Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 2:14pm Subject: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
Well, the ol' Baratza Maestro Plus seems to be giving up the ghost -- still grinds pretty well, but it's starting to get very noisy as though the gearbox is going. I am going to take the opportunity to upgrade a little. I have my eye on the Virtuoso at this point. Based on the product reviews on this site, it seems as though the old 585 model had some reliability issues but that the newer 586, with the added plus of an improved burr set, is better. As indicated, I would never use the grinder for espresso. Also, I don't want to go manual, even though I imagine the best one in my price range would be an OE Lido, or a Pharos if I stretched just a bit.
Any wisdom or opinions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
daveupstateNY Senior Member Joined: 27 Feb 2008 Posts: 65 Location: Rochester, NY Expertise: I love coffee
Espresso: La Spaziale Mini Vivaldi... Grinder: Baratza Preciso, Hario &... Vac Pot: Yama 2 & 5 cup Drip: Technivorm Moccamaster CD,... Roaster: Don't roast ... yet!
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 5:32pm Subject: Re: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
Can't beat a Baratza for home use, IMHO. I owned a Virtuoso, and now, a Preciso. I also own both the Lido 1 and an un-modded Pharos ... can't say enough good things about OE. Of the two, the Lido is my go to for daily pour overs and other "hand" brews. But for full pots, in the Technivorm, it's the Preciso. So, I would say you can't go wrong either way ;)
Posted Fri May 30, 2014, 6:28pm Subject: Re: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
I used to have a Maestro and now have a Virtuoso for drip/press. The Virtuoso works MUCH better than the Maestro, more even grind and fewer fines. I don't use it for espresso since I have another espresso grinder.
Posted Sat May 31, 2014, 9:29am Subject: Re: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
The Baratza Virtuoso and Breville Smart are both "good" (as opposed to "inadequate," "adequate," "very good," or "excellent") for your purpose. The Virtuoso is a little over $200, the Smart is $200 everywhere, but can be had discounted.
We bought a Smart a few years ago and used it happily as our brew grinder until replacing it with something ridiculously larger and more expensive. We bought a Virtuoso for my daughter awhile ago. She uses it for pourover and press with good results. Those results, as far as I can tell, are indistinguishable from the Smart's.
As far as pourover/vacpot/press are concerned the Preciso doesn't represent any improvement over current prodution Virtuosos. Same burr set, but a more refined adjustment scheme doesn't do much for brew -- alla time same same really. And by extension and experience a Preciso doesn't do brew or press any better than a Smart.
The Baratza Vario with Ditting brew burrs is a step better ("very good") than the Virtuoso/Smart. But it is considerably more expensive at $400 (with the Ditting burrs) refurbed. Enough better to consider if you can swing it without eating ramen for a month.
The step to "excellence" is the step to bulk grinders. Expensive and huge.
Rocker66 Senior Member Joined: 15 Jun 2012 Posts: 32 Location: MO Expertise: I live coffee
Espresso: Rancilio Silvia Grinder: Baratza Virtuoso / Vario Vac Pot: Mocha Express/Aeropress Drip: Bonavita/Pour over Roaster: Behmor 1600
Posted Wed Jun 18, 2014, 3:28am Subject: Re: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
I will vouch for the Virtuoso. I bought a refurb from Baratza about 6 years ago and it is still going strong. The only issue I've had with it is the gear stripped last year. I purchased their gear upgrade kit and it is still working like a champ. I even used it for espresso for a while before I got my Vario. It has a lot of grind settings and does a great job of it.
ascanio1 Senior Member Joined: 3 Jan 2011 Posts: 74 Location: Japan Expertise: I love coffee
Posted Mon Sep 29, 2014, 8:17pm Subject: Re: Grinder around $200 for pourover/vacpot/press
The Baratza Vario with Ditting brew burrs is a step better ("very good") than the Virtuoso/Smart. But it is considerably more expensive at $400 (with the Ditting burrs) refurbed. Enough better to consider if you can swing it without eating ramen for a month. Rich
Hi Rich, I was going for either the Virtuoso or Smart and I read your post. Can you enter into detail why you consider the Baratza Vario w/ Ditting burrs so much better? BTW; I found a Vario-W Refurb with Steel Burrs @ 460$. Are these burrs the same thing as the Ditting burrs? If not, what are the differenes? Thanks in advance for your time.
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