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I recently bought a coffee grinder with non-removable burrs (rather than a blade). The only parts of the machine that is actually of a substance that requires Tevillah are the burrs themselves. I assume that the motor is also made out of metal, but since the motor does not touch the coffee beans, it does not require Tevillah. Do the burrs need to be immersed?

There are a few factors that lead to my uncertainty:

  1. They are made of metal - Metal is a material that would require Tevillah under the right circumstances.

  2. They come in direct contact with the coffee beans and grind them up - This might require Tevillah as an act of food preparation.

  3. Another act of preparation is required for the beans to be "edible" (ie, brewing the grinds) - Generally speaking, if another act of preparation is required, the owner is advised to immerse it without a Berachah. I assume this is because of doubt as to whether or not Tevillah is required. See, for example, this article advising Tevillah without a Berachah for meat grinders: http://www.kashrut.com/articles/tevilas_keilim/

  4. The beans/grinds themselves are not eaten as food. Hot water is poured over the grinds (in the case of drip coffee or espresso) and then extracted, with the flavor, nutrients, color, etc. of the beans/grinds, or the beans/grinds are brewed in hot water and then separated from the final drink (in the case of a press). - I wonder if this would be akin to the level of preparation of clippers used to pick herbs that are used for flavoring but not actually eaten (or even eaten in small quantities), such as dill or cilantro. Do such clippers require Tevillah if the harvester/farmer is Jewish?

I am aware of the possible solution of completely disassembling the unit, removing the burrs, replacing the burrs and reassembling the unit, effectively making myself the final "builder" of the grinder, obviating the necessity to immerse it altogether. I am trying to avoid this solution, as it not only may void my warranty, but my own inexperience with this type of activity may risk rendering the unit ineffective or, possibly, dangerous.

Please cite your sources if you can.

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3  
Nice job laying out the issues you're already considering in clear detail! –  Isaac Moses Oct 14 '10 at 17:39
1  
She'elat m.y chatzi tshuva. –  Shalom Oct 14 '10 at 17:48
1  
@Shalom When it's done bechochma, at least. –  Isaac Moses Oct 14 '10 at 17:56

3 Answers 3

If the burrs are non-removable and the grinder is electric, that alone may be a reason not to require tovelling.

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1  
Where is the source that plugging something in makes it Mechubar LeKarka'? –  Seth J Mar 15 '11 at 19:23
    
"Where is the source that plugging something in makes it Mechubar LeKarka'?" is a great Purim-Torah question. –  Shmuel Brin Mar 22 '12 at 18:33
    
@ShmuelBrill except that it was serious. –  Seth J Mar 22 '12 at 20:14
    
@SethJ who said that electricity makes something mechubar lekarka? –  Shmuel Brin Mar 22 '12 at 20:19
    
@ShmuelBrill I was referring to the third bullet in Shalom's answer to his own question (which he linked in this answer). See my comments there. –  Seth J Mar 22 '12 at 20:31
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Rule #7 on the list at the top half of this article from the Star-K, identifying what types of items do not require Tevillah, seems to answer my question.

"Utensils used exclusively with raw, non-edible food, for instance cookie cutters or a metal tenderizer hammer do not need tevila."

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Most electrical items can be Toiveled as is, and then left for 24-48 hours to dry out without affecting the integrity of the item.

http://www.oukosher.org/index.php/weblog/C213/P0/

Electric appliances require tevillah. The entire kli must be immersed—including the fixed elements and the cord end where it is attached to the appliance even though they do not come into contact with the food. The remaining length of the cord and the plug need not be immersed. Removable electric elements and cords do not require tevillah. Experience has shown that there is no danger involved if the appliance is allowed to stand without being plugged in until its internal components are fully dried. This may take several days.

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I think that really depends on how much stuff is dissolved in the water. It also depends on whether they've got circuit boards (for electronic displays and suchlike) - those are a lot more sensitive to contamination. –  Alex Oct 14 '10 at 23:59
    
I was told by Rabbi Neuberger of YU that it is a bad idea for a rabbi to advise something with the potential to do damage. This was specifically against "I know the instructions say do not immerse, but if you do and let it dry it is usually OK". –  Ze'ev Felsen Sep 14 '11 at 13:48
    
I don't know why he was downmodded because he's right - you can definitely do that. And especially if you are a bit handy you can often take it somewhat apart and let it dry while open. Or hire someone to do that for you. –  Ariel Oct 24 '11 at 8:23
    
@Ariel, if you can take it apart enough to let the internal components dry, then you do not need to Tovel it at all (see the end of my question). –  Seth J Mar 22 '12 at 16:27

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