The new Pietro hand grinder was hands down one of the coolest new pieces of coffee tech to debut at last month’s SCA Expo in Portland. Pairing an eye-catching silhouette with a host of color options—and some potentially game-changing mechanics—the voluminous new manual grinder was grabbing the attention of anyone in the general orbit of the roaster’s village. And it appears to have left a similar impression on the judges of the Red Dot Design Awards, who have named the Pietro hand grinder the winner for the 2023 Kitchen Appliances category.
Though this is their first product, the Veneto, Italy-based Pietro is not new to the grinder game. They are the sister company of the nearly-century-old grinder manufacturer Fiorenzato. The Pietro hand grinder distinguishes itself from the competition by being the first portable flat burr grinder; the Apex by Orphan Espresso is also a flat burr hand grinder, but seeing how it is meant to be bolted to a table, it doesn’t quite possess the portability many would associate with manual grinding. (YMMV on the Pietro being “portable” though, because it is a girthy fella.)
58mm in diameter and made of M340 steel, the flat burrs are aligned vertically. In this orientation, Pietro states that the stepless grinder has zero grind retention, whether using their B-model burrs—designed for a more bi-modal grind size distribution with espresso in mind—or their M-model, which has a “unimodal” curve for more all-around use.
The now-award winning design of the Pietro grinder was made in collaboration with Valerio Cometti and his V12 Design studio. V12 has a long history of high-minded design in the specialty coffee world, helping develop espresso machines for La Cimbali and Faema as well as grinders by Fiorenzato, and even the Cimbali Group’s Mumac Museum.
But be forewarned, the new Pietro hand grinder comes with a touch of sticker shock. Available now for purchase, the manual grinder ranges in price from €370-390 ($402-424 USD), depending on which burr set you select. Even still, flat burr acolytes may see the Pietro as the must-have hand grinder. And as a big fan of flat burr grinding myself, I think they might be right.
For more information, visit Pietro Grinders’ official website.
Zac Cadwalader is the managing editor at Sprudge Media Network and a staff writer based in Dallas. Read more Zac Cadwalader on Sprudge.