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Baratza Maestro Grinder - Pete Landera's Review
Posted: December 6, 2002, 8:04pm
review rating: 7.0
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 477,296 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: 7
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $129.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Wholelattelove.com Aesthetics 7
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: The ideal entry model that satisfies all needs from Frensh press to advanced espresso machines.
Positive Product Points

Simple and quick setting of coarseness by turning hopper to different clicks.
Even and fast grind throughout spectrum, conical burr.
Very wide spectrum from French press to commercial espresso machine.
No static with spraying of ground coffee.
Excellent coffee ejection with almost no retention, container seals tightly.
Grinding both with timer on side or front button with portafilter in place.
Fits on my counter while other grinders wouldn't for their height.
Lid works great to weigh exact amount of beans before dumping them into the grinder.

Negative Product Points

Hopper with upper burr moves when grinding in middle position or above.
Although set to same position, grind is somewhat different when dialing up or down and not easily reproducible.

Detailed Commentary

There seem to be different versions and the newer models can grind extremely fine. I hear the burrs touch when still 8 clicks (about 1/3) away from lowest position, but others can go all the way down without that.
This grinder is so far quite sufficient for my high end espresso machine. Although others have reported that it can't grind fine enough, I can easily choke my Techno with it. I often have different coffees around and they all require different grinds. It's easy to remember to what position the hopper must be dialed because of the dots that go around the neck of the grinder in a half circle. One click makes a relatively large step, but it's really quite OK for my espresso blends. I am not sure whether this is because the espresso machine I own is very forgiving with regards to tamping techniques. Maybe it also somehow compensates for click steps that others find too large. I don't and appreciate the quickness with which it can be set to the next coffee. Simply grab the bean hopper and turn it left or right.
I find zero spraying of coffee ground with the container in place and no static. OK - that is with coffee that is not older than 2 weeks (1 week for decaf) - after that when grinding coarser there is static and some spraying, but who wants to drink coffee that old anyway.
While the particle size at the middle and larger setting is inconsistent, it's very even at the fine end espresso setting and that's what I usually drink. Probably the conical burr is responsible for the great performances of this grinder, since the burr arrangement is thought to rather shave beans than to crush them, but I can't compare.
Something I really love is that there seems to be almost zero retention of previous coffee. That allows to weigh beans for a single portafilter load and allows to grind something else right away afterwards. With these features the Maestro is a terrific "poor man's Mini-E" that can be filled for exactly one shot which is then rapidly ground, cleanly ejected and ready for a different blend.
The plastic gives this grinder a somewhat cheaper look and feel but it seems quite robust. When I hear people complain about their spraying high end grinders that are tricky to dial in it gives me a really good feeling to have purchased this very satisfying piece of equipment that so far has done a great job for about a year without wearing off. In the eye of most aficionados it's a ridiculous pair, Techno and Maestro, but to my surprise it really is sufficient. I know I will upgrade some day, but I just don't see myself dashing out over $600 for a Mazzer Mini Electronic that I simply can't fit anywhere in my kitchen. I don't want to have to grind in the bathroom only because the grinder is so tall.

Buying Experience

Straightforward online ordering with rapid delivery.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: December 6, 2002, 8:04pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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