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Baratza Maestro Grinder - Patrick Toomey's Review
Posted: February 16, 2002, 8:56am
review rating: 6.5
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 476,279 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: 9.0
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 9
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $129.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: WholeLatteLuv Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Inexpensive Braun burr grinder
Bottom Line: An excellent no frills quiet unit that is appropriate for the home kitchen!!
Positive Product Points

Easy to use, quiet with very little that can or does go wrong!  A very good unit for home use and for people not inclined to pour $225 into a grinder.

Negative Product Points

Thus far my use in confined to drip coffee and not espresso, and have found absolutely nothing to sour me on my choice.  One small item of note concerns the use of the timer for grinding.  I'm really not sure who  would use this, but the design is flawed nonetheless.  If you fill the bin with beans, and want to activate the grinder for a fixed amount of time, you turn a knob and it winds down.  No finite gauge is shown to indicate the amount of time.  The problem with this technique is that the machine starts grinding as soon as you turn it.  So, if you're trying to fine tune the time to one of the lines on the timer, by the time you get there the unit has already been grinding for awhile.  The proper technique would be to have the grind begin when you release the timer knob.  I guess the analogy would be like a car radio when you change a station.  Does it change when you push or when you release.  I prefer the release option.

Detailed Commentary

The unit is visually appealing and as indicated in other reviews does not look cheap even though it is almost all plastic.  The unit is quite large and substantial, and could be a problem in small kitchens.  I've gotten good brewed drip coffee at all of the settings.  My coffee unit is a Starbucks Baristo Aroma.  I have yet to find a problem one way or another with the grind settings, but am still playing with it.  In my experience thus far I have not noticed any undue amount of static.  

I'm very pleased with the unit, and found the step up from an inexpensive Braun burr device to be worthwhile, and would do it again.  I intend to get an espresso machine later in the year, and am hopeful that the grinder will perform well for that too.  I think that with a little research that I'll be able to buy a unit that wil match this grinder's capabilities.

Buying Experience

Wholelatteluv was wonderful to deal with.  They emailed me information at every step of the process, even thought that was only three days from start to finish.

Three Month Followup

I am still VERY pleased with the purchase of the Soltis Maestro.  The consistency of the grinding mechanism is superb.  This grinder is well made, easy to use, and improves the quality of drip coffee.  I did not try the unit for espresso.   Tha tbeing said I think that the unit has several negative aspects, one of which differs from almost every other review that I read.  The unit produces a tremendous amount of static electricity, which when emptying the grounds into the brewer scatters everywhere; i.e. quite messy.  My hunch is that this is one of the offshoots of using plastic rather than metal for the unit.  I recommend that Soltis improve the unit by offering a metal model.  Thew other minor negative is that the timing mechanism on the unit in my  opinion is useless.  The counter starts immediately even thought he grinding has not begun.  No serious user would store beans in the unit between grinding, so thplacing large amounts of beans and timing it for a cetain number of cups does not make sense.  Also, the idea that you can time the thing at all is pretty lame.  However, as I said in the opening statement, it is a good unit; it just has a couple of flaws that need to be re-engineered.

Patrick Toomey
Randolph, NJ

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: February 16, 2002, 8:56am
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