Return of the Comandante
When your job involves making cup after cup of coffee for other people all day, you might be inclined to slack off at home.
But David Gardner, one of our baristas, approaches his own morning cup with the same level of precision he uses behind the DoubleShot counter. He starts by grinding his coffee beans with a Comandante C40 Nitro hand grinder.
We began selling these German-engineered grinders last summer and quickly sold out. Now, we have a new shipment in and are offering them in a beautiful new wood, American cherry.
This grinder is a pure joy to use _ from the way it feels heavy in your hand to the complete absence of wobble that plagues most other hand grinders when you turn the handle.
David says his morning coffee at home was transformed when he replaced his blade grinder with the Comandante. “Without changing any other variables, like the temperature or heat – only changing the grinder – it was like a night and day difference,” he says.
All the complex aromas in DoubleShot Coffee beans just seemed to pop out, he says. The grinder can be adjusted by the micron for every grind, from almost powdery Turkish coffee to coarse grinds for a French press. David says he can dial in for precision to make a proper cup of coffee at home.
“My blade grinder literally just chopped everything up. There was no consistency at all,” he says. “There’s no way to delineate between course or fine. You just do less or more.”
He had planned to purchase an electric grinder but went with the Comandante when he learned it could do the same grinds and do them more quietly.
“As people are waking up in the house, it’s nice to do this quiet grind. It’s therapeutic almost,” he says.
The burrs on the Comandante are made of very hard stainless steel with cutting surfaces that have been honed and sharpened to knifelike sharpness. When you turn the crank, you can feel it slicing through the coffee instead of crushing it.
Another one of our baristas, Huxley Owens, bought one as well, even though he had a perfectly good GSI hand grinder, as well as an electric grinder.
“There’s not really much wrong with it (the GSI). But not being able to dial it in stepwise like you can with the Comandante meant there was no real way for me to know, other than by constantly looking at my grind size, to see where it was at. My big problem was inconsistency. I turned 30 clicks on the Comandante and made a pourover. It was instantly good.”
We sell the Comandante for $235. David, who admits he isn’t typically inclined to spend that kind of money on kitchen gear, says he considers the grinder to be worth it after several months of use.
“I had a boss once who said, ‘When you buy the best, you only cry once.’ I have no regrets,” he says. “With the tactile feel of this piece, I know the quality is here. It is always consistent and it is smooth and quiet. It does exactly what I want it to do.
“It’s not the most affordable thing, but I think every barista here that wants one has gotten one. It’s a sacrifice that’s just necessary for great coffee.”
We’re offering the grinder in two finishes _ zebra wood and American cherry. If you haven’t held the Comandante in your hand, we encourage you to pick up one of the display grinders in the shop. You’ll know what our baristas mean about how you can feel the quality.
Hand grinding your coffee beans might take just a little bit longer than an electric grinder, but Huxley believes it adds to his coffee experience.
“When I’m in a rush, I take that five minutes to grind up my coffee, get my water ready to go, make my pourover and stop thinking about all the things I have to do. I just enjoy that experience of making and drinking coffee. I try to count it as a purposeful part of my day.”
He adds, “I’ve even considered regifting my electric grinder.”
You will find the Comandante C40 Nitro grinder in the shop or you can check it out online at: