Coffee Bean Vacuum Savers
We tested three models (two with manual vacuum pumps and one battery powered), placing fresh-roasted whole coffee beans in each container and leaving them sealed for a week. While manual pumps initially created a tight vacuum, by the end of the week, their seals had broken, allowing moisture to condense on the beans, leaving them oily and odorless. The battery-operated product maintained its seal perfectly; its contents were dry and boasted a rich, fresh aroma. Now came the real test: After another week, we made three pots of coffee from beans stored in the winner, in a zipper-lock bag, and from a freshly opened bag. The differences were marginal. If you only make coffee at home on weekends, the winning product would be a great choice. But if you make coffee every day, that vacuum seal does you no good: We compared the it to our usual storage method of a zipper-lock bag with the air pressed out, opening and closing both daily over 12 days (the outer limit for optimal freshness) to simulate daily use. At the end of 12 days, we compared coffee made from each to coffee brewed from fresh beans. Turns out the fresh coffee didn’t score much higher than coffee from the our favorite vacuum saver, which in turn was only slightly better than brew from the zipper-lock bag. (After 10 more days, coffee from both the zipper-lock bags and the Bean Vac was stale and bitter.) For those who make coffee daily, these products are a waste of money. For occasional coffee drinkers, it’s a good storage solution.
The nonslip grip and narrow, straight blade let testers remove the smallest bones with precision and complete comfort. Perfectly balanced with enough flexibility to maneuver around tight joints. The low price was a bonus.
Hefty in weight, this knife was a solid performer when removing poultry bones, and the handle was easy to grip, even when covered in chicken fat. Piercing silver skin was a challenge since the tip wasn’t sharp enough and the long narrow blade produced slightly jagged cuts.
|Recommended with Reservations|
The sharp tip performed well when removing silver skin, but it was too flexible when maneuvering around poultry joints, leaving testers feeling a lack of control. The heavy handle was slightly unbalanced and became slippery once covered in poultry fat.
Designed to replicate a samurai blade, this expensive knife was a disappointment. It struggled to pierce the silver skin, although long cuts were smooth and even. Minimal flexibility and extreme curve got in the way when maneuvering around joints. The smooth handle was hard to grip and slippery.
The large, cumbersome handle reminded testers of an outdoors knife for fishing and hunting. The blade was too wide to maneuver around joints and it struggled to pierce silver skin. Unlike other knives, this boning knife could only slice in one direction, making intricate cuts around joints difficult.
The blade was so flexible it led to erratic cuttings; testers said the knife was hard to control. The blade was not sturdy enough to maneuver around joints and the lightweight handle felt flimsy and unbalanced.
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