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KitchenAid Retro Burr - Jason Ashbaugh's Review
Posted: January 13, 2007, 12:43pm
review rating: 7.4
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: 4.4
Manufacturer: KitchenAid Quality: 4
Average Price: $130.00 Usability: 4
Price Paid: $110.00 Cost vs. Value 2
Where Bought: Bed Bath and Beyond Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 6 months Overall 4
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Rencilio Rocky Doserless
Bottom Line: Tried to add a metallic flavor to my beans... a definite "don't buy!"
Positive Product Points

It is a simply beautiful looking machine. Before I started home roasting, the hopper on top was very convenient for bean storage since it is an airtight seal. Lastly, it isn't overly nosy compared to blade or other similarly priced burr grinders. I was very impressed to see blade style burr grinders on a model at this price instead of conical burrs.

Negative Product Points

It hardly worked without constant cleaning and maintenance.
Performing cleaning was a real chore.
Any coarse grinding rendered the finer grinds impossible to reach without a thorough cleaning of the twisting mechanism.
The grind was passable, but not incredibly consistent, with a lot of dust produced even at it's coarsest setting.
It tried to have me brew metal shavings with my grounds when it broke.

Detailed Commentary

I have to admit, I was very excited when I purchased this machine. It was very attractive on the counter (thus earning the wife's approval for use in the kitchen) and it was made by Kitchen Aide, who I have had very good experiences with in other types of kitchen appliances (mixers, etc...).

At first I was dismayed by the way it spewed grounds all over the counter, and in pretty much every direction but down into the ground collector cup. Some cleaning and the application of a small piece of duct tape to apply a bit more pressure to the dispenser helped a lot, but did reduce it's visual appeal.

Cleaning this thing is a chore. Using pipe cleaners to clean to output, disassembling the top portion to get at the burrs and grinding chamber... it's all a lot of work, and it's needed very frequently. I spent as much time keeping this thing able to grind well as I did grinding coffee -- not a mark of quality in my book. I believe in regular maintenance, but there is a line between regular and constant that this grinder crossed.

Beans also started to get stuck with great regularity (I tend to enjoy Sumatra and some oily coffees, which I found out later it something of a no-no in this grinder). This problem cumulated with the breaking of this machine two days ago. I discovered that it has some very poor engineering in the way the shaft from the motor engages the lower plate. Instead of a more durable square or hexagonal shape, it uses two "pins" on either side of the shaft, which I can now say are not up to the task of handling the torque of more than occasional use.

When it broke, the bottom plate began rubbing the side of the cylinder it spins inside, depositing flecks and slivers in my grinds. I was glad to be nearby as it broke since I noticed an odd tone to the motor when it happened. Otherwise it's possible I wouldn't have checked the grinds carefully since this happened at 5:00am. I am very disappointed in this product, and would recommend that anyone considering it save some more for a Rocky or buy a comparably priced Maestro... anything but this.

Buying Experience

BB&B was fine, I had a 20% off coupon from the mail, otherwise I doubt I would have shopped there.

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review rating: 7.4
Posted: January 13, 2007, 12:43pm
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