Menu Bottle Grinders

This pepper or salt or herb grinder comes from Menu and was designed by Norm, a design studio in Copenhagen that was founded in 2008 by the architects Kasper Rønn and Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen.

Good design usually comes about through one of three approaches: a designer can come up with something completely new ... a new and inspired object for a new function to produce something we didn’t even know we needed ... or a designer can take something we use every day and refine it and improve it and develop the form and construction or, as here with these grinders, designers can take something we take for granted ... surely there are hundreds of pepper grinders in the shops and a pepper grinder is a pepper grinder is a pepper grinder ... and go back to basics and rethink the whole thing.

With the Bottle Grinder you snap apart the two halves to put in the the peppercorns or rock salt or dried herbs or whatever and just snap the grinder back together. Simple. But I’ve never seen it done like this. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve ended up with pepper corns rolling around all over the kitchen work top or the floor as I’ve tried to pour them into a little hole in the bottom of the grinder with it’s silly little cork or rubber bung or tried to feed the corns in around the vertical axle of the mechanism having taken the wooden top off one of those tall wooden grinders where you twist the top and the pepper comes out of the base.

Menu Bottle Grinder.jpeg

With the Bottle Grinder, after you have filled it, you invert it; twist the two halves against each other; adjust the wooden dial in the top if you realise you want something finer or courser, and then you just stand it down. None of that business of pepper clagging up around the base where the work top has got wet and the base of the grinder damp. The finish is soft plastic ... sort of rubberised ... so you can grip the thing easily and clean off finger marks afterwards.

Sometimes it’s a good idea to go back and start the design process by rethinking the whole thing if, like the team at Norm, you want to design a good, practical and stylish product.