The departure begins with what the company calls the Etzinger Mechanism, a novel take on the conical grinding process pioneered by Christian Etzinger, the Austrian aeronautical engineer based in Switzerland that designs and manufactures burrs for Baratza and other grinder-makers in a factory in neighboring Liechtenstein.
“You need coffee to bunch up a little bit after it’s been ground,” said Anderson, “or you will have a static nightmare.”
Anderson said Baratza and other grinder manufacturers often compare notes, with static universally regarded as problematic. “We all live with static. It is a freakin’ black magic demon,” Anderson said. “The only thing that everyone agrees on regardless of manufacturer — and I’ve been futzing around with this since 1989, personally — is that you want to provide a very small amount of backpressure after the coffee’s been ground. Otherwise you might as well go get some compressed air and blast that [stuff] all over the room.”