Product Review...Capresso Cool Grind Coffee and Spice Grinder... The other week, the really nice folks at Capresso , sent me a Capresso Cool Grind Coffee and Spice Grinder, to try out and review. The Capresso company has some wonderful products...including coffee makers, espresso makers, grinders, water kettles, and even coffee. For this post, I had the opportunity to try out the Cool Grind coffee grinder/spice grinder.
The Cool Grind coffee grinders are suitable for drip coffee makers and even percolators. They also do a great job of grinding spices and herbs. Actually, Capresso recommends that you use 2 grinders if you want to grind coffee and also spices. It will ensure that you do not get coffee and spice flavors mixed. The Cool Grind has a large stainless steel grinding chamber which helps reduce heat built-up and in turn preserves more of the coffee/spice aroma.
Feature and Benefits of the Capresso Cool Grind Coffee and Spice Grinder.
Stainless steel blade
Low heat build-up and easy cleaning
Low heat build up preserves more flavor and aroma
Large capacity for more cups of coffee
Fast stopping action
Recessed cord storage in base of grinder
Pulse action lets you control fineness of grind
Clear see-through safety lid.
Available in stainless steel or black
For the review, I decided that I would first grind the coffee beans so that I wouldn't contaminate the coffee with the spice flavors. First of all, I loved the large capacity of the Cool Grind. It really is a nice feature...eliminates double batches. It also eliminates heat build-up of the coffee beans... giving you better flavor and aroma.
When grinding, you need to use a pulsing action so as not to get uneven grounds. Steady pulsing will definitely overheat the grounds which can leave large chunks among powdery material. The coffee beans will come out much more even if short and quick bursts are used. You will also need to stop and shake the grinder so as to redistribute the grounds. For me it was easier to pulse and shake at the same time. I was able to get an even grind.
I also decided to see the difference between the Cool Grind coffee grinds and the store-bought ground coffee. The Capresso Cool Grind did a wonderful job and I had fresh ground coffee in a matter of seconds.
I then ground the beans to a finer consistency...espresso style grind. The Cool Grind delivered. I noticed the brewed coffee was stronger in flavor and aroma, which I really liked.
I then tested the Cool Grind for spices. I decided to go to my natural foods store to purchase a variety of spices....which included some white/pink peppercorns, cardamom, mustard seeds, cumin, coriander, allspice, cumin, etc. I noticed I was able to get a fine and powdery grind of the spices by using short pulses while shaking the grinder.
You know, it really is nice to be able to use fresh ground spices...the flavor and aroma is unbeatable. Many dishes will come alive when using fresh ingredients. It's the same with spices. What I really like, is that you can make your own mixed spices. You can make a bigger batch or just make a bit. Some really fun spices to have on hand is garam masala or curry powders. Of course you can add/omit any of the spices according to taste.
I have included a couple of recipes for garam masala and curry powder as a base....but you can easily make your own.
Garam Masala: Cooks Illustrated Version
2 tsps ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
Grind grind seeds and mix together.
Curry Powder: Alton Brown's Version
2 tablespoons whole cumin seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons whole cardamom seeds, toasted
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds, toasted
1/4 cup ground turmeric
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne
Toast seeds. Mix the above amounts thoroughly to combine. Store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. When you are ready to use, just grind and add to dishes according to taste.
Other uses: Since the Cool Grind has a larger capacity, I thought it would be really neat to try and see if I could grind other things in it....It did an awesome job grinding oatmeal into oatmeal flour. Great to have on hand when you want to substitute oatmeal flour for some white flour ...like in my Banana Chocolate Chip Bars.
I love the fact that this grinder doubles up to perform other grinding tasks as well.
The grinder is relatively easy to use and clean. Don't submerge in water and you will be fine. I like to use a bit of baking soda to absorb some of the lingering aromas when I clean it.
With an occasional shake, while grinding, the Capresso Cool Grind will produce a very even grind. When emptying, you can just tap it so that ground coffee/spices release. I really liked this grinder...definitely useful. It performed well beyond my expectation by producing some flavorful coffee/spices and other tasks.