What does it take to make great coffee? Is it a $2000 espresso maker? Rare and expensive coffee beans? The key to success, boils down in our opinion to four essential components (listed in order of importance):
- Great Beans
- Conical Burr Grinder
- Gold Filter
- Filtered Water
Of these four items, most people will stop after getting fresh quality beans. How you grind those beans, plays a large part in the success of your coffee. How important? Our good friends at Wikipedia have this to say about Burr Grinders:
This method is burr-based with two revolving elements crushing or “tearing” the bean and with less risk of burning. Burr grinders can be either wheel or conical; the latter are quieter and are less likely to clog. Burr grinders “mill” the coffee to a reasonably consistent size, which produces a more even extraction when brewed.
Conical burr grinders preserve the most aroma and produce very fine and consistent grounds. The intricate design of the steel burrs allows a high gear reduction to slow down the grinding speed. The slower the speed, the less heat is imparted to the ground coffee, thus preserving maximum amount of aroma. Because of the wide range of grind settings, these grinders are ideal for all kinds of coffee equipment: espresso, drip, percolators, French press. Better conical burr grinders can also grind extra fine for the preparation of Turkish coffee. Grinding speed is generally below 500 rpm.
Burr grinders with disk-type burrs usually grind at a faster speed than conical burr grinders and as a result tend to create a bit more warmth in the coffee. They are the most economical way of getting a consistent grind in a wide range of applications. They are well suited for most home coffee preparation.
Consistent size, low heat, the most aroma.. sounds like just what we need for some great coffee. That being said, we cracked open a Capresso Infinity Burr Grinder for review.
For our review, we used Model #565.04. This 6.1 lbs grinder has a heavy duty zinc die-cast housing. The test model we reviewed had a matte brushed chrome finish. Those who like to clean fingerprints might consider the high mirror chrome (#565.04).
The Infinity grinder has 16 possible grind settings (4 each for extra fine, fine, regular and coarse). As Wikipedia mentions, conical burr grinders are relatively quiet — the Infinity does not disappoint in this regard. In comparison to a blade grinder, the noise produced by the Infinity is much more bass in nature.
Changing grind settings is accomplished by turning the grind assembly on top. A corresponding black dot on the grind assembly lines up with the specified grind setting on the front of the unit. As you turn the bean housing you can feel as each setting is passed.
Static buildup is kept to a minimum by using a gear reduction motor. Capresso claims to use the slowest grinding speed in its class which aids in the reduction of friction and heat buildup. This aids in the reduction of static and the maximization of aroma and flavor.
One of the things that I especially liked about the Infinity Grinder is how easy it is to take apart for cleaning. The top assembly is easily removed, as is the top portion of the grind assembly.
One important thing to note, do not remove the top assembly when it is filled with beans. We made this mistake and found beans going everywhere. Capresso as it turns out explicitly warns against this in their manual, we had unfortunately missed this point in our review of the manual.
The Infinity has a large timer knob with settings one through ten. Initially we thought this might equate somehow to number of cups of coffee desired, but in actuality it does not. Each setting on the grind timer equates to 6 seconds of grinding. Turning to 5 will grind for 30 seconds, and 10 for one minute.
Grinding can be interrupted at any time by turning the bean container to the right (counter-clockwise) past the coarsest setting. Eventually you will get a feel for how much time is needed for the amount of coffee you want ground.
Some people may feel that only having sixteen grind settings is limited. I would have to disagree. In my use of this grinding I have found it to be more than enough. In reality you find a setting that you like for your automatic drip, or your espresso maker and you stick with that grind. Chances are one of the settings on this unit will meet with your approval.
Like all Capresso products, this grinder has a well constructed and polished look, feel and operation. One thing I am very happy to report, is that the warranty on this grinder will not be voided like some of Capresso’s other products if you grind flavored coffees.
This grinder is prices at $139.00, a less expensive ABS Plastic model is available for $89.99. We would feel very comfortable recommending this grinder to anyone interested in getting a quality burr grinder for their home.comments powered by Disqus