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KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
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Espresso: KvdW Speedster
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 12:00am
Subject: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look

CoffeeGeek takes a first look at the all metal, seriously built "ProLine" offering in the grinder category from KitchenAid
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mmm_crema
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mmm_crema
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Espresso: Nuova Simonelli Mac 2000
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 6:27pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
 

Nice grinder, I am starting to see these in stores finally. Too bad it does not have a provision to dose into a portafilter, but all in all appears to be a great buy at $199.

Emil
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Reighlok
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 6:40pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
 

I have been hearing about it in the podcasts for a while and it was nice to see pictures of it so that I know what Mark has been talking about. I was sceptical at first because of the Pro Line Series $300 four slice toaster , but the grinder seems to be a good value.
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jeffmac
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jeffmac
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 7:08pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder
 

Mark

How wide is the opening in the bottom container, or the opening below the burrs?  Could you fit a kind of collar to make grinding direct into a portafilter possible?

Also when you say 'sharper burrs' does that mean the ones they supply are a bit blunt? Can they be replaced with other standard sized burrs?

Apologies that this all questions but I'm a kitchenaid fan too and this is a nice looker and interesting design.

Thanks

Jeff
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Espressosnob
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Espresso: Ranchilio Silvia, Gaggia...
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 8:22pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

Mark, glad you reported on this grinder.  I've had one for over a year to grind for espresso with Silvia and for brewed with the Capresso Tec.  Had to tweak the adjustment for espresso but is working perfectly for both (6.5 for espresso with Black Cat and 3 for the Tec).  Early reviews of this machine on this site seemed to be a bit skeptical of it being for serious espresso brewing, but from my experience it's much better then my old Solis.  On of the most appreciated characteristics is the almost complete lack of static.  I think you'll get years of good service from it, and I hope this shows KitchenAid can make "serious coffee" products.

By the way, I store a small grind in one of those small glass "bail" sealed jars.  The ProLine's "bin" fits to it perfectly so the grind can be transferred without any bits of coffee spilling out.  This machine is "clean."
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jim_schulman
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jim_schulman
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Posted Wed Sep 7, 2005, 9:50pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

The burr system looks impressive, like a junior version fo the DRM conical/flat set, in which the conicals are used mainly as an augur for the flat burrs. The straight through grounds path is also ideal for cupping, since one doesn't need "sacrificial grinding" or burr cleaning when changing beans. It's odd that they don't have a simple cone for a PF; it would have been easy to add, and made it a better mate to their espresso machine.

However. it looks like there are 24 grind settings for the full grind range. This is a serious drawback for espresso. The Mazzer grinder divides a full turn into 100 notches, and about 40 to 50 make up the full grind range. One can easily set to 1/2, and with a bit of work, to 1/3 of a notch. So a good espresso grinder with notches should have around 80 to 100 for the full grind range to make it truly functional. Here they could have taken a page from the NS MCF or Lux/Pavoni grinders which have a reasonably set worm gear, and a window to display the stepless grind setting.

 
Jim Schulman
www.coffeecuppers.com
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DaveS
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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2005, 7:50am
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

Mark - you mention beans sticking occasionally - was the machine you tested a fairly recent one or one from a while back- there is a thread in the coffee machines forum that indicates Kitchenaid was offering a fix for beans sticking and a new collection jar I think.
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BuzzedLightyear
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BuzzedLightyear
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Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
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Posted Thu Sep 8, 2005, 2:49pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

This review came just in time, I almost purchased this due to the podcast and some other current reviews being used with a silvia. The price of $159 at Williams Sonoma looks very attractive too, but it looks like the steps are to broad for espresso and maybe I should just save up for the rocky

 
Don
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MarkPrince
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MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
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Location: Vancouver, BC
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Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
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Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu Sep 8, 2005, 4:41pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

DaveS Said:

Mark - you mention beans sticking occasionally - was the machine you tested a fairly recent one or one from a while back- there is a thread in the coffee machines forum that indicates Kitchenaid was offering a fix for beans sticking and a new collection jar I think.

Posted September 8, 2005 link

I do have the new design AFAIK - the original one definitely had problems with sticking beans and also there was an issue with the design of the floating seal for the grinds catcher, where grinds would accumulate.

It's really a minor problem though. Usually when things get held up, it's like 4, 5 beans that you can just flick with your finger into the guard.

I dunno if I mentioned this in the first look, but one real advantage to this design - little or no "popcorn effect" (ie, beans bouncing above the burrs) because of the auger / vertical burr stack design.

Cheers

Mark

 
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MarkPrince
Moderator
MarkPrince
Joined: 19 Dec 2001
Posts: 5,520
Location: Vancouver, BC
Expertise: Professional

Espresso: KvdW Speedster
Grinder: Compak K10 WBC
Vac Pot: A bit too many
Drip: Clive Coffee Drip Stand
Roaster: Hario Glass Retro Roaster
Posted Thu Sep 8, 2005, 4:44pm
Subject: Re: KitchenAid ProLine Grinder First Look
 

jim_schulman Said:

However. it looks like there are 24 grind settings for the full grind range. This is a serious drawback for espresso. The Mazzer grinder divides a full turn into 100 notches, and about 40 to 50 make up the full grind range. One can easily set to 1/2, and with a bit of work, to 1/3 of a notch. So a good espresso grinder with notches should have around 80 to 100 for the full grind range to make it truly functional. Here they could have taken a page from the NS MCF or Lux/Pavoni grinders which have a reasonably set worm gear, and a window to display the stepless grind setting.

Posted September 7, 2005 link

I dunno about the worm gear - the problem with that is, it's darned hard to dial back and forth between a press grind and espresso grind with it, and usually to get back to espresso, you have to grind three or four pulls before you get it right again.

But I'd agree that with 16 usable selections, and roughly 24 on the gearing tooth, this is a shortcoming of this grinder. Not a major one, and considering its competition, it's better than some, on par with others, and worse than others. I don't consider this grinder a direct competitor for a Mazzer or Rocky for that matter. It's direct competition is the Solis lineup, the Capresso Infinity, and other multi-use grinders.

As such, it's at the top of the class (IMO) for a lot of things, and well, if they tweaked the grind settings so we could get 24 or 30 or more ready-usable grind selections, it'd be that much better.

Mark

 
CoffeeGeek Senior Editor
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