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Baratza Maestro Grinder - Tarik Ghbeish's Review
Posted: March 18, 2002, 2:12pm
review rating: 7.7
feedback: (1) 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 476,336 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: 9.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 8
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $129.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Peet's Coffee Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 1 month Overall 10
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Best product in it's class and best value for the average user.
Positive Product Points

Bottom line is that this is probably the best grinder in its price range (including slightly more expensive choices) and comparable to nearly as good as the next price tier up. Excellent performance for any but the more expert users.

Negative Product Points
  • Plastic plastic plastic. I dislike too much plastic and I'm concerned that the motor gearing may be plastic like so many other appliances these days.
  • A little staticy on larger grinds, but fine at finer grinds.
Detailed Commentary

This is my first burr coffee grinder at home, but I've used them in the office and known that I needed one for home use for a long time. Finally, my current office went to pods and an inferior espresso machine (old commercial one was destroyed by shipping when out for servicing) so I knew it was finally time to get my own equipment. The Livia 90 comes later this year, with perhaps an upgraded grinder, but I needed something for my press pot and I'd started roasting beans at home, so...

I tested the grinder at Turkish grind for my my first use. It was absolutely the correct powerdy texture and even grind and the arabic coffee came out great (grind the cardamon in a separate mortar and pestle or blade grinder). No static effects either, which I was concerned about.

I then tried some home roasted beans at nearly the largest setting for press pot coffee. Grind was again very even and looked good. But here the static kicked in. Not expecting it, I pulled open the receptable and coffee flew into the air! The simple fix to to tap on the receptacle a few times before pulling out the receptacle.  Coffee came out great again.

The system works well and the timer set at full grinds approximately enough coffee for a 4 cup pot (my tastes). The push button on/off switch is great for when you need just a bit more coffee or when grind directly into your portafilter for espresso.

Likes :

  • Good even grind over the entire range.
  • Small receptable for ~1/2 pound of beans (more is wastefull for most home use)
  • Good ergonomics. I really like the timer & switch combo and use both.
  • Not excessively loud (if you've used a blade grinder you know what I mean).
  • Attractive look and coloration (personal preference thing).

Dislikes :

  • Too much plastic. I don't hate plastic, but I prefer metal. I can live with it for the price though.
  • A bit too much static at larger grinds. Goes away at finer grinds. Just remember to tap the receptacle and it's not really a problem.

Improvements :

  • I'd like to see measurements on the receptacle face so I don't have to measure my coffee. In fact, I'll probably be adding some of my own. That'll take care of the static thing too since I'll be tapping the receptacle to level the coffee out and see if I've ground enough.
  • I may want more grind notches when I get my Livia, but for now and probably for a while, I'll be just as happy adjusting my tamp instead of my grind, since that's more variable already. But that's just an excuse to upgrade then anyway. :-)
Buying Experience

Great experience. I used Peet's since their price matched the best online prices I've seen and I could pick it up on my way home (no shipping). Little did I expect the kind of service they gave me, offering to demo the product and comparable models and giving me a free half pound of beans (my choice) and cup of coffee with my purchase.

Three Month Followup
  • Static - appears to be more related to duration of grinding than grind particle size. The longer the motor runs, the more static. I solve this somewhat by grinding first and then leaving it for a few moments while setting everything else up.
  • Grind quality - still excellent. No real complaints, but I'm not making espresso, so I can't comment on it's suitability for that. For turkish coffee, it grinds very slowly at that fine a grind, and I'm not sure it's as powedery as I would prefer. For drip, vacuum, etc., it has been an excellent grinder.
  • Adding my own measurements to the receptacle works ok. So does grinding directly into the measuring scoop. I LOVE that feature. I also love that you can use a bit of white paint to mark where to set the timer for a particular grind and quantity and get consistent results. Set the timer to grind and walk away. The downside to it is that for a large pot, you pretty much have to run the full timer twice.
  • A little coffee gets stuck in the chute, basically adding to the need to tap the machine. I only noticed because I stopped tapping it when I started using the direct grind button and ended up with some coffee falling out onto the counter when moving the grinder with the receptacle out. Minor.

  • All in all, still an awesome grinder for the price and only the high end connoisseur is going to want something better. Even they should find it adequate for general usage.
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review rating: 7.7
Posted: March 18, 2002, 2:12pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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