Mort108 Senior Member Joined: 11 Jul 2013 Posts: 21 Location: Saint Louis Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: Vetrano 2B, ROK Grinder: Baratza Forte Roaster: Local
Posted Fri Aug 30, 2013, 9:11am Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
Anybody have an idea of the Forte vs the Mazzer Mini Doserless?? Same price point, and no doubt the Mazzer has a very good reputation for workmanship and performance...the Forte has a smaller overall footprint and fits better in a kitchen with standard 18" cabinets...I would have to get the smaller hopper and lid etc. for the Mazzer. The Forte is a bit easier to program and I understand that Baratza updated (fixed) the software so the settings do not disappear when you unplug or lose power. I want to get one or the other to go with the new QM Vetrano DB...could be either one is just fine..thanks for help in advance.
Thanks for info...I had seen that and also the video from Prima-Coffee...but no one really plays hardball...sort of like car reviews where ad revenue seems to soften the reviews a bit...but as I said, I doubt if you could go wrong with either on.
Posted Mon Sep 2, 2013, 10:46am Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
I now have a Forte, ceramic burr version. I loved my Vario-W, but fell in love with certain features of the Forte, and got it in anticipation of purchasing a commercial style spring lever in the future, and wanted the option to either grind by time or weight. I'm going to take a few more days to get familiar with everything. I downloaded the pdf manual. Baratza supplies a "quick start" card, which gets you going, for sure.
It is even more impressive on the counter than in the photos and demos. (speaking of which, someone needs to tell Chris at Prima not to be messing with the Macro lever with a hopper full of beans, and the grinder off LOL) He did a nice job of explaining the Forte's features.
I am contributing to a similar thread on HB, started by a fine CG'er, Evan Melancon. However, I'll be glad to post my impressions here in a couple of days, being careful not to "cross post" per se. I may go into some things here that might apply more to CG'ers, comparisons to other grinders i've owned, etc.
Please allow me a couple more days to live with the Forte before direct questions to me. I'll not be able to answer them fully, nor exactly.
OK, 1 comment: it's FAST, with zero static and zero clumping. To be fair, the humidity here in the Nashville area has been over 60% for quite a while.
ee61 Senior Member Joined: 18 Mar 2010 Posts: 41 Location: USA Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Wed Sep 11, 2013, 8:56am Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
IMAWriter how is the FORTE treating you and your beans?
Question, does the touch screen keep fingerprints, or does it keep pretty clean for you in real life?
I ask because Chris Coffee has a video of the Vetrano 2B by Quick Mill Overview, and in the review they use the FORTE for grinding. I noticed in the background the touch screen looks pretty dirty. I took a screen shot showing my concern. What do you think now that you have had it for a spell.
primacoffee Senior Member Joined: 19 May 2010 Posts: 37 Location: Louisville, KY Expertise: I live coffee
Posted Thu Sep 19, 2013, 8:59am Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
Chris here, from that Prima film. Good point about the macro lever, IMAWriter – ha!
Fingerprints haven't really been an issue for me, ee61. The display isn't too glossy, like an iPhone or something, so it doesn't really show off fingerprints. It's nice and bright, too, so if you smudge it up then you won't be able to tell once it's illuminated.
After working with the Forté for a few more weeks, I have a few more criticisms (which I included in a blog I wrote for Prima.)
This version of the "portaholder" slides off when grinding. I spoke with Quinn at Baratza about this and he's assured me that their next (maybe now current?) run won't have this issue.
If you're grinding for espresso and putting the Forté through heavy use, the grounds can get a bit warm – more so than they do through the Mini.
I think this is what jbviau was getting at earlier, and this part really annoys me: the hopper holds back beans. You won't notice if you're keeping the hopper full, but if you're single-dosing then you'll have to knock a few beans down into the throat almost every time. This hasn't been an issue with any Baratza grinder – it's just the hopper on the new Forté.
Still, the Fortes we got from Baratza are holding up well. They're solid and much, much more user-friendly than anything else around $900. I still recommend them.
tglodjo Senior Member Joined: 16 Oct 2012 Posts: 214 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 Wed Sep 25, 2013, 8:31am Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
All Vario's and Forte's will be a little different since the user has the ability to calibrate. I have a Vario W and I try to keep my espresso range 1-2 macro clicks down and micro at about mid range. I do this so that I can have as much coarseness as possible at the 10 range for when I switch between brew methods.
Posted Wed Sep 25, 2013, 10:27pm Subject: Re: The New Baratza Forte
As Chris @ Prima commented, no problem with the touch screen. I have no problem with the PF staying on. It's tight, in fact a good deal of effort is needed to remove it when grinding into the grinds bin.
As I don't often grind more than 2 doubles per session, usually spaced out by about maybe 2 minutes, I've not noticed any problem with the grind feeling overly warm. I agree regarding a few beans that seem to ride on the rim of the hopper just above where they would normally fall down. A quick flick before grinding with my WDT needle (which I've not used in a long while) gets those strays down. As this grinder was designed (IMO) for heavy duty use in a cafe setting (as well as those of us wanting a grinder with this feature set and build quality) I believe MOST would keep the hopper at least 2/3 full. Remember, as this has the "hopper-stopper" (no trademark yet...LOL) changing beans is now easy peezy. No need to weigh, measure or single dose grind. At least not in MY world. Build-wise, if you called a Mazzer Major a tank, I['d describe the Forte as sort of a rock solid BMW/Volvo combo.
I've finally purchased some Toscano, and yesterday was planning on doing taste comparisons to the Vario. I got sidetracked with work, imagine that! I'll be doing my coffee thang tomorrow. over on HB, I did comment that I to be picking up just a wee bit more citrus element from a varietal when ground in the Forte, that I don't remember experiencing when grinding with the Vario. Same batch, same roast (was frozen). However, the same "SJ-like) lower toned essences are as they were with the Vario. This is not written in stone, due to no head to head comparison. That's hopefully for tomorrow. The machine will be an Alex Duetto 2. I'll start with the old CC specs for the Toscano as regards dose, temperature, and length of pull/volume. Nothing scientific, just 2 old farts, maybe 3 slurping some spro.
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