Innova I-1 flat burr doserless grinder final review

less than the sum of it's parts...

I was convinced after reading Mark Prince's glowing reviews of the Innova grinders, that my grinder was an obvious defect - a factory lemon. It had obvious mechanical deficiencies, excessive burr slop, shattering plastic spouts and on top of that - courier damage caused by insufficient packaging. Getting parts fixed or replaced turned out to be a nightmarish experience. [Please read the CSI Chapters for the excruciatingly painful details].

After weeks of negotiating, Innova Spain finally had to put their foot down and told their Canadian distributor to give me a replacement.

The grinder has finally arrived and once again its back to the test bench.

A close examination of the exterior of the grinder indicates a slight dent and a crack with a sharp edge in the polished aluminum body. Could be cosmetic; perhaps a slightly "off" cast from the mold.

I removed the plastic top panel and could immediately see a few small cracks on the spout where the screw attaches to the cast aluminum body.

Not good. I haven't even turned on the grinder yet!

A teardown reveals the same problems as my initial grinder. Burr slop. Weight of the burrs are again on the lower lip of the brittle plastic spout. Gear binding not as bad - but still apparent. Maybe this plastic spout on this unit won't self-destruct in a week or two...

Time to dial in.

To my infinite surprise and horror, I could not get the grinder to grind fine enough to get a proper 25 second single even with a full weight tamp. The burrs were already touching and I did not not want to push it further.

I removed the teflon tape from my original I-1 and test it with the same beans( Sweet Marias Puro Scuro). The burrs are scaping together and the grind is not fine enough. The hopper is vibrating and buzzing like a tuning fork. Too coarse once again and the shot gushes.

Despair indeed. I was convinced that my first grinder was a factory lemon - a random defect. Alas - it was not the case. The second grinder was no better than the first. Two Innovas running side by side and neither is capable of grinding coffee beans.

It looks like the Innova I-1 has some serious design flaws compounded perhaps by manufacturing difficulties.

Poor design, Bad build quality. Breaking parts. It doesn't work.

My original recommendation stands: Innova I-1 flat burr : NOT RECOMMENDED.

PS: In a Japanese automotive assembly line any worker can shut down the entire line if they spot even a minor defect. I've sounded the alarms, pointed out the problems, begged to talk to an engineer.. Someone, please PULL THE CORD!

Glenn is a saint. Yes, he is a saint and a patient saint at that. Noone should have to tolerate the guff he has tolerated with this coffee grinder. Despite all of this, Glenn continues to write great articles for Canada's original online coffee resource - CoffeeCrew.Com