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Baratza Maestro Grinder - Steve Dearth's Review
Posted: July 4, 2002, 4:40am
review rating: 7.2
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Maestro Grinder
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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 477,300 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: 10
Average Price: $100.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $129.00 Cost vs. Value 9
Where Bought: Local Kitchen supply Store. Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 6 months Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Intermediate Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Pavoni PA-Burr
Bottom Line: An excellent grinder worth every penny paid.
Positive Product Points

This is an outstanding grinder; definitely the best I could find in this price range. Produces clean, even grinds at all settings. Seems to be well constructed, with an attractive design and color scheme.

Negative Product Points

The Maestro can have some minor static problems.  The grinder is too light to effectively use the front grind button.  The markings for the grind level could be improved.

Detailed Commentary

The Solis Maestro quietly produces even grinds on all the beans that I've tried, no matter how dry/oily they are.  I've been extremely happy with this grinder, and wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.

You select the fineness of your grind by rotating the top hopper.  Although this system works, it isn't as intuative as it sounds.  Although there are markers on the base that indicate a recommended grind for different coffee preparation methods, there is really no marker on the hopper to indicate when you have rotated to that grind position.  Once you've used the grinder a couple of time this is no big deal, but is a bit confusing when it is new.

The Maestro allows you to grind coffee into a lower hopper or directly into your portafilter.  A dial on the side allows you to specify the amount of coffee you wish to grind.  This is a timer, rather than a measure of the volume of grounds.  It takes some use before you know how long to set it for, but once you've used it for a few days the correct timer position becomes reflex.

Grinding directly into a portafilter is a bit more difficult. There are no holders for the filter handle, so you must hold it in the proper position with one hand. This leaves one hand free to push the manual grind button on the front.  Not an impossible task, but it is made more difficult by the weight of the grinder. It really is too light for the pressure needed to activate the push button, so its easy to tip the grinder over if you aren't careful.

Static can be a problem with the Solis, but not as bad as other consumer grinders I've used.  I've found that the static gets worse as (1) the bean hopper gets low, and (2) the unit gets dirty.  Both of these are easy enough to fix.  Keep the hopper full, and give it frequent cleanings.  Its amazing what a bit of soapy water will do to cut down on the static.

Finally, this is a nice looking grinder. It really looks like it was well made, and gives the impression that it will last for a long time.  I'm not a big fan of plastic appliances, but the textured, muted tones of this grinder fit in well with other, high end appliances.

Buying Experience

I had researched this grinder before purchasing it, so required little input from a sales staff.  I just paid for it and walked out happy.

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review rating: 7.2
Posted: July 4, 2002, 4:40am
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