Great value for the money, you cannot go wrong with this grinder. You can spend a bunch more and still not have as good a grinder as you have in the Maestro!
Positive Product Points
This is a great grinder for grinding everything from French press to Turkish. Good clean grinds. Quiet. Sleek and modern looking. Great value for the money. Low to no static. Easy to clean. Very user friendly.
Negative Product Points
I wish there were more settings than the ones there now. Smaller increments would be really appreciated. (Of course, all I really have to do is adjust my tamp - but that adds two changes to deal with when tuning in for a different bean.) Changing settings requires it to be empty or running. A little light when using the portafilter and push button. The timer has no settings to set to. A numbered dial gauge would be nice. It's plastic. Maybe a "professional" metal/chrome model.
I first got into this grinder after getting my first espresso machine, a Barista from Starbuck's. I knew the LaPavoni PA I had just wasn't going to grind fine enough. The Maestro could choke the Barista - easily! It will do a fine enough grind for my Isomac Tea as well, but sometimes the jump from one setting to another isn't fine enough. I am now using the Maestro to grind fresh roasts for my vac pot. The grind here is really clean leaving little to no dust to slip through the filter in the vac pot. A good fine grind that is clean. This is fantastic for this pot.
Cleaning the Maestro is a snap. Empty the bean hopper, twist it counter clockwise and lift off. The top conical grinder lifts off and a good brushing with a stiff nylon bristle brush is all I have ever needed to do. I do this regularly as I change coffee types often and don't want to "blend" them in my grinder.
This unit is plastic - nice looking, but plastic. I have an Isomac Gran Machinino Grinder to grind my espresso, matches my Isoamc Tea and is a single purpose grinder. I really appreciate having a matching espresso machine and grinder which is not happening with the Maestro.
The Maestro does a fine job for anything I have asked it to do - including espresso. I don't change the grind settings much on the Maestro so have not really experienced the previously mentioned "grind drift" others have reported. As I use this machine for the vac pot, I really haven't used it to grind it directly into the portafilter. The few times I did, I really wished that the grinder was heavier so it would not move around. The push button and portafilter pushing the grinder was a little unstable.
I really like this grinder and use it daily. I really believe it is a great value for the money. It really does do what it says it will do and does it cleanly. It is quiet, no waking up significant others with this one. It lets the scent of great coffee do that. My suggestion - if you are looking for a reasonably priced, solid, daily grinder for the house, you can't go wrong with this grinder!
wholelattelove.com has a solid web site. All the links work, secure ordering, shipped the next day. Things done right. I will shop with them again in the future.
Three Month Followup
A LOT has happened since I wrote this review. I've moved up to a Mazzer Mini grinder for my Isomac Tea. The Maestro didn't have fine enough detents for the small changes required to produce the absolute best grind for whatever bean I am using that day. If the Maestro had a continuous adjustment and didn't have the burr "float" that these particular conical grinders are known for, then this would be a great grinder. As it is, the Maestro is doing duty as my vac pot grinder and it is absolutely perfect for this. I leave the grind setting in one place, dump in fresh roasted beans, turn the timer and let it do its thing. The grind is consistent with little dust. Cleaning the Maestro is easy and fast. I use a small grinder brush then a quick vacuum. I dont even have to do this often as the chute and burrs empty out fairly well. I never really used it much to grind directly into the portafilter but the instability when I did bothered me a little. Grinding into the container is easy with no mess. Would I still buy this grinder today? Without hesitation, I would. Why? Because I need a quality grinder for my vac pot and because it is perhaps the best value for the dollar in this price range. My Mini is exclusively for espresso so I don't have to always be attempting to fine tune the grind.