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Baratza Virtuoso Preciso - Katie Robinson's Review
Posted: October 5, 2013, 6:40am
review rating: 10.0
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
Baratza Virtuoso Preciso
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has 22 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso Preciso has been rated 7.02 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since January 28, 2011.
Arrow Baratza Virtuoso Preciso reviews have been viewed 93,701 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Katie Robinson 10.00
Damian S 10.00
Nick C 10.00
Donald Varona 9.00
Hal Remz 9.00

Previous Review Next Review
Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 5.4
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 3
Average Price: $300.00 Usability: 7
Price Paid: $300.00 Cost vs. Value 4
Where Bought: Whole Latte Love Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 year Overall 5
Writer's Expertise: I love coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned: Baratza Vario
Bottom Line: Breaks down all the time.
Positive Product Points

- When it's working, produces an excellent fine grind for espresso, quickly and quietly.
- Easy to use, and easy to move between fine (espresso) grind and other settings (drip, etc.).
- Takes up minimal counter space.
- Excellent customer service.

Negative Product Points

- Broke down three times in less than one year.
- A hassle to disassemble and re-assemble for repairs.
- Portafilter holder doesn't work well.

Detailed Commentary

When the Virtuoso Preciso is working, it produces a fine, consistent grind for espresso, using my Rancilio Silvia.

Setting up the machine, I did find the calibration process annoying. Baratza basically expects that you will remove the case, and adjust a screw. Not the hardest thing in the world, but also not the easiest - and it takes some time. Some of you are probably handier than I, but I don't enjoy opening up machines and mucking around.

The biggest problem is that the machine broke down multiple times. First, the adjustment ring base gradually came unglued. As this happened, I had to keep dialing in a finer and finer grind. Eventually, even on the finest grind setting, calibrated to the finest setting, shots lasted less than 10 seconds. With help from CoffeeGeek members, I sorted out the problem and glued the ring down. The machine worked again for about 3 weeks.

Then the grind deteriorated again. I thought perhaps the base had come unglued, but when I opened it up, the plastic tabs holding the adjustment ring to the base had someone gotten torn off / broken. Grinders take a lot of wear and tear, and I don't think it's a good idea to make those parts out of plastic. True to their reputation for excellent customer service, Baratza sent another adjustment ring in the mail. I got that installed.

Once reassembled, the machine would only grind for 1 second with beans in the hopper. Then it stopped. I unclogged the machine. I opened it up and checked the electrical system. Nothing worked. I called Baratza to problem-solve and their representative suggested something might be wrong with the motor.

They offered to replace the Virtuoso Preciso, but after giving it some thought, I requested that they allow me to send them $150 for an upgrade to the Baratza Vario - a produce with much more positive reviews. So far the Vario has been working well. I will post a review once enough time has passed.

I would recommend avoiding the Virtuoso Preciso for now. Baratza is a solid company, with good products (generally) and good customer service. But I think this product needs some more time / research / development. I may just have gotten a bad grinder, but I wasted FAR too much time mucking around.

Buying Experience

I bought the Virtuoso Preciso as part of a package (including the Rancilio Silvia). Good customer service and they gave me a good deal.

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review rating: 10.0
Posted: October 5, 2013, 6:40am
feedback: (1) comments | read | write
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