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Discussions > Coffee > Machines > Solis 166...  
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012, 2:05pm
Subject: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

I have a buddy who is giving me his old Starbuck's Barista burr grinder (which I've come to understand is identical to the Solis 166).  I'm planning on using it exclusively for press pot. I figure since it's so old, the burrs probably need to be replaced.  Does anyone know if they're upgradable?  I have an email in to Baratza too, waiting for to see what they have to say.

 
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calblacksmith
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Posted Tue Feb 7, 2012, 3:27pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

It is indeed a renamed 166.
Try it first, you might be supprised and though it is older it might be OK.

Mine is about 5 years old but I doubt if it has had more than 3 pounds of coffee through it.

 
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Wayne P.
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,122
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 10:56am
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

Thanks Wayne,

I know it's had a lot more coffee through it than yours.  My friend who's sending it has been my best friend since high school (I'm pushing 50 now), so I know his habits well.  For one, he is very much your stereotypical virgo, so the machine has been well taken care of.  However, he is the proud recipient of my first Silvia, as of 2005, and he bought this Solis (then) to go along with it.  He's pretty much a daily latte drinker, and his wife enjoys the benefits of his skills as well.

btw, I sent him my Rocky in exchange (after all, he is my best friend), since for me it is overkill on presspot and I now have two Macap M4s.

However, I will take your advice into account before acting, given your track record of good advice and your strong fund of knowledge in "all things coffee".

Ron

 
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Eiron
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Posted Wed Feb 8, 2012, 5:20pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

I have the same Barista grinder & I use it for grinding moka, drip & press. For me, it doesn't grind coarse enough for press. I even opened it up & de-tuned it to the max coarseness possible.

I'll be interested to hear what you think after you've had the chance to give it a try.

The grinder was sold under several different brand names (including Dualit & Saeco) & I believe the burr set was used in other models as well. Replacement burrs should be easy to get if it turns out you still need them.

-Greg

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Posted Thu Feb 9, 2012, 9:32pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

Thanks Greg,

I was getting the idea from a couple other places there was a Saeco named line of this exact grinder as well.  I think it's the Titan.

I contacted Baratza, and they basically said I can purchase new burrs (if I end up needing them) from their website.  The link they sent me was to the Maestro Plus parts page.  

I understand that shortly after Baratza bought out Solis, they upgraded the burr set on the MP grinders (someone confirmed that here a week or two ago in another thread).  What I now wonder...is the "new MP" better for press pot than the "old Solis", and would it then possibly warrant changing out the burr set anyways?

Ron

 
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Eiron
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Eiron
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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 8:22am
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

Well, I can tell you that I bought a refurb MP (Starbucks Barista version) for my dad a couple of years ago & it's way better than the Solis 166 version. I think I paid $80 for the MP/Barista, & I paid $100 "on sale" for my Solis/Barista when it was new. The MP has a better motor & more range (a few other improvements as well), which would be nice for all of the grinding I do with it. But my Solis keeps going, so I can't justify replacing it until it either dies or I can give it to one of the kids...

 
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PJK
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Posted Fri Feb 10, 2012, 11:53pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

I had one of those grinders a while back. I gifted it to my son and his wife after I got my Rocky.  I think it is a decient grinder but not great for French press.  I think the two point burr mount allows the upper burr to wobble and give an inconsistant grind size.  I think the newer Baratza machines have a three point mount and therefore should be better.

Phil

 
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emradguy
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emradguy
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Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
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Posted Tue Jun 19, 2012, 12:07pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

update:

I made french press with it a week or so ago, while on a vacation in Galveston.  We were there 3 days and I made 2-3 pots every morning and one night I made 2 pots.  I brewed Red Bird espresso and decaf espresso at 200 degrees, using the coarsest grind setting available.  In fact, I held the hopper on the border of maximum coarse and disengaged (which auto-shuts off the grinder), I had trouble pushing the plunger down if I let it brew for more than about 1 1.5 mins.  I'm thinking I'd be better off just springing for a new grinder, rather than putzing around with this one.  Maybe I'll gift it out to someone who doesn't know sh#t about coffee, but claims to really love it?

 
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Eiron
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Eiron
Joined: 12 Nov 2007
Posts: 343
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Expertise: I love coffee

Espresso: Quick Mill 0930
Grinder: Quick Mill 031,...
Drip: TechniVorm KBTS
Roaster: Behmor 1600, Presto Poplite
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 8:56am
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

So did you end up doing anything to it? New burrs? De-tuning for coarser grind?

IMO it's a great grinder for someone doing a range of drip to moka, but outside of that & it simply doesn't have the capabilities. As-is, it's a great "gift" for anyone wanting to improve their brewing over the blade grinder they're probably using now. ;-)

 
"Just what I need - another 'geek' label..."
- my friend Mark, on being told of Coffee Geek's existence

Good, affordable espresso: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/espresso/machines/355707
Coffee's hot enough for OCD: www.coffeegeek.com/forums/coffee/machines/330079
Personal & global health: http://www.broomfieldenterprise.com/ci_12802509
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emradguy
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emradguy
Joined: 31 Mar 2011
Posts: 3,122
Location: Houston
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Duetto II; Twist v2
Grinder: M Major, Macap M4 x2, VDD...
Drip: Espro presses; Aeropress
Roaster: H-B "List of Favorites"
Posted Wed Jun 20, 2012, 1:52pm
Subject: Re: Solis 166 refurbish/upgrade?
 

I haven't done anything with it yet.  I took the top burr out and cleaned both burrs and the inside, but I don't think it will improve anything.  Fortunately, I very rarely drink anything other than espresso and I've got my Macaps for that.  I'm leaning towards gifting the 166 and getting a Lido for my presspot needs.

 
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