Always good to be back in the kitchen. I have a fair few grinders tested right now, and a whole host more to get stuck in to over the next two weeks. This project is set to take up much of my time over the next month, and I for one am glad of it. The Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder is a wonderful product, but there are a few things you need to know before dropping the cash on one.
Always up front, I have to point out that while I take pride in my ability to make a variety of coffee drinks, I do not actually drink coffee. Might sound like a major issues, but let’s not forget that Beethoven was deaf. Not that I’m saying I’m am a barista on par with the best, but I am at least versed enough to make a passable mocha, and a damn fine latte. I use a moka pot at home, alongside a hand press milk foamer, to make all of my drinks. There is an upside and a down side to using one, but we’ll get into that in a moment.
Grinders tend to be multi functional. Not only can they ground coffee, but they can be used to make spice rubs too. I tend to shy away from using them for that when it comes to the burr type grinders. Burr grinders are harder to clean than bladed grinders, so I tend to only test out my spice mixes with the bladed type. There are some tricks to cleaning them that I will go into later though.
There are a few things that I look for in a bean grinder, the fineness of the grain, the uniformity of the grain and the number of options available.
I test out three kinds of ground bean. Fine, medium and coarse. I then will be making three drinks out of them and having my partner test out the taste of results. If by the end of the testing she is buzzing then we’ll know that the beverages are all of high quality.
So let’s grind those beans. Or look at the build quality.
Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder Design and Build Quality
So first a look at the device, disregarding the actual use of the product. The Capresso is an interesting build. Kind of like a cross between the sleeker designs to which I am quite partial and the more traditional looking half an hour glass over a brick look that you find in the more industrial models. I like it. The black is the least expensive, which is good because that goes with my kitchen. The bean housing section is large, able to hold 8.8oz of product, and grind them down quickly into one of 16 different coarseness grades. So far so good. The only issue is the weight of the build 3 pounds is on the light side, and I don’t really want to hell out an extra fifty bucks for the 6 pound stainless steel model.
This is an auto grinder. I reviewed a manual grinder a few weeks back, and I am glad to be back in the world of button presses and relaxation. It really is that easy to use. There is a dial on the front that can be used to set the timer, between five and sixty seconds, and the burr setting is ringed around the bean housing chamber, 16 settings as said previously.
Now a word on burr grinders. I love the things. I have been researching coffee, making it, preparing the ingredients etc, and one of the most surprising things, though it really shouldn’t have been, was that the uniformity of the grain plays a big role in the end result. you want the size of the coffee granules to be as similar as is possible. The reason is simple. The flavor and chemicals in coffee come out at different times depending on the size of the particle. If they are all the same then they are all released at once. If not, then you either have to under cook it, leading to a poor tasting weak drink, or over cook it to get all the caffeine, and end up with a bitter drink. Burr grinders lead to a far more uniform grain than bladed grinders, which is why I recommend burr over blade any day of the week.
Overall, the Capresso is an impressive build. It is simple to use, a must for me, and has all of the option you like to see. Depending on the type of coffee you are making, or the kind of extraction method you are using, you will want to make use of the different levels of coarseness, it is nice that the Capresso lets you do just that.
Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder Testing
Time to actually make some coffee. I mentioned before that I use a moka pot for testing. The issue with the moka pot is that in order to make the best tasting drink possible you need to have a grain that is a grade above Turkish fine. This makes it difficult to test out the coarser grades of coffee. I do so anyway, as a rounded flavor is still noticeable at any fineness grade, but I feel the need to point it out here. It takes around 60 seconds for the Capresso to make enough ground coffee for about 5 cups. I recommend you make your beverage as soon as you finish the grind, as even a delay of a few minutes can impact the quality and flavor of the end result.
Moka post are fantastic. They are a low cost alternative to buying an expensive espresso machine. Espresso machines are essentially little steam engines that are plopped into your kitchen, and even the cheapest ones are in excess of $140. Don’t be fooled by cheaper models, they tend to produce 3 bars of steam pressure, far too low for a real espresso. Moka pots make no pretensions. They make a homemade facsimile of espresso by passing steam through a layer of ground coffee. They are only around $20 too, and when you do it right you end up with a nice crema layer. I use the Bialetti mini, and a Bialetti stove top milk foamer.
So I ground the coffee in four modes, coarse, medium and fine, as is usual, but I wanted to test out the finest setting as well, the one better suited to Turkish coffee. My home made lattes are very low in calories, using a combination of skimmed milk, vanilla extract and stevia. They are sweet, without being overpoweringly so. The coarse ground drink, I was informed, was better than expected. The uniformity to the grain allowed that rounded flavor I was talking about. It was far from strong, but not unpleasant, as a few drinks in the past have been. The medium fared better, but it was the fine grain that came off best. A near perfect drink. I noticed it myself as well, when that crema layer forms you know you’re onto a winner. I was unable to make a drink out of the finest grain coffee, due to it falling through the holes in my moka pot. Not a great choice that.
Remember that different kinds of coffee making equipment require different coarseness levels. A coarse grind goes best in a french press, medium grind in the drip pot coffee, and the finer grinds are best for espresso machines and moka pots. Choose the best one for you.
I mentioned before that I would be avoiding making a spice mix this time, seen as it is a burr grinder. But I assure you that it is more than up to the task. If you find yourself with a whole host of fresh coarse herbs and spices and want to make fancy chicken then just plop them in the top and let it spin. When it comes to cleaning the grinder for spice use you will have to get your hands dirty. Taking the Capresso apart is fairly easy, just unscrew the top and the bottom section comes right out, rinse the whole thing and get as much out by hand. Then use grinder cleaning tablets to finish out the worst of the debris. I recommend grinding a slice of white bread too, just to be assured of the lack of smell.
Finally a look at the price. I have focused on the more affordable products this last while, and am always on the hunt for a bargain, but the quality on offer here is well worth the added expense. The price on Amazon changes a bit so it you can grab it for under $110 or so it’s a pretty awesome value. To check the current price you can click here.
Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder Conclusion
This is not a hard one to recommend. Sure, it’s more than four times the price of the first product I reviewed, but the difference in quality is nothing short of astounding. The burr grinder here is the finest I have seen, and I have seen a lot of them over the last few weeks. You would be hard pressed to find a better grinder on the market right now.