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Baratza Maestro Grinder - J. Westy's Review
Posted: July 17, 2003, 2:53pm
review rating: 5.3
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Maestro Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Maestro Grinder has 90 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Maestro Grinder has been rated 7.40 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since November 30, 2001.
Arrow Baratza Maestro Grinder reviews have been viewed 477,266 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Jim Pellegrini 8.38
Bill Womack 8.33
Robert Kugel 8.00
Douglas Herring 8.00
T. Guilbert 7.91

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 7.0
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 7
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 6
Price Paid: $100.00 Cost vs. Value 8
Where Bought: Baratza Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Maybe
Similar Items Owned: Whirly Blade
Bottom Line: Solid "introduction" grinder, but lacks consistency for espresso
Positive Product Points

An ďall aroundĒ good grinder for those just getting into coffee/espresso.  It was a good introductory grinder for me, but Iím ready to upgrade.

Negative Product Points

At times I have trouble getting a consistent fine grind.  It seems that I live on the brink of the metal burrs touching but believe that this is where the best grind lies.  I prefer a fine grind with a light tamp (15+ lb.) that results in slow syrupy extraction.  The Maestro can deliver this, but not on a consistent basis.

The ďgrind directly into the portafilterĒ feature really didnít work for me; the appliance is too light and it can make a mess.  I prefer to measure out my beans, grind into the bin, the pour the grinds into the portafilter.

As reported extensively, there is some slack in the removable burr carriage.  I remedied this by cutting up business cards to fill the gaps.  This seems to have worked.

Detailed Commentary

I purchased this from Baratza directly and it was a refurbished/returned machine.  I bought this grinder along with a Solis SL90 espresso machine.  Both were my introduction into the world of espresso aside from my Salton steam toy and pre ground coffee.

I contemplated buying a high-end grinder after reading it preached over and over on alt.coffee.  I chose not to because I wasnít sure how much I would enjoy espresso and didnít want to shell out big bucks for something that I would be disinterested in after a few months.

The plastic build is actually done very well, all pieces fit tight and the grinder doesnít feel cheap.  I made a modification to the burr assembly (see NEGATIVE), but this was minor.  The assembly comes out easily and clean up with a vacuum hose and brush is painless.

As noted in prior reviews, consistency at the espresso level is lacking.  Some times itís OK, other times youíre scratching your head.  I find that Iím getting very near the toughing of the burrs and the machine gets nosier the closer I get.  Iíve replaced my burrs once ($15) in the year that Iíve owned it.

Moving from espresso grind to drip/vac grind is easy, but itís hard to come back to your original position and have the result you had before without some dialing in and wasting some shots.

I am planning on upgrading to a Mazzer sometime soon and will keep this for drip or vac pot.  All in all, I can't complain at spending $100 for a grinder that will have given me 1.5 years of acceptable (and sometimes very good) shots.

Buying Experience

I purchased this along with a Solis SL90 from Baratza.  Both were refurbs/returns; the Maestro costing $100 and the SL90 $325.  The transaction was non-eventful and Josie at Baratza was nice.  I knew what I wanted so I didnít require much ďhelpĒ from them in making my decision.

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review rating: 5.3
Posted: July 17, 2003, 2:53pm
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