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Baratza Virtuoso - Peter Forlano's Review
Posted: September 13, 2008, 3:33pm
review rating: 4.6
feedback: (1) 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 374,929 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: 3.8
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 2
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 2
Price Paid: $150.00 Cost vs. Value 2
Where Bought: Baratza Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 4
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: This machine and it's company need to do a lot more wood shedding  to live up to the name.
Positive Product Points

The housing design is compact and straightforward.
It fits easily onto a tight counter space.
Easy to change grind.

Negative Product Points

Not calibrated for espresso grind.
The tabs on the plastic burr broke off.
It is messy.
Static is sometimes a problem contributing to the messiness.
Inconsistent grind at the fine end.
Clutch broke, the motor stopped engaging the burrs.

Detailed Commentary

The machine was not calibrated to grind for espresso. I had to take the housing off and re-calibrate. Not something you expect to have to do on receipt of a new product. Once re-calibrated I could get a fine espresso grind from number 10-0. However, depending on the coffee, if I ground too fine the coffee would clog up in the chute. I would then have to take a small spoon and shovel it out. If you didn't become aware of the clogging soon enough it would become a very firm chunk from the heat and It would not loosen up without having to manually gouge it out.
Messy: Coffee grounds fall through the housing and onto the counter under the machine. There is a hole in the bottom where they fall trough. The power cord also runs trough this hole.
Recently I noticed that I was having to grind at a finer and finer number until finally I could no longer get an espresso grind. At first I thought it just needed a cleaning so I removed the burr as per the instructions and cleaned them with the provided brush. No improvement. I removed the the top Burr holder to find two out of 3 tabs completely broken off and the third  one mushed down and about ready to fall off which it did with a flick of my finger. Walla, I thought all I need to do is replace the plastic holder.
Easily done via the Baratza website. It arrived, I installed it, but it still would not deliver a fine expresso grind. I re-calibrated with no improvement then the burrs stopped turning intermittently. I would run the machine at coarse grind an turn it half way and it would come to a halt. I cleaned it out several times, and it just got worse. Now the motor revs up and spins but does not engage the burrs. I speculate that the broken tabs gradually messed up the burrs and/or clutch since it was over a period of months that I had been reducing the grind number to get a fine grind.
Others have commented on having similar problems to mine.  But I have not seen any responses from the Baratza company.
I emailed the company via their site two days ago and have not heard from them. I am planning to buy a new grinder but it won't be a Baratza Virtuoso.

Buying Experience

Buying experience was okay.
Ordering parts was easy.
Getting a response to my email regarding problems, non-existent.

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review rating: 4.6
Posted: September 13, 2008, 3:33pm
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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