Full disclosure – I am a firm believer in coffee grinders and their benefits. To be honest with you, I would go as far as to say that if you don’t regularly use a coffee grinder, you’re doing coffee wrong.
That may seem extreme, but as I have banged on about before, the key to the best coffee is all in the freshness, and in order to get the absolute freshest coffee, you should grind your beans just before you make your drink – all those wonderful flavors and aromas have no time to escape.
Agreed? Good. So which one should you get? There are so many different brands and different types (blade or burr? Electric or manual?), all catering to lots of different budgets – it’s a minefield. Don’t worry though, let us help by reviewing some of the best available on the market.
Today we are looking at the GVX212 Coffee Grinder from Krups – a brand renowned for its style and innovative designs in all things coffee. The GVX212 is a mid-range coffee grinder in terms of price, but does it do the job? Let’s put it through the paces of our rigorous reviewing process and find out in our full and unadulterated Krups GVX212 review.
Krups GVX212 Specifications
Before we get into what it can do, let’s take a moment to appreciate the aesthetics of this machine. With the stainless steel finish, this is a very attractive grinder that looks simple, yet stylish. It’s an unfussy design, which would look at home in almost any kitchen, blending in nicely amongst your other appliances.
It’s also very compact, measuring 20cm x 16cm x 27cm – it won’t take up too much room on your counter, and can easily be stored away in a cupboard if you don’t want it left out all of the time.
Okay, onto business. This is a burr grinder. For the uninitiated, burr grinders are more effective than blade grinders because they grind the beans by crushing them between two plates, rather than the slightly more random whirring of blades that slash at the beans.
Basically, a burr grinder will give you much more consistent results, which is crucial in grinding as you’ll want a different sized grain for the different types of coffee that you’ll want – and you’ll want to know that the grains are the correct size.
Due to its small size, the bean hopper only has the capacity for about 200g of coffee beans. I say ‘only’, but this is enough for about 12 cups, which is more than enough for domestic use, and obviously I would advise against grinding more coffee than you need because you will start to lose freshness if you store the grounds for another time – just as storing the beans in the hopper can also cause some freshness to be lost.
In terms of grinding capabilities, you have the option of 17 different sized grinds, from coarse (which are better for coffee makers like a french press) to a very fine grind (which would be best for an espresso machine). It covers all bases. This is controlled with a dial on the side of the machine which is easy to use and conveniently located.
You can also adjust the volume with the dial on the front of the machine – letting it know how many cups of coffee you are going to make, up to a maximum of 12.
The only other ‘control’ that you need to be aware of is the on/off switch. You only need to hit it once when you have calibrated the machine to your preferred settings, and it will shut off automatically when it is finished – all of which means grinding your beans is a cinch.
The burr is removable, which is handy for cleaning, and the lid of the hopper comes off as well, should you need to give that a quick rinse.
What It’s Like To Use The Krups GVX212 Grinder
Coffee grinders can seem quite daunting to people that have never used one before. Presumably, they haven’t been a staple feature of most households for very long, and you only usually see them being used by experts in coffee shops and cafes.
You don’t need to worry though, because in general, they are incredibly easy to use, and the Krups GVX212 is no different in that respect – and to emphasize my point, I will now train you completely in the following few paragraphs.
First of all, measure your coffee beans. This is all down to taste of course, but we would recommend two tablespoons of coffee per cup. Don’t worry if you don’t have such specialist equipment as a tablespoon though, as the lid of the GVX212 hopper has helpful markings so that all you need to do is pour your beans directly in.
Next, place the lid back on the machine, sending all of the beans down to the grinder. Make sure the lid has been fitted on correctly, as the grinder won’t work until it is – which is a nice little safety feature.
Next, you will need to set the dial on the side of the machine to the size of grind that you will require. As mentioned above, this will depend on what drink you are making, but as a rough guide:
- Coarse Grind – french press or cold brew
- Medium-Coarse – pour over coffee
- Medium Grind – filter coffee machine
- Fine Grind – espresso machine
Once you’ve settled on a size, you just need to turn the dial on the front of the machine to represent the amount of coffee that you are grinding in terms of cups. Be aware that a ‘cup’ of coffee is only about 8oz, which is much smaller than a decent sized mug. This may be something you tinker with over time.
When you’re happy with all of that, all you need to do is hit the on switch and away it goes! It will automatically shut off when your coffee is ground to your required settings, so you have nothing else to worry about. It’s all that easy.
Congratulations, you are now fully trained in the art of coffee grinding.
For our review, we tried all four of the different sized grinds mentioned above and tinkered around with 17 different sizes around this. That really is part of the fun of having a machine like this – trying out slightly different settings to get slightly different results. Some coffees might taste better with different sized grains, and discovering this is all part of the satisfaction.
In terms of cleaning, again, you really don’t need to worry. A stiff brush is supplied with the machine, and you just need to give the grinder itself a quick wipe down, and the removable parts a quick rinse. It really doesn’t require much maintenance.
We have to say that we were very impressed with the results that the GVX212 produced. It’s not often that you can get coffee ground fine enough, and consistent enough, for a really good coffee house quality espresso, but this absolutely did the job.
All of the coffees that we made were very smooth, and exactly the right coarseness for the drink we were making – we cannot fault the results. Although, we should note at this point, that we were using some of our favorite beans from some of the best roasters around. If you are going to spend good money on a coffee grinder, we urge you to also make that extra little bit of effort to get yourself some high quality beans to use with it.
The 17 settings are, realistically, more than you’ll need. While you can buy a grinder with more, I’m not sure you ever really need more than the GVX212 provides, and there is still plenty of scope for experimentation.
The real beauty of this machine, though, is in the simplicity of the operation. It couldn’t be more straightforward, as illustrated above, so it is nowhere near the daunting prospect that you might think it is, and the results are great.
Just as importantly, it’s fun! The whole process of measuring out your beans, adjusting the settings, and then hearing the whirr of the grinder – all before that first hit of fresh coffee smell – it’s a really enjoyable way to start your day. And that shouldn’t be overlooked, the whole point of being passionate about things in life is to bring you joy. This coffee grinder will definitely do that.
If you are seriously considering purchasing a decent coffee grinder, I think the Krups GVX212 should be high up on your list of considerations. In this price range, the results can’t be beaten. It looks good, does the job, and is incredibly easy to use. I’m not sure what more you could ask for.