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KitchenAid Retro Burr - James Lehr's Review
Posted: September 27, 2006, 7:43am
review rating: 6.5
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
KitchenAid Retro Burr
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More About This Product
Arrow The KitchenAid Retro Burr has 35 Reviews
Arrow The KitchenAid Retro Burr has been rated 6.21 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 8, 2003.
Arrow KitchenAid Retro Burr reviews have been viewed 167,807 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Lance Goffinet 8.07
Eric Nager 7.66
C. A. Brooks 7.60
Jason Ashbaugh 7.40
Marietta VB 7.17

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 4.6
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 3
Average Price: $130.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $90.00 Cost vs. Value 3
Where Bought: JC Penney Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 3 months Overall 2
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Vintage KitchenAid (Hobart) mill, Braun grinder
Bottom Line: Stunning countertop art with feet of clay.
Positive Product Points

It's gorgeous - A piece of classic machine-age art on your countertop.
The concept of how it works is simple and effective, if only it worked.
It's all-metal and glass and made in USA

Negative Product Points

It stalls and smokes when grinding very oily or flavored coffee.
KitchenAid mentions - way deep into the owner's manual - that flavored coffee should not be ground in this machine, but there is nothing on the box or machine itself which states this.
Coffee grounds end up on the countertop when grinding, and it drops grounds even when not in use.
The cleaning/maintenance/disassembly  process (described in the manual) is tedious and messy.

Detailed Commentary

I've owned a 70s KitchenAid (Hobart-made) coffee mill for many years, and although it's somewhat ugly and timeworn (plastic hopper and lid cracked and discolored),  I've never had a problem grinding any type of coffee.  Years ago, Hobart sold KitchenAid to Whirlpool, but many of their small appliances seem to retain the same design features of the originals.  I was intrigued with the Retro Burr Mill - it looked just like some of the A-9s I had bought and sold over the years on ebay, so I had to have one. It worked for a few weeks, then started smoking and stalling.  The cleaning brush that came with it broke after the first few uses. Typical: Called KitchenAid, the rep asked me if I was grinding flavored coffee, and I told her I was.  She said that this machine was designed to grind only non-flavored coffee.
I feel like KA knows of this design flaw, but downplays it.   Possibly these grinders hit the market before KA knew...and they have thousands in inventory.  There should be a red stop-sign shaped sticker on the lid of each machine that reads, "STOP! Not for use with flavored coffee!"  But then who would buy one?
Bottom line, it's a beautiful, expensive grinder that isn't very useful.   There are much better choices.  Currently I'm using my little $20 Braun and am very pleased.

Buying Experience

JCPenney was very nice about giving a refund for the grinder. I saved the box and packing materials - good thing.

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: September 27, 2006, 7:43am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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