black peppercorns but I use the mortar and pestle to grind all the other pepper varieties in my spice cupboard.
Sure, I could use an electric spice or coffee grinder but I truly love the physical process of crushing and pounding spices with a mortar and pestle. It's one of my favorite cooking activities. The mortar is the lower half of the Mint Full Contact mortar and pestle. Unfortunately, the beautiful porcelain pestle that came with it tumbled off the counter one day and broke. The pestle you see above is something I picked up at a restaurant supply store. It's not quite as stylish but does the job. Unlike a pepper mill or spice grinder, this mortar and pestle is really easy to clean between batches of different peppercorns or spices. Plus it looks nice on my open kitchen shelves!
• Buy it: MINT Full Contact Porcelain Spice Grinder, $38.99 at Amazon Related: Do You Own a Mortar and Pestle? (Images: Emily Ho; Mint)