Used coffee grounds may smell and make your coffee station filthy and untidy over time. They can also block your coffee machine’s portafilter, causing problems with the brewing process.
As a result, it's important to get rid of the puck as soon as possible. Using a coffee knock box is the most convenient way to do so.
This article will explain how to use a coffee knock box and why you need one.
What is a coffee knock box?
A coffee knock box is an essential equipment that every barista, café owner, or even enthusiastic home brewer must own.
It's a tiny, bin-shaped gadget that you may use to quickly and easily dispose of wasted coffee grounds and leftovers, saving time and effort.
Because you physically knock the coffee grounds from the portafilter directly into the bucket section after it’s full of coffee grounds, it’s known as the knock box.
The coffee grounds are ejected into the knock box when you knock the filter into it, leaving the filter clean in seconds! Knowing that, you might wonder how you used to dispose of coffee grounds in the past.
Well, to get rid of them, you could’ve either used a small bin or placed them in the garbage! This method has always been tedious because it’s important to be hygienic about the process when dealing with coffee grounds.
You also have to be extremely careful when placing coffee grounds into a bin or trash can. You never know when you'll accidentally spill or lose control of the grounds, spreading them all over the place.
Types of knock box
There are many different knock box styles in the market, each with its benefits and drawbacks. When it comes to the type you should choose, there are many considerations to make. Some can hold large amounts of coffee grounds while others can’t.
Plastic Knock Boxes
These are the most cost-effective boxes available. Because they’re easy to shape, they come in a variety of colors and design styles.
They are portable and simple to operate, making them perfect for everyday usage at home.
Plastic knock boxes are the most durable devices on the market, notwithstanding their convenience.
They can hold up to 3lbs of coffee grounds and come in a variety of sizes, so you may even find one that suits the size of your portafilter.
What’s more, they usually come in a set with a plastic scoop and even with a tray to hold the used grounds. It makes it easier for you to get rid of the coffee puck quickly and efficiently.
Stainless Steel Knock Boxes
Although stainless steel knock boxes are more expensive than plastic ones, most cafés and households prefer them. It is because they are more robust and come in larger sizes without sacrificing their strength.
Furthermore, many coffee drinkers prefer stainless steel to plastic because it looks nicer and is more professional. It makes them ideal for offices or cafes.
To maintain the shine of your stainless steel knock box, it’s essential to clean it regularly. There are many ways you can do this.
For example, you may use some soap and hot water or baking soda with water to clean it. Remember that if your knock box is stainless steel, avoid using abrasive cleaners not to damage the surface.
Drawer-Style Knock Boxes
They’re flat rectangular boxes with a built-in drawer that fits under a coffee grinder or machine.
Knock boxes with drawers are more costly than the others. You must clean them regularly since the drawer design restricts circulation and ventilation, allowing mold to thrive. Despite this, you don't need to worry about the drawer breaking.
It is because of the hard plastic construction that ensures it will not break or crack easily. You can be confident that year after year, no matter what state of repair your knock box is in (whether it’s new or old), it will withstand the test of time and still work like new.
Now that we know what a knock box is and its types, let's look at how to them!
How to use a knock box
As there are no settings or buttons to push, using the coffee knock box is surprisingly simple.
After you've properly extracted the espresso from your portafilter, knock it three or four times in the center of the knock bar.
Keep your knock box steady, especially if it’s plastic, to avoid it toppling over while being pounded. The taps should be forceful yet soft, allowing the wasted coffee grinds to fall into the bucket.
The knock box should stand upright, allowing you to see if the spent coffee grounds have been removed easily. This way, you'll know when it's time to refill your portafilter with fresh coffee grounds or clean it.
For the durable stainless steel knock boxes, there are other steps you need to take, such as cleaning them and regularly checking for leaks.
Why do you need a knock box?
As mentioned before, coffee grounds are crucial to the taste of your coffee. However, they can become rancid after some time. It makes it extremely important to dispose of them as soon as possible.
Before the invention of the knock box, there were no efficient ways to do this. The only option was to transfer the coffee grounds to a bin or garbage can.
The problem is that you might spill them, making it difficult for you to clean up the mess.
Also, because you cover the coffee grounds at all times, the aroma always remains inside your kitchen after brewing. It often makes it hard for people to enjoy freshly brewed coffee in their homes.
What’s more, the aroma could spread if there are any leaks or cracks in the garbage or trash bins that aren’t properly sealed or cleaned regularly. The knock box solved both problems by allowing you to dispose of coffee grounds quickly and without hassle.
You can use it at home, in the office, or even at cafés. The good news is that these are reusable, so no need to worry about buying new ones.
Benefits of using a knock box
Here’s a checklist of some great benefits you get from using a knock box:
- More hygienic: It’s crucial to have a clean brewing process. If you fail to remove coffee grounds from your portafilter, they will continue to release off-flavors and aromas into your coffee. It can be overpowering and is something that you should avoid at all costs.
- Easier to clean: You can use soap, dishwashing liquid, or even hot water to clean the knock box quickly. It’s also easy to wipe out stains and coffee spills with a sponge. So, if you have a busy schedule, cleaning the knock box won’t take more than 5 minutes of your time.
- Convenient: You can quickly dispose of spent coffee grounds with a knock box. It’s impossible to over-pour, over-drip, or under-drip coffee with this tool. You also won’t have to taste or smell bitter or stale coffee grinds in your kitchen.
- Environment-friendly: Coffee grounds are frequently thrown away because people are unaware of another alternative. It is not only terrible for the environment since it adds to the amount of waste and debris in landfills, but it may also intensify the unpleasant odor in your garbage can.
Rather, compost your used coffee grounds. You may keep your leftover coffee grinds in the Knock Box until the bucket is full.
You may now empty it into your compost bin, which will transform these coffee grinds into a rich fertilizer with appropriate care, upkeep, and a little bit of time.
- Prevents bad odor: The odor of old, stale coffee beans is powerful and unpleasant. The nasty odor of an old coffee can come from your garbage in offices or households where a lot of coffee is drunk, especially after a long day of consuming hot beverages.
On the other hand, The Knock Box retains the odor of coffee grinds, keeping it from spreading throughout your home or office kitchen.
Hopefully, you’re now able to understand more about knock boxes, how they work, and how they came to be.
Just remember that while coffee grounds are essential for brewing great coffee, it's always better to be safe than sorry.
If you do not know where to dispose of your coffee grounds through an effective system like knock boxes, you should consider investing in one.
Thank you for reading! And if you have any questions or concerns, please leave a comment below. Cheers! :)