Nico Wiedemann Talks Handcrafted Wooden Espresso Accessories

by Ben Coleman Updated: March 25, 2024 5 min read
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Nico Wiedemann wasn’t a woodworker. 

In fact, it wasn’t until he got a home brewing setup that the idea of crafting wooden espresso machine accessories even occurred to him. Nico loved his machine, but “was extremely unhappy with the plastic parts.” 

So he bought a wood turning machine online—along with a copy of WoodTurning for Beginners—and started making himself a set of replacement handles. 

Nico admiring his work

Crafting wooden handle upgrades quickly became a hobby, and before long he was even selling a few handles on an online barista forum. When a local coffee shop got wind of what he was doing and asked him to upgrade their machine, he realized he might be onto something. 

Nearly ten years later, Wiedemann Manufaktur has become one of the premier providers of handcrafted wooden accessory upgrades for portafilter setups. 

How did they get here? What makes Wiedemann’s products special? What exciting new offerings will they have for us down the road?

Read on for answers to these questions and more as I unpack my conversation with the founder and CEO of Wiedeman Manufaktur. 

From Hobby to Your Home

Wiedemann Manufaktur was born as a means for Nico to pay some of his university fees—he was studying to be a mechanical engineer at the time. After getting started, however, he admits he was spending “much more time in the workshop than in the university.” 

For the next four years, Nico operated his company out of a 25-square-meter workshop where he did all the woodturning with his best friend.  

Wiedemann woodturning

Nico quickly realized that their ability to create products was being hampered by the size of the operation, and he hired a few employees to do some of the woodturning for him. 

From there, they added a CNC machine to automate some of the more menial tasks. This allowed them to increase the raw number of products they could produce, and expand the variety of products as well. 

When Nico and his buddy first started, they made one thing: handle upgrades for a particular E61 group espresso machine. They now produce over 400 distinct parts, from handles to knobs to organizational devices, to essential barista tools like tampers and funnels. 

Now, the CNC machines do most of the pre-shaping of all of Wiedemann’s products so the humans he employs can focus their time on hand-finishing. 

Superior Sustainability 

Wiedemann’s website discusses the important role sustainability plays in the way they do business—I started by asking Nico how this came to be a priority for him. 

When he was 18, he recalls, he lived in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He was there doing a service trip and working in a school. 

“There was so much waste,” he told me. “In the streets, in the backyards—everywhere plastic. Everywhere cans.” It made an enormous impact on him. 

He decided right there and then that if he ever started a company, he would do it in a way that did not impact the environment. 

wiedemann brickettes

Nico has certainly made good on his promise to himself. 

100% of the timber used in Wiedemann products is certified to be sustainably sourced. Nico literally knows where in the world the wood they use comes from, which, he tells me, is not usual for a company like his.

“In Italy,” he explains, “if olive trees aren’t producing olives anymore, they can be cut down.” This is where Wiedemann gets the olive wood they use to make their products. Not from a single forest, or plantation that grows trees specifically for lumber, but from across the Italian countryside—using only trees that have lost their utility as producers. 

Nico made choices as to what types of woods they would use to create their accessories based on how sustainably they could be harvested. So, they don’t use any woods sourced from tropical rainforests, even though they’re extremely popular with consumers. 

“Tropical woods are easy to work with and the surfaces are great,” Nico tells me, “but you cannot be sure…maybe you’ll have woods for the next year and then they’ll be extinct.” 

If a customer wants the look and feel of tropical wood but does not want to compromise their own sustainability requirements, Wiedemann can produce an alternative made from sustainable wood using pigments and surface treatments on request.

In addition to sourcing their wood sustainably, Wiedemann ensures they waste as little as possible. 

As you might imagine, woodturning creates a lot of wood shavings and other presumably unusable bits. Nico takes these scraps and presses them into briquettes, which are used to heat their offices and workshop. 

They also source 100% of their energy from renewable sources—specifically hydroelectric plants in Germany and Austria. 

For the Love of Coffee

Nico is a die-hard espresso enthusiast—he sought a way to improve his own experience brewing at home, and Wiedemann Manufaktur was born. Even though the company has grown considerably in the past nine years, it’s still staffed entirely by folks who absolutely love coffee. 

“Espresso is the liquid that runs everything,” Nico explains. Wherever you are—in the office or in the workshop—”there’s always a place for your espresso cup.”

With love of coffee in mind, I asked Nico a few quick-fire coffee questions. 

What kind of machine do you have in your office for your employees to use?

We switch machines regularly. I want the team to get to know the different kinds of machines and grow their enthusiasm a bit. Currently we are using a Linea Mini in the workshop’s coffee kitchen.


What do you have at home?

I also switch machines quite regularly, but right now I use a Synchronika with a Mahlkonig EK 43. 

What do you drink to get your day started?

In the morning I split a double-shot—one half as an espresso and one for a cappuccino. 

How many espressos do you have throughout the day?

Espresso doesn’t affect my ability to sleep, so I probably have between 8 and 10 of them. There’s always someone in the office saying “hey, I’m making an espresso, who wants one?” By the end of the day, there’s always a small pyramid of cups at everyone’s desk. 

The Future of Wiedemann

Wiedemann Manufaktur is turning 10 at the end of 2025. Despite that, “it feels like it all started just four years ago,” Nico tells me. They’ll be celebrating the milestone with some exciting new product offerings. 

When I asked him to elaborate, however, he merely smiled cryptically. It will be “one of the biggest launches” in the company’s history, he said. 

Though he wouldn’t give specifics, he did tease that they’re working on a line of new accessories that will allow enthusiasts to completely upgrade their coffee corner with Wiedemann equipment.

Nico in the workshop

I guess we’ll have to wait along with everyone else to find out exactly what that means. 

In the meantime, you can be sure Nico will be hard at work, manning the CNC programming and even hand-finishing some of the gorgeous, wooden espresso accessories himself. 

On Saturdays, Nico has the whole manufacturing facility to himself. It’s a special day of his week because he can tweak and test CNC programs to his heart’s content. 

“This all started as a hobby,” he reminisces, “but it still is today.” If there’s a rainy Sunday and nobody knows what to do, you can bet on Nico making his way to the woodshop to get some work done.