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Baratza Virtuoso - Mattias M's Review
Posted: May 13, 2008, 11:28pm
review rating: 7.3
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 373,328 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: 5.6
Manufacturer: Baratza Quality: 3
Average Price: $229.00 Usability: 8
Price Paid: $209.00 Cost vs. Value 7
Where Bought: EspressoTec Aesthetics 6
Owned for: 6 months Overall 4
Writer's Expertise: I live coffee Would Buy Again: No
Similar Items Owned:
Bottom Line: Don't buy this grinder for a Silvia . . . I regretted not paying $100 more for a Rocky.
Positive Product Points

- Pretty good build quality except for the timer knob
- Small footprint
- Handy thumb button for portafilter grinding
- Rubber feet prevent slipping

Negative Product Points

- Can not produce fine enough grind for espresso (on the Silvia)
- Useable range between finest and press pot only uses 20 out of 40 steps

Detailed Commentary

Right out of the box this grinder performed adequately on my Silvia.  I bought it 4 months ago and found an appropriate grind setting (near the zero point, where the burrs contact one another).  As time wore on I found it increasingly difficult to achieve good shots; everything was running too fast.  I recalibrated the zero point and even took it back to EspressoTec for them to take a look (the finest grind they could achieve was on par with this grinder).  I experimented with different tampers and tamping techniques but by this time I basically had to stand on my tamper to achieve a drinkable shot, and there seemed to be a lot more coarse chunks than when it was brand new.  I experimented a lot in the fine range to no avail.  The only way to get a good shot was to really overload the basket and tamp the snot out of it.  

I took care of the grinder . . . only 9 pounds of coffee went through it, and I was always careful to not have the burrs gnashing.  I removed the burrs and cleaned them.  It's been great for press pot coffee, but it's been a horrible disappointment for espresso.  

Now that I'm upgrading to a Rocky it's a little sad . . . if I had known from day one that I would eventually spend $540 on two grinders in 4 months I would have bought a Mazzer Mini!  I didn't explore the other Virtuoso reviews on this site until a few weeks after buying it.  Before I bought it I heard Mark Prince gush about the professional burrs and turkish--press pot range of this grinder on a coffeegeek podcast, and I heeded the advice of a local espresso equipment supplier (read the next section)

Buying Experience

A salesperson at EspressoTec told me that the Virtuoso was one of the two grinders they recommend for the Silvia (the other being the Rocky).  Seeing that I could save $100 I chose it.  When I took it back for them to take a look they said they would offer me $100 for it.  I guess that seemed fair from their perspective, but now they are saying that they don't recommend the Virtuoso with the Silvia.   ???

I declined their offer of $100 and purchased a Rocky from another retailer.

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review rating: 7.3
Posted: May 13, 2008, 11:28pm
feedback: (0) comments | read | write
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