If you’ve been to a coffee shop, you may notice baristas using a small container or knockbox to dispose of used coffee grounds.
However, if you’re new to the coffee world, you will ask: What is a knockbox? Is it necessary while brewing your drink?
This article will discuss many aspects of this tool, like its functionalities and benefits. Let’s delve into it to discover!
A knock box is an essential tool used in espresso machines to dispose of used coffee grounds neatly and efficiently.
Let’s look at the function, design, and the different types of knock boxes available on the market.
Generally, this container is specifically designed to dispose of used coffee grounds after making your cup.
After brewing your coffee, knock the portafilter against the bar and release the used coffee grounds into this tool.
This way is more effective than using a trash can, as it keeps the grounds contained and prevents them from making a mess.
A knock box typically consists of a sturdy container, a bar or rod, and a removable drawer or bucket.
The tool is typically made of stainless steel or plastic. Also, it’s designed to withstand the force of the portafilter being knocked against it.
The bar or rod is used to knock the portafilter, usually made of rubber or silicone, to absorb the shock.
The removable drawer or bucket collects the used coffee grounds and can be quickly emptied and cleaned.
Several different types of knock boxes are available on the market. Each one has its unique features and benefits. Here are some of the most common types:
Countertop Knock boxes
These models are the most common type. They are small and compact, perfect for home or small coffee shops.
They can hold a moderate amount of used coffee grounds and are typically made of plastic or stainless steel.
Drawer knock boxes
These tools are larger than their countertop counterparts and are designed to be underneath a countertop.
They are perfect for coffee shops with limited counter space; you can tuck them away when not in use.
They often have a larger capacity than their countertop counterparts and are made of stainless steel.
Tamping station knock boxes
These tools are the largest type of knock box and made of durable materials, ideal for high-volume coffee shops.
They have a built-in tamping station, which allows baristas to tamp the coffee grounds directly into the portafilter.
Why Do You Need A Knockbox?
Below are the primary reasons you can consider getting a knock box beside your coffee maker:
A coffee knock box is an easy and convenient way to dispose of your used coffee grounds.
You often have to scrape the grounds from your portafilter and into the garbage.
However, you can knock the portafilter against this tool several times to remove the grounds.
This tool saves time and eliminates the risk of getting coffee grounds over your countertop.
Another significant benefit of using this container is that it keeps your coffee machine much cleaner.
Disposing your used coffee grounds directly into the garbage can create a mess and leave coffee residue on your portafilter.
It can eventually lead to clogs and other issues with your machine. Using this tool, you can keep the grounds in a contained area and prevent them from making a mess.
These utensils are also environmentally friendly. Instead of throwing away your used coffee grounds, contributing to landfill waste, you can collect them in this tool and use them for other purposes.
For example, you can use these leftover grounds to fertilizer your plants and add them to a compost bin.
If you have never used this tool, it’s best to consider the following guides:
Before you begin, have a clean and dry knockbox ready. Place it on a flat surface near your espresso machine.
After pulling a shot of espresso, remove the portafilter from the machine and hold it over the knockbox.
Hold the portafilter by its handle and give it a firm tap against the bar of the knockbox.
This step will release the used coffee grounds from the portafilter into the container.
Repeat until you empty all the coffee grounds.
Once finished, give the knockbox a quick tap on the side to settle the coffee grounds at the bottom.
Open the tool and empty the coffee grounds into a compost bin or trash can. Rinse this container with water and let it dry.
When looking for a knock box, consider the following factors:
Ensure this tool is large enough to hold a significant amount of coffee grounds.
However, it should not be too massive and takes up too much area on your countertop.
The material of this tool is also an essential factor to consider. Typical materials can be stainless steel, plastic, or silicone.
Stainless steel is the most durable and long-lasting material but can be heavier and louder when used.
Plastic models are lightweight and affordable but may crack or wear out over time.
Silicone containers are also lightweight and durable but can be challenging to clean and maintain.
It’s best to opt for an easy-to-use tool. Some types have detachable parts that can be washable in the dishwasher, while others require manual cleaning.
You also want to consider the shape of the tool. Some have a square or rectangular shape, while others have a curved design, making knocking out the coffee grounds easier.
A knock box is a must-have tool for all coffee lovers. It’s an effective way to remove used coffee grounds and helps keep your kitchen clean.
You will find one that meets your needs and fits your budget because several types are available on the market.
Otherwise, you can make a DIY version. Follow the instructions in this video: