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Baratza Maestro Grinder - Bob Cosentino's Review
Posted: July 20, 2004, 8:41pm
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 463,575 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: 8.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 8
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $105.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Aabree Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: None
Bottom Line: Great product and a great companion the Moka Brew.
Positive Product Points
  1.  Provides a wide range of grinds
  2.  Easy to clean
  3.  Does not leak or spew coffee when it operates
  4.  Quiet enough for morning coffee, at least in my house
  5.  Both a manual and timer power switch
  6.  Bean hopper is the right size
  7.  No noticeable powder in the grind
Negative Product Points
  1.  Cost, spending $100+ USD for a coffee grinder required some soul searching
  2.  Not heavy enough, can slide around on the counter if not backed up against the wall
  3.  For the cost I expected a metal case, not plastic.  Although it is high quality plastic
  4.  A very annoying static problem when grinding some beans.
  5.  Seems not to have repeatable settings before and after cleaning.
Detailed Commentary

I never realized the importance of having a good coffee grinder until buying a Krups Moka Brew and finding my trusty whirly blade grinder could not provide repeatable grinds which the Moka Brew requires to make consistently great coffee. My first attempt at upgrading the grinder was with a bargain basement Melitta Burr.  I will let my review elsewhere on this website describe that fiasco.  After reading the consumer and Coffeegeek reviews on the Solis Maestro, I decided to bull out the trusty Visa card and give it a try.

After unpacking the grinder, I examined it for shipping damage or problems.  A quick wipe down with a damp cloth removed any factory fingerprints and the first load of beans went in.  It took a bit of fiddling with the grind control to find the fineness setting the Moka brew wants, but once found, it was repeatable until cleaning time.

Twice a week I clean the Solis using the method described in the instructions.  I have found that the grind fineness for the same control setting is different before and after cleaning.  The difference is not much, just one click in either direction on the control ring.  The Moka Brew is sensitive to grind fineness and not correcting for this variation makes for a surprise when tasting the pot.  Otherwise cleaning is easy and rather uneventful.

Another quirk is an intermittent static problem when grinding decaf beans.  At times the ground coffee will "Jump" out of the bun onto the counter when removing a bin full of ground coffee.  Other times nothing happens.  Have never had this happen when grinding non-decaf beans.

I know this is rather subjective, but I donít like plastic cases when spending serious money on appliances.  A metal case would really add to this product as well as adding the extra weight needed to keep it from easily sliding around on the counter.

So what did spending $100+ USD do for my morning coffee?  Simply put, WONDERS!!  Using a uniform grind and the absence of powder in the grind really contributed to the quality of the finished product.  It also made the brew consistent from pot to pot.  It was worth the money and I would do it again.

*******UPDATE**********

The Solis is still operating great, but have found a tip to make cleaning easier.  After a normal brush out of the obvious coffee, I run a hopper full of white rice through it.  The amount of "hidden" coffee it removes is just amazing.  After the rice, I sacrafice a bit of coffee to remove any rice powder remaining.

Buying Experience

Aabree was easy to deal with and the grinder shipped and arrived on time.  No problems were encountered.

Three Month Followup

Zero problems so far with 2-3 uses per day.

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review rating: 6.5
Posted: July 20, 2004, 8:41pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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