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Baratza Virtuoso - Frederick Schechter's Review
Posted: September 2, 2006, 9:40am
review rating: 6.3
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 387,768 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: 1.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 0
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 0
Price Paid: $199.00 Cost vs. Value 0
Where Bought: 1st Line Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 3 months Overall 0
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Braun Type 4045
Bottom Line: Do not buy this machine! We have been Beta-testers for Baratza. If you must buy it or one of its off-shoots, call Baratza and ask for the new "SWEET" machine!!
Positive Product Points

Good looking, substantial, sturdy, and relatively quiet.

Negative Product Points

Difficulties with static electricity with grinds spraying all over the counter! Grinder gears stripped with one bean obstructing; two major problems which are recognized by the importer. Also-the plastic grind receiver box is almost impossible to remove from the machine; part of the static electricity grind-spray problem. It is very expensive, and has severe non-fixable problems. The reviews are a gross misrepresentation in view of the importer's full knowledge of the problems. The reviewers are without credibility, and it hurts the credibility of the coffeegeek site to allow them to extol the "virtues of the Virtuoso."

Detailed Commentary

I used an inexpensive Braun burr grinder for many years in my drip machines with rather boring though consistent results. Having developed some interest in improving my coffee satisfaction I purchased the Baratza Virtuoso on the recommendation of 1st Line where I regularly buy my favorite day-to-day coffee beans, Lavazza Grand Expresso. I also use Peet Major Dickason's Blend, Intelligentsia Tres Santos, and Starbuck's Verona/Sumatra (3:2 ratio), Gold Coast and some varietals. In any case, for about 3 months all was fine. I bought a pound of Gold Coast and grinds sprayed all over the counter top; I had to buy a HEPA-filtered Dust Buster to clean the place. We called Ms. Kennedy at Baratza, an owner, who was very caring, and initially sent us a new plastic receiver with extended lips on both sides which improved removal of the receiver from the machine, but did not improve the grind-spray problem. She sent us a new machine and told us to hold on to the various receivers. The new machine was no better. In fact the original plastic receiver was better than the new one she had sent to us-the seal was inadequate around the receiver box so that it could not be replaces tightly without first cleaning out the machine with the Dust Buster.  About two weeks passed! One morning I placed fresh Peet beans in and grinding came to an abrupt halt; the machine switching from its low grinding sound to a high-pitched whine. I dismantled the burr grinder innards, cleaned the burr per the instructions and reloaded; after a spin or two, it stopped abruptly, again. Good thing I still had the old Braun so I could get my drug of choice into my system. We called Ms. Kennedy again, now an old friend, who said-yeah! the gears stripped with one bean! We recognize the problem! BUT!!! we have an upgraded model that is really sweet, and that you will love--I'll send it to you immediately! Keep the old receiver boxes! I'm waiting at the edge of my chair for the new box to arrive having rapidly repacked the old Virtuoso back in its original packing. This is the last chance for this overly-expensive never-ready, grind-spraying, and bean-motor-stripping grinder.

Buying Experience

1st line has not been involved in all of this nonsense. I only hope that as I work towards returning this unit that either Baratza or 1st Line will return my $200.00 in change. The purchase was made from first-line, my service has been great from Ms. Kennedy at Baratza-BUT, IT DON'T WORK. We'll see if the new iteration is any better.

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review rating: 6.3
Posted: September 2, 2006, 9:40am
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