Exquisite Handmade Salt, Pepper & Coffee Mills

As a child visiting my Theía (Aunt) in Nea Makri, Greece, I was fascinated by the shiny object on her kitchen table. Not only beautiful to look at, it was also fascinating to use. Made from brass, it stood tall, featured stunning engravings and had a removable base - this I learned was the Greek coffee mill, also known as a ‘hand coffee grinder’.

The grinder was believed to have originated during the Ottoman Empire. The Ottomans were renowned for their coffee culture, and they developed various methods and tools for preparing and enjoying coffee, including the manual coffee grinder. Over time, these grinders became popular throughout the region, including Greece, where they are still commonly used today to grind coffee beans finely for making traditional Greek coffee.

According to the legend, and often referred to as the ‘Greek soldier coffee grinder’ or ‘Greek soldier coffee mill’,  during the Greek War of Independence in the early 19th century, Greek soldiers repurposed discarded cannon shells from the battlefield into improvised coffee mills. These soldiers, lacking conventional tools but needing a way to grind their coffee beans, ingeniously converted the metal shells into functional coffee grinders by adding a handle and grinding mechanism.

While this story is widely circulated and celebrated in Greek culture, it is difficult to verify its historical accuracy. However, the story has become a cherished part of Greek folklore, reflecting the resourcefulness and resilience of the Greek people during challenging times.

Alexander Copper Pepper Mill

Since 1977, exquisite Alexander Mills have been meticulously handcrafted in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, embodying timeless elegance and inspired by the legend of the portable coffee mill used by Greek soldiers in the field during the early 1900s - their classic design has stood the test of time. Founded by Mr. H. Ioannou and Mr. G. Zarkadis, their vision was clear; to produce mills of unparalleled quality. With backgrounds in mechanical engineering and a deep love for both design and functionality, they handcrafted their first traditional pepper grinder, sparking the start of their product line which now includes salt, pepper and coffee mills. Combining heritage, durability, premium materials, meticulous craftsmanship, and unmistakable style, these mills add an irresistible touch of sophistication to any kitchen or culinary space.

See our collection of handmade Greek salt, pepper and coffee mills here.

Hematite Gloss Plated Brass Pepper Mill

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