Trader Joe’s Sugar, Chocolate, & Coffee Bean Grinder

Trader Joe's Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Grinder
Sandy finds certain things appealing that I don’t really understand. For example, gadgets such as e-readers. While I understand that humans have a tendency to prefer gadgets with glowing screens as a standard feature, for me, it is best to read actual books. Sandy. These are the things she has been researching and asking her friends about. She’s been saving money from babysitting to buy one and has been talking endlessly about them. We’ve talked about it, and I get the arguments for, like ease of portability (Sandy at any time can have up to seven books in a backpack, though I believe she can still only read one at a time), but the arguments against are much stronger to me, such as: breakability/durability (like if you were planning to read at a beach, would you really want to take one of these? You can think of all the potential places that sand could travel, risk of theft (airports etc), and “another screen.” Finally, there is something more satisfying about holding a book in your hands and turning physical pages. Don’t forget about the iPad and other tablets. I think it’s an iPhone for the elderly, a lot like the large printed Reader’s Digests you see at a nursing home. If they were a viable, flexible-enough option to a laptop, then I would be open to it. However, they just seem like a marketing ploy to get people spending money they don’t really need. Perhaps I am an old-school ornery codger but I don’t understand it. Sandy does. We’ve reached a compromise. Sandy will likely be buying a Kindle soon. Maybe then I’ll finally see the light. I’m fine until then.

This is an example of something that can be applied in smaller situations. Take, for instance, Trader Joe’s Sugar, Chocolate & Coffee Bean Grinder. Sandy noticed it on an endcap advertising TJ’s latest products last week and began this weird, silly, not at all serious dance that said, “You better put this in your cart, Mister.” It was only two dollars, so it was a sure thing. Cheaper than an electronic reader. Sandy’s little dance was certainly cute. It gave me a good laugh so I didn’t mind. However, Little Russandra will be the first to do that.

Okay, so now I understand the appeal of the sugary chocolaty coffee bean grinder guy. The built-in grinder grinds sugar crystals (both brown & white), and chocolate bits (dark). It can grind up coffee beans in any direction you wish. It’s good in theory. It can be used with ice cream, coffee and toast according to the side of your grinder. Sandy’s preferred method of consumption is to hold it high and grind directly into her mouth*, which she did once we got home like a sugar-deprived lunatic, and still does occasionally when she thinks I won’t know but I can hear the telltale scrapy-grindy sound from the living room. Anyways, I tried it with vanilla ice cream. It was okay. I could taste the main ingredients and it almost made my vanilla-flavored ice cream taste bland. It also added a crunchy, crystallized texture to my icecream that was a bit odd but not unwelcome. When it was mixed with coffee, it didn’t really add much. Which shouldn’t surprise when you think about that. While I like buttered toast, I would prefer the classic cinnamon and sugar. Finally, it was a bit disappointing to eat straight out of the shaker. This is a ridiculous, but not very rewarding thing to do. Overall, it doesn’t appeal to my fancy.

Sandy will tell you. She loves it. It can be eaten in any of the above ways, but she also likes it on top of cottage cheese or yogurt. It was delicious with ice cream or on toast. She also liked it with coffee. It’s clear that she is happily planning her next cavity by grinding away in the kitchen. Sandy said that she gave it four stars, which was a bit low. But she explained that it adds flavor and is really delicious. Me? You? It looks good but it doesn’t do anything worth mentioning. I am going with a 1.5.

Bottom line: 5.5 of 10 Golden Spoons
* For some reason she wouldn’t let me take a picture of this. It’s hard to imagine why.