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the detailed review - solis maestro review
Solis Maestro Review - Overview
Introduction | Overview | Construction | Aesthetics | Usability Etc. | Conclusion
Solis Maestro
Members' Reviews
Write a Review for the Baratza Maestro Grinder
GREAT versatile machine, wide grinding range for those who make different coffee types, high quality, good value at attainable price
Jim Pellegrini, Nov 16, 2001
More of Jim Pellegrini's Review:
I bought this machine (online from Aabree Coffee Co. for $129) to replace my Solis 166 because that machine did not have adequate range to grind for espresso and french press.  Solis certainly fixed that problem, and made more improvements in the...
The Solis Maestro performs admirably, and provides great value for the $$$$
Robert Jason, Jan 20, 2003
More of Robert Jason's Review:
After suffering with the uneven grind from my noisy Braun, I decided to do a little reseach before purchasing a new grinder. Due to the numerous positive reviews of the Maestro on this site, and information from the Solis importer and distributer,...
90 Reviews have been written for the Solis Maestro Review so far by our members.
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The Solis Maestro grinder was a long time coming for Baratza LLC, the exclusive importers for Solis products in the United States. When Baratza first took over those exclusive rights back in late 1998, the Solis situation in America was pretty poor – the previous importer didn’t really support the product, and the availability was spotty. Baratza took a new direction and a new seriousness, and has elevated the Solis line to a much higher visibility and availability.

One of the things missing from the initial Baratza offering was a grinder. Solis was making the 166 model, but was only selling it in Europe. The grinder was picked up by Starbucks and rebranded as the Starbucks Barista grinder during this time. Baratza convinced Solis to start shipping N. American models of the Solis 166 to them, and for a time, the unit was sold on these shores.

Click for larger image
Three Grinders
Solis Maestro, the newest grinder, on the left, with the Solis Mulino in the middle, and the Starbucks Barista on the right.

Starbucks eventually got involved, claiming exclusive rights to selling this model, and Baratza had to cease importing them. But they needed a grinder, so Solis designed the 177, or Mulino grinder.

The Mulino was a capable grinder, on par in performance with the 166, and had some interesting innovations – you could grind straight into a portafilter or a filter basket because of the design.

But the Mulino also suffered from two problems and one annoyance. The first problem is noise – it was extremely noisy – about as noisy as a Braun KM30 grinder is. The second serious problem was that a lot of grounds were left inside the grinder between grinding sessions, in the chute that extended horizontally from the burrs to the exit chute into the bin.

This meant that up to 2 or 3 grams of ground coffee went stale between grinding sessions - a major problem for espresso purists. And an annoyance with the grinder was the amount of static it sometimes produced.

The bottom line on the Mulino was this: Baratza felt it was a product they could sell with out any ethical concerns, but they wanted something better for their customers. The Maestro was this thing.

The Maestro took a year to develop, and is very much a labour of love for the company, as only people truly fascinated by quality coffee and the quality tools that deliver it can be.

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Introduction | Overview | Construction | Aesthetics | Usability Etc. | Conclusion
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Detailed Review Sections
Arrow 1. Introduction
Arrow 2. Overview
Aarow 3. Construction
Aarow 4. Aesthetics
Aarow 5. Usability Etc.
Aarow 6. Conclusion
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