Great machine for novices like myself. Time will tell if I will outgrow it.
Positive Product Points
Simple design and operation.
Few places for grounds to get caught and go stale. Moderate static in collector bin. Minimal mess.
Heavy base keeps grinder from moving around.
It looks good! Goes with almost any other appliance.
Negative Product Points
Some loosness in upper grinding burr. Not sure how much this affects grind.
(Nit picking here) Grind setting "ticks" do not line up with tick marks on grinder.
Can't remove bean hopper with beans in it.
This is my first grinder, although I have been drinking coffee for a long time. After tasting a co-worker’s home-roasted, home-ground coffee, I finally got the bug to make fresh, homemade quality coffee. I ordered the Solis Maestro Plus from Aabree and it arrived quickly, despite news of shipping problems due to a snowstorm.
Upon opening the box, I held in my hands a surprisingly heavy machine which suggested a higher quality than the grinders I had perused in the retail stores. The solid metal base was confidence inspiring and the fit and finish were excellent. The only thing that bothered me was the looseness between the upper grinding burrs and the plastic collar in which it was set. This seemed to allow some movement of the upper burrs, and I wondered how much this affected the consistency of the grind.
When I first loaded the Kona beans into the hopper of my Maestro Plus, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the beans disappear from the hopper to re-emerge as a beautiful, reddish-brown powder in the bin. The noise was minimal, and the motor never slowed or seemed to bog down. Later, I tried it on espresso setting which seemed to strain the machine a bit, but it produced my espresso grounds without much trouble. The static also seemed minimal. The grinder delivered a fairly consistent (at least to my unpracticed eye) grind on the presspot setting.
The difference between store-bought pre-ground, to freshly-ground whole bean in my Bodum presspot was night and day. I noticed the coffee tasted tangier than I was used to. Are these the “bright notes” that barristas refer to? I think the CoffeeGeek website might improve with the addition of a section describing coffee tastes and how they are affected by different grind settings.
One interesting note: When the grind indicator is set exactly on "ESP" (espresso), the machine will produce a grind far finer than that of the espresso setting on the Bunn commercial grinder at my local grocery store.
I still have a ways to go to develop my palate before I would venture to call myself a coffee aficionado, and I suspect I have a long learning curve ahead of me, but in the meantime I will continue to experiment. Anyway, the next purchase will be a roaster and some green coffee beans, to achieve a truly fresh grind.
No complaints. The merchandise arrived quickly (via FedEx, instead of United Parcel Smashers), and without damage.