely remember my mother using one in the supermarket occasionally.
            Ill have to ask her.

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            • #7
              Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

              Still used in some places in NZ bigtime, Yuck !!!!!

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              • #8
                Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores

                I was in a country supermarket over Easter this year after having vastly underestimated how much fresh coffee Id need to take away with me over the long weekend and had the unpleasant task of choosing which supermarket coffee I should take as a successor to my 3 day old Kenya A I spotted one of those big red grinders and figured that however stale the beans were (and in a country supermarket I didnt have very high hopes), if they were at least whole beans that I could grind on the spot it would have to be better than pre-ground.

                With a lump in my throat and recollections of my childhood recollections of these beauties sitting in the trolley while shopping at Coles New World with Mum, I wound the grinder around to its finest setting (espresso), dumped in the beans and started it up. My halcyonic bliss was shattered by what came out - it looked perfect for my plunger but even Stevie Wonder wouldnt pass it as espresso grind! The particles looked more like dolomite in size than fine beach sand. Perhaps the grind adjustment on this unit wasnt working, but if this unit was representative of what these grinders do then Im not surprised theyve been discontinued. Apart from the fact that they were rarely used anyway. I guess when people had percolaters and dripolaters they had some benefit but now everyones wants fine espresso grind I reckon these old clunkers just cant cut (er, grind) it any more.

                Greg

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                • #9
                  Re: Grinders in Grocery Stores


                  When I was in NZ the company I worked with was looking at re-introducing the grinders to supermarkets. The breakdown and maintanance cost blew the idea out of the water. The only option was to go for the Ditting machine which is computerised and can control blends and grinding from 6 seperate hoppers. The hoppers would contain single origins and blend and grind on demand. At 12K per shop this was soon forgotten.

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