Finally back available, the legendary Comandante hand grinder.
The Comandante C40 'Nitro Blade' grinder as we know it since 2016 has a history that goes back to 2013 (if i'm correct) when we heard rumours about a hand grinder from Germany, called Comandante, that finally made it possible to grind smoothly from the coarsest to the finest.
As with most promising coffee tools i wanted this and i wanted it asap, so i got in touch with the mother company and immediately ordered 12 pieces. In those days i believe we paid 70 or 75 euro a piece, sales price was €164, give or take.
The 12 grinders were gone in a couple of weeks time. But honestly, we only sold one, then i gave myself one and the ten others landed on the lap of each of my employees at Caffenation in those days. Everybody happy, but i was less happy, cause when i ordered more they told me i had to wait a bit since the grinder designer was sent back to the lab to make improvements. Later on i heard rumours there were troubles with the US safety regulations, but never had this confirmed.
This went on for years and the fame of this once fantastic product was gone by the time it returned to the market in 2016. With new burrs, new (huge) box, new names and a new consumer price, which is almost the same as it is now though; €228.
It was never been made clear what exactly changed, beside the burr set and why it was at once almost double in (buying) price.
Here you see an outside photo of the old burr set
and here the new one
More plastic though and extra screws.
It's kinda funny that when you go online and do some research, it's hard to find any info on Comandante that goes back before 2016, when they relaunched the product. It's like there's a dark history behind that may not be revealed.
This is what the inventor and CEO Bernd Braune says about the history:
"Years of work on conical burr geometries and manual grinder mechanics went into the Comandante C40 ‘Nitro Blade’ grinder. Available in Europe since the beginning of 2016, it is a successor to its previous type, MK3 Nitro Blade Comandante grinder."
And there it ends. Whatever, here some more info on this fantastic product:
Burrs: Patented High-Alloyed High-Nitrogen Stainless Steel
Hopper Body: Stainless Steel, Wood Veneer
Axle & Crank: Stainless Steel
Crank-Knob: 100% Natural Oak Wood
Grind catchment jar: Glass (Holds approximately 40g.)
Axle Bearings: 2x Stainless Steel Micro Ball Bearing with Rubber Seals
High-nitrogen martensitic steel is extremely difficult to work with. But when finished, it is tough, highly wear resistant and has a high degree of edge retention.
While this grinder is many things, cheap is not one of them. Though we think the Comandante C40 MKIII is a great investment in the quality of your daily coffee and therefore well worth the money, only you can decide if you can handle the high price tag.
The Comandante C40 MKIII Coffee Grinder is a masterpiece. With diverse and beautifully consistent grind settings, extra sharp and well-stabilized burrs, and a high-quality body, we can’t think of much negative to say about this grinder apart from the price.
When the grinder became back into fashion in 2017, thanks to the great build quality, looks and exciting Comandante Coffee Championships, i remember one in Poland and several in Bucarest, which we sponsored with coffee, and so we sold dozens of them. Then sales slowed down and for budget reasons we decided to stop distribution for a couple of years.
After the amazing 2019 Aeropress championship, where almost all high scoring competitors used a Comandante, it was time get the grinders back on board although deliveries kept going slow and once in corona this did not improve.
Last week we finally received a new box of 12 wenge wood grinders. Five of them sold in one week and extra stock is 23 weeks away (black and wenge variants). So better be fast for this lot. We sell them in our bars or online for €233, shipping included. If you don't have one yet; always welcome in the Comandante family! Keep on grinding.