Where coffee and other life interests intersect

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
CathyWeeks
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#1: Post by CathyWeeks »

So, I've backed a BUNCH of coffee kickstarters. Thus far:

Fellow Duo Coffee steeper
Fellow Stagg EKG
Fellow Ode
Storr
The Better Coffee Filter
Pure Over
FinalPress
VSSL JAVA
Delter Cold Drip Coffee Maker
The Flair Neo
Pakt Coffee Kit
Voyager Kettle
The Rite Press (I know, I know)
de Palo Handmade from real coffee wood
Simpli Press
Kruve Coffee sifter
The COFFEEJACK

OK, that's a little embarrassing.

But I also own the Lido2, Knock's Feld2 and Aerspeed, two Porlexes, and the Handground, and couple of other hand grinders that I've gotten rid of (I'll probably get rid of the Porlexes and the Handground). I've done a lot of reading, and I have a a pretty good feel for what goes into a good grinder - having used exclusively hand grinders for my coffee for over 10 years. I'm certainly no expert, but I do have more experience with grinders than the average Joe.

So when I came across the Männkitchen Pepper Cannon on kickstarter, and it looked like something that might be nice to have. Pepper grinders are normally kind of annoying to use - they dispense so slowly and most are ... well inconsistent. And mortar and pestles are a hassle. I showed the campaign it to my husband and he said something like "$150 is kind of a lot for a pepper grinder. I'm not interested." (normally it retails for $200). I read up again, and because good grinders using durable materials usually are pretty expensive, decided what the hell, and backed it. Both of us LOVE it.

Has anyone else found that their coffee knowledge helped outside of coffee-making?

DamianWarS
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#2: Post by DamianWarS » replying to CathyWeeks »

I watched the promo video on the KS page and it seems like typical higher end focused manual grinder that you see for coffee. it makes me wonder what is the fundimental difference between this pepper mill and a coffee grinder? the language mannkitchen uses is interesting saying male and female burrs rather than inner and outer burrs which just shows you outside the coffee world the same things may be going on but they are described differently. The burr set doesn't look all that large and I wonder if it's just a Italmill generic burr set that you see in so many coffee grinders on the market like on the timemore. Timemore is an interesting company as it makes farily cheap grinders that appear to be with tigher tolerances that you see on higher end hand grinders. it's a bit of a flooded market right now with everyone making their own hand grinder so it makes sense it spills over into something like a pepper mill as it should make it cheaper to manufacture.

I just wonder what is the demand in having a high uniform grinder with pepper? I've always liked the variable grind of pepper mills and it seems this would would be far more uniform and take away from that classic irregular and variable grind of pepper mills. I would grab my porlex or hario with those ceremic burr sets and slight wobble to get that variable pepper grind over a high uniform grinder. but I'm not much of a chef so maybe someone with more expereince can comment on the benifits of a more uniform grinder with pepper.

I would probably just get a coffee grinder to do pepper to be honest but there are some usablity differences. with coffee you grind larger doses so you get a hand crack to get that moving quicker plus when it grinds it you want to capture the grinds in a little bin. with pepper you want something you can grab quickly or leave on the table without attaching a hand crank to it first to use it and a knob that turns at the top would probably be better. If you remove the colletion bin on a coffee grinder of course the grinds just fall like a pepper mill but I would suspect using a hand crank it would be more difficult to keep it centered over a target vs using a knob which would probably have no issue centering over a target. dosing can work differently too as you may use 5 turns of the grinder vs weighting out the peppercorns and grinding the entire amount which is more typical with coffee. so I can see if you want a high quality pepper mill a coffee grinder would do it but since it's not designed for pepper it may get annyoing to use. with that said I still would probably use a coffee grinder if I wanted a better pepper mill but only because I have a load of them I don't use. But for a professional/hobby chef this grinder probably is a welcomed addition to your work flow, but for that brisket the promo video talks about alleging 373 turns I think a hand crank grinder is probably better than this one.

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harrisonpatm

#3: Post by harrisonpatm »

Chef here. Depends on how much pepper you're gonna grind, and where are you going to grind it. Those old fashioned tall wooded knob grinders? Those are great, basic, good for finishing, and for for the final touch on a dish or corrective seasoning, you really don't need to be too picky with grind size and uniformity. What we're usually after is durability, something that will stand up to a rough environment and get tossed around in a kitchen without taking any damage. So while I see the appeal in one of those $100 kickstarter things, sometimes simpler is better.

That said, there are some specialty dishes that would benefit from a lot of ground pepper, all uniform grind, done quickly and easily. Steak au poive comes to mind. There are also some high-volume kitchens that might want to grind several quarts of peppercorns at a time, as long as they know it'll get used soon enough and not go stale. I've also had success using an old aluminum burr grinder setup for crushing peppercorns. And if you really want the rustic look, nothing beats smashing them on a table with the back of a heavy pot.

Like anything else, you're going to have some people who want a 300 dollar professional pepper/coffee grinder, and some people that don't mind using a spinny blade Krups grinder for both coffee and pepper. Hopefully not the same one for both...

ira
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#4: Post by ira »

I just use a Lido II for grinding pepper, hard to imagine it could get better than that. I like it a lot better as a pepper grinder than a coffee grinder.

Ira

jbviau
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#5: Post by jbviau »

I think my coffee knowledge helped me get into and appreciate good chocolate. Otherwise, there hasn't been much transfer to other life interests. In fact, I think usually it's the reverse for me personally, i.e. I tap into my research background when I'm getting analytical about coffee.

Re: pepper, for several months we've been using a Knock Aergrind that was sitting idle in the gear stash. By "we" I mean myself, my wife, and my mother-in-law. No complaints aside from the fact that it grinds too fast--we usually have more than enough after a quarter-turn. Sometimes we overshoot and leave the extra ground pepper in the catch cup for later.
"It's not anecdotal evidence, it's artisanal data." -Matt Yglesias

CathyWeeks (original poster)
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#6: Post by CathyWeeks (original poster) »

harrisonpatm wrote:... using a spinny blade Krups grinder for both coffee and pepper. Hopefully not the same one for both...
We have a Mr. Coffee blade grinder dedicated to grinding spices. It works great. :-)