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Baratza Meastro Plus modification
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marlap
Senior Member
marlap
Joined: 5 May 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista Athena
Grinder: Braun KM 30 (modded)
Posted Sun Jul 8, 2012, 10:28pm
Subject: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

I have an opportunity to purchase a used Baratza Meastro Plus for $85.00 (I'm on a tight budget, and can't afford expensive grinders. I presently own a modded Braun KM 30 grinder and a Starbucks Barista Athena Espresso machine)

I was wondering if the Baratza Meastro is able to grind fine enough for a non-pressurized porta filter, after performing the re-calibration modification to adjust it to the finest setting?
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SteveRhinehart
Senior Member
SteveRhinehart
Joined: 27 Dec 2009
Posts: 855
Location: Syracuse, NY
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: 1970s La Pavoni Europiccola
Grinder: Baratza Vario, Hario Skerton
Vac Pot: Yama Tabletop 3-cup
Drip: Chemex, CCD, Kalita Wave,...
Roaster: Flavorwave/Stir Crazy
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 3:10am
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

It might be able to grind fine enough, but let's consider a very typical scenario in coffee. You manage to find the perfect grind setting on day one, with fresh beans. You can pull a pretty tasty shot,and you're happy. The next day, the shot runs too quickly, and tastes a bit thin and sour. In order to correct this, you need to be able to grind just a little bit finer. On the Maestro Plus, it's the "little bit" that will be the problem - the adjustment steps are too wide for non-pressurized baskets, and you'll find that while some days espresso is possible, many others it is lackluster or downright bad, because you can't find the right grind.

Honestly, if you're tight on cash, I'd suggest you look at a hand grinder. Many give a very good espresso grind, with ample control over fineness, they're often built to last, and really only sacrifice the convenience of an electric motor.
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marlap
Senior Member
marlap
Joined: 5 May 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista Athena
Grinder: Braun KM 30 (modded)
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 5:34am
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Thanks Steve, sounds like great advice; I'll take it.

I haven't seen many reviews for hand-operated grinders. I'll start looking around a bit. Meanwhile if any members have any suggestions to offer, I'd welcome it.
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,826
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 8:54am
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Hey mar, I have a bit of experience with both a maestro and a virtuoso.  Neither are capable espresso grinders IMO.  It will absolutely be able to grind fine enuf and you can mod it to be stepless; but even at that, I don't consider them to be capable for espresso.  The grind consistency in the finer settings is too inconsistent.  That being said they make phenomenal non espressro grinders.  Like steve said you'll get inconsistent shots but also the flavor profile won't be there.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,454
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 9:44am
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Don't bother with the Maestro... too many good hand grinders for close to/cheaper than that prices. I've got a modded Hario Mini Ceramic, but since your looking at $85, go for the Porlex. It has better burr stability then the cheaper grinders (reason I had to mod my Hario). You can find it on Ebay and Amazon and Orphan Espresso.
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marlap
Senior Member
marlap
Joined: 5 May 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista Athena
Grinder: Braun KM 30 (modded)
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 2:37pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Joel_B Said:

Hey mar, I have a bit of experience with both a maestro and a virtuoso.  Neither are capable espresso grinders IMO.  It will absolutely be able to grind fine enuf and you can mod it to be stepless; but even at that, I don't consider them to be capable for espresso.  The grind consistency in the finer settings is too inconsistent.  That being said they make phenomenal non espressro grinders.  Like steve said you'll get inconsistent shots but also the flavor profile won't be there.

Posted July 9, 2012 link

Thanks Joel, I've taken Steve's and your advice and will not purchase the grinder. I'll stick with my Braun grinder until I decide upon a manual to purchase, or find a sweet deal on some other recommended used machine.
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Joel_B
Senior Member
Joel_B
Joined: 9 Oct 2007
Posts: 1,826
Location: Pacific NW
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Astra Mega II
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, Virtuoso
Vac Pot: Yama 5 cup
Drip: nope, french press
Roaster: Behmor, WP, BBQ drum
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 2:41pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Good choice ;-)

Yeah, keep your eye out for a decent used grinder; they can be had. Otherwise a manual grinder is an affordable option.
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marlap
Senior Member
marlap
Joined: 5 May 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista Athena
Grinder: Braun KM 30 (modded)
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 2:51pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

CMIN Said:

Don't bother with the Maestro... too many good hand grinders for close to/cheaper than that prices. I've got a modded Hario Mini Ceramic, but since your looking at $85, go for the Porlex. It has better burr stability then the cheaper grinders (reason I had to mod my Hario). You can find it on Ebay and Amazon and Orphan Espresso.

Posted July 9, 2012 link

Thanks for the info CMIN, I'll certainly consider the Porlex. Would you happen to know how the Kyocera stacks up against the Porlex?
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CMIN
Senior Member


Joined: 14 Jun 2012
Posts: 1,454
Location: South FL
Expertise: I like coffee

Espresso: Crossland CC1
Grinder: Baratza Preciso
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 3:59pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

marlap Said:

Thanks for the info CMIN, I'll certainly consider the Porlex. Would you happen to know how the Kyocera stacks up against the Porlex?

Posted July 9, 2012 link

I'm not sure, I've only heard good about the Porlex. When I was looking to buy a cheap hand grinder, it seems everyone preferred the Hario Ceramic Slim vs the Kyocera/bigger Hario. But it had some play in the burrs so you have to mod it.

I would just go for the Prolex, think I've seen it on Ebay/Amazon/Orphan in the $60 range. I looked on Ebay quickly and seems their all shipped from overseas and may take a week or couple weeks to arrive looking at their shipping schedules. You could check Amazon and Orphan Espresso. I think Orphan sells a burr stability kit for the Kyocera (there's a 45 and 50, and think 45 is the model for espresso and shaped different for easier use).
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marlap
Senior Member
marlap
Joined: 5 May 2012
Posts: 48
Location: Montreal
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Starbucks Barista Athena
Grinder: Braun KM 30 (modded)
Posted Mon Jul 9, 2012, 7:41pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Meastro Plus modification
 

Thanks for the input CMIN.
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