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Baratza Virtuoso - Aaron Fabbri's Review
Posted: February 9, 2007, 7:00pm
review rating: 7.0
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 389,229 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: 5.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 4
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $189.00 Cost vs. Value 5
Where Bought: Espresso Zone Aesthetics 5
Owned for: 2 weeks Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: Pro Barista Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Gaggia MDF
Bottom Line: Not ready for the mass-market.  I feel like I got a prototype machine with obvious shortcomings.
Positive Product Points

Affordable compared to the Rocky.  Coffeegeek selected (dubiously) as editor's choice.  Compact, heavy, stays put.  Quiet.  Like the timer switch.

Negative Product Points

Cannot grind fine enough for my Rancilio Silvia.  Grind setting seems to wander over time.  Cloudy, anti-static coating on inside and top edge of grinds bin comes off into your coffee.  Don't really like the appearance (feel that the Virtuoso text is cheesy).

Detailed Commentary

I thought since CoffeeGeek called this their Editor's Choice that it would be a tried and true grinder that could grind coffee for a real espresso machine (with non-pressurized basket).

At first, I could get a grind fine enough for my silvia on setting 2 (out of 20).  Over the first week, however, I had to keep turning it down, to one, then to zero.  Now it doesn't grind fine enough for my silvia; I'm forced to use a pre-ground can of Lavazza Blu for now.  This inability to grind fine enough is a deal killer.  I'm not going to try and fix it, I shouldn't have to.

Other problems include some anti-static coating on the grinds container that comes off each time I insert/remove the bin.  This dumps little white bits of god-knows-what into my coffee.

The silicon/rubber sleeve/funnel that connects the bean container to the burr assembly came loose twice on me, and cleaning up the beans than had gone into the adjustment rings was not fun at all.  What a mess.

Other than these serious issues, the grinder worked ok.  It is quiet, and its motor and burrs seem well designed and sturdy.  

I feel like I got a prototype machine with obvious shortcomings.  Not what I paid for.  I am suprised this was an editors choice.

I'll probably get a Gaggia MDF or blow my life savings on a Rocky doserless.

Buying Experience

Shipping from Espresso Zone was fairly quick, but why are they shipping this crap.  I requested an RMA from EspressoZone.com today and I can't wait to get back on the fresh-ground bean!

Three Month Followup

EspressoZone was quick in courteous handling my return.  I purchased a Gaggia MDF, which is much more sturdy.  I have to say that, when the Virtuoso actually worked, its grind quality was very high.  The best shots I've had I think were still from the Virtuoso. Still, I would never go back to that piece of junk.

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review rating: 7.0
Posted: February 9, 2007, 7:00pm
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