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Lets start with a short tale of outstanding customer service - I bought one of these cheap while I was in Canada, but on returning home it didn't work properly (I have a voltage adaptor) - it was just a broken, possibly even refurbished, grinder. That's cheap shopping malls for you :-}
I emailed Krups from their website, and received an email telling me to return the broken one to them for a replacement, which arrived a few days later. Sue, if you ever happen to read this, thanks :-)
The grinder looks quite smart, the main body is black, and it has a brushed chrome control panel and a silver grind control lever. It also has a control to allow it to automatically grind however many cups worth you want.
When you start it grinding, it has a rather funky looking blue LED, but the noise lets you know its working anyway (lets face it, no grinder is quiet). This is a burr grinder, rather than a blade grinder, so it works like a pepper mill, rather than a liquidiser.
Burr grinders are reputedly the best type for coffee lovers, as the resulting coffee "meal" is consistent, whereas a blade grinder just roughly chops the beans.
This is quite an important difference if you want to use a "proper" espresso machine, as the quality of the coffee you get out depends on the quality of the bean and the coarseness of the grind you put in. Too thick a grind will result in a weak coffee with little or no crema (the thick frothy foam you should be getting on the top) - and this grinder works a treat !
The upper half of the burr can be removed easily for cleaning (twist to lock / remove), and the container for collecting the meal fits neatly underneath with a satisfying click of a safety switch.
The lid of the hopper you put the beans into also has a safety switch, and you may find you need to keep this held in place while it grinds (which takes maybe 20 seconds for 4 cups) - this is probably as close as I can get to criticising it in any way.
Would I recommend it ? - i'm off for another coffee ! :-)
Note: the picture for the review is wrong, but I wasn't given the option of specifying the correct one - if I get chance i'll put a proper picture on my website at http://www.phoenixbbs.co.uk/krups.jpg
After the demise of our 15+ year-old Siemens coffee mill last month, I am looking for a replacement - and this is on Amazon for a gnats whisker less than 40quid, so off we go...
Nar 25.10.2005 18:26
Sadly in the UK consumers have yet to get the chance of American style filter coffee machines - so we dont get the grinder unlike American & Canadian markets do - you just get a filter for ready prepared powder and boil water system into a carafe jug with a thermoplate underneath. Ive always wanted one so that I can get my own beans and choose what I want to drink because not all coffee companies offer the vast families of beans ready to grind and drink.