I am primarily going to be using one of these to grind for French Press and Drip. I would like to stay in the $100 range, but could be convinced that the extra $50 or $60 would be worth a step up. I don't think I'm going to be doing espresso, but have a nagging feeling that someday I may want to at least try to make an espresso with an AeroPress (I don't think I'm going to buy a real espresso machine) . I get the sense that the Maestro Plus may not even work as well as the Breville and Capresso, so it is pretty much out (again, I could be convinced), so it seems like the Virtuoso and Rocky (which I could get a good deal on, but am not sure about having the doser) would be the next more expensive options. I know there are a lot of posts like this, so forgive me for an extra one, but I keep feeling like I am about to make some grave mistake by getting one of the less expensice options. I'd be particularly interested in comparisons between the Breville and Capresso, with some insight about stepping up to the other models. Please help!
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008, 7:56am Subject: Re: Ready to buy, but which one (grinder)...
I have a refurb Virtuoso and love it. I'm getting an Aeropress soon and don't expect it to have any problem there since it's not really espresso. The only static problems I've had were during a recent very dry/very cold spell we had this winter, but our climate is normally very humid. I got my dad a new Maestro (wanted a refurb Maestro Plus, but they were out at the time), and right now they're side by side on the counter... both work fine, though the Virtuoso seems to grind a lot slower and generally looks & feels more impressive. I haven't done more of a comparison than that, but this might be a good time, no? :)
If you're not going to do espresso, the Rocky doser might just be more of a PITA than anything else. But it seems like the used Rockys that pop up for sale more often have a doser than not. I've been wondering if there's a mod to convert a doser model to doserless, but that would be another thread.
gabej5 Senior Member Joined: 24 Mar 2008 Posts: 7 Location: Houghton, NY Expertise: Just starting
Posted Thu Mar 27, 2008, 2:03pm Subject: Re: Ready to buy, but which one (grinder)...
Thanks for the response! I'd love to hear your results if you end up comparing the two grinders...how easy has it been to change the grind settings on the virtuoso and to get consistent results...I've read that the other two models don't provide very consistent results from day to day...
hankg Senior Member Joined: 29 Dec 2004 Posts: 64 Location: California Expertise: I love coffee
Grinder: Saeco Titan Drip: Technivorm Thermal
Posted Mon Mar 31, 2008, 11:28am Subject: Re: Ready to buy, but which one (grinder)...
Well, I have 30 days of experience with the Breville BarAroma and ended up taking it back. Grind was fine. It just took too many turns of the 30 second timer switch to grind the amount I needed for a half pot of drip coffee. It's been a couple of months since I returned it but as I recall, it took about 75 seconds to grind 32 grams of coffee with a setting closer to french press than drip. My Technivorm, with the amount of coffee I use, seems to require a coarser grind than some. I tend to plug the paper filters otherwise.
But you could certainly try the Breville cheaply like I did. If you have a Bed Bath & Beyond near you, they often put out 20% off coupons (one in my paper on Sunday) and that would turn the price to $80. Worth a shot.
I ultimately purchased the Saeco Titan via Costco online for for $10 more. A bit of static issue but otherwise happy. I had considered the Capresso metal version of the Infinity and the Baratza line, but I was just too cheap. There, I said it. My gut tells me I did okay. To get much better, I would probably have to spend over $200. Wasn't ready to do that.
gime2much Senior Member Joined: 10 Dec 2004 Posts: 1,965 Location: Sunny S Fl Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Pavoni, Astoria comm, 2... Grinder: La Pavoni Zip, Bunn... Drip: Bunn comm Roaster: Popcorn popper (air),co/ufo
Posted Mon Mar 31, 2008, 11:49am Subject: Re: Ready to buy, but which one (grinder)...
It just took too many turns of the 30 second timer switch to grind the amount I needed for a half pot of drip coffee. It's been a couple of months since I returned it but as I recall, it took about 75 seconds to grind 32 grams of coffee with a setting closer to french press than drip.
Posted Mon Mar 31, 2008, 8:23pm Subject: Re: Ready to buy, but which one (grinder)...
To make your decision more challenging; I've had great drip/press results with my kitchenaid proline burr. I bought it as a factory refurb @ $100 from amazon a couple years back and I couldn't be happier with it's clean, consistent grinds. It also looks great and impressive in the kitchen. check out cg's first look.
The only bad thing, it's very hard to dial in for espresso b/c it's a 15 step grinder.
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