1,331 of 1,349 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2005
Color Name: Black
I've been through a couple of burr grinders - the Gaggia MM and a Melitta, so when it came time to buy a new one, I knew what I didn't want - a noisy, dusty grinder that wears out quickly. I've pretty much found it with the Capresso Infinity.
I did some reading, and depending on what you need, it's amazing how much you can spend for a burr grinder - they range up to $400 and beyond. The main features I was interested in, though, were available in the sub-$200 range. For my pump espresso machine, these features included:
>consistent, even grind - for better tasting coffee
>"reduction" gearing - where the grinder motor speed is slowed down without loosing grinding torque, resulting in less static and dust
>less noise - it's nice to have conversations while making coffee
>durable, long lasting quality - I wanted to keep my third grinder for longer than a year.
The Capresso Infinity has delivered on the first three points, and looks good regarding durability. It has commercial grade grinders, which produce an even, consistent grind. With the reduction gearing, it grinds with a nice, even drone - more like a diesel truck than a jet plane taking off. And the dust that used to fly everywhere is gone - the slower speed has virtually eliminated the static. I've found it easy to use as well - one twist dial that works like the old dial timers - twist to the time setting you want, and it grinds until the time expires.
NOTE - I did read where one person had a problem with the timer where he couldn't turn it off. That may be because he tried to turn it backwards, which is not what the directions recommend. To stop grinding, you turn the bean hopper to the "no grind" mode; otherwise, you can break the switch.
Overall, I am pleased with the purchase. The only real adjustment has been figuring out the proper grind level again. The "extra fine" settings will create a fine powder that is too fine for my machine. However, once I switched to the "fine" setting, it has worked great. The amazing extra benefit is how much better the coffee tastes - the fine, even grind makes for maximum flavor extraction. So matter what grinder you buy, go for one that grinds more evenly - you'll enjoy your coffee even more. For the price, I didn't find one that had the combination of features (and less noise and dust!) found in the Capresso Infinity.
864 of 878 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2007
Color Name: Black
First, I have to thank everyone who reviewed the product for warning me about some of the design issues of the product. I read reviews to look for failings in a product and then buy if the price and performance outweighs known problems.
Now, the review. Five stars. Yes, you need to know where to be careful, but you'll definitely enjoy the coffee.
The important stuff. This is where you have to be careful.
- Unpacking - There's a big "PUSH" label that seems counterintuitive, but I pushed and the receiving drawer came out the back of the styrofoam. I could see how people might break this.
- Assembling - the removable burr wheel needs to be seated, mine wasn't so the hopper didn't seem to fit. Turn the burr until it matches up to the bottom and it drops a fraction of an inch to seat. Line up the black dot on the hopper with the mark on the right and gently push down and twist. The plastic on the hopper and drawer feels weak and flimsy, but it works fine once you have the product going.
- Grinding - 16 settings in groups of four. If 1 is extra fine and 16 is coarse, I found #4 and #5 ideal for espresso. A medium dark roast did better at #4, but a dark roast got too fine and nearly clogged my espresso filter. #13 works great with the Bodum columbia press and a medium roast and leaves barely a pinch of grounds in the poured coffee. As another reviewer said, resist the temptation of turning the timer down to zero and just twist the top to stop the grinding. After two grinds you're trained. Oh, and there is a bit of static in the drawer but it hasn't bothered me much. I like the sharp edge for pouring out the grounds directly into the filter basket.
- Cleaning - remove the burr wheel and dust it into the bottom, then sweep the grounds in the grinder bottom (the part under the hopper) together. I have the whole thing near the bin so I can tip it over. Leave the drawer in to catch what you sweep into the grinding mechanism. The brush they provide is small, but I haven't had a problem.
I thought I was happy with my blade grinder, because I'd add cream and sugar to my espresso and it tasted great. But now I'm even happier because I can actually drink the espresso and french-pressed coffee straight, black. I still add a bit of cream and sugar but I'm fascinated that a sugar-head like me can drink the coffee straight.
My theory is that while a good blade grinder can make fine grounds by cutting into the coffee well, coffee shards tend to form a structure inside the espresso filter and channel water through the same tubes of coffee, pulling the bitters along because of overexposure. And a quicker path through the filter results in incomplete brewing, and, bitterness. You can tell that the blade-ground coffee creates an initial resistance and then thinner coffee flows faster.
With burr ground coffee, there are no shards over the size allowed to fall into the drawer. The espresso cake left in the filter, when dry, is uniformly packed (and not pitted or spongy like the blade-ground coffee). The espresso flows consistently, slowly and almost like syrup.
The biggest difference is the taste. You drink the unadulterated espresso and wait for a bitter backtaste, which doesn't come. That is a perfect shot, and your blade grinder will not give you this. Unless you want to buy a strainer and sift out the coarser shards hiding in your blade-ground coffee (that _will_ work, if you don't want to pony up the cost of this grinder).
697 of 716 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2006
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I selected the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder, because it grinds coffee beans very evenly, it is not too noisy, easy to clean, and all parts are replaceable. After using it for several years, I consider it an excellent value.
MY EXPERIENCE WITH OTHER GRINDERS.
Let me start off by saying you are better off grinding your coffee beans at the local supermarket and storing them in a zip lock bag then purchasing many of the uneven grinding coffee mills on the market today.
I don't consider myself a coffee expert, but some things are elementary to a good cup of coffee. A uniform grind of coffee beans is second in importance only to good fresh beans. I will not dwell on the importance of fresh cold water and a clean coffee machine. I will share what I have learned over the past 17 years.
TYPES OF GRINDERS: In general coffee grinders come in 3 designs: chopping blade, flat burr, and conical burr. The chopping blade type is useful for grinding spices. The flat burr while far superior to the chopping blade is very old technology that produces inconsistent results. The conical burr produces the most uniform and best results. The slower the grinding process the better the coffee will taste. I have had multiple versions of all three designs of coffee mills. What you are looking for is a machine with conical burrs that grinds slowly.
BLADES: The blade type mills can be had for twenty dollars, but don't waste your time unless you want to grind spices instead of coffee. The blade chops the coffee beans unevenly.
FLAT BURR: The best example of the old flat burr design is the Kitchen-Aid Pro, which sells between $150-$200 dollars depending on which version you get. It is beautiful and built like a tank, but trust me both versions have several major engineering flaws. There is nothing K.A. can do to re-engineer the machine. The functional design is bad from top to bottom. The burrs are on a vertical plane and the beans drop between them, giving an uneven grind. If that wasn't bad enough the coffee beans gets stuck in the drop tube. Cleaning the Kitchen-Aid mill requires a tortuous disassembly process. Don't get me wrong, I love Kitchen-Aid mixers. The company has excellent customer service, but can not produce a decent coffee mill. I tried four of the Kitchen-Aid Pros before giving up.
CONICAL BURR: Finally, there are many conical burr machines on the market. It is good to find one that is not too noisy. Unfortunately, most of these grinders are lite weight and make a lot of noise. The only way to get around the noise is by adding weight. So, look for a heavier conical burr coffee mill.
MANUAL MILLS: The gold standard in my house is a manual mill with conical burrs. Over the years, it consistently produces the best cup of coffee in the house. Why, you ask? It produces a uniform grind, at a very slow speed. But we rarely have the patience to grind our coffee beans by hand. It is a very slow process.
Bottom line, you don't have to spend an arm and a leg for a decent coffee mill.
That is how I selected the Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder. It grinds coffee beans to my satisfaction. The machine is not noisy. It is easy to clean. All removable parts are replaceable. The Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder has held up well over the years. I highly recommend it.
Update October 2009:
After nearly three years the grinder still works like new. I am very satisfied with the purchase.
Update May 2011:
I am still very happy with the purchase.
Update December 2013:
Seven years later, I am still happy with the purchase.
1,165 of 1,225 people found the following review helpful
on November 28, 2006
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
The Capresso 560 is about the best grinder for the money that I've seen, but it still has a nasty drawback, in my opinion.
On the plus side are the nice conical burrs, the reduced burr speed, a good range of grind settings with good consistency, a clear plastic bean container that lets you see what's going on in the grinding chamber, and the easily-removeable top burr that makes it easy to clean the grinding chamber.
The drawback (to me, anyway) is the significant amount of coffee that remains in the grinding chamber and exit chute when you're done grinding. The instructions say not to grind more than you're going to use in the next hour, because the ground coffee goes stale quickly and attracts other odors. Obviously, this will happen to the coffee left over in the chamber and chute, and you'll get that stale coffee with the next use of the grinder. Since you bought the grinder to get the freshest possible ground coffee with every brew, this seems to defeat that purpose.
So the 560 has a lot of good attributes, but it would have been MUCH nicer if the designers had been able to shrink the grinding chamber so that less coffee was left inside there after grinding, and to reduce the size of or eliminate the tunnel-like exit chute that retains grounds between uses.
87 of 91 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2006
Color Name: Black
We purchased this grinder in February soon after our son was born and immediately broke it. Well, it wasn't truly broken but we thought it was. The grinder cone itself can be inserted upside down and can then get stuck. We quickly called Capresso thinking we would have to buy a new machine and they walked us through the process of getting the grinder cone out (you insert a butter knife into a little slit near the top of the base and the grinder cone pops out).
All was well and we have been thoroughly enjoying the coffee that the grinder puts out since. It really does grind a superior brew, even for my husband the coffee snob.
All was happy in coffeeland until one day, our nanny decided she was going to make a cup of coffee and decided to grind some beans. We came home after work and were greeted with "Um... I did something bad today..." Our nanny had put the grinder cone in upside down just like we did the first time. She was unable to get it out and she assumed it was broken.
Unfortunately, it was really stuck and the butter knife trick did not work. So, again, I called Capresso, expecting to have to buy a new grinder and they were absolutely fantastic. They sent us a postage-paid shipping label so we could return the machine for a warranty repair, even though it was our fault. They fixed the grinder, tested it and cleaned it up all at no charge to us. They also called me to let me know that they were able to get the cone out and it was on its way back to us.
Capresso's customer service department really went above and beyond. They were amazing and this grinder is amazing too. Just be sure not to insert the grinder into the machine with the rubber cone down and you'll be fine.
I highly, highly recommend this grinder for both the quality of the coffee grind and the quality of the company.
232 of 253 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2010
Color Name: Brushed Silver
All of Capresso's grinders are good grinders and do a great job, until the burrs dull, then you're out of luck.
Capresso refuses to sell anything but the upper burr ring. They will not sell the lower burr. When your burrs dull, you have no option but to throw the grinder away. Capresso may have a refurbed unit to sell you but their price is about what they go for new.
Just be warned that a normally replaceable part is not replaceable part on any of Capresso's burr grinders. The saddest part is that there is no reason to not sell the lower burr, except to force you to buy a new grinder.
111 of 120 people found the following review helpful
on January 16, 2005
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
A typical consumer cannot distinguish the quality of grinders by looking at the outside casing or looking at the manufacturer's name. The truth is, the quality of the grinder is almost entirely determined by the quality of its interior burr set. [Other factors are the motor and the gear set.] The Capresso Infinity happens to be built using the best burr set of any grinder under $100: they are even capable of producing a fine espresso grind, though not as well as grinders starting in the $200 range, like the Gaggia MDF. The only other grinder under $150 which is typically compared to the Infinity in coffee magazines is the Solis Maestro, but the latter is certainly no better, and has a reputation for unreliability. Similarly, the chrome model of the Infinity is only cosmetically different -- and so not nearly the same value.
I'm sorry one of the customers got a defective machine, but this is a great grinder, and the black model (signicantly cheaper than the chrome model) is probably the best value in coffee grinders out there. It will handle everything from fine grinding to coarse with the simple turn of the dial, and you can expect the burrs to stay sharp significantly longer than your other models in this category.
At the same time, it will not do long term for an espresso hobbyist. I own two Infinity's, and I have used each with two Gaggias, a Delonghi, and an ECM Giotto espresso machine. They worked adequately for espresso for a little less than a year, but then, even on finest setting, were woefully insufficient. That's why people spend $200-$400 on espresso grinders: you simply need burrs that will not dull, and mechanical tolerances that are so tight that no loosening happens. So I still recommend a Gaggia MDF for anyone actually making espresso: it will last many years, not less than one, and it will give you over a dozen espresso settings, not two.
83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on September 1, 2006
Color Name: BlackVerified Purchase
I am delighted, and completely satisfied with my Capresso 560 cone burr grinder. After giving up on blade grinders five years ago, I had used a Capresso 551 flat burr grinder. This grinder was a great improvement and I was satisfied. Over the years, because of things that were my fault, I had to write to Capresso for help. Their response was fast, complete and satisfactory. When the 551 gave up (likely from overwork) I bought an inexpensive Melita burr grinder. On its finest setting, it would not grind nearly fine enough for my espresso machine.
I did an intensive search in stores and on the net for a grinder that would grind well, but not cost several hundred dollars. I ended up with three choices: the Capresso 556 vertical flat burr grinder, the Capresso 560 and Solis Maestro plus cone burr grinders. I chose the Capresso 560, because the Solis sells for 2/3 more and because the 560 offered lower grinding speed and a history of excellent reviews over the new and very enticing 556 model.
Now, why am I so pleased? The 560 is everything the reviews posted here said it would be. The coffee aroma and grind uniformity is better than anything I have experienced. There is a definite and easily noticed, improved difference in the flavor and strength of the brewed coffee. I have three finer settings available than the one I am currently using for espresso. Even with the fine grind, there is a greater tendency of the grounds to settle, rather than splash around in the brewhead, and they seem to wash down the sink easier (Don't ask me why!). Finally, because of experience, I know I can count on help from Capresso, if there should ever be a problem.
No, I do not work for Capresso, nor have I received anything from them. I just believe that if you make a quality product, sell it at a reasonable price, and support your customers needs, you deserve some free publicity.
203 of 229 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2007
Color Name: Black
I've owned and used this grinder for 8 months. It grinds well, it's relatively quiet, but the one major unacceptable flaw I've found is that over time, the plastic ground coffee container does not hold tightly in the body of the grinder. When I first got the machine, the container fit very snugly in the opening of the grinder body, but over a few months time, the container no longers fits snugly, perhaps from just inserting and removing numerous times. Now, when I grind coffee, the regular vibration from the machine causes the ground coffee container to work its way out of the body causing grinds to be expelled onto the counter. I now have to hold the container in with my finger while ginding to keep if from vibrating out.
Since it was still under warranty, I contacted Capresso. They advised me to squeeze the side of the body opening together to ensure the 2 pieces of the body were properly aligned. This did absolutely nothing. I called them back and they told me that perhaps the ground coffee container needed to be replaced, but that the container was not covered under waranty and I would have to pay for a new one. I told them I couldn't see anything wrong with the container and was not convinced that the container was in fact, the cause of the problem. I also referred to the written warranty which makes no indication that any of the parts are not covered under the 1 year warranty. Then, they said I could mail the machine in and they would examine it to determine what was wrong and they would have it for several weeks.
Bottom line, I was intially very happy with this machine, but the design of the coffee ground containter, having no real mechanism to lock it in place while grinding and the fact that it gets loose over time is a major dissatisfier. Combine this problem the lousy customer service and deception on what is covered under warranty, takes my rating from perhaps what would have been 4 or 5 stars down to 1 star.
165 of 188 people found the following review helpful
on February 25, 2006
Color Name: Black
Thankfully this HASSLE grinder quit soon!- I bit the bullet & bought a Kitchenaid coffee grinder. No more messy chamber clean-up, and much less fine-grinds to over-extract (almost a store-bought even grind!).
If you rattle the glass carafe around sharply before removing- No dust left in grind chamber.
KitchenAid Pro Line Series Burr Coffee Mill, Onyx Black
The main thing I "didn't" like about this Capresso grinder was that it left a substantial quantity of loose/ground coffee in the grinding chamber. This old/stale coffee will mix with the next batch you grind.
Cleaning the grinding chamber with their little brush every time is a messy, and time consuming HASSLE (cleaned coffee goes to WASTE!)!
What I do to easily clean the grinding chamber, and save the coffee-
After grinding a batch, and whole bean chamber is empty.
I set the timer on "1", to let it run empty. While running- I tilt it forward & "sharply" slap the top, and all 4 sides- once.
This will shake out an extra 1 tsp.+ of coffee, that is added to my brew batch!