The Kruve sifter by Kruve is the next step in specialty coffee precision. This innovative coffee sieve system takes the guesswork out of grind size for a better and more balanced extraction.
Many have tried to perfect the grinder, we have perfected the grindKruve
The Kruve coffee sifter has gained some notoriety after being used by various competitors in high-ranking brewing competitions. As such, it has been extensively discussed by the wider specialty coffee community.
In this article, we will condense the conversation that has been had and give our thoughts on the strengths and weaknesses of the Kruve sifter and who should consider purchasing one.
Why the Kruve Sifter?
To understand the Kruve coffee sifter, you have to understand the problem it was created to solve. The Kruve is basically a domestic coffee sieve. Coffee sieves have been around for some time but are typically only used commercially and are extremely expensive.
A coffee sieve is a metal screen filled with tiny holes measured in microns so that only certain-sized coffee particles can fall through. This process removes the boulders and fines to ensure a smaller spectrum of grind particle size for better extraction.
A well-worn truth in the specialty coffee industry is that the better the grind size consistency, the better the coffee extraction. That is why those who know coffee always recommend spending more on a good quality coffee grinder. It is why at The Coffee Folk, we invested in a Niche Zero because grind consistency matters for delicious tasting coffee.
And the Kruve seeks to be an affordable way to make this ambition a reality.
There are basically two significant advantages of using a coffee sifter.
Better Grind Consistency
The first and most obvious use is to produce a smaller spectrum of coffee particles for a more even extraction. Typically cheap coffee grinders have a very wide spectrum of sizes, while a prosumer or commercial burr grinder produces a far smaller spectrum. But even the best commercial grinders produce a range of particle sizes and fines.
There is no doubt that the Kruve sifter works. It is well designed to filter out boulders and fines of various sizes depending on the sieves you purchase. And it does this with excellence and accuracy.
The theory is that this, in turn, leads to better-tasting coffee as you have fewer boulders that under extract and fines that over-extract.
The Ability to Accurately Communicate Grind Size
One of the most exciting applications of the Kruve sieves, from my perspective, is the ability to communicate grind size accurately. As you may know, many coffee recipes will call for a medium grind or a medium-fine or medium-coarse. However, these end up being very vague and subjective categories.
However, with a sifter like the Kruve, you could now communicate that you should, for example, aim for a grind size between 600 and 1000 microns for a given recipe. This also raises interesting possibilities for coffee roasters.
It allows you to calibrate different grinders with relative ease.
How to Use the Kruve Coffee Sifter
The Kruve is relatively simple to use. Depending on the specific sieves you own, it can be used alongside any brew method. The Kruve Sifter looks somewhat like a giant guitar pick and is split into three sections separated by two separate mesh sieves.
To use, you clip in the sieves you are using, clip the three sections together, and then add your coffee grinds into the top and shake.
The top sieve traps boulders, while the bottom sieve has holes so small that only fines can fall through. This leaves the desired-sized particles in the middle to be used for brewing. It is easy to use and highly accurate, but it can get messy, as is expected when you are dealing with coffee dust and fines.
Customers experience with the Kruve
Especially when the Kruve sifter was first released and started making waves, it was purchased by a number of coffee enthusiasts.
The resonating theme from these customers is that the Kruve created far more wastage than they imagined. Depending on the grinder used and the sieves attached, the Kruve can easily end up wasting 20-30% of the grinds.
On the one hand, this shows that even relatively good grinders have far wider particle spectrums than are suspected. But on the other hand, most home brewers don’t really want to be throwing away that amount of grinds for every brew made, especially if they are using premium coffee beans.
Kruve recommends both regrinding boulders and keeping the boulders and fines for other brewing methods. However, this is both finicky and, of course, loses the edge that grinding on-demand gives.
The two most significant setbacks of the Kruve that customers have identified are wasted grinds and the disruption to workflow. As with most brewing methods, you need to measure out beans, grind them, prewet the filter, and however many other steps. Adding another step to the daily brew isn’t realistic for the time limitations of most home brewers.
Interestingly, the Home-Barista coffee forum ran a poll for those who owned Kruve Sifters. The results were as follows:
As the data shows, there is certainly a niche of coffee lovers who find the Kruve highly useful. However, the poll speaks pretty clearly; most owners no longer use the Kruve even vaguely regularly.
And I would suggest that the reason is the waste created and the disruption of workflow. Especially if you already own a high-quality prosumer grinder, the benefits won’t outweigh the costs for most people.
And if you own a bad coffee grinder, then you should probably save the money you were going to spend on the Kruve and put it towards a better burr grinder.
In addition, Australian coffee expert Matt Perger shows in this article that some fines impart a desirable aspect to the flavor profile; as he puts it ‘fines are fine.’ So actually eliminating all coffee fines may well be counterproductive to the flavor of the brew. However, Perger is referring here to the EK43, so this isn’t necessarily comparable to the amount of fines you get with other less premium grinders.
Who is the Kruve Sieve For?
We would recommend that the Kruve is an exceptionally helpful tool for a very small niche of coffee brewers.
If you are looking to improve your daily coffee, the Kruve isn’t the answer. You would do better to invest in high-quality brewing gear and then focus on technique. The Kruve does work, and it will bring greater clarity to your brews. But to use it every day is frustrating and time-consuming.
Similarly, if espresso is your main game, the Kruve is probably not for you. Users commented that while the Kruve does work with espresso, it just gets finicky and particularly messy.
Instead, we would recommend that this is an excellent tool for those interested in exploring and experimenting with coffee. If you have the time and the beans to play around, then this is a great way to do it. It will allow you to get technical and understand how the particle size spectrum impacts extraction and the flavor profiles of different beans.
Choosing which version of the Kruve to Buy
When you go to buy a Kruve, you will see that there are various options. The most basic option is the Sifter Two, which comes with a 400 and 800-micron sieve.
There is also the Sifter Six-pack which comes with six sieves, or the Sifter Twelve, which comes with all 12 sieves ranging from 200 to 1100 microns. The Sifter Twelve also comes with a beautiful bamboo holder for the sieves.
In addition, you can buy individual sieves to meet your needs. All the various sieves clip into the Kruve.
While we believe the Kruve Sifter is not for everyone, there is no denying that it is an excellent tool for those invested enough to use it on a regular basis. If that is you, we would encourage you to purchase the Kruve and go nuts! You will love it, and the Kruve does look beautiful and make you feel cool!