Between two large commercial coffee grinders from the United States, there’s a banner featuring a picture and the story of the man without whom the Museum of Coffee Grinders wouldn’t exist. Here’s his story:
Rolf Scheuermann was born in the city of Karlsruhe in 1930. As a youngster, he trained as a mechanic. Then, in the 1970s, he came across a beautiful old 1930s coffee grinder at a flea market. It no longer worked, but as a skilled mechanic, he was able to repair it. That was the moment when everything changed, and he became a passionate collector of vintage coffee grinders.
As it happens, his work also involved machines that prepare coffee beverages, because something else happened in the 1970s. At work, he was irritated by a hot drinks dispenser with a quirk: it would serve up hot chocolate instead of coffee and coffee in place of hot chocolate. Rolf Scheuermann bought the machine and repaired it. That laid the foundation for his career in business. For more than 45 years, the firm of Scheuermann, based here in Wiernsheim since the 1980s, has been supplying and maintaining hot and cold drinks dispensers and vending machines.
But Rolf Scheuermann never lost his passion for simple, manually operated coffee grinders. He devoted himself to collecting them from all over the world. The result was Germany's largest collection of working, antique coffee mills. The oldest grinder is more than 300 years old, and you’ll see it in the next room. Rolf Scheuermann bequeathed his collection to the municipality of Wiernsheim in 2008. By doing so, he laid the foundation for this museum.
Rolf Scheuermann died in 2013, shortly before his 83rd birthday. Before he died, he transferred his firm and his assets to the Rolf Scheuermann Foundation, a charity that supports many social projects in and around Wiernsheim – including the Museum of Coffee Grinders.
Incidentally, the museum is fully accessible. There is a lift which will take you to the upper floors.
All depictions: © Kaffeemühlenmuseum Wiernsheim