Bang for Buck <$150 Grinder? KitchenAid Pro Line at $99?

varuscelli

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I'm taxing my novice brain at trying to figure out coffee grinders for home use in the semi-budget range of $150 or less. (Espresso grind is not really a concern. Basically for standard coffee brewer use with a Technivorm KBT741 and a Bodum press pot.)

I'm looking for suggestions in that price range and am seriously considering the KitchenAid Pro Line (KPCG100ER) that's available through Amazon for $99 (normally $199).

It seems to have a few reviewed weaknesses, but also seems like a pretty nice grinder for $99 (with free shipping).

Any comments on the KitchenAid Pro Line or others that might be better considerations in the price range mentioned?

Thanks! :)
 
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varuscelli

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CCafe said:
I'm not one for a big bulky grinder. That thing weighs 13 pounds, must be the die cast.

But I think you will enjoy it if you buy one.

Yeah, I'm sure thinking about that size issue on the KitchenAid.

Looks as big as the KitchenAid blender we have (which is a monster, weight-wise), but I was hoping that it would actually be a bit smaller.

Looks to me like KitchenAid basically just used the existing design/shell from the blender and created the coffee grinder from there. I could be wrong, but from appearances...well, it sure looks like it could be that way. :wink:
 
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varuscelli

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CCafe said:
I'm not one for a big bulky grinder. That thing weighs 13 pounds, must be the die cast.

With my previous comments in mind: Now that I've checked my KitchenAid blender, it actually weighs in at just over 24 lbs, so maybe the grinder wouldn't be quite as big as it appears. (Amazon lists the grinder at 10.4 lbs -- sounds stable but not insanely heavy.)

My deal on "perception" with the KitchenAid grinder is that when I "see" the grinder, I "picture" the blender, since it's what I've got as a frame of reference, and with the appearance of the grinder being so much like the blender, it makes the mind want to do something like a 1 to 1 between them. But the grinder is actually less than half the weight of the blender, so... in reality, maybe the grinder would not be such an imposing counter-top presence as I might picture. :wink:
 

shadow745

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IMO the Pro Line grinder is one of the best grinders you'll find for $300 or less. I bought one of the Amazon Red NIB Pro Lines and it rocks! It's built like a tank, has glass bins for no static, has a really awesome auger that feeds the beans to the burrs and the grinds drop straight down. I have made a few modifications to mine to make it stepless and enhance the bean feeding from the bin to the auger and it's a pleasure to use each day. I know alot of people think you need a dedicated espresso grinder, but I say that's crap. After being made stepless, adjustments can be made to go from press to espresso with any fine tuning needed along the way.

It may sound huge, but it's certainly not as big as other "home" grinders out there. Later!
 

dingrr

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I agree that the KA Proline is a very good grinder, especially at $99.

shadow745, what mods did you make? Mine is stepless as well. I looked at the hopper/chute into the feed auger and couldn't come up with any good idea, just possibly filling it with caulk. Since I put just enough beans into the hopper as I want to grind, I use a bent metal chopstick thingy to knock any hungup beans down into the auger. Not too happy with that but otherwise I like the grinder.

I don't think it's too big or heavy as I keep it in a lower cabinet and pull it out daily for my grinding needs.
 

shadow745

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After making mine stepless I also wrapped teflon tape around the threaded burr carrier. This removes any play that normally causes burr wobble. I also removed the black spring loaded plate that seals the grounds bin and attached a homemade spout so that I can grind right into my portafilter. Alot of people complain about beans hanging up around the finger guard, so I removed mine. I've seen pics of people hacking away at the top of the grinder to achieve this, but I found a way to do this without damaging any part of the grinder and can be reversed if needed. E-mail me if you'd like to know, as I don't want to take up too much space here. Later!

Shadow745
shadow745@earthlink.net
 
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varuscelli

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Well, rather than going the path of what I suspected would be (in my case) "Initial Bang for the Buck followed by Upgrade followed by One More Upgrade"...

I went for a second-hand Mazzer Mini. :wink:

I think it was a good decision and since my wife likes an occasional espresso (and so likely would I), I'm thinking this machine is going to cover a lot more bases and do it a lot better.

We've got no espresso machine, but hey, that's a whole 'nutha topic. :)
 

CCafe

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I think you might have been better off. Your Mini Mazzer is just an espresso grinder. Your going to have to adjust that collar a lot if you’re thinking of making an espresso after grinding drip coffee.
 
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varuscelli

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CCafe said:
Your Mini Mazzer is just an espresso grinder.

Respectfully . . . are you sure you want to stick by that, strictly speaking? I think it could be used as just an espresso grinder, or could be used as just drip coffee grinder, or just for press pot grinds -- or it could be used for any of those at any given time, depending on the circumstances. But I don't think I could define it as just an espresso grinder. :-/

CCafe said:
Your going to have to adjust that collar a lot if you’re thinking of making an espresso after grinding drip coffee.

Hmmm...

I'm not really seeing adjusting the collar as as too big an issue. The collar is easy to adjust a couple of (or a few) notches either direction, and from brief testing it seems to produce a very nice range of good grinds.

If anything, cleaning the previous grinds out before switching from, say, a drip grind to an espresso grind would likely be more of an issue. Probably a big deal if we were going back and forth during the day, but I'm not sure I see that happening.

But ya' never know. ;-)

I might end up rethinking my approach after a while with the machine, but I'm still glad I had the chance to get it. :)
 

prairiedog

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Where?

Where exactly on Amazon.com did you find a Kitchen Aid Proline for $99? I'm interested. The best price I've seen there is $199.
 
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varuscelli

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Re: Where?

prairiedog said:
Where exactly on Amazon.com did you find a Kitchen Aid Proline for $99? I'm interested. The best price I've seen there is $199.

It periodically goes on sale via Amazon (the red one and not the "pearl metallic"). Since Christmas time and earlier in March, I've seen it at $99 twice. Keep watching and I bet it will drop to $99 again.

As a matter of fact, I see that it's selling right now for $129 with free shipping (KitchenAid KPCG100ER Pro Line Burr Coffee Grinder, Empire Red).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...UTF8&coliid=I1ECD4WS8YR9RW&colid=VKYW8JE3K3A5
 

Javaholic

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Apr 14, 2007
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Toronto
Please note I am *very* new to the gourmet coffee hobby but...

I just bought my first burr grinder today. I wasn''t willing to spend $300 (yet) so I went with a Breville conical burr grinder from Williams-Sonoma, I paid $170 CDN including taxes. It''s advertised as being designed to minimize heating of the beans while grinding, to preserve the maximum amount of oils. We''ll see... :wink:

Its grinder is made of cast-aluminum and is removable for cleaning in two sections. So far, even though the hopper and collector are plastic, they don''t seem to build up a lot of static and the beans/grounds don''t cling to the hoppers. I did a few \"test grinds\" with Starbucks beans so far (the mfg recommends to discard the first few grinds). I got a nice even baby-powder from its \"Turkish\" and \"Espresso\" settings. Note that it''s got 4 standard settings from \"Coarse/Percolator\" to \"Turkish\" but you can choose almost infinitely between the 4 standard settings. I then ran some of my dark-roasted Ethiopian Yir beans for my drip coffee maker, and they came out a lot better than they did with my old cheap blade grinder.

Right now I only have a standard drip coffee maker, as well as a primitive cup-top French-style Espresso maker (the kind you see in Vietnamese coffee houses) but I also plan to buy a Bodum/French press. I''m looking forward to testing my grinder with these and with different beans and roasts. I''m lucky enough to live near a place that carries a wide selection of gourmet beans that they custom-roast in their antique roaster, and ship to arrive within 24h. I''ll keep you posted on the results of my experiments...
 

salman

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Jun 13, 2007
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Hi, This post is very informative, however I would like some specific information. If someone can help me then please send me a private message. Best Regards,
 
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