I recently caught the good coffee bug and after a fair amount of research and budgeting settled on the metal body infinity for grinding, followed a couple weeks afterward by a used Gaggia Coffee. I know alot of reviews say the infinity isn't appropriate for espresso, but I wanted one grinder that could do it all, was reasonably inexpensive, and wouldn't monopolize too much space in my smallish kitchen. And I figured since I'm a newbie I wouldn't notice that much of a difference between an okay grinder and a great grinder for a while anyway.
The first thing I noticed about this machine when I pulled it out of the box (brand new, as advertised, even though I paid almost two thirds the retail cost on ebay) was how solid this machine felt. I knew it wouldn't vibrate off my counter. And for what it's worth, it just looks sweet.
I didn't yet have an espresso machine so I had some time to play around with the grinder with my drip (Capresso MT-500) and press pot. Compared to the whirly-blade grinder I had been using this thing was sah-weeet! I don't have much else to compare it to besides store-bought or ground-at-the-store, but the grounds seemed very consistent. I tried all the different settings in the medium range, and each setting gave a subtly distinctive drip coffee experience. Not too big a difference, just enough for it to be worthwhile to play around with. A little on the coarser side if I wanted an easy-sipping-drink-a-whole-pot morning, nice just barely sludgy coffee if I wanted a real zinger. At the coarser settings it was smooth and delicious out of the press-pot.
Then I got a used Gaggia Coffee off of ebay ($130, barely used but needed a new pump, which I found for free!,) and quickly realized the infinity's limitations. Even not really knowing much about what's supposed to happen, I'd read enough on these forums to have a general sense. Using the locally roasted beans I always get, on setting 5 and as light a tamp as I can, I get 2 oz.'s in about 35-40 seconds. On setting 6 no matter how hard I tamp the coffee flows like Niagara, 2 oz.s in about 7 seconds! I'm playing around with trying to hold the hopper in between settings 5 and 6, but get very inconsistant results. I'm going to play around with finding a different bean that happens to coincide with one of the settings to get a correct pour.
On the plus side, most of the time the shots seem tasty, I'm certainly getting a better experience than drip, and getting equal results to what I sometimes get from the inconsistant baristas in my little touristy mountain town.
So I was incorrect in assuming that I was enough of a newbie to just not know the difference and be happy in my ignorance. The coarseness settings are just too far apart to dial in the correct pour time. But it's fun for now as I figure out the espresso machine, and it's great for switching back to drip and press pot. Of course I'm already trying to figure out how to just sell my coffee maker and the infinity, get a good grinder, and focus exclusively on espresso! I just saw an ascaso i-1 sell on ebay for $165, darn!
Would I buy it again? Yes, it does well what it's supposed to do well. Would I buy it again after realizing I just need to ditch the whole drip thing and do espresso drinks all the time? No, like everyone who knows better has said already, this grinder is for drip and press-pot, not for espresso.