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90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
on May 30, 2009
I chucked my old burr grinder in favor of something more substantial, and the KitchenAid steps up to the plate.

A couple of cons:
1) It is big. It comes close to the size of my coffee maker in terms of space. Fortunately, I have a big kitchen.
2) No automatic off. Simple Off/On toggle on the side.

Many Pros:
1) Again, substantial glass and metal presentation. You get what you pay for. Did it ever occur to you all the old metal and glass mixers and appliances in grandma's kitchen that have been beaten within an inch of their life, but still work after all these years? Invest in something that's made to last, period. I wanted an anti-static glass coffee receptacle (I can't stand when the ground coffee flies all over the counter from a plastic container), and a metal appliance. Great presence on the countertop. Beam me up scotty.
2) Well constructed. Really not much to assemble, and the unit fits together well, unlike its plastic cousins. I like the way that the ground coffee falls 180 degrees downward from the grinder. Previous burr grinders that I've owned tend to have the hopper on top, grinder in the middle, and then will spit the ground coffee out at a 90 degree angle from the grinder. This creates pockets where ground coffee tends to gum up the mechanism (especially if you're using an oily bean). This design, although big in size, uses gravity to move the ground coffee through.
3) Quieter than a number of other burr grinders that I've owned. (a bonus for quelling caffeine-withdrawal headache issues in the AM)
4) Pretty uniform ground size. I'm not making espresso with this grinder, so I can't report how finely it grinds, but as a new owner, I'm in the process of titrating the perfect grind size for my metal cone filter. The manufacturer's book comes with setting suggestions. I'm not a complete coffee freak, but I do tend to use only "top shelf" coffees that I order direct from plantations. Coffee represents my daily luxury, and this grinder preserves the flavor of the bean.
5) Good resale value. I know this is an odd thing to look at as a pro, because, why re-sell it? But, not everything fits hand and glove. I was searching for a used one on e-bay and saw that the same model used was selling for about 60 cents on the dollar. Beats that "pre-owned" car you were looking at.

I looked around for coffee grinders and for the quality of materials and workmanship, this really is the best long-term deal on the market. I just couldn't see paying several hundred dollars more for an italian grinder when this machine is much better than adequate. I've had good luck with this manufacturer in the past.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2009
This is an excellent coffee grinder. It has a powerful, yet quiet motor and the grind selection dial is robust. The straight, vertical path of beans through the grinder makes it very trouble free. The only downsides are it is big, heavy and takes up a fair amount of counter space. This is a serious grinder, but it makes seriously good coffee.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2010
I've had this grinder now for just a week, but I have to say so far I'm very happy with it. I've had several grinders over the years, starting with various $20 spinning-blade units. For a few years I used the Braun 3045, but it died two or three years ago, don't remember why. I replaced that with the Saeco Titan, but a couple of weeks ago the gears in that one snapped. I decided to get this KitchenAid hoping that it would be a little more durable than the last two. It's not that much more money -- right now Amazon doesn't have the lowest price, you can get it for $165 or so if you shop around.

Generally, I'm not super-fussy about coffee, and I don't do espresso, but I do like being able to make grounds for drip and for french press. This grinder seems to do both quite well, although I will say that, as shipped, a medium grind was pretty coarse, and the finest grind was no where near fine enough for espresso. I did adjust it to the fine side; this really is straightforward to do, you just need an Allen wrench.

One note: Before I received the grinder, I really had some trouble picturing how the glass bin fit into the base. But really it is just a glass cup that is just as tall as the space under the mill; it just slides under with a tiny amount of clearance. The mill spits the coffee out in a steady stream and it piles up on the bottom of the cup. I will say that the shape of the cup makes it kind of hard to scoop the grounds out with a coffee measure, and the diameter of the top makes it kind of hard to pour the coffee into a measure without spilling it a bit. But you could put anything under there -- a measuring cup, say -- and it would work fine. Obviously nothing else would look as good as the provided cup, though.

I also will say that I was very frustrated with my last two grinders in that it did not seem practical to fix them when they broke. This unit appears to be made to last a lifetime and to be fixable if and when it breaks. Time will tell.

Update, August 2013: My grinder is still going strong after three and a half years of daily use. Like others say, it is a little messy; I keep a folded up paper towel under it to catch some of the scatter, but it grinds my coffee perfectly and looks as good as it did the day I took it out of the box. The inside of the hopper will collect coffee oils, but it is glass, it unscrews, and I've run it through the dishwasher a couple of times. Really, other than the small amount of scatter, I have zero complaints about this device, and would buy it again if the one I have somehow ever breaks.

Update, November 2014: Very sad that this item seems to have been discontinued. If anyone is researching this because they found one still for sale at a reasonable price, do not hesitate to snap it up. Mine is now nearly five years old and works like the day I bought it.
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42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2010
I like this grinder. It is very reliable, quiet and doesn't generate too many fines or dust. Most other grinders on the market are made of plastic, are noisy and have tiny burrs that spin at high speed creating lots of fines in the grind, overheats the beans and easily jam up. This grinder has large burrs that rotate at very low rpm which greatly increases burr life, reduces noise, does not overheat the beans, produces fewer fines and is much less likely to jam. According to Kitchenaid the burrs will grind 600 - 800 lbs of coffee before they are worn out and need to be replaced.

I never had issues with the glass breakage like other people. However, I recommend you jiggle the jar that catches the grinds before pulling it away because sometimes grounds cling to the plastic flange over the jar and will fall down once the jar is removed.

As for the negative points. The grinder is only available in one color now.... Black. You can't buy white colored grinder to match your white mixer. Second. I was expecting this grinder to be American made since the mixers are still made in America. This grinder has also has premium price that suggests non 3rd world labor was used to build it. However, this grinder is made in China. Premium price, but not premium labor.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2010
My wife and I have had this grinder for a couple of years now. We somehow managed to wear out our previous kitchen aid burr grinder. That model was discontinued so the kitchen aid customer service rep willingly replaced our old one with the newer heavier slower speed one. It is unfortunate that Steve had such a bad experience with kitchen aid but if he could just stick with them my opinion is he won't be disappointed. I have had numerous encounters with kitchen aid reps over the years and I have found them to be the very best. Not so true with my other dealings with various customer service reps. This grinder is big and heavy but there are reasons for that. The ability to grind beans at slower speeds require gear reduction. Not all that claim this feature do it with the success that kitchen aid does. Having a glass container drastically reduces static build-up. We are very pleased with this grinder and if I had to replace it I would seriously consider getting another one. There are newer models out there now but not all of them adjust grinding levels and not all of them have glass containers and not all of them grind this slow. Worthy of 5 stars in my opinion.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 3, 2010
I have owned coffee grinders but never a good one. I wanted to grind coarsely for my French Press - every time - with no fines to get into my coffee cup. This is the one to do the job. It easily dials to the coarseness that I want and grinds faultlessly every time.

Expensive? Yes. Worth it? For sure!

BTW I ground some "other" stuff and burnt out the motor. Kitchen Aid replaced that product with a new one promptly - after admonishing me to grind coffee beans only and coffee beans only! Point well made.

Buying a good product is often far cheaper than fooling around with cheap stuff, getting poor performance, and needing never-ending replacements.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2009
This KitchenAid ProLine Burr Coffee Grinder is great! The grind is perfect. Plenty of choices if you want it coarser or finer. And it's really quiet compared to other burr grinders. Easy to keep clean. And I love that the bean hopper and coffee bin are made of glass, not plastic. I have no hesitation recommending this machine.
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25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on December 14, 2010
I received this grinder a few hours ago. I removed it from the packaging, and set it up, which was extremely simple. I am an espresso lover, and bought this grinder because it was so well rated. It feels very heavy duty, sturdy and looks great. I ground some espresso beans on the finest setting available (#8), but the coffee came out quite coarse, perhaps just a bit finer than what you might get out of a Folgers can. I adjusted the grinder according to the instructions, but still the grind was quite coarse. It only took a few moments to realize that this grinder, althought nice, is absolutely unacceptable for espresso brewing. I think it would be a great grinder for drip coffee or perhaps for a french press. As an added note, I think this grinder had been previously returned to Amazon. The box looked as if it had been opened before, and it was missing the glass coffee hopper, and a scoop. I'm returning it to Amazon, hopefully that process will go smoothly and they will refund my money!
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30 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2010
I currently use the KA almost exclusively for French Press.
The KA has 15 settings. Out of the box it is set up for neither the finest nor the coarsest grind the machine is capable of. At least mine wasn't.

However you can easily re-calibrate the KA for an even courser grind for French Press or finer grind for Espresso if so required.
Simple to do and spelled out clearly in the included well written manual.
Necessary to recalibrate? I don't know yet. Though I have tried.

Recreating good coffee is all about controlling the variables.

Next to bean selection your grind and dose is perhaps the most difficult variable to get a handle on for a particular roast.

So is the KA grind consistent?
I don't truly know yet.
I've been using the KA 2-3 times a day every day for just over 2 months now.

The thing is researching and now using this grinder has launched the coffee geek in me.
The KA Is not a Rocky, Mazzer, Macap or Ditting or other higher end grinder....
However it's solid build and intelligent design is inspiring
and makes me feel confident that I can extract a lot of flavor from my current fresh roasted coffee choice.

With the KA I have indeed extracted the best coffee I have ever tasted at home and also some forgettable curious cups.
I've learned enough using the KA as the conduit to my coffee fix to know the grind is just one variable.
The grinder itself along with much online reading quickly motivated me to also use scales and thermometer every brew to nail down some of the other variables.

I am not going to answer many questions about the KA. There are endless debates in other reviews.

Get a wide white cappuccino cup with handle to use as a bin.
The supplied glass bin is elegant but not practical,
a mug is much easier to scoop or pour the grounds out of and into the french press beaker or your brew destination plus it is easier to handle quickly and confidently without fear of breakage.
Its fast to put in place to catch your grind!

At a course settings (1- 31/2) the grind appears similar to what I get from some of the Bunn, Ditting and similar commercial grinders from the best Cafes / Roasters found locally
(Barista, Stumptown, Ristretto and grocery stores).
Not to say that you can't get a bad grind from public grinders... certainly found a lot of dust created by on site DIY supermarket grinders though if cleaned calibrated and sharpened most of these heavily used commercial Bunn or Ditting grinders would likely give a more consistant grind then the KA but for $150-$200 the KA is worth cleaning, calibrating and eventually replacing its replaceable conical burrs (instructions to do so are included in manual).

Still dialing things in depending on each roast.
The KA does not seem to leave "much" dust mixed with the coarser grounds that will over extract and kill your cup.
There are bigger pieces mixed in with the majority of consistent grounds but not much more than the same beans I've examined ground in above mentioned commercial grinders.
When I buy beans I sometimes have about 60 grams from the bag ground by the barista just to compare the cafe grind size with the KA to find a start point on an untried bean.

When I tried for curiosity sake to back off the calibration setting to extreme course then definitely the chunks get quite erratic as might be expected. A 10 gram grind sampling at each setting is indeed visually different.
I know there is no basis (by me) in measured science here. I know that what I am not seeing might be affecting flavor, however if for a particular roast I am getting approximately the same percentage of largish chucks as an hour ago then so far the KA, rather than frustrating me when I brew a "bad" cup inspires me to change other variables.

OK you are wondering weather to purchase the KA???
It is solidly built and inspiring to use.
I like that there is just an on/off switch with no timer to guess/mess with.
The design is a straight line grind.
Yeah beans sometimes get lodged or stuck.
It does make a bit of a mess. Get a brush to clean the burrs.
You get used to it, you find a ritual and ultimately the KA is a work horse that delivers a repeatable cup of coffee.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2010
This is a fantastic grinder. This is the grinder we use at our coffee shop for personal brews (pour overs) and other uses when we only want to grind a smaller amount at a time (i.e., French Press or Vacuum Pot). We place the filter to be used directly below where the coffee comes out. It has a high price point, but KitchenAid is very high quality. I'm looking forward to having one for my own kitchen someday--but it will be awhile before I can do that on a barista's paycheck.
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