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anyone have Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder?

Hi there. I'm considering getting a burr grinder, as I'm been disappointed with the performance and cleanliness of my whilrly one. I've heard this one is good. Any thoughts? Does it get the job done, and is it a pain to clean? Do you have any alternatives to propose?

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  1. No, but I'm about to get one, as I've read good reviews on the Net. I look forward to other comments.

    1. Had one. Found it very easy to use.But I ditched it after the testers at Cook's Illustrated found that blade grinders produced a better tasting cup. So I got a Braun blade grinder and I agree with CI.

      8 Replies
      1. re: mpalmer6c

        my $20 blade Krups grinder does a much more uniform job of grinding than hubby's fancy burr grinder, which creates uneven sized grounds and is impossible to thoroughly clean. Similarly, IL's have a Capresso coffe maker with built in burr grinder and it does a sloppy job too.

        1. re: toodie jane

          What do you mean by a fancy burr grinder? Are we talking a $50 krups? Or the $140 capresso? I would admit that the Capresso Coffee makers come with cheap grinders -- good grinders weight twice as much as one of those all-in-one machines do. One issue with the blade grinders is the heat they produce to get a nice uniform grind you have the sit there for 20-30 seconds, while the volatile oils heat up and leave your coffee; that great smell during grinding means the flavor is in the air, not in your cup. I would be very curious to see the CI test, if anyone has the link , please post!

          1. re: mateo21

            Trouble is you have to have an online subscription (though I's not expensive). I haven't noticed any odd smells from my Braun. And with a laser thermometer, Cook's Illustrated didn't find the blade grinder coffeew any hotter than the burr grinder's. In any case the ultimate test is the taste, and for me the bladr grinder cup is noticeably less bitter.

            1. re: mateo21

              30 seconds? for my Krups, I pulse 7-9 seconds max for drip.

              Our Delonghi was about $70--not a top-notch burr grinder to be sure, but still not as good a performer as the $20 Krups; certainly not an improvement. When my windfall profits start coming in, I'll get one of those heavy burr grinders :)

          2. re: mpalmer6c

            Was this for regular coffee makers, French press, or espresso machines? I have read so many posts right here on CH from self proclaimed coffee experts that claim that a burr grinder is the only way to go. I have just invested in a good espresso machine and was saving up for a burr grinder, which would cost almost as much as the machine and use my trusty Braun in the mean time. So as you can guess I am pleasently surprised to find this thread.But also , a little confused. Is a blade grinder fine for all types of coffee prep?

            1. re: currymouth

              currymouth, If your doing espresso, don't believe for a minute that a blade grinder will be adequate. The highly disputed CI review was with a very cheap burr grinder, which admittedly aren't much better than a blade. A quality burr grinder which you will find at a minimum of $130. is necessary for espresso. It is even more important than the espresso machine. If you can afford it, try to buy at the very least a Rocky for about $310. Do your self a favor and do your research on coffee specific websites like coffeegeek, or home barista.

              1. re: chipman

                As I indicated in my previous post, I went through these boards to ask for info on not only the choice of Espresso machines but because I am a novice, also the grinding and preparation of a good espresso. I must say that I was very surprised as to the overwhelming condescension of the majority of replies by these "Coffee Experts" and in turn abandoned any further request for info. I have since found a good machine through other internet sources and have the pleasure of a fine espresso every morning. Again I want the best results possible, but without having to spend wads of cash on a gadget some over caffeinated coffee geek deemed necessary in order to prepare his very exclusive and expensive beans. Please Chipman, I am not referring to you, Your posts have been always been fair and informative, but as you can tell the whole process have left a bitter taste in my mouth. I will continue to search for a reasonably priced burr grinder in order to fully enjoy the espresso experience. Thank You again.

                1. re: currymouth

                  currymouth: Likewise, I hope it wasn't one of my posts either! By all means do whatever your palate dictates. That's the most honest approach that anyone can take w/respect to coffee. However I'll leave the following 2 cents worth, which is an excerpt from a rather long post of mine from another thread: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/49465...

                  "When espresso-heads are talking about the importance of the grinder, yes, consistency of grind is one of them, but often not-discussed but what I feel to be just as important, is the fineness of the grind control. The very best of the grinders uses a very fine pitch thread on a rather large circumference adjustment dial. When tweaking a shot for the optimal grind, one is talking about shaving off or adding seconds to a shot that's occurring under very high pressure. To do so often requires just a couple of degrees of rotation on an already fine thread adjustment. Compare this to the coarse controls of a typical consumer level (even the burr type) grinders, and one sees that it is all but impossible to obtain this kind of control w/o investing the money."

          3. I've owned that model for at least two years now, use it maybe 5 times a week, I've given several as gifts. Very satisfied, I've never owned a blade grinder that produced as consistent of a grind as my Infinity. I think it's a great choice for your first burr grinder, and you may not ever want to move up (I haven't yet).

            That Cook's Illustrated test is almost 8 years old (Nov '01) and the top burr grinder they tested was a $50 Capresso (I'd post the link but the CI site made me log in before I could read the article...). They concluded that burr grinders produced a richer but slightly more bitter brew, the bitterness ironically coming from overextraction due to the better grind. But since I use an Aeropress, that's not really an issue for me...

            1. I'm no coffee expert, so I'm not going to comment on taste, but I'll tell you that I recently bought a burr grinder, and I love the convenience, ease of use, and quiet operation. It's much simpler to use than the blade grinder I had, and (at least on my model), after you set the gauge for a particular grind, you don't have to think about how long to grind for. I splurged on an expensive model (a Baratza Virtuoso) but I imagine they all work more or less the same.

              1. The humble blade grinder, such as the Krups F203 “Fast-Touch” or the Cuisinart models, can be an excellent choice as an inexpensive and readily portable home coffee grinder, especially for drip and open-pot (French press) brewing methods. It’s best to gently shake or agitate the grinder as you grind the coffee, to ensure a more uniform grind. Count the seconds as you grind, to discover and maintain the degree of fineness that will produce the brew which best appeals to your palate. I find that seven or eight seconds is sufficient for open-pot brewing, and just a few seconds more for most drip methods. You might still see some large chunks among the grounds. Ignore them – they are like lumps in your pancake batter. The real enemy of good coffee grinding is excessive fine particles. These are difficult to asses with the naked eye. Professionals use a set of nested sieves of increasingly finer mesh to quantitatively evaluate drip grinds.

                Your coffee should steep for around four minutes. If it takes much longer to finish dripping through the filter, try shaving a few seconds off your grinding time in order to produce a coarser grind. Conversely, if the water falls through the grounds in just a minute or two, try grinding it a little longer to obtain a finer grind.

                Proper home espresso grinding requires a more expensive burr grinder. The Capresso “Infinity” is probably the cheapest home burr grinder worth considering. The Rancilio “Rocky” (with or without the doser hopper) is an outstanding home espresso grinder, powerful and reliable. It does not produce an acceptable range of drip or coarse grinds, however (they are very uneven in my experience). For that, the best choice is the Baratza “Virtuoso,” which, though not as time-tested as the Rocky, will produce a reasonable range of grinds, from fine to coarse. After that, there’s the KitchenAid, and then you’re into the realm of commercial grinders. There are quite a few 'semi-professional’ espresso grinders on the market, at several hundred dollars and up. The Mazzer line is outstanding, as is Anfim, La Cimbali, Pasquini, and so on. Happy brewing!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Luwak

                  An afterthought -- I like to keep a small inexpensive paint brush handy to clean the grinder hopper. Its bristles are about an inch wide. I bought it new and store it in the cupboard with the grinder. I use it exclusively to clean the loose grounds out of the hopper. It has served me well over the years.

                2. I have had that exact model for a year or so now, it's been used for morning coffee (french press) almost every day since I got it. It still grinds perfectly. I clean it once every 3 weeks or so.

                  1. I don't own one but when visiting my sister she had a Capresso Infinity grinder that I used day-in day-out while I was there. I have to say that for the price, it really impressed me. I liked it better than the Kitchen Aid Professional grinder which I had bought for a short time before returning it and getting a Mazzer Super Jolly instead.

                    Now don't get me wrong - it suffers from what many models in this price range in that it does not have a very fine adjustment mechanism. (That is, grind size changes quite significantly from setpoint to setpoint...) However it does cover a very wide range of grinds, including grinds far finer than is needed for espresso. (It's finer settings were enough to freeze the piston on her Olympia Cremina, a manual piston machine, despite putting a great deal of force on its lever.)

                    During my stay I put through the Infinity a wide variety of beans, from an off-the-shelf blend to a home-roast that I had brought over, as well as a freshly-roasted batch that I roasted on my sister's roaster, all of which involved a constant tweaking of the grind level. (The shot needed to be dialed in on very different amounts of moisture, bean age, and roast levels.) In all cases for the pricepoint I was very impressed by the Infinity's ability to get me somewhat near to where I wanted the grind to be, and the balance I made up for by varying tamp and extraction pressure.

                    In contrast, with my Mazzer I can quickly turn the grind dial just 5 degrees or so to shave or add a few second or two to the extraction time, while making no other adjustments including tamping pressure. A similarly-sized turn on the Capresso would mean a significantly larger jump in grind size. in this way expect to be caught in-between grinds at times and adjust accordingly with tamping pressure, and if you have a manual-piston machine, by extraction pressure as well.

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: cgfan

                      Mazzer Super Jolly?

                      I though the Mazzer Mini was expensive!

                      What kind of machine are you pulling your shots with?

                      1. re: meadandale

                        meadandale: Sorry, I didn't mean to imply the Mazzer SJ as an alternative grinder. It was just to highlight the differences between, say, the Capresso Infinity with grinders in the next pricing range.

                        After using my sister's Capresso Infinity I came to the conclusion that many enthusiasts climbing the espresso "wall" will be well-served (and have a bit of change left over) by this excellent offering. Consider it as a (temporary or permanant) equipment foothold as one's hobby climbs to even greater heights.

                        As to my machine I pull shots with the Expobar Brewtus, of which I am thoroughly pleased with. But the espresso hobby being what it is, it doesn't stop me from dreaming about my next machine!.

                        1. re: cgfan

                          Actually, the Super Jolly can be bought used on E-bay fairly regularly. And if your patient it is possible to get a really good deal on one. But you have to be patient.

                          1. re: chipman

                            Good point, chipman, which is how I acquired my SJ. I don't recall how much I paid for it, though.

                            Be ready to replace the burrs on the eBay units, as many of them would be coming out of high-volume shops. After receiving mine I actually took photomicrographs of the burrs - they were in quite an ugly shape! http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=photo...

                          2. re: cgfan

                            I'm a humble hobbiest inre your setup...

                            Rocky and Silvia are a nice couple but they are solidly middle class.

                            One of these days I'll upgrade...

                            I love those Expobars as well as the offerings from Quickmill (Anita, Andreja).

                            I really need to get Silvia PID'd in the meantime but the one guy who I know who does them wants about $225 plus shipping.

                            1. re: meadandale

                              meadandale: Well my pet project is to custom make a feed-forward controller for my Expobar with a built-in thermal model of the inner workings - at least that's the idea! (My biggest grudge with the Brewtus is that its controller works only in integral degrees centigrade. My second grudge is that it's a simple "bang bang" controller.)

                              I've been eyeing the Ardruino as an embedded controller platform for my Brewtus. That, some added electronics, and a lot of nights coding would do the trick!

                              Speaking of which, you definitely have to check out this Arduino/Miss Silvia hack: http://growdown.blogspot.com/2008/04/...

                              1. re: cgfan

                                Silvia with a Wii nunchuk...LOL

                                I've seen some pretty interesting ideas come from the combination of gearheads, caffeine and a love for espresso.

                                Just what I want to do after a day of programming...come home and program my espresso machine :-)

                      2. So I got my Infinity, and am very impressed. Did a great coarse grind for my French Press, and made a tasty cup of Peru La Florida. Looking forward to getting some whole bean espresso for the Brikka.