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Hands-on Gear Review
Capresso Infinity Review
Price: $100 List | $86.45 at Amazon
Pros: Makes a good cup, simple and intuitive controls, inexpensive
Cons: Nothing majorTaste slightly inferior to top models
Bottom line: An all around satisfactory grinder with a great price
The Capresso Infinity is a good machine that scores above average in every area that we tested. It's not a grand slam, but it is an overall good product and what's really rad is that it's the most affordable coffee grinder of its caliber, easily earning it a Best Buy award. The Capresso is quiet, really simple to use, and makes very little mess. The cup quality the Capresso produced was full, nuanced, and rounded, although a bit muddled in comparison to some of its competitors like the OXO On Barista Brain, Cuisinart Deluxe Grind, and the Baratza Virtuoso. This is a take-home if you're looking for a darn good machine that gives you a good cup of coffee but don't feel like shelling out another $100 for a top performer. Also, keep in mind that the Epica Electric posted a lower overall score but rivaled the Capresso, pulling in another Best Buy Award with a lower price and unique functional benefits such as "stashability." With a list price of $22, the Epica is our other recommendation for a fresh grind with a tight budget.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Capresso Infinity is pretty sweet. This grinder pulls together some really nice features and offers you a good solid product at a generous price. It's got a compact profile, simple interface, smooth controls, and it's rather quiet. Once you've made a cup of coffee with this guy you might want to give it a hug. Other burr style grinders either run $50-$150 more expensive than the Capresso or at a lower price they don't perform nearly as well. The Capresso is an all-around good grinder and has an attractive list price of $100. If you still want to save more bucks, consider our other Best Buy Award winner, the Epica Electric, with a list price of $22.
Quality of Taste
The Capresso Infinity does nicely when it comes to making a cup of coffee. At the end of our non-stop, have-we-had-enough-coffee-yet taste testing, the Capresso was assigned a 7 from our team. Compared to other high quality grinders that we tested like the Breville, Cuisinart Deluxe, and the Baratza Virtuoso, which were all rated as 8s for taste, the Capresso produced a cup of similar quality but was somewhat lacking in clarity. The flavors seemed a little muddled and didn't finish with as much sweetness or vibrancy as some competitors, but the cup was definitely enjoyed. It had good presence of flavor, rounded and balanced. The Bodum Bistro performed similarly and tied with our little friend the Capresso, but the Bodum was more assertive, delivering a good cup that was a touch sharper but still balanced. Which one's better? They tied for a reason; the difference is just in the style. The Capresso gave full, rounded flavors, a "good cup" that we are not shy to recommend. But it still came in at a 7 because it didn't quite deliver the distinction, resonance, and sweetness that higher scoring grinders did. The Capresso produced a French press that tasted just as good as its drip coffee, which was not the norm. This is certainly a benefit if you're a fan of both brew methods. Read our Buying Advice article to learn the key differences between French press and drip coffee.
Ease of Use
Is the Capresso Infinity easy to use? Just a few seconds of interaction and you know it darn well. The Capresso earned an 8 for ease of use because it shows off the less-is-more principle, giving you the controls you need to make coffee happen with a presentation that's straightforward and intuitive. The central control indicates the number of cups that the Capresso will grind (keep in mind, as we mention in our Buying Advice article, that when coffee equipment references "cups," it is not referring to American 8 oz measuring cups). A quick little crank on this and your coffee is being dosed out. Note that the Capresso's dial also doubles as a "pulse" feature and will begin grinding as soon as you apply pressure to it. The grind is not initiated by turning the dial to the indicated dose and then pressing a "start" button. That's actually how the Bodum works, scoring a 7 in part because this added an extra step made the machine a tad less straightforward to operate. We liked that the Capresso's "pulse-able" dial provides a manual dosing option—just apply a little pressure to the dial until you've ground enough coffee to make your day happen. The dial feels oh so smooth, which is pretty sweet compared to the Bodum that has a somewhat cheap-feeling plastic dial. The Capresso just feels nice as you're using it. This machine will be grinding some coffee while you're turning the dial to a specific dose selection, which will deliver a somewhat less precise or consistent dose from pot to pot, but we still liked using it. The Capresso has a well-deserved high score for ease of use.
The Capresso Infinity is an all-around good scoring grinder and when we busted out the decibel meter it didn't cease to impress. This machine's decibel reading was near the lowest of our selection, second only to the Breville Smart Grinder Pro by one-tenth of a decibel. But as discussed in our How We Test article, volume is not the only factor in judging how noisy a grinder is. We also care about what kind of noise the machine produces. In the case of the Capresso it is rather pleasant—a little bit high-pitched but by no means is it annoying. These factors considered, the Capresso pulled in a solid 8. It wasn't as impressively quiet as the Cuisinart Deluxe Grind or the Breville, which were both at 9, but for a motorized machine that crushes coffee beans, the Capresso belongs in the top tier in this category. Other competitors like the Baratza grinders (which scored 6s), or even more so the Bodum and the OXO (ranking a 5 in quietness) had the potential to create an issue in a noise sensitive living situation.
The Capresso scores a solid 8 in ease of use because most of the time you can't really tell that it's been used. The grounds go straight into the bin and there is very little static cling causing coffee to escape while being transferred to the brewer. Occasionally the machine crumbs out some coffee if it's moved around and these grounds can be a little awkward to wipe up if they fall while chamber is removed because of the divot under the bin. Some higher scoring grinders like the Breville or the OXO On Barista Brain include a plate under the grind chamber that can be easily lifted and wiped off over a trash bin, but the Capresso requires a little more effort to clean. The Capresso isn't perfectly mess-free but it is easy to live with because it seldom produces any mess.
Good coffee? Yes. Easy to use? Yes. Quiet? Mess-free? Yep. The Capresso offers an overall good grinder with a compact look and simple interface. There are other grinders that perform a point or two better than this machine in some categories, but the bonus this grinder offers is that it only asks you to fork out half as much as other competitors and still gives you above average quality in every category. When you try to save any more cash on a burr grinder purchase you will definitely notice quality differences in multiple categories. The Capresso Infinity is a big deal because it's definitely the cheapest ticket available to good-coffee land.
Value is the Capresso's greatest super power. This product easily falls into the top tier of grinders we tested, with all of its scores being above average, and yet it is the most affordable high quality burr grinder we've found. The Bodum has the same list price, but the Capresso is a bit nicer for a few reasons, scoring a point higher in ease of use, quietness, and mess-free. It is the least expensive quality burr grinder, definitely a quality product. it's a great deal; Best Buy for sure!
With above average scores in all categories, we didn't experience any disappointments with the Capresso Infinity. Competitors may best this machine in certain categories, like the OXO with its amazing taste quality, or the Cuisinart Deluxe's uber quiet operation, but the Capresso is a high quality burr grinder that's going to deliver in all criteria of quality. Quiet operation for sure, no-brainer controls, produces a good tasting cup of coffee—this thing should put a smile on your face.
— Jared Marquez
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