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KitchenAid ProLine - Byron Ala's Review
Posted: September 27, 2007, 4:35pm
review rating: 6.8
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
KitchenAid ProLine Espresso
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More About This Product
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine has 18 Reviews
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine has been rated 6.99 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow KitchenAid ProLine reviews have been viewed 134,015 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Russell B 10.00
Mike Martin 8.00
Glenn Little 7.75
Greg Hancock 7.42
Mike Garner 7.25

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 5.2
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 5
Average Price: $800.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $850.00 Cost vs. Value 1
Where Bought: Home Outfitters Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 3 months Overall 3
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Saeco Crema
Bottom Line: I will never buy another KitchenAid/Whirlpool/or Maytage product again!
Positive Product Points

Beautiful looking machine that is built like a tank, and looks like it will last forever.
Excellent users guide. One of the best descriptions on how to make espresso or cappucinno, with a DVD video the demonstrate even better.

Negative Product Points

Plastic Milk frothing adapter, removal of which leaves the frother way too short.
Very low steam pressure.
Aweful customer service.
Perhaps a very bad pump. I am still not sure if I had a defective unit, or if the espresso pump was too weak. The customer service was so poor I never will know.

Detailed Commentary

I have been flirting with this machine for at least a year now, so when I saw Home Outfitters drop the price of the KitchenAid ProLine Espresso machine by $200 and KitchenAid was providing another $100 off, I jumped at the opportunity. Unfortunately, I didn't read up on this machine here at CoffeeGeek until after I bought the machine.

I was offered another $50 off when they discovered they no longer had any units in the box. They did have three units on display, so I picked the machine that looked imaculate, and with great anticipation, I rushed it home.

After reading the users guide from front to back, I proceeded to make my first cappucino on this machine. I followed the directions for priming the machine, and used a scale to ensure I used the right amount of pressure tamping the portafilter. The result, a very tiny amount of really nice espresso with lots of crema after 25 seconds. No problem, I tamped it too hard. Over the course of 2 weeks, I tried different combinations of tamping pressure and coffee grinds with no success at all! I was getting so frustrated! One day, out of frustration, I went back to Home Outfitters and bought a Proline Bur Coffee grinder, figuring the built in grinder on my Saeco Crema(I had been using this while I looked for my Philips coffee grinder that I had stored away) just wasn't cutting the mustard.

Again, I read the manual from front to back, and started grinding my coffee at the factory 7.5 position. I was very impressed with the grinder, but the coffee came out much too slowly. I varied the grind and the pressure again over the next week, but to no avail. Nothing I did would work.

Now, a bit of history to explain my experience. I am not a newby, just learning the ropes. I started off with a delonghi machine about 11 years ago, upgrade to a Saeco Classico, shortly afterwards, and then bought my Saeco Crema after I tried "fixing" the Classico one disastrous morning. It was beyond salvage. I still have the Saeco Crema, which I am using at this time, while I look for a suitable replacement. I also have a stovetop  expresso machine and a stovetop steamer that has traveled with me to Buenos Aires, Brazil, Calgary, and travels with me whenever I leave home and think I will have some kind of stove such as when I go camping. I have no problems making good microfroth, even with the Kitchen Aid unit. I just recharged the small steamer resevoir after each cup, and although it was slow, I had very good results. I also had no problems making a really good cappucino from my Saeco Classico machine, which had no froth aid and no crema pressurized portafilter.

I became convinced that the problem was not myself after 3 weeks and many pounds of coffee with no success. I called KitchenAid (now owned by Whirlpool) and told them my problem. They gave me the name of a local authorized repair store in the area. I went there, only to find out that this place hadn't serviced KitchenAid products for 2 years! I knew of another location that I had brought my KitchenAid Blender to for repairs, so I brought it there. I immediately went out of town on vacation for 2 weeks. When I returned, I waited another 2 weeks, and was told by the technician that there was a problem with my unit, but it was only servicable in the factory, so I would have to call back KitchenAid to log a case, and they would take care of things.

You might ask me why I didn't just return the unit to Home Outfitters for another one. That is a very good question, and one to which I have an answer to. You see, I was a KitchenAid fan. I liked their products, so I really wanted this machine to work. But Home Outfitters, at this time, was purging their stock, and still didn't have any non demo machines available.

KitchenAid logged a case for me, sent me a pre-paid Canada Post Parcel Post packing slip, and I had to find a box to pack this unit and return it to the Missisauga plant. I shipped it on August 27th. On August 29th, it arrived in Missisauga. I didn't hear anything for a week, so I called KitchenAid. They didn't know, and said they would call me back the next day. Nothing...2 days later, I called back. Still no news, call back in 7 more days. I waited, and waited, and waited and called back. Still nothing. On Monday, September 24th, I called back again. I was not happy. I told them that if they hadn't done anything with it, to please send it back to me, and I would return it to the store. I was called back 2 hours later, and told that they tested it, and it met their specifications. I said please send it back to me, and I would return it to the store.

I did that this afternoon, and got my money back...just. It seems I had 90 days to return it. I bought this unit on June 28th, and returned it on September 27th. During all that time, I only had it for 3 weeks!

After sales service is critical, if you have any problems. This is one of the worst after sales issues I have ever run in to. The fantastic KitchenAid ProLine Warranty no longer exists under Whirlpool. By the way, Whirlpool also owns Maytag now...so buyers beware!

Buying Experience

Good, no complaints. Good return policy.

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review rating: 6.8
Posted: September 27, 2007, 4:35pm
feedback: (3) comments | read | write
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