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Baratza Virtuoso - Ivan Spencer's Review
Posted: May 23, 2009, 7:37pm
review rating: 7.7
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 389,150 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: 7.2
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 7
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $169.00 Cost vs. Value 6
Where Bought: Baratza.com Aesthetics 9
Owned for: 2 years Overall 7
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: For 179, I'd say its a deal. Plan on returning unit for lower burr replacement someday.  Grind quality is pretty consistent.
Positive Product Points

Ok, not bad for the price, looks nice, real burr, conical at that. It makes a good cupping grinder. Great for grinding small amounts, one cup at a time. But it'll handle more.
Quiet grinder.

Negative Product Points

Some components are not very good.
upper burr carrier is poorly constructed.
Lower burr replacement is like replacing a timing belt on a DOHC sports car.
Timer control knob falls off constantly.

Detailed Commentary

Some of the components are not that good: upper burr is supported by three tiny thin pieces  or ears of plastic. I had to replace when one ear broke.  I also could never calibrate the grinder finer than a drip grind. I tried everything just as Baratza said on the recalibration instructions. I just didn't get any finer than a medium grind. I finally decided to change the lower burr as it had grown dull.
Lower burr removal or replacement??? Forget it. Really. You'll go insane. I took me three hours and I had to practically tear the machine down to bare bones, remove motor, gear assembly, reverse threads, cone burr shape made it very difficult to turn. In short, no, no, no.  Every burr grinder will need new burrs eventually. After two years, it was time. I ordered the burrs. I have changed clutches in trucks faster than it took me to change the lower burr. It isn't for the faint-hearted. Save some heartache, Send it in to the manufacturer to get it changed.
IMHO, you can get a used Mazzer, about four times the grinder, for about double the price. A Rocky costs about $100 more, but is twice the grinder easily. But if you just can't splurge more than the price of a Virtuoso, you can really do no better than this unit. At this price point, it is good.

Buying Experience

Bought from Baratza.com. They are good folks, good experience. I like them. A+ on service.

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review rating: 7.7
Posted: May 23, 2009, 7:37pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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