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KitchenAid ProLine Grinder - Tom Lewis's Review
Posted: December 26, 2006, 10:54am
review rating: 5.8
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine Grinder has 74 Reviews
Arrow The KitchenAid ProLine Grinder has been rated 8.01 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow KitchenAid ProLine Grinder reviews have been viewed 397,914 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Bill Miano 9.17
Robert Uy. 8.94
Gino Magnotta 8.67
Donny Raus 8.63
Randall Nortman 8.57

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.8
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 9
Average Price: $200.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $149.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Amazon.com Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 week Overall 8
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Capresso Burr
Bottom Line: Industrial strength grinder !  Killer grinder for drip and/or press pot - can do fine espresso grinds too, but not easily
Positive Product Points

Pros - metal and glass construction vs plastic ... built like a tank !
           low grinder RPM makes a noticeable difference in coffee taste
           straight vertical drop results in uncompressed ground coffee
           easy to clean, easy to adjust

Negative Product Points

Cons - lacks 'finesse' when trying to precisely adjust super-fine grind for espresso
          - ground coffee may 'leak' around lower glass container seal if not carefully aligned

Detailed Commentary

For starters, my household consumes at least a pound of coffee every day.  This results in two batches of beans being roasted in a 1/2 lb capacity Gene Cafe roaster every day - which is almost entirely used for drip or press pot with very little going towards espresso shots.  Prior to the KitchenAid, I had started with a small capacity blade grinder and then upgraded slightly to a Capresso burr grinder.  With both units, it was necessary to split up each 1/2 lb batch of roasted beans into many smaller batches for grinding - which invariably made a mess as well as taking extra time.  From that standpoint, the KitchenAid is a perfect match for the Gene Cafe's 1/2 pound capacity - I just dump the entire Gene roasting container into the KitchenAid's top glass hopper, hit the switch, and 30 seconds later the lower glass container is holding 1/2 pound of extremely uniformly ground coffee.

As to adjusting the fineness of grind from press pot ( 4 setting or so) to drip ( 6 setting or so), nothing could be easier - just turn the large detented front mounted knob.  However, trying to get the exact fine grind setting for espresso shots is a bit of an exercise, since there are 'detents' that encourage the front mounted knob to land on even number settings or half steps.  It IS possible to get exactly the grind you want for espresso, but to do so you must either hold the knob between 'detents', or switch the knob back and forth between the nearest two 'detented' half steps, or the 'detent' mechanism can be defeated.

One pleasant surprise with the KitchenAid was that there is a subtle improvement in coffee taste versus coffee ground to the exact same fineness in my other grinders.  As some other reviewers have pointed out, this appears to be attributable to the comparatively low RPM grinding action of the KitchenAid versus many other grinders.

Another pleasant surprise with the KitchenAid was that the metal and glass construction seem to eliminate static electricity, meaning that the ground coffee doesn't stick to the lower glass container at all, and pours out completely with no residue left on the container walls, as is typical with plastic grinders.  

Yet another surprise is that the ground coffee coming out of the KitchenAid lower glass container is totally 'uncompressed' - probably as a result of the straight vertical drop from the burr grinder as opposed to other grinders forcing the coffee to slide sideways down chutes etc.   This can raise question marks though when attempting to measure out coffee by volume rather than weight ... i.e. it may take seven 'scoops' of KitchenAid ground coffee to equal the weight of six 'scoops' of coffee that was ground in a different machine !   But on the flip side, the 'uncompressed' coffee from the KitchenAid seems to brew stronger in drip machines (maybe because there is more air space between coffee particles thus better contact between coffee particles and brewing water ?)

However, one unpleasant surprise was that a tiny irregularity in the upper lip of the lower glass container tends to prevent it from forming a perfect seal against the spring loaded 'seal ring'.  If you don't make an extra effort to precisely center and spin the lower glass container to get the best seal possible, some ground coffee may leak out between the glass and the seal ring.  Perhaps the 'quality control' on my particular glass lower container was a bit lacking.

In the grand scheme of things, if your primary coffee passion is espresso, this grinder arguably lacks the necessary 'finesse' and you're better off spending some extra bucks for a $285 Rancilio Rocky or another 'upscale' grinder.  However if your primary coffee requirements are for press pot or drip, and you consume 1/2lb or more of coffee per day, the $199 KitchenAid represents an outstanding value ,,, and a $149 'factory refurbished' KitchenAid represents an unbeatable value !

Buying Experience

I purchased a' factory refurbished' unit for $50 off the regular price.  Online purchase was painless.  Shipping was fast and free.

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review rating: 5.8
Posted: December 26, 2006, 10:54am
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