Good quality burr mill grinder suitable for a wide range of coffee makers (pump expresso to french press)
Positive Product Points
Easy to clean and replace parts, consistent grind, quiet
Negative Product Points
Must be unplugged to prevent housing from warming beans
This is a very good medium-duty burr mill grinder. The disk-type burrs can be adjusted to 17 fixed positions, from very coarse to fine enough for pump espresso machines. The grind is quite uniform, and minimal dust is produced on fine settings. The top burr disk is attached to a holder, allowing the disk to be removed and cleaned very easily. The horizontal chute is very short, which prevents clogging, aids cleaning, and minimizes coffee carry-over when switching beans. The removeable ground coffee receptacle is made of thick acrylic and locks into the base via a spring-loaded button.
The Capresso 551 uses an electronic timer to control the amount of coffee that is ground. The timer is calibrated in 'cups' (ala drip coffee makers), and delivers consistent amounts of ground coffee except in cases where beans bind up in the hopper (rare unless very oily beans are used). The drawback is that the electronic controls stay slightly warm when the unit is left plugged in for long periods, potentially warming beans stored in the hopper. Capresso suggests unplugging the unit after use.
This grinder is more adjustable and easier to clean than the similarly-priced Gaggia MM, and constructed more ruggedly than less expensive burr grinders made by Braun and Mr. Coffee. Inexpensive replacement parts are available directly from Capresso.
The Capresso 551 is available at many gourmet shops, coffee houses, and Internet coffee equipment retail sites for about $60 (U.S.).