To properly prepare coffee you need to have a quality grinder. The problem with quality grinders is that they are a pain to clean. Disassembling pieces and laying washers, rings, nuts, bolts and grommets aside in the correct order, and then attempting to wash the bits of Coffee Oil off each one can be tedious to say the least. Enter a Product from Urnex, call Grindz, which is a single use packet you drop into the hopper run through the machine and it takes the old coffee out with it, cleaning and absorbing the oils along the way.
I was recently sent a sample of Grindz to test on my venerable Capresso Conical Burr grinder, From powder to chunky this grinder does it all, and my only complaint i have every had about it is the difficulty in cleaning. Enter the Grindz, which sounds a bit like a skater product.
What Are they?
Based on a proprietary yet still certified Kosher Material. Grindz consists of some sort of cereal grains molded into a coffee bean shape. Much like the previous solution I had regarding feeding white rice into the grinder, I can only assume the porous nature of the Grindz. While Certified Kosher, there is no mention on whether or not the Grindz were gluten free, which probably wouldn’t be a problem since you don’t eat them, but if they add gluten to the coffee that wouldn’t be a good thing.
How do they work?
From what I have been able to see the cereal beans force the older coffee grounds out of the machine, and help bond to the oil on the parts of the grinder. You are supposed to set the grind to medium, which also helps the grounds churn and break apart stale coffee. And after you run the product through your grinder you are supposed to run a batch of coffee through it as well to purge the Grindz themselves out.
The packet comes in at $11.95 for three single use pouches. Which the price is a bit steep, considering how much you probably spent on you grinder an investment in cleaning probably isn’t out of the question.
So how well did it do? Well my grinder was mighty
dirty, and no matter how many times I have taken it apart to clean it, the machine usually gets pretty messed up quickly. The Grindz took most of the residual coffee out of the grinder, took a good portion of the oil out as well. There was still a bit of residual coffee in some of the harder to reach and more packed down areas, probably because I have been making a lot of Greek Coffee lately, which requires the grounds to be turned into powder. The only thing I couldn’t do was waste coffee but running a batch through the machine to get the rest of the Grindz out.
I think any product like this has this as a flaw. You honestly can’t throw stale, old, or poor quality coffee into the machine to clear out the cleaning product, because you contaminate the next batch of good coffee you plan to enjoy. Which is always the problem i had feeding white rice into the grinder as well. However much like the white rice, the Grindz actually does a fantastic job cleaning the oil and older coffee out of the machine. Unlike white rice Grindz does a fantastic job of binding to the coffee oils and making the machine significantly easier to clean.
So I would suggest a shift in use to make it truly worth you while. Rather than using the Grindz as the sole cleaning method for my coffee grinder, I would use it as a preparation step for cleaning the grinder parts. Since the product removes a significant part of the oil buildup, as well as a good bit of the caked in coffee I think this is an excellent pretreatment for a thorough cleaning. In fact in testing the product out I was stunned that i was able to clean the pieces of my grinder without my usually soak in soapy water, or hard scrubbing. The grounds and oils fell away from the metal and seemed to bond the the Grindz much better than each other.
Care to look through the testing? Flickr Photo Set