COOL TOOLS

Pop Quiz: What is the only small appliance in almost every household? If you had guessed the coffee maker you would be correct.

According to an August 2020 article by RetailDive (a website about the consumer goods industry), there were 1 million more coffee and espresso machines sold in the 13 weeks ending June 27 than the same period in 2019. And unless you have one Single serve pod coffee maker, freshly ground beans make every cup of homemade java even better.

Just as important is regular cleaning of both the coffee machine and the device that grinds these precious beans.

Instead of taking the grinder apart for the hassle of hand cleaning – and with a tiny brush – Urnex’s Grindz cleaning tablets quickly remove coffee oils and particles from the burrs of your grinder.

The tablets were only made for stand-alone machines and consist of natural, food-safe ingredients. Feed one to two capsule tablets (depending on the type of grinder) through an empty machine about once a month on the medium setting. Repeat the process twice with coffee to remove any excess dust, and you’re good to go.

Widely hailed as the gold standard for coffee grinders, Baratza has recommended Urnex cleaning products many times over the years. The New York-based company was founded in 1936 and served the needs of cafes, restaurants and bars before gradually expanding into the consumer market for home use. Sprudge Media co-founder Jordan Michaelman wrote in a December 2016 gift guide on the Coffee Culture website that Grindz “should be at home in every coffee lover’s cleaning closet”.

The tablets were also recommended by the Tools & Toys website, on which editor Chris Gonzalez said, “This stuff honestly couldn’t be easier to use.” Additionally, food scientist Tehrene Firman, who wrote for Well + Good lifestyle forum, predicted that using Grindz would result in your brew “tasting as good, if not better,” as it does in your local coffee shop.

Grindz can be found at restaurant specialty stores Walmart and Amazon, where it received an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars out of nearly 2,000 reviews. Many cited its ease of use, especially after switching between flavored coffee or different roasts. One satisfied customer described the results as “shiny” while another described the product as “magical”.

Check it out at https://amzn.to/2PrZ6Qt.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT …

Landlords who are looking forward to renovations from the COVID era will find hungry investors

The pandemic forced hotel, shopping mall, and office building owners to adjust almost overnight to a harsh reality where millions of Americans stopped traveling, shopping in stores, or going to offices. This also put pressure on the huge market in which such companies raise money for their commercial real estate projects.

Although there is still great uncertainty about how the stationary economy will develop after a year or more of interruption, investors in commercial real estate are slowly regaining their appetite. Some are hoping for better returns with interest rates close to zero, while others see new opportunities arising from the pandemic.

“People who have been on the sidelines, so to speak, are very excited to jump in,” said Catherine Liu, a research fellow at Trepp, a company that tracks commercial real estate data.

If anything, despite signs that the pandemic is getting under control with the introduction of vaccines, the uncertainty is attracting investors because they can charge higher returns for taking risks.

From the New York Times, February 25; Read the full story at https://nyti.ms/2OdPjfU.

STAT CHECK

Closed sales * for January 2021 as reported by the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors.

January 2019: 1.726

January 2020: 1,988 (+ 15.2%)

January 2021: 2,210 (+ 11.2%)

* The category tracks and compares the actual number of sales made in a given month. A full market report is available on NEFAR.com.

Compiled by Anne Hammock, Editor of Homes. Do you know of a tool, book, or news tip that you would like to share with ShopTalk readers? Send details to [email protected] or call (904) 359-4628.