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Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Choosing a...  
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JerDGold
Senior Member


Joined: 11 Dec 2013
Posts: 82
Location: Chicago, IL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Rancilio Silvia
Grinder: Breville...
Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Dec 13, 2013, 11:33pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

calblacksmith Said:

The smart, while workable as an OTHER grinder, it is not really able to do espresso, sorry guys, it really isn't.

Posted December 13, 2013 link

Noted.  I had not originally planned to use it as an Espresso, more for drip/pour over.  I accidentally fell into an old Krupps Novo 964 espresso machine, and have been playing with it with my Breville Smart.  Just about every shot I have tried to pull has either choked the machine or come out SOOOOUUURRRR.  Whether this is a problem with the machine, my tamp, grind consistency, grind type, etc... I'm really not sure.  I've been having a good time playing with it, and have pulled a couple shots that were mediocre but drinkable at best.  Good home espresso just doesn't seem to be in my budget right now.  But I'm watching for deals!
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rogue909
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Sat Dec 14, 2013, 8:23pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

I think I may end up going for the Capresso Infinity. I looked at a lot of them but with the budget constraints (sub $100) it seems liked the best option (most suggested were 140-250). I was considering the smart grinder because I thought it had the scale.
Use the Capresso Infinity, get my mazzer grinder, later on replace the Capresso infinity when it poops out with a very nice grinder.
Best solution I think.
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sun Dec 15, 2013, 7:48am
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

Best of luck, let us know how it works out!  I have not been disappointed with the Infinity for the drip / press route.

BTW, my Amazon cart just said "Capresso 560.01 Infinity Burr Grinder, Black has increased from $71.99 to $87.14"

That was a decent price...
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,315
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Sun Dec 15, 2013, 12:02pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

rogue909 Said:

typically I stick with french press and drip coffee although I like to play with the chem pot and am tempted to order a vacuum pot (those look like fun.)

Posted December 12, 2013 link

Capresso Infinity is good for drip, pour over and (presumably) vac, but is crap for FP. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many fines.  If FP is important to you, I suggest you keep looking.  

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I have no suggestions in the $100 or less category, knowing only what I don't like.  Of course, you're not me, and may be able to find something which fits within your budget and makes you very happy.  But there's no getting around the fact that "good" brew grinders really do start at $200 and there are huge "in the cup" differences between them and ~$100 grinders.  

Parenthetically, I've heard stuff which leads me to believe that the Breville Smart now ships with shims installed which allow it to grind fine enough for espresso but prevent it from grinding coarsely enough for FP, but don't know for sure.  If so, the shims are easily user removable.  Sadly, that leaves us with the depressing general truth that unless you invest some serious change you can't find a grinder which seamlessly switches back and forth between the extremes of good espresso (let alone Turkish) AND good FP.

You can find used Bunn G series grinders in good condition for as low as $250 if you're patient and lucky.  That's serious grinding.

Because our non-espresso needs have expanded so much, and includes a lot of cupping, we switched from our Smart to what I call Bunnjira Kaiju -- a variant of JohnB's wonderfully named Bunnzilla.  I.e., a Bunn G1 HD with Ditting burrs ($320 for the burrs alone, not counting another $60 to have a spacer machined), Trifecta detent plate, Trifecta dial decal, and a few other minor mods.  It's a fantastic performer, but too LARGE and too LOUD for anyone not obsessed.  

Bunnjira is no EK43, but is night and day compared to a Forte or Vario (same burrs), which are night and day compared to a Lido, Smart or Virtuoso, which are night and day compared to anything cheaper, including the Baratza Encore.    

All of which is just context, and doesn't mean you won't be ecstatic with something less expensive than two bills.

BDL

boar_d_laze: ungcc.jpg
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sun Dec 15, 2013, 2:25pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

boar_d_laze Said:

Capresso Infinity is good for drip, pour over and (presumably) vac, but is crap for FP. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many fines.  If FP is important to you, I suggest you keep looking.  

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I have no suggestions in the $100 or less category, knowing only what I don't like.  Of course, you're not me, and may be able to find something which fits within your budget and makes you very happy.  But there's no getting around the fact that "good" brew grinders really do start at $200 and there are huge "in the cup" differences between them and ~$100 grinders.  

Parenthetically, I've heard stuff which leads me to believe that the Breville Smart now ships with shims installed which allow it to grind fine enough for espresso but prevent it from grinding coarsely enough for FP, but don't know for sure.  If so, the shims are easily user removable.  Sadly, that leaves us with the depressing general truth that unless you invest some serious change you can't find a grinder which seamlessly switches back and forth between the extremes of good espresso (let alone Turkish) AND good FP.

You can find used Bunn G series grinders in good condition for as low as $250 if you're patient and lucky.  That's serious grinding.

Because our non-espresso needs have expanded so much, and includes a lot of cupping, we switched from our Smart to what I call Bunnjira Kaiju -- a variant of JohnB's wonderfully named Bunnzilla.  I.e., a Bunn G1 HD with Ditting burrs ($320 for the burrs alone, not counting another $60 to have a spacer machined), Trifecta detent plate, Trifecta dial decal, and a few other minor mods.  It's a fantastic performer, but too LARGE and too LOUD for anyone not obsessed.  

Bunnjira is no EK43, but is night and day compared to a Forte or Vario (same burrs), which are night and day compared to a Lido, Smart or Virtuoso, which are night and day compared to anything cheaper, including the Baratza Encore.    

All of which is just context, and doesn't mean you won't be ecstatic with something less expensive than two bills.

BDL

Posted December 15, 2013 link

You must have got a hold of a bad one, mine works surprisingly well for FP.  Of course, not as good as my LIDO, but there is minimal sludge in my cup when I grind to similar size to the LIDO grind.  And sure, it is not a Preciso, or not even a Smart Grinder.... but I rate it as "more than acceptable" for French Press and Drip.  Some fines, but very little percentage-wise.  

IMHO, if your budget is sub-$100 I don't think there is a better choice than the Infinity... And of course YMMV.  If your budget is unlimited, then so are the choices (as always).  Guess it is all in the eye of the beholder, what ones tolerance level is... and of course what your budget is!
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boar_d_laze
Senior Member


Joined: 21 Nov 2006
Posts: 1,315
Location: Monrovia, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: La Cimbali M21 DT/1 Junior...
Grinder: Ceado E92; "Bunnzilla"
Vac Pot: Royal Coffee Maker
Drip: Chemex + Kone; Espro Press
Roaster: USRC Sample Roaster
Posted Mon Dec 16, 2013, 10:35pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

SpaceTime Said:

You must have got a hold of a bad one, mine works surprisingly well for FP.

Posted December 15, 2013 link

Maybe inconsistent manufacturing, maybe we have different standards, maybe something else, maybe a combination.  Who knows?

The Infinity seems to be one of those products which people who upgrade to from a blade or other really cheap grinder love, but people who upgrade from it to something better aren't likely to remember fondly.  

By way of a counter example, we recently raised our non-espresso game from a Smart to a commercial bulk grinder (which does everything much better -- except noise). and I'm trying to figure out some sort of use for the Smart -- even though we have MORE THAN ENOUGH FRIKKIN' coffee stuff around here -- because it was so clean, consistent, convenient and has the greatest hopper ever.  It's too big for anyone sane to use as a travel grinder, but I think we'll give it a whirl.

As you say the Infinity is not a Lido, Smart, Preciso or Virtuoso.  OK, so you didn't say Virtuoso.  But it's a darn good grinder for non-espresso, good enough that I bought one for my daughter when I got her a Chemex/Kone to add to her FP.  

I don't know about you, but I drink more than a 1,000 cups of coffee per year at home and better matters.  Not to say that a $100 grinder isn't a big step up from a $30 grinder, maybe my standards are exaggerated, but I've yet to try a grinder cheaper than the Smart worth the savings.

BDL
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,853
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 7:03am
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

+1 above but I have not used or own the Smart. YMMV.
The lowest quality grinder I have is a Solis 166 or the old Starbucks Barista. It is not an espresso grinder but it is a step or two above the Infinity.

For home non espresso grinding I have a Bunn LPG and a Bunn G92. I also have a N.S. MCD 65 bulk grinder. Any of them is good enough to give a high quality brew for other than espresso.

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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rogue909
Senior Member


Joined: 12 Dec 2013
Posts: 5
Location: Houston
Expertise: Just starting

Posted Tue Dec 17, 2013, 9:19pm
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

I don't think there is any debate that the higher quality grinders arn't just that - higher quality. But in the end I am operating on a budget (so sad =*( ) so that has to be taken into account as well. Hopefully when I graduate college (another thing, I believe some are farther along in life than myself) I will be able to pull an acceptable income and save a little bit to purchase a nice grinder.
But until then I was gifted $500 for some entertainment from a family member and I would much rather put $100 towards a subpar coffee grinder, $300 towards the mazer grinder (that I can comfortably operate) and $100 towards car maintenance (ok, so car maintenance isn't entertainment but I'm falling behind on it, lol!). So that's what I have to work with!
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 8:57am
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

rogue909 Said:

But until then I was gifted $500 for some entertainment from a family member and I would much rather put $100 towards a subpar coffee grinder, $300 towards the mazer grinder (that I can comfortably operate) and $100 towards car maintenance (ok, so car maintenance isn't entertainment but I'm falling behind on it, lol!). So that's what I have to work with!

Posted December 17, 2013 link

I would not consider the Infinity grinder "sub-par" at all for your intended use (FP / drip).  

When it comes to espresso grind, then it WOULD be sub-par, and for espresso the more you spend (to a point, of course) the better the grind.  After about the $1500 - $2000 mark for espresso grinding, it is more about paying for higher throughput / production than it is paying for higher grind quality.  That is where the law of diminishing returns kicks in IMHO.  Some might say that point is higher, some might say lower -  but the fact still remains.

But coarse grinding is a different animal.  You don't have to spend $2000 on a grinder to get a top notch coarse grind that is good enough for 99.999% of the FP / drip pots.  In fact, some would contend the law of diminishing returns for a "good enough" top notch coarse grinder starts in the $300 range, and some would say it is more like $160 (me included) due to the existence of the OE LIDO.

I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the Infinity for your drip and FP... just promise you won't use it for espresso!!  Lol.  Remember, the bar is pretty high for most on this site, and their standards for what constitutes an adequate grinder represents the .005% of the population... this is a specialty site and folks will be a whole lot more discerning and there is NOTHING wrong with that and should be expected.  In most peoples eyes, the Infinity IS a higher end grinder for drip / FP.  Most people have much less quality on their countertop, and would not think of spending $89 for an Infinity, and are quite blissful in their ignorance!

And just to drive my point home - my LIDO at $160 IMHO (and many others) does a better, more consistent COARSE grind than any grinder mentioned on this thread.  Debatable - sure, but I would not be the only one in the coffee world that had that opinion, you could bank on that.  And to take it a step further - the Smart Grinder by Breville... decent product, but I bet it is neck in neck with the Infinity on coarse grinding.  I have compared them once about a year ago, and in that one isolated case, then difference was not discernible to me on close inspection.  Sure the Smart Grinder has an edge of the Infinity for espresso, that is a given.

In the bigger picture, you ARE getting what most people think is a high end grinder for FP/ drip.  For most people, spending $300 on a grinder for that purpose is unheard of.  SO feel good about the fact you are getting a more than adequate tool for the job, because you are.
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brianl
Senior Member


Joined: 1 Dec 2012
Posts: 488
Location: Chicago IL
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill Vetrano DB
Grinder: HG One, OE Lido 2, Baratza...
Drip: Chemex/V60
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Dec 18, 2013, 9:28am
Subject: Re: Choosing a grinder for F. Press, drip, Chem (Not for espresso)
 

I had the capresso infinity. Nevermind that it's incredibly inconsistent. The reason I returned it after 3 days was the grind retention. I had to spend like 5 minutes after every grind sweeping it out.
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