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Baratza Virtuoso - Sam Decock's Review
Posted: December 30, 2012, 8:13pm
review rating: 8.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso has 62 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso has been rated 7.22 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 20, 2006.
Arrow Baratza Virtuoso reviews have been viewed 390,290 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Eero Simoncelli 9.08
Gone Gone 9.00
Aubrei Merrill 9.00
Joel Bristol 9.00
Yves Feder 8.83

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 8.4
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 8
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $229.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: Baratza Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Preciso
Bottom Line: Simple - Intuitive - Sleek - THE grinder for brewed coffee.
Positive Product Points

- Simple design.
- Very good grind consistency.
- Easy to maintain
- World class customer service

Negative Product Points

- Longevity

Detailed Commentary

I owned a Preciso for a period of time and used it daily for my pour over coffee. Over my first few months with that grinder I did run into a few issues with the inner burr becoming loose. Long story short, the drive axle had separated from the gearbox by a mm or so causing a tiny bit of play. It didn't seem to impact the grind quality at all, but Baratza replaced it without question. I then decided that since I only made pour over coffee that a Virtuoso made more sense in the long run, so I contacted Baratza and arranged to receive a Virtuoso and an Esatto scale. The transaction and swap was a flawless experience and I have been using the Virtuoso for about 9 months now.

First off, let's talk about the build quality of this grinder. From my time with the Preciso, I did some calibration tweaking which called for removing the casing of the grinder. The entire system is easy to follow and maintain if a repair is ever called for. The adjustment mechanism snaps onto the gear box and allows the user to calibrate the grinder coarser or finer depending on needs. This is one of those pieces that has worn out for some over time, especially if the grinder is used for espresso. The adjustment mechanism is plastic, but very strong plastic. Ware and tear happens, but the part is a few dollars from Baratza and is EASY to install. This part of the grinder comes under A LOT of pressure when grinding for espresso, which is why many users have had calibration issues. It's not a fault of the grinder as much as it is a tolerance of the plastic part and the grinder not being a good espresso grinder. I won't be rating it for espresso, as I use it solely for brewed coffee.

I use it with my Aeropress, French press, Beehouse, V60, Woodneck, Chemex, and many more. It's as simple as setting the grind to one of the forty settings and turning it on. You can use either the pulse button or the timer on the side. I use it with an Esatto, so I don't use the button or timer often. That said, they work very well and are easy to use. *IMPORTANT: WHEN SETTING THE GRIND FINER WITH BEANS IN THE HOPPER YOU MUST HAVE THE GRINDER RUNNING. IF THE GRINDER IS EMPTY, THIS DOES NOT MATTER* As for cleaning, remove the hopper, the outer burr, and brush. It's really that simple.

Some of the plastic parts and the casing, which is a combo of metal and plastic, make the price what it is. It is an affordable grinder that turns out a grind equal to MUCH more expensive grinders. These parts are controversial to some, but make this grinder affordable. This is THE best electric brewing grinder on the market at this price. I say electric because there are hand grinders entering the market now that are simply outstanding (see my profile - email with grinder questions!). I think the price is fully warranted and it is very easy to maintain the grinder with parts from Baratza if something wares out.

I haven't even mentioned the customer service being some of the best I have ever dealt with for anything. Simply amazing. Send them an email or leave them a voicemail and you will have your questions addressed quickly. Be patient though!

The Virtuoso is simply the best electric drip grinder on the market. Paired with the Esatto, you will never want to buy another grinder ever. Take that for what it is, as you have to address your tolerance level for maintaining an electric appliance. Coffee grinding takes its toll on a grinder, especially if you are subjecting the Virtuoso to very fine grinding or adjusting the grind without the grinder running. Additionally, if the adjustment wheel wears out or requires some calibration, don't fret. It's simple to address - I'm not mechanically inclined and it was a piece of cake. These grinders are not as fragile as you would think.

Feel free to email me with an and all questions!

P.S. I did not list my preferred grind settings as these change grinder to grinder. Start at 20 for a drip grind and make adjustments from there until you get the results that taste good to you. One persons 20 may be another person's 15.

Buying Experience

Perfect. Described above.

Three Month Followup

I purchased this grinder as a trade-in from Baratza over a year ago now. It continues to work beautifully with an attached Esatto. Every morning, I walk downstairs, boil some water, hit the grind button, and off I go. The grind quality is great and has not required any adjustments over the year that I have owned it. I have done some comparisons with my two hand grinders and found the grind quality to be a touch more dusty, but still VERY good.

This grinder is the end-all for electric brewing grinders. Still absolutely love it and use it daily for a cup with my Kalita 155 dripper. I clean it every week or so, adjust the grind with the grinder running, and am gentle with it.

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review rating: 8.0
Posted: December 30, 2012, 8:13pm
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