At first glance, a knock box can seem like an unnecessary accessory, just one more piece of coffee gear to clutter up your kitchen. But these funny little boxes are surprisingly useful and worthwhile if you regularly use an espresso machine. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know before buying a knock box and then give our picks for the best espresso knock boxes of 2023.
What Is A Knock Box?
A knock box or ‘bash bin’ is simply a box used to store used espresso pucks after a shot has been pulled. They all have simple, functional designs and are generally made of plastic or stainless steel with a sturdy bar to knock your portafilter on to release the puck. A knock box is a helpful accessory to accompany an espresso machine, making clean up a breeze.
Why Do You Need a Knock Box?
The main reasons you should consider getting a knock box are convenience and cleanliness. A knock box makes clean up a breeze so you can sit back and enjoy that espresso faster! You won’t have to worry about dripping espresso on your floor as you carry your portafilter to the sink or bin. You won’t risk blocking your drain if you are discarding used pucks down the sink or damaging your bin if you are knocking the portafilter on that. A Knock Box is a simple but functional tool that can make life that little bit easier.
Best Espresso Knock Box 2023
Grindenstein Knock Box
The Gridenstein Knock Box is a popular and attractive option. It is a sturdy knock box made of plastic with a rubber-coated stainless steel bar. It comes in red, black, or silver colors to suit all styles. It is a very durable knock box standing up to years of regular use. In addition to this, it comes in 2 sizes: a compact size that can fit under the group head of most espresso machines and a larger one if you use it frequently.
Breville Knock Box
The Breville Knock Box has a larger capacity than the Grindenstein so is perfect for frequent use, or for those who don’t want to empty their knock box very often. It features a brushed stainless steel body that matches the Breville espresso machine aesthetics, for a perfect pairing. The interior of the box, including the bar, is made from plastic. The inside box also lifts out for ease of emptying and cleaning. On the bottom of the knock box is a rubber grip to prevent slipping. The Breville knock box has a sleek design that will pair well with many espresso machines.
Breville Knock Box Mini
Similar in design to the Breville Knock Box, the Mini’s main point of difference is its compact size. This compact knock box is made to fit under most espresso machine group heads. Despite the smaller size, the Breville Mini can still hold up to 20 used pucks, which is more than sufficient for most households.
It features a sleek stainless steel body with a removable plastic knock bar and an anti-slip rubber grip on the bottom. This is a well-made, sturdy espresso knock box that stands up to years of use.
The Cafelat Tubbi is named after its simple design, in short, it is a plastic tub with a rubber bar. The knock box is made from tough ABS plastic, with a silicone ring at the bottom to help absorb noise and prevent slipping. The rubber bar is removable making it easy to empty and clean. And speaking of cleaning, thankfully, the Cafelat Tubbi is dishwasher safe.
The Cafelat knock box has a simple but modern design. It comes in two sizes, both with a large capacity. The 5-inch box holds 10 used pucks, while the 6-inch box holds an impressive 40 pucks. There is also a range of colors to choose from.
Joefrex Knock Box Drawer
The Joefrex Drawer Base is a significant step up in price, but it is an attractive solution to disposing of used coffee grounds! The drawer is designed to sit under an espresso machine or coffee grinder, which is ideal when counter space is at a premium. Not only does it slot easily into an espresso setup, but it keeps coffee grounds out of sight.
The Joefrex Drawer is built from heavy stainless steel, forming a firm base for your grinder or espresso machine. The knock bar is removable and made from silicone-coated aluminum. Under the drawer are solid rubber feet to prevent it from slipping. There is a range of different sizes available, to pair with different-sized coffee grinders and espresso machines.
Overall, the Joefrex is a high-quality drawer base that will pair perfectly with that gleaming Italian espresso machine. Drawer bases offer a high capacity without cluttering the counter. However, due to the high price tag, they are more commonly seen in commercial environments.
Homee Coffee Knock Box
The Homee Coffee Knock Box is an affordable and popular choice. Like many of the knock boxes above, it shares the same simple design. The Homee knock box does, however, come in either a square or round shape.
The box itself is made from sturdy ABS plastic, with a removable rubber bar. You can choose to upgrade the rubber bar to a metal one if you want a more durable option. A non-slip rubber pad under the knock box reduces noise and prevents slipping. The knock bar is simple to remove, allowing you to dispose of waste quickly. The Homee knock box also has a compact design to fit under most espresso machines.
Apexstone Knock Box
The Apexstone espresso knock box is the most affordable option on the list and while it functions as well as any other box, you do lose out on aesthetic appeal. The Apexstone knock box is basically a stainless steel box with a rubber rod. The box is durable and has a large capacity, however, this does mean sacrificing more counter space. The box has a wide opening, so you won’t spill any grounds. The rubber rod is not removable, which does make emptying and cleaning slightly more difficult. All-in-all though, this is an excellent option if you are looking for an affordable and basic espresso knock box.
Rattleware Hardwood Knock Box
Finally, we have the Rattleware Hardwood Knock box- the Cadillac of knock boxes. Built like a tank, it is designed for heavy-duty use and will last for many years. The knock box insert is made entirely of stainless steel, with a rubber-coated bash bar that is firmly welded in place. The insert sits in a beautiful maple wood box, that will add a touch of elegance to your espresso bar. On the bottom of the box are rubber feet to keep the box securely in place on your benchtop.
The Rattleware knock box has a large capacity and comes in a range of different sizes. The only downside is that it comes with a hefty price tag. Given the high-quality build and large capacity, this espresso knock box could work equally well at home or in a small cafe or office.
The Best Knock Box – The Verdict
We hope this article has given you some more clarity on why to buy a knock box and what to look for in one. Given that they are all very similar in features it really comes down to personal preference. We believe any of the knock boxes on this list will be good-quality purchases. However, the Gridenstein knock box is our personal favorite, with a modern design, solid build and compact footprint.
Types of Knock Boxes
There are three main types of knock boxes; a box or bin, a drawer, or a chute. The box style is the most common for home use, while the other two are typically found in a cafe or office setting which has a far higher turnover.
The box or bin is the most common type of knock box, particularly in a home setting. This is basically a small bin with a bar running across the top to whack the portafilter on. There are a huge variety of options available in different sizes, colors, and designs. The box is the most practical choice for a home barista, it is affordable, compact, and easy to clean.
Another option you could go for is a drawer. Drawers are designed to sit under a grinder or espresso machine with the aim of saving space. Given this, they have a sturdy build and a large capacity. They also keep your coffee nook clean and tidy, with any used grounds hidden away out of sight. The downside of a drawer is that they are very expensive. There is a wide range of sizes to cater to popular coffee grinders and espresso machines.
The final option is an open-bottomed knock chute. This is basically a knock box with an open bottom. It sits on top of a special bin, designed for collecting pucks. An open-bottomed chute is an affordable and practical way of dealing with a high volume of use. We have not included any of these on our list as they are really for a commercial environment and a bit overkill for use at home. But if you do think this kind of knock box would be more suited to your needs the Rattleware and Rhino Coffee Gear chutes are both good options.
What To Look For In A Knock Box?
When it comes to Knock Boxes there is not much variety. They all have very similar designs and function in the same basic way. Even the prices don’t vary that much. Probably the most important things to consider are aesthetic appeal, size, and sturdiness.
how to reuse Coffee Grinds
Instead of simply chucking your used coffee pucks in the garbage here are a few surprising eco-friendly alternatives:
How do you clean a knock box?
A knock box is very simple to clean. First, you empty the grounds into the bin, then wash the box and bar. This can either be done by handwashing in warm, soapy water or if your knock box is dishwasher safe, you can pop it through the dishwasher. Once the box is clean, dry it with a tea towel and put it back in place.
Do Knock Boxes smell?
No- an espresso knock box should not smell unless it has not been emptied for a long time and the grounds have grown moldy. We recommend emptying your knock box at least once a week.