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Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks of daily use by an HG One owner.
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CMIN
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Joined: 14 Jun 2012
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Espresso: Crossland CC1
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Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014, 10:28am
Subject: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks of daily use by an HG One owner.
 

BDL your post hurt my head, but it lead to an awesome comparison lol
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CSME9
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CSME9
Joined: 26 Feb 2004
Posts: 287
Location: West Texas
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Mitica Top, Spaz...
Grinder: Rancilio Rocky
Drip: Moka Pot
Roaster: BBQ Roaster
Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014, 12:26pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

Excellent post, good feedback. This grinder has been out a few months, seems that feedback for espresso usage has been lacking, so its good to see the pros and cons.
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 374
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Posted Fri Feb 7, 2014, 7:43pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

Wow lots of activity since I've been away on business.

Great discussion.   I want to follow up with the question of how the Forte holds up against the HG One.


Well I made a concerted effort to compare back to back shots between the AP and HG-1.

I pulled shot with Cremina using HG-1 grinds and using week old beans in the Forte's hopper.  The shot pulled perfectly on the first try.  Very pleasing shot. Pulled like warm honey- perfectly centered.   Keep in mind the last time I pulled a shot with this batch of coffee was on Monday. It has been sitting in the covered hopper since.  The shot tasted even better than I remembered.    More delicate... tasted zesty flavors I hadn't noticed before.  

Anyway I pulled a shot with grounds from my Forte and immediately the flow was way off (too loose).  I tightened the grind by four micro steps on the AP and the shot pulled much better. Another couple of notches up and the flow was looking perfect.  Unfortunately the shot lacked the the delicate notes I tasted earlier with the HG1. Not at all saying it was bad. It was very good with the typically bright acidity I expected.  But the HG1 shot was definitely on another level.  I spent another 15 minutes adjusting the grind but couldn't improve the shot beyond what I had originally achieved after dialing in the roast.

Anyway, I went back to the HG1 and pulled a shot. It was great. And with the roast being 5 days older than what I was pulling before (just over night), the shots were significantly more delicate with subtle flavors coming through. They didn't have that fruit bomb brightness dominated my cups previously.    I definitely will be following Rich's advice of using well rested beans going forward.  I had mistakenly followed someone else's advice saying "you should wait at least 8 hours before they reach full flavor". All this time I was missing out on some truly spectacular coffee :/  that's why I love these forums.. always something new to learn!

In conclusion the HG One required no adjustment after 4 days whereas the AP was greatly affected. This is exactly what Merle was saying. Guys, you really know your stuff!  My step setting on the AP had to be tightened by 6 micro notches.  And HG One shots were clearly superior in cup quality with the same beans.

I tried uploading a video of me pulling a couple of shots from each grinder but the video wad simply too long for uploading on YouTube.  I wanted to upload the video unedited to keep things real (my shots weren't perfect because i mucked around with both grinders earlier) but the file size just got too big.  So I will have to find some time to edit it down to a manageable size.
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SpaceTime
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Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 10:02am
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

Good read Scott.  What a shocker ;-) the HG One outperforms the Forte in the cup.... imagine.

Hey, on a related topic, I spent about 30 min yesterday chatting with Craig at HG One.  Interesting discussion - did you realize that as early as today, he is rolling out the HG One Version 2.0?  (I think that is what he is going to call it).  He said the information on the site, and store, were going live today for this new version...

... if you check the "News" section of the HG One Website, you can see information on the prototype of the 2.0 version.  He said he was going to get more information on the site regarding the changes / details / differences over the initial release...

Should be interesting.  One thing that really has me thinking are the "crennalations" on grind adjustment.... very interesting.

Tim
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 10:45am
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

SpaceTime Said:

... if you check the "News" section of the HG One Website, you can see information on the prototype of the 2.0 version.  He said he was going to get more information on the site regarding the changes / details / differences over the initial release...

Should be interesting.  One thing that really has me thinking are the "crennalations" on grind adjustment.... very interesting.

Tim

Posted February 8, 2014 link

I have plenty of thoughts on the new developments over at HG One but in the interest of keeping this discussion on-topic I'll refrain from commenting on it in this thread.   I'll be happy to share my thoughts (good and bad) on it with you offline or in a separate thread if you want to start a new topic.
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SpaceTime
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Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 11:39am
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

z0mbie Said:

I have plenty of thoughts on the new developments over at HG One but in the interest of keeping this discussion on-topic I'll refrain from commenting on it in this thread.   I'll be happy to share my thoughts (good and bad) on it with you offline or in a separate thread if you want to start a new topic.

Posted February 8, 2014 link

Good point, thanks for keeping me honest.

How about that Forte? Lol  

This thread does have me wondering if I want the Vario or the Forte now for my plug-in / backup grinder.  Thank you...

Finally Scott - yes I would an offline chat about that - I sent you a mail from my Yahoo account a couple of days ago... I know you have been busy, so maybe we can exchange there when you have time.

Tim
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z0mbie
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z0mbie
Joined: 26 Sep 2013
Posts: 374
Location: Online
Expertise: I live coffee

Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 2:31pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

SpaceTime Said:

Good point, thanks for keeping me honest.

How about that Forte? Lol  

This thread does have me wondering if I want the Vario or the Forte now for my plug-in / backup grinder.  Thank you...

Posted February 8, 2014 link

Well, given the burr sizes are the same between the Forte and Vario, it all boils down to how important build quality is for you.   If you don't plan to use it as your main grinder then you'll probably be better off with the Vario and keep the rest of the money in better investments.

I, for one, needed a grinder for daily brew duty (for the wife) but wanted the versatility of using it for espresso also.  Naturally I opted for the 'all purpose' model.

In retrospect the BG would have been a better choice. It is a more capable grinder for brew duty.  Ironically I think it is more 'all-purpose' than the AP is because it has a wider range grind range. I mentioned in another Forte thread that the AP was not capable of grinding coarser than a Medium grind.  I sent Baratza photos of my grinds and was was told that my
grinds were plenty coarse for FP.  True, but with medium grind you need to brew several cups at a time to avoid fines in your coffee cup... so the fact remains.. Medium grind is medium grind. It is not an FP grind.  In the interest of not wasting coffee I like to be able to brew for just one cup. I tried this with medium and got more fines in my cup than with the traditional presspot grind size.  Medium grind may be adequate, but it is not optimal for FP.

Perhaps someone out there with the BG can comment on how well it performs for espresso duty.  The SCG comparison video showed that it was perfectly capable of grinding for espresso but they did no such taste test with either in the video so it's still up for debate.
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SpaceTime
Senior Member


Joined: 9 Dec 2013
Posts: 271
Location: Virgo Cluster
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: 83 & 89 Cremina, 85 Coffex
Grinder: HG One, Pharos, LIDO
Drip: Freiling 33 & 44oz FP,...
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 2:46pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP...impressions after 3 weeks by an HG One owner.
 

z0mbie Said:

Well, given the burr sizes are the same between the Forte and Vario, it all boils down to how important build quality is for you.   If you don't plan to use it as your main grinder then you'll probably be better off with the Vario and keep the rest of the money in better investments.

I, for one, needed a grinder for daily brew duty (for the wife) but wanted the versatility of using it for espresso also.  Naturally I opted for the 'all purpose' model.

In retrospect the BG would have been a better choice. It is a more capable grinder for brew duty.  Ironically I think it is more 'all-purpose' than the AP is because it has a wider range grind range. I mentioned in another Forte thread that the AP was not capable of grinding coarser than a Medium grind.  I sent Baratza photos of my grinds and was was told that my
grinds were plenty coarse for FP.  True, but with medium grind you need to brew several cups at a time to avoid fines in your coffee cup... so the fact remains.. Medium grind is medium grind. It is not an FP grind.  In the interest of not wasting coffee I like to be able to brew for just one cup. I tried this with medium and got more fines in my cup than with the traditional presspot grind size.  Medium grind may be adequate, but it is not optimal for FP.

Perhaps someone out there with the BG can comment on how well it performs for espresso duty.  The SCG comparison video showed that it was perfectly capable of grinding for espresso but they did no such taste test with either in the video so it's still up for debate.

Posted February 8, 2014 link

Yeah, I saw that SCG video too.  SOmetimes with Barb / Kat it is what they DON'T say you have to cue on, and not what they DO.  There is a good reason for that.... Personally, I would only get a ceramic burr grinder for espresso only... but that is just me, YMMV.

The dirty little secret I learned some time ago - many electric grinders, and especially the high end "espresso" ones, start to struggle on consistency when getting much past drip and into press territory.

I am big into FP for many years, and have a FP process that might rival the "analness" of some in espresso, and I typically use the LIDO for the FP route.  My grind is closer to drip as it the screen mesh fineness (or lack thereof) on the FP that dictates how fine you should grind for FP (keep going finer toward drip grind particle size till the sludge gets past the acceptable level, then back up a notch or two).  You then tweak your steep / extraction times based on your taste... knowing that finer particle size will of course lead to faster, bolder extractions.

That is why I own an Inifinity - there is a long story behind my Infinity - the second one I purchased was nothing like the first, and I have ZERO static issues, consistent grind, etc.  Older reviews on the Infinity lambast it for static, mess - mine is impeccably clean.  They must have changed something as the first one I had, which I had to return, was a holy mess.  But I bought it because spending 2, 3, and 4x more for FP and drip does not really get you much more.  People will bash the Infinity - mainly on reputation alone and not from using it... but I just bite my lip as mine does a fine job on FP, with little fines.  Not as good as the LIDO, but when I am in a hurry it is serviceable and pretty good actually.  I HAVE tried other more expensive grinders, and the improvement went from non-existent to worse, believe it or not.

Anyway, there I go flying off topic as usual LOL.  But I know from another thread you were wondering about FP grind consistency.  If you want good FP that you can control the extraction temps, get a Freiling. ;-)

Cheers.
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IMAWriter
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IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 9:13pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP.impressions after 3 weeks of daily use by an HG One owner.
 

[quote657940  Oh, sure the coffee boards have posts on the Forte, it is still a good grinder, but then again the boards are sponsored by Baratza and you would expect a little good press.

Cheers.[x]
This is a false and misleading statement, IMO.
Baratza doesn't own THIS Forum, nor HB. Just because they advertise (which helps support these forums which are free) doesn't mean honest criticism doesn't exist. You would be wise not to issue such an accusation regarding "sponsored forums."

I owned a Vario W, and now a Forte AP. I've posted what I believe to be fair and balanced comments here, and on HB. I compared the Vario twins to the Forte. I also believe as good as the Vario/Vario W are, the Forte's feature set, rock solid burr carrier, all metal exterior, no mess, nearly waste-less grinding makes it well worth the price.
Is it perfect? NO. Is ANY grinder perfect? NO.
If you prefer the taste of a large conical grinder, go for it, regardless of manual or electric. As a point of information, my preciso, with much smaller conical burrs ALSO yields a significantly different taste profile, and certainly not as robust a shot as the Forte.
I also have some issues with the newly designed hopper, and may "retro-fit' an older hopper if position. I could even switch hoppers between the preciso and Forte.

As to grinders like Pharos, HGOne, even small vintage grinders like my KyM, part of the joy of ownership comes not only for the quality and character of the grind, but of the process itself. It's just sort of an organic thing.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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IMAWriter
Senior Member
IMAWriter
Joined: 4 Jul 2002
Posts: 5,891
Location: Brentwood, TN
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Bezzera Strega
Grinder: Forte, OE Pharos,...
Vac Pot: Adcraft SS, Yama 8 cup
Drip: Brazen, Kalita, Chemex,...
Roaster: Behmor 1600+, CO/UFO combo
Posted Sat Feb 8, 2014, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: Baratza Forte AP.impressions after 3 weeks of daily use by an HG One owner.
 

Final thought...I hope.

Those who prefer the TASTE of a shot from coffee ground with a superior LARGER conical burr grinder like the HGOne, Pharos, K10, etc purchase conical burr grinders. Those who prefer the more chocolates and such obtainable from a flat burr grinder tend to purchase those. My experience with a Robur (not mine, sadly) is an exception. That grinder does it all. I believe it's not just the burr set that determines the taste, it's the total package.
I would guess that there are differences between what a Robur cranks out and an HGOne, with both being exceptional. At that point, it HAS to be a price thing, size, mess, etc. A Robur is NOT a home grinder for the faint of heart. Seems like the HGOne and Pharos are, with some patience.

I would agree that for someone's "2nd' grinder, a Vario or VarioW would plenty good, without having to step up to the Forte. I had my Vario for 3 years, with zero issues. Admittedly, not everyone had that experience, but Baratza's CS is about as good as it gets. That's why I purchased the Forte. I just wanted MORE of a good thing.
I'd love to one day get a "Titan" conical, or manual like a Pharos or HG One. Variety is the spice of life, they say.

 
Rob J (LMWDP #187)
My Music Production web site:
www.robertjason.com
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