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Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
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Discussions > Articles > Quickshot... > Baratza Virtuoso...  
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CraigA
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Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 9:54am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

whd2102 Said:

If it's the case that the Preciso's speed leads it to heat up the grounds a bit, is the speed such a great thing? We're speaking in terms of seconds here and--all jokes about one's extreme need for black gold in the morning aside--I personally wouldn't mind waiting longer in exchange for less heating of the grounds. Forty seconds instead of fifteen for my pour-over dose at home? No problem at all. In a cafe that's another story, but this is clearly meant for the consumer market.

Posted March 14, 2011 link

Just to let everyone know comparing the Baratza Virtuoso & Virtuoso Preciso with the old, more agressive looking burr set. On the speed adjusting pot on the grinders pcb the speed is factory set at mid point. With the older Precisio's burr set, they were converted/swapped out to the new burr set & the 8 vane paddle wheel modified to a 4 vane mode. All new Precisio's now of course have the new Lichenstein burr set & the 4 vane paddle wheel.

The speed pot is also adjusted to a factory default of max for the new burr set, but you could of course turn down the speed if you wished. That may or may not have an inpact on more fine/s development with a slower speed. The President of Baratza Kyle Anderson is an engineer, & with the burr manufacturers I'm sure they well know at what speed the burrset performs best at.

 
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randytsuch
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Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 10:44am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

IMAWriter Said:

Yes, I still go more with the Vario for espresso, as I'm a timer junkie now, but I can honestly say that the Preciso is every bit as competent as Mark has  reported it to be.

Posted March 14, 2011 link

Rob
So, if the Preciso had a timer, would you use the Vario, or a timed Preciso, or would it be a draw at that point?

Randy
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IMAWriter
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Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 3:24pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

randytsuch Said:

Rob
So, if the Preciso had a timer, would you use the Vario, or a timed Preciso, or would it be a draw at that point?

Randy

Posted March 15, 2011 link

Ouch, you WOULD ask that! LOL
Well...conical burr sets are the rage, but for ME, the adjustment set of of the Vario is just so cool.
Besides, the point is, it DOESN'T HAVE A TIMER MECHANISM, thus one of the reasons the price point is lower...that and the cam system of the Vario.
There are also those ceramic burrs in the Vario, which will last 3-4x's longer than normal metal burrs.

I just believe that all the time and expertise Kyle put forth  to make the Vario what it is gave him an excellent blueprint to "re-invent" his own creation, finding ways to reduce price, yet maintain quality and offer much the same versatility as the Vario.

Those who really enjoy "flying by the seat of their pants" might enjoy the less "set it an almost forget it" groove of the Vario, and go for the Preciso.
For me,  owning a lever machine, even after 4+ years, is still challenge enough. ;>D

 
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whd2102
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Posted Tue Mar 15, 2011, 3:43pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

Understanding fully the risks of looking like a fan-boy here--and blithely looking the other way--one of the things that I'd mark as the moral of this review is that *Baratza is a boon to coffee lovers everywhere.* Their innovation and service deserve Madison-Square-Garden-level applause from even the most jaded-seeming coffee hipsters.
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Beezer
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Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011, 4:46pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

Nice review, except that it says nothing about the most important factor: the taste of the resulting coffee or espresso.  Analysis of fines, burr design and so forth is all well and good, but how does the espresso taste?  Inquiring minds want to know.
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IMAWriter
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Espresso: Bezzera Strega
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Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600, CO/UFO combo
Posted Wed Mar 16, 2011, 5:05pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

Beezer Said:

Nice review, except that it says nothing about the most important factor: the taste of the resulting coffee or espresso.  Analysis of fines, burr design and so forth is all well and good, but how does the espresso taste?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted March 16, 2011 link

Not to speak for Mark, but "Quick Shot/First Look" articles are usually more about general characteristics, operation, etc and not so much about specifics regarding taste comparisons and such...however, again, not being Mark, but I was pretty specific about what i perceive taste-wise.
There were no "sharp edges" in the flavors of the espresso shots, nor my vac pot/drip coffee. I only had 2 french press sessions,, as i don't especially fancy that method of preparation.

i would say the overall impression is that it is a wee bit higher toned than my former Mazzer SJ. (the vario and SJ are, to my perception pretty close in taste profile.
Hope that helps.

 
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MarkPrince
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Posted Thu Mar 17, 2011, 1:31am
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

Beezer Said:

Nice review, except that it says nothing about the most important factor: the taste of the resulting coffee or espresso.  Analysis of fines, burr design and so forth is all well and good, but how does the espresso taste?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Posted March 16, 2011 link

Taste is subjective, and once grinders are good (such as this one, or an Anfim Super Caimano, or a Compak K6 or K10, or a Mazzer Robur or... what have you) then it comes down to how the machine performs in brewing, how your water is, how the coffee is, how your technique is.

That said, I can tell you about 50% of the espresso I make at home is done on the Vario and Preciso; the other 50% is on the Anfim. I'm shifting to using the Vario (and Preciso) more because a) they nearly match the Anfim on grind quality and b) they leave almost no waste between shots. The Anfim's only saving graces are that it is faster (5.4 seconds usually for 18g) and the digital timer and doser are great.

Mark

 
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Beezer
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Posted Thu Mar 17, 2011, 2:29pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

OK, thanks for the feedback.  

I was not trying to be critical; it just seemed strange to me that you spend a long time on the features of the grinder without mentioning whether it makes good shots or not.  I would hope that it would considering the price and features, but many people feel that the cheaper Baratza grinders, including the original Virtuoso, are not really good as espresso grinders, though they work well for other brew methods.  So it's good to hear that the Preciso is able to make good espresso.

Would you say that the Preciso is comparable to the Vario in terms of shot quality?  I have a Vario right now and really like the flavors it brings out in my shots.  I'm considering getting the Preciso as an office grinder for espresso and drip, but I wasn't sure if it's in the same league as the Vario given that it has different burrs, different adjustment mechanisms, and no digital timer.

Thanks again for the thorough review.
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stephenmesa
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Posted Thu Mar 17, 2011, 2:32pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

I've got a question, and please pardon me if I seemed to miss the answer here...

In your review you call out your espresso grind setting at a macro of 10 and a micro of G. What dose were you using with this?

I've got this machine and when I was dosing with 22g, I was right around the 10 macro setting getting great shots, but then when I went to 19g I had to dial it down to around 3! Is this to be expected or has my grinder somehow been knocked out of calibration? It would be a great relief if I could confirm with other Preciso owners as to their grind settings and doses to make sure I'm not going crazy!

 
I'd say I'm more of a coffee nerd rather than coffee geek
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MarkPrince
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Posted Thu Mar 17, 2011, 3:45pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
 

Beezer Said:

OK, thanks for the feedback.  

I was not trying to be critical; it just seemed strange to me that you spend a long time on the features of the grinder without mentioning whether it makes good shots or not.  I would hope that it would considering the price and features, but many people feel that the cheaper Baratza grinders, including the original Virtuoso, are not really good as espresso grinders, though they work well for other brew methods.  So it's good to hear that the Preciso is able to make good espresso.

Posted March 17, 2011 link

My intent in detailing the grind abilities was to show that "yes, this is superior at giving you a grind capable of making a great espresso". Discussion about lack of fines (important for espresso) was emphasised to show that point. That said, I probably should have put more in about taste - a lot of tasting was done during this testing - at one point, I had four people here who were so completely wired from drinking literally dozens of shots each from the Preciso's output. When we tested, we were specifically checking to see how clicks on the microadjust would affect the shot performance and quality, but I didn't emphasise that enough.

Mark

 
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