Don't listen to the negative reviews, this is a great grinder!!!
Positive Product Points
-Great Consistent grind!!! -Quiet -Works great for French Press and Espresso -Built like a brick outhouse -No Static cling -Looks great on the counter top
Negative Product Points
-To get fine enough grind for espresso you have to remove the dial and calibrate the grinder, would be nicer if there were more grind settings right off the bat without having to calibrate it.
So here I was looking for a companion for Miss Silvia, without breaking the bank on getting a Rocky, or a Mazzer mini, my initial first two choices. I kind of figured that I would end up with of those two grinders, but happen to hear Mark's Podcast and also saw that Amazon had a great price on the KA grinder and figured for $159 I can't go too wrong and I figured if I didn't like the grinder I could always return. Now though a month later you would have a hard time ripping this grinder out of my cold dead hands.
The grinder is a beast out of the box. At roughly 15lbs this thing is solid, and looks great. Heeding advice I read the freakin manual and actually watched the KA DVD they included. I was impressed with the directions and the clarity at how they explained everything about this machine. The DVD was chessy at times and the shots they pulled through the big KA Proline espresso machine looked horrible. I was a little concerned. So now with a head fulll of knowledge, I imeddiately went to town pulling shots to try and dial this beast in. My first attempt were not all that great with the initial factory settings. My test coffee was 2 day old roasted Stumptown Hairbender. I first tried with the grinder setting set to 7.0 and with a 30lb tamp into a 58mm LM double basket. That produced one of the worst shots of espresso I have ever made, it started quick with almost white crema that evaporated really quick and filled my espresso cup in less than 12 seconds. I should have figured the grind looked really loose when I poured it into the portafilter. I dumped the shot down the drain without even tasting it. I next moved up to 7.5 setting put another 30lb tamp on it, and had similar results except with a little darker crema and longer pull but no where near a good shot. I dumped this one down the drain. Next I moved up to 8 and still nothing good with a 30lb tamp. I tried a heavier tamp probably around 45lbs, it got a little better, I could drink the shot but still not what I was hoping for. So I started thinking I need to choke Silvia and work back from there. I next took off the front dial turned on the machine and adjusted it to where I could hear the burrs grinding on each other and then backed it off one click. I put the dial back on and left the setting at 8. The powder the grinder made out of beans was crazy. I knew right away that this was going to choke Silvia but I had to do it. Tamp, pull, she choked on it. back to 7.5 now, tamp pull, a shot flows but is real long about 35 seconds great color though perfect brick red. I finally dialed the grinder back to 7 put a good 30lb tamp on it and boom out flowed the most luscious shot I have seen in a while, great crema, perfect timing about 27 seconds. I have now consistently been pulling this same shot with the grind setting at 7 after calibrating one click back off of the burrs touching. For a slightly overpacked portafilter (about 17-18 grams) I have been using about 3/4 full espresso cup of beans and dumping them straight into the grinder and running it right into my portafilter. I have cranked the grindet down to 2 and done some french press through it at the same calibration and had great sucess. A little mud but not bad. I think some of the other experiences on here, people haven't taken the time to read the manual and dial in the machine for their needs. The comments about the beans hanging up on the rim. Give me a break. Yes you might get a couple of beans to hang up on the lip inside the hopper but one or two beans left in the hopper are not that big of a deal. A small price for great espresso.
Amazon was great and for $159 you can't beat that, plus free shipping.