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Baratza Maestro Grinder - C Becker's Review
Posted: October 6, 2005, 7:48am
review rating: 4.4
feedback: (7) 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 439,337 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: 0.0
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 0
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 0
Price Paid: $110.00 Cost vs. Value 0
Where Bought: ebay seller Aesthetics 0
Owned for: 1 month Overall 0
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Beans other than black cat refuse to feed into the burrs.  Totally useless -  I literally smashed it on the garage floor (picture inside).
Positive Product Points

Even Grind (edit - AT FIRST.  IT FADES FAST).  Looks very nice (edit - Especially smashed on the floor of my garage)

Negative Product Points

COMPLETELY frustrating with every roast I try- beans will not feed into the grinder unless I jam them in with a spoon.  Metal-on-metal burr sound heard whenever I go more than 3 clicks finer than the "drip" setting (which is actually about right for espresso.)  This machine kind of really sucks a lot for the price.

Detailed Commentary

I read many reviews that made it seem like people who complained were either too picky or not interested in keeping up with the maintenance of this machine.  The replaceable burr is a nice feature, and the wide range of grind settings is very appealing.  Its quite disappointing, however, when you realize that any setting finer than drip produces metal-on-metal grinding and coffee powder.

The machine looks great, operates quietly, and produces a very nice espresso grind.  Its a huge pain right now though because beans REFUSE to feed into the burrs.  I've tried shaking it, hitting it, jamming beans in with a spoon. Always the same result; a few beans get ground and then it just spins loudly with no resistance.

-UPDATE-
I have read (and a comment was made) that after breaking in the machine and letting oil build up in the hopper,  the feeding problem decreases.  I will update the review as appropriate.

I was really frustrated when I wrote this review so expect it to evolve as I learn more about the machine and use it more.  One thing that helps with the bean clogging is to fill the hopper up a little more and just dump the extra beans back in an airtight container when I have enough ground.

-UPDATE 2-
With the exception of black cat, no roast will feed into this grinder without being jammed in manually.  Totally effin' USELESS - takes >20 mintues to grind enough coffee for a 6 cup pot.

-UPDATE 3-
Because of the feeding problem I had taken up the practice of helping them along with a spoon.  That was, until I got a spoon jammed in the burrs.  After completely disassembling and re-assembling the unit, the grind was horrible.  Here is a picture of what it looks like smashed on the floor of my garage (I'm not an angry person, its just that I would keep trying to fix it if I didn't smash it completely, and I had already wasted WAY too many hours of my life on it):
http://cbecker333.homeip.net/webpub/smash.jpg
RIP Solis Maestro

This grinder and the maestro plus both suffer from massive design flaws, as evidenced by the feature list on Solis' new Virtuoso.  They fixed the problem with the top burr rocking back and forth (supposedly) by adding a third point of contact for stability.  They also claim to have completely redesigned the adjustment mechanism, since the old design made it completely impossible to repeat grind settings with any accuracy.

Buying Experience

ebay seller who didn't even bother cleaning the slightly used machine

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review rating: 4.4
Posted: October 6, 2005, 7:48am
feedback: (7) comments | read | write
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