The brand name “Peugeot” is one of the oldest in France and certainly one of most famous and highly respected. Peugeot produced its first hand-cranked coffee mill in the year 1840 and first pepper mill in the year 1842, long before it made motor cars and bicycles. Almost 170 years later, Peugeot is still a leader in pepper mills, salt mills, and home coffee mills.
The mechanism is the heart of any mill. When the mechanism is turned by hand, it rotates one milling surface against a fixed milling surface. For peppercorns and coffee beans, Peugeot uses case-hardened steel (a manufacturing process that combines the toughness and ductility of a low-carbon steel core with the hardness and durability of high-carbon steel casing) for its milling mechanisms. Individually cut grooves cut into the steel for channeling and milling that first crack then mill the grain to the desired size setting (size is set by adjusting the distance between the two milling surfaces).
In total, Peugeot produces six unique mechanisms that are designed for specific seasonings and spices, which maximize the flavors and aromas of each. In addition to the pepper mill mechanism, Peugeot produces different mechanisms for sea salt crystals, dried chili peppers, dry leafy herbs and hard seeds, wet salt, and nutmeg. As a testament to quality, each mechanism also carries a lifetime warranty against manufacturing and material defects.
A recent innovation to Peugeot pepper and salt mills has been the introduction of its exclusive, patented u’Select grind adjustment system. It allows one to adjust quickly and easily the grind with a simple twist of the mill’s base. Select from powdery-fine to very coarse with consistent results every time. The u’Select system is available on select styles of pepper and salt mills only. Other mills continue to use the traditional thumbwheel on the mill’s dome to adjust grind fineness.
The first Peugeot coffee mill was highly innovative for the year 1840 with its unique milling mechanism. As the mill turned, coffee beans were drawn from a hopper through the grooved channels in the mechanism, where they were first cracked, thus releasing more coffee oils essential for fresh coffee flavor, then grinding the grains to the desired size. The simple thumbwheel allowed the grind to be adjusted from very fine to very coarse, depending upon the needs of the coffee brewing process and type of coffee. Today, the Peugeot “Nostalgie” coffee mill recaptures the original design from 1840.
In the time since the year 1810 when the first products (steel saw blades) were produced, the original Peugeot has split into different Peugeot companies. For example, today the Peugeot manufacturer of pepper, salt, and coffee mills is separate from the Peugeot automobile company and the Peugeot bicycle company. All share, however, the same heritage, heritage.