If aesthetics are a prime consideration, it pays to check out the Cole & Mason Derwent pepper mill. It may not be the cheapest mill around, and the Unicorn Magnum Plus -- our favorite model -- earns more top reviews. Still, users say it has a classic, elegant look, and many reviewers say it makes a great gift. When it comes to performance, most agree that it grinds easily and consistently, although some report problems when attaching or removing the lid.
Quick and easy. The Cole & Mason Derwent consistently delivers a nice range of pepper grinds, according to both professional and user reviews. One owner reports, "It's good for the fussy cooks who must have the pepper ground at just the right size," and another says it produces "consistently ground pepper without any drama." We did read a few complaints regarding grind size and consistency, with one user saying the coarse setting isn't coarse enough and another noting "big chunks of pepper" mixed in with finer bits. However, the general sentiment among owners is that "you can't go wrong" with this mill.
Reliable. We found very few comments about the durability of the Cole & Mason Derwent, with some users pointing out that they haven't owned it long enough to make an assessment. Nevertheless, several owners say the mill operates reliably and one calls it "really well made." While a few complain that the top of the mill either doesn't attach well or can become difficult to remove, the vast majority of users applaud the mill's construction and design. As an added benefit, the Derwent comes with a lifetime warranty on its mechanism.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
Ten pepper mills are evaluated, with editors focusing on grind speed, quality of grind and ease of use. Both manual and battery-operated models are tested. The Cole & Mason Derwent pepper mill is one of the models tested for this article.
Review: Pepper Mills, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, July 2013
More than 220 users post reviews of the Cole & Mason Derwent on Amazon.com, giving it an average rating of 4.6 stars out of 5. Most say it works well and looks good, but a few owners report that the top doesn't attach securely, which prevents the grinder from operating.
Review: Cole and Mason Derwent Precision Gourmet Mills, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of November 2013
The Cole & Mason Derwent salt and pepper set gets 4.5 stars out of 5 from about 10 reviewers here. They say the pepper mill works well and looks attractive, although a couple of owners wish the top was easier to remove.
Review: Cole and Mason Derwent Salt & Pepper Mills, Contributors to SurLaTable.com, As of November 2013