QUESTION: What’s the point of an espresso knock box? I saw one at this specialty coffee place, but I don’t really understand what it is or why you would need it. – Jacob V
CLEARLY COFFEE ANSWER: Espresso knock boxes are extremely practical and useful if you have a manual espresso machine. With super automatic machines, the machine will automatically eject the used coffee puck into a container that you have to dump out when it fills up.
But if you’re making espresso drinks with a manual machine, having a knock box allows you to pull several shots in a row without having to walk away to the trash can or the sink to dispose of each used espresso puck.
You just “knock” the portafilter (that’s the handle thing that holds the coffee grounds into the machine) into the knock box after each espresso shot. Some people will store several days’ worth of used coffee pucks in the knock box, and others like to empty out their knock box each day so that the wet pucks don’t get moldy, as they can if you leave them for a long time.
And by the way, if you buy a knock box, don’t just buy the coolest looking one. Check and see how easy it is to actually empty out, and how easy it is to wash it out and clean it later.