Everybody knows that making espresso is a process that requires many tools and implements. From machines and grinders to cups and milk-frothers, good coffee requires a host of implements that help you make the best cup of coffee possible.
Espresso knock boxes are important tools in coffee-making, and there are hundreds currently available on the market. The best knock boxes are made of high-quality materials such as stainless steel or plastic, and are extremely robust in order to allow for heavy use – mostly banging.
In order to determine which espresso knock box is right for you and your espresso-making endeavors, you will have to compare a few different options, looking at characteristics such as aesthetics, durability, and longevity of materials.
Choosing The Right Espresso Knock Box
The amount of espresso you tend to make on a daily basis will also determine which type of knock box is best for you. If you are only making one or two espresso shots per day, then a small knock box will suit you perfectly, especially considering how easy they are to clean and store.
If you make large amounts of espresso, then a bigger knock box will be a better option because it will mean you won’t have to empty it out as frequently.
When looking at materials, most knock boxes are made of plastic and metal. The metal knock boxes tend to be heavier and more durable, with a sturdier build. If you tend to knock aggressively or make a lot of espressos, then this might be the option for you.
Metal knock boxes are, however, more costly and tend not to be dishwasher safe. Plastic knock boxes are usually made of ABS plastic, which is a relatively affordable plastic that can resist cracking, scratching, and corrosion while remaining dishwasher safe.
Breville BCB100 Barista-Style Knock Box
It’s quite large, so you’ll save time by not having to empty and clean it as often, especially if you drink several espressos per day.
Its large size also makes it the greatest at catching spatter, making it ideal for aggressive knockers. On the other hand, in a small kitchen, it can take up a little too much space.
It has a die-cast metal shell with the same appealing brushed finish as Breville espresso machines, and a non-slip polymer ring is attached to the base. If you currently have a Breville coffee machine, this knock box will complement it beautifully.
The bar is built into the inner vessel, and the interior is made of plastic. While the knock bar cannot be removed separately, the entire interior can be washed in the dishwasher.
Rattlewear 25102 Open Bottom
Knock boxes with an open bottom (also known as knock box chutes) are commonly used in commercial settings, but there’s no reason why they wouldn’t function in a home. This type of knock box is inserted into a hole that is cut into a counter or bar top.
The portafilter is bashed on a bash bar, and the pucks are then collected in a bin that sits below the counter.
A knock box chute is probably the most effective way to dispose of your discarded pucks if you’re a high-volume espresso consumer and don’t mind the installation. This is why they’re so popular in busy cafés.
If you wish to go with a knock box shute, the Rattlewear 25102 comes highly recommended. It is also made of heavy-duty stainless steel and features a welded metal bar that is made to endure commercial use.
This 14-ounce, four-inch-tall knock box is tiny enough to fit on the drip tray of your espresso machine, freeing up counter space.
The Grindenstein is available in black, red, and silver and is made of robust, dishwasher-safe plastic. The rubber-coated steel bar isn’t removable, but it’s so durable that you won’t need to replace it very often.
This knock box might be a little more challenging to use due to its narrow opening. To keep the grounds from spilling, you may need to perfect your technique. Because of its modest capacity, you’ll have to empty it after about five or six pucks.
This model also includes a helpful pamphlet on how to recycle your old coffee grounds, eventually turning them into fertilizer.
JOEFREX Drawer Base Knock Box Drawer
A knock box drawer, such as this quality one from JOEFREX, is a terrific way to have a high-capacity knock box while ensuring it doesn’t take up precious counter space.
Another advantage of a drawer-style box is that it is tidier. You no longer have to look at (or smell) your used coffee grinds on the counter.
Knock box drawers are significantly more expensive than the simple bins we’ve discussed so far. As a result, they’re frequently targeted towards businesses. They are, nevertheless, a wonderful alternative for the serious home espresso enthusiast if you have the budget.
For a pleasant and less noisy knocking experience, the JOEFREX drawer frame is stainless steel, and the detachable bar is silicone-coated aluminum. Rubber feet on the bottom keep the drawer from sliding around and scratching your counter.
HOMEE Espresso Knock Box
The knock box by HOMEE is a simple and affordable design that appeals to the common at-home coffee consumer. The knock bar may be easily removed to discharge the waste, and it is constructed of dishwasher-safe ABS plastic for simple cleaning.
Because of its modest size, you can place it on the drip tray of your espresso machine, even if you have a little lever machine. It keeps firmly adhered to your counter thanks to a rubber gasket on the base. If you do happen to slide it around, it won’t scratch anything.
The knock bar is made of tough rubber that can withstand a beating while simultaneously reducing noise. Upgrade to a rubber-coated metal rod for a few dollars if you really want to be able to smack it hard.
Apexstone Stainless Steel Espresso Knock Box
Check out Apexstone’s stainless steel offering if you’re searching for a knock box that’s basic, robust, and affordable. This knock box vastly outperforms its low price point due to its longevity and simple design.
The Apexstone knock box has a large opening, preventing grounds from flowing all over the place, and it has a large capacity, so you won’t constantly have to empty it. On the other hand, it will occupy more counter space.
The rubber-wrapped bar isn’t removable, but at this price, you might as well replace the entire item if the bar starts to break down. To prevent slipping, the bottom of this knock box is weighted rather than having a non-slip pad.
Saizone “Knock Me” Espresso Coffee Grind Knock Box
With a stainless-steel frame and a rubber-wrapped, non-removable knock bar, the Saizone “Knock Me” box is a great choice. It is, however, relatively expensive. What’s the difference? This knock box comes in a gorgeous wooden box with “Knock Me” engraved in gold.
The “Knock Me” is long-lasting and highly effective. However, the outside box does not bring enough value to justify the higher price, and the decorative components may clash with the aesthetics of your kitchen. This knock box is also pretty large, with a big footprint and a weight of almost two pounds.
Osaka Knock Box
The small bin-style knock box from Osaka is just as functional as it is stylish. If you’ve already spent a lot of money on your home coffee setup, the Japanese-designed Osaka knock box will help you maintain the aesthetic of your setup.
Osaka claims to provide “the ultimate balance between looks and performance,” which seems to hold true with this box. It comes in numerous colors, including red with gold, brown with rose gold, and gray with silver, all being well-thought-out color combinations.
Of course, a knock box should be more than just a decorative item; it must also function properly. This one has a non-slip rubber ring on the bottom and is made of a unique ABS plastic that resists bacterial growth. The foam-coated steel bar is removable for easy cleaning, and the bin is also dishwasher safe.
What Is an Espresso Knock Box?
Espresso knock boxes go by many names, including coffee columns, bash bins, bang bangs, and slam pieces. What a knock box is, is essentially a simple device that allows you to store your used espresso grounds (also referred to as a puck) after extracting an espresso shot.
The compacted puck can sometimes be difficult to remove, and it is always extremely hot straight after the extraction; therefore, you will need a knock box that is able to withstand heat while remaining sturdy and durable.
A knock box is usually made of stainless steel or sturdy plastic and features a horizontal bar across the box, against which the portafilter is usually tapped in order to fully release the puck.
The “tapping” referred to above is usually a quite aggressive knocking in order to allow the espresso to dislodge after use, and so the knock box must be able to withstand this type of force on a daily basis without becoming damaged.
Consequently, rubber and stainless steel are often the best materials to use in this context due to their inherent sturdiness and strength. Rubber and stainless steel are also the most commonly used in the manufacture of espresso knock boxes.
In some coffee houses, knock boxes are built into the structure of drawers or counters, usually featuring stainless steel boxes situated near the coffee grinder and other accessories. While this might be a bit extreme for use in your home, the principle remains the same.
Space is another major consideration for your espresso knock box. Some of these devices can be quite large and occupy a significant amount of space. It’s important, therefore, that you choose an option that will fit properly into your kitchen without taking up too much of your valuable counter space.
While not particularly cheap items, knock boxes are considered pretty vital as part of your coffee-making toolkit. They make the cleanup process significantly easier and simpler and allow you to get back to your coffee-making sooner than you would without a knock-box.
Types of Espresso Knock Boxes
There are a multitude of shapes, styles, sizes, and prices when it comes to knock boxes. When looking at style, there are three that are most common. These are the bin, the open bottom, and the drawer-type knock box.
In a home setting, the bin is the most commonly found option. Drawers and open bottom-knock boxes are usually found in commercial settings but can still work relatively well in a home setting.
Bin-style knock boxes are small, sturdy items that essentially serve as miniature trash cans. They feature a knock bar across the top, and they are usually the most affordable option. Their size is an added advantage, being relatively small items that can easily be stored for later use.
Aesthetically, bin-style knock boxes are available in a variety of colors as well as designs. Knock box drawers are essentially normal drawers featuring a knock bar built into their structure.
They are made to fit underneath your espresso maker, saving space on the countertops and allowing you to keep the used coffee grounds hidden away from view. This option is pretty great but tends to be rather expensive.
Open-bottom knock boxes, or knock box chutes, are made to fit into your countertop, which means that they tend to feature more frequently in commercial applications. However, if you tend to make large amounts of espresso at home, this may just be the right product for you.
Whichever knock box you decide to choose for your home, ensure you choose one that is correct for you and your needs. You’ll want to invest in a knock box that is high in quality and made with strong materials that are durable and will withstand any amount of bashing you may force them to endure.