Once you have had a cup of freshly ground coffee, it is very hard to go back to bland store bought instant coffee. Now in order to enjoy freshly ground coffee at home, you will need to invest in a burr grinder. So do you opt for one of the 2-in-1 combo coffee makers and grinders, or a standalone grinder? We aren’t huge fans of the 2-in-1 models, as they generally offer an “acceptable” level of performance for both grinding and making coffee. We prefer standalone grinders, as they often do a much better job. One of the best selling standalone models today is the KitchenAid KCG0702OB, which we are going to look at in this article. Does it provide a convenient and easy way to get that freshly ground coffee? Let’s see if we can find out.
A closer look
KitchenAid as a brand has existed for almost a century now, so they have quite a history in the realm of kitchen appliances. Of course being a USA brand gives them lots of points in our book, but are they still making quality goods after all this time? Let’s hope so, as we begin by taking a look at the design of the KCG0702OB. This model comes in three color choices of silver (pictured to the left), black and red. The silver option is the most neutral choice of colors here, as the black is a very dark shade, whilst the red is quite bold and pronounced. Neither of them are a bad color choice, so it really depends what fits in with your current kitchen decor. The body of the model is made out of die-cast metal, which is easy to wipe down.
KitchenAid are famous for their stand mixers, and you can definitely see their influence in this design. This gives it a rather distinct look compared to the competition, and we like the unique look. Moving into the front of the machine we have the plastic control knob, which has 1-8 settings. Setting 1 is for very coarse grinds suitable for a French Press, whilst going up to setting 8 will give you a finer grinds suitable for an Espresso. Behind this plastic knob is an adjustment screw, which you can adjust if you want a finder or coarser grain of coffee. The external knob is removed using a 4mm allen/hex key, and then you use a flat screwdriver to adjust it further if required.
Above this is the glass hopper, which can hold a a respectable 7 oz of beans at any time. This can be removed by twisting it clockwise for cleaning. The beans are ground into a grounds chamber below this. This chamber is made out of glass, so does not suffer from any of the “static cling” that plagues many of the cheaper grinders (which come with plastic chambers). This chamber is quick and easy to remove when you have ground your required amount of coffee.
Moving to the sides, we can see the KitchenAid logo engraved on either side. The On/Off switch is located on the right side of the grinder if you are facing the front of it, and you flick the switch upwards to switch it on. Overall the KCG0702CU feels very sturdy and well built thanks to the die cast housing, and weighs in at nearly 10 pounds. This may sound a little on the heavy side, but we would much rather have a solidly made product instead of a brittle one that is largely made out of plastic.
The burr grinders on this model operate a 450rpm, which means it is a little quieter than many of the models we have come across. It is still quite noisy though, but bear in mind that all burr grinders are loud due to the amount of power needed to grind the beans. KitchenAid claim this lower rpm means the beans don’t heat up as much, due to the lower friction resulting from the burr speed. The lower rpm doesn’t mean it is slow, in fact it is quite the opposite as it can grind a fair quantity of beans in a short time. You will need to measure how many beans you want to grind beforehand, as there is no cup or quantity preset measurements included with this model. The grinds are very evenly done, and this is true across the range of grind size settings. The powerful motor ensures all the beans are well crushed, and it is quite rare to find any stuck in the burrs. If you are looking for a very fine type of grind suitable for turkish coffee for example, then you will need to adjust the tension screw (as mentioned above). Turning all the way clockwise will give you some very fine grinds if need be, but be careful not to overdo it as this tension screw is one of the few bits that is not made out of metal.
Are there any problems with it?
There doesn’t seem to be any obvious flaws with this product, although there is one minor complaint. Although the grinds chamber is made out of glass, the glass is a teeny bit on the thin side. This leaves it feeling a little fragile, but it still does the job ok. We would have liked it if the glass was a little thicker, which would have fit in well with the rest of the sturdy style design. But again, this is only a minor complaint and is the only downside we could find. It would also be nice if the machine was a little easier to clean, but virtually all the other burr grinders are a bit cumbersome to clean, so we can’t fault this model too much for this. They do included a cleaning brush for cleaning the burrs, so this is a nice little touch.
That is a look at the KCG0702CU KitchenAid burr coffee grinder. This model is designed to be simple to use, and do the job well. And in our eyes it succeeds at that, while looking great in your kitchen. It may be a little pricey with a RRP of around $300, but you will often see it on sale for much less than that. You can find out more about this grinder and read some of the many happy user reviews over at the Amazon.