If you have a grinder capable of producing a consistent, uniform grind size, you’ll go a long way towards making quality coffee. But, unfortunately, no grinder delivers perfect ground coffee all the time – even if it’s the most expensive, premium one on the market.
A high-quality burr grinder still produces grinds with finer and coarser particles in each batch, albeit not as many as a cheaper grinder. But is there a way to improve this?
Step forward the Kruve sifter, a coffee sieve designed to solve this issue. But can it make a difference significant enough to markedly improve your coffee?
This hands-on review takes a detailed look at the device to determine whether it’s worth buying. Let’s get started.
Kruve Sifter Coffee Sieve Summary
The Kruve sifter’s purpose is simple – to remove coffee particles that are too big or small to leave relatively consistent coffee grounds and improve the flavor of your coffee.
Kruve Coffee Sifter Review
What Is Kruve Sifter?
The Kruve Sifter has two tiers of sieves, each with many holes measured in microns (0.001mm). The coffee sieve with the larger holes goes into an upper, with the sieve with the smaller holes on the bottom chamber. This allows only the tiny particles to drop to the lower chamber while the top sieve chamber holds the larger particles. What is left are the grounds in the middle chamber. In theory, these grounds should have a perfect consistency.
Regardless of the model you choose, the Kruve Sifter has multiple interchangeable coffee sieves with different screen sizes depending on your choice.
Design And Build Quality
The idea of sifting coffee can sound nerdy, while screen sieves hardly capture the imagination or set pulses racing. However, the Kruve coffee sifter is an aesthetically pleasing product. It eschews the science lab look you might associate with conventional sieves to offer a design that will enhance – or at least complement – the aesthetic of most modern kitchens.
The Kruve sifter has a triangular shape with easy-on-the-eye curved edges. Its shape ensures straightforward pouring, while the corner allows you to fit it in any grinder for dosing your freshly ground coffee directly into the sifter. In addition, there is a natural bamboo lid, which will pair with any color. Meanwhile, the sifter is available in three colors – silver, black, or limited edition black (which has a black lid as well as a black body).
The anodized aluminum chambers ensure reduced static build-up, so you shouldn’t have the issue of clinging coffee grinds and any subsequent mess.
Meanwhile, the coffee sieves are well-made and accurate, with tolerances of just 20um. There are also waterproof and easy to clean – you just need to rinse them under water. If you invest in the Plus or Max version, you’ll also get an attractive aluminum sieve holder for storing all 15 sieves.
Overall, this is a nice-looking product built from high-quality materials that should ensure it serves you well for years.
What Options Does The Kruve Sifter Offer?
There are four versions of the Kruve sifter – Sifter Basic, Sifter Plus (Coffee Grounds or Beans), and Sifter Max.
If you choose the Kruve Basic, there are five sieves – 300um, 500um, 800um, 1100um, and 1400um. However, if you desire the best possible accuracy, the Sifter Plus has 15 sieves ranging from 200 to 1600 microns in increments of 100.
If you roast your beans, there is also a bean version with 10 sieves allowing you to remove the defects and grind effortlessly. Finally, the Kruve Max is designed for coffee professionals, offering sieves for grounds and coffee beans.
Whichever model you choose, there is an additional BREWLER – a stainless steel measuring tool resembling a ruler that lets you quickly measure the size of your beans and coffee grind.
Why Do You Need A Coffee Sifter?
It Helps Improve Grind Consistency
The theory behind the need for a coffee sifter is straightforward – the more inconsistent your grind, the more uneven the extraction, which leads to unwanted flavors in your coffee. Finer particles extract easily and contribute bitterness to the cup. In contrast, extraction is harder with larger particles, leaving a sour or watery beverage that’s equally unsatisfying.
To show you the difference, we compared the sifted and unsifted coffee grounds under a digital microscope.
As you can see, with a few shakes, the Kruve sifter removes the particles that are too fine or too coarse, leaving a consistent size in the middle chamber.
Then, using an appropriate brewing technique for even extraction, you can soon develop a truly reliable coffee routine to brew amazing coffee every time.
Provide An Accurate Measurement For Grind Size
What is the ideal grind size for a specific coffee? Unfortunately, answering that question is far from easy. Previously, we shared a comprehensive coffee grind chart for different brew methods. However, despite the article’s detail, we could only offer general comparisons using photographs and imprecise grind size terms like fine, medium, and coarse. Similarly, it uses comparisons like “sea salt,” “table salt,” and “sugar” to give you a better – though hardly scientific – idea.
However, a coffee sifter determines the exact micron range to understand better the best grind size for different brewing methods and roasts. In turn, this helps you brew a better cup of coffee. An advantage of this is that you can easily replicate or swap recipes by removing all the guesswork.
Properly Calibrated Grinder
Many grinders have a manual that includes recommended grind settings for each brew method. However, if you’re unable to find the perfect size for your brewing method, the Kruve sifter lets you calibrate your grinder using just a few grams of beans.
Just insert the appropriate sieve for the brewing method, then select a mid-range grind setting on your grinder. Next, grind your beans, then sift your grounds. If there are too many fines, try a coarser setting. On the other hand, if there are too many coarse grounds, try a finer setting. Keep tweaking your setting and eventually, you’ll find your ideal setting.
Compare Different Grinders
As coffee fanatics, we love experimenting with different coffee grinders and reviewing them. We find the Kruve sifter incredibly helpful in demonstrating to readers which grinder is the most consistent. Indeed, it offers a pretty objective and scientific means of doing so.
How To Use The Kruve Sifter
This section of the review concentrates on using the sifter for French press. Nevertheless, the steps are identical whether you’re brewing auto-drip coffee, pour-over, or any other brewing method. Just ensure you use the correct sieve according to the recommendations and follow the steps below.
- For the French press, take out the 800 and 1400 microns sieves. Insert the 1400-micron sieve into the top chamber and the 800-micron sieve into the lower chamber.
- Because the sifter will remove some fines, weigh 10% more beans than you normally use and grind them using the same grind size you usually use for French press.
- Pour your grounds into the top chamber, close the lid and then shake the sifter horizontally for 60 seconds.
- Remove the coarse grounds from the top chamber and grind them again to reduce waste.
- Add the newly ground particles to the sifter again, and repeat the process. This will leave the middle chamber with grounds between 800 and 1400 microns – the perfect range for French press.
- Brew your French press coffee using your highly consistent grind for optimum balance, then enjoy your coffee. You can also add some of the fines back for a fuller body and more flavors.
Let’s examine the recommended sieves for each brewing method. Of course, you’re free to change your preferred size as everything is subjective.
- Espresso – 200 and 600
- Moka Pot – 300 and 700
- AeroPress – 400 and 900
- Pour Over – 700 and 1200
- Siphon – 500 and 1100
- Auto-Drip Coffee Maker – 600 and 1200
- French Press – 800 and 1400
- Cold Brew – 1000 and 1600
Does Sifting Coffee Really Make A Notable Difference?
The big question is, can you tell any difference between coffee brewed using sifted and unsifted grounds? Definitely yes, especially if you compare two cups side by side.
You should notice a pronounced difference if you use an average coffee grinder that generally produces fairly inconsistent grinds.
We’ve tested it with quite a few entry-level grinders, and most of them tend to produce more fines (smaller than 500 microns) in their medium settings.
Indeed, even if you just remove the ultrafine grounds, you’ll have a noticeable difference. Better or worse? That’s quite subjective. Without those fine grinds, you will lower the extraction and complexity. But you’ll get a cleaner and brighter cup of coffee. This is particularly true if you brew coffee with an immersion method like French press. Meanwhile, if you’re using a pour-over like the Hario V60, there’ll be less chance to clog the filter.
However, not all fines are a bad thing for espresso lovers. Fines have an important role to play in pulling your shot. Therefore, using a high-quality espresso maker and dialing in is more practical than sifting.
If you have a decent grinder that already produces consistent grinds, the sifter can help you hone your recipes. After all, the sifter can help you find the perfect ratio rather than eliminating all the fines and larger particles.
For example, many coffee enthusiasts believe that a certain level of fine or larger particles creates a richer spectrum of flavors in the coffee. Therefore, you can blend the separated sizes in different ratios and find new flavors and complexities.
Of course, there are several other variables aside from grind size in coffee brewing, including ratio, temperature, and brew time. Grind size is just one of them. To brew the perfect coffee, you need to master the basics. Meanwhile, your idea of a beautiful coffee may differ from someone else’s.
Don’t Want To Waste Coffee?
Many domestic brewers don’t enjoy the idea of creating wasted grounds after sifting. Indeed, you’ll lose around 15% to 30% of grounds with the sifter.
First, regrinding the coarser grounds can reduce the waste. We tested one of our cheaper hand grinders, which has 3.2g of coarse (>1200 microns), 5.4g in the sweet spot and 1.1g of fines (<500 microns). After regrinding, only 1.1g of coarse grounds left, and the total grinds in the sweet spot range increased to 7.1g. In the end, the result is similar to a much more expensive hand grinder.
You can also consider mixing different grind sizes while brewing. For example, you can brew the grounds in the middle chamber first then add the fines at the last phase of brewing.
On the other hand, if, like us, you want to experiment with different brewing methods, you can reuse the sifted coffee in either chamber.
Grounds that accumulate in the lower chamber are perfect for brewing methods that require fine grinds, like AeroPress, Moka pot, or even Turkish coffee.
Meanwhile, the larger particles in the top chamber are ideal for cold brew because this method is more forgiving to grind sizes. Not only that, but brewing cold brew is inexpensive and easy.
In other words, you can always use sifted grounds in other brewing methods that would otherwise go to waste.
Is the Kruve sifter worth the extra work for a cup of coffee? Coffee brewing can be as simple or complicated as you like. However, regardless of how you brew, the flavor of the finished beverage depends on several elements. Nevertheless, grind consistency plays an important role.
Perhaps you are not one of those coffee geeks who need a sifter for each brew, but want to get the best out of your premium beans when you have the time, such as on weekends. On the other hand, some people may use the sifter as a tool for calibrating their grinder. Finally, it can help you explore new recipes and enhance your barista skills.
Regardless of how you use the Kruve sifter, it is a handy tool for domestic brewing.
Another factor is cost. Kruve sifter is not cheap. However, the Kruve sifter has a gorgeous design and between 5 and 15 sieves. Actually, a standalone lab sieve measuring in microns is not cheap either.
Ultimately, there are not many coffee sifters around, and the Kruve sifter is a good one that’s worth considering.
The bottom line is that sifted grounds undoubtedly improve coffee flavor to some extent. If you can live with the inevitable wasted coffee, it’s well worth investigating.
Kruve Sifter FAQ
Unfortunately, yes. No matter how revered or high-quality your grinder is, it will never be able to grind beans to the exact size. The difference between a lower-end domestic grinder and an expensive coffee shop grinder is the number of smaller and larger particles per batch each produces.
Premium grinders with a high-quality burr set produce relatively consistent grinds compared to grinders that use inferior burrs.
No matter which burr grinder you use, it grinds the beans through a gap between the burrs, leading to relatively uniform grinds.
However, blade grinders chop beans indiscriminately, leading to even more inconsistent grind sizes.
Therefore, if you’re using a blade grinder, we recommend you first invest in a burr grinder before considering the Kruve sifter.