Mazzer Mini, Innova Burr, Bunn Burr (What this replaced)
An affordable burr grinder that performs dramatically better than one should expect anywhere near this price on everything except espresso. But in the end the safety features spoil the show. Buy a Kitchenaid Pro and don't look back.
Positive Product Points
Good Value Surprisingly good performance for its price Looks great Surprisingly consistent grind. Blows the doors off of grinders costing 50-75% more. Decent adjustability Excellent grinder for a vac pot or French Press
Negative Product Points
It sounds like a blender trying to take flight. The plastic grounds container is super scratch prone Wouldn't use it for espresso Did I mention it was loud? I am so tired of safety features for idiots, especially since most idiots get their coffee pre-ground (without a roast date-Starbucks are you hearing me?) or worse-from Dunkin Donuts.
I purchased this on account of the death of my Bunn burr grinder from the 60's. I already have an Innova Burr Grinder that handles the espresso heavy lifting in my house. This was going to be used for all of my other brew methods (vac, French Press, moka, perk). I was also considering the Capresso Infinity ($90) and the Cuisinart Burr ($49) grinders. The ergonomics of the Infinity didn't do it for me (having to turn the grinder off by forcing the timer dial just doesn't cut it) and after knowing too many people who experienced first hand Cuisinart's spotty quality and apparent tendency to spontaneously combust a week after the warranty expires I quickly skipped that one. I did previously own a Bodum Antigua Burr for all of 4 hours before took it back; Apparently I discovered another product in the coffee world as mediocre as Dunkin' Donuts coffee. But I digress. I purchased the Krups at Crate & Barrel for $59.
The Krups GVX has two models; The GVX-1 and GVX-2. The only difference between the two is that the GVX-2 has brushed aluminum trim (pictured) while the GVX-1 is just black all over. Oh yeah, and the GVX-2 costs $10 more. It is a flat blade burr grinder, where the bottom burr is fixed to the motor and the top is adjustable and removable for cleaning. It has 17 grind settings, supposedly one for every grind used by any krups coffee/espresso machine made. I can neither confirm nor deny this beyond that it is what Krups says in the product literature for this, as I've never owned a Krups coffee product besides this one. It has a clear plastic domed lid beneath which sits the burr mechanism and a 1/2 lb bean capacity; As a note the grinder WILL NOT RUN without this lid in place. The ground coffee receptacle is made of amazingly soft plastic (so soft that I've left scratches using a plastic spoon to get the coffee out. Now I use a silicone spatula) but makes a good fit with the dispensing chute so at least there's little if any mess when you grind coffee. On the front is an on/off button which has a very cool blue light on it (not that I grind coffee in the dark or anything...). There's also a dial on the front with a 2-12 cup amout timer. I just leave it at 12 cups and use the power switch personally. On the left side sits the grind adjustment. There are 17 settings-from surprisingly coarse to astonishingly fine (for this price range) I completely choked my old Atomic espresso maker, as well as my moka pot. The consistency of the grind is better than it should be at this price-it produces very little dust at any grind setting. Usage: You will never, ever be able to sneak and make coffee in the middle of the night with this as your grinder. If this and my Innova grinder were car engines the Innova would be from a new BMW while the Krups would be an old crappy chrysler V-6 that threw a connecting rod. It sounds like an empty blender on frappe, a jet taking off and what assimilation by the Borg must sound like all rolled up into one. But hey, it works, and cost 1/4 the price of my Innova. On a humbug I tried it with my Innova Dream espresso machine vs my innova grinder. What a PITA. I was surprisingly able to to eke out a double in the low 20's but it was not surprisingly sour. A single shot was marginally better. I could see this working ok on a $100 Krups pump driven espresso machine because they probably have one of the finer settings dialed in for it. But for all of the other methods of brewing this does an exceptional job. Especially Vac Pots and French Press. Very good, consistent coffee is within your reach with this grinder.
Price: What can I say? It's a great deal at the regular price of $69 for the GVX-2, let alone at the $59 I paid. I've seen the GVX-1 as low as $49. That's an absolute no-brainer. And you probably won't get anything better until you spend at least $120. This is a fine grinder for everything except espresso. But you just might be able to muddle through with an inexpensive espresso machine. If you can swing it get a nice, stepless adjustment grinder for your espresso (such as an Innova or Mazzer Mini) dial them in for the God-shot and never touch them again. And use this for everything else.
Crate & Barrel is Awesome. Excellent customer service, very good sale prices and a beautiful selection of products. Need I say more?
Three Month Followup
Well, it's still as loud as ever. But that's to be expected in and around the price neighborhood that this resides in. The positive points I mentioned when I first wrote the review still stand, as do the negative points. It is a very good value for the money. If you didn't want espresso I would get this and a good french press (and quality roasted coffee!) and not look back. The truth of the matter is you have to spend significantly more than this to get noticeably better coffee. I haven't had issues with static like other users, but my house's humidity is maintained at 45% so I probably wouldn't. If you're in a house with 20-30% humidity then everything is effected by static from overly dry air. My only mistake was to make a french press pot of coffee with my Mazzer mini I picked up recently for sh*ts and giggles. Now, I know that costs 10x as much as the krups, but there was a noticeable difference in the cup. Which is why I'll be ordering the $200 Kitchenaid Pro grinder that our main CoffeeGeek Guru Mark Prince is using for his tastings and relegating this one to my backup in the home/ main grinder in my Airstream duty. But if you're unwilling or unable to pony up the coin for a grinder like the Solis Maestro Plus ($150, I think) or the Kitchenaid save the extra coin and make coffee better than a majority of the coffee shops out there (honestly-well, at least here in Philly) and get the Krups.
One Year Followup
It was fun while it lasted, but the bloody idiot proofing bit itself in the butt for the last time. There are "safety" triggers where the hopper lid and the grounds container go. After using paperclips, business cards, and silverware (!) to convince the damn safeties that yes, there really is a lid in place, and no, my finger isn't on the burr mechanism, I said damn it and took it apart. After watching an episode of MacGyver and choosing the right wire, voila! no more "safety features". If you're dumb enough to stick your finger in a moving mechanism then you deserve to lose it. I gave the grinder to my friend about six months ago after picking up the Kitchenaid Pro for my non espresso grinding duties. After he used it for the first time, he said "You know, it does a damn good job grinding coffee. But damn, what a racket!" My advice? Save up the additional $140 and go get a Kitchenaid Pro Grinder. And don't stick your fingers where they don't belong.