Espresso 101: Why Everyone Needs a Good Knock Box
Knock boxes are like the middle child of the espresso world– we’d never give them second thought unless they went missing. Perhaps this is a little harsh to readers with older and younger siblings, but the take home is knock boxes serve an essential purpose but are generally overlooked. They’re well worth the investment if you’re not already using one.
A Life of Hard Knocks
As the name implies, knock boxes live a life of knocks. They’re the go-to disposal place for espresso machine owners. Remove the portafilter, give it a hit over the knock box and you’re back in business to make another espresso drink. It’s much faster and cleaner than heading over to the trash can after each espresso. Most boxes include a lowered front for easy access and a handle for quick dumping (and something to knock against). A good box should hold a fair amount of grounds but not be too big as to take up half the counter.
Knock boxes are also a useful accessory for quickly disposing of Aeropress pucks (I’ve missed the rubbish bin more an a few times) and coffee grounds in general. There’s nothing worse than coffee splattered all over the sink.
Our Knock Box Picks
Most knock boxes are fairly utilitarian. Unless you’re running a business operation and need absolutely efficiency, get something more stylish and fun instead. Sexy espresso machines deserve the full treatment (no pun intended). Check out our knock box picks.
1. Dreamfarm Grindenstein
The Grindenstein is one of the most exciting espresso accessories Coffee Krave has seen in a while. If it weren’t from the handle you might confuse it for a plant pot. A CoffeeGeek test shows that it holds up well and stays in place, though it small size limits it to personal home use only.
2. Breville Knock Box BCB100
This die-cast metal knock box matches the stainless steel color of many espresso machines, including all Breville models. It’s also well-constructed but a bit bigger than the Grindenstein. One neat feature is a removable inner liner that you can clean in the dishwasher.
3. Rustic Repurposed Wood Coffee Knockbox
I like the contrast this Indie alternative from Etsy creates with a modern chrome espresso maker. It’s made from salvaged wood coated with an EPA-approved sealant and includes rubber feet on the bottom. Since each one is handmade you can pick one of the following woods: walnut, oak, cherry or maple.
Alternative: Make Your Own Box
It’s easy enough to make your own knock box with salvaged wood and/or plastic. Check out what this CoffeeSnobs forum user made. Make sure to add a water-resistant coating if using wood.
Main image: Stefano J Attardi
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