Quiet in comparison to others in its price range. A truly useful and wide range of grind settings for those making drip, vac pot, or french press coffee. Considerably more reliable and longer-lived in my experience than the Capresso Infinity grinder. Easy to clean. No static problems whatsoever. Nice cord storage. Very stable, not top-heavy, and does not wobble or 'walk' while in operation. Does not easily clog with dark or oily beans. A perfect grinder for NON-espresso drinkers who still need a quality burr grinder.
Negative Product Points
Plastic, rather fragile-looking ground coffee receptacle, must take care with it. Not designed for espresso users (GET A DEDICATED ESPRESSO GRINDER FOR THAT!!). Burr protection design limits usefulness at extra fine settings (Turkish, espresso)
I bought the Breville BarAroma conical burr grinder ($99) and it's worked very well for me. It's very quiet, stable, and doesn't vibrate, shake, or 'walk' like some other burr grinders. The burrs are sharp, the grinding is easily adjusted, and the machine appears to grind very consistently, particularly at the coarser end of the range. There is also no static cling I can detect when pulling the coffee receptacle and emptying the ground coffee.
I was pleased to notice that the Breville's design is rather efficient in putting the ground coffee into its bin, rather than leaving substantial portions concealed in the assembly. Once grinding is complete, one gentle bump, and only a very few more grounds drop into the bin. The Breville is relatively easy to clean, with a removable top burr plate that allows brush cleaning. Unlike similarly priced grinders, I have had no clogging problems whatsoever, even with oily or dark-roasted beans. I clean it occasionally, once in awhile giving a run-through of minute rice through the burrs. It's a very simple grinder to operate, and most important to me, the Breville is well suited to those grind settings needed by 'ordinary' (non-espresso) coffee drinkers.
Compared to a Capresso Infinity, the Breville has a wider useful range of grinds, though I think the Infinity edges out the Breville at the finest settings; i.e., superfine/Turkish/dust. The Breville definitely grinds better than the Infinity at the medium and coarse end of the scale, where it shines. Like its competition, the Breville is designed for ordinary coffee drinkers (drip, FP, vac pot) despite the 'Turkish' and 'Espresso' settings. It contains a safety mechanism designed to prevent burr-to-burr contact that's a little on the 'safe' side, and in effect prevents the machine from achieving the very finest grinds. Some adventurous souls have modified the burr mounts in an effort to get around this, complete with web instructions. But let's be serious. If you are buying $2,000 espresso machines and really need a $400 espresso grinder - please don't buy this Breville in an effort to save a few bucks. That isn't what it's designed to do.
I home-roast and the Breville has had no problems accepting all types of roasts and oily beans. The top loading, straight-through grinder design works quite well and with the Breville I have experienced no issues with flying grounds or loose beans getting trapped in inconvenient places. And no broken parts or breakdowns - that's something not to be counted on with some $99 machines. For my needs, the Breville has been great.
Update: I'm still using the Breville as of July 2009 - no breakage, no problems, still working fine as a daily use grinder for drip and vac pot coffee.
Bought online. The grinder was shipped quickly, with no issues or problems to report
Three Month Followup
No problems to report in daily use
One Year Followup
At two years of continual use, still working flawlessly