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Jan 12, 2011 06:58 PM

Spice grinders

I'm reluctant to use my coffee grinder for grinding spices. I believe that the odors of coffee and spices will influence the outcome. I am thinking of getting a grinder just for spices. Somehow can't picture grinding fennel or cumin seeds in same container as I grind my coffee. I use a portable grinder. Up to now I have never ground my own spices, but there are some that should really be ground. Do any of you use same one for both or use separate ones? Thanks for any feedback.


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  1. I used a mortar and pestle back in the day, but now I use the mini food chopper attachment that came with my immersion blender.

    1. I use an inexpensive 'blender type' coffee grinder for all of my chilis and spices. Works great and easy to maintain. Just wipe it out with a paper towel or clean cloth. If necessary, grind up some raw white rice and toss for a better cleaning.

      5 Replies
      1. re: sel

        Do you use it for coffee as well? Even when I wipe i out with a damp paper towel, coffee odor is there. I imagine that a very aromatic spice odor would be even harder to remove never tried the white rice technique, though.


        1. re: RebeccaBG

          NO! It is a dedicated spice grinder. I use a high quality burr grinder for coffee/espresso.

          1. re: sel

            That fits with my suggestion that the OP get a good burr grinder for coffee and convert the current coffee grinder for spices.

        2. re: sel

          I actually have that coffee grinder in my country house and like it very much. I have the similar Krups in my city house, which is really, really old and works well too. I was thinking of getting another Braun for coffee for the city and using my older Krups for spices, but just checked Braun's and other websites, and it seems to be discontinued. That's too bad; I preferred to the Krups for coffee.


          1. re: sel

            I also use white rice. And, when I'm next going to make coffee, I then grind up very small amount of beans, and throw out the ground coffee and then proceed.

          2. I keep two electric ($20.00 simple models) grinders just for spices & dried herbs & dried vanilla bean pods (which I add to coffee ground)
            And, a burr grinder for whole coffee beans.
            I use a m&p for wet grinds (like pesto)
            I have a nutmeg mill just for grinding whole nutmeg that I use nearly every day.
            A keep a pepper mill & salt grinder on the stove
            In between spice & herb grinds I run white rice to dry clean and dust out residue.
            I think separate ones are a good idea.
            btw, I usually toast spices in a dry pan a bit before I grind, makes a positive difference.

            1. You're right - there are spices that really need to be bought whole and ground yourself. I buy whole spices whenever I can in small amounts, toast first and then grind. Only one spice grinder in the house as we are not coffee drinkers. My mortar and pestle is used often to grind as well; man, I love that thing. Grinding spices is SO worth it!

              1. I have a couple of these:


                They're inexpensive, they do a good job of grinding spices (I avoid putting whole nutmeg in it though) and I use one for coffee, one for spices.

                3 Replies
                1. re: todao

                  Exactly the model I use todao. I have a black one for spices and a blue one for herbs :)

                  1. re: HillJ

                    As do I, black for coffee and white for spices. Krups used to carry them in red, I'd like one of those for chilies...

                    For nutmeg I have a traditional little metal nutmeg grater, with the capped storage house on the top, and a mortar and pestle, of course.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      BG, i'm beginning to think we really do share a brain. i too have the same ones - and use the black for coffee and the white for spices. i spotted a cute lime green Bodum on sale at Sur la Table last week so i bought it out of curiosity to compare, but it's going back - i like the Krups better.