A nearly perfect entry-level device, brought low by several serious design flaws.
Positive Product Points
For an inexpensive piece of hardware, the Capresso Infinity does its primary job (i.e., grinding) quite well. I get a consistent, even, relatively dust-free grind on most of the pre-determined grind settings. I have not yet experimented with modifying the device to convert it to a stepless grinder. But from what I've read, that's certainly possible with a little bit of ingenuity and elbow grease, and it can be done with positive results. All totaled, then, this would appear to be a fantastic grinder in the entry-level to moderately-experienced tier.
Aesthetically, the Infinity is just fine. I have the stainless steel finish (the machine comes in about 3 or 4 finish options). It's not going to win any design awards, but it fits right in with my other kitchen appliances, is small enough to fit under cabinetry, and doesn't stick out like a sore thumb.
The burrs themselves seem solidly made and of high quality. It's clear that Capresso didn't cut costs on that part of the equation.
Negative Product Points
Unfortunately, nearly all positive attributes of the Infinity are counterbalanced by some rather severe design flaws:
- The upper burr is easily installed the wrong way, causing it to get stuck in the machine, and making grinding or burr removal all but impossible. There is a fix for this issue, but the issue shouldn't exist in the first place. Nor should it be so easy to encounter. This is bad industrial design, plain and simple.
- Cleaning is a nightmare with this device. LOTS of grounds get stuck in and around the burrs, inside the chute from grinder to catch, and in and around all internal components of the assembly. The hopper, the lid, and the catch are machine washable. But the rest of the assembly requires extensive and delicate cleaning with a provided brush and/or toothbrush, as well as a series of damp paper towels and loads of effort. A mildly thorough cleaning routine takes about 30 minutes, and must be done daily to avoid the buildup of old grinds or rancid oils.
For an entry-level device, the Infinity sure makes cleaning a real chore. That's inexcusible. Entry-level or price-sensitive buyers should be buying a device that works well without a lot of effort. They might not get all the bells and whistles of a high-end device, and that's fine. But by the same token, they should NOT get the obsessive-compulsive cleaning and maintenance routines that come with high-end coffeemaking.
I'd give this machine an 8 or a 9 if cleaning weren't so troublesome, and if the critical design flaw with the upper burr weren't a looming issue. Given those drawbacks, however, I'm forced to award the Capresso Infinity an overall rating of 6.6.
This machine is a real shame, in my opinion. It gets so many things right, and comes so desperately close to perfection for its price class. But a few serious flaws are enough to warrant serious reevaluation when considering a purchase.
I bought the device on Amazon, received it on time and in the promised condition, and have no issues with the buying experience.