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Baratza Virtuoso - Sean Wiseman's Review
Posted: October 23, 2009, 10:11pm
review rating: 6.0
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 373,497 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: 8.8
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 7
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 10
Price Paid: $65.00 Cost vs. Value 10
Where Bought: Starbucks Aesthetics 8
Owned for: 1 year Overall 9
Writer's Expertise: Pro Barista Would Buy Again: Yes
Similar Items Owned: Starbucks Via Venizia
Bottom Line: Great grinder and great price. Definite buy!
Positive Product Points

- Great for starter grinding
- Can be re-calibrated for finer/coarser grinds
- Easy to clean
- Cheap replacement parts

Negative Product Points

- Could use a metered system to sho  you the size of the grounds that will be coming out.
- Kind of messy (spews grinds out)
- Really loud
- A bit slow at its finest grind

Detailed Commentary

I got this grinder on sale at Starbucks a while ago, and since I worked there got it even cheaper! It's a great starter for anyone looking for a good and cheap grinder to use for home espresso making. It gives a good consistent grind and doesn't really choke up at all, aside from needing a second to feed in a few more beans. It is however a bit messy when it comes to pouring the grounds out and could be a bit cleaner in that respect (possibly by using a small hole to drop them out).

You can also buy calibrated inserts for the machine to allow for a finer or coarser grind from Baratza. These allow you to better grind for Turkish-style coffee or French Press-style. These are also very cheap so it's definitely a great economical grinder.

The machine is very simple to clean. All you need to do it turn it all the way fine plus one click to lift the bean hopper off, however you should empty the beans first as it does not have a mechanism to lock it shut. It also has some very nicely made burrs that just need a quick wipe with a damp cloth from time to time (more often for more oily beans) to keep them in working order.

Replacement parts can be found just about everywhere and come really cheap. We're talking like <10 USDs for burr replacements.

It comes with a nice timed grinding feature in which you just dial it back and it will grind away for up to about a minute. It's really great for when you know the rough time needed to dose out the right amount of grounds for your shot or press and have jimmied a solution to hold the portafilter in place (or bought the official one!).

One downside is that it is quite loud for such a small grinder. I don't feel mean enough to wake up my whole house in the morning by grinding the ~14g of coffee I need for an espresso shot!

Overall this is a great grinder for starting out in the home espresso world. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is looking for a grinder that can do the basics and do it right for a great price. Definitely would not recommend it for people who are about changing grinds by a micrometer.

Buying Experience

Bought it from Starbucks while on sale and with my partner discount so I shouldn't comment on customer service :P

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review rating: 6.0
Posted: October 23, 2009, 10:11pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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