Before getting into the whole, "I'm not awake enough to hand-grind my coffee beans that early in the morning just to save a couple of watts" argument, hear us out. This person-powered coffee accessory just might do the trick. We've been struggling for the last year to find a good green balance to our coffee routine. We've made great strides: we take our own cups to the coffee shop, we bring home fair-trade, locally roasted beans by the pound, and we employ our own french press when making it at home. But we do indeed still have one of those ridiculously loud (and not very effective) grinders. While it doesn't use much energy... we were still intrigued with this hand-cranked grinder.
The folks over at Publicola bring up the point, too, that these old grinders were made to last. We had one in the kitchen growing up that my mom found at an antique shop. She insisted it still worked, but that was well before my coffee-drinking years.
Most models available, antique or new, offer adjustable grinds and many reviews we've read say that the grind is quite uniform, even on the older antique models.
• Back to Basics: Stovetop Espresso
• Hot Tip: Do More With Your Coffee Grounds
(Image: Flickr member suzettesuzette, licensed under Creative Commons.)