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Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
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Discussions > Espresso > Grinders -... > Baratza Preciso...  
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dyqik
Senior Member


Joined: 7 Oct 2011
Posts: 383
Location: Cambridge, MA
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Bezzera BZ07 PM
Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso Preciso...
Vac Pot: Cona D
Drip: Bona-Vita, CCD, Aeropress.
Roaster: Gene Cafe, Modded Poppers
Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012, 8:41am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

As far as I can tell, the initial problems with the Preciso stripping gears are cleared up with the new gearbox.  The burr carrier is still a little weak, but that's still mostly a good thing, as a rock in the beans will break a $3 part that's changed in a minute or two rather than the $60 burr set that takes an hour or so to change.  I haven't had any issues with the burr carrier or adjustment ring since the one break I had due to a rock in the beans about a year ago, so I don't think they are excessively weak.

The issue I did have was that I ran the grinder with a broken burr carrier for some time which also led to the gearbox stripping - which is now fixed with an upgrade to the new GB-2 version, and a free motor from Baratza since the old gearbox shed metal shavings into the motor, even though I was outside the warranty period.  This can't happen with the new gearbox.  But if I was sensible and stopped using the grinder and fixed it as soon as I realised the burr carrier was broken, then I doubt I would have had the same issues.  Pierce Jens at Baratza was fantastic in helping me diagnose the issues with my grinder.  Apart from the 2 weeks when the grinder was down while I waited for the motor and gearbox parts to arrive, it's been pretty solid, and a whole lot less annoying to use and somewhat better grind quality than the secondhand Ascaso I-1 I bought because I wanted to compare a cheaper espresso specific grinder to it.  With the Esatto attachment, it's fantastic to use day to day.

So while the updated version has not got the track record of the Vario yet, I wouldn't be scared off of getting a Preciso if the price difference is important to you.  A refurb Preciso ordered with a spare burr carrier and adjustment ring is still $110 cheaper than a refurb Vario, and that might turn out to allow a significant step up on the machine side of things.
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DCWildcat
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Washington DC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012, 9:18am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

Here is how I summarize all the great advice from this topic:

Grinder:  Get the Baratza Vario.  Preciso is decent but the Vario is a much better bang for the buck.
My next question:  The Mark Prince review of the Preciso is glowing... so I WAS a little conflicted:
Click Here (coffeegeek.com)

Anyway, luckily, there is no argument against the Vario at all anywhere I looked.. all positive.  So Vario it is.

Espresso machine: Silvia is solid but over-priced.. especially because temperature surfing is required.
My next question:  According to this youtube video from SeattleCoffeGear, all that is needed is to wait 30 seconds for the optimal temperature on the Silvia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Bn5IjZht8

I am sure the optimal temperature differs by coffee beans and arbitrarily using 30 seconds is not the best.. but how much of a big deal is this to a person like me who is only now developing his palette?  Does the temperature being off by a few degrees make a huge difference?
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emradguy
Senior Member
emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,129
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012, 9:18am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

Ha, Pierce has been helping me too! He's been fabulous to interact with.  I'm doing my own refurbish of a Solis 166 that I plan to use for presspot, and in a few days, I'll have the parts I need to complete the task...thanks to Pierce, who has also graciously thrown in a felt gasket that needed replacing.

EDIT: re: Silvia (posted while I was typing my last post).

Pretty much true what you say about the downsides of Silvia.  If you have the time and patience, it's not a problem at all to sit around waiting for the Silvia.  The real issue will come in when you try to make more than one or two milk based drinks in a single session.  Then you have issues with temperature (I'll get to that in a minute), refilling the reservoir during the session, and some people finishing their drinks while others are waiting for you to start theirs (really sucks if you plan to all sit around a dessert with their espresso drinks).  PID helps these issues, and can be self-installed for about $200.

re: temperature, well, yeah...a couple of degrees does matter, and yeah, you'll probably notice the difference.  For instance, an espresso blend optimized at 200F will taste sour if you extract it at 197F and will taste bitter if you extract it at 203F. It won't be extreme in either direction, and you may merely wonder why it doesn't taste as awesome as "x" cafes espresso does...but you will notice that it can be improved, and as you get more experienced, you will start to understand exactly how to improve it...and then long for another machine. PID really helps here the most, but will only suffice for so long, unless you are a hermit and only make one or two drinks max - ever.

 
.
Always remember the most important thing is what ends up in your cup!
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,095
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012, 2:10pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

DCWildcat Said:

.....................According to this youtube video from SeattleCoffeGear, all that is needed is to wait 30 seconds for the optimal temperature on the Silvia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Bn5IjZht8

I am sure the optimal temperature differs by coffee beans and arbitrarily using 30 seconds is not the best.. but how much of a big deal is this to a person like me who is only now developing his palette?  Does the temperature being off by a few degrees make a huge difference?

Posted December 14, 2012 link

Ha! do-over, that's hardly an exemplary shot; the group gasket's leaking and the crema is very pale indicating the temp is likely too low.

If temp surfing was only so easy and reliable. Waiting 30-60 seconds after the heater goes off will bring the highest boiler temps, but what happened before that heater cycle, how much cold water was pumped, how warm the group, whether coming from a steam cycle, how long the warmup.... all these things and indeed you are trying to hit a narrow band of +-1F to get repeatable results in your cup.  Good luck with that, it has never worked very well for me.

Many years ago when I used a Gaggia Espresso, I put a thermometer on the boiler to get a clue what was going on, and learn how to 'surf' it. An eye opener, I found it an essential tool. Just over 5 years ago when I got the Venus, I put a temp probe on the boiler within days of starting to work with it. Do this or get a PID. I then went on to test the brew water at the shower head to better correlate the two. Within a couple weeks I had worked out a routine that would nail my brew temps every time, and I was able to go from steam temps back to brew temps so that I could do back to back Capps in the morning while still half asleep. I am still using this same working routine today, only now I think I can do it in my sleep. It takes 4.5 minutes per drink this way, and normally I make 2 in a row in the morning, followed by another 30-45 minutes later.... Yeah, I can somehow live with that.

We do entertain now & then, but I don't attempt to serve 5-10 'milk drinks' to guests all at once. Sometimes I have the machine on if someone wants a shot or capp, no problem. A few years ago I got one of those stove top steamers thinking if I was ever forced to open the kitchen as espresso shop, I could employ someone to steam the milk and mix 'em while I pull all the shots back to back.  I've never tried this out though....

Sometimes we have a bunch of family over night and I am over-taxed to make a bunch of coffee drinks in the morning. Yeah, on those occasions, it would be nice to have an Hx or DB machine. But this is maybe a 2-3 days in a years time, maybe someday I'll try the stove top steamer, but usually they roll out of bed in shifts anyway so it's not hitting me all at once.

....So anyway, that's how I live a semi-sane life with my SBDU, without being an over-patient total hermit.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,398
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Fri Dec 14, 2012, 7:33pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

DCWildcat Said:

Here is how I summarize all the great advice from this topic . . .

Posted December 14, 2012 link

Me thinks thou hast summarized incorrectly . . . .

DCWildcat Said:

Espresso machine: Silvia is solid but over-priced.. especially because temperature surfing is required.

Posted December 14, 2012 link

Absolutely not.  Temperature surfing is required on many OUTSTANDING machines, including thousands of commercial machines used around the world.

DCWildcat Said:

My next question:  According to this youtube video from SeattleCoffeGear, all that is needed is to wait 30 seconds for the optimal temperature on the Silvia:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7Bn5IjZht8

Posted December 14, 2012 link

"Ha!" indeed . . . re-read Frost's comments.

DCWildcat Said:

I am sure the optimal temperature differs by coffee beans and arbitrarily using 30 seconds is not the best.. but how much of a big deal is this to a person like me who is only now developing his palette?  Does the temperature being off by a few degrees make a huge difference?

Posted December 14, 2012 link

a) it's "palate" that refers to taste; "palette" refers to that flat surface upon which an artist places his oil paints.  b) taste shots at different temperatures and discover for yourself!

But the short answer is "yes," and the more experienced your palate is, the more you'll notice a difference.

Temperature surfing is very easy TO DO, and very complicated to EXPLAIN.  Think of describing each and every step necessarily to start your car in the morning, starting with unlocking the door . . . then you open the door, sit in the driver seat, adjust the seat, adjust the left side view mirror, the right side view mirror, the rear view mirror, place the key in the ignition, make sure the car is in "Park," turn the key one click -- verify that all the dashboard lights are on, that you have gasoline in the fuel tank, etc., then turn key all the way, holding it there while depressing the gas pedal lightly with your right foot until the engine actually starts . . . . there's more to it that just this:  imagine if you had to think of each and every step every morning!  Right now, Temperature surfing seems like a "big deal."  Why?  Because you've never done it before, and it certainly sounds (or can sound) intimidating.  But so is starting a car!  Soon, temperature surfing becomes second nature, and -- like starting your car -- it quickly becomes "automatic."

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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MachiatoMan
Senior Member


Joined: 4 Oct 2012
Posts: 10
Location: NY Metro Area
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Rocket Cellini Premium Plus
Grinder: Baratza Vario
Drip: Hario V60
Roaster: Bodum French Press
Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012, 4:42am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

I was in the same boat 5 months go. I had inherited a Capresso Ultima machine and was looking for a reasonable grinder to go with it. At the time, I thought that eventually I may upgrade to a Silvia, but was comvinced i would never spend "crazy money" on an espresso machine. Ended up getting the Rocky primarily based on the recomendations of 3 highly respected vendors who i spoke with. None of the 3 had anything negative to say about the Preciso only that Baratza has great customer service. All 3 recomended the Rocky because

  1. It's very robust, high quality, built like a tank
  2. Good resale value in case i wanted to upgrade in the future
  3. Wont notice any difference in quality between the machines with the Capresso or even if I upgrade to Silvia

When asked about getting stuck between grind settings, they said tamp harder or dose higher.

The Rocky has been fine, bullet proof. There's no play in the burrs (i cant even do the teflon mod because the burrs screw together so tight). I was happy with it until I upgraded my espresso machine to a Rocket Cellini.

Now i am gridning finer and the biggest issue with it is clumping. And psychologically, i cant help but wonder if I can get even better with a high end grinder. As with high end home audio, once you upgrade one component, you want to upgrade other components to maximize the quality of the sound.
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Frost
Senior Member
Frost
Joined: 26 Jul 2007
Posts: 2,095
Location: Sierra
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Isomac Venus
Grinder: Lelit PL53
Roaster: Poppery I w/variac, MET, BT
Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012, 10:39am
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

JasonBrandtLewis Said:

Temperature surfing is very easy TO DO

Posted December 14, 2012 link


Sure it's easy. The hard part is getting 200F out of the machine shot after shot.
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JasonBrandtLewis
Senior Member
JasonBrandtLewis
Joined: 9 Dec 2005
Posts: 6,398
Location: Berkeley, CA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Elektra T1 - La Valentina -...
Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario -...
Vac Pot: Yama 5-cup
Drip: CCD, Chemex
Roaster: No, no, not another...
Posted Sat Dec 15, 2012, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

Uh, no.

 
A morning without coffee is sleep . . .
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takeshi
Senior Member
takeshi
Joined: 12 Oct 2002
Posts: 979
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Alex Duetto 3.0
Grinder: Super Jolly
Roaster: Amaya Roasting
Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 2:02pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

DCWildcat Said:

Silvia is solid but over-priced.. especially because temperature surfing is required.

Posted December 14, 2012 link

As stated above, it's not because of temp surfing.  It's because you can spend a lot less on an entry machine and allocate that savings to a better grinder and get better results.

DCWildcat Said:

but how much of a big deal is this to a person like me who is only now developing his palette?  Does the temperature being off by a few degrees make a huge difference?

Posted December 14, 2012 link

Impossible to say.  People's palates don't develop at the same rate or even start at the same point.  It may be acceptable to one beginner and unacceptable to another.  We have no idea where you fall on the spectrum.  You can only answer your question by trying it both ways and seeing for yourself.

MachiatoMan Said:

All 3 recomended the Rocky because

It's very robust, high quality, built like a tank
Good resale value in case i wanted to upgrade in the future

Posted December 15, 2012 link

Those points are certainly true.  My Rocky was a tank and I sold it for about what I bought it for but if your priority is what's in the cup as it is for most Coffee Geeks then that reason trumps the two you've mentioned.

MachiatoMan Said:

Wont notice any difference in quality between the machines with the Capresso or even if I upgrade to Silvia

Posted December 15, 2012 link

I would strongly disagree with that.  One of the biggest differences in my experience was upgrading from the Rocky.  There's no contest -- the Rocky isn't worth considering these days.

Anyone shopping the Silvia and Rocky really needs to consider the dates of the material used for shopping research.  They were the go-to combo 10 years ago (when I bought my Silvia which is why I had a Rocky) but things have really changed over the years.  The two are both overpriced and there are probably better options to consider.
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DCWildcat
Senior Member


Joined: 22 Oct 2012
Posts: 8
Location: Washington DC
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Dec 19, 2012, 4:19pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Preciso vs. Rancilio Rocky
 

takeshi Said:

Anyone shopping the Silvia and Rocky really needs to consider the dates of the material used for shopping research.  They were the go-to combo 10 years ago (when I bought my Silvia which is why I had a Rocky) but things have really changed over the years.  The two are both overpriced and there are probably better options to consider.

Posted December 19, 2012 link

The Silvia is about $629 online.  What is a better option at that price point?
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