Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Product Review: Krups GVX1/GVX2 Burr Milling System

Calling the Krups GVX2 (the all-black model is the GVX1) a "burr milling system" seems pretentious, so let's use a more realistic name: burr coffee grinder. For the most part, it does what it is supposed to, which is definitely good, although there are a few quirks that I didn't completely care for.

What generally makes a burr grinder superior to a blade system, at least for coffee, is the ability to set the texture of the grind with an adjustment mechanism, and not by trying to guess what amount of whirring corresponds to what you need. And there was an adjustment knob on the side of the GVX2. However, I found that it didn't set finely enough for espresso; the coffee brewed a few seconds too quickly for my taste even when I had the grinder at the finest setting. I was also ambivalent about setting the number of coffee measures you want and then pressing a button, which is really setting a timer to get the "right" amount of coffee. That worked roughly the same as the old Capresso model I used that finally gave up the ghost after years of service. But if you found yourself a bit short, there was no obvious way of getting just a little bit more. (Actually, I found that pushing the start button a second time would turn off the grinder, which had the same end effect.)

The hopper didn't have room for a lot of beans at a time, though enough for a double espresso or a few cups of coffee. Given how much room the two measures of espresso took up in the receptacle (it did keep the grounds contained nicely), I wouldn't have tried for 12 measures all at once, as I would have been concerned about it backing up into the machine.

I also found that at times the coffee would stop moving through the grinder, which was still on, and I'd have to give it a shake to get things moving again. Overall, it's a fair grinder, though not a great one. However, the list price of $59.99 makes it a reasonable entry-level machine choice.

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