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Pepper Mills - New CI Favorite

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Cooks Illustrated held the Unicorn Magnum up as their top rated pepper mill for a long time. I've given a few as gifts, some of which I also used, but was never giddy enough over it to buy one for myself. Recently though, Cole & Mason Derwent displaced the Unicorn in the top spot. They were sold out nearly everywhere after the review came out. I bought one when they became available and I am quite pleased. It has six grind settings from fine to very coarse, and the settings lock such that it's virtually impossible to change accidentally. It has a steel mechanism and a brushed aluminum and clear acrylic body that lets you to see the peppercorns. It solves the issues I had with the Unicorn: pain in the arse to refill, can't see when supply is low, grease and fingerprints on black plastic, and it's plastic, looks plastic, feels plastic. The U-Magnum is also top heavy will tip easily if you shake the table. The Derwent is quite stable - actually hard to knock over - and has a pleasing form. It looks like a pepper mill and feels right when you use it. It also costs less - $37 and free shipping on Amazon.


Now I need to find some great peppercorns. The CI top rated tellicherry peppers are Kalustyan's but they're sold in 2.5 oz quantity and cost $7/oz with shipping. Does anyone know where to source comparable quality in bulk (pound or half pound)? My local gourmet shop did not have anything other than supermarket brands, which means low quality at high cost. I'm betting that someone is selling quality in bulk/generic packaging but there's no way to know about quality without a recommendation. 





post #2 of 5

There is a store in Portland. OR called the Meadow. They mostly sell high quality chocolate and salts but they also have a large selection of high end pepper corns. I'm a pepper connoisseur and I have bought three or four different types from them and they are all really high end ones.

post #3 of 5

Try Spice House:



Or Penzey's


I'm partial to The Spice House, but only because they have stores in Chicago which I am able to visit.

post #4 of 5

As much as I love my pepper and salt unicorns I may give them up for that good looking Cole & Mason Derwent.

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

I found a source nearby. I was looking for bulk peppercorns on eBay and noticed one seller had the name of a nearby river. They're running an online store out of a tiny little town of a few miles from me, and they sell to walk-ins too. I'll pay them a visit and post again after I try their peppers.


@KingNothing- I'd still like to get some that's known to be high quality so that I can taste and compare. I found the Meadow online- thanks! 

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