KitchenAid Proline Coffee Maker (#2) Burned Hand — Could’ve Burned Down the House

September 1, 2006

So I got tired of replacing $50 coffee makers every 6 months when the heating elements failed or the electronics fizzled out and decided in March to spend some money and get a nice machine. I debated between a coffee maker and an espresso machine but settled on the coffee maker. I like my espresso, but in the morning I like to come downstairs to a piping hot cup (or six) of regular coffee (with good fresh beans).

I’m lazy and the espresso game is a bit on the physically intensive side for me at 6:30AM.

Anyway, back to the reason for this post. I bought the KitchenAid ProLine Coffee Maker and loved it. It’s a tank — truly commercial grade — or so I thought. After a couple of months, the water sensor inside began to fail. There are three levels. It needs to be at least filled to the first level in order to turn it on. After filling the machine, the second and third level sensors would come on, but we’d need to wait 10 minutes for the first level sensor to register that there was water in the machine. This effectively locked the machine until it caught up.

A few weeks ago we finally called KitchenAid for a replacement. One thing that sold me was the 2-year replacement warranty. When I spend $300 on a coffee maker, it better have a good warranty that I should never need to use. I needed to use it this time. The new machine arrived on Wednesday. I got it all set up in Wednesday evening, cleaned it, set the clock, set the timer and ground some beans. I went to bed. In the morning I came down and it smelled a bit like a roasting house. Not too strong, actually pretty good. About a minute after I got downstairs it started and sizzled when the first drops hit the bottom of the pot. I thought, “man, that heated up in a hurry!”

I was on the phone and didn’t think much about it. A while later I heard a sizzling sound and realized that even on low heat this thing was boiling the coffee — a nice rolling boil. I turned it off, emptied what was left in the pot into the insulated carafe and went to work.

I picked up the kids after work and upon getting home decided to make another pot. I picked up the pot with my right hand and grabbed the bottom with my left.

Sizzle.

After peeling the pot off of my hand with the top layer of skin still attached it dropped into the sink — miraculously not breaking. The second degree burn on my hand is a testament to the faulty wiring in the replacement. We’re lucky that our house didn’t burn down. Even when it was ‘Off’ the heating element was ‘VERY ON’. It’s unplugged now, but I think about how the heating pad was on (in an unnaturally high position) for 24 hours just by being plugged into the wall.

KitchenAid has yet to reply to my email. It’s been over 24 hours (and the blister is in full effect). I’m pretty sure I don’t want #3.

3 Responses to “KitchenAid Proline Coffee Maker (#2) Burned Hand — Could’ve Burned Down the House”


  1. OMG! That sounds horrible, I winced as you described the burn. Listen, return that thing and demand your money back. Let me put my two cents in if I may. Check out http://www.capresso.com, bunch of places you can buy them. Their CoffeeTEAM Therm is *AMAZING* and it has a carafe, so no heating plate, and no progressively burnt coffee.

    I have a review of it on my site if interested. They have a great warranty too. Hope your hand feels better soon!

  2. Coffee Lover Says:

    I would look for a way to return it and get your money back rather than another replacement.

    If you *really* like coffee, here’s one man’s humble opinion on what to do:

    (1) Spend your money on the GRINDER first, not the brewer. 99% of people have this backwards. They’ll go out and spend hundreds and hundreds on an espresso machine or other coffeemaker, and then go and spend $15 on a blade grinder, and wonder why the taste is so inconsistent. I can’t stress enough how important it is to have consistently-sized grounds, rather than the “dust & boulders” you end up with a cheap grinder. So my recommendation would be, at the low end, a Solis Maestro Plus
    or a Baratza Virtuoso. Anything less than that is a waste. A Rancilio Rocky would be even better.

    (2) It sounds like you already know to buy fresh beans. That’s great. Combine that with a great grinder, and now you’re ready to go out and spend all of $25 on a Bodum Chambord 8-Cup press pot (a.k.a. “French press”) that will make heaven in a cup compared to ANY drip machine. First, bring your water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat. Then grind your beans. By the time your beans are ground and you’ve put them into the press pot, the water will be about the perfect temp. Pour in the water, stir gently after two minutes, wait another two minutes, and press the plunger down. Pour into your mugs or into a thermal carafe. You will not believe how much richer and more exciting the flavor is. This is how you can pick up hints of chocolate, almond, wine, fruit, etc. (I’m not kidding), all without syrups or flavored creams. Your friends will know you as the one who makes the best coffee. Experiment with the ratio of grounds to water to suit your taste.

    Now if you absolutely have to have a drip maker, the only one I would get would be the Technivorm Clubline. A drip maker has GOT to heat the water to 200 degrees for the best extraction. With no disrespect to the previous poster, I’ve heard the CoffeeTeam does that; the problem is that Capresso’s quality control doesn’t seem to be up to par from the variety of stories I’ve heard. The Technivorm is SCAA certified and has world-class construction.

    Best wishes.

  3. Don Says:

    “The Technivorm is “SCAA certified and has world-class construction.

    “SCAA certified” it may be, but the Technivorm certainly doesn’t have ‘world-class’ construction. It’s a consumer-level drip coffeemaker, not a commercial unit, and in that regard is just like the KitchenAid. For your $200, you get lots and lots of plastic, press-on line fittings, and a cheaply-made carafe and lid. If you want commercial build quality and 200+ degree heated water, you need to get a commercial drip machine (Bunn CWTF, Newco AK, etc.) not a ‘pseudo-commercial’ imitation.


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