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Baratza Virtuoso - Gone Gone's Review
Posted: November 21, 2008, 11:01am
review rating: 9.0
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
Baratza Virtuoso Grinder
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More About This Product
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso has 62 Reviews
Arrow The Baratza Virtuoso has been rated 7.22 overall by our member reviewers
Arrow This product has been in our review database since February 20, 2006.
Arrow Baratza Virtuoso reviews have been viewed 390,294 times (updated hourly).

Quality Reviews
These are some of the best-written reviews for this product, as judged by our members.
Name Ranking
Eero Simoncelli 9.08
Gone Gone 9.00
Aubrei Merrill 9.00
Joel Bristol 9.00
Yves Feder 8.83

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Ratings and Stats Overall Rating: 9.6
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 10
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 9
Price Paid: $170.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: WholeLatteLove Aesthetics 10
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: I like coffee Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: It works, no quirks.
Positive Product Points

Built like a brick privy. Solid, stable on the counter, not too noisy, readily adjustable.  Easy to clean. Evidently motor speed is adjustable. The factory 250 RPM is a good standard grind speed. Cone settings are internally adjustable. Cones seem fairly simple to replace when needed.

Ample power. 40 detented grind adjustments. Coarse is sufficient for press pot, fine is sufficent for moka pot. Fast adjust, numbered, visually readable settings.

Plug in cord is heavy, about 4' long which is "just right."

Negative Product Points

I wish the grinds catcher cup were stainless steel. Static is a minor issue -- Baratza has spray coated the interior. If you hold the catch cup up to window light, it's apparent that the spray coating is thin, reveals "crackalure" lines.

It spills the grinds a bit -- nothing excessive, a dusting. All grinders do this.

The grind timer knob comes loose during operation. A dab of Lock-Tite (non permanent, Home Depot) fixes this.

Detailed Commentary

I returned the Starbucks Barista. I now use the Krups blade spnner for chopping herbs and dried peppers.  There was another grinder I ordered online after recommendations herein, but it had a very fine turnscrew adjustment and was impractical for what I'm doing -- press pot, moka pot, drip, drip, drip . . .

Relying on suggestions from CoffeeGeek, I concluded after some serious hand-wringing that this Baratza Virtuoso is pretty much the "Cafe Standard" workhorse grinder for everyday coffee.

It's NOT an espresso grinder. Some may disagree. I don't do espresso, and can't comment. Others herein seem to agree that it's not an espresso grinder because the detent settings for grind are not sufficiently incremented.

I'm not into "kitchen counter jewelery." I am serious about the kitchen and want functional, rugged, well designed tools which WORK. The Baratza fills the bill.

Large conical burrs. The drive motor is geared for 250 RPM, which is slow enough that coffee is not heated in the grinding process. Evidently there's an adjustment feature which allows tuning the motor for even slower grind speeds. I haven't found it. It's not listed in the manual.

There's an internal adjustment ring for setting up the burrs. This positions the cones and adjusts the "grind window" range for the external, manual grind adjustment.

40 positions on the external adjustments, detented and numbered. Easy to dial in a setting for press pot then move to moka grind and back to press pot. It's a solid machine with solid adjustments, I expect that the grind settings remain consistent. They seem to, but I'm not that fussy. Works for press pot, moka pot, drip.

Rugged, sturdy, well constructed and designed. It's "Euro-Chic" in looks, but then you'd expect that from Italians.

I'd rate it all "Tens" with the caveat that it's NOT an expresso grinder.  I'd like to see a stainless catch cup, but the coated plastic works fine.

If you're seeking a workhorse for the daily grind, this is seemingly the leader for this price point.

Buying Experience

Online. I ordered it. Delivered in 7-10 days. No hassles.

Three Month Followup

Day in day out grinder. Rugged. Only shortcoming I see is that my beans stick to the hopper and need some coaxing -- which is easy. (It's the beans, not the grinder!)

The Virtuoso seems to be the "workhorse" pick for most users. Won't seemingly work for espresso grinds, but excellent for everything else. Some static cling in the catch box. It has anti-static coating, but would be much nicer in stainless steel.

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review rating: 9.0
Posted: November 21, 2008, 11:01am
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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