The roots of coffee are in the commodities, in dry goods that get stored, traded, and milled. We now understand coffee a little bit differently, not as some monolithic thing that never really goes bad, but with each crop having a different flavor profile that change it ages (which is why everyone chases after fresh crops). But one designer is taking coffee back to the mill and silo days with a fresh new take on the grinder and storage bin.
As reported by Design Boom, known as Silo/Mill, the coffee grinder and vacuum storage container are the work of Alexander Shayle, a London-based designer with the firm Seymour Powell. The pair put a modern, minimalist spin on the agricultural structures, in a sense returning the “functions these structures are designed for,” per Shayle.
Made of aluminum alloy, the bodies of the two pieces give the appearance of corrugated steel paneling typically seen in this type of structure. The Mill—the grinder—features a 50mm flat burr set, and the vacuum sealed container, the Silo, is made of “a modular construction of rings inspired by the assembly of grain silos.”
The Silo/Mill is not Shayle’s first foray into the world of coffee design. In 2019, he worked with ROK Coffee to create the W1 Filter pour-over system, a W-shaped conical brewing device that doesn’t not look like a v60 with a bundt plug. But unlike the W1, the Silo/Mill is just a concept and is not in production.
Still, one can’t help but appreciate the thoughtful design and the modern reimagining of the traditional structures. I’d happily put it on my counter.