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Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Baratza Preciso...  
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PandaMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 40
Location: Detroit, MI
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Hario MSS-1B Mini, Baratza...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Thu Jul 25, 2013, 4:32pm
Subject: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

Fellow Coffee Geeks,

I'm thinking it's time to retire my Hario Mini Mill Slim and upgrade (automate?) my grinder? My main brew method is auto-drip in my Behmor Brazen and cold brew, but I also sporadically do French press and pour-overs. I'm leaning towards getting the Baratza Virtuoso 586 with Preciso burrs, but was wondering if any of you would recommend just spending the extra cash to get a Preciso? My thoughts based on what I've read and my experience is that the micro adjustments aren't useful at non-espresso grind levels, so I'm looking to get your take on it. Would a Preciso be overkill? What do you use to grind for non-espresso methods?

Also, thinking about it from this angle, would it make sense to get the Preciso in case I decide to try espresso down the road. Baratza's website leads me to believe that the Preciso is sufficient for espresso, although old posts seem to indicate otherwise. I'm curious to get your guys' thoughts.
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calblacksmith
Moderator
calblacksmith
Joined: 25 Nov 2007
Posts: 7,766
Location: Riverside, Ca, U.S.A.
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: ECM Vene. A1, La Cimbali M32
Grinder: Azkoyen Capriccio, Major
Vac Pot: 40s era Silex
Drip: Msl. Com. brewers
Roaster: gave it a try, decided no
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 6:08am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

Get the best grinder you can afford.

Now that I said that, even the Maistro will make a good cup, and I will often advise people so.
Other similar grinders will also work, I have a Solis 166 otherwise known as a Starbucks Barista, it does a fine job on other than espresso.

Some grinders are designed specifically for a particular process, such as some of the Bunn grinders (I own a G9 and a LPG) both are refined to do high volume, drip brewing and while you could use them for other processes, they are designed to be used for only one process and the adjustment access is more difficult to get to as you are not supposed to adjust it after it is set for your particular process setup.

The point is, while you need at least a certain level of grind quality to get good results, the improvement after that is more incremental than large jumps. Buy the best you can afford but once above the minimum bar, you need to decide how "geeky" you want to get :D

 
In real life, my name is
Wayne P.
Anything I post is personal opinion and is only worth as much as anyone else's personal opinion. YMMV!

Feed the newbs, starve the trolls and above all enjoy what you drink!
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tglodjo
Senior Member
tglodjo
Joined: 16 Oct 2012
Posts: 209
Location: Jackson, TN
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi II
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Virtuoso
Drip: Wave, V60, Chemex, Clever
Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

The micro adjustments are not necessary for your primary brew methods. (Though, if you do try out espresso later on down the road, it is a sufficient beginner's grinder.)

I found a thread/article/pdf recently (can't remember where) that compared all Baratza grinders on multiple levels. They also compared all the grind particle sizes by microns and listed the range that each grinder can produce. From what I remember, the Preciso had the broadest range of grind size, including the coarsest for french press.

With that said, I think even Baratza's entry-level Encore is more than sufficient for manual brew and auto drip methods. It's just a question of what you want to pay for. I'd choose Preciso over Virtuoso if you can grab it as a refurb from Baratza's website. It's close to the price of the Virtuoso then. OR, grab a Virtuoso and an Esatto adapter to do weight-based grinding. That'll spoil you!
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VKirby
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Joined: 16 Mar 2012
Posts: 99
Location: World Wide
Expertise: I like coffee

Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 10:33am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

I only have experience with the virtuoso with preciso burrs, but have found it has more than enough steps for brew/siphon etc.  IDK about the extremes, course for french press or fine for turkish etc.
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jbviau
Senior Member
jbviau
Joined: 12 Jul 2010
Posts: 731
Location: Pembroke Pines, FL
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Preciso / LIDOs
Drip: Trifecta MB / Eva Solo...
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 11:08am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

(

PandaMatic Said:

...My thoughts based on what I've read and my experience is that the micro adjustments aren't useful at non-espresso grind levels...

Posted July 25, 2013 link

Right you are. My Preciso is officially overkill for filter coffee. When I bought it I had plans to experiment with espresso at home, but that didn't really happen for unrelated reasons. Love the Preciso's consistent grind, which I fully expect the Virtuoso 586 would match since it's identical aside from the micro-adjust aspect. If you like grinding by hand, consider waiting until Orphan Espresso's LIDO 2 comes out in Oct. (Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)) or the Comandante comes out in Sept. (estimate).
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Intrepid510
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Joined: 30 Dec 2010
Posts: 355
Location: California
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 11:35am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

Speaking of OE, they are selling their review model of the Preciso for $212. Click Here (www.orphanespresso.com)

 
Less water, more grounds.
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coffeeguydenton
Senior Member


Joined: 20 Jun 2013
Posts: 89
Location: Denton, TX
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Drip: Chemex
Posted Fri Jul 26, 2013, 4:40pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

I faced the same decision that you are facing right now and ultimately went with the Preciso.  I based that decision on a few criteria.

  1.  As someone else suggested, it was the best grinder I could get within my budget.
  2.  I do believe that some day I will want to start making espresso at home.  I doubt that I will use the Preciso as my primary espresso grinder at that point, but it will be nice to have a back-up.
  3.  The ratings from Mark Prince rated the Preciso slightly better than the Virtuoso, even for coarser grinds.  I do not know, however, if this was before or after they started using the Preciso burr set in the Virtuoso.

After having had it for several months now, the verdict is still out.  I am not using for espresso yet.  If I ever do, it will certainly have been a smart buy.  I do occasionally use the micro adjustments if I really get a particular roast dialed in to adjust from day-to-day.  This really only matters when you have taken the time to get it dialed in the first time, which I don't usually have time for.
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germantownrob
Senior Member
germantownrob
Joined: 2 Dec 2007
Posts: 2,152
Location: Philadelphia
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Duetto 3, A Dead Oscar
Grinder: Vario-W, Preciso w/Esatto,...
Drip: Brazen
Roaster: Diedrich IR-1, HT B
Posted Sat Jul 27, 2013, 7:00am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

I have the Preciso, I don't really care for it for espresso, my Vario is far better at this job but it there just in case or as a decaf grinder for espresso at parties. That being said it is the burrs that made the Preciso so good for all grinds other then espresso and the Virtuoso has those burrs now. The burrs in the Preciso do a much better job for drip then my Virtuoso with the older burrs which at some point I will upgrade on the Virtuoso to have a great travel grinder.
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msboo
Senior Member


Joined: 10 Nov 2012
Posts: 259
Location: Kentucky
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso, Capresso...
Drip: Technivorm, Bonavita
Posted Sat Jul 27, 2013, 6:54pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

That Preciso review by Mark Prince was done before Baratza upgraded the Virtuoso to the Preciso burrs and 2.0 Gearbox, making them the same except for the micro adjustment.
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PandaMatic
Senior Member


Joined: 26 May 2013
Posts: 40
Location: Detroit, MI
Expertise: I love coffee

Grinder: Hario MSS-1B Mini, Baratza...
Drip: Behmor Brazen
Posted Sun Aug 11, 2013, 11:09am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Virtuoso for Non-Espresso
 

Thanks for all the responses. I decided to get the Virtuoso 586 refurbished from Baratza's site. I'll do a follow-up post once I get some experience with the grinder.

tglodjo Said:

I found a thread/article/pdf recently (can't remember where) that compared all Baratza grinders on multiple levels. They also compared all the grind particle sizes by microns and listed the range that each grinder can produce. From what I remember, the Preciso had the broadest range of grind size, including the coarsest for french press.

Posted July 26, 2013 link

tglodjo, is this the thread you're referring to (on HB)? Click Here (www.home-barista.com) I can't seem to find any particle distribution graphs that compare the new Virtuoso with Preciso burrs. If anyone knows of any, I'd be curious to see them.

Mark's whitepaper on Baratza's grinder was also very informative: Click Here (www.coffeegeek.com) Again, it would be interesting to see the results using the Virtuoso 586.
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